News: Transatlantic air-fare battle

The best deals, the latest hot spots and what's new in travel

AUS airline has cut transatlantic fares dramatically to fill seats and generate cash before the peak season begins. Prices below £200 are commonly offered between the UK and US - but only for flights in low season: from October to early December, and between January and March. Now Northwest Airlines, one of the financially weakest US carriers, is selling return tickets from London to New York for £199 for travel later this month.

AUS airline has cut transatlantic fares dramatically to fill seats and generate cash before the peak season begins. Prices below £200 are commonly offered between the UK and US - but only for flights in low season: from October to early December, and between January and March. Now Northwest Airlines, one of the financially weakest US carriers, is selling return tickets from London to New York for £199 for travel later this month.

The deal is available through the online agency Travelocity - and will suit people with time on their hands. On test bookings made by The Independent for travel in April, the outbound flight from Gatwick was via Minneapolis, with the return via Detroit.

Northwest's flights are also being used for cheap packages to Manhattan. For example, Dreamticket is selling a three-night New York stay for £365 return, with accommodation at a good hotel included.

Once taxes and other charges are stripped from the fare, the airline will earn around £120 - or £30 for each flight. Northwest declined to discuss the move, but its rival, Virgin Atlantic, said "We haven't felt the need to go down to that price because it's not really in competition with us". Virgin flies non-stop from Heathrow to New York. It is currently offering low fares as part of package holidays that include hotel accommodation. Through Trailfinders, a five-night stay in San Francisco this month costs £465, including Virgin flights from Heathrow.

Northwest lost nearly £500m last year, blaming high fuel costs, competitors; price cuts and overcapacity.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet, told The Independent that one or more US airlines should close. "There is enough vested interest to keep them in business. But it doesn't help the rest of the industry."

Dreamticket: 0800 856 0323; www.dreamticket.com; Trailfinders: 020-7938 3444; www.trail-finders.com); Travelocity: www.travelocity.co.uk

* Icelandair (0870 787 4020; www.icelandair.co.uk) is to start cheap flights from Reykjavik to San Francisco. The flights offer a cut-price way to travel in business class to California, with return fares from Heathrow as low as £1,112 (£110 more from Glasgow) - less than a quarter of the business-class fare on BA or Virgin.

The journey is longer; from Heathrow, the trip takes two or three hours longer than non-stop flights. But the ticket allows free stopovers in Reykjavik.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'