A plan to codeshare flights between Delta Air Lines and affiliates of new South American partner LATAM aims to ease access to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The deal will offer increased connectivity between up to 74 onward destinations in the US and up to 51 destinations in South America from the first quarter of 2020.

Delta expects to expand codeshare opportunities to include more destinations in the near future.

The airlines are also working toward introducing frequent flyer programme reciprocity and lounge access.

Virgin Atlantic’s US partner Delta agreed in September to take a 20% stake in LATAM Airlines Group for $1.9 billion plus $350 million to create a strategic partnership.

The codeshare plan and enhanced co-operation remain subject to government and regulatory approvals.

Delta international president and global sales executive vice president Steve Sear said: “This is an important milestone for customers as we begin to deliver on the transformative partnership between Delta and LATAM announced earlier this year.

“Once fully realised, this partnership will give us the ability to offer our shared customers an industry-leading network and superior service across the Americas.”