New Super Happy Fun Long Haul Routes

Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Delta, Schedule Changes

It may not be cool to everyone (despite my title), but a handful of new long haul routes have been introduced lately, and I think it’s worth a post. Here they are in no particular order (ok, it’s actually the order the stories were opened in my browser’s tabs).

  • This morning, Delta announced they’ll be starting nonstop flights from Atlanta to Lagos (Nigeria) on December 3 with 767-300 aircraft. I’m not so sure this one will actually fly though. Continental announced plans to fly there previously (lots of oil out there), but a fight between the US, British, and Nigerian governments (don’t ask) didn’t allow Continental to start. Will this be different?
  • On Feb 20, Air France said they’d begin flying daily between Paris/de Gaulle and Seattle from June 11 on A330-200 aircraft. This one starts to make sense as the airline strengthens its SkyTeam alliance ties. Northwest has a strong presence in Seattle (partner KLM already flies nonstop to Amsterdam), and an additional frequent flier agreement with Alaska Airlines should help as well.
  • Air China launched what I consider to be a very odd route – Beijing to Sao Paulo twice a week with a stop in Madrid on 767s. I have no doubt there’s a great deal of traffic between Sao Paulo and China, but why Madrid? Air China has the right to sell tickets between Madrid and Sao Paulo, so maybe they thought they could fill up their plane that way. You will find them consistently less expensive than Iberia, which also flies the route nonstop.
  • Air New Zealand said this morning they’ll fly three 777s a week between Auckland and Vancouver. This will only operate during the southern summer – November 2 through March 28. They’ve said they want to start a new city each year, and this is an interesting one. I imagine if it does well they’ll extend it year round.

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3 comments on “New Super Happy Fun Long Haul Routes

  1. The Sao-Paulo to Beijing route doesn’t surprise me that much. Brazil has a huge and growing economy and I bet a lot of companies there are starting to outsource to China and finding reasons to send people there.

  2. Not that surprising that Air China has chosen Madrid as stopover. Madrid is a city of 5’6 m. inhabitants (third in W. Europe after Paris and London) and it´s the capital city of the 8th biggest world economy (bigger than canada and 11th on PPA basis). Up to Air China´s move there was no direct fly between Madrid and Beijing (Air Europa and China Eastern covered it months ago but gave up). Besides, Spain is the biggest foreign investor in Brazil after the USA. Iberia is planning to start flights between madrid and Beijing and Shanghai in 2009.Do you nedd more reasons? …

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