After the blistering action last week, this week proved to be a more quiet one in Airlineville. According to the data from Cirium, many had skiing in the Rockies or a beach vacation in the Caribbean on their minds.
The Eskimo, however, had little on his mind except for avoiding Canada for another month. The Eagle made an airport move in China while also hearing that steel drum rhythm this winter. The Widget did its patriotic duty while also pulling back in Europe over the winter.
Pualani pulled a prank on us all by reversing course on Korea, but she made her bets in Vegas. Ms. Blue made it official that she won’t be visiting secondary airports for some time. The Heart, meanwhile, is happy to visit some new airports including taking his talents to South Beach. The Taxi was the last to get his Thanksgiving plans in order, and there wasn’t much to report while the Globe did a little housekeeping.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Skeds of Air Lines.
Alaska Dumps Canada
The border closure has yet to be officially extended, but come on, there’s no way it’ll magically open in November. So, Alaska has extended its skeleton Canadian schedule with only 2x daily flights from Seattle to Vancouver until December. It also did some minor tweaking, adding an extra daily flight in November to Seattle – Bozeman, Reno, and Sacramento along with Portland – Sacramento.
American Makes the Move in Beijing
After dropping LAX previously, American only flies to Beijing from DFW. I mean, it WILL only fly from DFW when it eventually resumes the flight, now planned for March 27, 2021. But when it returns, it will fly to the new Daxing instead of the old Capital airport. This makes sense, because partner China Southern has moved almost its entire operation over there and is building up a hub. Meanwhile, Seoul/Incheon will still have its flight from DFW, but it will be operated by a 787-8 instead of the larger 777-200.
American also did a little upgauging in Phoenix from regional to mainline, reflecting the current strength of that hub. Montrose was one of those cities that received the upgauge, but it also saw bigger airplanes from Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth. It’s the new hot spot.
Delta Trims the Morning After, Europe
If you’re expecting an Election Day hangover, you’re not alone. Delta thinks demand will be down on the day after, so it has cut 60 domestic flights from the schedule that day.
It also made more Europe cuts, canceling Seattle – Paris through the winter and delaying the restart of Paris – Cincinnati and Salt Lake, Amsterdam – Portland, and Atlanta – Munich from April to May.
There is hope for the holidays, however. Delta has decided to make Dec 18, the Friday before the holidays, a peak day. It has added several Caribbean and beach flights to the schedule that day, thinking people will get an early start on their travels. And if you’re flying to Cancun from JFK or Salt Lake (yes, Salt Lake), get ready for an A330 to take you there.
But the big winner? The unlikely LA – Reno market gets a third daily flight before the route even begins.
Hawaiian Cuts Incheon
Hawaiian looked to be conservative with its post-mandatory quarantine restart with one exception. The 5x weekly flights from Honolulu to Seoul/Incheon sounded awfully aggressive. Maybe it was a mistake, but it is now gone from the November schedule entirely.
If there’s one thing that Hawaiians can count on, however, it’s the strength of the ninth island, Las Vegas. The route restarted this month before the end of the mandatory quarantine, but over the weekend, Hawaiian added 5 more flights during the month.
JetBlue Walks Away From Secondary Markets
JetBlue has said this was happening, and now it’s been filed. The airline will stop flying to Burbank, Ontario, and San Jose through the end of March. Considering it left Oakland earlier this year and Long Beach just this month, JetBlue has now completely abandoned secondary airports in California.
It has also stopped flying to Newburgh/Stewart and Worcester through the end of schedule. This is said to be a suspension, but come on, chances of going back any time in the near or distant future are slim.
There were broader cuts again in October and November, but if there’s any bright spot it’s that the mighty Nantucket will keep service through the holidays from JFK. So, there’s that.
Southwest Files Miami, Montrose, and Palm Springs
We knew Southwest was going to start Miami and Palm Springs, and the schedules have now been filed starting November 15. Miami will get 1x daily to Chicago/Midway, 3-4x daily to Baltimore and Houston/Hobby, and most surprisingly 1-2x daily to Tampa. This appears to be set up to get maximum connectivity in each region of the country.
Palm Springs gets 1x daily to Denver, 2x daily to Oakland, and then 2-3x daily to Phoenix. The only surprise is that Phoenix gets what it does, but that too must be all about connections heading east.
The big surprise was Montrose which will get the Steamboat Springs treatment with 3x daily to Denver and weekend service to Dallas/Love starting December 19. Along with the American and United upgauge (the latter you’ll see below), this was a hot market. Montrose is the gateway to Telluride since the Telluride airport itself is not suited for most commercial operations.
Southwest also did the usual tinkering by adding back some flights in November and December.
United Slashes Express
If you look at the number of flights, United Express didn’t change much. But if you look at seats, there was a big cut. What’s going on? The pilot agreement requires United to physically remove 6 seats from all of its 76-seaters until it starts flying more mainline service. So, that is now filed from December 1 through March 27.
United also pulled out the 777s it placed into Chicago/Newark – Florida markets last year. Those will now be on 737s. And then there’s Montrose. United took an all-CRJ 50-seat market and added many flights on 76-(er, 70-) seat Embraer 175s and 150-seat A320s.
And that’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode.