Summertime and the livin’s easy… oh wait, no it’s not. Great song – and, with apologies to the First Lady of Song, Sublime is qualified to represent the LBC — but this is Airlineville, and in Airlineville, summer is decidedly uneasy.
This week, no less than five residents tried to add a little more certainty to their summer plans, but most didn’t get very far. The Eskimo probably got the closest with its version of spring-cleaning, but then again, the Animal went the other direction and bulked up, and that may prove to be the best plan. The Globe, the Taxi, and the Widget all made some changes, but they are far from done.
We had a new resident move in this week. The Swift Bird, more formally known as Avelo, did not get around to filing its intentions with Cirium — like everyone else does to make our lives better — but that didn’t stop the nosiest among us from doing a little digging of our own.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Tries to Pull Into the Summer
Alaska appears to have made a legitimate effort to create a flyable summer schedule. April and May have been showing down 21 percent vs 2019. After this week, June is now showing down 20 percent and July is down 18 percent. Several markets will return, but this isn’t as hopeful of a schedule as you might look to see.
American Prepares for Avelo
Avelo only launched a few days ago, so could American’s big increase in Burbank – Phoenix starting in August be related? It’s hard to think otherwise. Avelo will fly daily from Burbank to Phoenix/Mesa, and now American will be adding a fifth daily flight to Phoenix/Sky Harbor starting this fall. It will also upgauge all flights from being operated by a CRJ-900 to an A319.
In other news, Charlotte – Honolulu will extend through the fall season and DFW – Santa Rosa will get a second daily flight for the summer.
Delta Gets Cutting This Summer
Delta took a whack at several routes this summer with New York/LaGuardia taking the biggest hit. These won’t operate until September at the earliest:
- Atlanta – Vancouver
- Boston – Milwaukee
- Detroit – Moline, Oklahoma City
- Los Angeles – Palm Springs
- Minneapolis/St Paul – Aruba, Montreal, St Thomas, Tucson, Tulsa
- New York/LaGuardia – Bangor, Burlington, Chattanooga, Des Moines, Lexington, Madison
- Salt Lake City – Columbus, Toronto
- Washington/National – Lexington, Madison, Omaha
This doesn’t include the markets that saw frequency decreases, nor does it include some permanent cuts in Atlanta – Oakland, Detroit – Little Rock, and Minneapolis – Norfolk and Rochester.
Let’s end on a good note. Detroit to Orange County is coming back in July. Meanwhile, JFK will have West Palm Beach service through the summer while LaGuardia will get Martha’s Vineyard and Sarasota.
Frontier’s Massive Summer Growth
The numbers jumped out on the page. Frontier filed increases all summer culminating in a nearly 20 percent capacity increase in August. So what’s happening? Well, August was at a lower level then the earlier part of the summer. Now it has been increased to match. Further, throughout the summer, Tuesdays and Wednesday get big increases while Sunday gets pulled down a little, reducing the daily variation.
Hawaiian Trims Neighbor Island Flying
Hawaiian didn’t do much, but it did end Kona – Lihu’e and Hilo – Kahului during May. Other interisland routes will lose some frequencies that month. I imagine the continued requirement for testing to travel between counties in the state continues to hamper interisland demand. A vaccine passport can’t come soon enough.
JetBlue’s Surgical Summer Cuts
JetBlue made some targeted cuts for the summer, ending service from mid-June through early September in the following markets.
- Fort Lauderdale – Pittsburgh, Port of Spain
- Providence – Fort Myers, Tampa, West Palm Beach
- San Francisco – Austin, Raleigh/Durham
- Washington/National – Fort Myers
- Tampa – Richmond
There doesn’t seem to be a pattern here that I can see — other than Providence getting crushed — so it must just be the biggest underperformers.
Spirit Cuts in June, Adds For the Rest of the Summer
Spirit is adding service on several routes through the summer season, including new summer flights between Chicago/O’Hare and Phoenix. In addition, the following routes see summer frequency increases:
- Fort Lauderdale – Baranquilla, Cap Haitien, Cartagena, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, New York/LaGuardia, St Thomas
- Fort Myers – Atlantic City, Chicago/O’Hare, Detroit
- Myrtle Beach – Atlantic City, Boston, Chicago/O’Hare
- Orlando – Atlantic City, Indianapolis, Latrobe
- Tampa – Chicago/O’Hare, Detroit, Indianapolis
On the flip side, in June, there were several routes that were canceled for the full month.
- Austin – Chicago/O’Hare, Newark, New Orleans
- Baltimore – Chicago/O’Hare, Minneapolis/St Paul, Montego Bay, San Salvador
- Boston – Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago/O’Hare, Las Vegas, Newark, New Orleans
- Cancun – Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, Philly, Pittsburgh
- Houston – Oakland
- Los Angeles – Minneapolis/St Paul
- Newark – Fort Myers, Nashville, Tampa
- New Orleans – Columbus, Philly, San Pedro Sula
- New York/LaGuardia – Chicago/O’Hare
- Orlando – Cartagena, Montego Bay, Port-au-Prince
United Gets a Jump on Summer
United is usually late to the game when it comes to pulling schedules down to reality, but it has apparently looked at the summer and realized it could cut what it knows won’t make sense. It chopped 8.8 percent of capacity in June, 7.5 percent in July, and 5.1 percent in August. The cuts were spread far and wide, but there was also some growth buried in there, primarily in outdoorsy markets. This isn’t a final schedule but it is more realistic than what was out there.
- Aeromexico will be back in Dallas/Fort Worth and in Austin starting in July.
- Air Canada is getting so desperate to find new domestic markets that it has decided to fly Fort McMurray to Toronto and Ottawa to Victoria this summer.
- Boutique will fly Boston – Burlington this summer season.
- Elite Airways will take a swing at Westchester to both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket this summer.
- French Bee won’t operate Newark – Paris in May.
- Korean has extended its Guam/Hawai’i beach market suspensions through May.
- Silver will start flying Jacksonville to New Orleans in June.
- Sun Country continues to mess with my mind. It has now canceled Dallas/Fort Worth – Orange County service.
- Ukraine International won’t fly to New York through the summer season.
- WestJet finally got around to cutting May schedules. It is now down a mere 87 percent vs 2019 compared to 92 percent in April.
That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines.