Delta Challenging AA: Planning Heathrow Service from Boston and Miami

In a move showcasing Delta's emphasis on international expansion, the airline has announced plans to begin twice daily service from Boston to London Heathrow and daily service from Miami to Heathrow. 

With the recent approval of a joint venture between British Airways and American Airlines, slots have opened up at busy LHR. Although Delta has not yet been given the green light by regulators to begin operating these flights, it is unlikely that their application will be denied. 

Delta will also be adding a second daily flight to Heathrow from Detroit and Atlanta.

While I understand DL's motives for ratcheting up the competition with AA and increasing (dramatically) the number of seats from the U.S. to London, I question whether this is a smart strategy. With heavy competition already prevalent on many Heathrow routes, I anticipate Delta's added capacity will drive prices down in a similar fashion to what happened when Virgin and Delta began flying from Los Angeles to Sydney last year. Unless passenger demand rebounds quickly, it seems that Delta is just trying to starve AA out, as UA/B6/VX were able to do in the SFO-BOS market.

As a tightwad traveler, however, I always support increased capacity. I'm looking forward to a price war between DL and AA and hope UA joins in too.


Nathaniel August 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I will gladly be a beneficiary of a price war with the new Boston flights.

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