One of the conditions handed down by the European and US authorities for the approval of the American Airlines – British Airways anti-trust immunity application was the ceding of slots for service between London and certain US airports. Delta has decided to take advantage of this opportunity. They have applied to the appropriate authorities to serve both Boston and Miami from London’s Heathrow airport. Based on the limited number of slots at Heathrow currently held by the SkyTeam alliance, it appears likely that the application will be approved. If awarded the new service Delta would operate 10 daily frequencies from Heathrow to 6 different US gateways:
- New York JFK: 3x daily
- Boston: 2x daily
- Miami: 1x daily
- Minneapolis: 1x daily
- Atlanta: 11x weekly
- Detroit: 10x weekly
In addition to the new London service, Delta is also looking to beef up its presence in the Raleigh Durham market. Noting a significant increase in traffic from RDU this year, the carrier is adding 14 daily frequencies, increasing service by more than 25%. Included in these additions is service to three cities not currently served by Delta from RDU of which two have never seen Delta service from RDU. Additionally, Delta has recently opened a SkyClub lounge in RDU, demonstrating their commitment to the market.
Of course, it is entirely possible that part of the traffic increase is based on the fact that Delta has been running a rather significant promotion for flights from RDU and that when the promo ends the volume will decrease as well. Then again, maybe the fact that the region is pretty stable is really what is driving the expansion. Delta will be competing against Southwest on three of the routes. A number of the new frequencies are on the somewhat miserable CRJ-100 aircraft so that might not be so great either, but who knows.
- US DoT approves anti-trust deal for American, British Airways, Iberia
- British Airways – Iberia merger and ATI approved by EU
- The Skies are Open!