Delta and Vir­gin At­lantic Deal Gets DOT Nod

Business Traveler (USA) - - UPFRONT -

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.

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