Summer 2020 is fast on airlines minds, with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines announcing its plans for the Summer Season, with London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Manchester Airport all getting service uplifts.
Starting at Gatwick, Delta will introduce a daily service to Boston from the 22nd May 2020. Virgin Atlantic will introduce a daily service to New York-JFK too on the 21st May 2020.
Meanwhile at Heathrow Airport, on the core Heathrow to New York JFK route, there will be eight flights a day operated by the two airlines. Virgin Atlantic will operate five of these flights, whilst Delta will operate three, including a new daytime service between JFK and Heathrow (complimenting the existing daytime flights operated by Virgin on the JFK-Heathrow/Boston-Heathrow routes).
Over on the West Coast Heathrow to Seattle will increase from seven flights a week to 11 a week. Meanwhile, Heathrow to Los Angeles gets a double-bump with services increasing from 14 flights a week to 17 flights a week – with the extra three flights to be served with the new Airbus A350-1000.
Finally, at Manchester Airport, Delta Air Lines will take over Virgin Atlantic’s summer service between Manchester and Boston from 21st May 2020. This will be offered as a daily service between the two cities (versus the previous service that operated three-times a week). Meanwhile, flights Atlanta, New York-JFK, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando will continue to be operated by Virgin Atlantic.
Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s vice president Transatlantic said
“We’re excited to return to London Gatwick, which is where we launched our first U.K. destination over 40 years ago as well as Manchester, and continue to grow our international network from Boston,”
“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.”
Juha Jarvinen, EVP Commercial at Virgin Atlantic, commented:
“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 our customers with 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.”
Managed Growth continues to be the name of the game
As we have seen in the past, wild and untamed growth can lead to ill consequences for any airline. With Delta and Virgin Atlantic able to leverage each other to deliver the right services in the right place (along with a joint venture agreement to help matters along), managed growth seems to be the name of the game here – as opposed to all-out route fights.
Which help no-one in the long term.
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