Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines on Monday received final approval for a deal with British carrier Virgin Atlantic Airways aimed at bolstering its competitive position in the crucial trans-Atlantic market for flights across the pond.
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Timeline of Delta-Virgin deal
December 2012: Delta announces a deal to buy a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways for $360 million, and for the two carriers to form a joint venture for flights between North America and the United Kingdom.
June 2013: Delta and Virgin Atlantic get antitrust clearance from the U.S. Justice Department and the European Commission for the cross-border investment portion of the deal. Delta then closes the $360 million acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic.
July 2013: A code-share marketing partnership takes effect, allowing Delta travelers to book flights that connect to Virgin Atlantic routes in the United Kingdom.
September 23, 2013: Delta and Virgin Atlantic get approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation for their joint venture, allowing them to coordinate trans-Atlantic schedules and prices and to share revenue.
October 5, 2013: Flights on the two carriers’ new coordinated New York-London Heathrow schedule go up for sale.
March 30, 2014: Flights on the coordinated New York-London Heathrow schedule begin operation.