Delta is typically referred to as the the world’s third largest airline, but the Chicago Tribune makes the case that as a carrier heavily invested in other airlines, Delta is probably the world’s largest airline by quite a significant margin.
No other single airline has such power to shape the industry and spur further consolidation across the globe.
Not only does Delta invest in other carriers, but they are actively involved in day-to-day operations and participate in key decisions to help their partners “run the business like Delta.”
“We are in the boardroom,” Richard Anderson, Delta chief executive officer, said last week of his airline’s minority investments at the airline’s annual Investor Day. “And instead of them hiring consultants that-candidly-are not going to be able to help them fix their businesses, they get our executive team.” He described the relationship between his company and Virgin, Aeromexico, and Gol as one in which his team can “really run that business the way we run Delta.”
In 2016, Virgin Atlantic will use Delta’s platform to operate their reservation system while Delta maintenance will handle work on Gol’s jet engines.
Check out the rest of the interesting read on Delta’s minority investments here.