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Seoul approves Delta-Korean Air transpacific joint venture

Delta Air Lines and Korean Air’s transpacific network joint venture has been cleared to proceed after being approved by South Korean regulators.

The approval from Seoul follows US Department of Transport approval that was granted in November 2017. The transport ministry says that the two carriers will be required to maintain their present level of capacity on US routes, and it will be subject to a review after three years.

The two airlines say the joint venture will give passengers seamless connections to 290 destinations in the Americas, and 80 across Asia.

It will see the carriers optimise their schedules, undertake joint marketing and sales activity, improve loyalty programme benefits and integrate their IT services.

While no launch date for the joint venture was given, Delta chief executive Ed Bastian has previously indicated that the carriers will start working together shortly after securing regulatory approval from Seoul.

“Our expanded partnership means a host of new destinations and travel options across Asia and North America, with seamless connectivity, world-class reliability and the industry’s best customer service,” Bastian says.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of our partnership with Delta,” says Korean Air chairman and chief executive Cho Yang Ho. “With the recent relocation to Terminal 2 at Incheon Airport alongside with Delta, we will be able to provide seamless service to our customers. Korean Air will provide extensive support to develop a successful partnership with Delta.”

FlightGlobal schedules data shows that the two carriers already have a comprehensive codeshare arrangement, with Korean adding its code to over 4,000 flights per week operated by Delta. Conversely, Delta codeshares on 807 Korean flights per week.

UPDATED: Added additional details from South Korea's transport ministry.

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