By Joe Brancatelli
American Airlines and British Airways were ordered to give up some precious take-off and landing slots at Heathrow Airport in London in order to get anti-trust immunity for their Oneworld Alliance. And guess who wants the slots? Delta Air Lines, part of SkyTeam, an also-ran at Heathrow. If Delta gets its way, it will launch twice-daily flights to Heathrow from Boston and daily flights from Miami. Delta says it wants to begin the new service next March in cooperation with its SkyTeam partner Air France. The third major airline group, Star Alliance, is the second-largest player at Heathrow. BMI, now a subsidiary of Lufthansa, has more operating assets at Heathrow than any carrier except British Airways. What’s odd about Delta’s request, however, is its lack of heft either at Boston or Miami. Neither is a hub for the nation’s largest carrier. Delta claims it’s the second-largest carrier at Boston, but it has been fading in recent years. Delta also claims to be Number 2 in Miami, but it is dwarfed there by American Airlines.
Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2010 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.