Delta, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, announced plans to serve London Gatwick from New York and Boston. Is this really about pursuing two lucrative new routes or is it about discouraging JetBlue from the same routes?
Like One Mile at a Time, I’m quite suspicious of Delta’s motives. The service will start in 2020, making the announcement unusually premature. Furthermore, no specifics have been announced…no start date, no schedule, nothing.
It is just too much of a coincidence that these new routes announcements come days before JetBlue is expected to announce it will begin service to London. Thus, It is likely that this announcement is intended to intimidate JetBlue.
Not that it will stop JetBlue…Quite the contrary, it will probably embolden it.
In Delta’s press release about the news, Delta’s Vice President — Trans-Atlantic, Roberto Ioriatti, states:
Delta once again shows that we are able to connect Boston and New York to the world through an unmatched global network paired with our award-winning service, industry-leading reliability, and an enhanced customer experience both in the air and on the ground. These new services will offer even more ways for our customers on both sides of the Atlantic to experience the products and services that set Delta and its partners apart while traveling to the destinations they value most.
Let’s read between the lines. “Unmatched global network” is the biggest difference between JetBlue and Delta. You can bet on Delta using this difference to make the case it offers the better alternative to London.
Even if Delta starts offering reasonable one-way fares in business class, something it will surely resist, people are still going to flock to JetBlue. But Delta will likely have a more private business class seat for most premium passengers on the 767-400 and can certainly force JetBlue to compete more aggressively than JetBlue planned in all cabins. That’s good news for consumers, especially traveling in economy class.
And for those who don’t like London Gatwick, I think it’s a perfectly fine airport and in some cases a better alternative to Heathrow. Using Southern or the Gatwick Express between the airport and Central London (Victoria station) makes it an easy airport to reach.
> Read More: Gatwick Express From Central London To LGW