June Plans Change Again as Some Look Deeper Into Summer

Schedule Changes

What a roller coaster kind of week it was for our friends in Airlineville. Just as things seemed to be settling in for the early part of summer, circumstances changed again.

This week’s Cirium data was full of surprises. Just when we thought the Widget and the Globe had finalized their June plans, they changed them again. The same goes for Ms Blue in July and August. And it seems like the Globe will have more for us next week.

The Maple Leaf had a bad week as it realized it won’t be leaving the house much at all this summer. Oh, and while Pualani may leave the house, she’s not going to be leaving the country much. And the Eskimo will leave the house, but he’s going to be staying closer to home in August.

All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.

Air Canada Gives Up on Summer

Last week Air Canada started to pull back during the summer, but this week it really stepped up its efforts. Air Canada is now down 60 percent in July vs 2019, 56 percent in August, 38 percent in September, and 28 percent in October. Vancouver – Zurich is gone through October while Toronto – Brussels and Montreal – Tokyo/Narita are gone through September. A huge number of Caribbean/US destinations are gone through August. On the bright side, Toronto – Gander will run this summer, so there’s that.

Alaska Cuts Long

Alaska chipped away at August with a nearly 14 percent cut in available seat miles. Other than some intra-Alaska and a few Mexico flights, the cuts were all on routes of more than 1,600 miles. In fact, over 1,600 miles, seats were down more than 22 percent this week. Most of these cuts are just frequency cuts, but there is one exception. Boston – Los Angeles now won’t operate in August.

American Files Northeast Flying

American announced it would expand its Boston and New York operations last week, and this week it filed the schedules. I don’t need to get into details since you can just read the release. Other than that, American did its usual aircraft swapping to match capacity to demand a little better.

In the short term, DFW – Buenos Aires and Incheon will be cut back in May. JFK – Buenos Aires won’t operate in May at all. Meanwhile, struggling Seattle – London won’t fly in July.

Longer term, American is making some fall plans. It’s moving up some Phoenix routes to start a bit earlier, including Rapid City, Tampa, and Pittsburgh. Oh, and Cranky Network Award winner Loreto comes back in September from both Phoenix and DFW. I guess this means it’s done well enough to stick around, which makes me happy.

Looking even further, DFW – Auckland and LA – Christchurch were going to come back by November, but now they won’t fly until after the holiday season in early 2022. LA – Auckland will be pushed back to start just before the holidays.

Delta Cuts June Again

I thought Delta was mostly done cutting June, but I was wrong. It took another 8 percent of capacity out in June along with nearly 6 percent in July. The biggest cuts were in the back half of the month which is now brought down to the same levels as the first half.

In better news, Delta added Atlanta – Athens for the summer and starting in the fall, it will bring a flight from Portland (OR) to Incheon.

Frontier Files Its New Flights

These had all been announced, I believe, but Frontier has now filed new flights: Chicago/O’Hare – Salt Lake City; Dallas/Fort Worth – Cancun, Ontario, Salt Lake City; Denver – Anchorage, Durango, Grand Junction, Kalispell; Las Vegas – Durango; Miami – Myrtle Beach, Nassau, San Jose (CR), St Maarten; and Orlando – San Jose (CR), St Maarten. One I don’t remember seeing? San Juan – St Thomas.

Hawaiian Sets International This Summer

Hawaiian cut back its international schedule for June and July. Honolulu to Incheon, Narita, and Osaka will operate… and that’s about it for now.

JetBlue Works on Summer

JetBlue took down July and August another 10 percent with June down 6 percent. Cuts were pretty much across the board with several frequencies getting whacked. Boston – LaGuardia and JFK – Ponce (PR) now won’t operate through August. But we do have one new route starting in August… Newark – Cartagena.

United Cuts Again and Again

Just as we thought United was getting ahead of the game last week, it has now cut again. This week, it cut additional June flights for June 3 – 17. I assume we’ll see the second half of the month come next week. Right now, United is down 38 percent in June vs 2019, far, far lower than what we see with other airlines. United really cut July back significantly with 10 percent of flights going away. This likely isn’t a final cut, but it’s just a preliminary trim with a fair number of flights going away that money.

Other than this, United is pulling out of Houston – Lexington. It’s adding, as announced, Newark – Dubrovnik, Chicago – Keflavik/Reykjavik, and Washington/Dulles – Athens.

WestJet’s Big Change

Just kidding. It isn’t big, but WestJet has apparently decided to sell only 112 seats on its 737-600s, not 113 as before. Why? Well, they need to have that extra seat for the suitcase full of Tim Hortons donuts.

Other Randomness

  • Not even the power of summer in Italy is enough to keep Alitalia flying Boston – Rome and JFK – Milan in June.
  • Boutique will stop flying from Carlsbad (NM) to El Paso and will instead focus on DFW flights from there.
  • British Airways won’t fly to Atlanta and Denver through May and Newark won’t operate in June either.
  • Cape Air seems to have deleted its schedule from May on. I’ll go ahead and assume that’s a mistake.
  • China Eastern has canceled Chicago – Shanghai and LA – Nanjing through the end of October.
  • Copa won’t fly to Denver, Las Vegas, and New Orleans at least through August now.
  • Eurowings Discover — part of the Lufthansa Group — was going to add a Frankfurt – Anchorage flight this summer. Now it’s not.
  • La Compagnie is feeling good about the chances of vaccinated Americans being able to go to France this summer. It has added Monday and Friday flights from Newark to Nice.
  • Qatar and Emirates are both digging Dallas. Emirates will boost from 3x to 4x weekly while Qatar will go from daily to 10x weekly.
  • Sun Country was going to fly LA – Vegas once a week. That appears gone through November. Madison to Orlando and Minneapolis look like they won’t operate this winter.
  • Viva Aerobus is pulling back in Nashvillle with no Cabo flights this summer and Cancun not operating in the fall. But it will be adding a new, very short, 150 mile route from Harlingen to Monterrey. Not to be outdone, Aeromar will double service to Monterrey from nearby McAllen going from 2x weekly to 4x.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines.

20 comments on “June Plans Change Again as Some Look Deeper Into Summer

  1. Hi Brett, thanks for the update again. What are B6, AS, DL and F9 capacity looking like vs 2019 after these cuts?

    1. FC – Sounds like you need to subscribe to Cranky Network Weekly!

      For June, here’s where the airlines that seem to be close to reality are sitting: Air Canada -79% Alaska -20% Allegiant +16% American -19% Delta -27% Frontier +3% JetBlue -3% Spirit -2% United -38%*

      *United is going to cut more. It cut Jun 3-17 this week further, so I assume next week we’ll see the rest cut.

      Hawaiian, Southwest, and WestJet we don’t believe are accurate yet.

      1. Hi CF:

        I’m a subscriber of the daily for years now.
        I read every single one of them and I found them extremely interesting.
        I hardly ever comment.
        Thank you for everything you are doing.

  2. CF – As always, love the detailed analysis. I’m intrigued by UA continuing to cut deeper than AA and DL. Any speculation as to why that may be the case? Is it because they are more exposed internationally? I recognize EWR took a huge hit with Covid initially but with wide spread vaccination, I would imagine that would smooth things out in the NE. They just seem to be a lot more cautious than the other carriers, which is surprising as they aren’t dealing with the massive pilot woes that DL is.

    1. Chris – We dug into this last week in Cranky Network Weekly, and we’re not completely sure why. It could just be general conservatism, but it could also be issues with reactivating aircraft and crews. United does have a big issue with those P&W-powered 777s that have engine issues, so that is something. But it shouldn’t really stop United from doing more than it has already done. There are probably multiple things going on here.

      1. I am pretty sure it’s the flight crews. UA’s flight training is backlogged and it’s going to take them some time to get pilots qualified to support a higher level of ops.

  3. Line of the day – “JetBlue took down July and August another 10 percent with June down 6 percent. Cuts were pretty much across the board with several frequencies getting whacked.”

    CF is having a Saprano’s moment.

  4. I’m happy to see PIT-PHX return on American. Southwest has been way overpriced on that route.

  5. Cranky- random question- under normal conditions (in pre-covid times), how much would airlines pull down or shift their schedules 60 days out? In other words, what part of the changes that you report would you estimate is normal business versus continuing to adjust for covid? Thanks.

    1. Bill – Not much. Big cuts/changes were usually closer to 100 days out before COVID. I’m sure they’d like to get there again, but it’s exceedingly hard to do that in this environment.

  6. “Change Again”, “roller coaster”, “surprises” … dynamic scheduling is here to stay (even post recovery) as part of airline’s quest to become an agile enterprise

    1. There is a lot of cost and damage to the brand associated with these last minute changes. Tens or hundreds of PNRs are impacted by these 60 day cancels. Additionally, working groups ramp up expecting a certain level of flying and are left with not much to do.

  7. On a tangentially related note, it was good to see many of the U.S. airlines get to, or close to, cash-flow positive in March.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cranky Flier