American Airlines will begin serving London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) nonstop from its Raleigh/Durham (RDU) gateway effective March 29, 2008. The change is made possible by a new “open skies” agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU) which takes effect early next year. American’s Raleigh/Durham - London route was inaugurated in May 1994 and has always been flown to London’s Gatwick Airport as required by a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and United Kingdom governments.
“This is a significant schedule development and good news for our Raleigh/Durham customers,” said Jim Carter, American’s Vice President - Eastern Sales Division. “Heathrow is the preferred London airport, especially for business travelers going to London. Plus, it provides hundreds of convenient worldwide connections beyond London through our oneworld(R) Alliance partners.”
Carter also noted that today’s announcement can be considered a distinct vote of confidence and commitment to Raleigh/Durham’s London route. The route has been especially popular with businesses based in Research Triangle Park, as well as leisure travelers throughout the Triangle area.
“There are just slightly more than a dozen cities in the United States that can claim nonstop service to London Heathrow,” Carter said. “It’s definitely a ‘feather in the cap’ of any area to be able to say it is a gateway to London Heathrow.”
American will continue to fly to London, both to Gatwick in the interim and switch to Heathrow beginning March 29, 2008, using its three-class Boeing 777 aircraft with 245 seats.