Delta and Virgin to boost transatlantic capacity

Delta and Virgin Atlantic have announced they will increase capacity on services between the UK and the US starting next summer.

Beginning 28 March 2020, Delta will increase its JFK-Heathrow services to three daily year-round frequencies. The extra flight will be the airline’s first-ever daylight transatlantic service and adds to Virgin Atlantic’s existing daytime flight. All together, both carriers will operate eight flights a day on the route.

Starting this winter, Delta will start operating its JFK and Boston-Heathrow flights on board its retrofitted Boeing 767-400 aircraft, which features all four branded seat products – Delta One, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin.

From 29 March 2020, Virgin Atlantic will bolster the partnership’s presence from Los Angeles and Seattle to Heathrow. LA will see three additional weekly flights for a total of 17 frequencies, while Seattle will get an extra four services a week operated by a Boeing 787, bringing the total to 11 weekly. In addition, LA will be the second route to receive Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A350 from 2020 in addition to New York.

As previously reported, Virgin Atlantic and Delta will also add up to 18 daily US flights from Gatwick from 21 May 2020, marking the first time both airlines have served the airport.

Delta will operate a daily Boston-Gatwick flight on board a Boeing 757 with 16 lie-flat Delta One seats, 44 in Comfort+ and 105 in Main Cabin. Virgin Atlantic will offer a daily JFK-Gatwick service on the renovated Airbus A330-200 with 19 Upper Class suites, 35 seats in Premium Economy, 32 in Economy Delight and 180 in Economy.

Manchester will also see a boost with a new daily, peak-summer service operated by Delta from Boston starting 21 May 2020. Flights from Atlanta, JFK, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando will continue to be operated by Virgin Atlantic.

Joe Esposito, senior vice president – network planning at Delta, commented: “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. 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.”

Juha Jarvinen, EVP of commercial at Virgin Atlantic, added: “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 unrivalled customer experience across the 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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