Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways will operate a new joint-venture schedule on transatlantic services to and from London Heathrow Airport from summer 2014, aligning their services and offering more flight choices for travelers on both sides of the Atlantic.
The new schedule on March 30, 2014 and will see Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways combine their slots at London Heathrow Airport to offer improved customer convenience, particularly for business travelers.
Additionally, on April 2, 2014, Delta will move its arrival and departure terminal for several important business markets to join Virgin Atlantic Airways in Heathrow’s Terminal 3.
Delta services which will operate to and from London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 will includes its flights linking London with New York JFK and Boston, as well as Delta’s new London-Seattle services.
The move means the two airlines will co-locate on all their flights linking London Heathrow with New York JFK and Boston Logan International Airport. According to Delta, the move will allow for convenient connections and a seamless customer experience for customers flying with Virgin and Delta, including access to Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse lounge for all business class passengers.
“We are working on a series of improvements to enhance the travel experience for our customers,” says Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO. “We already co-locate together at New York’s JFK airport and moving some of Delta’s key business flights to join Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 will enhance convenience, and reduce connection times.”
Delta, in cooperation with Virgin Atlantic, will also operate a second daily service between London Heathrow and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport from June 1, 2014.
This additional flight will complement Delta’s previously announced new West Coast route between Seattle and London Heathrow, which will launch on March 29, 2014.
Virgin Atlantic is also making significant schedule changes. It is rescheduling its VS1 Heathrow-Newark flight from a late afternoon departure to a morning departure. The flight’s new timing will allow ‘same-day meetings’ to be held in the New Jersey area, while an earlier departure on the return flight means passengers can be in central London for the start of the working day.
This service is part of a joint schedule that will see nine daily round-trips between London Heathrow and the New York area by the joint-venture partners.
Their new schedule will include departures every 30 minutes during the early evening peak and then hourly until 10.30 p.m. from New York JFK to London Heathrow. It will also offer a spread of seven daily flights from London Heathrow to New York JFK, including two late afternoon and early evening departures.
The new schedule also includes two departures to and from Newark Liberty International Airport.
Virgin Atlantic has also re-timed its Heathrow-Boston service to depart two hours later in the afternoon. This offers more flexibility for the two airlines’ customers, with Delta’s Heathrow-Boston service departing in the morning. Virgin Atlantic’s evening departure from Boston will also be scheduled to leave two hours later, giving greater schedule choice to travelers.
“With our Seattle service, Delta will add its sixth non-stop destination between London and the United States,” says Ed Bastian, Delta’s president. “Combined, the Delta-Virgin partnership now offers our customers 33 daily non-stop flights across the Atlantic.”
In September, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved the Delta-Virgin Atlantic joint venture by granting them antitrust immunity on routes between North America and the UK.