American Airlines adding Charlotte-London flight

06/29/2014 1:00 AM

06/30/2014 10:20 AM

American Airlines is adding a second daily flight from Charlotte to London Heathrow International Airport, starting in less than three months.

The airline said the new service is set to begin Sept. 13. The flight will be operated by US Airways on an Airbus A330-200, a widebody jet that seats 20 business class and 238 economy class passengers.

American Airlines acquired an additional slot at Heathrow from Cyprus Airways earlier this month, in a deal reportedly worth $31 million.

“From our perspective, if you look at the portfolio of flying we already do to Heathrow, it made a lot of sense,” said Chuck Schubert, American’s vice president of network planning. The airline is also a partner in the Oneworld alliance with British Airways, which flew to Charlotte for several years before discontinuing the service in 2002.

The new flight will be in addition to American’s existing daily Charlotte-Heathrow flight, which the airline operates on an A330-300. US Airways switched its daily flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to the more popular Heathrow in 2013.

The Heathrow route has been popular, federal statistics show. For the eight full months last year when US Airways flew Charlotte to Heathrow, just over 65,000 travelers flew the route. With one 291-seat A330-300 a day operating the route, there were approximately 70,000 seats available on that route.

That means the average load factor, or percentage of seats filled, on the Charlotte to Heathrow flight was about 93 percent.

About 60,000 people flew the return route, Heathrow to Charlotte. That means approximately 86 percent of seats on those flights were filled.

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