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Competition heating up on Seattle-London airline route

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on April 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm with No Comments »
April 10, 2013 4:15 pm

British Airways’ reign as the sole provider of non-stop service from Sea-Tac Airport to London may soon end.

Delta Airlines in a recent news release said it plans to begin Seattle-London service if it wins anti-trust immunity to coordinate its schedules trans-Atlantic schedules with Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Delta has purchased 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic from Singapore Airlines, and it plans to share flights with that British carrier and to coordinate schedules to offer a larger choice flights at different times and from different airports.

Delta in recent years has built Seattle into a hub for international service with flights to Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports, to Osaka, Beijing and Shanghai and to Amsterdam and Paris.  The London service would complement the other European services.

British isn’t standing idle to the threat that Delta may steal some of its business.  Beginning on Oct. 27, the British carrier plans to add a second London flight from Seattle to its schedule.  That flight will initially operate three days a week.

It will leave earlier in the afternoon, 2:20 p.m., than its existing daily flight to London, which leaves Sea-Tac at 6:10 p.m.

That new flight will arrive at London’s Heathrow Airport at 7:30 a.m. the next day.  The existing flight arrives in London at 11:20 a.m. the next day.

Over the years, other American carriers including PanAm and Northwest have provided service to London from Seattle.

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