So Delta will be profit sharing across the Atlantic with Alitalia, which is 49% owned by Etihad and for all intents and purposes now an arm of the Gulf carrier.
Delta has taken a strong stand against Etihad (along with Emirates and Qatar) as being subsidized by its government and asking the US government to protect it from competition.
Delta has a problem with US expansion by the Gulf carriers, and fears their flying between the US and Europe especially.
But they have no problem with Etihad’s proxy, Alitalia, flying between the US and Europe — in fact they’ll share passengers and profits on the routes where it does.
Just to show you how complicated the world is, why is it ok for Alitalia to take Etihad’s cash and fly across the Atlantic, but not ok for Etihad to do so?
It’s inconsistencies like this that lead aviation consultant Andrew Charlton to write,
In just two months the legacy carriers have successfully highlighted their lack of competitive product, their xenophobia and their subjective definition of ‘fair’ – as in ‘unfair competition’. It is best when using that phrase to do your best spoilt 10 year old child impersonation.