Aviation News

December 11, 2012

Delta Gains Access to Virgin’s Precious Slots

More articles by »
Written by: admin
Tags: , , , ,
Lady Penelope rides the back of a Virgin Atlantic 747-400 (G-VFAB). (Photo by Ronnie McDonald via Flickr, CC-BY)

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways will join forces to cross the Atlantic.

The pair will form a joint venture to take on the juggernaut formed by American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia when they formed a similar transatlantic pact in 2010. The cornerstone of the deal will be Delta’s purchase of a 49 percent stake of Virgin Atlantic for $360 million, a position currently held by Singapore Airlines. Delta and Virgin will evenly split all costs and revenues.

“Our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic will strengthen both airlines and provide a more effective competitor between North America and the U.K., particularly on the New York-London route, which is the largest airline route between the U.S. and Europe,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson in a statement.

In other words, Delta gains access to Virgin’s precious slots at London Heathrow Airport. While Delta is the largest US carrier, the American/British Airways tie-up dominates the New York-London route.

The airlines expect approval for the deal by the end of 2013.

For flyers, this will have a few benefits:

  • The combined Delta/Virgin operation will fly 31 peak-day round-trips between the US and UK, with 9 of those linking New York (JFK and EWR) with London Heathrow
  • Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between the Delta SkyMiles and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club programs
  • Reciprocal access to Delta Sky Clubs and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses

Following several days of industry speculation on the possibility of such a deal, British Airways boss Willie Walsh suggested that Delta was only interested in Virgin’s Heathrow access and would likely eliminate the Virgin Atlantic brand. Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson responded with a £1 million bet that Virgin would live on, to which Walsh said he would rather bet Branson a knee to the groin.

Moments after the deal was announced, Branson accepted Walsh’s proposal, tweeting, “Happy to accept Willie Walsh’s bet: loser to receive a knee in the groin – at winning airline’s HQ.”

We’ll hear more details at a press conference in New York this morning.

Developing…



About the Author

admin





 
 

 

CLOSED: Winter Storm Stella Takes Aim at Northeastern US and Eastern Canada

Winter Storm Stella is taking aim at the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada early this week. We'll have your latest updates on the storm and its impact on air travel here.
by NYCAviation Staff
0

 
 

Or How About We Cut Delta Some Slack?

Well, that power outage turned into a mess. But as much as the "big bad airlines" can disrupt our plans, are we going too hard on Delta?
by Phil Derner Jr.
1

 

 

TRACK IT LIVE: Solar Impulse 2 Attempts Transatlantic Flight to Seville.

Solar Impulse 2 is on its way to Seville, Spain! Track the flight here during its 4 day flight.
by Ben Granucci
0

 
 

PHOTO TOUR: Qatar Airways A380 Visits Atlanta

Step onboard as we take a tour of Qatar Airways A380 during a recent visit to Atlanta.
by Ben Granucci
0

 
 

RFID Bag Tracking…Why?

Contributor Andrew Poure warns of the pitfalls that RFID-enabled checked bag tags will bring and why he thinks it won't work.
by Andrew Poure
 

 




  • ArtLab

    …Access to Virgin’s Precious Slots. #PornSpam