Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines are boosting flights between the UK and US from next summer, which sees Delta join Virgin Atlantic serving Gatwick Airport together for the first time since their partnership began in 2014.
Gatwick will become Delta’s seventh transatlantic destination served nonstop from Boston when flights begin on 22 May 2020. One day before, Virgin Atlantic will launch a daily flight to New York-JFK from Gatwick. Together the airlines will offer up to four daily flights to three US cities next summer.
UK-bound customers flying from the northeast United States will benefit from up to 18 daily flights between Boston and New York and two London airports, plus Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“We’re excited to return to London Gatwick, which is where we launched our first U.K. destination over 40 years ago as well as Manchester, and continue to grow our international network from Boston,” said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s vice president transatlantic.
“Together with Virgin Atlantic, we are strengthening our presence in the northeast U.S. and in London, offering customers a greater choice of destinations combined with the excellent service they can expect from our airlines.”
Beginning 29 March, 2020, Delta and Virgin Atlantic will increase capacity between New York-JFK and London Heathrow by 15 per cent – providing more flight options for when customers want to travel.
Delta will increase its services to three daily frequencies, with Virgin Atlantic operating five. This includes a daytime slot from JFK-Heathrow for the first time, operated by Delta, complementing the daytime Boston-Heathrow and JFK-Heathrow service currently offered by Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow – JFK flights will be the first route to enjoy the new A350 from September 2019.
Starting this winter, all of Delta’s Heathrow-JFK and Boston flights will operate on its newly retrofitted Boeing 767-400 aircraft.
Virgin Atlantic is also set to increase flights to important west coast hubs, as it ups frequencies from Heathrow to Seattle from seven to 11 per week, representing a 57 per cent growth in seat capacity since Delta originally launched the route in 2014.
Los Angeles will also see services rise from 14 to 17 flights per week, with up to three services per day operating in the busy summer months. LA will also be the second Virgin Atlantic destination to receive the airline’s new A350, from next year.
Delta will return to Manchester, with a new peak-summer service to Boston effective May 21, 2020 taking over Virgin Atlantic’s current operation. Flights will increase from the current three per week to a daily service, offering an extra 45 per cent capacity versus last year.
Manchester will become the eighth transatlantic destination served nonstop by Delta from Boston, while flights to Atlanta, New York-JFK, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando will continue to be operated by Virgin Atlantic. Together the airlines will offer a schedule of up to six daily flights to Manchester from six US cities next summer.
Virgin Atlantic executive vice president, Juha Jarvinen said: “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, reaffirming our commitment to provide our customers with more choice, convenient schedules and an unrivalled customer experience across the Atlantic.
“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.”