Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines yesterday announced a new codeshare agreement with India's Jet Airways. The agreement takes effect March 27, 2016 and includes new Jet Airways flights between Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and the Indian subcontinent.
Jet will also offer codeshares to its customers on Delta and KLM flights from Amsterdam to 11 U.S. and Canadian cities:
- New York-JFK
- Washington, D.C.
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
This move makes sense to give Delta, KLM and SkyTeam customers from the United States and Europe better access to India, while Jet Airways customers get more routes to the US. The Indian carrier also will shutter its Brussels minihub and move its operations to Amsterdam. The codeshares will allow Jet to end Brussels to North American flights that are reportedly struggling financially.
Earlier this fall, when Delta ended its Atlanta-Dubai service, some suggested that the lack of a network or partner in the Indian subcontinent was a significant factor in the cancellation. Delta's Senior Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Nat Pieper, stated the impact of the Gulf carriers on U.S. carriers' ability to serve India was instrumental in this new partnership.
Regardless of the the broader strategic implications, this announcement will be good news for SkyTeam customers who want a more seamless flight experience when traveling to India. Whether checking bags through to their Indian destination or earning Delta, Flying Blue or Jet Privilege frequent flyer miles on codeshare flights operated by the partners this announcement is good news to Delta, KLM and Jet customers.