Crossing the Pond: Assessing British Airways’ Competition in First and Business between London and New York
American, Delta, United, and Virgin Offer Different Ways to Sleep and Work
New York-London is one of the busiest markets for business travel. The route links two of the world’s most important financial hubs and it is also the busiest intercontinental route in the world. In 2012, over 3.6 million passengers flew from London Heathrow to New York.
The competitive nature of the route has made it necessary for airlines to continually practice one-upmanship, and this has resulted in the introduction of many improvements in service as well as the introduction of new amenities.
While New York-London service goes back to the earlier days of Pan Am transatlantic clippers, the route took off with the introduction of the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8 at the dawn of the jet age.
Five airlines currently compete for customers on this route, representing all three major airline alliances. Four of the airlines have entered into two joint ventures to compete, while United Airlines goes it alone.
On a typical evening, these five carriers will operate over 30 flights linking the two cities, spanning two airports in New York, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International, and two airports in London, Heathrow and London City.
In addition to the five aforementioned airlines, Kuwait offers one flight a day from London to New York as a continuation of its flight from Kuwait City to London and the airline’s sole North American service.
It’s worth noting that, during the past decade, three new airlines attempted to offer an all-business-class service from New York to London and failed. Two carriers, Eos and Maxjet, operated out of London Stansted, while Silverjet operated from London Luton.
Here’s an overview of what the major carriers offer on the New York-London route, focusing on reviews of behemoth BA’s competition.