The holidays are done, and it’s time for the airlines to all get back to work on their 2021 plans. This week, the Eskimo, the Taxi, and the Globe all got around to mapping out their Februaries. Those dance cards are filling up, mostly because there’s a lot less room on them. Now the residents of Airlineville get to play that time-honored game… will they have to take more action or are they good to go? As always, I’ll be watching my trusty Cirium data closely to see.
Ms Blue has gotten ahead of the game with some early spring cleaning, eliminating cities entirely into the early days of summer. It’s always a surprise to see someone looking beyond the horizon these days, even if it’s not a particularly pleasant one.
This week wasn’t all about cutting, however. The Eagle, the Widget, and the Globe all continue to come up with new ways to serve people in swimsuits. In the Widget’s case, it looks like things with the Eskimo may be heating up… just a smidge.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Sets February
Alaska filed a bunch of cuts this weekend. First, it brought the back half of January down to early January levels. Then it cut February 11 through March 17 down to reasonable levels, though future changes are likely. The airline also filed its Austin – LA service which I’ll be talking about in a separate post soon. But as part of that, a surprise… it decided to boost up Austin – SF to 3x daily as well.
American Adds New Sun Routes
It seems like a weekly occurrence as of late, but American has thrown out a handful of new sun routes once again. Chicago – Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola start in March. April brings Boston – Hilton Head while May draws Philly – Fort Walton Beach and Panama City.
Delta Tinkers and Tackles Seattle
Delta also had a tinkering week. It gutted Atlanta – Montreal, switched one of its Escanaba flights from Detroit to Minneapolis, and pushed the Dakar flight up to daily. Maybe more interesting — slightly — is a decision to operate Seattle to Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta year-round. All of those are flown by Alaska as well. The Cabo flight, I should note, appears to be funded by taking a daily flight out of LA – Cabo in April. Not sure what happens after that, but Seattle is a priority, it seems.
Frontier Makes Its Regular Cuts
Frontier pulled down Jan 14 – 19 this week, but these cuts were far less than what we saw last week.
Hawaiian Takes Down Some Capacity to the Mainland
Hawaiian looks like it was maybe a little aggressive on Maui – mainland flights. It will pull a couple frequencies in several markets in February and March. The airline is also downgauging the Honolulu – San Diego flight from an A330 to an A321neo through March. It was already going to switch to a neo at that point and then go through May 25, so this just extends it. Hawaiian also continued its suspension of Papeete through February.
JetBlue Unloads Suspensions
JetBlue has decided to extend its suspension of service to Baltimore, Burbank, Ontario, and San Jose. That was supposed to restart in April, but now it won’t happen until June at the earliest. On top of that, JetBlue has suspended flying to Albuquerque, Burlington (VT), Minneapolis/St Paul, and Portland (OR) during February and March. That’s an interesting move, since it’s not clear to me if the DOT is going to require those cities to be served or not as part of PSP 2.0. But hey, at least you now know which markets suck the most for JetBlue.
Southwest Digs for Gold in February
Southwest suspended Havana – Tampa flights into March, but more interesting is that the airline has reverted to its old plan of adding incremental flights where demand may exist. In February, the airline added 94 flights. including one flight the whole month from Buffalo to Fort Myers and Rochester to Orlando. Go figure.
Spirit Loads February
Spirit has finally gotten around to making its February cuts, and it is currently planning for capacity to be down only 32 percent year-over-year. That’s the same as Alaska, but no other airline is that strong except for Allegiant. I wonder if this will hold.
United Also Adds Sun Routes
American can’t corner the market on new sun routes. United will add Washington/Dulles to Panama City and Pensacola in March. (Pensacola gets up to 2x daily.) Houston gets flights to Key West and Sarasota. The good people of Fort Dodge and Mason City (both in Iowa) will get United service after the essential air service contract moves away from Air Choice One in March. Meanwhile, LAX loses out in Mexico with the suspension of Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo through April and Cozumel through March.
WestJet Cuts Some Cities for the Long Haul
WestJet whacked Vegas until April from every gateway. It will also suspend Huatulco, Aruba, and Orlando until June. Mazatlan and Zihuatanejo appear to be off the schedule until the Fall while Bonaire looks to be gone for good… unless new service gets loaded down the line.
- Aeromexico won’t fly Monterrey to JFK, LA, or Vegas in March, extending suspensions.
- AirAsia X has suspended Honolulu flights through February. This may be permanent (as the airline might not survive at all).
- Azul won’t fly Orlando – Campinas/Viracopos in April
- Boutique is already flying Boston – Massena (NY) and will now fly there from Baltimore as well.
- Copa won’t fly Panama City to Denver in April or May. Vegas and New Orleans won’t get flights March through May.
- El Al won’t operate Tel Aviv to Vegas in February.
- Silver slashed frequency on a ton of routes through the end of its schedule. Only Fort Lauderdale to Nassau and Orlando see growth.
- Surinam Airways won’t fly Miami to Paramaribo until the end of March.
- Swoop has cut Edmonton to Phoenix/Mesa down to once weekly. Vegas will not fly in February but will be at half frequency from March on compared to previous schedules. Swoop will also cancel Toronto to Orlando and Tampa through the end of the schedule.
- Turkish has pushed the extension of its Newark service suspension into May.
And that’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines.