Last week, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL ) closed on the acquisition of 49% of British carrier Virgin Atlantic. By teaming up with Virgin Atlantic, Delta has tripled the number of flights it offers from New York to London's Heathrow Airport. This is particularly important because the New York-Heathrow route has an exceptionally high proportion of high-paying business travelers.
This deal is part of a broader push by Delta to gain market share in New York, especially among corporate fliers. Delta was previously a distant third in the New York-London market, behind AMR (UNKNOWN: AAMRQ.DL ) -- which has a joint venture with British Airways, providing frequent service to Heathrow -- and United Continental (NYSE: UAL ) , which flies from its Newark hub to Heathrow. The Virgin Atlantic tie-up levels the playing field for Delta.
In the following video, Motley Fool Industrials bureau chief Isaac Pino talks to contributor Adam Levine-Weinberg about what this deal means for Delta and how it will affect the competition among America's top three airlines.