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Delta Releases Statement on Saudi Arabian Airlines Partnership

June 24, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Delta Air Lines has been in the headlines today since rumors began that the airline was partnering with Saudi Arabian Airways, that Jewish passengers would not be allowed on Delta flights, or would be banned on Delta flights to Saudi Arabia.

Rumors and rumors and facts are facts, so we reached out to Delta to get the details, and while the airline's representatives were limited in what they could say they did release a statement about their policies:

Delta Air Lines does not discriminate nor do we condone discrimination against any of our customers in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender.

Delta does not operate service to Saudi Arabia and does not codeshare with any airline on flights to that country. Delta does not intend to codeshare or share reciprocal benefits, such as frequent flier benefits, with Saudi Arabian Airlines, which we have confirmed with SkyTeam, an Amsterdam-based 14-member global airline alliance.

Delta’s only agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines is a standard industry interline agreement, which allows passengers to book tickets on multiple carriers, similar to the standard interline agreements American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines have with Saudi Arabian Airlines.

All of the three global airline alliances – Star, which includes United Airlines; oneworld, which includes American Airlines, and SkyTeam, which includes Delta – have members that fly to Saudi Arabia and are subject to that country’s rules governing entry.

The airline's connection to Saudi Arabian Airlines is through SkyTeam, an alliance of which they are both members. Membership in SkyTeam does not mean that the two lines are partnered, or that they will be code-sharing flights, or that passengers booked on Delta will be flying on Saudi Arabian planes. What the brouhaha means for the two airlines and for SkyTeam as an alliance remains—pardon the pun—up in the air, but we'll keep tabs on the story as it unfolds. 

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About the Author

Jena Tesse Fox
Jena Tesse Fox covers Europe, Africa, Australia/South Pacific and business travel for the Questex Travel Group's publications. The daughter of history teachers, she can spend...

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By Jena Tesse Fox | June 24, 2011
"Delta’s only agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines is a standard industry interline agreement, which allows passengers to book tickets on multiple carriers."
Filed under : Air Travel, Middle East