It seems like only yesterday that the residents of Airlineville were making Thanksgiving plans, but now Christmas is on their minds. The Eskimo, the Widget, and Pualani all began making their lists and checking them twice.
Some, however, are still stuck on Turkey Day. Ms Blue made more cuts while the Globe went in the opposite direction.
Meanwhile, the Widget and the Eagle plan for a cold, long-haul winter. When it comes to sun, however, everybody is happily pointing south. The Heart continues to push ahead. Lastly, the Eagle has made plans for his good friend MAX.
All this and more on this week’s episode. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Builds December
Alaska has put its first cut at December out there for the world to see. Seats are down 36.4 percent for the month (excluding middle seat blocking), only slightly better than November’s 37.2 percent decline. Several winter routes kick in that month, including the LA – Florida flying that was announced previously, so that means other routes will see cuts.
Alaska also appears to be digging in against JetBlue. It’s starting up less-than-daily service this winter from SFO to Fort Lauderdale, and it’s adding frequency from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale.
American Returns the MAX a Little, Cuts Winter Long-Haul
This was already reported, but American is planning to return the 737 MAX to service on December 29. Don’t worry, it’s only on one roundtrip from LaGuardia to Miami for 7 days. Then it disappears again; the rest of the MAX schedule has been removed. Presumably American is making its plans on that front now.
In the land of long-haul, things are getting cut this winter.
- Dallas/Fort Worth – Madrid and Paris are gone December 2 through January 4. Presumably things were booking up well, but it wasn’t bad enough for American to kill them the entire winter yet. We’ll see what January schedules bring.
- Dallas/Fort Worth – Hong Kong, Miami – Manaus, New York/JFK – Sao Paulo, and New York/JFK – Rio de Janeiro restarts have been pushed back again from December 17 to January 5.
Delta Does December, Grows Leisure Beyond
Delta rolled out its December schedule this week as well. Seats are down 28.8 percent versus 35.9 percent in November. That’s a pretty hefty schedule at this point. It also made several tweaks to winter and summer schedules as it focuses on leisure destinations.
- Atlanta/Los Angeles – Cabo San Lucas get one extra daily flight each until early April
- Atlanta – Venice and Minneapolis – Keflavik new 4x weekly May 27 – September 5
- Boston – Rome new 1x daily May 27 – September 5
- Boston – London CANCELED until April 1
- Cincinnati/Raleigh-Durham – Cancun 1x daily extended beyond holiday season through end of schedule
- Minneapolis – Liberia/St Thomas increases from 1x weekly to 4x weekly December – March
- New York/JFK – Madrid CANCELED until March 3
- New York/JFK – Rome cut from 4x to 3x weekly until April 1
- New York/JFK – Tel Aviv cut from 2x to 1x daily December 12 – March 31
- New York/LaGuardia – Key West new 1x daily December 18 – March 28
- Seattle – Palm Springs (2x daily) and Tucson (1x daily) December 18 – March 28
Hawaiian Does a Partial December
Hawaiian did a first pass at December, but it’s very incomplete. International was not cut at all yet, so that must be coming later. But even domestic doesn’t include last week’s announcement that Boston, JFK, and Long Beach flights are coming back. It does include several Kahului (Maui) flights to the mainland, but this will have to wait for another week, at least, to get a full picture.
JetBlue Cuts Again, This Time November
Last week, JetBlue cut late October flying. This week, it’s November’s turn. another 10 percent of seats in November have been pulled from the schedule, and it’s throughout the month across many routes. I can’t quite figure out why JetBlue is cutting so late in the game.
Southwest Ramps Up December
First, Southwest said it would stop limiting capacity to keep middle seats empty from December 1. Now it’s boosting December another 2.6 percent on top of that. The end result is a flood of new seats in the market, and Southwest seems to be feeling confident that it’s going to fill them.
United Extends Florida, Adds Thanksgiving
This week, United extended its Florida point-to-point flying from non-hubs in the Midwest and Northeast US all the way through early April. Every route is sticking around, though some at greater frequencies than others. United appears pretty happy with the results so far, even though none of these have actually flown yet.
Around Thanksgiving, the airline is bulking up a bit. Specifically, Chicago/O’Hare and Washington/Dulles are getting extra bank flying on peak days. It’s maybe a good sign that bookings are coming in better than expected.
That’s it for this week’s episode. Stay tuned next week for more Skeds of Air Lines.