Airlineville is abuzz as the last outliers — that’s you Pualani, the Globe, and the Taxi — have finally settled April plans. Spring break is locked in, and now the focus turns toward the lean period until summer. Or does it?
Some residents are looking beyond, and none more than the Globe which this week made Cirium work overtime to process all those reductions in summer international travel plans. I suppose it’s just a recognition of reality. The closer we get to summer, the more we have to realize it won’t be back to normal, not by a longshot. That may also explain why the Taxi is doing the unthinkable and shifting resources INTO Florida during the hot, sticky summer.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Adds New Routes, Retaliates Elsewhere
Alaska announced this week that it would add service into more outdoorsy routes this summer with flights from Bozeman to San Diego and San Francisco as well as from Kalispell to Los Angeles and San Diego. In the nearer term, Alaska is seeing some Portland weakness this month. It has cut back on several short-haul routes by 1 daily flight for the last two weeks of the month.
Lastly, Alaska doesn’t seem to be too happy with JetBlue’s decision to fly Newark – Seattle this summer. It is ramping up from 2x to 3x daily.
American Bulks up Texas, Domestic Caribbean
American has decided the time has come to add more service to St Thomas and San Juan this summer. At the same time, it will either use bigger airplanes or increase frequency on routes from Dallas/Fort Worth to Brownsville, El Paso, Harlingen, Lubbock, and McAllen. Oh, and if you’re going to Anchorage this summer, American will fly a 787-9 from DFW. It’s also extending that service year-round, though only on an A321neo in the winter.
On the downside, American won’t fly from Bozeman to LAX this summer. Also, Ecuador gets a haircut through the end of schedule with Miami – Guayaquil and Quito each dropping from 3x to 2x daily.
Delta Extends April
It was an odd week for Delta. The airline extended its April schedule by three days, cutting service significantly on May 2 – 4 to match the earlier pattern. Why? I don’t know, but I assume that there will be a different May schedule that starts May 5. What’s interesting about this, potentially, is that middle seat blocking currently ends on April 30, so I figured the schedule would end that day as well if the block was really going to end.
Separately, Delta decided to push the restart of a few European routes into June/July. That includes Amsterdam – Portland, Atlanta – Stuttgart, and Cincinnati – Paris/CDG. More interesting than that, however, is that Delta is going BIG in Rome. This June, Delta has 4x daily scheduled from JFK. That’s unreal.
Hawaiian Extends to May
Hawaiian gave us a twofer by finalizing both April and May schedules this week. In April, most of the returning markets are Lihu’e-focused as Kaua’i re-enters the quarantine exemption program. Lihu’e – Kahului, Los Angeles, and Oakland all return, as does Kahului – Kona. Then in May, Austin – Honolulu starts up as planned. Right now, Papeete and Pago Pago are both still in the May schedule, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see those fall off as we get closer.
As usual, Southwest has been tinkering with its schedules, adding back flights where it can. Most notably this week, Southwest has decided to add flights and extend the season for Denver to Montrose and Steamboat Springs. It is also shifting its Saturday schedule from O’Hare by adding Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa. Saturday from Houston/Intercontinental adds Las Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix. Both replace existing frequencies in other markets.
Spirit Shifts to Florida
Spirit finalized its April schedule this week, but most interesting was a big shift of capacity into Florida, specifically Fort Myers and Tampa, from elsewhere. Austin loses Baltimore, Denver, and Nashville. Nashville also loses Baltimore, Cancun, and New Orleans. Baltimore also loses Charlotte and Denver. The lists go on. But Tampa gains Boston, Columbus, Hartford, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St Paul, and Pittsburgh. Fort Myers gets all those plus Cleveland.
United Sets April, Slashes Summer
April is now finally set for United, but the bigger news here is that summer international flying has been slashed. Several aircraft will see downgauging, but many routes will also disappear this summer, including:
- Chicago/O’Hare – Beijing, Edinburgh, Shanghai, Zurich
- Houston/Intercontinental – Munich
- Newark – Berlin, Geneva, Glasgow
- San Francisco – Dublin, Paris/CDG
- Washington/Dulles – Amsterdam, Beijing, Dublin, Edinburgh, Geneva, Lisbon, Tel Aviv, Tokyo/Haneda
In addition, several London and Frankfurt routes will see reduced frequency.
- Aer Lingus won’t fly Boston – Shannon in June, and JFK won’t operate to Shannon until later June. I’ll bet neither will fly this summer.
- Aeroflot has pulled out of Washington/Dulles – Moscow while New York/JFK will only operate 1x daily instead of 3x daily.
- Air Canada won’t fly Toronto – Holguin or Montreal – Puerto Plata this summer. The airline also appears to be out of Toronto – LA until May.
- Air China has extended its spartan pandemic schedule through June.
- Avianca won’t fly San Salvador – DFW through April.
- Jetstar has followed big brother Qantas by canceling Honolulu flying until late October.
- La Compagnie won’t fly to Newark in April.
- LATAM will return to LA – Santiago on April 15 and JFK – Santiago on May 1.
- LOT Polish made a bunch of changes. Its Newark-Rzeszow and JFK – Krakow flights won’t operate during the shoulder season. Newark and Miami – Warsaw are gone until June when it goes to 3x weekly. LA – Warsaw will operate 2x – 3x weekly during the summer only.
- Porter has extended its full suspension of service to May.
- Sun Country has one 737-700 to complement its 737-800 fleet, and this summer that airplane will fly Minneapolis – Hartford, Jackson Hole, and Orange County along with Orange County – DFW.
- Surinam Airways apparently doesn’t like American flying Miami – Paramaribo. It will now fly the route weekly on a year-round basis.
- SWISS drops Boston and JFK to Zurich down from 2x to 1x daily. LA, Miami, and San Francisco will all operate 4x weekly.
- WestJet will not fly Halifax – Glasgow this summer.
That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines.