Topic of the Week: Delta and Virgin Atlantic Swap Routes

Delta, Virgin Atlantic

My post about 747s at LAX from earlier this week is now out-of-date. It looks like the airport will be down to only 4 operators when Delta deploys a 767 to replace the Virgin Atlantic 747 service. At the same time, Virgin Atlantic will start operating one of Delta’s flights from Atlanta. The reason for doing this seems obvious – they’re trying to match capacity to demand, and with a joint venture, it becomes possible to do this. But do you as a passenger like it?

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14 comments on “Topic of the Week: Delta and Virgin Atlantic Swap Routes

  1. As an Atlanta resident, yes. Delta’s international service has much improved over the past couple of years. However, it still hasn’t quite met the quality of the Virgin product. It will be a treat to finally have VA service to ATL.

  2. All airlines should code share with each other. Then there would be real seemless travel. One could fly to Atlanta or what ever hub on any carrier and change to any carrier to Europe or whatever destination on the same ticket for the same price. They use to do it. The term was interline.

    1. Most airlines do interline with each other… but buying a ticket that has that is much rarer now than it used to be..

      Codesharing would require a whole bunch of IT work, and would be a mess..

      1. It would also be a disaster for consumers too because there would be no need to compete, and we would go from multiple choices to one on every route. The Amtrakization of the air… wooooooo

  3. Hollywood celebs won’t like a DL 767 and will have to settle for the VS A340 on the LAX-LHR run, or will that aircraft type be changing also? Seems to me DL service and VS service are very different so those on codeshare flights thinking they will be on VS out of any gateway city will not be pleased to find themselves on a DL operated aircraft.

  4. What fools.Those Delta Execs who didn’t consider what Hollywood celebs would think about this decision better start looking for a new job.

  5. I wish it could come earlier than October… My wife is flying to the UK on Delta one way, Delta operated by Virgin return. She credits her miles to Alaska, so the Virgin segment doesn’t count. Flying LHR–LAX nonstop is more important to her than getting the miles, but if there had been a Delta-operated nonstop she could have had both.

  6. The celebs who have to fly to London commercially will take whatever the studio pays for.

    “Running an airline is like having a baby: fun to conceive, but hell to deliver.”

    1. Yeah. That’s like the old comment from Warren Buffett: The easiest way to become a millionaire is to start with a billion dollars and buy an airline.

    2. Mr. Woolman:

      Glad to see you back with us! I thought you were in the terminal in the sky, so to speak.

      By the way, Richard gets to sit at your desk every day…


  7. Yes, I can see the simple capacity logic, don’t think this is driving it. As pointed out in other posts, the product is very different, and appeals to different market sectors. By offering both DL and VS in these markets (and others to come, if this works) they can appeal to a broader spectrum than with just one carrier, and hope to increase the JVs market share over all. I think this is a smart move, aiming to make 1 + 1 = 3. If it was just about capacity, they definitely would have had the ability in either DL or VS to change the aircraft flying the routes without changing the carrier, or incurring the extra costs of
    adding a carrier to a route. i think someone at DL has done the math and thinks it’ll work.let’s see if they’re right

  8. I see this as the two airlines expanding their footprint in the US.

    DL gets a prestigious LHR-LAX service and VS gets to tap into their ATL hub.

    Fans of each airline have more places to fly.

    I think each airline would have launched routes in their own right had slots at LHR not become so rare.

  9. As an LA fan of Virgin, I’m not enthusiastic about Delta operating the later flight each way. They are replacing the Virgin A340-600 with Delta’s B767-300, so they’re taking a lot of capacity OUT of the route. BA’s late flight is the A380 (they added capacity). I think BA/AA wins with this change and now provides a better service.

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