Virgin Blue and Delta Air Lines plan (15-Dec-2009) to launch the first phase of an expanded codeshare agreement between Delta and V Australia. V Australia will codeshare on Delta-operated services between Los Angeles and New York JFK, Salt Lake City, Orlando and Cincinnati, to connect with V Australia services to/from Los Angeles and to/from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, from 18-Jan-2010. Meanwhile, Delta will codeshare on Virgin Blue operated flights between Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane, to connect with Delta flights to/from Sydney. The carriers also announced members of each carrier’s frequent flyer programmes will now be able to earn reciprocal points and reciprocal lounge access within Australia and the US. [more - Virgin Blue] [more - Delta Air Lines]
V Australia and Delta announce frequent-flyer, lounge and codeshare agreements
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Numerous airlines expressed concerns about Aeromexico and Delta’s concentration of slots at Mexico City Juarez, and the DoT responded by requiring slot divestitures at the airport along with the relinquishment of slots at New York JFK. The airlines have countered that the DoT’s analysis is flawed, and that a smaller number of slot divestitures at Juarez required by Mexico’s government should allay any concerns expressed by competitors. Aeromexico and Delta also argue another stipulation imposed by US regulators – limiting the joint venture to a five-year term – would create too much uncertainty for the viability of the business venture.
Delta’s plans to take its stake in Aeromexico up to 49% was contingent on the JV proposal succeeding. But with the stipulations imposed by DoT in order for the partners to establish their joint venture a dark cloud of uncertainty is hovering over Aeromexico’s future ownership structure.
United Airlines Part 2: Sustaining balance sheet strength while declaring ambitious margin targets
One area where United Airlines has made important strides during the last few years is in overhauling its balance sheet. Its efforts have gained some recognition from credit agencies for its progress in paring down debt and improving leverage ratios; but similarly to its rival American Airlines – attaining an investment-grade credit rating is not a huge priority for United. The airline believes it can achieve some benefits that investment-grade companies enjoy with the current state of its balance sheet.
In order to sustain the progress it has made in balance sheet repair United plans to amend its aircraft order book to slash capex commitments during the next couple of years, including the deferral of 61 Boeing narrowbodies. United is hinting that other fleet changes could be under consideration, including deals similar to the agreement it forged during 2015 to lease used Airbus A319s.
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