Regulatory authorities in the US and Korea have approved Delta Air Lines’ joint venture with Korean Air.

The two carriers plan to create one of the most comprehensive trans-Pacific route networks.

Delta and Korean Air’s shared passengers will gain access to more than 290 destinations in the Americas and over 80 in Asia.

Optimised schedules, a more seamless customer experience, improved loyalty scheme benefits, integrated IT systems, joint sales and marketing activities, and co-location at key hubs are among the plans being worked on.

Delta and Korean Air will:

• Implement full reciprocal codesharing on each other’s networks
• Offer improved reciprocal loyalty programme benefits, including providing customers of both airlines the ability to earn more miles on Korean Air’s SKYPASS and Delta’s SkyMiles
• Begin implementing joint sales and marketing initiatives

Delta is the only US carrier to offer non-stop service from the major gateways of Seattle, Detroit and Atlanta to Seoul, while Korean Air is the largest trans-Pacific carrier.

The two airlines co-located into a state-of-the-art new Terminal 2 at Incheon airport earlier this year, reducing connecting times for passengers.

Delta expects that Seoul Incheon airport will continue to grow as a major Asia gateway.

Delta chief executive Ed Bastian said: “This is an exciting time for customers of both Delta and Korean Air as we launch our trans-Pacific partnership.

“Our expanded partnership means a host of new destinations and travel options across Asia and North America, with seamless connectivity, world-class reliability and the industry’s best customer service.”

Korean Air chief executive Yang Ho Cho added: “With the recent relocation to Terminal 2 at Incheon airport alongside with Delta, we will be able to provide seamless service to our customers.

“Korean Air will provide extensive support to develop a successful partnership with Delta.”