It’s been quite a week for the good residents of Airlineville. The Widget, the Animal, and Ms Blue all got together to release their plans for November, and they don’t look overly-promising. More will undoubtedly come next week. But that wasn’t the only news.
The Eagle has finally admitted defeat, slashing and burning in Europe through the winter. If you were hoping to spend your winter holidays in a quaint English cottage — you know you’ve seen The Holiday — well, you have a lot fewer options to get there now. Then again, your chances of being let in the door after spending the night with the Eagle — or anyone else — aren’t great anyway.
The Globe has similarly given up on the Great White North this winter. There isn’t much hope for a winter tryst. If anything is heating up, it’s Hawai’i. We’ll take the good news anywhere we can get it, but even that good news isn’t so great.
All this and more in this week’s episode. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Keeps Trimming October
Oh sure, there’s plenty going on in November, but Alaska is still fixated on October, cutting another 2.5 percent of flights for the month. It cut another one of its 3 daily flights on its only current Canada route, Seattle to Vancouver. But that was just an appetizer for the Hawai’i cuts.
Alaska has been operating 2 daily from Seattle to Honolulu with another one from Seattle to Kahului. Everything else was canceled up through October 14, but the next day it was all coming back. That’s the day the quarantine gets lifted for those with a negative COVID test. No longer. Now, only 2 daily from Seattle to both Kona and Lihu’e will come back. Nothing else new will return this month any longer.
There are other little adjustments here and there, but only three are for the long run. Alaska is bulking up LAX by adding one additional daily flight to Boise, Guadalajara, and Salt Lake City starting December 17 and running through the winter.
American Guts Europe This Winter
American has hoping that things would pick up this winter. It boldly decided to fly its full London schedule as the backbone of its European service. It has now come to the realization that this just isn’t going to work. So, schedules are being torn up through the end of March when the IATA winter season ends. Here’s the carnage:
- Boston – London/Heathrow won’t operate
- Charlotte – London/Heathrow cut from 2x daily to 3x weekly
- Charlotte – Munich won’t operate
- Chicago/O’Hare – London/Heathrow cut from 3x daily to 1x daily
- Dallas/Fort Worth – Amsterdam cut from 1x daily to 3x weekly
- Dallas/Fort Worth – Dublin won’t operate
- Dallas/Fort Worth – London/Heathrow cut from 24x weekly to 1x daily
- Los Angeles – London/Heathrow won’t operate
- Miami – Barcelona won’t operate
- Miami – London/Heathrow cut from 2x daily to 1x daily
- New York/JFK – London/Heathrow cut from 27x weekly to 1x daily
- New York/JFK – Paris/CDG won’t operate
- Philadelphia – London/Heathrow won’t operate
- Philadelphia – Madrid won’t operate
- Phoenix – London/Heathrow won’t operate
- Raleigh/Durham – London/Heathrow won’t operate
Whew, that’s brutal. Asia sees a couple cuts as well. Dallas/Fort Worth – Seoul/Incheon drops from 1x daily to 3x weekly through the winter and Dallas/Fort Worth – Hong Kong’s restart has been delayed from October 24 to December 17.
The Caribbean sees cuts as well with Bonaire, Curacao, and Grand Cayman having flights pushed back into November and December. Over in the Pacific, Hawai’i sees most restarts pushed until October 15, but LAX to Honolulu also gets cut from 2 daily to 1 for the rest of that month, indicating weakness is still expected.
Delta’s First Stab at November
I know, I know. You’ve been waiting for November details. Here we are. In the November schedule — used November 11-17 to steer clear of the holiday — Delta is planning on operating 60 percent of flights versus last year. That’s about 62 percent of domestic flights and 40 percent of international. This is growth from October, but it’s still pretty light considering Delta continues to block middle seats.
Meanwhile in October, Delta has pushed the restart of Atlanta to both Lima and Santiago along with JFK to Frankfurt into November. JFK to Sao Paulo won’t come back until December 18 and LA to Tokyo/Haneda comes back the next day now. Oh, and JFK to Barcelona is gone all the way to April 1. On the bright side, Boston – Edinburgh is back in the schedule next summer, starting May 27. So, yay?
On the domestic front, it looks like Providence has drawn the short straw. After seeing service slashed, it is now being dropped entirely for the winter. As of now, it comes back March 1. We’ll see about that. Salt Lake to Anchorage will start year-round on November 20, so that’s a little good news. LA to Fort Lauderdale comes into the network on November 20. I flew that back in the Song days, but this, I assume, is all about poking JetBlue in the eye. Minneapolis/St Paul – Jackson Hole makes a holiday appearance.
Frontier Cuts November
Frontier has also taken a look at its November schedule and thought it was too robust. It is now planning to operate about half of last year’s November schedule. Four routes won’t operate at all: Orlando to Charlotte and Norfolk along with Phoenix to San Francisco and San Jose.
JetBlue Makes Its November Moves
JetBlue has whacked November as well, now looking to operate almost exactly half the number of flights it operated last year.
In the shorter term, however, JetBlue has cut more flying in October. Newark – Sarasota is gone while Charleston, Jacksonville, and San Francisco see frequency cuts. It’s surprising to see several Florida markets lose flights. Some are strongholds like JFK to Fort Myers and Tampa. Others are new routes like Philly to West Palm Beach. (Philly to San Juan, the last of the Philly flights to avoid cuts, loses a frequency as well.)
LaGuardia to Fort Myers and Tampa disappear completely in October, as do Orlando to San Francisco and West Palm Beach to both Chicago/O’Hare and Pittsburgh. There also may be some trouble in paradise in October. From its new LAX focus city, Vegas is being cut from 2x to 1x daily. Reno and Seattle both go from 4x to 3x weekly. And San Francisco drops from 2x daily to a mere 4x weekly.
In the long run, Hartford nonstops to Cancun, LA, San Francisco, and Vegas were all loaded at 1x daily. Newark – LA gets bumped up from 34 weekly to 40.
United Crushes Canada
Every month, Canada and the US extend their border closure by one more month. United isn’t having any of it. It is just canceling things up north for a longer period. The winter schedule will remain a skeleton until February 11 with just these flights:
- Calgary – Denver 1x daily
- Montreal – Washington/Dulles 1x daily
- Toronto – Washington/Dulles 1x daily, Chicago/O’Hare 2x daily
- Vancouver – Denver 1x daily, San Francisco 2x daily
As you can see, there are no flights to Canada from Newark at all, nor Los Angeles or Houston.
It’s been one ugly week, so let’s end on a positive note. United has loaded Chicago/O’Hare to Kona and Newark to Kahului, both routes announced earlier. They’ll start on June 3 and both will operate 4x weekly.