Last updated: 04:18 PM ET, Mon May 30 2016

Delta Launches New Year-Round Service to Edinburgh

Airlines & Airports | Josh Lew | May 30, 2016

Delta Launches New Year-Round Service to Edinburgh

Photo by Barry Kaufman

Delta launched year-round service to Scotland this past Thursday. The airline now flies directly from New York JFK to Edinburgh. It is now the only carrier to fly directly form New York to the Scottish city year-round.    

New service is good for Scotland

This new service will benefit Scotland, which has seen an increase in the number of visitors from the United States in recent years. Nearly 500,000 came to the nation in 2014, making America the top inbound market for Scotland. 

Delta’s Vice President of Sales, Frank Jahangir, said that the new service would help to strengthen this growing tourism relationship. "We're looking forward to bringing thousands more American visitors to Scotland. As the only year-round nonstop flight between New York and Edinburgh, we are confident that the route will expand trade and tourism opportunities. VisitScotland statistics estimate that the new flight has the potential to bring an additional £23 million to the Scottish tourism industry in one year alone."

Scotland’s Minister of Business, Paul Wheelhouse, echoed these sentiments, saying that direct flights like this one show that there is demand in smaller markets like Edinburgh. “I am very encouraged by the early signals in passenger demand for the route. The Scottish Government want to encourage direct flights, not only because it is more convenient for those who are flying but also it can be more efficient. There is a role for hub airports, but airports like Edinburgh are a great opportunity to serve markets directly.” 

READ MORE: Etihad Begins Daily Service to Edinburgh

Summertime capacity to increase 
This new service follows the typical transatlantic schedule. The plane takes off from JFK at 10:45 in the evening and arrives in Edinburgh the following morning. Return flights leave Scotland in the early afternoon. 

A Boeing 757-200ER will be used for the flights. However, during the busier summer months, between June 8 and Sept. 5, a larger 767-300ER will be used. 

Delta hyping its better services

Delta is using its in-flight services as a marketing tool on this new route. In a press release announcing the first flight, Delta claims that it is “offering more on-board amenities than any other airline serving this route.” 

What are these amenities? Both the 757 and 767 are equipped with Wi-Fi, and there are complimentary in-flight entertainment choices typical of Delta’s transatlantic services. Premium class options, including Comfort Plus, Delta’s premium economy offering, will also be available. The premium class cabin, known as Delta One, will have lie-flat seats. 

Beating the competition with service, not price

It is interesting that Delta is touting its extra services in this way. Perhaps this part of a strategy to differentiate itself from other airlines that are trying to grasp a larger share of the transatlantic market. Norwegian and WOW, for example, have been able to beat Delta and its peers when it comes to fares. Perhaps Delta has decided that it cannot win when it comes to price and is instead choosing to compete on service and amenities, two areas where it is superior to the low-cost, long haul competitors. 


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