Delta plans a shuttle service between New York’s JFK T4 and London Heathrow Terminal 3, the airline’s CEO revealed today.
Richard Anderson said: “Once we have gained the requisite approvals from the EU, Britain and the US our intention is to operate a joint Delta / Virgin shuttle from Terminal 4 into London Heathrow T3.”
“[At the JFK end] that means we can use both lounges – the new SkyClub and the Clubhouse. If you look at the passenger survey data, the number one rated business product in the US to Europe market is Virgin Atlantic and number two is Delta, so they will join together to offer the very best service to the business traveller between JFK and London Heathrow.”
Under the proposed joint venture, Delta and Virgin Atlantic would coordinate schedules, network planning, pricing and sales between North America and the UK.
The two carriers would operate a total of 31 daily round trip flights between the UK and North America, 23 of which would operate at London Heathrow. The airlines also plan to implement codesharing, reciprocal frequent flier benefits and shared lounge access.
The carriers are also seeking antitrust immunity for five-way coordination on UK-US traffic flows so that Delta can continue to effectively operate its existing joint venture with European airlines Air France, KLM and Alitalia, alongside this proposed agreement with Virgin. For more details, click here.
Anderson said that the newly extended T4 Terminal will have a 24,000 square foot lounge, and intended to provide a meal service for evening flights in the SkyClub, though he admitted that the airline is still working with different restaurateurs and it would not immediately be available.
[Correction: this has now been clarified – food will be offered from tomorrow, when the terminal opens – but will be chargeable – including for international business class passengers]
Anderson also said that since Virgin offers meals in its own Clubhouse at JFK, this would also offer options if and when regulatory approval was given. For a review of that Virgin Clubhouse, click here.
Anderson said that he envisaged that if regulator approval came through, it would do so in the “third quarter of this year”.
For more information, visit delta.com.
Report by Tom Otley