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Delta and Virgin Atlantic Partner Up and Add More Flights

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Delta Air Lines, in a partnership with Virgin Atlantic, is launching two new routes across the pond—a nonstop flight between Salt Lake City and London, and another from New York to Edinburgh. The new routes will start in May 2016.

Thanks to the Delta-Virgin agreement, the two airlines have coordinated routing and scheduling, combining their networks. Customers are also be able to earn and redeem miles with either airline’s frequent flyer program: Skymiles or Flying Club.

The Skinny on the Routes

London-bound flights will take off at 8:10 p.m. from Salt Lake City International Airport and arrive at Heathrow at 1:10 p.m. Salt Lake City-bound flights leave Heathrow at 2:15 p.m. and touch down at 6:07 p.m. This will be the only nonstop service to London from the Mountain West.

Salt Lake City is also one of Delta’s hubs, so travelers will be able to connect to 50 additional destinations in the U.S. and Canada.

For those on the East Coast, Delta will leave JFK at 8:15 p.m. and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland, at 8:40 a.m. That will give you plenty of time to take in the city’s old-world charm and check out Edinburgh Castle, where they keep the crown jewels. Flights headed to New York will leave Edinburgh at 10:30 a.m. and land at 1:01 p.m.

Kennedy Airport is another major hub for Delta, so passengers arriving there can catch flights to 60 destinations served by the airline.

Delta and Virgin: An Unexpected Partnership

Delta’s addition of more routes between the U.S. and the U.K. comes as no surprise. This summer, Delta launched new routes to Manchester from both JFK and Newark. And with the airline’s partnership with Virgin Atlantic, both carriers now have a bigger reach, giving travelers more options for connecting flights in the U.S. and Europe.

Virgin Atlantic and Delta’s new partnership offers passengers more options
Virgin Atlantic and Delta’s new partnership offers passengers more options

This partnership is only possible thanks to a decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation that gives the two airlines antitrust immunity for routes between the U.K. and North America. Up until that ruling, which came down in December 2013, British Airways and its partners controlled the New York-London travel market.

The ruling made it possible for Delta and Virgin Atlantic to combine networks and add new routes to their joint roster.

O2 Lounge: Delta- and Virgin-Style

The airlines’ new partnership also resulted in the launch of the NY-LON lounge bar, located in the O2 district of London, a trending entertainment neighborhood in Greenwich. Of course, the lounge has an aviation theme, and, in keeping with this, it is designed around a bar reminiscent of an aircraft engine.

Virgin and Delta’s NY-LON club in London
Virgin and Delta’s NY-LON club in London

While you can certainly grab a beer at the lounge from midday to midnight, you can also chow down on light bites and sip cocktails, all inspired by the airlines’ hubs in London and New York. The club offers some classic fare, such as Brooklyn crab salad and Billingsgate fish pie, along with custom drinks, such as the London Vesper and the Stateside.

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