British Airways was today celebrating the Government`s endorsement of its new daily flights from London Gatwick to Denver.
Virgin Atlantic Airways had appealed to the Department of Environment, Transport and Regions against an earlier decision by the Civil Aviation Authority to award the last remaining designation between the UK and the USA to British Airways.
British Airways said it would begin the new non-stop Denver service in June.
Bob Ayling, British Airways’ Chief Executive said: “This is a great result, if not unexpected, with our strong case recognised by the CAA and now endorsed by the DETR.
“It is a shame so few licences are available to fly across the Atlantic. As part of our proposals to forge an alliance with American Airlines we are calling for liberalisation of the bilateral treaty with the United States. This would mean many more routes and many more airlines being able to provide services for trans-Atlantic travellers.”
Denver is the biggest US city not served by a direct London flight and generates twenty times the export earnings for the UK of Las Vegas. Even without non-stop air links fifty per cent more passengers currently travel to Denver than to Las Vegas.