BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
29 October 2020, 1030 - 1630 CET
The 3rd annual Strategic Meetings Summit Europe is
ExCeL London - 22-23 June 2021
Delta wants to start a shuttle service between New York's JFK Terminal 4 and Heathrow's Terminal 3, the airline's CEO has revealed.
Delta boss Richard Anderson said: "Once we have gained the requisite approvals from the EU, Britain and the US our intention is to operate a joint Delta / Virgin shuttle from Terminal 4 into London Heathrow T3."
"[At the JFK end] that means we can use both lounges - the new SkyClub and the Clubhouse. If you look at the passenger survey data, the number one rated business product in the US to Europe market is Virgin Atlantic and number two is Delta, so they will join together to offer the very best service to the business traveller between JFK and Heathrow."
Under the proposed joint venture, Delta and Virgin Atlantic would co-ordinate schedules, network planning, pricing and sales between North America and the UK. The operation would be similar to that already run by British Airways and American Airlines across the Atlantic.
The two carriers would operate a total of 31 daily round trip flights between the UK and North America, 23 of which would operate at Heathrow. The airlines also plan to implement codesharing, reciprocal frequent flier benefits and shared lounge access.
The carriers are also seeking anti-trust immunity for five-way coordination on UK-US traffic flows so that Delta can continue to effectively operate its existing joint venture with European airlines Air France, KLM and Alitalia, alongside this proposed agreement with Virgin.
Anderson said that he envisaged that if regulator approval came through, it would do so in the "third quarter of this year". Delta is also buying a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic which was previously owned by Singapore Airlines.
Meanwhile Delta is due to open its new Terminal 4 at New York’s JFK airport today (May 24).
"T4 is a major step forward for Delta. We will have 18 international wide-bodied gates and as the largest international carrier at JFK this is a watershed event for Delta," said Anderson.
The newly extended Terminal 4 represents a $1.4 billion investment by the airline and will officially open with the first long-haul flight to Tokyo Narita. The expansion of concourse B adds nine gates, a refurbishment of seven gates, a new 24,000 ft lounge above the gates as well as the new Sky Deck.
Delta regards the new T4 as its "most important global gateway, with service to 100 cities worldwide" - pointing out that this is more than any other carrier.
Anderson also mentioned that there would be a "Phase 2" which would add "another 11 additional gates at the airport".
He said: "Phase 1 has around 100 check-in and kiosk capabilities throughout the facility, and can handle over 3,000 international passengers each hour, with a Sky Club with a deck which looks out over JFK."