Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways are celebrating a significant expansion of their transatlantic partnership, with the introduction of a new flying programme that sees six new daily services available to customers.
From this weekend the two airlines begin their summer schedule, offering up to 39 return transatlantic flights a day between the UK and 15 destinations across North America. The joint schedule includes 10 daily flights on the world’s largest business travel market, between London Heathrow and New York, now with eight daily departures to New York-JFK and two departures to Newark. Customers travelling between JFK and London Heathrow will benefit from a memory schedule* of regular evening departures from New York.
Virgin Atlantic is launching a second daily service between Heathrow and Los Angeles, complemented by significant investment on the ground with the first ever Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Los Angeles due to open next month. Combined with the Delta service launched in October 2014, the partnership will be offering three daily flights from London to the City of Angels and expects to carry close to 400,000 passengers a year on the route.
Also launching this weekend is a seasonal second daily Virgin Atlantic service between Heathrow and Atlanta, and a second service between Heathrow and San Francisco operating five days a week over the summer before becoming a daily service in October.
The two airlines are maximising the benefits of their Joint Venture partnership and increasing passenger choice through aligning schedules to best meet customer demand. This will see a transfer of operations begin this weekend with Delta flying one of the London Heathrow to Newark services previously operated by Virgin Atlantic. Meanwhile Sir Richard Branson’s airline will take over Delta’s Manchester to Atlanta service offering 26 per cent extra seat capacity onto the popular route.
Further Joint Venture services are to be introduced later in the summer as follows:
- A new daily Delta service between London Heathrow and Philadelphia from April 27
- A new daily Delta service between Manchester and New York JFK starting May 22
- A new daily Virgin Atlantic service between Heathrow and Detroit starting June 1
Virgin Atlantic is also offering a series of special seasonal services this year from Belfast to Orlando (June and July) and Glasgow to Las Vegas (September and October).
Virgin Atlantic is resuming flights from London Gatwick to the Caribbean island of Tobago from Sunday and will be offering a once weekly service during the summer and a twice weekly service in the winter.
Joe Thompson, Director of Network and Alliances at Virgin Atlantic said:
“We’re very excited to offer this range of new services and frequencies which are a further demonstration of how our joint venture partnership is benefitting customers. Both Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines put our customers at the heart of what we do. We are passionate about giving them the best flying experience possible and we are looking forward to welcoming passengers on board.”
“The Delta and Virgin Atlantic partnership brings increased customer choice on the transatlantic routes at London Heathrow – in particular to and from New York, “ added Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The strength of Delta’s network in the United States and Virgin Atlantic’s at London Heathrow delivers a very strong network proposition allowing customers in the UK to easily connect to 215 destinations in the U.S.”
This summer, Delta flights between London Heathrow and New York, Boston and Los Angeles will operate from Heathrow’sTerminal 3 alongside all Virgin Atlantic services. Delta flights between Heathrow and Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis-St Paul, Detroit and Philadelphia will operate from Terminal 4.
Business Elite and Upper Class passengers travelling departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3 will be able to enjoy a seamless and stress-free transfer from car to lounge via the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Wing. Those arriving at the airport by private car will be met by Virgin Atlantic concierge staff who will provide printed boarding passes and swiftly handle any checked luggage. Passengers will then be whizzed through the Private Security Channel, beating the queues and leaving more time to enjoy the Clubhouse. Business class passengers travelling from Heathrow Terminal 4 will also enjoy complimentary lounge access through Delta’s SkyTeam lounge, a relaxing space set impressively across two floors.
Since the start of the Joint Venture, more than 5 million people have travelled on its services with 10,000 people a month connecting between the two airlines last year. With the new schedule offering connecting itineraries to 215 destinations, that number is expected to increase to 260,000 in 2015.