ATLANTA and LONDON, 21 May, 2014 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and Virgin Atlantic Airways will transfer operations for nonstop flights connecting London-Heathrow to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport this winter, offering more choices for the airlines’ customers on key routes across the Atlantic.
Effective October 26, 2014, Delta will begin operating one of two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights currently operated by Virgin Atlantic. This new Delta service will mark the airline’s first nonstop flight between Los Angeles and London Heathrow and is Delta’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. In return, Virgin Atlantic will begin operating one of Delta’s three daily Heathrow-Atlanta flights. The new services will expand the award-winning service offered by both carriers to its customers as well as provide greater choice for travel between the U.K. and North America. The two airlines will codeshare on each other’s operated services, maximizing the customer appeal of the joint schedule.
Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic CEO, commented: “It’s great to see how our partnership with Delta is already proving fruitful to our customers. 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 across both carriers. This is just the beginning of demonstrating how a true joint venture between airlines should be operated to benefit customers.”
This announcement also shows how the partnership – launched on January 1 this year – is increasing the network of both carriers. Virgin Atlantic will have its first-ever access to Delta’s Atlanta hub, the busiest airport in the world, 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 over 100 additional international and domestic connections to its customers. This brings the total number of onward connections available through this partnership to over 200.
“From the outset we said that our partnership with Virgin Atlantic was about improving services while offering more destinations and schedule choice,” said Ed Bastian, President, Delta Air Lines. “Access to London’s Heathrow Airport has long been at the top of Delta’s list of priorities for its customers, while Virgin Atlantic has long wanted greater access to North America. Today’s announcement shows how we’re delivering against this commitment increasing connectivity on the trans-Atlantic.”
Delta and Virgin Atlantic’s new winter 2014 services, bookable from today, are scheduled as follows:
Virgin Atlantic's Atlanta schedule:
Delta's Los Angeles schedule:
Combined, the two airlines operate a total of 32 peak daily nonstop flights between North America and the U.K. of which 24 flights operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations. Delta recently co-located its New York, Boston and Seattle routes into Terminal 3 – Virgin Atlantic’s home at Heathrow Airport. This move provided additional choice and flexibility to customers whilst importantly, reducing onward transit times.
Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate two daily services to Los Angeles and Delta will continue to fly three daily services to Atlanta, until October 26 2014.