Virgin Atlantic is in effect a member of Skyteam now, without the formalities.
It’s just joined a Delta-AF-KLM-China Eastern, joint venture to expand the interline arrangements for travel to China, especially from its Shanghai Pudong destination.
Virgin Atlantic is keen to expand elsewhere in China too.
This whole thing has been inevitable since Delta manipulated AF-KLM into a shareholding deal with Virgin Atlantic that left Delta in effective control of the airline through them, limited as it was to its own 49% share holding.
The JV allows all parties to sell through-tickets to each other’s destinations. In many ways it benefits Virgin Atlantic more that most as it allows them access to a wider set of onward destinations in China.
As an aspirational airline brand it also opens it up to new passengers who might wish to try its above-average product offering and boutique style.
Add to that the availability of London through-routes around the U.K. on Virgin Connect, and it adds greater options for Chinese, US and European connections.