Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) has received approval from the Colombian authorities for its codeshare with LATAM Airlines (LA, Santiago de Chile Int'l), in which it completed the acquisition of a 20% stake earlier this month.

"We expect Peru and Ecuador to follow shortly," Glen Hauenstein, Delta's President, during an earnings call on January 14. "So those should all be up and running in the first quarter. [We need] a little bit longer in Brazil and Chile, which we expect later this year." In the case of Chile, the approval process will be easier, as the carriers only have to inform the authorities about the implementation of codeshares.

In the call, the Delta president was enthusiastic about the "great long-term benefits" of the LATAM deal and that the relationship between the two carriers had only just started with these codeshares. "What we have seen in the first few days has exceeded our expectations and we are very optimistic that this will be a gamechanger for us in Latin America."

“In Latin America, we have seen a lot of strength in both Mexico and Brazil. This trend is expected to continue and then accelerate when we begin to operate with the codeshares that we will have with LATAM,” added Hauenstein.

In the same call, the airline announced a pre-tax income of USD6.2 billion for the full year of 2019 and an earnings per diluted share of USD7.31, representing a near-30% increase over 2018. Total revenue increased to a record USD47 billion, up 7.5% on the adjusted prior-year period. As a result, Delta's 90,000 employees will benefit from a record USD1.6 billion in profit sharing.