Learn more about the Virgin Atlantic 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 Virgin Atlantic JV, including route structure and other important facts. In addition, this page discusses the timeline involved in this agreement, highlighting various milestones.


  • Delta confirms plan to acquire 49% of Virgin Atlantic for $360 million
  • Delta completes 49% acquisition of Virgin Atlantic
  • Delta announces it will place its code on 17 Virgin Atlantic routes
  • Virgin Atlantic announces it will place its code on 91 Delta routes
  • Delta & Virgin Atlantic JV commences
  • LOA #14-07 signed between ALPA and Delta
    • Delta metal will be scheduled no fewer than 5,860 international operations between the US and LHR
      • The minimum scheduled international operations may drop to 5,550 if Delta does not acquire and operate new LHR slots
    • Partly due to Delta’s 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, growth metric is put in place
      • If Virgin Atlantic grows and adds widebody flying anywhere in the world, it is captured via this growth metric
      • This only captures any widebody flying Virgin Atlantic operates, but currently Virgin Atlantic’s entire fleet is composed solely of widebody aircraft (roughly 40 aircraft)
      • Delta must fly a minimum percentage – between 69.46% to 66.57% – of the combined Delta and Virgin Atlantic International Twin Aisle ASKs

JV Fundamentals

This JV gives Delta greater access to the preferred business airport in London (LHR), whereas historically Delta had mainly flown into LGW.  American Airlines and British Airways control over 50% of US-LHR traffic as part of a transatlantic JV that they share with Iberia and Finnair.  

New Transatlantic JV

  • JV with Delta, AF/KLM, Virgin Atlantic was announced in 2017
    • The inclusion of Aeromexico and Alitalia 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