Delta To Relaunch A Direct Connection Between Seattle & London

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Delta Air Lines is relaunching a service between Seattle and London Heathrow. The airline began flying the route in early 2014 before dropping it three years later as competition on the route hotted up. Now, the Atlanta-based airline is having another go, laying on daily Boeing 767-400 flights from April 1, 2021.

Delta Air Lines will relaunch flights between Seattle and London in April 2021. Photo: Delta Air Lines

The relaunched flights were first announced back in early March before the full consequences of COVID-19 became clear to the airline industry.

Citing customer demand for the service, a Delta Air Lines executive painted a sunny picture of the airline’s “biggest ever summer” in Seattle.

Delta sticking to its plans and launching Seattle – London flights in April 2021

Summer came and went, and it wasn’t Delta’s best ever, not in Seattle, not anywhere. But Delta got in early announcing the London flights. They weren’t due to begin until 2021. So far, Delta is sticking to its guns, quietly putting their nonstop Seattle – London flights on sale.

Outbound, DL20 will push back from Seattle at 18:50, landing at London Heathrow at 12:30 the following day. Flying time is nine hours and 40 minutes.

The return run to Seattle departs London at 14:00. Flying time on DL21 is ten and a half hours, touching down in Seattle at 16:30 on the same day.

Delta’s refreshed Boeing 767-400s will operate the flights. These planes have four distinct cabin zones, including the main economy zone, the comfort plus zone, the premium select zone, and the business class zone. It should be noted that Delta offers a slightly irregular business class product on their 767-400s. It’s a nice Business One seat in a rather unusual staggered seat arrangement.

Delta’s Business One seats on the Boeing 767-400s. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta’s decision to go ahead with its flights between Seattle and London is interesting. Perhaps they are punting on travel restrictions easing by then and more people traveling. As it is, there’s significant competition on the route, including from Delta’s joint venture partner, Virgin Atlantic. Many would argue that the Virgin Atlantic product is significantly superior to Delta’s, especially up the plane’s front. Virgin Atlantic is also much less expensive.

Delta’s vintage 767s have a distinct edge over their competitors

Where Delta has the edge over Virgin Atlantic is in the main cabin. Virgin Atlantic uses Boeing 787-9 aircraft on the Seattle – London run. Nobody much is a fan of the squeezy 3-3-3 economy class configuration in a Virgin Atlantic 787 Dreamliner. In contrast, Delta’s 767-400s, although verging on vintage, features a much more crowd-pleasing refurbished 2-3-2 configuration in economy class. Throughout Delta’s 767-400 economy class cabin, there is only one of the dreaded middle seats per row. On Virgin Atlantic, there are three middle seats per row.

Delta’s economy class product on its Boeing 767-400s. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Also doing battle on the route is American Airlines and their oneworld buddy British Airways. American Airlines operates a Boeing 777-200 on the sector. This has a superior front of plane product to Delta’s 767-400 but a less appealing 3-3-3 layout in the main cabin. It’s the same deal for British Airways. They also use a Boeing 777-200 on the route. British Airways have various cabin configurations across their 777-200s, but they all share the 3-3-3 layout in the main cabin.

Come April, there will be a fair bit of airline traffic on the run between Seattle and London. How that will play out will be anyone’s guess. Presumably, all the airlines, Delta included, are hoping business will have picked up by then. If it doesn’t, passengers can reasonably expect some “adjusted” scheduled and extremely roomy planes, even if they are stuck down the back.

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