Delta Air Lines is paying $360 million for a 49-percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, a move at making it more competitive in the lucrative New York-to-London. The airlines hope to sell seats on each other's flights and coordinate schedules on key routes. American Airlines has a similar deal with British Airways.
WHAT DELTA GETS: The deal is all about London's Heathrow airport. It's the busiest and most-desired airport in Europe but airlines are given a limited number of takeoffs and landings there. By acquiring part of Virgin, Delta hopes to get more money from passengers who fly on their planes and Virgin Atlantic's.
WHAT VIRGIN ATLANTIC GETS: Delta's vast domestic network will help feed Virgin Atlantic's flights to London. The airline also gets a new partner who will help market them to a new audience.
WHAT TRAVELERS GET: Loyalists to both airlines now have a new way to earn and redeem frequent flier miles. It also means better connections from inside the U.S. to the U.K. Some Delta travelers will get access to Virgin Atlantic's well-regarded airport lounges.