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Published on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Virgin and Delta unveil summer 2020 schedules

Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines have unveiled new schedules for summer 2020 including new joint services at Gatwick and additional capacity at Heathrow.

Delta will also return to Manchester, with a new peak-summer service to Boston from May 21 2020, taking over Virgin's current operation. It last flew from Manchester in 2017 with a service to New York. 

Flights from Manchester to Atlanta, New York-JFK, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando will continue to be operated by Virgin Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Delta's return to Gatwick will mark the first time both airlines have served the London airport together since their partnership began in 2014.

Delta will fly nonstop between Gatwick and Boston from May 22 2020.

The day before, Virgin will launch a daily flight to New York-JFK from Gatwick.

"We're excited to return to London Gatwick, which is where we launched our first U.K. destination over 40 years ago as well as Manchester, and continue to grow our international network from Boston," said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta's vice president transatlantic.

From March 29 2020, Delta and Virgin will increase capacity between New York-JFK and London Heathrow by 15%.

Delta will increase its services to three daily frequencies, with Virgin operating five.

This includes a daytime slot from JFK-Heathrow for the first time, operated by Delta, alongside the daytime Boston-Heathrow and JFK-Heathrow service currently offered by Virgin.

Heathrow-JFK will be the first route to enjoy Virgin's new A350 from September 2019.

Starting this winter, all of Delta's Heathrow-JFK and Boston flights will operate on its newly-retrofitted Boeing 767-400 aircraft, marking the first time Delta will bring its premium economy cabin to the UK.

Virgin Atlantic is also set to increase flights to key west coast hubs, as it increases frequencies from Heathrow to Seattle from seven to 11 per week, representing a 57% growth in seat capacity since Delta originally launched the route in 2014.

Los Angeles will also see services rise from 14 to 17 flights per week, with up to three services per day operating in the busy summer months.

LA will also be the second Virgin Atlantic destination to receive the airline's new A350, starting next year.

Juha Jarvinen, EVP commercial at Virgin Atlantic, said: "Our announcement today marks another phase of growth, both for our transatlantic network and for our partnership with Delta.

"Our increased services to Los Angeles and Seattle further cement our commitment to our west coast flights, which follow the introduction of our exceptionally popular Manchester-Los Angeles route that launched earlier this year."

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