Delta (DL) and Aeromexico (AM) had been setting their sights on a Joint Venture, a 1.5 billion dollar deal which would give customers on both sides more options when it comes to travel between the US and Mexico. In November, the Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively approved the partnership, granting the airlines anti-trust immunity for five years, on the condition that the carriers divest 24 slot pairs in Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) and 6 slot pairs at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Well, it looks like they’ve come to some sort of agreement with the DOT, since today, it’s been announced that Delta and Aeromexico today accepted the final order issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
While there’s no official word on what specific changes are on the horizon on either end, we can expect to see more flights between AM and DL destinations, better scheduling to allow for seamless flight connections, and improved airport gates and lounges, according to Delta.
The official party line offers little insight to what will actually come from the joint venture, but I’m hoping it means a seamless integration between Delta and Aeromexico, much like what we see with Delta’s joint venture with Flying Blue partners and Air France. Currently, Delta handles basically all customer service calls for Air France (AF) and KLM (KL) in the United States (with the exception of some very specific type of calls, which both AF and KL have a special line for), plus offers codeshares on Flying Blue all routes departing out of the United States. As a Delta customer, I’ve enjoyed the ease of managing my flights between DL, AF, and KL all through one point of contact, so I hope to see something similar come out of this Delta and Aeromexico partnership.
I’m interested in the “improvement in gates and lounges” that Delta mentions in their press release. Aeromexico currently does not operate lounges outside of Mexico, so I’d be interested in seeing if this joint venture leads to some AM Salons in the United States, since Aeromexico and Delta flights do not always depart out of the same terminal.
Currently, SkyTeam easily offers the most flights to Mexico City between Delta and Aeromexico, but on my personal wishlist, I’d love to see an Aeromexico flight that departs out of JFK on their new 787-9, and maybe at an actual reasonable time that allows passengers to maximize time in Mexico.
My travel plans aside, this joint venture is certainly going to open up doors to more (efficient?) flights between Delta hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle to Aeromexico hubs in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.
Weekend in Mexico anyone? Will this partnership affect your travel plans in 2017?