Delta Air Lines plans to boost its stake in Korean Air majority shareholder Hanjin-KAL beyond an initial 4.3 percent investment announced Thursday.
The airline said the stake demonstrated its commitment to the success and opportunities available through the joint venture with its SkyTeam partner.
It announced it intends to boost the stake to 10 percent over time.
“Together with the team at Korean Air, we have a vision to deliver the world’s leading trans-Pacific joint venture for our shared customers, offering the strongest network, the best service and the finest experience connecting the U.S. with Asia,” Delta chief executive Ed Bastian said in the announcement.
“This is already one of our fastest-integrating and most successful partnerships, and experience tells us this investment will further strengthen our relationship as we continue to build on the value of the joint venture.”
Delta has been growing its international footprint with equity investments in airlines such as Aeromexico. Air France-KLM, China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic.
The US carrier says the investments improve alignment with its partners “creating a more stable environment for growth amid an increasingly dynamic global landscape”.
Since launching an immunized joint venture with Korean in May 2018, the partners have strengthened cooperation by expanding joint operations in the trans-Pacific to include more than 1,400 codeshare flights.
Delta says teams at both airlines have also worked closely together to integrate sales and marketing activities as well as enhance loyalty program benefits, such as the ability to earn more miles on both loyalty programs and redeem them on a wider range of flights.
This includes co-operating on cargo operations they now say provide one of the most comprehensive route networks in the trans-Pacific market.
New services operated in partnership with Korean include services to Seoul from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Seoul as well as from Seattle and Osaka.
Korean Air has also launched a new service linking Boston with Seoul.