Canada's WestJet and U.S.-based Delta are planning to give Air Canada a run for its money in the growing U.S.-Canada markets by forming a joint venture that would let them coordinate flights and fares between the two countries, and share revenue from those flights.
The plan, which requires approval by both countries, would exempt the two airlines from competition rules on cross-border flights, and would allow each to carry passengers onward from its gateway cities. The two airlines also pledged to open numbers of new non-stop routes and other possible benefits.
WestJet, originally a budget carrier, has been acting more and more like a major carrier with nationwide expansion and flights to Europe as well. The pact would be its first joint venture. Delta has a number of such partnerships, including its close coordination with Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic in the trans-Atlantic market and a new one with AeroMexico.