In late September, Delta and Virgin Atlantic finally secured US regulatory approval for their revenue sharing venture on flights across the Atlantic. This follows the acquisition by Delta of 49% of Virgin Atlantic and, of course, the similar revenue sharing venture created by British Airways and American Airlines.
From the start of the Summer timetable in April 2014, Delta and Virgin will operate nine combined services between Heathrow and New York each day. Seven will head to JFK and two will land in Newark.
The airlines have published a Heathrow / JFK timetable, although weirdly they did not say which airline would be operating each slot!
To JFK, planes will leave Heathrow at 9.05, 10.15, 11.30, 14.00, 16.15, 17.35 and 20.05.
From JFK, flights will depart at 07.40, 18.30, 19.00, 19.30, 20.30, 21.30 and 22.30.
Despite having seven daily flights, Delta / Virgin still only accounts for 35% of seats between Heathrow and JFK, with BA / American controlling 63%. A similar deal is likely to be struck for the London to Boston route, which is the only other service operated by both airlines.
There is no word yet on Delta and Virgin sharing terminals at Heathrow. With Delta in Terminal 4 and Virgin Atlantic in Terminal 3, the benefits of streamlining the timetable are more on paper than in reality. This MAY be why the departure times from Heathrow are more spread out, to allow customers who just miss one flight to change terminals in time to catch the next one.
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