Delta to sell seats on Virgin Atlantic

As Delta Air Lines closed its deal to acquire a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million on Monday, it also announced that the two carriers’ partnership will allow Delta travelers to book flights that connect to Virgin Atlantic routes in the United Kingdom.

The so-called code-share marketing partnership between Atlanta-based Delta and British carrier Virgin Atlantic takes effect July 3.

Delta will put its code on 17 Virgin Atlantic routes, including London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester in the U.K.— opening more options for Delta passengers connecting at Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic, in turn, is marketing 91 Delta routes.

Delta president Ed Bastian said there are no changes for Atlanta flight schedules yet, but the airline plans to look at “new flying opportunities.”

The airlines are also launching a frequent flier mileage partnership, giving bonus miles to frequent fliers on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights, and sharing airport club access.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic expect a decision by the end of the year from the U.S. Department of Transportation on antitrust immunity for a proposed joint venture they want to launch in early 2014.

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