Virgin Atlantic and Delta have announced a raft of new and increased services between the UK and the US for 2020.
Earlier this year the two carriers revealed plans to operate flights from Gatwick to Boston and New York JFK, but there were few details at the time.
Now it has been confirmed that Virgin will a launch a daily service between Gatwick and JFK on May 21, 2020, followed by a new Delta-operated Gatwick-Boston route starting on May 22.
It marks a return to Gatwick for Delta, and the first time that the two carriers will have both served the airport since their partnership began in 2014.
In addition Virgin and Delta will increase capacity between Heathrow and JFK by 15 per cent from March 29, 2020, with Delta offering three daily services (including a new daytime flight from JFK), and Virgin offering five daily flights.
As previously reported, Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow-New York route will be the first to get the carrier’s new A350 aircraft from next month, featuring a brand new Upper Class Suite and redesigned business class social area The Loft.
From this winter all of Delta’s flights from Heathrow to JFK and Boston will feature the airline’s retrofitted B767-400 aircraft, with a four-class Delta One, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort + and Main Cabin configuration. For more details on this see our report from June.
Virgin will also increase the frequency of its Heathrow-Seattle service from seven to 11 flights per week, while its LA route will rise from 14 to 17 flights per week.
The carrier has also confirmed that LA will be the second destination to feature its A350 aircraft from next year.
Finally Delta has confirmed plans to return to Manchester, with a peak-summer seasonal service to Boston launching on May 21, 2020. The carrier will take over from Virgin’s current operations on the route, which will increase from three flights per week to daily. The two airlines will offer a total of up six daily flights between the US and Manchester next summer.
Virgin Atlantic said that the changes will see the carriers’ transatlantic capacity increase by nearly 10,000 seats per week.
Commenting on the news Juha Jarvinen, EVP Commercial at Virgin Atlantic, said:
“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.”