Perhaps the world’s long-haul air carriers, both low-cost and legacy, know something upbeat that the rest of the tour and travel industry and its analysts don’t know. This is a message one receives through a recent flurry of announcements of new airline routes and connections between overseas source markets and the USA. In our memory, the first part of July 2017 has produced more new service notices for both the near and long-term, than any similar period in the past. They include the following.
- On July 7, Air Indialaunched a first-ever non-stop flight connecting Delhi (DEL) and Washington Dulles(IAD), with the carrier scheduled to operate the route with a three times weekly 777-300 service. Previously, Air India had operated to the U.S. capital up until May 2010, when the city was flown to as a tag-on stop from its New York flights. Sabre Global Demand Data shows that for the year ending March 2016, the Washington D.C. area welcomed more than 281,000 Indian visitors. Washington Dulles is Air India’s fifth US destination after New York JFK, New York Newark, Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco. †
- Even as it shifts to a strategy that emphasizes increasing its growth domestically, on July 8, American Airlines began service to Guatemala City, Guatemala from Chicago O’Hare. †
- Eurowingshas begun twice-a-week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) services from Cologne Bonn to Seattle-Tacomaon July 11. (In addition to Cologne Bonn, Seattle-Tacoma will add new non-stop service to Mexico City and London Gatwick later this year.) †
- Beginning July 13, WOW expanded its service to the USA by adding Chicago O’Hare(ORD) to its network. The carrier flies the route four times a week from its Reykjavi/Keflavik base in Iceland. WOW air now operates to 10 destinations across the USA (eight destinations) and Canada (two). †
- Low-cost Danish airline Primera Air has announced that it will open new bases at Stansted and Birmingham in the UK, and start direct flights to New York and Boston from both airports next year. In doing so, Primera Air will be the first airline for nine years to fly scheduled services to the USA from Stansted. Beginning next April, the airline will offer daily service to Newark (Liberty International) airport. Then, starting in May, Primera will fly four times a week to Boston’s Logan International Airport. The airline said it will also announce two more trans-Atlantic routes from the new bases by the end of summer 2017. Flights to both destinations went on sale starting July 20 with prices starting from £149 ($194) one-way inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges. Another transatlantic route from Stansted and two more from Birmingham are to be announced by the end of the summer.
- Delta Air Lines is bringing back direct flights from Atlanta to Shanghai next year. The carrier will restart Shanghai Pudong service in July 2018, six years after terminating the then-underperforming route—before outbound traffic from China to the USA began its exponential growth. Now, Delta announced, there is much stronger demand in both directions, it said Delta has strengthened its partnership with major carrier China Eastern Airlines, which has a hub in Shanghai. (Delta bought a stake in China Eastern two years ago.) In addition to its Atlanta service, Delta flies to Shanghai from Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle.
- Thomas Cook Airlines is adding a new twice weekly service from Manchester to Seattle next summer.
Tickets are now on sale with the first flight to Seattle taking off on May 27. Announcement of the new service follows the recent introduction of San Francisco and the year-round service to New York JFK from Manchester. In explaining the move, Christoph Debus, CEO of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines, said, “We work closely with partner airlines, allowing us to connect customers to 90 destinations within the USA. Alaska Airlines, based in Seattle is an important partner offering our customers even more choice to the likes of British Columbia, Alberta, Alaska and Hawaii.”
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has given tentative approval for a foreign air carrier permit to Norwegian’s British subsidiary, Norwegian UK (NUK). When finalized by the DOT, the permit will allow Norwegian’s UK subsidiary to operate low-cost flights between the U.S. and Europe.
† Source: anna.aero