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Ishrion
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The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:07 pm

In the past year, both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have been vigorously battling each other. Specifically, both airlines are at war by creating new partnerships, attacking hubs, and retaliating.

I'm trying to create a fairly detailed timeline of nearly every notable move from both airlines. If I'm missing anything noteworthy that I should add, please say below. Thanks!

This will start with Delta and American's old partnership with GOL in the early 2010's.

Preface:

- Delta buys stake in GOL - December 8, 2011.
- American ends partnership with GOL - 2012

Leading Up To The True War:

- American Airlines purchases stake in China Southern - May 28, 2017
- SkyTeam forces AA/CZ to reduce codeshare - January 17, 2018
- China Southern announces it will leave SkyTeam - November 15, 2018
- American Airlines launches reciprocal codeshare with China Southern - November 28, 2018
- China Southern leaves SkyTeam - January 1, 2019

The Latin/South American Battle:

- Delta purchases 20% stake in LATAM, LATAM leaves Oneworld, LATAM ends AA partnership, Delta dumps GOL - September 26, 2019
- American Airlines announces BOS-LHR and increases MIA-SCL/GRU/LIM - September 30, 2019
- LATAM increases LIM-MIA - November 22, 2019
- American attacks Delta through Austin with AUS-BOS/SJC/SJD - December 10, 2019
- American attacks Delta through Boston with BOS-RDU/IND/ILM - January 14, 2020
- Delta expands MIA with MCO/TPA/RDU/SLC - January 17, 2020
- American announces partnership with GOL - February 4, 2020

The West Coast War:

- American Airlines announces partnership with Alaska Airlines, Alaska to join Oneworld, AA plans SEA-BLR/LHR - February 13, 2020
- American Airlines resumes partnership with Qatar Airways, potential AA to DOH flight, leaving the possibility of SEA-DOH open - February 25, 2020
- Delta retaliates with SEA-LHR/DFW/CMH, increase capacity out of SEA to 12 destinations - March 2, 2020
- Alaska Airlines announces SEA-CVG - March 6, 2020

Into COVID-19:

- Delta/LATAM formally announce joint venture - May 7, 2020
- American Airlines applies for SEA-PVG, confirms SEA-BLR/LHR launch - July 1, 2020
- Delta confirms MIA expansion and more U.S. to South America if LATAM JV approved - July 8, 2020.
Last edited by Ishrion on Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
JAMBOJET
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:23 pm

Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:16 pm

Ishrion wrote:
In the past year, both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have been vigorously battling each other. Specifically, both airlines are at war by creating new partnerships, attacking hubs, and retaliating.

I'm trying to create a fairly detailed timeline of nearly every notable move from both airlines. If I'm missing anything noteworthy that I should add, please say below. Thanks!

This will start with Delta and American's old partnership with GOL in the early 2010's.

Contextualization:

- Delta buys stake in GOL - December 8, 2011.
- American ends partnership with GOL - 2012


Just curiosity on the context: didn’t AA already know TAM was going to join OW due to the LAN merger?

In other words, wasn’t this more Delta beating United to a Brazilian partner as TAM was leaving star alliance?

Fully admit that my timing may be off... but it seemed certain at one point in the LATAM merger that they’d join OW due to the concentration concern of AV and Latam being in one alliance, star.
 
Ishrion
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:26 pm

JAMBOJET wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
In the past year, both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have been vigorously battling each other. Specifically, both airlines are at war by creating new partnerships, attacking hubs, and retaliating.

I'm trying to create a fairly detailed timeline of nearly every notable move from both airlines. If I'm missing anything noteworthy that I should add, please say below. Thanks!

This will start with Delta and American's old partnership with GOL in the early 2010's.

Contextualization:

- Delta buys stake in GOL - December 8, 2011.
- American ends partnership with GOL - 2012


Just curiosity on the context: didn’t AA already know TAM was going to join OW due to the LAN merger?

In other words, wasn’t this more Delta beating United to a Brazilian partner as TAM was leaving star alliance?

Fully admit that my timing may be off... but it seemed certain at one point in the LATAM merger that they’d join OW due to the concentration concern of AV and Latam being in one alliance, star.


Honestly it’s not really “contextualization”. It’s more like noting a partner swap that reformed a decade later.
 
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klm617
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:33 pm

You are also forgetting about the DL, AA, JL love triangle.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
FSDan
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:44 pm

Ishrion wrote:
- American attacks Delta through Austin with AUS-BOS/SJC/SJD - December 10, 2019


"Attacks" is a bit of a stretch, if we're honest. DL flies 1 out of 3 routes in that particular example.
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:56 pm

The only thing of strategic significance there is DL's equity buy in LATAM, which occurred only after the AA/LATAM JV application had failed spectacularly. (Imagine a JV case going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, as this did in Chile.) Gol was minor. As for CZ, carriers go into and out of alliances often enough, and neither AA nor CZ have enough China-US traffic for impact. The AA/AS relationship re-establishes a partnership to which the DOJ had forced an end for the VX acquisition. A few routes? So what? These were carriers with 5000-6000 flights a day. A few routes are meaningless to carriers that each had been seeing 400K passengers on a slow day.
 
JAMBOJET
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:58 pm

FSDan wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
- American attacks Delta through Austin with AUS-BOS/SJC/SJD - December 10, 2019


"Attacks" is a bit of a stretch, if we're honest. DL flies 1 out of 3 routes in that particular example.


“Attack” is a strong word. Agreed.
But it was a preemptive something seeing as Delta had announced austin as a focus city and the types of routes that generally entails are pretty obvious given the BOS and RDU examples.
 
kavok
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:00 pm

I think a lot of these “events” are greatly exaggerated as far as the DL vs. AA thing. Put it this way, if LATAM had been in Star Alliance instead of OW, and if in that situation DL was presented the opportunity to form a JV with LATAM also, would DL still have done it? And the answer of course is yes, because it would be be in Delta’s interest to do so. It has nothing to do with AA or OW (or in my example *A) or whoever’s LATAM previous partner was. The LATAM JV has everything to do with Delta simply strengthening their South American options, and basically nothing to do with spiting AA. There is no game theory or retaliation there, but rather an entity just simply acting on their own obvious self interest.

That being said, the whole AA vs DL network discussions is interesting to talk about, so I do find the thread entertaining. I am surprised you didn’t include any of the battles or retreats at JFK and BOS. Arguably, going forward AA and DL will continue to have more network “battles” with each other on the domestic front as opposed to with WN or UA, simply because DL and AA’s domestic network styles are both similar (and different from the domestic setup of UA, and obviously different from WN entirely). So there is the potential for far more overlapping network goals between AA and DL.
 
Ishrion
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:05 pm

JAMBOJET wrote:
FSDan wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
- American attacks Delta through Austin with AUS-BOS/SJC/SJD - December 10, 2019


"Attacks" is a bit of a stretch, if we're honest. DL flies 1 out of 3 routes in that particular example.


“Attack” is a strong word. Agreed.
But it was a preemptive something seeing as Delta had announced austin as a focus city and the types of routes that generally entails are pretty obvious given the BOS and RDU examples.


Yeah, agreed on that. The AUS adds were more "establishing AA's commitment" to being the number 1 airline at AUS.

MIflyer12 wrote:
The only thing of strategic significance there is DL's equity buy in LATAM, which occurred only after the AA/LATAM JV application had failed spectacularly. (Imagine a JV case going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, as this did in Chile.) Gol was minor. As for CZ, carriers go into and out of alliances often enough, and neither AA nor CZ have enough China-US traffic for impact. The AA/AS relationship re-establishes a partnership to which the DOJ had forced an end for the VX acquisition. A few routes? So what? These were carriers with 5000-6000 flights a day. A few routes are meaningless to carriers that each had been seeing 400K passengers on a slow day.


This is noting everything that can be considered "noteworthy", including these small routes and the Gol partnership.

I noted the AA/CZ as it's somewhat ironic - AA takes a (kind of worthless) SkyTeam partner from Delta, and Delta takes an important Oneworld partner from AA months later.

This is still the beginning of what's to come, even with COVID-19 both airlines aren't stopping with expansion plans in SEA/MIA.
 
FSDan
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:14 pm

Ishrion wrote:
Yeah, agreed on that. The AUS adds were more "establishing AA's commitment" to being the number 1 airline at AUS.


AA's pretty big at AUS, but isn't WN quite easily the #1 there?
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
Ishrion
Topic Author
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:20 pm

FSDan wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
Yeah, agreed on that. The AUS adds were more "establishing AA's commitment" to being the number 1 airline at AUS.


AA's pretty big at AUS, but isn't WN quite easily the #1 there?


Uh yep, my bad. Southwest is double the size of AA at AUS.

Guess I meant to say "largest hub carrier"?

https://viewfromthewing.com/as-delta-ma ... ure-there/

According to American’s Vice President of Planning Vasu Raja:


"The largest hub carrier in Austin is American Airlines and we’re going to be the largest hub carrier in Austin for a long time to come. We will continue to grow and upgauge in Austin.


…Just as we are large in our hubs, in many spokes Austin is one, Nashville, Boston, San Antonio you name it there are lots of cities around there we actually have a big gate holding and through parts of the day though we have a gate, we have people there to work the gate, we don’t necessarily fly on the gate. And over time we realize we do have some profit opportunities, it probably won’t be necessarily flying daily trips from Austin to somewhere but we do envision a world where we do Saturday flights from Austin to Cancun and things like that.

…When we take these gates that we have and pay rent on and airplanes that we already own, and we get to Saturday people don’t necessarily want to fly from Austin to Chicago as much but they really want to fly from Austin to Cancun in the morning and we have the ability to offer that and in the next several months and years you’ll see more of that, not just in Austin but in other cities across the system."

 
seatback
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:35 pm

I think we're entering into an era of a more competitive, combative American under the leadership of Raja.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:29 pm

Delta and American rather have each other to compete against then the voids in each of their networks being overwhelmingly filled with the low-cost, fare-suppressors of Frontier and Spirit!
 
catiii
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:44 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
Delta and American rather have each other to compete against then the voids in each of their networks being overwhelmingly filled with the low-cost, fare-suppressors of Frontier and Spirit!


What “voids in each of their networks” are “overwhelmingly” filled by F9 and NK?

Answer: none.
 
catiii
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:49 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
Delta and American rather have each other to compete against then the voids in each of their networks being overwhelmingly filled with the low-cost, fare-suppressors of Frontier and Spirit!


What “voids in each of their networks” are “overwhelmingly” filled by F9 and NK?

Answer: none.
 
TYWoolman
Posts: 613
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:02 am

catiii wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Delta and American rather have each other to compete against then the voids in each of their networks being overwhelmingly filled with the low-cost, fare-suppressors of Frontier and Spirit!


What “voids in each of their networks” are “overwhelmingly” filled by F9 and NK?

Answer: none.


Correct. Since American is filling it's Pacific Northwest void with partnership with Alaska and new Pacific Rim service, that is one less viable opportunity for F9 and NK to make significant investments there against Delta, for example. Didn't mean there are significant voids per se, but there are significant strategic voids. I would guess that American would rather compete directly with Delta in Miami long-term then say F9 and NK.
 
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ojjunior
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:04 am

United Airlines joins the chat...
 
Ishrion
Topic Author
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:54 am

kavok wrote:

That being said, the whole AA vs DL network discussions is interesting to talk about, so I do find the thread entertaining. I am surprised you didn’t include any of the battles or retreats at JFK and BOS. Arguably, going forward AA and DL will continue to have more network “battles” with each other on the domestic front as opposed to with WN or UA, simply because DL and AA’s domestic network styles are both similar (and different from the domestic setup of UA, and obviously different from WN entirely). So there is the potential for far more overlapping network goals between AA and DL.


I'll look into that, thanks.

kavok wrote:
I think a lot of these “events” are greatly exaggerated as far as the DL vs. AA thing. Put it this way, if LATAM had been in Star Alliance instead of OW, and if in that situation DL was presented the opportunity to form a JV with LATAM also, would DL still have done it? And the answer of course is yes, because it would be be in Delta’s interest to do so. It has nothing to do with AA or OW (or in my example *A) or whoever’s LATAM previous partner was. The LATAM JV has everything to do with Delta simply strengthening their South American options, and basically nothing to do with spiting AA. There is no game theory or retaliation there, but rather an entity just simply acting on their own obvious self interest.


That's true, it's Delta's plan to increase its South American presence, but it's AA that's retaliating to Delta's "attack".

If we're going with that theoretical situation and LATAM was in Star Alliance, would they be partnered with United instead of AA?

Then, would United and LATAM have applied for a joint venture? Maybe they would've gotten their JV approved in all South American countries? If that happened, DL wouldn't have been able to go through with a LATAM partnership as AA's failure to secure the LATAM JV in all applicable countries caused LATAM to leave AA for DL.

As for retaliation, what do you consider American's reformed partnership with GOL? American definitely had no interest in partnering with GOL when it had LATAM. AA only went for GOL after Delta dumped them for LATAM.

And looking at the dates and the wording of announcements - take DL announcing the LATAM partnership on September 26 for example - four days later, American "Solidifies Leadership Position in Miami" (http://news.aa.com/news/news-details/20 ... fault.aspx) and announced they would added more capacity to South America in retaliation to Delta's move with LATAM.

ojjunior wrote:
United Airlines joins the chat...


American actually had a small skirmish with United a few months ago when AA was trying to secure a codeshare partnership with Philippine Airlines. United told the DOT to reject or postpone the partnership because they couldn't secure a second daily GUM-MNL flight.
 
slider
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:45 pm

seatback wrote:
I think we're entering into an era of a more competitive, combative American under the leadership of Raja.


Indeed. Vasu ain't playing around. I admire the hell out of him, his style, and his boldness.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:24 pm

I always find it silly when we get threads that use words like: war, battle, defend, surrender, etc. some of these things are just natural competition particularly when there really only so many carriers to compete.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:31 am

Ishrion wrote:
In the past year, both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have been vigorously battling each other. Specifically, both airlines are at war by creating new partnerships, attacking hubs, and retaliating.

I'm trying to create a fairly detailed timeline of nearly every notable move from both airlines. If I'm missing anything noteworthy that I should add, please say below. Thanks!

This will start with Delta and American's old partnership with GOL in the early 2010's.

Preface:

- Delta buys stake in GOL - December 8, 2011.
- American ends partnership with GOL - 2012

Leading Up To The True War:

- American Airlines purchases stake in China Southern - May 28, 2017
- SkyTeam forces AA/CZ to reduce codeshare - January 17, 2018
- China Southern announces it will leave SkyTeam - November 15, 2018
- American Airlines launches reciprocal codeshare with China Southern - November 28, 2018
- China Southern leaves SkyTeam - January 1, 2019

The Latin/South American Battle:

- Delta purchases 20% stake in LATAM, LATAM leaves Oneworld, LATAM ends AA partnership, Delta dumps GOL - September 26, 2019
- American Airlines announces BOS-LHR and increases MIA-SCL/GRU/LIM - September 30, 2019
- LATAM increases LIM-MIA - November 22, 2019
- American attacks Delta through Austin with AUS-BOS/SJC/SJD - December 10, 2019
- American attacks Delta through Boston with BOS-RDU/IND/ILM - January 14, 2020
- Delta expands MIA with MCO/TPA/RDU/SLC - January 17, 2020
- American announces partnership with GOL - February 4, 2020

The West Coast War:

- American Airlines announces partnership with Alaska Airlines, Alaska to join Oneworld, AA plans SEA-BLR/LHR - February 13, 2020
- American Airlines resumes partnership with Qatar Airways, potential AA to DOH flight, leaving the possibility of SEA-DOH open - February 25, 2020
- Delta retaliates with SEA-LHR/DFW/CMH, increase capacity out of SEA to 12 destinations - March 2, 2020
- Alaska Airlines announces SEA-CVG - March 6, 2020

Into COVID-19:

- Delta/LATAM formally announce joint venture - May 7, 2020
- American Airlines applies for SEA-PVG, confirms SEA-BLR/LHR launch - July 1, 2020
- Delta confirms MIA expansion and more U.S. to South America if LATAM JV approved - July 8, 2020.


The war may have started when American secured "first right of refusal on Pan Am assets" as part of a settlement agreement of sorts (1988?) Delta later purchases most of Pan Am 1991.

Also:
American purchased Eastern's South American routes in 1989-90. Eastern and Delta were archrivals, battling it out in Atlanta and for Mickey.
 
NYCAAer
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:58 am

seatback wrote:
I think we're entering into an era of a more competitive, combative American under the leadership of Raja.


Except that American still lags far behind Delta on product. AA can compete all they want with their Spirit and Allegiant product, but Delta wins every time with PTVs and customer-focused service.
 
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par13del
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:43 pm

Ishrion wrote:

The West Coast War:

- American Airlines announces partnership with Alaska Airlines, Alaska to join Oneworld, AA plans SEA-BLR/LHR - February 13, 2020
- American Airlines resumes partnership with Qatar Airways, potential AA to DOH flight, leaving the possibility of SEA-DOH open - February 25, 2020
- Delta retaliates with SEA-LHR/DFW/CMH, increase capacity out of SEA to 12 destinations - March 2, 2020
- Alaska Airlines announces SEA-CVG - March 6, 2020

Unless my memory is fading, methinks this was more about DL and AS where their relationship fell apart and DL started aggressive movement into AS territory.
A relationship with AA seems to have been AS response to bulk up to compete.
 
Ishrion
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Re: The American VS Delta War Timeline

Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:12 pm

Guess we can add the American and JetBlue partnership as a move against Delta's New York/Boston hubs?

http://news.aa.com/news/news-details/20 ... fault.aspx

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