Delta Air Lines and Korean Air will have signed a memorandum of agreement that will establish a transpacific joint venture between the two SkyTeam carriers.
In a joint statement, the two airlines say that they intend to create a “fully integrated trans-Pacific joint venture arrangement, with both airlines sharing the costs and revenues on flights and coordinating schedules for seamless, convenient connections.”
Combined, they intend to serve over 290 destinations in the Americas and 80 in Asia, as well as providing greater benefits to members of each other’s loyalty programmes.
"This agreement deepens our longstanding partnership with Korean Air and will provide the global access and seamless service our customers demand," says Delta chief executive Ed Bastian.
Korean Air’s chairman and chief executive Cho Yang-Ho says that the arrangement will have wider benefits to South Korea.
"With this agreement, we will reinforce Incheon airport's position as a major international hub in North East Asia and support the growth of Korea's aviation industry."
Work on the joint venture will commence once a firm agreement is finalised, while the arrangement will require antitrust approvals in the US and Korea.
The two carriers signaled last year that they intended to move towards a joint venture, following the start of a major codeshare tie-up in September.
Delta is planning to launch services from Atlanta to Seoul Incheon in June, which it says will complement Korean Air’s services on the route.
Korean Air, meanwhile, will introduce an additional daily frequency on its services from Seoul to Los Angeles and San Francisco