Delta plans Heathrow expansion

27 Aug 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Delta aims to take advantage of Heathrow slots freed up by the BA-American Airlines transatlantic alliance, by operating new services to Boston and Miami.

The carrier has filed applications with the European Commission and US Department of Transport, for twice daily flights between Heathrow and Boston, and a daily service between London and Miami.

The move follows Delta’s recent increase in flights from Heathrow to Atlanta and Detroit from November, as well as the addition of a third daily flight to New York from September (see online news August 18).

British Airways, American Airlines, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic all currently offer direct flights from Heathrow to Boston, while BA, AA and Virgin fly to Miami from the London hub. However as part of the transatlantic tie-up between BA and AA (see online news July 14), the two Oneworld carriers will have to transfer four Heathrow slot pairs to competitors.

In a statement Delta said the Skyteam alliance, of which it is a founding member, holds just five per cent of slots at Heathrow, compared to 25 per cent for Star Alliance and 47 per cent for Oneworld.

“Delta’s new service would provide more choices and competition for customers travelling between these important US cities and London, one of the most popular destinations in Europe for both business and leisure travellers,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president – Network Planning and Revenue Management. “Awarding these slots to Delta and Skyteam would significantly enhance competition among the major alliances across the Atlantic.”

Delta says that if the new services are approved, they will commence on March 27 next year, and would be offered in cooperation with its transatlantic joint venture partners Air France-KLM and Alitalia.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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