Following-up on an already strong start to 2018, where I reported on the new routes that airlines announced or launched in the first half of January, there are some pretty exciting new routes that are going to commence later this year.
But first, let’s discuss some of the new routes that became live over the previous fortnight:
- United Airlines launched daily nonstop service from Houston to Sydney, Australia, utilizing a 787-9.
- Edelweiss Air commenced service from Zurich to Orlando once per week on an Airbus A330-300.
- Hawaiian Airlines reinstated service from Portland to Kahului, Maui, utilizing an Airbus A321-NEO.
Now, on to the new routes announced!
American Airlines is beefing up regional service into its Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago O’Hare, Charlotte, and Philadelphia hubs. For me, personally, a new twice-daily nonstop service between Dallas/Ft. Worth and South Bend, IN, home to my Alma Mater, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, is the most exciting one. And, east coasters can delight in a similar frequency from SBN to Charlotte!
Here’s a summary of all the new American Airlines routes that will launch in June.
- Charlotte – Panama City/NW Florida Beaches eff 07JUN18 2 daily ExpressJet CRJ700
- Charlotte – South Bend eff 07JUN18 2 daily ExpressJet CRJ700
- Chicago O’Hare – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton eff 07JUN18 2 daily (1 daily on Saturdays) Envoy Air Embraer ERJ145
- Dallas/Ft. Worth – Panama City/NW Florida Beaches eff 07JUN18 2 daily ExpressJet CRJ700
- Dallas/Ft. Worth – South Bend eff 07JUN18 2 daily ExpressJet CRJ700
- Philadelphia – Fort Wayne eff 07JUN18 2 daily Piedmont Airlines Embraer ERJ145
- Philadelphia – Oklahoma City eff 07JUN18 2 daily Republic Airlines Embraer ERJ175
- Philadelphia – Pensacola eff 07JUN18 1 daily Republic Airlines Embraer ERJ175
On the west coast, the popularity of Paine continues to rise…Paine Field, that is. That is the small international airport that serves Snohomish County outside of Seattle, WA. Located between the cities of Mukilteo and Everett, where Boeing’s widebody assembly plant is located, PAE field will be served by Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, and now, Southwest Airlines, as all three will be able to use a privately funded terminal.
Starting in September 2018, Alaska will launch service from PAE to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. United will launch service to San Francisco and Denver, while Southwest has yet to announce its roster of markets.
To the North, Canada’s WestJet announced new service from Halifax to Paris CDG, starting May 31, 2018. The flight will operate on a daily basis using a 737-MAX 8, and will be Halifax’ 3rd transatlantic route, including London Gatwick (starts April 29) and Glasgow.
Good news for Western Canada as well: Air Canada will extend nonstop service between Vancouver and New Delhi, India to year-round as opposed to seasonal. The 4-weekly service will run each day except for Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from Vancouver, with a departure time of 0130 from YVR and an arrival time of 0400 in Delhi the next day. Return service will leave from Delhi at 0610 AM and arrive in Vancouver at 0730 the same day, facilitating numerous connections on both the Delhi and Vancouver ends. Air Canada will provide the most frequencies and capacity of any North American carrier to India, on a nonstop basis, with schedules between Toronto and Delhi, Toronto and Mumbai, and Vancouver and Delhi.
Alitalia continues to sludge its way through finding a new owner. Meanwhile, as it awaits delivery of a new 777-300ER and refreshed crew uniforms, it plans to ax service from Rome to Beijing, effective March 25, 2018. It is currently served 4x weekly on an Airbus A330-200.
There is still some good news for Beijing, though: Lufthansa is replacing its Airbus A340-600 routes from its Munich hub to several long-haul markets, such as Denver, Newark, Vancouver, Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Beijing with Airbus A350s and Airbus A380s. Now, Chicago O’Hare will be also added to that list, as MUC-ORD will receive an Airbus A350-900XWB starting March 25, 2018. There will also be a planned capacity increase from 7 to 10 weekly frequencies starting July 1, 2018, although the extra 3 weekly flights will be operated on an Airbus A330-300. Combined with JV partner United, which operates nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare to Munich, this will mean that ORD-MUC will offer 3 daily peak departures over the summer.
The on-again, off-again challenge that LATAM seems to encounter with non-OneWorld hubs in the U.S. continues, with LATAM Peru canceling service between Lima and Washington Dulles on February 28, 2018. LATAM has canceled service to Toronto and San Francisco as well over the past several years. Indeed, the only non-OneWorld hub market that appears to work is in Orlando, which LATAM serves from its Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Santiago, and Sao Paulo gateways. LATAM is also launching seasonal service to Las Vegas and new service to Boston in the future, so it remains to be seen if these will be able to hold up. Service to Dulles is currently offered thrice weekly on 767s.
LATAM is hopefully moving closer towards a joint venture agreement approval with American Airlines, as a corollary to the U.S.-Brazil Open Skies agreement which was supposed to go in effect in 2015.
I reported previously that Gol plans to resume service to the U.S. using the 737-MAX, with service from both Brasilia and Fortaleza to Miami and Orlando. The schedules have finally been loaded. Interestingly, all four of the Northbound flights leave Brasil in the morning and arrive in Florida by mid-afternoon, then depart roughly 7 hours later as overnight flights back to Brasil.
- Brasilia – Miami 1 daily
G37748 BSB0950 – 1425MIA 7M8 D
G37749 MIA2145 – 0820+1BSB 7M8 D
- Brasilia – Orlando 1 daily
G37600 BSB0950 – 1450MCO 7M8 D
G37601 MCO2130 – 0820+1BSB 7M8 D
- Fortaleza – Miami 1 daily
G37732 FOR0835 – 1405MIA 7M8 D
G37733 MIA2200 – 0715+1FOR 7M8 D
- Fortaleza – Orlando 1 daily
G37654 FOR0835 – 1425MCO 7M8 D
G37655 MCO2145 – 0715+1FOR 7M8 D
Big news for Emirates this week, as they announced that they will commence nonstop service from Dubai to Newark, effective June 1, 2018, utilizing a 3-class 777-300ER. This will remain in addition to the 1-stop service it currently operates from Dubai to Newark via Athens. This flight will, however, replace one of the 4 daily flights from Dubai to New York JFK, which currently sees 3 nonstop frequencies and 1 that goes via Milan. Once Newark comes online JFK-DXB will be down to 2 nonstop and 1 connect frequencies.
Latin America will also receive additional growth from Emirates, as the carrier announced new service to Santiago de Chile starting July 5, 2018. The route will be a tag-on from Sao Paulo Guarulhos, although there will not be local traffic rights from GRU to SCL at the time of this posting (presumably this will change). Overall capacity between Dubai and Sao Paulo will increase from 7 to 12 weekly, as the carrier will retain its daily terminator service to SAO, which will see an A380 in the coming months, and then operate 5 additional flights to SCL, utilizing a 2-class 777-200LR aircraft.
EK263 DXB0905 – 1700GRU1830 – 2140SCL 77L x13
EK264 SCL0110 – 0555GRU0745 – 0515+1DXB 77L x24
Air India is experimenting with more intercontinental routes from its non-Delhi hubs. Currently, the vast majority of Air India’s long-haul route network is centered around Delhi, with the exception of a few markets such as Mumbai to London Heathrow and Newark, and Ahmedabad to London Heathrow (which continues onto Newark). Now, Air India will add service from Amritsar to Birmingham, U.K.
Amritsar is located in the northwestern state of Punjab, roughly 28 KM from the Pakistan border. It is the location of the Golden Temple, which is the holiest gurdwara (religious complex) of the Sikh religion. Service from ATQ to BHM will be operated in a triangle route, with 2 of the 7 weekly Delhi-Birmingham flights shifted to make a stopover in Amritsar en-route to Birmingham (it currently operates ATQ-DEL-BHM). Birmingham is home to one of the largest Punjabi diasporas outside of India.
El Al Israel has loaded schedules for its San Francisco launch in December 2018, which will be flown by its brand new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, and compete head-to-head with United on the same route. It will be El Al’s 8th North American station, after Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Miami, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Service will be 3-times weekly.
Hainan Airlines will launch service to Vancouver and Madrid in the spring, both from its Shenzhen hub. Vancouver will be offered twice weekly via Tianjin utilizing an Airbus A330-300, while Madrid will be offered twice a week, nonstop from Shenzhen, on a 787-8.
This brings Madrid’s South and East Asian network to 8 markets, including Delhi (Air India), Chengdu (Beijing Capital Airlines), Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific), Beijing (Air China), Shanghai (China Eastern and Iberia), Seoul (Korean Air), and Tokyo (Iberia). From Vancouver, service to secondary Chinese cities has exploded over the past 5 years, as it now has access to Xiamen (Xiamen Airlines), Zhengzhou (Sichuan Airlines), Shenyang (Sichuan Airlines), Nanjing (China Eastern), and Qingdao (Beijing Capital Airlines).
Air Seychelles is canceling its only long-haul service from Mahe Island to Paris, effective April 22, 2018, which was operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft thrice weekly. This is part of its business transformation plan.
Ethiopian Airlines, arguably the strongest African carrier, is increasing capacity on its long-haul route network, including service from Addis Ababa to Sao Paulo (which continues onward to Buenos Aires). This will increase from 5 weekly flights to daily service and will up-gauge from a 787-8 to a 777-200LR starting June 2, 2018.
Furthermore, Ethiopian is increasing service to Newark, which it launched last year. Presently, Ethiopian flies nonstop from Newark to Addis via Lome, Togo, five times per week, and will now add 3 weekly frequencies from Newark to Abidjan, Cote’de Ivory, 3 times per week. Its present service via Lome will be reduced to 4 weekly flights, but overall, service to Newark will now be offered daily: 3 times via Abidjan and 4 times via Lome. Both will be operated by 787-8s.
And perhaps the most exciting news is that Ethiopian is going to launch service to Chicago O’Hare in June 2018. The flight will operate 3x weekly with a technical stop in Dublin on the westbound sector (ADD-ORD) due to Addis Ababa Bole Airport’s high elevation. It will operate on a 787-8 and connect into Chicago’s massive Star Alliance network via partner carrier United Airlines.
- ET510 ADD2215 – 0425+1DUB0525+1 – 0755+1ORD 788 246
- ET511 ORD0955 – 0740+1ADD 788 357
Qantas has opened reservations for new service between Melbourne and San Francisco, which will be operated 4 times per week utilizing a 787-9. It will reduce service from Melbourne to Los Angeles, however, from 13 to 9 weekly flights, all starting September 1, 2018.