LATAM Signs New Joint Venture Agreement With Delta

Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines have signed their highly anticipated joint venture agreement. The deal promises new…

LATAM Signs New Joint Venture Agreement With Delta

Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines have signed their highly anticipated joint venture agreement. The deal promises new levels of interconnectivity when traveling throughout the Americas.  While still awaiting regulatory approvals, the joint venture agreement will provide benefits such as codeshare agreements, smoother airport connections, and new frequent flyer and lounge agreements.

Delta Air Lines signed off on its joint venture with LATAM this week. Photo: Getty Images

The deal was one of the biggest aviation stories of 2019

Delta’s acquisition of a stake in LATAM was one of the biggest aviation stories of 2019. While the deal made sense for Delta, significantly ramping up its presence in South America, it was the fallout that made folks sit up and take notice.

The formerly up close and personal relationship with bedfellow American Airlines crashed to Arctic levels of frostiness overnight. American Airlines immediately stopped selling tickets on LATAM and went knocking on GOL’s door.

LATAM also quit the oneworld alliance. That took a while to formalize, LATAM officially exiting that marital bed only recently. But LATAM didn’t stay footloose and fancy-free for long, with both it and Delta signing on the dotted line this week.

Pandemic and travel downturn means celebrations are muted

The pandemic and subsequent collapse in travel demand have put the brakes on what might have been a big celebration. After all, Delta picked up a strategic presence in South America and got to sock it to their jilted competitor, American Airlines. However, both LATAM and Delta are striking a restrained tone following the signing this week.

“Late last year, we set out to build the leading strategic alliance in Latin America together with LATAM, and while the industry landscape has changed, our commitment to this joint venture is as strong as ever,” said Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines in a statement provided to Simple Flying.

Delta-LATAM-Joint-Venture-Agreement
The joint venture promises a lot of benefits for passengers of both airlines. Photo: Tomas Del Coro via Flickr.

“Even as our carriers contend with the impact of COVID-19 on our business and take steps to protect the safety of our customers and employees, we are also building the airline alliance we know they’ll want to fly in the future.”

The joint venture promises benefits for passengers of both airlines

While both LATAM and Delta Air Lines have curtailed their international flying into each other’s zones, it’s the future possibilities that arouse interest right now.

Schedules will be coordinated to allow quicker transfers at each airline’s hubs. Delta is moving across to terminal 3 at São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport to be with LATAM. Conversely, LATAM is moving over to Delta’s spaces at both Miami International and New York Kennedy.

The joint venture also opens up a raft of codeshare avenues. When fully up and running, the plan is for LATAM to codeshare on 70 plus onward routes in the United States and Delta to codeshare on 50 plus onward routes in South America. The deal means both LATAM and Delta will have the largest market share on five of the six biggest routes between the USA and South America.

Delta-LATAM-Joint-Venture-Agreement
The joint venture will see LATAM codeshare on over 70 Delta routes in mainland USA. Photo: Delta Air Lines.

A big win for Delta and a blow for American Airlines

The deal must be a bitter pill for American Airlines. That airline had made a name for itself operating services between North and South America, commanding a large share of the market.

The joint venture between LATAM and Delta is also a big blow for oneworld.  The airline alliance, once the global gold standard, now has two big spaces in its coverage – South America and the southern half of Africa.

However. the deal furthers marks the ascendancy of Delta Air Lines.  Through its careful acquisition of strategic stakes in other airlines and a customer service overhaul, the Atlanta based airline has in a generation transformed itself from an underperforming US carrier to a global player with a premium reputation.  Now LATAM can ride on its tailwinds.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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US LCC Frontier To Screen Temperature Of Every Passenger

Low-cost giant Frontier Airlines will screen every boarding passenger with a temperature thermometer in a step to prevent…

US LCC Frontier To Screen Temperature Of Every Passenger

Low-cost giant Frontier Airlines will screen every boarding passenger with a temperature thermometer in a step to prevent any biosecurity hazards. The announcement yesterday marks the first airline in the USA to do it for all flights.

Frontier is now checking everyone’s temperature Photo: Getty Images

How does this test work?

Passengers and crew boarding the next Frontier Airlines flight might find themselves getting checked for more than just loose change in their pockets. Frontier will be rolling out a new screening process to check the temperature of every passenger boarding to ensure that those who have a high temperature (a sign of the body combating a virus) are refused to board. 

Anyone that triggers the sensor has a temperature of over 100.4 degrees (38 degrees Celsius), which is higher than average body temperature. They will be moved aside and checked again after ten minutes. If they fail the second test, they will be refused to board.

Frontier has made it clear that this test applies to everyone entering their aircraft, from passengers to pilots and cabin crew. Even those at the destination airport who may need to check the plane will be tested as well.

Frontier A320
This step is to make passengers feel safer onboard. Photo: Frontier Airlines

This test intends to make passengers feel more comfortable and prevent further spread of the virus.

“The health and safety of everyone flying Frontier is paramount and temperature screenings add an additional layer of protection for everyone on board,” said Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle in a press release. “This new step during the boarding process, coupled with face coverings and elevated disinfection procedures, will serve to provide Frontier customers an assurance that their well-being is our foremost priority and we are taking every measure to help them travel comfortably and safely.”

If a passenger does fail the test, they will not be penalized. They may miss the flight, but Frontier will work with them to rebook on a later flight (and be tested again) or refund the ticket. No record of temperatures of passengers or crew will be kept by the airline.

Is this the only step that the airline is taking?

Frontier has been at the forefront of the aircraft health debate and been the first to roll out increasingly safe biosecurity measures on its aircraft. The carrier has a face-covering policy (that all onboard need to keep faces covered), and uses a unique antiseptic ‘fog’ in-between flights to sterilize the entire interior surface.

It did receive some flack recently by instituting a ‘fee’ for passengers to be socially isolated onboard. The carrier has since removed that fee, but the jury is still out if social distancing works onboard aircraft. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that airlines don’t need to distance passengers on board (as long as they have masks) and that the air recycling filters onboard aircraft are more than capable of scrubbing the virus from the air.

Frontier Airlines covid-19 coronavirus
Frontier has implemented aircraft fogging amongst other measures to keep its passengers safe. Photo: Getty Images

The airline has argued that not enough is being done by airports to prevent the spread of the virus and that temperature checks should be mandatory for all airlines. Frontier believes that this step today is a temporary solution until the FAA mandates them throughout the USA at airport entrances.

Overall this is an excellent step in the right direction, but it must be in part with other methods such as disinfectant, hand washing and face masks. As the virus can only show symptoms like a high temperature well after it has become contagious, and thus temperature checks are only for a worst-case scenario.

What do you think? Do you want your temperature checked before boarding a plane? Let us know in the comments.

 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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