We all know that Delta’s attitude towards fellow SkyTeam partner Korean Air hasn’t been so friendly the last few years. Delta canceled all codeshares with Korean Air and then restricted SkyMiles members from accumulating MQMs when flying on Korean operated flights. Interestingly enough, despite these actions (and the probably less than cordial management conversations that led to those moves), John Jackson, Korean’s VP of the Americas, says that a joint venture with Delta is still on the table. From the Centre for Aviation:
“There’s too much at stake and to be realized,” Mr Jackon says. This would be unlikely to produce a return to the status quo. Rather the outcome would likely be a stronger partnership than before, and even a joint venture. Many see Delta’s actions as retaliation and a way to force Korean Air into a joint-venture. “It’s no secret people think Delta is ‘my way or the highway’,” Mr Jackson says. Korean Air has been watching Delta’s Asian growth. While Delta’s capacity numbers may indicate size, Korean Air is aware of the strength it brings for onward Asian points, especially in China. Most of these points will not receive direct US service in the foreseeable future, giving an advantage to those who hub to them. “We don’t have to take the first offer,” Mr Jackson says.
Of course, Korean has other options as well with non alliance partners and low cost carriers. In February, Korean partnered with AA, placing their code on American’s new DFW-ICN flight.
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