I doubt the approval process takes that long. Remember: it was not the U.S. that turned-down the AA-LA JV; it was the Chilean authorities. The story so far indicates they are more than happy with making DL part of a JV, and that roadblock was the only one holding back AA+LA. There is no reason to think the U.S. would change its position, so approval may come more quickly than most people expect.
Ignoring for a moment that JVs take time to negotiate before they’re even submitted (UA and AV have been at it for how long even with United’s controlling interest in Avianca?)
I think you’re forgetting that the DOT never ruled on the aa-la JV. So it wasn’t that it was or wasn’t turned down, but that it didn’t even rule on the topic because this JV requires individual Latin country approval before it went to the DOT.
I’m not sure how any story would indicate that a Chilean court is now “happy with making DL part of a JV”. It’s a court. Is Delta polling justices on the topic? They can get legal advice, and I’m sure they did, but that’s about it. The Chilean court ruled against the AA-LA JV and American had two flights to Chile at the time.
But my point above was never about the Latin approvals, as time consuming as those may be.
It was about the political risk LATAM is taking on JV approval in the US between a trump administration that delta hasn’t built much rapport with (I mean... the irony now that AAB of QR, 10% owner of LA, made that White House meeting when Ed Bastian couldn’t be bothered to interrupt a vacation is priceless) or a future administration that will likely be less pro-JV, especially a new JV that wouldn’t challenge the current #1 in North America - Latin America, but be the new #1 Per public statements by Delta.
The two can codeshare, yes. But while they wait/hope for a JV, LATAM is left with, at best, a very small Codeshare partner in their biggest US market, Miami. Significantly O&D as many have noted, yes, but I don’t think any of us know how many of those Saturday-only or less than daily markets can survive on LATAM with pure O&D alone or with significantly fewer Codeshare options From whatever Delta does in the next few months.
That codeshare can’t legally be coordinated. If Delta did add any Miami-Latin capacity Pre-JV, all it would do is hurt LATAM yields until they have a JV.
Is Delta really expecting to change any Significant corporate share in Miami with, let’s say, five new dots, inferior frequency, and a frequent stop in Atlanta?
Just saying this makes a lot more sense for Delta than it does for LATAM. They appear to have taken a very risky gamble on approval for a JV.