Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 27 June 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.
Norwegian reshapes London Gatwick long-haul network
Norwegian announced a new route from London Gatwick to Tampa earlier this week. The airline will fly to Tampa twice weekly from Wednesday 31 October 2018.
Norwegian was naturally keen to emphasise its expanding network from Gatwick. Whilst that is true, arguably the real story is that Norwegian is cutting back some routes which have launched only very recently, notably Austin and Chicago. Both routes launched at the end of March this year. Norwegian is to suspend Austin for the winter, along with Seattle. Chicago, a route which Virgin Atlantic long struggled with at Heathrow, will be reduced from daily to four times weekly. Oakland will also be cut from four to three times weekly.
This does suggest Norwegian has reached a ceiling on new routes to North America, at least with the Boeing 787. On a more positive note, Boston and Fort Lauderdale will increase to daily. Norwegian is also increasing frequency to Orlando from three to four times weekly.
Full details of the route changes are here.
BA suspends Oakland permanently
BA has now suspended London Gatwick – Oakland permanently.
This route had been suspended for the winter and was due to resume at the end of March 2019. However, it has now been suspended indefinitely.
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a refund. Passengers can also travel to San Francisco International Airport from London Heathrow. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your expense.
Passengers who were due to fly after 31 March 2019 also have the option of flying from London Heathrow to Seattle on BA and connecting on to an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Oakland.
BA has not yet indicated how the spare capacity at Gatwick may be utilised. BA’s IAG sibling LEVEL did move one of its flights from Oakland to San Francisco, which may provide a clue.
Severe Weather Warning
US airlines are warning of severe weather in the North East of the USA on Wednesday 27 June 2018.
Delta has issued a weather waiver for passengers due to travel through Boston, New York and Washington area airports.
Inside The American Embassy
On a slight tangent, readers in the UK can watch the first episode of the three part documentary Inside The American Embassy from Channel 4.
Produced by Field Day Productions, the programme affords a very rare insight into the workings of the US Embassy which, at both Grosvenor Square and Vauxhall, has long had a strong visible presence in London, but only from the outside. Many readers may have course visited the embassy for Global Entry interviews. There is a vague aviation connection in the first episode!
Also of note this week:
Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, has announced that the Florida Department of Transportation will begin a tender process to allow private companies to bid to construct a new high speed rail link between Orlando and Tampa, which must be privately funded. A new passenger rail service Brightline between Miami and West Palm Beach also launched earlier this year. (Florida Department of Transportation)
Also, here’s an extraordinary account from The New York Times as to why local public transport projects, which seem so obvious to outsiders, are so politically fraught in the US.
Late Post Publication Updates:
[Reseved for updates during the day.]
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