Virgin and Delta to up US flights
By Sasha Wood, published 23/8/19
Virgin Atlantic and US carrier Delta Air Lines will boost flights from London and Manchester airports to US east coast and west coast destinations from next summer.
Delta will operate a direct daily service to Boston out of Manchester Airport, taking over Virgin’s current operations, while flights to Atlanta, New York-JFK, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando will continue to be operated by Virgin Atlantic.
Delta will also join forces with Virgin at London Gatwick for the first time to offer non-stop flights to Boston from 22 May 2020, while Virgin Atlantic will add more flights to the US from London Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic will launch a daily flight to New York-JFK from Gatwick on 21 May 2020. Together, Virgin and Delta will offer up to four daily flights to three US cities from next summer.
Delta’s return to Gatwick will mark the first time that both of the airlines have served the airport since their partnership began in 2014.
“We’re excited to return to London Gatwick, which is where we launched our first UK destination over 40 years ago, as well as Manchester, and continue to grow our international network from Boston,” said Delta’s Vice President Transatlantic, Roberto Ioriatti.
From 29 March, Delta and Virgin will increase flight frequency between New York-JFK and London Heathrow, with Delta offering three daily flights and Virgin Atlantic operating five.
Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow–JFK flights will be the first route to enjoy the new A350 from September 2019. As the latest plane to join the airline’s fleet, the A350 offers a redesigned cabin, with a brand new Upper Class suite and new social space called The Loft.
Virgin Atlantic is also set to increase flights to key US west coast hubs, as it ups frequencies from Heathrow to Seattle from seven to 11 per week, and increases flights to Los Angeles from 14 to 17 flights each week, utilising its new A350 fleet.
Starting this winter, all of Delta’s Heathrow-JFK and Boston flights will operate on its newly retrofitted Boeing 767-400 aircraft, featuring four cabins including a main cabin, private ‘Delta One’ seats, and the airline’s new premium economy cabin.
Virgin Atlantic’s EVP Commercial, Juha Jarvinen, commented: “Our announcement today marks another phase of growth, both for our transatlantic network and for our partnership with Delta. I’m delighted that between us, we’re increasing our presence across our hub airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.
“Our increased services to Los Angeles and Seattle further cement our commitment to our west coast flights, which follow the introduction of our exceptionally popular Manchester – Los Angeles route that launched earlier this year.”