Perhaps the surest sign that international tour and travel industry leaders are expecting a bountiful year in 2018 is evident in the number of announcements by both legacy and budget carriers of new flights planned for—S18. (“S18” is the airline code for Summer 2018, which extends from the end of March to the end of October 2018, and is the period for which most international flights are booked.)
While airline trade publications scrupulously follow new route launches, there have been no new long-haul flights to the USA announced for the past month. On the other hand, the roster for new flight service in 2018 continues to grow. Here is a list of some of the flights ready to take off next year.
- WOW airlines, which first began flying to the U.S. only two years ago, now fly out of several U.S. cities—St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit—with fares starting at less than $100. This deal will take effect in the Spring of 2018. WOW is headquartered at Reykjavik and based at Keflavik International Airport. The carrier is able make the routes profitable by providing connections to many points in Europe.
WOW airlines, which first began flying to the U.S. only two years ago, now fly out of several U.S. cities—St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit—with fares starting at less than $100. This deal will take effect in the Spring of 2018. WOW is headquartered at Reykjavik and based at Keflavik International Airport.
On all four routes, WOW will fly four flights a week on single-aisle Airbus A321 aircraft to its hub at the Keflavik airport near Reykjavik. Connecting itineraries will be available to more than two dozen destinations in Europe.
“Our unique opportunity is to use Iceland as a hub. We can then distribute the traffic to our main destinations in Europe, be it London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, Copenhagen, etc.,” said Skúli Mogensen, CEO of WOW Air. “That’s really the key. Instead of having a single point-to-point flight, we actually give you a very affordable flight to multiple destinations in Europe via Iceland.”
From three of the new cities – Cleveland, Cincinnati and St. Louis – WOW will be one of the few airlines with a trans-Atlantic option. From St. Louis, WOW will be the only carrier flying to Europe. At Cincinnati, only Delta flies to Europe with flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle. And in Cleveland, WOW’s only trans-Atlantic competitor will be national rival Icelandair, just announced its own Cleveland-Reykjavik service.
Most recently, the airline begin flying from both Chicago O’Hare and Pittsburgh earlier this year.
With the new Midwest additions, WOW’s full line-up of U.S. gateways includes BWI, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and San Francisco. In Canada, WOW flies from Montreal and Toronto.
- American Airlines has expanded transatlantic service to Shannon Airport in Ireland. American has announced that it is to expand its Shannon to Philadelphia service in 2018, as the airline continues to build on the “growing demand for flights” between Shannon and the major US hub. The world’s largest airline will increase capacity on the route by 18 percent. Over 38,000 passengers already use the daily service annually.
The airline will commence its 2018 service on April 5, a month earlier than this year, and will run until early October. The route is operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft and Declan Power, head of aviation development at Shannon, said the significance of the increased transatlantic capacity “illustrate Shannon’s growing appeal in the transatlantic market and bring US capacity at Shannon next year to well over 550,000 seats, with eight services to seven airports on the US east coast.
Philadelphia is one of the airline’s leading hub airports, offering connections to well over 100 destinations across 25 countries.
- New non-stop Air Canada flights from Montreal to Tokyo will be available from June 2018. The route will be operated throughout the year and the aircraft used will be a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.The introduction of this new flight offers travelers from Canada in the Atlantic and northeastern United States convenient access to Japan and beyond, complemented by the company’s existing flights. Flights will be operated with daily services during peak summer and three times a week in winter throughout the year.
- At the same time, American Airlines will is ending its seasonal Manchester-New York route at the end of this summer. The carrier’s JFK flight has had to compete with more year-round competition from Thomas Cook, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines in the past few years and American is thought to have decided that its aircraft could be better used elsewhere. American will continue to fly to Chicago and Philadelphia from Manchester.
A Manchester airport spokesperson said that New York remained Manchester’s second biggest US destination after Orlando. New York accounts for almost 419,000 passengers a year and the market has grown by 6.2 percent in the last 12 months.