MIAMI—Delta Air Lines, together with its British joint venture partner, Virgin Atlantic, will be boosting capacity in the US-UK market by 15% next summer.
Both carriers will be increasing capacity on routes between New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and London, as well as launching an all-new route to London’s second busiest airport, Gatwick.
Both Delta and Virgin Atlantic are expected to increase by 10,000 weekly seats its capacity between the two countries.
According to Delta, starting March 28 next year, it will boost its flights between New York (JFK) and London-Heathrow (LHR) to three total frequencies. On top of the five daily flights that Virgin Atlantic already offers, this will add to eight flights per day between both airports.
Virgin Atlantic is also expected to introduce its newest flagship, the recently-delivered Airbus A350-1000, on the LHR-JFK rotation.
On Delta’s side, the new JFK-LHR flights will be operated with the newly configured Boeing 767-400(ER) fleet, which features a four-class configuration with 34 Delta One seats, 20 Delta Premium Select, 28 Delta Comfort+, and 156 Main Cabin seats.
Likewise, all flights between Boston-Logan (BOS) and London will also be operated on the 767-400(ER).
“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, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Network Planning.
“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.”
Overall, Delta has managed to grow its current operation at JFK by more than 65% in the last decade, becoming the number-one carrier in terms of destinations served.
When combined, Delta runs a schedule of more than 520 departures out of both JFK and LaGuardia.
Virgin Atlantic Expands Los Angeles, Seattle
Starting March 29, 2020, Virgin Atlantic will also increase its capacity on its current flights to Los Angeles (LAX) from LHR, totaling 17 weekly flights.
Just like with New York, Virgin Atlantic will introduce the new A350-1000 on the LHR-LAX rotation.
The first four Virgin Atlantic A350-1000s will be based at London-Heathrow (LHR). The inaugural flight will launch in September to New York (JFK) six times per week.
“Our A350-1000s will first operate on flights between London-Heathrow, New York and Atlanta creating more capacity in Upper Class and more choice for customers,” the airline said in a statement.
“We’re providing a seamless customer journey across our joint venture, aligning closely with Delta, who introduced a three-cabin configuration with their first A350 in 2017.”
The British carrier will introduce its all-new premium concept called The Loft, located right ahead of 44 Upper Class seats, 56 Premium Economy seats, and 235 Economy Class seats on the rear section of the large fuselage.
Likewise, Virgin Atlantic’s service to Seattle (SEA) will see four new frequencies added to the schedule, which will come up to 11 weekly flight—all operated with the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Delta Returns To London-Gatwick
In a remarkable move, the Atlanta-based carrier has announced its return to London-Gatwick Airport (LGW).
Delta will launch new flights between London’s second busiest airport and Boston, starting May 21, 2020, operated with the carrier’s venerable Boeing 757-200.
London-Gatwick becomes Delta’s seventh transatlantic destination from its new Boston hub.
“We’re excited to return to London Gatwick, which is where we launched our first U.K. destination over 40 years ago, and continue to grow our international network from Boston,” said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s V.P. — 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.”
New Flights Between Boston and Manchester
Delta’s Boston hub will also get a new, nonstop flight to Manchester (MAN) operated with yet another Boeing 757-200, becoming the eight transatlantic destination out of BOS.
“Our announcement today marks another phase of growth, both for our transatlantic network and for our partnership with Delta,” said Juha Jarvinen, E.V.P. Commercial at Virgin Atlantic.
“I’m delighted that between us, we’re increasing our presence across our hub airports of Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester (…) 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,” she added.