Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways today mark another major step forward in their partnership as Delta relocates some of its key services to join Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow Terminal 3. The move comes as both airlines start flying their new and aligned summer schedules that offer customers more choice and flexibility while reducing onward transit times.
"From the outset of our partnership with Virgin Atlantic we have been committed to putting the customer first and creating more competition on trans-Atlantic routes," said Ed Bastian, Delta's president. "The co-location of our key business flights with Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow is another step forward in delivering against these commitments. Together we are offering new routes and more flights this summer and making a real difference for customers."
The new routes announced by Delta and Virgin Atlantic include Delta's new West Coast service between Seattle and London Heathrow which commenced flying on March 30, 2014. And in co-operation with Virgin Atlantic, Delta will also operate a second daily service between London Heathrow and Detroit Metropolitan Airport effective June 2, 2014. The service will be particularly appealing to corporate customers needing an early morning arrival into London while offering more schedule choice for customers between London and the U.S. Midwest.
The two airlines' summer schedule includes a total of 32 peak daily nonstop flights between North America and the U.K.. Of these, 25 flights will operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic also provide a competitive offering for the New York to London travel market. It is designed with business travelers in mind and offers a total of nine daily nonstop flights. The schedule includes departures every 30 minutes during the early evening peak and then hourly until 22:30 from New York-JFK to London Heathrow. From London Heathrow to New York-JFK there is a spread of seven daily flights including two late afternoon and early evening departures. These services will be complemented by two daily nonstop flights between New York's Newark airport and London Heathrow.
"Today marks another important step in our joint venture with Delta. We're really pleased to welcome Delta customers into our home at Terminal three to enjoy a shared experience of our award-winning Clubhouses and industry-envied customer service. Virgin Atlantic prides itself on seamless journeys for our customers and we can now extend that to Delta's New York, Boston and Seattle customers through an enhanced flying schedule and smoother connections. Couple these factors with our on board experiences and we're confident our joint venture is the best trans-Atlantic offering in the marketplace," said Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic's CEO.
The airlines' customers benefit from a high-quality and complementary travel experience with customer service being an absolute priority.
Notes to editors
- Delta will continue to operate its Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis services from London Heathrow's Terminal 4.
- The start of the second daily service from Detroit to London Heathrow will commence June 1, 2014 (timings in above release are first UK departures.) and will also operate from London's Heathrow Terminal 4.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 165 million customers each year. This year, Delta was named the 2014 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine and was named to FORTUNE magazine's top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the third time in four years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 319 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a newly formed joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta, Facebook.com/delta and Delta's blog takingoff.delta.com.
About Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 30 years ago after he decided the UK aviation industry needed shaking up and having some style injected back into it. On 22nd June 1984, Virgin Atlantic's inaugural flight to Newark took place, on an aircraft filled with personal friends, celebrities and the media.
Today, Virgin Atlantic flies to 34 destinations worldwide, including locations across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Far East and Australia.
In 2013 Virgin Atlantic launched a domestic airline, Little Red. Little Red flies across the UK, with 24 daily flights between Manchester, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and London. Passengers can experience seamless connections onto the airline's long haul routes at Heathrow airport.
In the winter of 2012, Virgin Atlantic announced a joint venture with Delta Air Lines, creating an expanded trans-Atlantic route network and enhancing competition between the UK and North America. The two airlines now codeshare across 108 routes, offering passengers seamless connections to 66 destinations.
Virgin Atlantic has pioneered a range of innovations setting new standards of service, which its competitors have subsequently sought to follow. Recently it redesigned its Upper Class cabin, which included a new seat and a futuristic bar, which is the longest in the sky. Additionally, its entire leisure fleet of aircraft recently competed a £50 million renovation and includes a newly designed more comfortable seat and a brand new touch screen in-flight entertainment system, offering over 300 hours of the latest films, television shows, music and games.
Virgin Atlantic has enjoyed huge popularity, winning top business, consumer and trade awards from around the world. The airline has been awarded a Smart Technologies Award from The Wearables 2014 for its innovative trial of Google Glass and Sony Smart Watches in its Upper Class Wing. Other awards include best long-haul airline and best airport lounge at the Telegraph Ultra Travel Awards and Europe's leading airline lounge for the Heathrow Clubhouse at The World Travel Awards. The airline was recently placed 8th in the UK Coolest Brands League and last year was named Travel Brand of the Decade .
Virgin Atlantic currently has a fleet of 39 aircraft which includes comprised of Boeing 747s, Airbus A340-600s, A340-300 and A330-300s as well as four leased A320s on Little Red routes. The airline is expecting delivery of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliners from September 2014.