Delta and Virgin Atlantic are showing that their anti-trust immune joint venture across the Atlantic is yielding new routes that previously may not have been viable. The two airlines announced that they will use valuable London Heathrow slots for Salt Lake City-London flights starting May 1, 2016. Daily year-round flights from New York-JFK to Edinburgh will begin May 26.
Salt Lake service will be seasonal and is Delta’s latest attempt to fly long-haul international service from its SLC hub. In 2009 Delta started Salt Lake-Tokyo Narita service but the flights were suspended due to lack of demand and the prevalence of the H1N1 virus. The only trans-Atlantic flight in Salt Lake is Delta’s daily nonstop to Paris Charles De Gaulle, which has operated for seven years.
New flights to and from Edinburgh follow Virgin’s trans-Atlantic expansion from Scotland last year with new flights from Glasgow to Orlando. American Airlines operates the JFK-Edinburgh route as well, part of its code share and alliance with British Airways.
"For the second summer in a row, Delta will be launching new routes that give customers more options when flying between the United States and the U.K.," said Nat Pieper, Delta's Senior Vice President – Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Delta did not say which aircraft type it would be offering on the routes.