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Delta customers gain seamless connections to five new destinations in Australia, New Zealand

ATLANTA, May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today announced expanded codesharing with the Virgin Blue Airlines Group (ASX: VBA) that will add five new destinations in Australia and New Zealand to Delta's network.

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The new service, which will begin May 21, will allow Delta customers to seamlessly connect to Perth, Adelaide and Canberra in Australia, as well as Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Delta customers currently can connect on Virgin Blue flights to Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, under previously announced codesharing flights that began in January 2010. Delta operates nonstop service between Los Angeles and Sydney, where all codeshare flights connect.

"This expanded codesharing strengthens our alliance relationship with Virgin Blue, and broadens our network throughout Australia and New Zealand to provide a slate of new choices for our customers," said Charlie Pappas, Delta's vice president – Alliances. "It underscores the benefits to our customers of sound alliance relationships with strong airlines like Virgin Blue."

Virgin Blue customers flying the group's long-haul airline – V Australia – now will be able to connect in Los Angeles to Delta flights to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Detroit, in addition to codeshare flights currently available to New York-JFK and Orlando.

The expanded service is the latest step in a previously announced marketing alliance between Delta and Virgin Blue to offer customers access to more destinations across the Pacific as well as reciprocal airport lounge and frequent flier benefits.

SkyMiles members are eligible to earn SkyMiles on V Australia and Virgin Blue domestic airline flights operated in conjunction with the agreement. Delta's BusinessElite customers, Platinum, Gold and Diamond Medallion members and Sky Club members also have complimentary access to Virgin Blue lounges at airports throughout Australia. Virgin Blue's Velocity members are eligible to earn frequent flier miles for travel on Delta and enjoy complimentary access to 50 Sky Club locations around the world.

Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year, and was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide   in its 2011 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 347 destinations in 64 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, the world's largest airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.

SOURCE Delta Air Lines