Finally, a breather in Airlineville! Last week’s torrid pace of change was met with mostly quiet this week. Mostly. But fear not, after sifting through the Cirium data, there were some secrets to be uncovered.
The Animal, the one airline to have slumbered last week, is back at it with some January moves. Ms Blue and the Heart were busy tweaking their future plans, some up, some down. For everyone else, it was a week of peaceful gardening, pruning the hedges, trimming the Europes, and little more than that.
Call it a transition episode this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Prunes California Again
Last week it was San Diego – Santa Barbara to be abandoned during the winter. This week, it’s San Luis Obispo to both Portland and San Diego to have the axe fall until mid-March. Meanwhile, Alaska decided to continue its Sacramento to Cabo weekly service from March all the way through the end of schedule now. So, congratulations to those who are looking to flee the central valley for another country next summer.
Allegiant Cuts the Border Again
Allegiant extended its schedule from early April to the end of May this week (May 25 to be exact), but other than that, it just walked away from Ogdensburg through winter. A reminder for those who don’t know what the heck an Ogdensburg is…. that’s the closest US city to Ottawa, so during normal times they pour across the border to find cheap flights to Florida.
American Pulls Down Europe Further
It’s going to be a long, cold, lonely winter in Europe, and American is cutting again. Dallas/Fort Worth to Amsterdam and Miami to London/Heathrow all but disappear in January, returning back to life in mid-Feb. In fact, many routes won’t be coming back until mid-Feb now including DFW to Hong Kong, Paris, and Madrid along with JFK to Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. In a bigger surprise, Honolulu sees cuts in the new year from DFW, Chicago, and Phoenix.
Is there any good news? If you like San Salvador, there is. American will add a second daily flight next summer. Why American is doing this so far out is beyond me. Maybe it has something to do with maintenance rotations. I have no clue.
Delta Trims Around the Edges
There were several tactical cuts for Delta this week. It pulled down several flights on off-peak days for Christmas. Interestingly, it had relatively recently turned Dec 18 into a peak day. Now it has pulled down some of that enthusiasm with 44 flights going away. Bigger than that, Delta appears to have pulled all Westchester flights through the end of Feb, so that won’t be returning any time soon.
Apparently Paris isn’t doing too well since Delta has pulled its flight from Detroit starting a mere two days from today. It won’t come back until March, but fear not, Air France is still in the market with infrequent flights. Over the other ocean, it appears Manila will remain off the route map until mid-Jan at this point.
If there’s any good news, it’s that Honolulu and Kahului both see an increase from LA. Oh, and Minneapolis gets the old-person express down down Sarasota.
Frontier Does January
Frontier has taken its first swing at January, and there are currently about 57 percent of flights compared to last year in the week ending Jan 17. That’s only slightly higher than the pre-holiday December schedule. The big emphasis is on Florida.
JetBlue Adds Turkey, Cuts After
JetBlue was so excited to be adding 25 flights over the Thanksgiving holiday that it put out a press release. It is nice to see the airline actually adding at the last minute instead of cutting… but the cutting trend continued in December with 50 flights going away on off-peak days, mostly. I did find it really interesting, however, to see LA to Charleston go from 2 flights that month all the way up to 5. Little bits of strength there? Beyond that, JFK to Georgetown in Guyana is now in the schedule through October.
Southwest Does What Southwest Does
Southwest spent the week in its shop, tweaking and trimming as it’s wont to do. In November, it added 250 flights between the 15th and the end of the month. Interestingly, the day with the biggest gain was Thanksgiving Day itself with 70 new flights. But looking into its crystal ball, Southwest pulled down about 2 percent of seats in January and a little under 1 percent in February.
Spirit in SNA
Spirit is getting ready to launch Orange County service with 2x daily to Oakland and 1x to Vegas in a couple of weeks. But all the traffic declines have opened up more opportunity for the airline, so on Jan 6 it will now add a second daily Vegas flight and a first to Phoenix.
In a very unimportant move that still somehow caught my eye, through December and January, Spirit will swap planes between the Baltimore – Cancun and Baltimore – Houston routes. Can you guess which gets the bigger airplane now? If you can’t, you may need to seek help.
Sun Country Pulls Huatulco
I haven’t paid much attention to Sun Country, but I figured I should probably start. This week, the airline walked away from MSP – Huatulco through the winter season. It also stepped away from MSP to Baltimore, Newark, Chicago, Boston, and St Louis in December with Boston and Newark pulled through January too.
United’s SMX Dream Deferred
United’s return to Santa Maria in California is apparently off for the winter. Flights were scheduled to start in March to Denver and San Francisco, but that is now pushed to June. We’ll see if that holds.
Other than that, it was a lot of news in the market. The airline did pull Boston – LA along with San Francisco to Cleveland and Tampa entirely in December along with frequencies on several other routes. There were several aircraft swaps, and it does look like Chicago to London gets an upgauge on one flight from a 767 to a 787-9 while several other European routes go down. It’s not major.
That’s this week’s mediocre episode. Stay tuned next week for more Skeds of Air Lines.