LONDON, March 31, 2008 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and Air France today officially kicked off their joint venture agreement, fully leveraging the new E.U.-U.S. Open Skies agreement starting with three new trans-Atlantic routes connecting London-Heathrow to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, deputy chief executive of Air France-KLM and Glen Hauenstein, Delta Air Lines executive vice president of Network Planning and Revenue Management today underscored the advantages of the expanded partnership at a joint press conference in London, highlighting increased revenues and competition, as well as more customer choice and opportunity to earn miles on key routes across the Atlantic.
“Over the past three years, Delta has built an expansive global network giving customers the most choices across the Atlantic. Our new service to London-Heathrow fills a key position in our portfolio allowing us to connect our international gateways in Atlanta and New York to one of the world’s premier business airports,” said Hauenstein. “Our expanded partnership with Air France multiplies the opportunities available under Open Skies, enabling each airline to fully leverage the strengths of the other and opening many more travel options for our customers across the Atlantic.”
Beginning today, the joint venture partners will operate daily nonstop flights connecting London-Heathrow to Los Angeles and Atlanta, and twice-daily flights to New York-JFK. Air France will operate the LAX flight while Delta operates the JFK and Atlanta flights.
Today’s launch of the new Heathrow-Los Angeles route makes Air France the first European carrier to offer its long-haul customers the benefits of Open Skies.
“Air France’s decision to launch a new transatlantic route to and from the UK marks a totally new phase in the developing world air transport sector,” said Gourgeon. “Thanks to the new open skies agreement, our ambition in the years to come is to rank among the leading world players on this market. Along with KLM, Delta and our other SkyTeam partners, we are determined to offer passengers the greatest choice of routes and schedules between Europe and the rest of the world. The ability to offer passengers access to an enlarged network out of London, the leading European market, is a key phase in this strategy.”
According to the terms of their expanded joint venture agreement, signed Oct. 17, 2007, the two airlines will share revenues and costs on flights operated by both carriers between London-Heathrow and the United States, as well as on flights between Air France’s Paris-CDG and Lyon hubs, and Delta’s Atlanta, New York – JFK, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City hubs.
By 2010, the agreement will be extended to all trans-Atlantic flights operated by Air France and Delta between Europe and the Mediterranean on one side and North America on the other side, as well as all flights between Los Angeles and Tahiti.
The daily London Heathrow to Los Angeles flight is operated with the following schedule:
- AF060/DL8306, departing London-Heathrow Terminal 2* at 5 p.m. and arriving Los Angeles at 8:15 p.m. (flight time of 11 hours and 15 minutes).
- AF061/DL8399, departing Los Angeles at 8:25 p.m. and arriving London-Heathrow Terminal 2* at 2:40 p.m. the following day (flight time of 10 hours and 15 minutes).
(*Air France flights will be transferred to Terminal 4 in February 2009).
Each way, this flight schedule is most convenient as it leaves London at 5 p.m. (the last departure to Los Angeles) and at 8:25 p.m. (the second latest departure to London), giving each passenger enough time to work or to relax before their journey.
The flight is operated by Air France with a Delta codeshare, using a Boeing 777-200 with seating capacity for 263. Passengers can choose to travel in the l’Espace Première, l’Espace Affaires or Tempo cabin.
The London Heathrow to New York-JFK flight is operated twice daily:
- DL004/AF3662 departing London-Heathrow at 8:30 a.m. and arriving JFK at 11:15 a.m. (flight time of seven hours and 45 minutes, with flights departing and arriving 15 minutes later on Saturdays);
- DL002/AF3666 departing London-Heathrow at 5:05 p.m. and arriving JFK at 8:10 p.m. (flight time of eight hours and five minutes, with flights departing and arriving 10 minutes later on Saturdays); and
- DL003/AF3663 departing JFK at 8:55 a.m. and arriving London-Heathrow at 9:10 p.m. (flight time of seven hours and 15 minutes);
- DL001/AF3664 departing JFK at 8:55 p.m. and arriving London-Heathrow at 9:25 a.m. (flight time of seven hours and 30 minutes, with flights departing and arriving 25 minutes earlier on Fridays).
The daily London Heathrow to Atlanta flight is operated with the following schedules:
- DL179/AF3624 departing London-Heathrow at 1:50 p.m. and arriving Atlanta at 6:30 p.m. (flight time of nine hours and 40 minutes).
- DL178/AF3625 departing Atlanta at 10:30 p.m. and arriving London-Heathrow at noon the following day (flight time of eight hours and 30 minutes).
Delta flights operate from Terminal 4 at Heathrow.
The New York-JFK and the Atlanta flights are operated by Delta with Air France codeshare using a Boeing 767-300ER, with up to 216 seat capacity. Passengers can choose from the BusinessElite and Economy cabin. Customers in BusinessElite will enjoy comfortable all-leather seating and personal, in-seat entertainment.
Air France operates 1,700 daily flights with a fleet of 254 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including 131 regional aircraft operated by its Britair, CityJet and Régional subsidiaries. The merger agreement signed by Air France and KLM in September 2003 gave rise to Europe’s leading air transport group in May 2004. Together, they represent a workforce of over 103,000 employees, 73.5 million passengers, 248 worldwide destinations and a fleet of 569 aircraft. It currently ranks as the global leader in terms of revenue, with 23.07 billion euros in 2006/2007. Air France is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance. Air France was founded in 1933. Please visit http://corporate.airfrance.com/ for more information.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 315 destinations in 59 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 650 weekly flights to 65 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 14,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 744 worldwide destinations in 151 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.