Delta Bets Big With Boston-Edinburgh Relaunch

Delta has put two UK routes back on sale, both restarting in summer 2022. Boston to Edinburgh is available from July – but with bigger aircraft this time – while Salt Lake City to Heathrow will resume in March. We examine both routes.

Delta B767-300ER
Delta will restart Boston to Edinburgh in July. In summer 2022, Delta and partner Virgin Atlantic will have four transatlantic routes from the Scottish capital: Barbados; Boston; JFK; and Orlando. Photo: Getty Images.

Boston to Edinburgh will resume in July

Delta began Boston to Edinburgh in 2019. Touching down at the Scottish capital on May 14th, the 2,667 nautical mile service was operated seven-weekly using 168-seat B757-200s until early September. In those few summer months, Delta achieved a seat load factor (SLF) of 87.2%, according to the Department for Transportation (DOT), with 30,046 passengers carried.

Despite the US opening up to fully vaccinated UK citizens in November, Delta will operate less in 2022. Its first flight to Edinburgh is July 1st, and the last from the UK is currently August 31st, covering the peak summer on a leisure-driven route. Booking data shows that a good chunk of passengers transited Boston to Edinburgh, with Detroit number one.

What’s happening in 2022?

In 2022, five-weekly flights will initially run between Boston and Edinburgh, rising to once-daily in August, with the following schedule (all times local). It’ll be on the ground in Edinburgh alongside WestJet’s new route from Toronto.

  • DL122: Boston to Edinburgh, 22:10-09:30+1 (the next day)
  • DL123: Edinburgh to Boston, 11:30-13:40

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Unlike previously, the B767-300ER will be used, with 226 seats across 26 in Delta One, 35 in Comfort+, and 165 in the main cabin. If July-August 2022 is compared to July-August 2019, Delta will have 16% more seats for sale, OAG data shows. Clearly, Delta was happy with the performance in 2019, at least at peak times, and seems committed to the market.

Norwegian Edinburgh to the USA
Boston to Scotland hasn’t had many services. Looking back to 1990, Northwest operated Boston-Glasgow until October 1994, while Norwegian had Edinburgh-Providence (62 miles from Boston) in 2017 and 2018. Delta’s Edinburgh-Boston in 2019 was the first time this airport pair was served. Photo: Edinburgh Airport.

Salt Lake City to Heathrow is also restarting

Delta will resume the long 4,866 nautical mile link between its Utah hub and London Heathrow. Because of the pandemic, the route, which launched in April 2016, hasn’t been operated since March 2020. It’ll return two years later, with the first flight taking off on March 26th, the day before the IATA summer season begins.

It’ll have the following schedule (all times local), with a once-daily service using 234-seat A330-200s, the carrier’s least-used type. These have 34 seats in Delta One, 32 in Comfort+, and 168 in the main cabin. While the route used the B767-300ER from its launch until October 2019, the A330 then took over, bringing more seats per flight.

  • DL50: Salt Lake City-Heathrow, 18:06-10:50+1 (the next day)
  • DL51: Heathrow-Salt Lake City, 10:35-14:04 (obviously using an aircraft that arrives earlier)
Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-223 N856NW (4)
Salt Lake City is Delta’s longest route from Heathrow. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

According to the DOT, some 77,626 passengers used Delta’s Salt Lake to Heathrow service in 2019, with a SLF of 86.5%. The route had a higher SLF than any of Delta’s other Heathrow services, the DOT shows, helped by mainly being summer-seasonal, not having too much capacity, and being well-established.

The author flew Atlanta-Heathrow onboard a B767-400ER in early 2020 and enjoyed the product. What Delta routes have you flown to the UK? Let us know in the comments.

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