Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic to optimize network between US and UK

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic recently announced changes to their respective summer 2017 schedules to optimise their joint network between the USA and the UK. The move reflects the strong partnership between the two airlines, which is focused on offering customers more travel choices and flexibility. The changes are as follows: For Delta: • A new four times a week London Heathrow to Portland, Oregon seasonal service will begin on May 26,2017, the first between this US West Coast city and London. • Beginning March 26, 2017, the airline will add a second London Heathrow to Detroit service. This new flight replaces Virgin Atlantic's daily Detroit to London Heathrow service. • The airline will fly a third London Heathrow to Atlanta frequency, taking over the second daily service currently operated by Virgin Atlantic, beginning May 25, 2017. Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate one daily London Heathrow to Atlanta service. For Virgin Atlantic: • Beginning March 26, 2017, the airline will fly daily between London Heathrow and Seattle, replacing the service currently operated by Delta. • A daily nonstop service between Manchester and New York-JFK will commence on May 25, 2017, replacing the service currently operated by Delta. Delta will resume service for winter 2017. Commenting on the changes, Dwight James, Delta’s Senior Vice President Trans-Atlantic, said, “Adding a brand new service to Portland while increasing the scale of Delta’s reach across our Atlanta and Detroit hubs provides a comprehensive network of nonstop and connecting destinations for both Delta and Virgin customers. The flexibility to adjust our operations on routes between the UK and the USA is a solid reflection of the cohesive strategy we have across the trans-Atlantic. Since 2014, we have been building a partnership that is centred around the needs of our customers while providing network synergies for our airlines.” Beginning March 26, 2017, the airlines’ joint summer 2017 schedule includes a total of 42 peak daily nonstop flights between the US and the UK Of these, 28 flights will operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington and 14 flights will operate between Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, London Gatwick and Edinburgh to popular US cities. The joint venture partnership between Delta and Virgin Atlantic continues to grow, allowing both airlines’ customers to benefit from a high-quality and complementary travel experience with customer service being a key priority. In 2015, the JV connected almost 400,000 customers to over 200 destinations in the USA, on over 550 routes.