I'm not sure when CLT
would actually start. From everything I've heard, the route-granting process with the Brazilian authorities is the long pole in the tent on this. I think it will come eventually, but it may be awhile...maybe even a year or more.
US can start CLT
whenever they'd like...they don't need to file an application for it. From what I understand, it's just kind of a "nudge" they threw in their application for the DCA
As for the CLT
flight, I'm concerned they'll leave Gatwick behind. There's not been an official decision yet, though. I feel the same way you do about LGW
. It's ALWAYS a quick and effortless trip through UK border control when the CLT
flight lands, and I prefer transiting through it--even though it's on the wrong side of town for where I usually like to go.
I've flown on CLT
several times in the past couple of months and I've been surprised at the substantial number of "non-Americans" on the flight. They're almost always full as well.
I'm hoping they'll at least try an A333 on the LHR
route and a 757/767 on LGW
for awhile. I think that's probably the most likely scenario.
And happy Christmas to you as well!