Delta Air Lines to Expand Transatlantic Flight Service

by Daine Taylor
Delta Air Lines to Expand Transatlantic Flight Service

Starting in 2020, Delta Air Lines is increasing its JFK-Heathrow service to three daily year-round frequencies. Photo: VanderWolf Images / Shutterstock.com. 


Delta announced it will boost its transatlantic schedule between London-Heathrow and its coastal hubs in Boston and New York-JFK next summer, adding 15% capacity compared to 2019.

Alongside joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic, the two airlines will increase capacity across the Atlantic by nearly 10,000 seats per week compared to this year, offering customers unrivaled customer experience and more choice than ever before.

“Delta and its partners offer an unmatched global network that's capable of taking Boston and New York customers to more worldwide destinations than ever before," said Joe Esposito, senior vice president of network planning, for Delta. “Our investment at these airports and in these communities continues to deepen as we grow our flight offerings and live up to our commitment to connect the world better than any other airline.”

Beginning on Mar. 28, 2020, Delta will increase its JFK-Heathrow service to three daily year-round frequencies, with Virgin Atlantic operating five, maintaining a convenient eight-flights-daily schedule. The new Delta frequency will mark the airline’s first daylight transatlantic flight and will complement the existing daylight service offered by Virgin Atlantic.

Starting this winter, all of Delta’s JFK and Boston-Heathrow flights will operate on its newly retrofitted Boeing 767-400 aircraft, featuring a modern interior and all four branded seat products – including a more private Delta One experience, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin – to give customers greater choice when they travel.

Delta's refreshed 764-400 aircraft also features the new wireless IFE system, developed by Delta Flight Products, with seat-back entertainment screens in every cabin and thoughtful touches like full-spectrum LED ambient lighting and memory foam cushions for added comfort.

On Mar. 29, 2020, Virgin Atlantic will be bolstering the joint venture’s presence from Los Angeles and Seattle to Heathrow. Los Angeles will see three additional weekly flights (for a total of 17 weekly frequencies) and Seattle will see four additional weekly flights (for a total of 11 weekly frequencies). Los Angeles will also be the second Virgin Atlantic destination to receive the airline’s new A350, starting from next year; while the additional frequencies from Seattle will be operated by Boeing 787 aircraft equipped with 31 lie-flat seats in Upper Class, 35 seats in Premium Economy, 36 Economy Delight, and 162 seats in Economy.

Additionally, Delta is set to return to London’s Gatwick Airport alongside Virgin Atlantic with new service from Boston and New York-JFK effective May 21, 2020. Gatwick will become the seventh transatlantic destination served nonstop by Delta from Boston, while flights from New York-JFK will be operated by Virgin Atlantic. Gatwick is currently the largest unserved European market from New York, and will be one of four daily flights from three U.S. cities next summer for the partners. It offers easy access to south London and some of the capital’s top sites, including Westminster and Buckingham Palace.

“We’re excited to return to London Gatwick, which is where we launched our first UK destination over 40 years ago, and continue to grow our international network from Boston,” said Roberto Ioriatti, vice president of transatlantic service, for Delta.

“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.”

Delta’s return to Gatwick will mark the first time the airlines have both served the airport since their partnership began in 2014. Customers flying from the Northeast U.S. will benefit from up to 18 daily flights between New York, Boston and the UK.

Delta is also set to return to Manchester with new peak-summer service from Boston effective May 21, 2020. Manchester will become the eighth transatlantic destination served nonstop by Delta from Boston; while flights from 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 U.S. cities next summer.

“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 more choice, convenient schedules and an unrivaled customer experience across the Atlantic,” said Juha Jarvinen, executive vice president, commercial, at Virgin 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.”

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