Delta announced this afternoon it acquired 20% of Latin America’s largest airline, LATAM.
“The strategic partnership will unlock new growth opportunities, building upon Delta’s and LATAM’s global footprint and joint ventures worldwide, including Delta’s existing partnership with Aeroméxico,” Delta said in a press release. “With their complementary networks, Delta, LATAM and their partners will be able to offer access to a greatly expanded array of worldwide destinations. Together, the partnership will provide greater customer convenience, a more seamless travel experience and better connect customers with the rest of the world.”
(Here’s hoping the combined 435 destinations may someday create some interesting MQD mileage run possibilities, too!)
Delta’s kicking in $1.9 billion for its stake, as well as another $350 million “to support the establishment of the strategic partnership.” (Do you think Delta will issue payment online with a Chase Freedom card next month and get a teeny, tiny fraction back back, thanks to its 5% PayPal bonus? 😉 )
The mothership will also receive four of LATAM’s A350 aircraft. Plus, they’ll take over LATAM’s commitment to purchase ten more A350s.
LATAM was recently “ranked as the most punctual airline group in the world.” It was also named in a lawsuit filed yesterday by a Cuban-American who alleges LATAM and American Airlines are participating in “trafficking” at Havana’s airport — which the plaintiff claims to own.
“For LATAM,” Delta says, “the transaction will improve free cash flow generation, reduce forecasted debt by over $2 billion by 2025 and improve LATAM’s capital structure, enhancing its ability to execute its long-term strategy.”
Cover photo: ©iStock.com/Boarding1Now
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