The American airline will acquire 4.3 percent of Korean Air. By now the Americans have built a global network of investments in almost all continents.
It can be dangerous to take minority stakes in other airlines. Swissair failed with that strategy and went bust, and more recently Etihad suffered heavy losses and had to adjust its strategy. The Management of Delta Air Lines however keeps pursuing exactly that. It has been building up a global investment portfolio for years.
The latest step: Delta is acquiring 4.3% of the holding company Hanjin-KAL, owner of Korean Air. Delta intends to increase its equity stake to 10 percent over time, after receiving regulatory approval. The two airlines have been operating a joint venture for a while. The partnership started in spring 2018 with a codeshare agreement, mutual recognition of mileage programs, joint sales and marketing activities in transpacific traffic and joint freight services.
From North and South America to Asia
Delta has an increasingly global investment network. In North America, they hold 49 percent in Aeromexico and 17 percent in Republic Airways. In Europe, they own 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic and 10 percent of Air France-KLM. In Asia, Delta recently acquired 4.3 percent of Korean Air and, for owns 3 percent of China Eastern. In South America, the Airline controls 9 percent of Brazilian Gol.