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The residents of Airlineville have been dreaming this week. The thought of laying on the warm sand to escape the winter blues has started to dominate their thoughts. And you know what? They’re feeling pretty optimistic about it. At least, the Eagle, the Widget, and the Animal are all expecting March to be a lot better than February… or so they hope.
The Heart also has warm weather on the mind, but Santa Barbara and Fresno aren’t exactly normal spring break destinations. This is a different kind of dream. Meanwhile, many others are fearing the new US testing rules, and they’re cutting back their short term plans even more.
All this and more as we dive into Cirium data to bring you this week’s episode. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines
Air Canada Goes Long From Montreal
Air Canada had an interesting week — if not a prolific one — by adding two new long-haul routes from Montreal. Delhi starts up in April while Cairo begins in June. Lisbon also gets more frequency from both Toronto and Montreal.
Alaska Responds to Delta
Last week, Delta built up Anchorage-Seattle to 6 daily. This week, Alaska laughed and added another five of its own daily flights during the peak summer. It is now at 19 daily. On the flip side, it pruned some flights down in the lower 48. San Jose to Jackson Hole and Missoula plus San Francisco to Missoula and Reno to Palm Springs won’t operate through the spring. It looks like Palm Springs to San Jose is gone all the way through the summer.
American Cuts March, Files Athens and Tel Aviv
American has put out its March schedule which is now showing down 30 percent compared to the previous year. That sounds aggressive, but the airline must just be hoping that the spring break crowd turns out in force. The airline has also filed its new service from JFK to Athens and Tel Aviv which it said was made possible by the JetBlue partnership. Tel Aviv starts in April while Athens starts in June.
American also took the opportunity to file some speculative Super Bowl flying for the big game down in Tampa. It filed flights from Buffalo, Kansas City, and Milwaukee (not Green Bay), but they weren’t put out for sale. After this weekend’s playoff games, some of those will obviously disappear and the rest will be sold.
Delta Cuts March, Bumps Summer
Delta brought March capacity down to now be 26 percent less than last March. That also seems like a lot of service, but Delta does like to bring things down closer to departure, so I imagine more cuts will be coming. This summer, it has now bumped up flying on Saturday and Sunday to a higher level. It looks like the bulk of the growth is in Atlanta, but there’s also some in New York and Detroit.
There’s more summer leisure flying in place as well with JFK to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket plus LaGuardia to Key West, Hilton Head, and Myrtle Beach joining the schedule for the summer.
Frontier Takes Down March, Adds New Routes
Frontier also took down March, and it’s 14 percent below last year. Is that final? Well, with Frontier, nothing is final until it flies. But I think Frontier is hoping that spring break will pay off. If it can maintain a schedule even remotely close to this, it’ll be a victory. Then there are the new routes coming online through the summer, including Cincinnati to Cancun and New Orleans; Las Vegas to Spokane and Tampa; Orlando to Phoenix and San Diego; Miami to Punta Cana and St Thomas; and Minneapolis/St Paul to Tampa.
Hawaiian Pulls Down Oceania
Hawaiian has given up on being able to fly to Australia and New Zealand until July. Considering Australia’s stance on the pandemic, I expect there will be more pulldowns to come. If Hawaiian flies down there this year at all, I’ll be surprised.
Southwest Files Fresno and Santa Barbara
Southwest had another quiet week, but it did file schedules for Fresno and Santa Barbara. Fresno gets a daily Denver flight and 3x daily Vegas flights while Santa Barbara gets a daily Denver and Oakland flight plus 3x daily Vegas flights. Service starts in April. Southwest has also given up on flying to Kaua’i from the mainland into June.
Spirit Adds Orlando Routes
Spirit has decided to start flying from Orlando to Port-au-Prince, Santo Domingo, and St Thomas beginning in March. In an odd twist, Spirit has canceled Phoenix to Orange County from mid-May into June. It’s a new route, so that’s a bit surprising, but what’s really weird is that it will still fly Orange County to Phoenix. Is this a mis-file? Or is this just an aircraft routing play? Beats me, but it’s weird.
United Tweaks the Spring
United did a little bit of this and a little bit of that. For two weeks starting January 27, it brought down some Latin flying, probably related to the US COVID-19 testing rules. Meanwhile, San Francisco – Bangalore’s start has been pushed to the end of May from the beginning of the month. Newark to Johannesburg is being delayed from the end of March into early June. Denver will get some flights extended through the summer, including Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola, Sarasota, and West Palm Beach.
- Aer Lingus won’t operate Dublin to Hartford or Shannon to Boston and JFK in February and March.
- Air New Zealand won’t fly from LA to Raratonga at least through June.
- Boutique starts Chadron to Rapid City and Phoenix to Prescott in February.
- British Airways won’t fly to Atlanta, Denver, or Las Vegas in February.
- Fiji Airways won’t fly LA to Nadi in March.
- French Bee has canceled Newark to Paris/Orly until May.
- Lufthansa won’t fly LA to Munich in February.
- Silver will start flying from Greenville/Spartanburg to Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa.
- Southern Air Express canceled a whole bunch of flying, but I have to wonder if it’s some kind of misfile.
- Sun Country won’t fly Minneapolis/St Paul to Sacramento this summer.
That’s it for this week. Stay tuned next week for our next episode.