It was a different kind of week in Airlineville. While we’ve gotten used to watching everyone focus on the immediate term, some residents have started thinking about their slightly more distant future. Who knew that was even possible? It was a nice change of pace to flex that Cirium data out several months.
It has been a long time since the Heart last extended its schedule, and this time it went long… going all the way into August. Meanwhile, Pualani put out her new plans for 2021 including some realy nice surprises. The Widget had spring break on the mind, and the Eagle surprised by making Presidents Day plans early. Oh, and the Globe has given up on Canada for a long time.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t any short-term plans being made. The Animal as usual made some last minute cuts, and a whole bunch of airlines took their anger out on the Kaua’i quarantine requirement by slashing Lihu’e flights further.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Skeds of air Lines.
Alaska Brings December Down, Not Just Lihu’e
We’re nearly halfway through December, but Alaska just pulled another 2 percent of total capacity for the month. Since it was focused on December 15 – 31, it was really a higher percent than that during the back half. Much of this was the long-awaited pulldown of Kaua’i flying now that the island has gone back to quarantine. All Lihu’e flights have been pulled December 15 through January 5. LA and Oakland are gone until mid-March. Portland and San Jose are 3x weekly and San Diego is 4x weekly until mid-February.
The rest of the pulldown is mostly frequency cuts in high-frequency Seattle markets. It includes Vegas, Los Angeles, Medford, Portland, and Orange County. Lastly, Palm Springs – San Jose will go away until mid-February. Not a pulldown, but Alaska has now expanded its MAX schedule to include LA and San Diego to Seattle.
Allegiant’s Targeted Cut
I just found this so amusing. Allegiant’s entire schedule change involved cutting 14 flights for today, Monday, December 14. That’s it.
American Pulls Down February
American surprised by making its February cuts early. February is now down just a bit more on a percentage basis year-over-year compared to January. That’s not a great trend. American also added Philly to Hilton Head and Chicago to Harlingen, of all places.
The airline also greatly expanded its MAX schedules. They’ll remain in Miami only for now, but you’ll see them flying to
Anguilla Antigua, Aruba, Cancun, Guatemala, Havana, Kingston, Montego Bay, Medellin, Mexico City, Managua, Port-au-Prince, Phoenix, Punta Cana, San Pedro Sula, Santo Domingo, and San Jose (CR). Those all start February 11.
Lihu’e was also on the chopping block for American. It’ll now not fly to the airport until January 5 at the earliest.
Delta Starts to Cut in March
Delta’s cutting once again. It looks like it’s taking its worst-performing markets and extending their suspensions through March. That includes a wholesale gutting of the Raleigh/Durham and Cincinnati focus cities to match previous month pandemic plans. Some of those cuts appear to be permanent, including Cincinnati to Charlotte, Hartford, Kansas City, and St Louis along with Raleigh/Durham to Austin, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh. Those are now gone through the end of the schedule.
Frontier Keeps on Cutting
Frontier keeps doing its rolling cutting, this time it’s for December 15 – 22. These must be poor-performers, but still, there have to be some people that were booked on these flights that will now have trouble getting to their destination for Christmas. Frontier also cut another nearly 7 percent of capacity in February as it reads the tea leaves.
Hawaiian Adds 4 New Markets
Hawaiian rolled out four new markets, all really interesting ones. Personally, I’m obviously thrilled to see new daily Long Beach – Kahului flights. Ontario will regain service for the first time since 2004 with a 5x weekly flight to Honolulu. The bolder moves are 2x weekly from Honolulu to both Austin and Orlando. These are fascinating experiments made possible by the lower demand for aircraft time during the pandemic. It can take a swing and see what works.
Southwest Extends Its Schedule
This was a huge week for Southwest. It finally extended its schedule into August. At the same time, it filed its new schedules for Houston/Intercontinental and Jackson (MS). As I wrote on Thursday, Long Beach also had its flights all filled out with the new slots. Southwest further cut February and March schedules. It looks like there’s been a shift toward more leisure flying, and now the schedules through March look fairly firm… pending further demand changes, of course. Nothing is truly permanent. After that, schedules are slightly below normal levels, and it’s highly likely we’ll see more refinement when it gets closer.
Southwest joined the party and took another whack at Lihu’e. It has absolutely punished the island by suspending all mainland flights until March 11. For now, it expects to fly 2 daily to Honolulu after the holiday season, and that’s it.
A Quiet Week for United Outside of Canada
It looks like the folks at United got a break this week… unless they handle Canada. Oh sure, they did gut Mammoth Lakes flying. I’m guessing the subsidy dried up there. Montrose lost some flights, as did Aguascalientes. Oh, and Lihu’e got pulled down further between December 27 and December 31 plus January 3 and 4. SFO goes from 2x to 1x daily while LA disappears.
The big news out of United, however, is that it has extended its pandemic schedule to Canada all the way into mid-March. I guess they aren’t optimistic about borders opening any time soon.
That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines.