Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Add 50 Daily Seats Between Seattle and London, Launch Portland-London Service

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Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and Virgin Atlantic today announced changes to their respective summer 2017 schedules to optimize their joint network between the United States and the United Kingdom. The move reflects the strong partnership between the two airlines, which is focused on offering customers more travel choices and flexibility.

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The changes are as follows:

For Delta:

  • A new four times a week Portland, Oregon to London Heathrow seasonal service will begin on May 26, 2017, the first between this U.S. West Coast city and London.
  • Beginning March 26, 2017, the airline will add a second Detroit to London Heathrow service. This new flight replaces Virgin Atlantic’s daily Detroit to London Heathrow service.
  • The airline will fly a third Atlanta to London Heathrow frequency, taking over the second daily service currently operated by Virgin Atlantic, beginning May 25, 2017. Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate one daily Atlanta to London Heathrow service.

For Virgin Atlantic:

  • Beginning March 26, 2017, the airline will start flying between Seattle and London Heathrow, replacing the daily service currently operated by Delta.
  • A daily nonstop service between New York-JFK and Manchester will commence May 25, 2017 replacing the service currently operated by Delta. Delta will resume service for the winter 2017.

Erik Varwijk, Executive Vice President, Commercial, Virgin Atlantic said: “We are delighted to further optimize our joint services between the U.K. and the U.S. Our most fuel efficient Boeing 787-9 aircraft will add additional capacity to the successful Seattle route, enabling more customers to enjoy the Virgin Atlantic experience on this brand new aircraft. In Manchester, deploying our Airbus A330-300 aircraft on this route will allow us to further meet the growing demand from the Manchester market, now offering a total of six direct flights to the U.S. after the recently announced new services to Boston and San Francisco. The network changes highlight the strength and flexibility of our joint venture, allowing us to make smart decisions that ensure the right aircraft are on the right routes for our customers.”

Commenting on the changes, Dwight James, Delta’s Senior Vice President Trans-Atlantic said: “Adding a brand new service to Portland while increasing the scale of Delta’s reach across our Atlanta and Detroit hubs provides a comprehensive network of nonstop and connecting destinations for both Delta and Virgin customers. The flexibility to adjust our operations on routes between the U.K. and the U.S. is a solid reflection of the cohesive strategy we have across the trans-Atlantic. Since 2014, we have been building a partnership that is centered around the needs of our customers while providing network synergies for our airlines.”

Beginning March 26, 2017, the airlines’ joint summer 2017 schedule includes a total of 42 peak daily nonstop flights between the U.S. and the U.K. Of these, 28 flights will operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington and 14 flights will operate between Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, London Gatwick and Edinburgh to popular U.S. cities.

The joint venture partnership between Delta and Virgin Atlantic continues to grow, allowing both airlines’ customers to benefit from a high-quality and complementary travel experience with customer service being a key priority. In 2015, the JV connected almost 400,000 customers to over 200 destinations in the U.S., on over 550 routes.

About Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines serves nearly 180 million customers each year. In 2016, Delta was named to Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the fifth time in six years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented five consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 330 destinations in 61 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry’s leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, LondonHeathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub, Google.com/+Delta, Facebook.com/delta and Delta’s blog takingoff.delta.com.

About Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 30 years ago after he decided the UK aviation industry needed shaking up and style injected back into it. On 22nd June 1984, Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight to Newark took place, on an aircraft filled with personal friends, celebrities and the media.

The airline has pioneered a range of innovations setting new standards of service. For example, Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to introduce the Premium Economy product, include a bar in every aircraft for Upper Class customers, offer seatback TVs on every seat in every cabin, develop a fully flatbed seat and fly a commercial aircraft on biofuels. Despite Virgin Atlantic’s growth, the service still remains customer driven with an emphasis on value for money, quality, fun and innovation.

Today, Virgin Atlantic flies to 33 destinations worldwide, including locations across the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Virgin Atlantic currently has a fleet of 39 aircraft, which is comprised of Boeing 747s, Boeing 787s, Airbus A340-600s and A330-300s.

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