Virgin Atlantic will join the SkyTeam airline alliance in early 2023. The carrier will be the alliance’s first member based in the United Kingdom.
Another alliance member, Delta Air Lines, owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic. Together with Delta and fellow SkyTeam member Air France-KLM, it operates a transatlantic joint venture.
In a news statement dated 27 September 2022, Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss stated, “Our membership will allow us to deepen established partnerships with our valued partners at Delta and Air France-KLM, as well as offering chances to engage with new airlines.”
SkyTeam’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport will grow with the addition of Virgin Atlantic.
SkyTeam CEO Kristin Colvile said, “As a member of SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic will benefit from more opportunities to expand its worldwide network through partnerships and synergies while also providing customers with more ways to earn miles and experience the service for which Virgin Atlantic is recognised.”
The airlines that makeup SkyTeam are Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, ITA Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, and XiamenAir. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Aeroflot’s membership has been suspended.
Unlike most other airlines, Virgin Atlantic focuses solely on long-haul, nonstop services.
After Delta acquired a controlling interest, the airline focused on expanding its service to U.S. cities at the expense of those in other parts of the world.