Exciting new airline routes for November 2019 and beyond
Airlines are constantly adjusting their schedules, launching new services while canceling others. It’s all part of their efforts to perfect their networks while increasing profitability. New routes are announced nearly every day, some seasonal and some more permanent. Others are a dropped as carriers change course on their route plans.
Here’s a look at some interesting flight changes that were announced in November:
All eight of the routes will operate only on weekends, boosting service from five of American’s hubs to destinations like Portland, Maine (PWM); Traverse City, Michigan (TVC), and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY).
Three of American’s new routes will come from Philadelphia (PHL), which gets summertime weekend-only service to Traverse City in Michigan and Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket (ACK) in Massachusetts.
American’s Miami (MIA) hub landed two routes in the seasonal expansion. Both of those routes — to Des Moines, Iowa (DSM), and Jackson, Mississippi (JAN) — appear aimed at customers traveling to Miami or looking to make connections there.
American will shrink its Baltimore (BWI) network next year, ending flights to Phoenix (PHX). The move further solidifies American’s hub at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) as its main D.C.-area gateway.
The BWI-Phoenix flights will end April 6. The move leaves DCA as the only airport in the Washington-region that American serves from its Phoenix hub.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines will end a decade of service to Haiti amid what it says is weak demand.
The carrier will operate its last flight between Atlanta (ATL) and Port-au-Prince (PAP) on Jan. 9.
Delta spokeswoman Susannah Thurston said the move is in response to a “soft demand environment.”
The airline has served Port-au-Prince since 2009 when it began flights between the Haitian capital and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), according to Cirium. Flights between Atlanta and Port-au-Prince began in 2012. Delta last offered seasonal service between JFK and Port-au-Prince last winter, though that service was discontinued in April.
Four airlines — Air France, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines — will serve Haiti from the U.S. after Delta’s exit. American serves Port-au-Prince from Miami (MIA); JetBlue from Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), JFK and Orlando (MCO); and Spirit from Fort Lauderdale.
United will end one of its recent additions at Washington Dulles, dropping service to Elmira, New York, after a year in the market.
The carrier will drop its twice-daily service between Washington Dulles (IAD) and Elmira (ELM) on Jan. 6. The route replaced service from Newark (EWR) last January, a route that itself was launched after flights from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) were discontinued in 2016.
United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the decision is due to low demand.
The airline’s departure from Elmira leaves Ithaca (ITH) its sole destination in New York’s “Southern Tier” region. United connects Ithaca, home to both Cornell University and Ithaca College, with Dulles.
United will end daily service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Pasco (PSC) in Washington on Jan. 6, according to Cirium. United will continue to serve Pasco from Denver (DEN) and San Francisco (SFO), as well as with new service from Chicago that begins in June.
JetBlue has a new link to add to its Washington, D.C., network, connecting the U.S. capital with Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Starting June 12, the carrier will fly between Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) and Martha’s Vineyard (MVY). The route will be seasonal, operating three times a week (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) through Sept. 7 on Embraer E190 aircraft. The new flight will complement the seasonal service between Washington and Nantucket (ACK) that JetBlue has offered since 2015, according to Cirium schedule data.
JetBlue’s new Martha’s Vineyard route comes after a year of network cuts at Washington National. The airline ended service to Hartford (BDL) and Tampa (TPA) in July, and Charleston (CHS) in South Carolina and Jacksonville (JAX) in October. It is now using slots used from those routes for more frequencies to its hub in Boston and to its bases in Florida.
JetBlue will face competition on the route from American, which offers seasonal American Eagle service between DCA and MVY.
Sun Country will add four new cities to its route map, part of a 12-route seasonal expansion from its bases in Dallas/Fort Worth, Madison and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The new cities joining Sun Country’s network will be Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Bozeman (BZN) in Montana, Cleveland (CLE) and Portland (PWM) in Maine. All will be served from Sun Country's main base at Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP). However, the BWI service will come at the expense of Sun Country’s service to Washington Dulles (IAD), which will be scrapped.
In addition, Sun Country will begin flights next summer between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and three cities: Liberia (LIR) in Costa Rica, and Los Cabos (SJD) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR) in Mexico. The airline will also add service between Madison (MSN) and Boston (BOS), Nashville (BNA), Newark (EWR), Portland (PDX) in Oregon, and Seattle (SEA).
The 12 routes will be phased into Sun Country’s schedule in May and June. All will operate less than daily.
Allegiant Air is adding five new routes to its schedule.
The routes — all seasonal — will grow the carrier’s presence at its new Nashville (BNA) base by adding three new destinations. Service to Des Moines (DSM), Iowa, begins Feb. 13 while flights to Appleton (ATW), Wisconsin, and Gulfport (GPT), Mississippi, start Feb. 15.
Allegiant’s schedule update also includes two new routes to its Florida focus cities.
The airline’s large base in Punta Gorda (PGD) near Fort Myers gets a new nonstop route to Richmond (RIC), Virginia, while Sarasota-Bradenton (SRQ) lands nonstop service to Allentown (ABE) in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.
Spirit will connect its base in Orlando to West Virginia next year, offering nonstop service between the state capital of Charleston.
Starting Feb. 14, the ultra-low-cost carrier will fly three flights per week between Charleston’s Yeager Airport (CRW) and Orlando (MCO). Flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with Airbus A320 jets.
The airline already offers seasonal summer service between Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR).
AirTran Airways was the last airline to fly nonstop to Orlando, Cirium shows. AirTran, which merged with Southwest Airlines in 2010 and operated its last flight in 2014, served the route from 2009 to 2012.
Frontier has perhaps the most fluid route map of any U.S. carrier. Frontier frequently announces new routes – sometimes dozens at a time – but also is known for quickly pulling the plug if the service doesn’t meet its expectations.
Frontier’s November schedule shows a typically robust schedule update, with the airline noting that it has 22 routes scheduled to begin during the month. The airline did not specifically mention any that are being discontinued.
Frontier’s new November launches include:
- Newark (EWR) to Las Vegas (LAS), Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO) and San Juan (SJU)
- Cincinnati (CVG) to New Orleans (MSY)
- Orlando (MCO) to Green Bay (CRB) and Kansas City (MCI)
- Raleigh (RDU) to Atlanta (ATL)
- Sarasota (SRQ) to Trenton (TTN)
- Tampa (TPA) to San Juan (SJU)
- Las Vegas (LAS) to Portland (PDX), Reno-Tahoe (RNO), Seattle (SEA) and Santa Ana (SNA)
- Miami (MIA) to Boston (BOS), Detroit (DTW), Hartford (BDL), Newark (EWR) and San Juan (SJU)
- Phoenix (PHX) to Detroit (DTW), Fargo (FAR), San Diego (SAN) and Salt Lake City (SLC)
Volaris opens Fresno’s latest international route to Mexico
Mexican airline Volaris launched the first-ever nonstop between Fresno in California’s Central Valley and Leon/Guanajuato on Oct. 31.
The low-cost carrier is offering twice-weekly service between Fresno (FAT) and Leon/Guanajuato (BJX), on Airbus A320 family jets.
“Our main objective in Volaris is that more people travel more,” Miguel Aguiñiga, director of market development and distribution of Volaris, said in a statement. “With the opening of this new route we are fulfilling this vision, by getting more people to visit their loved ones.”
Austin, Denver and Chicago are all set to get new Norwegian Air flights to Europe next year.
In Chicago, the low-cost carrier will add flights between O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and both Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Rome (FCO), Norwegian. The Paris flights begin in May 1, with Norwegian offering up to five weekly flights through Oct. 24. To Rome, Norwegian will offer up for four flights a week through Oct. 19.
Denver (DEN) gains a new flight to Rome, which will operate seasonally from March 31 through Oct. 23. The route will operate up to three times a week.
And in Austin (AUS), Norwegian will begin flying to Paris Charles de Gaulle on May 6. The route, which will operate up to three times a week, gives Austin its first-ever regularly scheduled nonstop flight to Paris.
All four routes will be flown with Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which are configured with 35 Premium and 309 economy seats.
Norwegian also is axing several U.S.-Europe routes, part of a broader network shakeup as the carrier turns its focus from growth to profitability.
Norwegian confirmed it will not resume service from either Denmark or Sweden to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Los Angeles (LAX), New York JFK, Oakland (OAK) and Orlando (MCO) from both Copenhagen (CPH) and Stockholm (ARN) in 2020, spokesman Anders Lindström confirmed to TPG. All of the routes are flown with Boeing 787 jets.
“The demand for transatlantic travel to and from the Nordics is limited compared to larger European markets and not sufficient enough to justify a large nonstop intercontinental operation out of three Scandinavian cities: Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen,” he said. “For summer 2020 and beyond, our five U.S. routes to/from Oslo will remain.”
Norwegian flies between Oslo and Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, and Orlando.
Norwegian also is making a cut at New York JFK, saying its Madrid nonstop will end less than two years after it began.
Norwegian had been flying the route four times a week with Boeing 787 Dreamliners. But the last Madrid departure from JFK will be in late March 26.
“With the aircraft used for the JFK-Madrid route, we saw much greater opportunities reallocating it to serve new routes where we see greater demand,” Lindström said to TPG.
Norwegian has faced difficult financial headwinds over the past few years, but has recently undertaken a shakeup that’s included a new CEO and an effort to remake its route network to focus on the routes with the highest profit potential.
Hong Kong Airlines
Service will end in February, with the last LAX-bound flight operating on Feb. 6 and the last Hong Kong-bound flight on Feb. 8. However, the carrier also warned earlier in November that it “will closely monitor the market demand and decide if the suspension … needs to be implemented earlier.”
Iberia will resume flights to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) on May 1. The route will operate four-times-per-week initially before increase to five weekly flights on July 6.
Iberia last served Washington in 2010, when it ended flights from Madrid, according to Cirium schedule data.
For its return, the airline will fly an Airbus A330-300 between Madrid (MAD) and Dulles. The aircraft are configured with 29 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats and 242 economy seats.
Related: The 7 best starter credit cards
All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL)
ANA will add nonstop service between Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Houston Intercontinental (IAH), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), Seattle (SEA) and Washington Dulles (IAD). JAL will add nonstop service between Haneda and Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Honolulu (HNL) and Los Angeles (LAX). Most of the changes occur on March 29.
The new routes come as Japanese authorities opened up new flight options to the U.S. from the slot-controlled Haneda airport. However, many of the routes have come at the expense of flights from Tokyo’s more-distant Narita airport.
Austrian Airlines is giving Boston its first-ever nonstop route to Vienna.
Flights begin March 29. The service will initially operate four times a week before increasing to six-times weekly in mid-April.
Austrian will fly a Boeing 767-300ER on the route. The aircraft is equipped with 25 business class — known for the airline’s onboard “Flying Chef” who prepares meals for the front cabin — 18 premium economy, and 167 economy seats.
Melbourne, Florida, to get its first nonstop to Europe
Florida’s Melbourne airport appears set to land its first-ever regular service to Europe.
That will come in 2022, when U.K. leisure outfit TUI Airways shifts its service in central Florida from Orlando Sanford (SFB) to Melbourne (MLB).
Though it’s still more than a year away, the move is something of a coup for the Melbourne airport, which has been trying expand its passenger base.
“This is a major win for Melbourne and our entire region,” Melbourne Airport Authority Chairman Jack L. Ryals said in a statement. “Tourism is our region’s biggest asset, and I look forward to the day when UK travelers are admiring our beaches, enjoying our restaurants, relaxing at our hotels and catching a Space Coast thrill at our attractions.”
Despite its location on Florida’s central coast, Melbourne has had only a light presence from U.S. carriers in recent years.
Part of the effort included changing the official name of the airport in 2015 to “Orlando Melbourne International Airport,” even though MLB sits about 70 miles from central Orlando.
Unless another carrier adds European flights sooner than 2022, TUI’s flights would become MLB’s first regularly scheduled transatlantic service. Airline schedules typically don’t extend more than a year out, but TUI’s destinations from SFB have included U.K. destinations such as London Gatwick (LGW), Birmingham (BHX), Manchester (MAN) and Edinburgh, among others.
The flights will not be Melbourne’s first international flights, however. In 2015, Canada’s Porter Airlines added nonstop service to MLB from the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The carrier flew the approximately 1,070-mile route with 74-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprops, but sold only 50 seats on the flights to keep the load light enough for the plane to make the journey. Porter has since dropped the route from its schedules.
Turkish Airlines will land at Newark Liberty International Airport next year, adding a route that will complement its existing service to New York JFK.
The carrier will offer daily seasonal service between its Istanbul (IST) hub and Newark (EWR) beginning May 25. The route will be flown with an Airbus A330-300 through Oct. 24. The service returns Turkish to Newark for the first time since 1994, according to Routes Online.
Turkish’s new Newark service will be in addition to its existing service between Istanbul and JFK. The JFK flights are operated by a combination of A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Boston is set to become a year-round destination for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
That comes as the airline joins a growing number of full-service European carriers planning to use new, longer-range narrow-body aircraft on transatlantic routes.
SAS plans to use its new Airbus A321LR to extend its current seasonal service between Copenhagen (CPH) and Boston (BOS) that’s currently operated on bigger, Airbus A330 wide-body jets. The A321LRs will begin flying the route in September. With fewer seats to fill, the A321LR will allow SAS to operate the route year-round.
Cabo Verde Airlines
Cabo Verde beefs up U.S. presence
Cabo Verde Airlines is announced plans to grow in Boston, part of a broader ramp-up of its U.S. schedule .
Beginning Dec. 14, Cabo Verde will add a second weekly round-trip flight between Boston and Cabo Verde. Flights will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The Tuesday flight will depart Sal Island (SID) in Cabo Verde at 10 a.m. and land in Boston (BOS) at 2:10 p.m., all times local. The return departs Boston at 3:40 p.m. and operates to the Cabo Verde airport in Praia (RAI), arriving at 3:10 a.m., all times local.
The Saturday flight departs Praia at 3 a.m. and arrives to Boston at 7:10 a.m. The return operates to Sal, leaving Boston at 8:10 a.m. with a scheduled arrival of 7:40 p.m. ET, all times local.
Cabo Verde’s Boston flights will be on Boeing 757-200 aircraft laid out with 22 “Comfort” business-class seats and 161 coach seats.
“The second flight to Boston resets a very important connection that had been reduced through the restructuring process of CVA,” Mário Chaves, Cabo Verde Airlines’ Deputy CEO, said in a statement. “We are very excited to bring this connection back to the Cape Verdeans diaspora and we hope, with this new service, that we can continue to increase tourism in Cabo Verde and give Americans the chance to know Cabo Verde’s culture and its people better.”
The Boston expansion isn’t Cabo Verde Airlines’ only U.S. move this year.
In December, the carrier will add Washington Dulles to its route map. Flights begin Dec. 8, with Cabo Verde planning a schedule of three flights per week on Boeing 757-200 aircraft.
Cabo Verde, formerly known as Cape Verde, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation that lies off the West Coast of Africa.
The flight from SID to IAD covers a distance of 3,607 miles while the flight from BOS is 3,329 miles, according to the Great Circle Mapper website. The BOS-RAI flight comes in a 3,388 miles.
TAP Air Portugal
TAP Air Portugal is expanding its North American footprint, announcing new routes from Boston and Montreal.
From Boston (BOS), TAP will launch nonstop service to Ponta Delgada (PDL) in the Azores. TAP’s new Montreal (YUL) service will operate to TAP’s main hub in Lisbon (LIS).
TAP did not offer a specific start date for either of the routes, saying only that they would launch “by summer 2020.” TAP will fly both routes with its new Airbus A321LR aircraft, offering five flights a week on the Boston-Ponta Delgada route and six between Montreal and Lisbon.
The Azores will become TAP’s second destination from Boston, joining the carrier’s existing route to Lisbon. Once the Azores service launches, TAP would go head-to-head with Azores Airlines on the route to Ponta Delgada, according to current schedules. Azores Airlines also flies from Boston to a second destination in the Azores: Terceira (TER).
Contributing: Liz Hund, Emily McNutt, Edward Russell, Ben Smithson and Victoria M. Walker.
Featured Photo by Alberto Riva/TPG.