Air Travel: Delta, Korean Air’s Joint Venture; Chicago – Auckland Flights

Delta aircraft

A big new joint venture leads this week’s air travel news.

This week Delta and Korean Air announced a new joint venture partnership, which has been approved by regulators in the United States and Korea. The two airlines’ combined network will give travelers access to more than 290 destinations in the Americas and more than 80 in Asia. As part of the agreement, the two airlines will implement full reciprocal codesharing; offer improved reciprocal loyalty program benefits; begin implementing joint sales and marketing initiatives; and increase belly cargo cooperation across the transpacific.

In other partnership news, this week Alaska Airlines and Aer Lingus announced an agreement that will allow Mileage Plan members more ways to earn and redeem miles to Europe. The carriers will begin interline availability across their respective networks starting in April. Alaska Mileage Plan members will be able to earn and redeem miles on Aer Lingus flights and Aer Lingus AerClub members will also be able to earn and redeem miles on Alaska, starting at a later date.

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In flight news, this week Air New Zealand announced it will begin new nonstop service between Auckland and Chicago, starting November 30 and building on its existing joint venture relationship with United Airlines. The Chicago – Auckland route will operate three times weekly, year-round, on Boeing 787-9 aircraft. United also announced it will extend its seasonal service between San Francisco and Auckland to year-round starting in April 2019.

Low-cost carrier Norwegian launched two new routes from Chicago and Austin to London this week, starting March 25 and 27, respectively. Norwegian said it is the first low-cost airline to offer transatlantic service from both cities.

Cobalt Air, Cyprus’ largest airline, launched two new routes this week. One is a new daily service between London – Heathrow and Larnaca, a route which was last served by the former Cyprus Airways in 2015. The other was new twice-weekly service between Copenhagen and Larnaca, adding Denmark to the airline’s network.

Elsewhere in Europe, Hahn Air Lines announced that it would begin operating a weekly flight from Düsseldorf to Palma de Mallorca starting this May. Flights to the new destination will be scheduled for 7:15 p.m. every Friday throughout the 2018 summer season, with the return flight at 4:45 on Sundays.

In Canada, this week Ontario International Airport welcomed the arrival of its first flight on China Airlines, from Taiwan, marking the start of the destination’s first nonstop transoceanic passenger service.

In domestic air travel news, this week Silver Airways announced it will begin daily nonstop service to Branson, Missouri, from New Orleans, Houston and Chicago O’Hare starting August 30.

In new product news, this week marked the delivery of the first 787-10 airplane, the newest and largest member of Boeing’s Dreamliner family, to Singapore Airlines. Like the other 787 Dreamliners, the 787-10 is designed with strong, lightweight composites, the most advanced systems, and comfortable cabin features. The 787-10, though, features a longer fuselage which allows it to carry about 40 more passengers, or a total of 330 seats in a standard two-class configuration.

Also this week American Express opened a new American Express Lounge in the Melbourne Airport, making it the second such lounge in Australia, following Sydney. Spanning more than 2,800 square feet, the new lounge will offer complimentary food and beverages; high-speed Wi-Fi; computer and copy facilities; flight information screens; and a selection of local and international magazines and newspapers.

Finally, in technology news, this week Delta launched biometric access across all of its 50 Delta Sky Club locations. Delta Sky Club members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents can now use their fingerprints to enter any Delta Sky Club location.

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