Virgin Atlantic and Delta increases services between U.K. and United States

Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines have announced plans to increase flights between the U.K and U.S. from next summer, as Delta joins Virgin Atlantic at Gatwick Airport for the first time.

With the agreement, passenger capacity across the Atlantic has increased by nearly 10,000 seats per week over the last year, offering customers more choice and flexibility.

When flights begin on May 22, 2020, Gatwick will become Delta’s seventh trans-Atlantic destination served nonstop from Boston. A day before, Virgin Atlantic will launch a daily flight to New York-JFK from Gatwick. Together the airlines will offer up to four daily flights to three U.S. cities next summer.

‘We’re excited to return to London Gatwick, which is where we launched our first U.K. destination over 40 years ago as well as Manchester, and continue to grow our international network from Boston,’ said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s vice president Transatlantic. ‘Together with Virgin Atlantic, we are strengthening our presence in the northeast U.S. and in London, offering customers a greater choice of destinations combined with the excellent service they can expect from our airlines.’

Beginning March 29, 2020, Delta and Virgin Atlantic will increase capacity between New York-JFK and London Heathrow by 15 percent. Delta will increase its services to three daily services, with Virgin Atlantic operating five. This includes a daytime slot from JFK-Heathrow for the first time, operated by Delta, adding to the daytime Boston-Heathrow and JFK-Heathrow service currently offered by Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow – JFK flights will be the first route to operate the new A350 from September 2019.

Virgin Atlantic is also set to increase flights to important west coast hubs, as it increases services from Heathrow to Seattle from seven to 11 per week, while Los Angeles will also see services rise from 14 to 17 flights per week, with up to three services per day operating in the summer months.

Juha Jarvinen, EVP Commercial at Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘Our announcement today marks another phase of growth, both for our transatlantic network and for our partnership with Delta.

Our increased services to Los Angeles and Seattle further cement our commitment to our west coast flights, which follow the introduction of our exceptionally popular Manchester – Los Angeles route that launched earlier this year.’

Further, Delta will return to Manchester, with a new peak-summer service to Boston effective May 21, 2020 replacing Virgin Atlantic’s current operation. Flights will increase from the current three per week to a daily service, offering an extra 45 percent capacity versus last year.

Manchester will be the eighth Transatlantic destination served nonstop by Delta from Boston, while flights to Atlanta, New York-JFK, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando will continue to be operated by Virgin Atlantic. Together the airlines will offer a schedule of up to six daily flights to Manchester from six U.S. cities next summer.

Norwegian to end transatlantic flights between Ireland and North America in September

Norwegian has said that it is planning to end transatlantic flights between Ireland and North America from September 15, 2019.

Matthew Wood, SVP Long-Haul Commercial at Norwegian, said: ‘As the airline moves from growth to profitability, we have conducted a comprehensive review of our transatlantic operations between Ireland and North America and considering the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, we have concluded that these routes are no longer commercially viable.

‘We take a strict approach to route management and constantly evaluate route performance to ensure we meet customer demand. Compounded by the global grounding of the 737 MAX and the continued uncertainty of its return to service, this has led us to make the difficult decision to discontinue all six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US and Canada from 15 September 2019.’

The move affects three transatlantic routes from Dublin: the four weekly flights to Providence, Rhode Island, daily flights to Newburgh, New York and three weekly flights to Hamilton, Ontario. Travellers holding tickets for travel to Dublin from the three airports after mid-September are eligible for a refund or rebooking on other Norwegian flights.

‘We are assisting customers by ensuring they can still get to their destination by rerouting them onto other Norwegian services. Customers will also be offered a full refund if they no longer wish to travel. We will continue to offer scheduled services from Dublin to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen as normal,’ Wood added.

Norwegian carries almost six million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester Airports to 30 destinations worldwide.

Aer Lingus launches direct Dublin-Minneapolis route

Dublin Airport has announced the introduction of a new direct service to Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota.

The new Dublin-Minneapolis route will be operated by Aer Lingus using a Boeing 757 aircraft. The new route will initially operate six times weekly, increasing to a daily, year-round service from this August.

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘This is Aer Lingus’ 14th transatlantic route from Dublin Airport and its 11th new transatlantic route in the past five years.

‘We have been working closely with Aer Lingus since 2014 to grow its North American business and build a substantial transfer business. The new route offers customers significant onward connections in both directions.’

Aer Lingus’ Chief Executive Stephen Doyle, added: ‘We are delighted to commence Ireland’s first and only direct service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota State. The Minneapolis-St. Paul region holds great promise for Aer Lingus particularly in terms of the connections we can offer to UK and European guests as well as those travelling from North America and onwards to Europe.’

Passengers travelling to Minneapolis-St. Paul on the Aer Lingus’ service can make use of the US Pre Clearance facilities at Dublin Airport, as they will be able to arrive in the US by completing all the necessary immigration and customs checks prior to departure.

This new route means that Dublin Airport now has nine airlines flying 464 flights per week to and from 18 destinations in the US and six destinations in Canada, which equates to an average of 66 flights daily to and from North America.

Dublin Airport has flights to nearly 200 destinations in 43 countries, operated by 53 airlines. So far this year, more than 12.3 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport, a seven percent increase compared to the first five months of last year. An additional 764,000 passengers travelled through Dublin Airport between January and May.

Norwegian announces million seats in summer 2020 schedule from London to USA

Norwegian has announced the release of more than one million seats to the USA, in launching its summer 2020 flight schedule.

Consumers planning next year’s summer holidays can now book nonstop flights from London Gatwick to nine US cities including Boston, New York, Orlando, Tampa, Denver, Miami, Austin, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Tickets, with fares starting from £157 one way, are available to book at www.norwegian.com/uk.

Matthew Wood, SVP Long-Haul Commercial at Norwegian said: ‘Brits love a bargain which is why we are giving consumers plenty of time to start planning next year’s summer holidays with early access to our lowest fares to the USA.

‘We will be releasing more flights in phases that make up the rest of our summer 2020 flight schedule but until then, we recommend that consumers book early to secure the best fares and their preferred seats on board our modern environmentally-friendly aircraft to the USA’s top cities.’

Norwegian is a low-cost European transatlantic carrier. The flights are operated using Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with free Wi-Fi.

Norwegian added that it will release the remainder of its summer 2020 programme in phases over the coming weeks. The airline currently operates more flights to the USA than any other carrier from London Gatwick and is the only carrier serving Brazil and Argentina nonstop from the airport.

Norwegian also announced the launch of a new ‘gate-to-gate’ Wi-Fi which gives passengers access to the airline’s Wi-Fi network as soon as they step on board the aircraft. Customers travelling on any route across Norwegian’s global network will now be able to stay connected for the entire duration of the flight.

TUI UK launches Dreamliner flight service from Doncaster Sheffield to Florida

TUI UK, the UK-based holiday operator, has launched its new TUI Airways Dreamliner flight from Doncaster Sheffield airport to Orlando Sanford in Florida.

The new weekly flight to Sanford, Florida will be operated on Boeing 787.

In addition, TUI also announced a new summer 2020 route to Cancun from Doncaster Sheffield Airport, as well as a further new route to Girona, Spain.

Dawn Wilson, Managing Director of TUI Airways said: ‘We are so excited to be launching flights from Doncaster Sheffield to Florida today as we know how popular Florida is for UK holidaymakers and the importance of flying from a local airport. We’re always looking at ways to provide a seamless, end-to-end experience for our customers, which is why we continue to introduce more and more fantastic destinations from regional airports.

‘We are also delighted to be announcing a brand-new summer 2020 route from Doncaster Sheffield to Girona, a popular Spanish destination which will operate alongside another long-haul favourite Cancun, Mexico. We are confident customers will benefit from our continued growth at Doncaster Sheffield airport.’

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘This is a momentous day for us here at DSA. The team has been excited about this maiden long-haul flight since it was first announced in 2018, increasing TUI seats from DSA by 25% from this April. This and the new route to Girona illustrates huge confidence in DSA and our established reputation for an easy, friendly, relaxed service for our customers. We’re proud to be the home of long-haul flights for the region and look forward to our Cancun service starting next year.’

TUI Airways has three aircraft based at Doncaster Sheffield, and will be flying to 27 destinations this summer.

Delta, Virgin Atlantic to launch London-Gatwick route from Boston and New York-JFK in 2020

Delta Airlines has announced the launch of two new international routes – nonstop services from Boston’s Logan International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to London’s Gatwick Airport.

The new service will begin next summer in partnership with Virgin Atlantic. Full Gatwick schedule details will be announced later this year, the airline said.

In New York, the additional flight adds to Delta and Virgin’s combined eight daily flights to London-Heathrow – and three additional daily flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester – from Delta’s JFK hub.

‘Delta once again shows that we are able to connect Boston and New York to the world through an unmatched global network paired with our award-winning service, industry-leading reliability, and an enhanced customer experience both in the air and on the ground, said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President – Trans-Atlantic. ‘These new services will offer even more ways for our customers on both sides of the Atlantic to experience the products and services that set Delta and its partners apart while traveling to the destinations they value most.’

‘Virgin Atlantic is pleased to announce that we’re expanding at London Gatwick, with the addition of new routes to New York-JFK and Boston operated in partnership with Delta,’ said Juha Jarvinen, Executive Vice President – Commercial for Virgin Atlantic. ‘Together we offer customers an unrivalled choice of U.S. destinations and the leading transatlantic service as well as one of our newest and most luxurious Clubhouses, located in Gatwick’s north terminal. The new routes to New York and Boston will go on sale later this year and will complement the wide range of Caribbean and Florida flights already offered at London-Gatwick.’

Delta has also recently announced plans to enhance its aircraft on all flights between London-Heathrow and both Boston and JFK. Delta flights between Boston and London-Heathrow will now operate on an Airbus A330-200, which already serves Delta’s JFK-Heathrow flights and features additional premium seats.

American Airlines and British Airways offer London- U.S service from £294 return

American Airlines and British Airways are offering services from London to the U.S. from £294 return per person, according to a release by British Airways.

This holiday season, American Airlines and British Airways will fly from London to Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia,.

Together, American Airlines and British Airways will offer up to 70 flights a day from London to the U.S. Customers flying across the Atlantic on board American and British Airways will receive complimentary meals and drinks from the bar, and the latest movies, television programs, music shows and box sets. Tickets are available to book at aa.com/lowfares.

In 2019, the two airlines will launch new routes, with American’s new daily service from Heathrow to Phoenix, Arizona taking off from March 31, 2019. The new flight will be the airline’s first trans-Atlantic flight from Phoenix. Meanwhile, British Airways is set to become the only airline to offer a direct flight from the UK to Pittsburgh. From April 2, 2019, the airline will launch a year-round, four-per-week service to the Pennsylvanian city from Heathrow. From April 4, 2019, the airline will also launch a two-per-week summer service from Heathrow to Charleston, South Carolina and will be the only airline flying direct between Europe and the southern U.S. city.

Further, Iberia and Finnair are also part of the North American Joint Business Agreement on routes between Europe and North America. Together, the four airlines offer their customers more travel choices – up to 134 departures a day linking 34 North American cities to 22 European cities.

British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for customer service improvement, including offering advanced Wi-Fi services and power at every seat, fitting new interiors on the 128 long-haul aircraft and acquiring 72 new aircraft. American is investing more than £3 billion in the customer experience, with benefits such as the installation of Wi-Fi, which is available in every cabin on all American Airlines operated flights from London Heathrow, British Airways noted in its release.

London and Paris launch new campaign to end US vacation procrastination

London and Paris have come together for the first time in tourism history in a bid to end US millennial vacation procrastination, according to a release by London and Partners.

The move comes as a new research found that US millennials are putting off activities compared to any other generation. From getting up in the morning to checking something off their bucket list, American 18-34 year olds are hitting the ‘snooze’ button on their life more than their Generation X and baby boomer counterparts, it said. The most common things that millennials put off include getting up when the alarm goes off as well as calling parents.

More significantly, more millennials are reportedly putting off taking a vacation from work (43 percent) and doing something on their bucket list (55 percent) than any other generation. For 35 years+, 36 percent put off taking a vacation from work and 49 percent put off pursuing things on their bucket list respectively, it said.

Following the findings of the research, London and Paris have come together to encourage people to travel, as only 1 in 10 millennial Americans (eight percent) having visited both cities, while over seven out of 10 (72 percent) have expressed a desire to visit both destinations as part of one vacation. Visit London, Paris Tourist Office and Eurostar are now promoting a campaign which urges US travellers to make #oneepictrip now to discover over 177 Michelin restaurants, 325 museums and galleries, 371 theatres and over 490 nightclubs across the two European capitals, separated by a short rail journey of just over two hours.

Laura Citron, chief executive of Visit London said: ‘Vacation procrastination seems to be a very real problem, with more people than ever putting off taking a break to check experiences off their bucket lists. We want to change that.

‘We know that once people experience London and Paris, they fall in love and want to visit again and again to discover more. Just over 2 hours apart, whether it’s enjoying an Instagrammable afternoon tea at Sketch in central London or hovering over Paris in Ballon Generali; riding down the Champs Elysees in a sidecar with Retro Tour Paris, or zipping up the Thames in a speedboat rib, visitors can flit easily between the two European capitals and uncover all they have to offer.

‘These are destinations that have inspired some of the most prolific minds in the world, from Shakespeare to Monet and that passion and vitality can be felt by all that make the journey.’

Pierre Schapira, Chairman of Paris Tourist Office said: ‘Let’s keep things simple: 2 incredible cities, 2 different cultures, a little more than 2 hours apart by Eurostar. If you’re someone who wants to get the most out of life, why pass up the opportunity to experience London and Paris in one go? With so many experiences on offer, you’ll need a whole lifetime. So, don’t wait! Start checking off those bucket list must-dos now.’

Delta to expand US-London service next summer

The US-based airline Delta Air Lines has announced that it will increase the frequency of its flight service to London next summer from its Detroit hub and Portland, Oregon.

Starting from 13 May 2019, Delta will offer a twice daily service – increased from a daily service – between London-Heathrow and Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport. Effective 09 May 2019, the airline service will operate daily service between London-Heathrow and Portland International Airport, up from four times weekly in summer 2018.

‘We hear from customers all over the U.S. that access to London is very important to them,’ said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President – Trans-Atlantic. ‘And Delta is happy to answer their needs by expanding additional choice through our Detroit hub with a second daily, and from the U.S. West Coast at Portland through daily service next summer.’

Delta Air Lines, a key player in the London-U.S. travel market, resumed the only nonstop services from Portland, Oregon, along with Salt Lake City, to London Heathrow in summer 2018. Earlier this year, Delta celebrated 10 years of service at London-Heathrow, marking growth from three daily flights to two US cities in 2008 to nine daily flights to seven cities presently.

The daily flight to Portland will depart Heathrow at 1230, arriving in the US city at 1513, and on return leave Portland at 1808, arriving London at 1205 the following day. The new second daily Detroit service will depart Heathrow at 1350, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1722; and on return will leave Detroit at 2233, arriving back into London at 1110 the following day. The first Detroit service will depart London Heathrow at 1035, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1358; and on return will leave Detroit at 1816, arriving back into London at 0640 the following day.

The expanded services to Detroit and Portland will be operated on a 210-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with 35 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin, 32 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 143 seats in economy.

United Airlines commences direct service between Edinburgh and Washington D.C

United Airlines has launched a direct service between the capital cities of Scotland and the United States of America for the first time, following the start of a new route between Edinburgh and Washington D.C.

The new daily service from Edinburgh to Washington Dulles will operate on a Boeing 757-200 and will depart Edinburgh at 1230, landing at 1530 local time. It will operate until October 4, 2018.

The service connects Edinburgh to 63 North American destinations via United’s Washington Dulles Airport hub, such as Orlando, Las Vegas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa and Denver. United Airlines presently operates a year-round flight to New York Newark and a summer service to Chicago.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘This fantastic addition to Edinburgh Airport will link our two capital cities for the first time and strengthen the already strong links between Scotland and America.

‘We know that Edinburgh and Scotland are a huge draw for inbound tourists and we look forward to welcoming and showing them the fantastic sights and history that we have, and the allure of a dynamic city like Washington D.C and all of its landmarks will prove to be a popular with those passengers looking to experience the best of America. Business on both sides of the Atlantic will also benefit from increased access.

‘We fly to more than 150 destinations worldwide and we’re always looking to establish new direct links to destinations across the globe and offer greater choice to the 13.4 million people who travel through Scotland’s busiest airport ever year.’

Bob Schumacher, United Managing Director Sales United Kingdom and Ireland, said: ‘We are excited to inaugurate our nonstop seasonal service between Edinburgh and our Washington, D.C. hub, connecting the two capital cities for the very first time.

‘Our new flight strengthens our international route network and provides our customers from Scotland with greater travel choice, with almost 70 nonstop connections from Washington, D.C. to other destinations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.’