Delta (DAL) to Boost Connectivity Via Codesharing With LATAM

Delta Air Lines, Inc. DAL announced plans to introduce codesharing for certain flights operated by affiliates of LATAM Airlines LTM in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Subject to government approval, the codesharing is set to launch in the first quarter of 2020.

The codesharing will enhance customer experience, offering wider connectivity to up to 74 destinations in the United States and 51 destinations in South America.

Delta hopes to extend the codeshare in future by covering more destinations. Together with LATAM, the carrier also plans to introduce frequent flyer program reciprocity and reciprocal lounge access.

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Per Steve Sear, Delta’s president - international and executive vice president - Global Sales, “This is an important milestone for customers as we begin to deliver on the transformative partnership between Delta and LATAM announced earlier this year”.

This September, Delta entered into a contract with LATAM to buy a 20% stake in the latter for $1.9 billion. This is the carrier’s largest deal since its merger with Northwest Airlines a decade ago. This pact with Latin America's largest carrier will strengthen Delta’s footprint in the region including cities in Argentina, Peru and Brazil, which are currently served by LATAM. Government approval on the deal is pending. (Read more: Delta Partners With LATAM to Buy 20% Stake for $1.9B)

Delta aims to grow internationally by signing deals with foreign airlines. In this regard, it is imperative to mention that the carrier recently received approval for its Transatlantic joint venture with Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM AFLYY. It also has partnerships with Korean Air Lines Co. and Grupo Aeromexico SAB. Lately, the carrier decided to buy a 10% stake in Alitalia.

Zacks Rank & A Key Pick

Delta carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the same space is Allegiant Travel Company ALGT, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Allegiant Travel have rallied more than 69% so far this year.

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