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A Delta Air Lines Airbus A319. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Delta, WestJet Expand Codeshare Partnership

The world’s current state seems unfavorable for airlines to resume and return to efficient and effective flight operations. Stringent travel restrictions, lengthy entry requirements and extended border closures limited demand for leisure travel. Even so, major carriers worldwide adapted to the ongoing dilemma and focused on increasing connectivity and growth – usually two of several essential aspects that define the airline industry. 

Yesterday, Delta – an airline that has been more attentive on networking and expansion than other major carriers from other continents – evolved and launched a reinforcement for its codeshare partnership with WestJet. The prominent SkyTeam alliance carrier plans to unveil expanded, elite reciprocal benefits with Canada’s second-largest carrier for frequent travelers to seamlessly travel on both airlines. 

“These enhanced customer benefits are the foundation for creating a more seamless travel experience for our joint customers as we work towards improving our products and services,” Delta’s Alain Bellemare, E.V.P. and President – International, said. “Even though the transborder network is limited at present, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these improvements will be available as the network rebounds and customers are ready to travel again.”

In the early 2010s, Delta began its airline partnership with WestJet. Additionally, in January 2012, the Atlanta-based carrier announced a codeshare agreement with WestJet for flights within the U.S. and Canada, ultimately amplifying the initial partnership. Frequent flyers will have the opportunity to use services such as priority security, checked luggage allowance, lounge access and priority seating more easily, within the partner network, in the latest expansion. 

WestJet’s John Weatherill, Chief Commercial Officer, said, “Over the past decade, WestJet and Delta have been working together to serve the needs of our guests on both sides of the border. Once travel has safely resumed, these newly launched loyalty enhancements will be ready for frequent flyers of both airlines to enjoy anywhere in the world they travel with Delta and WestJet.”

In July 2018, Delta and WestJet signed a joint venture agreement. Afterward, in 2019, both carriers completed a comprehensive transborder agreement between cities in the U.S. and Canada. Both airlines plan to continue aligning policies and services for their passengers.

The Carrier’s Increased Connectivity

Delta’s recent partnership enhancement with WestJet further develops the connection between the two carriers. However, WestJet is not the sole carrier that Delta has set its eyes on for collaboration or venture. Recently, in February 2021, during the current, rapidly-changing situation, Delta received final approval from the Brazilian competition authority to form a joint venture agreement alongside LATAM in Brazil, which could soon be all across the South American continent.

“This final approval in Brazil furthers our mission to provide customers in this important market with the world-class travel experience and options they deserve,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian, said. “Moving forward, we will continue working with LATAM to unlock more benefits for our customers and create the premier airline alliance of the Americas,” a philosophy precisely portrayed by the airline’s tactical choice to add hundreds of new seats to Brazil and other South American countries within the past couple years, from a number of its notable hubs.

Delta’s focus on maintaining the collaboration with its global partners will help the airline recover from the world’s current conditions, specifically the losses due to the extended border closure between the U.S. and Canada, which is now closed until at least April 21. But, with the new connections, Delta will be able to look elsewhere and strategically network itself, bringing itself closer to more opportunities.

 

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