Learn more about Delta’s transatlantic joint venture. Every joint venture, code share, and ownership stake is unique. Learn more about what makes this relationship different from others. This page reviews the fundamentals surrounding the transatlantic JV, including route structure and other important facts. In addition, this page discusses the timeline involved in this agreement, highlighting various milestones.


Delta Air Lines – Air France / KLM – Alitalia


  • Northwest and KLM start first ever joint venture
  • Delta and Air France start a joint venture (prior to DAL/NWA merger)
  • Alitalia joined the Delta & AF/KLM joint venture

JV Fundamentals

What is measured?

  • Flights between North America and Europe
  • Flights between North America and French Polynesia
    • Air France operates flights from LAX to French Polynesia
  • Air France flights from the US to the Caribbean DO NOT count as part of the this JV
  • Flights between AMS and India used to be a part of this measurement, but ended after Delta stopped flying those routes
  • Measured in Equivalent Available Seat Kilometers (EASKs)
    • Measurement of capacity adjusted for an aircraft’s seat density and cargo capacity
    • Example: If Air France flies an A380 from France to the US it would register more EASKs than a 757 on the same route since the A380 has more seats and ability to carry more cargo. It would take almost 5 757 transatlantic flights to match one A380 transatlantic flight.
  • Delta can fly any type of aircraft, narrowbody or widebody, in this JV

How much flying does the PWA obligate Delta metal to fly?

  • Currently, the PWA mandates that Delta aircraft can fly no less than 46.5% of the EASKs
  • If Delta flies less than 48.5% of the EASKs, Delta aircraft must fly a total of 650,000 block hours consisting of international widebody block hours and 757 transatlantic block hours

The history of the transatlantic production balance

  • LOA #16, signed July 15, 2009, Delta baseline EASK allocation was 51.7% to AF/KLM flying 48.3%
    • Delta’s 51.7% of the EASKs had a 1.75% buffer through 31 March 2012, and a 1.5% buffer afterward
  • MOU #14, signed July 5, 2010, Alitalia was added
    • Delta’s share of the EASKs was 50%, with a 1.5% buffer
  • April 2015 ALPA filed a grievance requesting expedited arbitration after Delta flew less than the contractual minimum of 48.5% of the EASKs
    • ALPA settled for $30 Million
    • The PWA was changed to allow Delta to fly no less than 46.5% of the EASKs

New Transatlantic JV

Blue Skies

  • JV with Delta, AF/KLM and Virgin Atlantic was announced in 2017
    • The inclusion of Aeromexico and Alitatlia has not been finalized
    • Delta will have a 10% ownership in AF/KLM
    • China Eastern (not part of this JV) will have a 10% ownership stake in AF/KLM
    • AF/KLM will take a 31% ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic
    • Delta will retain its 49% ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic
  • Execution of this JV would require a new negotiated production balance

More About the Transatlantic Joint Venture

Transatlantic JV

Source: Aug 2019 OAG data. This chart displays Delta’s share of Transatlantic JV EASKs. *Target, minimum percentage and measurement period of Delta’s Transatlantic JV EASKs required by applicable LOA 16, MOU 14 or the Current PWA For every change to the...

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