A history of the Delta-China Eastern equity agreement
The history of Delta Air Lines and China Eastern Airlines partnership dates to 2010 with the signing of the first codeshare agreement between the two airlines. When China Eastern officially joined SkyTeam Alliances in June 2011, this codeshare partnership expanded to a broader scope by connecting a combined 42 key city pairs between the U.S. and China. Both airlines also began to send delegations from core business units between respective headquarters in Atlanta and Shanghai – the beginning of a strong friendship and strategic partnership that share many common goals and values.
2015: A New Era of Collaboration
July 2015 was a groundbreaking milestone when both airlines agreed to an equity partnership, where Delta invested $450 million for a 3.55% equity stake in China Eastern. As the two CEOs signed the 15-year marketing agreement to cement the deal, a new era of collaboration began, resulting in several monumental achievements.
One of the greatest achievements following the equity partnership was the expansion of the combined network of Delta and China Eastern. By 2019, joint customers began enjoying the rich offerings from both airlines across over 170 city pairs between the U.S. and China. Furthermore, with strong support from China Eastern, Delta became the first foreign airline in China to launch Trans-China – a D-I baggage check-through service. Delta also invested significantly in co-locating terminal and lounge space with China Eastern at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which further enhanced the travel experience for customers on both airlines.