DOT Approves Delta-Virgin Atlantic Alliance

By Paul Riegler on 23 September 2013
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A Virgin Atlantic aircraft on a runway at JFK

A Virgin Atlantic aircraft on a runway at JFK

The U.S. Department of Transportation green-lighted the Delta Air Lines-Virgin Atlantic Airways joint venture on Monday.

The decision gives antitrust immunity to both airlines on routes between North America and the United Kingdom.

In August, the DOT said that it had concluded that the planned alliance between the two carriers would boost competition in the North American-United Kingdom transatlantic market and provide benefits to consumers.

The two airlines announced a harmonized schedule for their New York-London transatlantic flights, with a total of nine daily nonstops.  Starting March 30, 2014, seven flights will depart on the New York (JFK)-London Heathrow route, including departures every 30 minutes in the early evening.  In addition, there will be two nonstop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow.

Flights will depart JFK at 6:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 10:30 p.m., and  arrive at the next day at London Heathrow at 7:40 p.m., 6:50 a.m., 7:20 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 9:25 a.m. and 10:40 a.m.except for the daytime flight, which departs at 7:40 a.m. and arrives at 7:40 p.m. respectively.

Flights from London Heathrow will depart at 9:05 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:35 p.m., and 8:05 p.m., and arrive at 11:50 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:25 p.m.,4:40 p.m., 7:05 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.

Delta recently acquired a 49% stake in Virgin.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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