Delta’s chief executive Ed Bastian has committed to “stand by” partner airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, as the industry looks to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US carrier owns a 49% shareholding in Virgin Atlantic as well as minority stakes in other airlines including Aeromexico and Latam.
Bastian stressed that Delta was “playing for the long-term” during an interview at the ITB Berlin online trade show.
“We know these are great airlines and will recover – the pandemic is not their fault,” said Bastian. “We’re going to continue to stand by them. Growth is going to come from international rather than domestic.”
Bastian highlighted the lack of government financial support for airlines in the UK, as well as a similar lack of backing in Mexico and Latin America during the pandemic.
Meanwhile Emirates president Tim Clark said he remained “bullish” about the airline’s recovery from the pandemic.
He said Emirates planned to restore frequencies, routes and aircraft to their pre-Covid levels when the crisis was over.
Clark also warned that any moves to “suppress” air travel would be damaging to the world’s economy.