Delta Air Lines got its Christmas gift early this year with both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the European Commission giving its nod to operate new daily, year-round flights between the London's Heathrow and Boston and Miami international airports. Delta will start operating new flights from March 27, 2011.
Delta Air Lines, which is in a transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia, will operate the new flights within the scope of its joint venture. With the move, the number of transatlantic routes operated by the member airlines from Boston rises to four and the figure goes up to five for routes offered from Miami.
Glen Hauenstein, Delta's executive vice president for Network Planning, Revenue Management and Marketing, was quite pleased with the news and expressed his appreciation for the authorities in the company’s press release, "Delta appreciates the efforts of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the European Commission to expand competition between the U.S. and Heathrow by making slots available for new entrants on these routes."
In the early part of the year 2010, Delta applied for the approval to operate flights to Miami and Boston from London; and on 10th Nov 2010, Delta got its wish. The fact that Delta’s global alliance – SkyTeam – holds the smallest percentage of slots at Heathrow seems to have worked for the company. Delta Air Lines started operations in Heathrow following the conclusion of an Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and the E.U in 2008. Currently, the carrier has seven daily round-trip flights in the Heathrow market.
News Source: Early Christmas for Delta as it Expands Operations to Heathrow