Delta Possible Joint Venture w/ Korean + New LAX – Melbourne Route via Virgin Australia

Delta’s CEO told reporters this week that the re-established partnership with Korean Air Lines could turn into a joint venture. He responded that “we’re always talking”, when asked about a deeper relationship with the carrier. Bloomberg reports that an investment by Delta might cement the JV as the airline is under financial strain:

Korean Air is under pressure to inject funds into troubled unit Hanjin Shipping Co. as a court in Seoul decides on a bankruptcy protection filing by South Korea’s biggest container line. As Hanjin’s largest shareholder, Korean Air pledged to provide as much as 60 billion won ($54 million) as part of the holding group’s efforts to ease a supply-chain disruption, but the airline has so far failed to resolve how the money would be disbursed.

In other Delta news, the carrier will soon gain direct access to Melbourne, Australia, following an announcement by joint venture partner Virgin Australia who is set to launch nonstop service between Melbourne and Los Angeles in 2017. Beginning April 4, 2017, Virgin Australia will fly five times weekly between Melbourne and Los Angeles using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The new flight complements existing service offered by Delta and Virgin Australia, who will together offer 25 weekly flights between Australia and the United States.

“The United States is a key market for Virgin Australia, and this enables us to offer direct services from Los Angeles to the three largest cities in Australia – Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney,” said Virgin Australia Group CEO John Borghetti.

Delta and Virgin Australia currently fly twice-daily from Los Angeles to Sydney and daily from Los Angeles to Brisbane.

Melbourne – Los Angeles (beginning April 4, 2017)
VA 23 / DL 6793 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
1130 STD              0900 STA
Los Angeles – Melbourne (beginning April 4, 2017)
VA 24/ DL 6792 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
2110 STD              0600 +2 STA

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