Exciting new airline routes for September 2019 and beyond
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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 September:
Delta Air Lines
Rome will become Delta’s newest destination out of its fast-growing Boston hub.
Daily flights begin May 21, 2020, and will operate seasonally until Sept. 8 on 293-seat Airbus A330 aircraft.
Delta will become the third carrier offering nonstop service between Boston (BOS) and Rome (FCO), joining SkyTeam partner Alitalia and European discount giant Norwegian.
Delta’s Rome flights appear to be timed to complement Alitalia’s service. Delta’s Rome departure from Boston leaves at 5 p.m. and lands in Italy at 7:15 a.m. Alitalia’s departs Boston at 9:50 p.m. and lands at 11:50. On the return, Delta’s departure leaves Rome at 10:45 a.m. (lands at 2:15 p.m.) while Alitalia’s leaves at 3:05 p.m. (lands at 6:25 p.m.).
Delta’s new transatlantic offering from Boston comes amid a broader ramp-up of service there and a slew of new routes during the past few years. Delta is on track to increase its year-over-year seating capacity from Boston by more than 15%, adding new routes to destinations such as Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Lisbon (LIS), Miami (MIA) and Washington Reagan National (DCA), among others.
Delta will expand its presence in Portland, Oregon, this spring when it adds twice-daily Delta Connection service to Las Vegas (LAS) with Embraer 175 aircraft. The new Portland-Las Vegas flights begin April 1, 2020.
Delta will join a crowded field on the Las Vegas (LAS)-Portland (PDX) route. Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Sun Country Airlines also fly between the cities, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data.
Transatlantic service at Salt Lake City will get a boost this winter when Delta upgrades its nonstop service to London Heathrow.
The route will shift from a seasonal schedule to year-round service starting Dec. 19. Flights will be on 264-seat Airbus A330-200 jets that include 34 Delta One “suites.”
The Heathrow service is one of the most high-profile routes at Salt Lake City International (SLC).
Delta Air Lines has unveiled schedule details for its plan to move its Tokyo flights from Narita airport to the closer-in Haneda.
Delta will begin flying to Tokyo Haneda (HND) from Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Portland (PDX) in Oregon, and Seattle (SEA) on March 28, 2020. The first departures from Haneda will occur a day later.
Coinciding with the Haneda launch on March 28, Delta will end all service to Narita (NRT), closing hub there that it had operated for decades.
As part of the decision to close its hub in Tokyo, the airline will move the stop for its Manila (MNL) flight from Narita to Seoul Incheon (ICN), which is home to partner Korean Air’s largest hub. Starting March 29, Delta will fly the route with an Airbus A330-900.
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines will add new daily service from San Luis Obispo (SBP) to both Portland, Oregon, and San Diego. The new routes will complement Alaska’s existing service between Seattle (SEA) and San Luis Obispo that began in 2017.
The San Diego (SAN) flights begin Jan. 7, 2020, while the Portland (PDX) service starts June 18, 2020. Both routes will be flown with 76-seat Embraer 175s.
San Luis Obispo serves California’s growing Central Coast wine region centered around Paso Robles. It is also home to highly-ranked California Polytechnic State University, or Cal Poly, which is known for its aerospace, architecture and engineering programs.
United will end three routes from its Northeast hubs this winter.
From Washington Dulles (IAD), United will discontinue service to Chattanooga (CHA) in Tennessee on Dec. 3. Two routes will end from Newark Liberty (EWR), with flights to Dayton, Ohio (DAY), ending Jan. 4, 2020, and flights to Canada’s capital of Ottawa (YOW) ending March 4, 2020, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data.
United spokesman Jonathan Guerin cited “low customer demand” for the decision to end the three routes. The airline will continue to serve Chattanooga, Dayton and Ottawa from other hubs in its network.
United continues to grow its Denver hub with new service to Riverton and Sheridan in Wyoming.
The carrier will offer 17 weekly flights to Riverton (RIW) and Sheridan (SHR) in a circle pattern from Denver (DEN) beginning Jan. 12, 2020, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data. United regional partner SkyWest Airlines will operate the flights with Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.
In addition, United will move flights between Denver and Williston, North Dakota, to the new Williston Basin International Airport (XWA) on Oct. 10. United’s existing schedule of four daily round-trip flights currently operates to Williston’s Sloulin Field (ISN).
Southwest took longer than expected to ramp up its new service to Hawaii, but now the low-cost giant is making up for lost time.
Southwest revealed plans for a new Hawaii route and will move up the start date for two others because of customer demand. The new route will come March 7, 2020, when Southwest adds nonstop flights between Sacramento, California, and Kahului on the island of Maui.
The routes getting an earlier start are Southwest’s Sacramento-Honolulu route as well as an inter-island route between Honolulu and Lihue on the island of Kauai. They had been scheduled to launch in January, but the airline says they’ll instead begin in November.
Four other Hawaii routes also get a boost, moving to daily service. Routes connecting each of the California airports of Oakland and San Jose to Lihue on Kauai and Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawaii currently have schedules of three or four weekly flights.
Beyond that, Southwest also announced two new routes on the U.S. mainland. Those new routes — Atlanta-Memphis and Denver-Des Moines, Iowa — also begin March 7, 2020.
Also being added to the schedule is a seasonal, Saturday-only nonstop between Baltimore/Washington and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos that — pending regulatory approval — will begin March 7, 2020.
That’s the same date that Southwest’s Houston Hobby-Cozumel route begins. The service was previously announced, but Southwest had not revealed a start date.
JetBlue Airways will land in the South American nation of Guyana next April as it continues to expand its network with the new Airbus A321neo.
The New York-based carrier will offer daily service between Guyana’s capital Georgetown (GEO) and New York JFK starting April 2, 2020.
Flights will be flown on JetBlue’s new A321neo, which entered service for the airline in September. The aircraft has 200 seats, including 42 Even More Space seats, and other onboard amenities like JetBlue Pantry.
Sun Country Airlines will add two new seasonal routes from Madison, Wisconsin. Service from the city’s Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) to both Orlando and Las Vegas begins Dec. 19.
“Orlando and Vegas are popular warm-weather winter destinations for our guests in the Midwest,” Grant Whitney, Sun Country’s chief revenue officer, said in a statement.
Sun Country has been MSN since September 2018 with seasonal routes to the Florida cities of Fort Myers and Tampa, but the airline does not have any year-round flights from Madison.
Cathay Pacific will end its nonstop service between Vancouver and New York JFK, ending a “fifth-freedom” route that it has operated since 1996.
The route that included the Vancouver (YVR) stop was once Cathay Pacific’s only option for service between New York and its main base in Hong Kong (HKG). That changed in 2004 when Cathay Pacific added regular nonstop service between cities. Despite that, the fifth-freedom tag between Vancouver (YVR) and JFK remained.
Now, however, Cathay Pacific says the YVR-JFK portion will end March 27, 2020.
“Frankly this tag operation has been losing money for a number of years,” Philippe Lacamp, Cathay Pacific’s senior vice president for the Americas, said in a phone interview with TPG.
Austin has landed another high-profile international route, this time to Amsterdam on Dutch carrier KLM.
On May, KLM will begin flying three flights a week on 292-seat Airbus A330-300 wide-body jets. The planes have 30 business-class seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. The 262 seats in economy are in a 2x4x2 layout and include 40 extra-legroom “Economy Comfort” seats. Flights will operate Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
For KLM, Austin will become its 19th North Atlantic route and its 13th to the United States.
LOT Polish Airlines
LOT Polish Airlines will add new nonstop service between New York JFK and the Polish city of Krakow.
The route begins May 3, 2020. It will operate only once per week, but LOT will be the only carrier to fly nonstop between the cities. The service will operate on Sundays and will be flown on LOT’s 252-seat Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. LOT’s 787-8s include 18 business-class seats in a 2-2-2 layout and 21 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. The remaining 213 economy seats are in a 3-3-3 layout.
Krakow (KRK) will become LOT’s third nonstop destination from JFK, joining the Polish capital of Warsaw (WAW) and the Hungarian capital of Budapest (BUD).
From Krakow, JFK will be the second U.S. destination served nonstop by LOT.
The Star Alliance carrier already flies nonstop from Krakow to Chicago O’Hare (ORD), a route that will get a boost in service this summer as LOT ups its schedule to five weekly flights — up from the current three. The enhanced schedule appears to begin during the first week of June, according to LOT’s website.
News of LOT’s expanded Krakow-Chicago schedule comes only about a month after American Airlines revealed its own nonstop service on the route. American, a Oneworld alliance member, will fly the route seasonally, offering five flights a week from May 7 to Oct. 23, 2020, on 787-8 aircraft.
Air Canada will connect its growing Montreal hub with Bogotá next June, part of a continued international expansion push at the airline’s hub there.
The carrier will offer three weekly flights between Montreal Trudeau (YUL) and Bogotá (BOG) beginning June 2, 2020. It will operate a Boeing 767-300ER on the new route.
“The addition of Bogotá represents Air Canada’s 39th new route launched from Montreal Trudeau Airport since 2012, firmly illustrating our commitment to developing Montreal as an important, strategic hub,” Mark Galardo, vice-president of network planning at Air Canada, said in a statement. “Bogotá is also strategically situated to allow for seamless travel across South America through Star Alliance partner Avianca.”
The Dreamliner will begin flying regularly scheduled service from Canada’s capital for the first time this spring.
That will come March 29, 2020, when Air Canada switches to the Boeing 787-8 for its route between Ottawa (YOW) and London Heathrow (LHR). Air Canada currently operates Boeing 767s on the route.
Air Canada billed the move as a way to add capacity. The airline’s 787-8s seat 255 passengers, 44 more than the 767s it currently flies between the cities.
For Ottawa, however, the aircraft switch represents a milestone for Canada’s capital city.
“The Air Canada decision to put the Dreamliner on the route is an exciting one,” Ottawa International Airport spokeswoman Krista Kealey said to TPG. “It will be the first Dreamliner serving YOW.”
Lufthansa will add Ottawa to its route map next year, taking over the seasonal Frankfurt service that’s currently operated by partner Air Canada.
Starting May 16, 2020, Lufthansa will offer five-times weekly service between Frankfurt (FRA) and Ottawa (YOW). Lufthansa’s FRA-YOW service will be 279-seat Airbus A340-300 aircraft and will operate through Oct. 24, 2020.
Ottawa will be Lufthansa‘s fifth city in Canada, joining Calgary (YYC), Montreal (YUL), Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR).
Seattle became the fourth US city to land nonstop service to Singapore after Singapore Airlines launched service from the city on Sept. 3.
Singapore Airlines is using A350-900LR aircraft with a three-class configuration (42 business class, 24 premium economy and 187 economy) that will fly between Seattle (SEA) and Singapore (SIN) three times a week throughout September. Scheduled flight time in the direction of Singapore is just short of 16 hours.
Service expands to four flights a week in October, when Singapore Airlines adds another A350-900 to its fleet.
The SEA-SIN service complements the airline’s other West Coast gateways in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Sek Eng Lee, Singapore Airline’s Regional Vice President for the Americas, said in an interview with TPG. It also comes amid increasing travel demand from both the corporate and the leisure markets in the Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest markets, he said.
Corsair and French Bee
How many airlines can the popular New York-Paris route support?
Two French budget airlines announced new nonstop service between the cities on the same day (Sept. 12), a move that will likely test the staying power of several airlines operating between the cities.
Corsair announced a new nonstop service from Newark (EWR) to Paris Orly (ORY) that will begin in June. Hours later, French Bee, another low-cost carrier mostly known in the U.S. for service between California and French Polynesia, said it was joining the fray too. Its EWR-ORY flights also will begin in June.
At the time of the announcements, the addition of Corsair and French Bee would’ve upped the total number of airlines operating between the New York metro area and Paris to a whopping 10.
But, by the end of the month, that total had already dropped to nine because of …
XL Airways ends U.S, global routes amid financial woes
French airline XL Airways had offered a mix of seasonal and year-round service to four U.S. destinations, but that came to an abrupt end in September.
Citing “financial difficulties,” the long-haul budget carrier abruptly suspended ticket sales Sept. 19 and halted all flights later that week.
XL’s main base was at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG). The U.S. destinations in the airline’s network were Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Newark Liberty (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO).
Hainan Airlines is leaving Las Vegas and Calgary amid broader financial challenges and trade tensions.
The Chinese carrier will end flights between Beijing Capital (PEK) and Calgary (YYC) in Canada on Oct. 24. Flights to Las Vegas (LAS) come to an end Oct. 25, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data. Both routes operate three-times weekly with Boeing 787 aircraft.
Hainan will operate eight flights on the Beijing-Las Vegas route from Dec. 17 through Jan. 10 during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and the popular Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Beyond that, Hainan’s schedules for Calgary and Las Vegas remain uncertain.
“We’re in continuing dialog with the airline on future options,” Chris Jones, the chief marketing officer for Las Vegas airport, told TPG at World Routes conference in September.
Contributing: Edward Russell, Zach Wichter, Harriet Baskas.
Featured photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
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