US carrier Delta is bringing its Air+Rail programme to the UK through a partnership with rail operator TransPennine Express.
The agreement will allow Delta customers to add train travel via Manchester airport to their flight booking to connect with services operated by Delta’s joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic from Manchester to Atlanta, New York and Orlando. Those travelling in Virgin's Upper Class cabin will receive first class rail tickets.
Destinations within TransPennine Express’ network include the major Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as Lancaster, Preston, Newcastle, Sheffield and York in northern England.
Alain Bellemare, Delta’s president – international, said: “Building more Air+Rail connections into our schedule makes travel easier for customers on both sides of the Atlantic as we expand our UK footprint to many cities not currently served by flights operated by Delta or our European partners.”
Air+Rail is available through the GDSs, as well as the airline’s direct channels, but must be booked through Delta rather than Virgin Atlantic.
Darren Higgins, commercial director for TransPennine Express, said the deal with Delta would “provide a valuable link” between cities in northern England and Scotland, and the US.
“The combined air and rail ticket will make it easier and more convenient for customers, who will be able to organise their trip in a single booking,” he added.