We have to admit to being a little surprised by this news.
Virgin Atlantic and Delta, partners together in a relatively new transatlantic joint-venture, have announced that they will swap flights between London Heathrow and Los Angeles and Atlanta from 26 October 2014.
Delta will take over one of Virgin Atlantic’s twice daily London Heathrow – Los Angeles flights. Virgin Atlantic will take over one of Delta’s thrice daily London Heathrow – Atlanta flights.
These are the new flights:
Flight VS103 Depart London Heathrow 09:25 Arrive Atlanta 14:20
Flight VS104 Depart Atlanta 17:30 Arrive London Heathrow 06:30 (next day)
Flight DL035 Depart London Heathrow 15:00 Arrive Los Angeles 20:31
Flight DL034 Depart Los Angeles 21:21 Arrive 15:25 (next day)
Virgin’s flight to Atlanta will be operated by a three class Airbus A330 aircraft. Delta’s flight to Los Angeles will be operated by a Boeing 767 aircraft.
This means that Atlanta is added to Virgin’s own network and passengers of the joint-venture now have the option of booking in premium economy on this route. Conversely, passengers wishing to fly premium economy to Los Angeles now only have the option of one Virgin flight a day.
Delta placing its Boeing 767 on the Los Angeles route also reduces passenger capacity during the Winter season whilst maintaining a twice daily frequency on this route which has strong competition on frequency from American Airlines and British Airways and Air New Zealand which certainly punches its weight as a relative outsider.
Incidentally, Delta’s flights to Atlanta currently operate from London Heathrow Terminal 4 and we assume that these flights will move to Terminal 3 so all flights depart from the same terminal. We also assume Delta’s flight to Los Angeles will depart from Terminal 3 for the same reason.
Update: Virgin Atlantic has since announced additional flights to Los Angeles, as well as additional flights to Atlanta, Miami, New York, San Francisco and a new route to Detroit, as part of a network overhaul.