Brazil’s competition authority, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has given regulatory approval to the Joint Venture Agreement between Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines Group S.A. and its affiliates.
The JVA between was signed in May 2020 and was presented to the CADE on July 14. The approval, which is subject to a 15-day appeal period, was granted without conditions, following an evaluation of free competition considerations and taking into account the unprecedented economic impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry.
The airlines have said they are going ahead with the agreement despite the slowdown in air travel and the news that LATAM has filed for bankruptcy protection.
“While we remain focused on providing customers with the confidence to fly and are working towards the safe and responsible recovery of aviation in Latin America, we have not lost sight of our long-term commitments,” said LATAM Airlines Group CEO, Roberto Alvo. “The CADE’s approval in just two months is testament to the joint venture’s benefits for customers and for Brazil, marking another important step towards offering customers exceptional connectivity in the Americas. We are confident that these same benefits will be recognized by competition authorities in other countries.”
Once all regulatory approvals are granted, the JVA will connect the carriers’ route networks between North and South America. The agreement has already produced a number of benefits for customers, including mutual frequent flyer mile accumulation and redemption, reciprocal elite benefits, codeshares on select routes, shared terminals at hub airports and mutual access to 35 Delta Sky Club lounges in the United States and five LATAM VIP lounges in South America.