Delta Air Lines: spending spree improves its international stature

Premium Analysis

Delta Air Lines' buying spree taking up stakes in international airlines during the past few years may seem like a quest for world domination, but the reality is that it is a strategy by the airline to ensure it remains competitive with its large global US airline peers American and United.

Historically, Delta has been more focused on the US domestic market, and has spent the past five to six years working to bolster its position in the trans Atlantic and trans Pacific through a multi-faceted strategy that includes going beyond the boundaries of the SkyTeam alliance to forge partnerships, and in some cases, to take equity stakes in airlines outside the group.

The airline continues to harvest its international strategy and still has runway remaining for meeting its potential. For Delta, creating JVs and taking equity stakes in global airlines is essentially creating virtual mergers as a go-around of foreign ownership limits.

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