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US carrier Delta Air Lines is to launch a second daily summer flight between New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport and Scotland from May 2017 with a new service linking the Big Apple to Glasgow. The announcement follows just weeks after the carrier resurrected flights between New York and Edinburgh after an almost seven year absence.
The new flight will commence from May 26, 2017 and will be the only non-stop service between New York and Glasgow, although United Airlines serves the greater New York area with its long-standing flights into Newark Liberty International Airport. The Delta service will be flown using a 164-seat Boeing 757-200ER and will be operated in conjunction with its Transatlantic joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic Airways, adding to the UK carrier’s seasonal service from Glasgow to Orlando.
“As a core component of our global strategy, we are eager to build our network across the UK and this new flight shows our commitment to Scotland,” said Dwight James, senior vice president transatlantic, Delta Air Lines.
The flight will not only support direct demand to New York from western areas of Scotland the Central Belt and the extreme northwest of England, but also provide upwards of 60 same-day onward connections throughout the United States, including the popular cities of Los Angeles, Orlando and San Francisco.
“We really can not underestimate the significance of this announcement; especially since it comes just as Glasgow Airport is about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its official opening,” said Amanda McMillan, chief executive of AGS Airports and managing director of Glasgow Airport.
“Routes such as this enable Scotland to maintain and increase its global competitiveness. Not only will it play a major role in supporting our growing tourism industry, it will provide Scottish businesses with yet another direct link to what is the world’s largest economy,” she added.
The United States is the number one inbound tourism market to Scotland, with nearly half a million visitors in 2014 – an increase of 100,000 compared to the previous year, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. Scottish Government data also reports that overall tourism expenditure in the country stood around £9.7 billion in 2014.
“The USA is Glasgow’s largest international market with 100,000 American visitors currently travelling to the city each year, contributing £38 million to the local economy. Delta's new service to Glasgow Airport will bring a mix of leisure and business visitors to the city, as well as serving to increase our worldwide connectivity,” said Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
Alongside the Virgin Atlantic seasonal service to Orlando, Glasgow is also currently linked to Philadelphia by a new American Airlines service from this summer as well as seasonal leisure offerings from Thomas Cook to Las Vegas and Orlando and Thomson Airways to Orlando Sanford. The New York market has been served on a scheduled basis by Continental Airlines and more recently United Airlines for many years via flights to Newark Liberty International Airport, while Jet2.com is now in its fifth year of offering special Christmas shopping charters on the same route.