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Europe via Boston? Logan set to pass Miami and D.C. for transatlantic traffic

Nov. 12, 2019
3 min read
Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300
Europe via Boston? Logan set to pass Miami and D.C. for transatlantic traffic
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Boston Logan International Airport is at the center of a transatlantic growth frenzy with new flights planned by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and others poised to make it one of the largest European gateways on the East Coast.

Data compiled by OAG shows Boston (BOS) overtaking Miami (MIA) and Washington Dulles (IAD) to become the third-largest East Coast gateway to Europe in 2020, Forbes reported on Tuesday.

The jump comes on the news of new flights between Boston and Europe by American, Delta and European low-cost carrier LEVEL in 2020. Looking even further ahead, JetBlue Airways plans to enter the fray in 2021.

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“In 2020 with the additional Delta/Virgin Atlantic service to London Gatwick and American Airlines having announced a new London Heathrow service as well, it is very likely that Boston will move ahead of Miami,” OAG senior analyst John Grant told Forbes.

Cirium data has yet to show the shift, with schedules only available through October 2020. Boston was ahead of both Miami and Washington Dulles in terms of seats to Europe during the first 10 months of both 2019 and 2020, according to the data.

Delta Air Lines' decision to upgrade Boston to a hub in June is propelling Logan's international growth. The SkyTeam Alliance carrier will add new service to London Gatwick (LGW) and Rome (FCO), as well as take over partner Virgin Atlantic Airways flights to Manchester (MAN), from Boston in 2020.

Related: Can Delta and JetBlue make Boston the next dual-hub city?

The carrier added flights between Boston and both Edinburgh (EDI) and Lisbon (LIS) this year.

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"Boston is actually very well positioned geographically to be a connecting point for U.S. passengers going transatlantic," Delta managing director of domestic network planning Amy Martin said in June. "As we're getting to kind of our maximum capacity at [New York] JFK, using Boston as a secondary transatlantic gateway makes a lot of sense."

American, after years of downsizing in Boston, will begin service between Boston and London Heathrow (LHR) on March 29. The new flight will complement those offered by its partner British Airways.

LEVEL, which is owned by BA and Iberia parent International Airlines Group, will begin thrice-weekly service between Boston and Paris Orly (ORY) on March 31.

Samantha Decker, a spokeswoman for Boston Logan operator Massport, told TPG that roughly 10% of the airport's traffic is to Europe and it continues to grow, creating new options for travelers.

Traffic between Boston and Europe has grown steadily in recent years. Boston handled 3.94 million passengers on flights to and from Europe in 2018, a compound annual growth rate of more than 6% since 2014, U.S. Department of Transportation data via Cirium shows.

For comparison, Miami handled just over 4.04 million passengers and Dulles just under 4.04 million passengers on European flights in 2018.

Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images