Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) is prepared to take “all necessary steps to protect” its Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Aeroméxico (AM, México City International), which is in danger of being terminated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) after it tentatively dismissed their antitrust immunity renewal in January 2024.

In a statement to ch-aviation, Delta said the DOT’s impending plan to withdraw its approval of the strategic partnership between the carriers “is premature, punitive, and ineffectual.” It added that unravelling their alliance would significantly harm consumers and US jobs.

In its original objection back in February, Delta and Aeromexico said that if the Department finalised its order, they would challenge it in court.

The DOT has yet to issue a final order, and as things currently stand, Delta and Aeromexico would have to end their immunised joint venture on October 26, 2024.

Many parties on both sides of the border, including Mexico’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT), have asked the DOT to renew the joint venture’s ATI.

The DOT made this decision and halted VivaAerobus and Allegiant Air’s own ATI review after it concluded that the Mexican authorities had not respected the fully liberalised agreement between both countries by unilaterally making some changes, such as forcing the relocation of all cargo flights out of Mexico City International to México City Felipe Angeles and enforcing three consecutive capacity reductions at MEX, which have impacted US-based carriers.

“The dispute between the U.S. and Mexican governments – over which Delta and Aeromexico have no control – is not a rational basis for causing substantial harm to consumers, communities, the economy, and transborder competition. Delta urges the two Governments to continue discussions to seek constructive solutions to their dispute,” said the Atlanta-based carrier.