As most of Airlineville dreads a Thanksgiving filled with people staying home and eating tiny turkeys with their small families, some are focusing on their gaze on 2021.
The Eskimo has not only filed plans for January and February, but it has also made changes beyond, with big shifts into the summer. The Eskimo was not alone here. The Eagle and Ms Blue also put out their January plans while the Widget revised its plans… downward.
The Animal and the Heart both leaked their plans for new routes with press releases last week. Those were all made official. But the Heart also pulled down more flying in January as it prepares to weather the winter storm. Meanwhile, the Globe will weather the storm by sending people south from an unlikely place.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Files January and February, Thinks Longer Term
Alaska put forth its first look at a January and February schedule this week. The January schedule runs through February 10, and it’s down about 45 percent. Meanwhile in February, which runs from the 11th through March 16, it’s a more hopeful preliminary cut of about 11 percent, give or take.
Notably, LA to both Boston and JFK remain canceled through that entire schedule along with several other transcons. More surprisingly, some Hawai’i flights disappear as well, including Honolulu and Kahului to Oakland and San Francisco alongside Kona and Lihu’e to LA and Oakland. For those keeping score, that means Oakland to Hawai’i service is gone entirely during that period. Hello, Southwest.
In the long term, Alaska notably changed most 737-900 flights to 737-800s. There has also been an additional daily flight added in several markets, primarily from Seattle. The net result is flat capacity. Do I think this means Alaska won’t be flying 737-900s? No, I think it’s more likely that it’s just selling lower capacity now and will adjust as needed when it gets closer. On the other hand, the reduction in A320 flying is probably a real thing since several are being returned to the lessors.
American Files January Schedule, Kills Some Small Cities For Good
American’s January schedule it out, and it has seats cut a little over 48 percent. I didn’t see anything overly exciting in there at first blush, but there was excitement elsewhere. Remember those small cities that American has been cutting month by month? Well, it looks like it’s the end of the line for New Haven, Newburgh/Stewart, and Williamsport (PA). Those cities have been cut through the end of the schedule while the others remain. RIP.
Meanwhile, in the longer run, American appears to be building a spring break kind of schedule. Aspen has a bunch more flights, as do Belize and Liberia plus some Caribbean spots. For the summer, get ready for weekly Chicago to Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola flights, so that’s… exciting? Perhaps most interesting is a weekly Boston – Key West flight on an Embraer 175. Can someone explain to me how that airplane can get off the Key West runway and make it all that way?
Delta Cuts Again
This appears to be a regular thing for Delta. It files a first round of cuts one week and then follows up with a second, smaller round the week after. January and February cuts came in around 28 percent of seats last week, but this week another 8 percent came off. Considering Delta also announced it would extend the middle seat block through March, that means the cut is actually a fair bit higher than it looks on the surface.
This time around, Seattle and Salt Lake saw bigger cuts than the other hubs. Seattle loses Bozeman while LAX gains it in March, which I thought was interesting. LA also gets more Jackson Hole and Sun Valley in March, an extension of the season I assume. Boston to Sarasota is gone for good, while Amsterdam to Salt Lake gets some good news. Its restart is pulled forward from March 28 to March 5.
Frontier Loads Oakland and Ontario
As the airline announced last week, Frontier will add a bunch of new routes from Ontario and will start flying to Oakland. There’s more than that for those who are interested. You can see full details here.
JetBlue Does What JetBlue Does
Do I even need to write this? Once again, JetBlue has cut close-in flying with 910 flights going away between December 1 and December 17. Every single week…. Meanwhile, JetBlue filed its January schedule (which runs through February 10) and seats are down about 56 percent. That’s likely to be one of the highest numbers of all airlines, but then again, the Northeast remains one of the toughest places to fly these days.
Southwest Files Savannah and Sarasota, Pulls Down January
Southwest filed its schedules for new destinations Savannah and Sarasota, as it announced last week. It also filed Long Beach – Honolulu and Orange County – Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. But before all that happens, Southwest pulled down peak days to off-peak levels in January. Now everything after the holidays is pretty steady at a lower level of flying.
United Adds LAX Leisure, Pulls Cape Town
In a bit of a surprise, United added Saturday-only service next year from Los Angeles to Belize, Cozumel, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, and Manzanillo. The bad news? Newark – Cape Town isn’t going to fly this winter. We shouldn’t really be all that surprised, even if South Africa has just re-opened its borders.
That’s it for this week’s episode. Stay tuned next week for a turkey-stuffed edition of Skeds of air Lines.