Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways will swap two non-stop routes connecting London-Heathrow (LHR) to the United States in late October.
26, Delta (NYSE: DAL) will begin operating one of two daily flights from
LHR to Los Angeles (LAW) currently operated by
Virgin Atlantic. The new service, for which the airline will use a Boeing
767-300ER (extended range) will be Delta’s first nonstop flight between LAX and LHR and will be Delta's seventh nonstop
destination between London and the United States.
At the same time, Virgin
Atlantic will begin operating one of Delta's three daily flights between LHR and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International
Airport (ATL). The two airlines will codeshare on each other's operated
services, allowing Delta and Virgin customers seamless access to the expanded
network, the airlines said in a statement announcing the changes.
Airline officials touted the
changes as demonstrable benefits of the partnership they entered into effective
Jan. 1, 2014.
"It's great to see how our
partnership with Delta is already proving fruitful to our customers," Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic CEO, said. "In less
than a year we will have co-located key business routes, delivered schedule
changes to benefit our customers and provided enhanced experiences to our
frequent fliers who gain from reciprocal lounge access and the ability to earn
and burn [use frequent flier miles] across both carriers.”
Through the partnership, Virgin
Atlantic will have access to ATL – the busiest airport in the world – for the
first time, providing expansive and unprecedented access for Virgin Atlantic
customers to connect to points throughout the United
States, Canada, Mexico
and the Caribbean. The airline will now be able to offer more than 100
additional international and domestic connections to its customers, bringing
the total number of connections available through the partnership to more than
"From the outset we said
that our partnership with Virgin Atlantic was about improving services while
offering more destinations and schedule choice," Ed
Bastian, Delta president, said. "Expanding access to London's Heathrow Airport has long been at the top of
Delta's list of priorities, while Virgin Atlantic has long wanted greater
access to North America."
Virgin Atlantic’s LHR-ATL
service, for which the carrier will operate an A330-300 aircraft, will depart
LHR at 0925 (9:25 a.m.) and arrive at ATL on 1420 (220 p.m.). The return flight
will depart ATL at 1730 (5:30 p.m.), arriving at LHR at 0635 (6:35 a.m.) the following
Delta’s LHR-LAX service will
depart LHR at 1500 (3:00 p.m.) and arrive at LAX at 2031 (8:31 p.m.). Return
flights will depart LAX at 2121 (9:21 p.m.), arriving at LHR at 1525 (3:25
p.m.) the following day.
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