The first half of February continues to build on the momentum that started in January 2018 with new airline route announcements. Towards the latter half of January, there were some pretty major route developments, such as United’s commencement of nonstop service from Houston to Sydney and Hawaiian’s A321-NEO deployment from Portland to Kahului.
Here’s the lineup for February:
Things were quiet on the North America front: Delta Air Lines is slowly adding routes back to its vastly-reduced Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky hub, with new service to Austin, TX, where it will operate a CRJ-700 daily except for Saturdays starting May 1, 2018. It will also add Phoenix, AZ, where it will fly a daily 737-800 beginning November 4, 2018.
Delta will also continue to wind-down its Tokyo Narita hub, with cancellations from NRT to Koror in Palau, and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. Koror is served twice weekly on 757s, and Saipan is served daily, also on 757s. Both markets will be shuttered on May 8 and 7, respectively. This will leave the Narita hub with 8 remaining links: Singapore, Manila, Guam, Honolulu, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, and Atlanta. Delta does still operate service to Shanghai, but this will be cut in July 2018 with the PVG slot being transferred to launch nonstop Atlanta-Shanghai. Nearly a decade ago, Delta has service from Narita to Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Beijing, Osaka, Seoul, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Minneapolis/St. Paul, but has either chopped these flights or moved them to Haneda airport.
Frontier Airlines will be adding new routes from Philadelphia where it has a sizeable roster of nonstop flights to Denver, Chicago ORD, Milwaukee, Omaha, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Memphis, Nashville, Charlotte, New Orleans, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Cancun, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Charleston, Punta Cana, and San Juan. It will now add more domestic markets, including:
- Philadelphia – Dallas/Ft. Worth eff 17MAY18 3 weekly A320
- Philadelphia – Grand Rapids eff 09APR18 2 weekly A320
- Philadelphia – Indianapolis eff 09APR18 2 weekly A320
- Philadelphia – Madison eff 08APR18 3 weekly A320
- Philadelphia – Memphis eff 09APR18 4 weekly A320
- Philadelphia – Savannah eff 01MAY18 2 weekly A320
Source: Airline Route
IBERIA will soon be operating 3 peak-day flights to Mexico City for its Madrid hub, effective May 2018. The carrier will add five additional weekly frequencies for a total of 19 weekly flights this summer, all operated on Airbus A340-600s. Iberia’s parent company is International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns British Airways, who will operate the first scheduled Airbus A380 service to Chicago O’Hare this summer. BA 297/296, which is the latter of 2 daily British Airways flights into O’Hare, will operate as an A380-800, whereas the earlier BA flight will remain a 747-400, starting May 4, 2018.
BA295 LHR1030 – 1310ORD 744 D
BA297 LHR1605 – 1845ORD 388 D
BA294 ORD1710 – 0650+1LHR 744 D
BA296 ORD2055 – 1040+1LHR 388 D
Chicago will also receive more love from LOT Polish Airlines this summer, who will increase its Chicago-Krakow, Poland route from 1 to 2 times weekly, utilizing a 787-8. This is in addition to new nonstop service from Chicago to Budapest, offered 2 times weekly, and 12 weekly services to Warsaw, offered on a mix of 787-8 and -9s.
Lots of love this week for Latin America. Yes, that is Latin America for Asian airlines. How do you say? Hainan Airlines is expanding to Mexico, launching service on March 21, 2018 from Beijing to Mexico City, via Tijuana, on a Boeing 787-8. This will be Hainan’s tenth North American destination, following San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Calgary, Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK, Boston, and Toronto.
HU7925 PEK1710 – 1425TIJ1625 – 2130MEX 787 135
HU7926 MEX2330 – 0045+1TIJ0345+1 – 0805+2PEK 787 135
Hainan will be the fifth link from Mexico City to Asia, as AeroMexico flies from MEX to Shanghai (via Tijuana), Seoul (via Monterrey), and Tokyo Narita (nonstop) while All Nippon Airways flies a daily nonstop flight to Tokyo Narita.
Hainan does not codeshare with any Latin American carriers (yet), although it appears to play well with carriers from all different types of alliances, as it has relationships with airlines as large as American Airlines and as small as CSA Czech Airlines. However, ANA does, and Mexico City will be its first codeshare experiment for intra-Latin America flights. While ANA does codeshare with Avianca on flights from the U.S. to Bogota and San Salvador, now Avianca will carry ANA’s code from Mexico City to both of these cities.
And that’s not all: Air China will now extend two of its five weekly flights from Beijing to Houston to Panama City, featuring the 777-300ER. This is the second tag-on flight Air China is flying within North America, as it operates service from Beijing to Montreal, with a continuation service to Havana. It also operates another fifth-freedom flight from Sao Paulo to Madrid, which continues onto Beijing.
China Southern is adding new service from Guangzhou to Rome, featuring a 787-8, three times weekly, beginning in July, and starting in May, will add 3 weekly services from London Heathrow to Wuhan. Rome will be CZ’s fifth European station following Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Amsterdam.
Finally, on a slightly more exotic note, Uzbekistan Airways will be flying exclusively nonstop from Tashkent to New York JFK on the Westbound sector, as it currently operates some services via Riga, Latvia, on some of its twice-weekly services. The flight will now be offered 3x per week for the summer season, operated on a Boeing 787-8, and the Riga stopover will be eliminated on March 25.