Scotland-US aviation: Virgin/Delta could replace United as leader

Premium Analysis

On 11-Aug-2021 Virgin Atlantic Airways announced plans to launch new routes from Edinburgh. It will begin a service from the Scottish capital to Orlando, Florida, on 5-Dec-2021 and begin flights to the Caribbean island of Barbados in Apr-2022.

These flights will be Virgin Atlantic's first-ever international services from Edinburgh in its 37 years. In addition, the Barbados flights will be Scotland's only direct service to the Caribbean. The Orlando service will be a small step in the re-expansion of the almost vanished Scotland-US market.

In the week commencing 16-Aug-2021 the only Scotland-US passenger route is Glasgow to Orlando Sanford, operated by TUI Airways. According to schedules data from OAG, TUI will not operate in the winter season, leaving Virgin Atlantic as the only operator from any Scottish Airport to the US when it launches in Dec-2021.

Before the pandemic, the Delta/Virgin Atlantic partnership was a close second to United in the Scotland-US market, with American a distant third and British Airways non-existent.

Virgin/Delta now has the potential to lead this market.

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