Delta and American Compete on London-Philadelphia Route

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This week American Airlines announced a second daily non stop flight between PHL and LHR staring on March 29, 2015, while Delta Airlines announced new daily service between PHL and LHR starting on April 8, 2015.Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 3.27.27 PMThe American Airlines flight will be a daily day-time flight operated with a US Airways Boeing 757-200 with the following schedule: (all times local)

Departs PHL at 9:55 a.m.
Arrives at LHR at 10:10 p.m.

Departs LHR at 8:20 a.m.
Arrives at PHL at 11:35 a.m.

According to the American Airlines press release, “American’s second PHL-LHR flight will provide a convenient daytime departure option for customers connecting from airports along the East Coast, further cementing American and British Airways as the top choice for travel from the U.S. to London.”

Meanwhile, the new Delta Airlines flight will be in the evening, also on a Boeing 757-200, with the following schedule: (all times local)

Departs PHL at 7:04 p.m.
Arrives at LHR at 7:30 a.m. (+1 day)

Departs LHR at 12:30 p.m.
Arrives at PHL at 4:00 p.m.

According to the Delta Air Lines “The service to Philadelphia, which is already among the partnership’s top 15 onward destinations, is another step by Delta and Virgin Atlantic to strengthen their network between the U.K. and U.S.. Passenger choice was enhanced last month when Delta took over the operation of one of Virgin Atlantic’s two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights on the same day Virgin Atlantic started operating one of Delta’s three flights between Heathrow and its hometown airport in Atlanta. The airlines also started nonstop service from Heathrow to Seattle in March this year.”

Bottom Line:

While both American Airlines and Delta Airlines new service to London gives customers greater access to London, and connections thru London, both carriers have only committed to operating Boeing 757-200s on the route, so while it’s opening up new routes, it’s not flooding them with tons of seats. Time will tell if both airlines can sustain this route.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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  1. The daytime departure will really appeal to some people. Us airways has already discontinued their PHL to EDI route–maybe because aa took up jfk to edi?

    Delta has a feeder flight from PHL to JFK but AA does not offer a PHL to JFK flight… The philadelphia market is complex but a great spot for expansion.

  2. Disappointing that AA isn’t using a plane with reasonable business class product. I like the early morning departure from LHR though.

  3. This is very, very appealing to me as I’m about to switch from Delta to American Airlines. But more importantly, the daytime flight appeals to me for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t think it’s worth paying for business-class (let alone first-class) on a seven-hour or so overnight flight, if you intend on sleeping. For a daytime flight, I wouldn’t mind a good economy or premium economy seat because I won’t be sleeping. All that would matter to be is a comfortable seat, some legroom, decent food, a power adaptor and an internet connection. This is huge, in my opinion.

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