U.S. carrier quits London - New York route

United Airlines is pulling out of the world’s most popular international route – London to New York. It is selling out to U.S. rival Delta Airlines in a deal worth up to $21 million.

The reason: the Bermuda II treaty – one of the most restrictive in world aviation – allowing only four carriers to run direct services between Heathrow airport, London, and the U.S. These are British Airways, Virgin, and U.S. counterparts American Airlines and United.

Delta will launch its service between New York's JFK and London's Gatwick later this year instead. United's decision to sell the route is part of the company's drive to focus on its main U.S. hubs and to promote its Asia-Pacific services. This will consolidate its position as the largest trans-Pacific passenger carrier.