Portland in Oregon is to be served by a direct transatlantic service for the first time next summer.

Delta Air Lines is to run a seasonal service from Heathrow four times a week to the US west coast city from May 26, 2017.

It comes as part of changes by Delta and UK partner Virgin Atlantic to their respective summer 2017 schedules to optimise their joint network between the US and the UK.

Delta will replace Virgin on the Heathrow-Detroit route from March 26 and will take over a second daily Heathrow-Atlanta service from Virgin from May 25.

Virgin Atlantic will start serving Seattle from Heathrow, replacing the daily service currently operated by Delta, from March 26. 

A daily nonstop service between Manchester and New York JFK currently operated by Delta will be taken over by Virgin, with the US carrier resuming the service for winter 2017.

The airlines’ joint summer 2017 schedule includes a 42 peak daily nonstop flights between the US and the UK from March 26, 2017.

Of these, 28 flights will operate between Heathrow and destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington and 14 flights will operate between Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, London Gatwick and Edinburgh to US cities.
Virgin Atlantic commercial executive vice president, Erik Varwijk, said:“Our most fuel efficient Boeing 787-9 aircraft will add additional capacity to the successful Seattle route, enabling more customers to enjoy the Virgin Atlantic experience on this brand new aircraft. 

“In Manchester, deploying our Airbus A330-300 aircraft on this route will allow us to further meet the growing demand from the Manchester market, now offering a total of six direct flights to the US after the recently announced new services to Boston and San Francisco.

“The network changes highlight the strength and flexibility of our joint venture, allowing us to make smart decisions that ensure the right aircraft are on the right routes for our customers.”

Delta’s senior vice president transatlantic, Dwight James, said: “Adding a brand new service to Portland while increasing the scale of Delta’s reach across our Atlanta and Detroit hubs provides a comprehensive network of nonstop and connecting destinations for both Delta and Virgin customers.

“The flexibility to adjust our operations on routes between the UK and the US is a solid reflection of the cohesive strategy we have across the transatlantic.

“Since 2014, we have been building a partnership that is centered around the needs of our customers while providing network synergies for our airlines.”