Continental, US Airways Go After Heathrow


With Open Skies going into effect March 2008, carriers are competing for slots at London’s Heathrow airport. Continental Airlines is the most recent carrier to enter the fray, while US Airways managed to snag slots for flights originating out of Philadelphia.

US Airways will start service between Philadelphia and London’s Heathrow airport on March 29, 2008, with tickets available for purchase on December 1. Flights depart Philadelphia at 10:45 p.m. and arrive in London at 11:05 a.m. the next day. Return flights depart London at 12:50 p.m. and arrive in Philadelphia at 4 p.m. Service will be operated using US Airways’ flagship international aircraft, the Airbus A330, which offers 29 business class seats and 259 economy seats.

Continental, meanwhile, has applied to begin twice daily, nonstop flights to Heathrow airport from its hubs at New York-area Newark Liberty International Airport and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in March. The flights, subject to government and slot approval, will not interfere with the carrier’s existing twice daily, nonstop service between London’s Gatwick Airport and Newark; daily service from Houston; and daily, seasonal service from Cleveland. If approved, flights will operate using 283-seat Boeing 777-200 aircraft, carrying 48 business-class seats and 235 coach seats.