Delta Airlines expects to increase its stake in Aeroméxico during the second quarter of 2016, to take advantage of the economic opportunities offered by Mexico, said Delta’s incoming chief executive, Ed Bastian.
“The reason why we are investing in Aeroméxico, and are excited with Aeroméxico, is that this wonderful country with 120 million people is one of the closest in our world trading partners,” he said at a press conference at the Media Day & Fleet Showcase.
Bastian said that if they do not yet open the skies between the United States and Mexico, this will happen soon and will allow Delta to work more closely with Aeroméxico, so he hoped that between the third and fourth quarter the operation will be concrete.
On April 26, the Mexican Senate approved the new air transport agreement between the two countries, according to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT).
The executive added that the Mexican economy is growing at a faster level than the United States, together with Mexico City as one of the world’s largest cities, Delta wants to access the opportunities offered in the proximity to the city.
Bastian, who will become CEO of Delta on May 2, said that until now the U.S. airline and Aeroméxico were competitors and could not collaborate this closely.
In this regard, he stressed that observing Aeroméxico margins of about 6.0 percent, to take the opportunity to have better revenues and prices.
“Prices of México have you fallen sharply in recent years but there is a lot of efficiency in the operation, the technological experience that we can share to work more closely as partners and increase the possibilities,” he added.
Delta seeks to raise its stake in Aeroméxico from the current 17 percent to 49 percent of the outstanding shares of the Mexican company.
Through a public offering equity, this operation is under review by the antitrust authority in Mexico, the Federal Competition Commission (Cofece).
This aims to improve the position of Delta in Latin America, which also will also benefit Aeroméxico customers, the U.S. company said.
Today Delta and Aeromexico offer a total of 103 codeshare destinations, representing more than 900 daily flights in six countries.
The relationship between the two companies began in 1994 with the signing of a trade cooperation agreement, and in 2000 Delta and Aeroméxico participated in the SkyTeam, which today is an alliance of 20 airlines.
FERNANDO CUEVAS MORANCHEL