Re: Delta and the Saudis (UPDATED)

by Brian Bolduc

Jonah, I’ve put in a call to Delta Airlines to follow up. But you might be interested to know that United Airlines used to have a codeshare agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines (as first reported by Mollie at GetReligion.org).

Dennis Schaal at Tnooz suggests that “the same fury directed against Delta might also be leveled against the other SkyTeam members, including Aeroflot, Aeromexico, AirEuropa, Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Tarom and Vietnam Airlines.”

UPDATE: And just like that, I get a new statement in my inbox from Trebor Banstetter of Delta Airlines:

Delta Air Lines does not discriminate nor do we condone discrimination against any of our customers in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender. 

Delta does not operate service to Saudi Arabia and does not codeshare with any airline that serves that country. Delta does not intend to codeshare or share reciprocal benefits, such as frequent flier benefits, with Saudi Arabian Airlines, which we have confirmed with SkyTeam, an Amsterdam-based 14-member global airline alliance.

Delta’s only agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines is a standard industry interline agreement, which allows passengers to book tickets on multiple carriers, similar to the standard interline agreements American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines have with Saudi Arabian Airlines.

All of the three global airline alliances – Star, which includes United Airlines; oneworld, which includes American Airlines, and SkyTeam, which includes Delta – have members that fly to Saudi Arabia and are subject to that country’s rules governing entry.

UPDATE: United Airlines used to have a codeshare agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines, but no longer does. Mollie’s link is outdated.