Frontier Leaves LAX, Southwest Boosts Hawai’i, and Delta Takes a Swing at American

Schedule Changes

Last week, we left off with the residents of Airlineville making big changes well into the summer and fall. This week, they took a break from all that and did some housekeeping. It was a lighter week in the world of Cirium data, but that’s not to say it wasn’t an interesting one full of twists and turns.

The Animal surprised by picking up its toys at LAX and walking away for the greener pastures of… Burbank and Ontario. Ok, maybe they aren’t greener literally, but the Animal thinks there’s certainly more money to be made.

Meanwhile, the Heart was busy dreaming of the islands, the Widget took a swing at the Eagle, and the Sun decided no, it wouldn’t take the day off to start June.

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

Alaska Takes Down August

Alaska has cut the first half of August to match July almost entirely. The only difference? Minor increases in San Luis Obispo flying plus an attempt to go back into Seattle – Calgary. The second half of August presumably will go lower since that’s when the summer travel season starts to trail off, but it hasn’t been cut yet.

Allegiant Brings June 1 Back

Well, it turns out it was just a mistake. Allegiant restored its June 1 schedule after canceling the entire day last week.

American Boosts a Few Routes and Cuts Others

American gave an extra daily flight on several Charlotte routes including Appleton, Fort Walton Beach, Las Vegas, and Sarasota. It also cut back some markets, mostly in the Caribbean. And again, China has been pushed back. The resumption is now set for August, but I expect further delays. This was really a housekeeping week.

Delta Takes a Shot at American

Delta has filed some retaliation against American up in Boston. The airline will start flying from Boston to Charlotte 3x daily and Dallas/Fort Worth 2x daily beginning October 4. It will also add back Boston and LaGuardia to Toronto, border-willing, and LA to San Diego to the network.

In broader news, Delta cut the summer back some more, including taking down Canada flying since the border likely won’t be open. Most of the other cuts are largely international in July and domestic in August. They appear to be markets that were hoping to resume but won’t. The only thing that looks more permanent is Indianapolis – Salt Lake which is out through Nov.

Frontier is Out of LAX

This week Frontier said it would go into Burbank with flights to Vegas, Phoenix, and Denver. It also grew Denver from Ontario and added Atlanta from there as well. What it didn’t say is that it is pulling out of LAX entirely. Everything goes away in July except for 3x weekly to Denver that stick around until September. I have confirmed that the airline will walk away. I’m planning to write more on this tomorrow.

Southwest Is All About Hawai’i

Southwest filed its blizzard of new Hawai’i flying on the 737 MAX. To account for the shift of MAX airplanes west, it also upgauged several routes to get the airplanes into place and provide feed opportunities. Other than that, Southwest did add back flying in June, as it usually does after making its cuts.

A Huge Change for Spirit

Spirit this week decided to swap airplanes on Orlando – DFW and Orlando – Philly. Philly gets the bigger airplane while DFW gets the smaller one. That was the entirety of the filing. Huge.

United Adds a Dulles Bank

It looks like United has started firming up July, or at least the first half of it. The airline has added a new late night bank at Dulles for east coast flying, improving utilization of existing aircraft. As part of that, it looks like Milwaukee – Dulles will rejoin the network for the long run.

United is also upgauging Newark – Athens and starting Newark – Dubrovnik a week early, a positive sign of the demand in the market. In other news, San Francisco – Washington/National is going to come back in July.

Other Randomness

  • Advanced Air is back operating for Taos Air after a pandemic hiatus. It will fly from its Taos (NM) hub to Austin, Carlsbad (CA), Dallas/Love, and Hawthorne/Los Angeles on the Dornier 328JET.
  • Air Canada is making some frequency adjustments through the winter on Caribbean routes, mostly downward, but at the same time it’s growing Hawai’i with new service from Montreal and Toronto in addition to increased frequencies from Calgary and Vancouver.
  • Air China has cut everything to the US through Oct except for 1x daily LA to Beijing and 1x weekly to Shenzhen.
  • Air Transat is going to stay out of the US market until September at the earliest.
  • Elite will fly a couple times a week from Westchester to Melbourne (FL), Portland (ME), and Sarasota this summer.
  • Lufthansa wins head-scratcher of the year with a 2x weekly flight from Newark to Malta. It will pull down a Munich flight to fund this one.
  • Neos has filed its 2x weekly schedule from New York/JFK to Milan/Malpensa this summer. Good luck.
  • Singapore won’t fly Newark – Singapore, Houston – Manchester – Singapore, or Seattle – Singapore through the summer season.
  • Southern Air Express has won the Chadron (NE) essential air service contract. Boutique is moving out of the market in June when Southern picks up the Denver flying.
  • Virgin Atlantic has postponed all US – Manchester flying with New York hoping to start midway into June and nothing else happening until July at the earliest.
  • WestJet has finally come to terms with the fact that June is lost. It slashed capacity to a realistic level now. In the longer run, it appears to have given up on the summer season in Calgary – Orlando, Edmonton – Phoenix, Toronto – Puerto Vallarta, Vancouver – Palm Springs, and Winnipeg – Vegas through September.

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

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15 comments on “Frontier Leaves LAX, Southwest Boosts Hawai’i, and Delta Takes a Swing at American

  1. Delta has also begun to downgauge the flights they bragged about putting the 339neo on. I booked JFK-SEA in a suite, and am now on a 739. Looks like the 75S’s are all gone from the route as well.

    1. Delta didnt brag about putting a suite on JFK-SEA. The website The Points Guy did, without realizing that anything more than a month out is just a placeholder. They got people very excited and then left them high and dry when Delta actually finalized the schedule.

  2. I read on another site that Southwest will now be running 37 daily non-stops from the mainland to the Hawaiian Islands. At 175 seats per flight, that is 6,475 seats per DAY being pumped into Hawaii. And that does not include the intra-state flights among the islands. That is a massive amount of capacity added. Their press release (thanks for the link) says that 30 cities in the Midwest will now connect through their network to Hawaii. It’s really just a matter of time until they connect the East Coast to Hawaii, as well. Because the Hawaii flying requires exclusive use of ETOPS aircraft, it will be a true “airline-within-an-airline” operation, similar to Air Micronesia’s Guam operation, the Eastern Shuttle, and Pan Am’s Berlin flying. Always gratifying to see creativity in operations!!!

    1. Southwest to Hawaii is the hammer – Hawaiian is the anvil, and Alaska is in the middle.

      Alaska’s service to Mexico and Hawaii from California is something that’s only been historically successful because back in the day Southwest wasn’t in either of those markets.

      An example is SMF-Hawaii – two years ago, it was AS and HA. Today it’s WN and HA. That’s likely to be recapitulated in market after market from California to Hawaii.

      Hawaiian can’t afford to leave because without such routes it has no business. But Southwest has an overwhelming loyalty advantage over Alaska in California. That leaves Alaska as the uncomfortable meat in the sandwich.

      San Diego to Hawaii is the next installment – two years ago, pre-Covid, there were 5 flights/day to Hawaii from San Diego in Sep. Today, with the Southwest flights loaded, schedules show 12/day flights from San Diego to Hawaii in Sep. Someone has to blink.

      1. As it currently stands, it is real problem trying to book Hawaii from the East Coast on WN. The web site will not let you book straight through – you need to call the airline, and then it involves flying into either OAK or SJO and having to recheck bags since you’d have to book two separate flights. I am hoping that ends with this new bank of flights.

    2. There’s no guarantee these new flights will be successful. There’s also no guarantee they won’t. There’s a lot of capacity being dumped into Hawaii right now. And it’ll be interesting to see how much of it sticks around long term. As for an Alaska/Hawaiian merger, I’ve long felt that combination would make sense on many levels. But I can see a couple of “burning issues” with it. First, which name would be retained? Or…would the combined carrier adopt a new name? Or…would both brands be retained via a holding company a la Air France/KLM? Another is whether Hawaiian would end up in oneworld. Of course, neither of these is a deal-breaker.

  3. I’m guessing the EWR to Malta flight is to help fill lift for Viking cruises which is sailing ships out of Malta weekly for a couple months.

    1. Malta is also open to vaccinated US travelers beginning in June, and the country will pony up to 200 Euros toward your hotel stay, so this flight may actually be a pretty savvy move.

      1. My first thought was that that Malta flight was to help NYC area politicians of both parties more efficiently (ahem) “invest” their money outside the US, but your explanation makes a little more sense.

  4. I may be wrong, but airlines seem to be confident enough about the future that they feel they can more aggressively compete for business. As an aside, I prefer not to call this kind of behavior retaliation. To me, it’s just healthy competition. But of course, competition can get unhealthy. I believe it was J. P. Morgan who once observed, “Too much competition destroys all competition.” It seems to me that today’s airline managers have a better handle on when to compete head-to-head, and when to compete indirectly (which may why Frontier is exiting LAX, but I’m just guessing). Of course, much of the new head-to-head competition (to Dubrovnik, for example) could be a function of the limits on open markets. But to my larger point, the increasingly aggressive competition is a good sign – at least to me.

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