Now that the Delta and Virgin Atlantic joint venture has received DOT approval, I thought it would be interesting to compare the day one announced changes to those promised in the joint DOT application. I’ve also included some of the more unique tidbits found while perusing the full 101 page PDF application.
The airlines announced that beginning March 30th, they will operate nine daily flights between New York and London, seven from JFK, and two from Newark. During the “evening rush-hour” flights will depart every 30 minutes. In total, the joint operation will include 31 daily flights between the U.S. and the U.K., while AA/BA will have 58 US/UK flights.
“The first thing that we’ve done in terms of changing our schedule is take flights that were on top of each other and create a better schedule for customers in the New York market,” Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Officer told the AP. “It’s the logical place to start — it’s where we have the biggest amount of service and it’s where we think our competition can be a huge value.”
JFK 7:40am LHR 7:40pm
JFK 6:30pm LHR 6:50am+
JFK 7:00pm LHR 7:20am+
JFK 7:30pm LHR 8:00am+
JFK 8:30pm LHR 8:45am+
JFK 9:30pm LHR 9:25am+
JFK 10:30pm LHR 10:40am+
No word yet on who will operate each of the flights, though you can make some educated guesses based on the current flight times.
As promised in the DOT application, Virgin announced on Monday that they have already begun working with the Heathrow Airport authority to move Delta from their current home at the SkyTeam dominated Terminal 4 to over to Virgin’s Terminal 3 facilities. Virgin also has future plans to shift their UK feeder flights to Terminal 3 as well.
Also as mentioned in the application, Delta confirmed plans to launch a new daily nonstop between Seattle and London Heathrow under the joint venture beginning March 29th, while they “continue to evaluate a second DTW-LHR flight”. SkyTeam Alliance partners Air France, KLM, and Alitalia issued a joint release expressing their enthusiasm for the venture and the new flight, as well as their plans to coordinate on flights onward from Heathrow.
…and some of the more interesting New York-London tidbits, everybody knows AA/BA owns this route (especially with regards to premium traffic), but it’s crazy to see just how dominant they are:
Not surprisingly, no one is connecting in Rome to reach London…