Delta, SkyTeam advance alliances

The chief executives of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and its European partners Air France and KLM signed a joint venture protocol agreement with pilot union leaders at their three carriers. The move signals a partnership with pilot labor in the globalization of the airline industry.

The pilot protocol deal comes after the three airlines' joint venture agreement signed in May 2009.

The pilot agreement includes requirements for the balance of work between parties and requirements that the airlines share operating and financial information on their joint venture with the pilots unions.

Separately, Delta's SkyTeam global alliance met in New York on Tuesday, making Air Europa, Kenya Airways and TAROM full members of the alliance. The three airlines were formerly associate members, but SkyTeam is converting to a system of only full members. However, there will be no differences for customers, according to SkyTeam. The alliance, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, now has 13 members.

SkyTeam plans to add more Asian carriers to its alliance and is focused on growing its presence in Latin America, Southeast Asia and India, according to a written statement.