Published on Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Delta, Korean Air in joint venture talks
Flag carrier Korean Air said it has been holding talks with Delta Air Lines over a potential trans-pacific joint venture.
Korean Air president Walter Cho hinted as such but declined to give any further details, according to Bloomberg.
Delta and Korean Air expanded their existing codeshare agreement last year to a total of 142 cities in the Americas and 33 in Asia.
Both airlines are founding members of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.
A joint venture would give Delta a foothold in the all-important East Asia market at Korean Air's Incheon Airport hub.
"A venture would give Delta greater access to Asia, where the travel market is growing rapidly," Um Kyung-a, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities Co. in Seoul told Bloomberg.
"For Korean Air, getting more reliable connectivity on services with Delta will definitely help in attracting passengers."
Citing CAPA Centre for Aviation analysis, a Korean Air-Delta alliance would hold about 14% of the trans-pacific market.
Incheon is expected to open a second terminal in October 2017 increasing its capacity by about 18 million passengers a year.
Both Korean Air and Delta are expected to relocate to the new terminal.