After the torrid pace of change last week, things slowed down a bit in Airlineville this week. But that doesn’t mean that the data coming out of Cirium was any less interesting. In fact, there were a lot of thoughtful, long-term moves this week that should get people talking.
The Widget was busiest with a long term play for LA. At the same time, it delayed (or destroyed?) the dreams of focus cities everywhere. The Eagle decided to go big, and by that, I mean it ditched its smallest jets for good. And the Heart? Well, there were some notable changes in Chicago that left others scratching their head.
Pualani and the Taxi both finalized their spring break plans. One is optimistic; the other not so much. North of the border, it was pure gloom as the reality of government limitations set in.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Sets Its Namesake’s Summer Plans
Alaska made a big schedule change in the State of Alaska this summer. During the peak, seats departing from any airport in Alaska are up over 4 percent vs the previous plan. Several routes get more frequencies while others see cuts. Aircraft gauge changes are all over with the Embraer 175 going on to Anchorage – Dillingham, Fairbanks, and King Salmon for the summer.
Down in the rest of the US, Alaska decided to fly LA – Cancun through the summer. Possibly more interesting, Alaska has delayed its return to the Oakland – Hawai’i market from April 4 until May 20. Southwest has been flying that through the pandemic. The brand new JFK – San Diego route received the same treatment.
American Retires the ERJ-140
American has pulled all 44-seat Embraer 140 flying from the schedule starting May 6. It appears that airplane will be retired. For now, all flights have just been moved to the 50-seat Embraer 145, but with many flights in New York, we know that will change. American said it would upgrade everything in New York to bigger airplanes.
Charlotte also some some growth this week with new routes to Marsh Harbour and Reno. Meanwhile, Cabo and Traverse City go from weekly to daily this summer.
Oddly, the China flights that American added via Incheon last week are gone once again. China is not in the schedule until May 6 now.
Delta Grows LA, Cuts Focus Cities
It was an active week for Delta in general, but what really caught my eye was growth in Los Angeles. Sure Atlanta – Burbank (and Colorado Springs, for that matter) are gone, but LAX will get new nonstop service to Houston/Intercontinental along with the return of Oakland. Mexico City, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh/Durham, and Tampa all get one extra daily flight. The only loser from LA? Columbus service is ending for good. Delta is making its move here.
Meanwhile, the focus cities were hit relatively hard. Raleigh/Durham’s return as a focus city was delayed again. Some flights will come back on April 12, but now Hartford, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Philadelphia won’t return until September 1 at the earliest. The great Miami experiment continues to stall out. Delta has now ditched both Orlando and Tampa flights. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is losing both Houston/Intercontinental and Phoenix flights as the former hub continues to shrink.
Over to Europe, Delta did a whole host of gauge changes. Several 767 flights were moved either up to A330-300s or down to 757-200s. Back home, West Palm Beach loses Boston flights for good and JFK flights until at least next winter. Meanwhile, Minneapolis may lose Palm Springs this summer, but it’ll gain Myrtle Beach, Portland (ME), Providence, Savannah, and Traverse City.
Hawaiian Sets March
Hawaiian has made its moves for March, and it looks nearly the same as February. What’s different? Well, other than the already loaded new Orlando + Ontario service and Long Beach – Maui, the biggest change is probably that Vegas – Honolulu goes down from 2x daily to 10x weekly while LA goes up from 1x daily to 12x weekly. Also, Phoenix and Long Beach – Honolulu both go up from 5x weekly to 1x daily. There are a few minor interisland increases too.
Southwest Cuts O’Hare
In an odd turn of events, Southwest has cut 1x daily frequency from each of its O’Hare markets before the service even started. There are a lot of potential theories here, but it’s most definitely not normal to see Southwest do something like this. So… speculate away. Southwest also loaded its MAX schedules with flights beginning March 11. There will be 10 aircraft routings per day criss-crossing the country.
Spirit Cuts February
Spirit pulled up the rear for March by finalizing its cuts this weekend, and they aren’t very aggressive. After being down more than 30 percent year over year in February, Spirit is down only 19 percent in March. It’s all about Florida. We’ll see if that pays off.
United Cuts Point-to-Point Sooner
United did a lot of experimenting with point-to-point Florida flying this winter, and some if it won’t make it into April. Boston – Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa; LaGuardia – Fort Myers, Tampa, West Palm Beach; Pittsburgh – Fort Myers; and Milwaukee – Tampa will not operate past March. Originally they bled into the early part of April, but this is just clean-up from previous schedule changes.
On the flip side, other hub routes are now extended through the summer, including Denver – Panama City, Sarasota, and West Palm Beach along with Washington/Dulles – Santo Domingo. Denver also gets an extra daily trip to Charleston (SC) and Orlando.
Santa Maria flights to both Denver and San Francisco are now gone until the end of September. That doesn’t bode well for the future of that airport in the United system.
- ANA is canceling Narita to JFK an San Francisco along with Haneda to San Jose through September.
- Avianca begins Ontario – San Salvador in July.
- Contour had pulled its schedules from Crescent City.
- Gol looks to be out of Orlando – Fortaleza and Manaus for good.
- Kuwait Airways has canceled JFK flights at least through July.
- Mokulele is connecting the dots and will fly Moloka’i to Lana’i.
- Norwegian’s long-haul flying has finally been removed from schedules.
- Sun Country will fly Minneapolis/St Paul – Tampa through the summer.
- TAP Air Portugal is pulling out of JFK through September. It’ll still serve Newark.
Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines.
For more detailed analysis of schedule changes, subscribe to Cranky Network Weekly. This weeks topics:
- Delta Makes Its Move in Los Angeles
- American Retires Its Smallest Airplane
- Southwest Gives O’Hare an O’Haircut
- The Remains of Canada’s International Flying
- Southwest Schedules the MAX
- Spirit’s March Winners and Losers