The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 4 April 2018

The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America.

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Delta at London Heathrow
Delta at London Heathrow (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 4 April 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.

Delta celebrates 10 years at London Heathrow

Delta is celebrating 10 years of operations at London Heathrow.

Prior to the EU – US Open Skies agreement Delta, along with what were then Continental, Northwest Airlines and US Airways could only fly from London Gatwick.

Of course, following consolidation in the US airline sector, Delta is the only new US entrant at Heathrow to survive.

In terms of routes, Delta has reintroduced Detroit to London Heathrow (having been suspended by BA) and added Minneapolis to the Heathrow route network year-round.

Delta has also just reintroduced its summer seasonal route to Salt Lake City. Portland also returns for the summer season from Friday 4 May.

However, not all Delta routes have been successful. Delta will suspend Philadelphia from Thursday 3 May 2018.

Delta is also operating its A330-200 aircraft on London Heathrow – New York JFK and selected services to Atlanta and Detroit this summer.

Since moving to Heathrow, Delta also acquired a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic from Singapore Airlines and formed a transatlantic joint-venture with the airline.

The influence of Delta is likely to increase as it will soon become he single largest shareholder in Virgin Atlantic as Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is to sell a 31% stake in the airline to Air France KLM. It is known that Delta with merge its two joint-ventures with Air France KLM and Virgin into one. It is also expected that there will be further changes, particularly in the area of frequent flyer programmes.

BA suspends London Gatwick – Oakland; Las Vegas goes year-round

ICYMI, BA has suspended London Gatwick – Oakland from Monday 22 October 2018.

The last flight operates on Saturday 20 October 2018. At the moment it is not clear whether the route will return for the 2019 summer season. BA has also not yet issued any rebooking guidance for passengers whose flights have been cancelled.

Oakland, like Fort Lauderdale and New York JFK was launched to compete head on with Norwegian. Though, clearly taking on Norwegian is not as straightforward for BA as simply matching it route by route.

Also of note this week:

Alaska Airlines and Aer Lingus have announced an interline agreement and reciprocal frequent flyer mileage accrual and redemption. Aer Lingus will fly from Dublin to Seattle from Friday 18 May 2018. (Alaska Airlines)

American Airlines announces new routes from Dallas Fort-Worth to Oaxaca, Mexico; Los Angeles to Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Miami to Georgetown, Guyana; Pereira, Colombia and Cordoba, Argentina. (American Airlines)

Chicago Airport O’Hare airport has announced ambitious expansion plans which include $8.5 billion of capital improvements over the next eight years. Construction will start next year and includes the redevelopment of existing terminals to add capacity and grouping of airlines by alliance in terminals. (Chicago O’Hare)

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