June 27, 2019 2:52 pm
Updated: June 27, 2019 2:53 pm

WestJet-Delta airlines deal clears Competition Bureau

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it is one step closer to a joint venture with Delta Air Lines after getting the green light from Canada's competition watchdog.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it is one step closer to a joint venture with Delta Air Lines after getting the green light from Canada’s competition watchdog.

The Calgary-based carrier says the Competition Bureau gave clearance in a letter stating it does not intend to challenge the proposed deal.

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The transborder agreement announced last July would expand the two carriers’ codesharing agreement — where passengers can purchase seats from one airline on a flight operated by another. For WestJet, the joint venture would open up more of the southern U.S. and western European markets via Delta flights through airports in Atlanta and Barcelona.

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Despite the Delta tie-up, luring passengers away from Air Canada could be difficult because WestJet isn’t part of a major airline alliance, such as Air Canada’s Star Alliance, SkyTeam or Oneworld.

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The country’s largest carrier commands nearly a quarter of total capacity on flights between Canada and the United States, while WestJet and Delta have about one-fifth combined.

The would-be joint venture is still subject to regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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© 2019 The Canadian Press

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