Delta, Virgin Atlantic to launch London-Gatwick route from Boston and New York-JFK in 2020

Delta Airlines has announced the launch of two new international routes – nonstop services from Boston’s Logan International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to London’s Gatwick Airport.

The new service will begin next summer in partnership with Virgin Atlantic. Full Gatwick schedule details will be announced later this year, the airline said.

In New York, the additional flight adds to Delta and Virgin’s combined eight daily flights to London-Heathrow – and three additional daily flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester – from Delta’s JFK hub.

‘Delta once again shows that we are able to connect Boston and New York to the world through an unmatched global network paired with our award-winning service, industry-leading reliability, and an enhanced customer experience both in the air and on the ground, said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President – Trans-Atlantic. ‘These new services will offer even more ways for our customers on both sides of the Atlantic to experience the products and services that set Delta and its partners apart while traveling to the destinations they value most.’

‘Virgin Atlantic is pleased to announce that we’re expanding at London Gatwick, with the addition of new routes to New York-JFK and Boston operated in partnership with Delta,’ said Juha Jarvinen, Executive Vice President – Commercial for Virgin Atlantic. ‘Together we offer customers an unrivalled choice of U.S. destinations and the leading transatlantic service as well as one of our newest and most luxurious Clubhouses, located in Gatwick’s north terminal. The new routes to New York and Boston will go on sale later this year and will complement the wide range of Caribbean and Florida flights already offered at London-Gatwick.’

Delta has also recently announced plans to enhance its aircraft on all flights between London-Heathrow and both Boston and JFK. Delta flights between Boston and London-Heathrow will now operate on an Airbus A330-200, which already serves Delta’s JFK-Heathrow flights and features additional premium seats.

Delta to expand US-London service next summer

The US-based airline Delta Air Lines has announced that it will increase the frequency of its flight service to London next summer from its Detroit hub and Portland, Oregon.

Starting from 13 May 2019, Delta will offer a twice daily service – increased from a daily service – between London-Heathrow and Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport. Effective 09 May 2019, the airline service will operate daily service between London-Heathrow and Portland International Airport, up from four times weekly in summer 2018.

‘We hear from customers all over the U.S. that access to London is very important to them,’ said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President – Trans-Atlantic. ‘And Delta is happy to answer their needs by expanding additional choice through our Detroit hub with a second daily, and from the U.S. West Coast at Portland through daily service next summer.’

Delta Air Lines, a key player in the London-U.S. travel market, resumed the only nonstop services from Portland, Oregon, along with Salt Lake City, to London Heathrow in summer 2018. Earlier this year, Delta celebrated 10 years of service at London-Heathrow, marking growth from three daily flights to two US cities in 2008 to nine daily flights to seven cities presently.

The daily flight to Portland will depart Heathrow at 1230, arriving in the US city at 1513, and on return leave Portland at 1808, arriving London at 1205 the following day. The new second daily Detroit service will depart Heathrow at 1350, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1722; and on return will leave Detroit at 2233, arriving back into London at 1110 the following day. The first Detroit service will depart London Heathrow at 1035, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1358; and on return will leave Detroit at 1816, arriving back into London at 0640 the following day.

The expanded services to Detroit and Portland will be operated on a 210-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with 35 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin, 32 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 143 seats in economy.

Delta, Virgin Atlantic revise Summer 2017 schedule, offer new Portland- London service

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic have announced changes to their respective summer 2017 schedules to optimise their joint network between the United States and the United Kingdom.

The move seeks to offer customers more travel choices and flexibility. In 2015, the JV connected almost 400,000 customers to over 200 destinations in the U.S., on around 550 routes.

As per the revised plan, Delta will commence a new four times a week service from Portland, Oregon to London Heathrow on May 26, 2017, the first between this U.S. West Coast city and London. 

Beginning March 26, 2017, the US-based airline will add a second Detroit to London Heathrow service, replacing Virgin Atlantic’s daily Detroit to London Heathrow service. The airline will also operate a third Atlanta to London Heathrow service, replacing the second daily service currently operated by Virgin Atlantic, beginning May 25, 2017. Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate one daily Atlanta to London Heathrow service.

Beginning March 26, 2017, Virgin Atlantic will start flying between Seattle and London Heathrow, replacing the daily service currently operated by Delta. In addition, the UK-based airline will launch a daily nonstop service between New York-JFK and Manchester on May 25, 201, replacing the service currently operated by Delta. Delta will resume service for winter 2017.

Erik Varwijk, Executive Vice President, Commercial, Virgin Atlantic said: ‘We are delighted to further optimize our joint services between the U.K. and the U.S. Our most fuel efficient Boeing 787-9 aircraft will add additional capacity to the successful Seattle route, enabling more customers to enjoy the Virgin Atlantic experience on this brand new aircraft. In Manchester, deploying our Airbus A330-300 aircraft on this route will allow us to further meet the growing demand from the Manchester market, now offering a total of six direct flights to the U.S. after the recently announced new services to Boston and San Francisco. The network changes highlight the strength and flexibility of our joint venture, allowing us to make smart decisions that ensure the right aircraft are on the right routes for our customers.’

Commenting on the changes, Dwight James, Delta’s Senior Vice President Trans-Atlantic said: ‘Adding a brand new service to Portland while increasing the scale of Delta’s reach across our Atlanta and Detroit hubs provides a comprehensive network of nonstop and connecting destinations for both Delta and Virgin customers. The flexibility to adjust our operations on routes between the U.K. and the U.S. is a solid reflection of the cohesive strategy we have across the trans-Atlantic. Since 2014, we have been building a partnership that is centered around the needs of our customers while providing network synergies for our airlines.’

With the changes, starting March 26, 2017, the airlines’ joint summer 2017 schedule will feature a total of 42 peak daily nonstop flights between the U.S. and the U.K. Of these, 28 flights will operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington and 14 flights will operate between Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, London Gatwick and Edinburgh to popular U.S. cities, Delta said in a release.

Delta, Virgin announce new route between New York JFK and Edinburgh

Delta and Virgin Atlantic Airways will commence a daily service from Edinburgh Airport direct to New York JFK starting May 27, 2016.

With the addition of Delta’s service to New York, passengers will have increased choice in both direct routes to New York, as well as better connectivity across all of North America via Delta’s extensive network and Sky Team alliance at New York JFK.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said, ‘Edinburgh to New York is a flagship route between two vibrant economic and cultural power houses. The strong bonds between Scotland and America are well known and we look forward to welcoming even more inbound visitors from throughout America to Scotland’s capital city, and similarly assist more Scots in visiting North America.’

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown, said: ‘Scotland and the United States share strong cultural and economic bonds, so this new direct service between Edinburgh and New York will only serve to strengthen these links.

‘Of course, we could attract more direct international flights like this to Scotland by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty, and I once again call on the UK Government to transfer these powers to the Scottish Parliament as soon as possible.’

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland added: ‘We are delighted that Delta has chosen to launch a direct service from New York to Edinburgh. The United States continues to be our biggest international market for inbound tourism but there is always room for growth. Direct route improvements over the last two years have helped boost visitor numbers and this new route will tap in to Delta’s vast North American network opening up even more opportunities for US visitors to come to Scotland.’

The airline will offer all passengers on-demand access to in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the aircraft. Those travelling in the Delta One cabin will also benefit from full flat-bed seats and a range of personalised dining options.

Delta to set trend for airline toilet constriction

Delta, the US-based airline, is to become the first air carrier to reduce the size of its on board toilet facilities to make more cost effective use of the space.

Despite in-flight toilets already being so compact that larger passengers can experience difficulty in carrying out their mission once wedged inside, Delta’s new design brief for its aircraft will see a reduction on the current standard cubicle size of 3ft by 3ft. The further hemming-in of the one seat on the aircraft that does not require a ticket is to enable the addition of more seats that do need to be paid for, with a resultant increase in revenue for the airline.

In Delta’s case, it expects to be able to fit four more seats on each of its Boeing 737-900 aircraft in economy class, with the airline claiming that passengers will not be unduly inconvenienced as the encroachment will be into currently wasted space behind the sink units. This will enable the lavatory wall behind the four new seats to be rebated to allow the seats to recline. There are no current plans to decrease the size of toilet cubicles for passengers in premium class areas of the aircraft.

When Delta’s redesigned 737’s take to the air with their cooped-in closets later this year, it is a certainty that other airlines will soon be flushed out by the promise of increased profitability, and a chain reaction will see measuring tapes in evidence throughout the industry.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Sebastien Weber, the chief executive of Zodiac Aerospace, a company in Los Angeles that builds toilets for aircraft, said, ‘on airplanes, it is all about how you use the real estate.’

Delta to allow travellers to change travel plans

Delta Air Lines has announced a plan that will give travellers the ability to change their travel plans.

The airline is offering a dispensation that will allow customers, whose flight plans may be affected by winter weather in the Northern Plains region, to make changes to their proposed schedule. They will be allowed to make a one-time change to their travel schedules without incurring additional fees. After announcing the move, the airline asked customers to consider departing earlier and postponing or re-routing their travel to avoid possible inconvenience from expected flight delays and cancellations.

Customers booked on Delta-ticketed flights to, from or through cities such as Bismarck, N.D., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa, Fargo, N.D., Grand Forks, N.D. etc will be able to benefit from the offer. Those affected between March 4 and March 5 may rebook for travel with the same origin and destination. New flights may start before or after the original travel dates, as long as they are ticketed and rescheduled for travel on or before March 10.

The firm said that flight delays are likely at airports in various locations because of winter precipitation including snow and ice. It also said that it would reduce flight schedules to minimise delays. The travel firm further encouraged customers to make changes and manage their travel at delta.com, and also use the Fly Delta app for their travel needs.

Delta said that it would continue to monitor the weather and provide the latest updates at delta.com and twitter.com/DeltaNewsroom.

Virgin Atlantic Announces Alliance with Delta Air Lines

Virgin Atlantic, an airline subsidiary of UK-based Virgin Group, has entered into a joint venture with US based Delta Air Lines, for an expanded trans-Atlantic network.

As part of the agreement Delta will be investing £223 million in Virgin Atlantic to acquire a 49% equity stock in the airline, currently held by Singapore airlines. The majority stake in the airline will be retained by Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson.

Steve Ridgway, the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said, ‘Consumers will reap the rewards of this partnership between two great airline brands on services from the UK to the USA, Canada and Mexico through a shared ethos in the highest standards of customer service. This joint venture will deliver much more effective competition at Heathrow.

Both airlines are confident that the Department of Transportation will be as convinced as we are of the extensive consumer benefits arising from this joint venture, with expedited approval being granted by the end of 2013.

The trans-Atlantic market is Virgin Atlantic’s heartland – it’s where we started. By aligning with Delta we can continue to grow our North American network and offer greatly enhanced connectivity across the USA.’

The new trans-Atlantic network will be offering 31 round-trip flights between UK and North America with a combined total of nine daily round-trip flights from London Heathrow Airport, in UK, to John F Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in US.

Delta chief executive officer, Richard Anderson, said, ‘Our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic will strengthen both airlines and provide a more effective competitor between North America and the U.K., particularly on the New York-London route, which is the largest airline route between the U.S. and Europe.

By combining the strengths of our two companies in a joint venture, we can provide customers with a seamless network between North America and the U.K., and continue building a better airline for our customers, employees and shareholders.’

Delta Air Lines Adds Third Daily Heathrow to Atlanta Flight

Delta Air Lines, a US-based airline, is expanding its daily service between Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, in Atlanta, US, and London Heathrow Airport in the UK.

The airline, which already flies two daily flights on the route, will be adding the additional flight from March 31, 2013.

The new service will also include access to in-flight Internet services for passengers. The airline will be installing Wi-Fi on its fleet of around 150 international aircraft, and claims to be the only airline offering online access on flights between the UK and the US.

Perry Cantarutti, the airline senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said, ‘In just five years, we will have gone from no Heathrow flights to nine daily non-stop services to five US cities. We are also responding to customer demand for more comfort and convenience and the roll-out of our in-flight Wi-Fi from the UK means business customers in particular can stay connected throughout their journey, or simply relax and enjoy a full flat-bed seat.’

The route between London and Atlanta is often used by British passengers to fly to connected destinations of Orlando, Tampa, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles and Miami, in the US.

The airline has also opened its 360° Lounge in London, located within the Millennium and Copthorne Hotel. The lounge will be used exclusively by the airline on Chelsea FC match days as part of its sponsorship of the club, and will be open to hotel guests and the public at other times. Delta is also the football club’s Official Airline Partner.

Cantarutti said, ‘This is our first commercial sponsorship of a Premier League side. London is now home-from-home for Delta and, thanks to our partnership with Chelsea FC, our brand is reaching thousands more customers every day.’

Delta providing improved travel experience at Minneapolis airport

US-based Delta Airlines has announced that it will be offering an improved travel experience for customers at Minneapolis airport.

The airline said that it was planning to enhance facilities for travellers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, by providing electronic devices for dining services at airport restaurants.

The firm has already started the deployment of more than 250 iPads in three new restaurants in the airport’s Concourse G. The iPads are deployed at each seat inside the restaurant and will allow customers to order catered and customised meals through an intuitive visual menu. The firm said that once the kitchen at the facility receives the order, food would be delivered in less than 15 minutes.

The airline company is offering the facility at three new restaurants. One of them, MinniBar, is an upscale sandwich bar with a menu designed by celebrity chef/host Andrew Zimmern, the Mimosa provides travellers with French-themed food, and Shoyu offers modern Japanese cuisine.

The iPads may also be used by travellers to browse using a customised browser. They can check Facebook, Twitter and personal email accounts. They can also browse flight statuses, play games and watch the news through pre-loaded apps. Security is built into the iPads and once the customer finishes using the gadget, all personal information is erased from it.

It is expected that by the end of 2013, Concourse G will have 12 new local chef-driven restaurants and fresh markets, and more than 2,500 iPads for passengers.

Bill Lentsch, Delta’s senior vice president of Minnesota Operations, said, ‘Delta is following through on our commitment to invest in our Minneapolis-St. Paul hub by improving the airport experience with these truly unique amenities. These enhancements on the ground, coupled with our in-flight investments such as installing full flatbed seats in BusinessElite and Wi-Fi on more than 800 aircraft, make for a unique travelling experience on Delta that no other carrier can match.’