Delta and Virgin Atlantic Deal Gets DOT Nod
In a final ruling, the US Department of Transportation has granted Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways anti-trust immunity (ATI) on routes between the UK and the US. The move was expected after the DOT gave preliminary clearance to the Virgin-Delta joint venture in September.
The approval allows Delta and Virgin Atlantic to coordinate their schedules between NewYork JFK airport and London Heathrow, with operations expected to start March 30, 2014. The Transportation Department said in its filing that it had concluded that the alliance would “ultimately create a strong, competitive counter weight” to another trans-Atlantic joint venture that includes American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia, providing benefits to consumers in the North America-United Kingdom market.
The new schedule will feature seven daily nonstop services including departures from NewYork-JFK to London Heathrow every 30 minutes during the early evening peak, and then hourly until 10:30 PM. The return from London Heathrow to New York-JFK is a spread of seven daily flights including two late afternoon and early evening departures. These services will be complemented by two daily nonstop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow.
Delta has also completed the purchase of a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic from previous shareholder Singapore Airlines.
For more information visit delta.com.