American, British Airways Win in Vegas
By Ted Reed 11/11/10 - 10:26 AM EST
LAS VEGAS (TheStreet) -- British Airways hit the jackpot in Las Vegas.
UPA year after the carrier began daily service between Las Vegas and London's Heathrow Airport, regional sales director Kevin Burns proclaimed it "one of our most successful launches in recent years.
"It is one of the star-performing routes on the British Airways network," Burns said, in a prepared statement.
British Airways said it will boost service starting June 1, with a Boeing 747 replacing the 777 now on the route. That means the inauguration of first-class service as well as 62 added seats. The 777 has 275 seats while the 747 has 337 seats.
Among the beneficiaries is American(AMR_), which was awarded transatlantic anti-trust immunity with British Airways and Iberia in July.
Within the partnership, the carriers can share revenue on transatlantic flights. The nonstop Las Vegas-Heathrow flight "offers our customers the ability to fly directly [between Heathrow] and Las Vegas," said American spokesman Tim Smith.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the U.S. Transportation Department, as expected, gave its final clearance to transpacific antitrust immunity for two partnerships, one between United(UAL_), Continental and ANA, and the other between American and JAL.
Also Wednesday, the DOT approved Delta's(DAL_) request to operate daily Heathrow flights to Boston and Miami. The carrier will begin service on both routes on March 27, 2011. They will operate as part of an immunized joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia.
Regulators sought "to expand competition between the U.S. and Heathrow by making slots available for new entrants on these routes," said Delta Executive Vice President Glen Hauenstein, in a prepared statement.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.