Hello and welcome to the first edition of The Atlantic Update, 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 GMT.
Virgin Atlantic welcomes its first A330-200 aircraft
Virgin Atlantic is to lease four Airbus A330-200 aircraft whilst it reshuffles its fleet as its Boeing 787 aircraft undergo maintenance to their engines.
Last week, Virgin welcomed the first aircraft “Daydream Believer” which will enter into service in March 2018. Three more aircraft “Scarlett O’Hara”, “Honky Tonk Woman” and “Strawberry Fields” will join the airline before the spring of this year.
These aircraft do not currently have Virgin Atlantic’s premium economy cabin, which will be fitted later this year. They also have a different Upper Class configuration, albeit with all 19 seats having direct aisle access. Virgin, never one to miss a branding opportunity, has dubbed these the Love Suite, the Freedom Solo Suite, and the Corner Solo Suite.
The new aircraft will first enter service on 1 March 2018, operating Manchester – New York. They will also operate on routes from Manchester to Atlanta, Barbados, Boston and San Francisco throughout the summer, as well as London Gatwick to Antigua, Barbados, and St Lucia. Full details are available from Virgin Atlantic.
More airlines join the TSA PreCheck programme
Air France, Brussels Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Philippine Airlines and World Atlantic have joined the US Transport Security Administration PreCheck Programme.
This allows eligible passengers deemed to present a low security risk to go through an expedited security screening process at designated US airports. Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic already participate in the programme. British Airways is yet to join.
BA New York JFK Terminal 7 Refurbishment
On the subject of BA and security, its refurbishment programme at New York JFK Terminal 7 continues.
In addition, to the temporary closure of the First Class lounge, BA is advising passengers who use the standard security lines (eg World Traveller and World Traveller Plus passengers without Silver or Gold frequent flyer status) to allow an extra hour to pass through security due to refurbishment work.
European – US Transatlantic Route News
Some recent transatlantic route announcements you may have missed:
WestJet is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Halifax, Nova Scotia from Monday 30 April 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018.
Primera Air confirmed it is to fly from London Stansted to Washington Dulles four times a week from Wednesday 22 August 2018, adding to New York Newark, Boston and Toronto.
US Domestic Route News
Delta announces new routes from Cincinnati to Austin and Phoenix. (Delta)
The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday at 06:00 GMT. If you have any comments, suggestions or tips then please drop us a line at mail [@] londonairtravel.com