United Walks Away From Nine Cities as Pilot Shortages Loom

Schedule Changes

That was quite a turn of events. The residents of Airlineville are ready to go. They want to travel all over the place, but, uh, well, they can’t find anyone to drive.

This week’s Cirium data shows the Globe seems to be having enough trouble with its kids that is has crossed a few cities off its bucket list. Maybe that’ll change in the future. Meanwhile, the Sun, the Taxi, the Heart, and Ms Blue all pulled back on their plans at some point. But Ms Blue, interestingly, is actually making new plans for the beginning of next year. What a novel concept.

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

Alaska Plays With Gauge, Adds Miami

Alaska will go back into Miami starting in June. It will continue to serve Fort Lauderdale, so this flight will not only be complementary but will also feed partner American’s hub.

Alaska has also finally adjusted its winter schedules to have the right aircraft attached through March. What does that mean? Alaska previously had most of its 737 flying on the 737-800. Now it has shifted a great number of those flights over to 737-900s once it determined which routes needed more capacity.

In other news, Alaska will move one of its two JFK – Portland flights down to San Francisco. It will now have 5x daily from SFO.

Allegiant’s Surprise Cut

Allegiant doesn’t usually cut flights, at least not relatively close in. But this week, the airline pulled down December flying more than 6 percent. Several routes are gone for the month including such obvious winners as Nashville – Flint, Albuquerque – Austin, and Indianapolis – Tucson.

Allegiant also removed all Cleveland service, as previously announced. It will start Akron/Canton – Punta Gorda, Sarasota, Savannah, and St Pete in March.

American Delays New Routes Again, Pulls December

American has once again delayed its Seattle – Bangalore flight from starting in January to now starting at the end of March. Same goes for Dallas/Fort Worth – Tel Aviv. The airline has also cut about two-thirds of a point in December, the cuts are, we assume, to give a little more operational slack.

American has been planning to rapidly push Embraer 175s into LAX to replace CRJ-700s, but now it has moved some airplanes around. Albuquerque, Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma City, Omaha, and Tulsa will now all see some shifting of flights between the aircraft over the next few months.

Lastly, some odds and ends. Charlotte and DFW – Traverse City won’t operate in the spring while Culiacan – Phoenix will fly through the summer.

Breeze Extends Its Schedule and Cuts

Breeze has now extended its schedule through May 2, 2022, and it has also ditched some routes. Huntsville – Charleston will not operate December through mid-February. Oklahoma City and Tulsa service to New Orleans and San Antonio will end on November 28. After that, the two Oklahoma cities will only be served 2x weekly from Tampa. The airline did add some more flying in existing markets, including its first Tuesday flight, a trip from Richmond to Tampa.

JetBlue Goes Up, Then Comes Down

I’m a little confused. JetBlue filed some January/February changes, but there wasn’t a negative sign in front of the number. So I think that means the airline is… adding flights? It’s actually almost entirely JFK, with the biggest increases in Bermuda, Burbank, Charleston (SC), Chicago/O’Hare, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Reno, San Jose, and Savannah.

It’s a decidedly different story in May and June when JetBlue pulled down 2.5 to 3.5 percent of capacity. This looks like an effort to pull out some of the placeholder flying that definitely won’t operate, but it’s not final yet.

Southwest Cuts Twice

Southwest also had changes during two different periods, but in this case, both were cuts. First, in January and February, Southwest pulled down a variety of frequencies between Hawaiʻi and the mainland. No routes disappear completely, but Kona – Sacramento and San Diego do take a brief break during January.

Then in March and April, Southwest cut between 2.5 and 3.5 percent respectively. This looks more like a broader pulldown to match lower expected demand.

Spirit Makes January Cuts

Spirit has filed cuts for January through February 15. January is down just over 8 percent. Cuts are pretty broad. The only markets that disappear during that time period are Fort Lauderdale – Hartford, Managua, Minneapolis/St Paul, Pensacola, Raleigh/Durham; Detroit – Minneapolis/St Paul; Orlando – Port-au-Prince; and Miami – San Salvador, St Thomas.

In other news, Spirit will add Miami – Minneapolis/St Paul in January.

United Abandons Small Cities

This is the biggest news of a busy week. United will end service to 9 small cities and will cancel service on an additional four routes. The cities losing United service entirely are:

  • Central Wisconsin
  • College Station (TX)
  • Columbia (MO)
  • Evansville (IN)
  • Kalamazoo (MI)
  • Killeen (TX)
  • Lansing (MI)
  • Monroe (LA)
  • Winnipeg

Additional routes going away are Manchester (NH) – Washington/Dulles, San Antonio – LA, Northwest Arkansas – SFO, and Wilmington (NC) – Chicago which will be replaced with flights from Newark. There are additional frequency cuts as United scrambles to find enough regional capacity.

Other Randomness

  • Aeromexico has extended 787 flying from Mexico City to both JFK and LA through March.
  • Aha! has filed its latest new route from Reno, this time to Palm Springs 3x weekly starting in January.
  • Air Canada has extended its suspension of Canada – Hong Kong flights through January. They’ll continue to go through Incheon.
  • Delta has filed some cuts for early January with the biggest hits being right after the holidays through January 9. We expect there is more to come.
  • Hawaiian has pulled down its interisland schedule for January, getting it more in line with previous months.
  • Porter has now reversed its filing from last week and has restored 78 seats to the Q400, back up from 74.
  • Qantas has delayed the return of LA – Brisbane until February.
  • SWISS will pull down Miami – Zurich from 12x weekly to 1x daily starting at the end of March.
  • TUIfly will bring back Miami – Brussels 2x weekly in April.
  • Virgin Atlantic has suspended LA – Manchester through at least the end of next summer season on October 27, 2022.
  • Xiamen Air has pulled down its LA – Xiamen flight from 4x weekly to 2x weekly through the end of schedule.

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

Get Cranky in Your Inbox!

The airline industry moves fast. Sign up and get every Cranky post in your inbox for free.

36 comments on “United Walks Away From Nine Cities as Pilot Shortages Loom

  1. American has put a number of E175s onto service at JFK (RDU, PIT, PHL, etc…) as it restored regional flying there this month, part of the NEA and part of a need to hold onto the slots it has. I am wondering whether this impacts E175 deployment at LAX and other places. As to AA’s international network, there are signs it may be facing big headwinds in 2022 if the 787 issues aren’t resolved. IB starting DFW-MAD is a function of that.

    1. If I’m not mistaken, the E-175s slated for LAX are being purchased by Skywest (they don’t add to American’s debt load that way). It seems logical to guess they were originally intended to replace the aircraft flown by Compass (which are now in Envoy’s fleet). Of course, there’s no logical reason those aircraft can’t be moved outside of LAX, since Skywest also flies CRJ-700s out of Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Chicago. As I understand it, most of JFK’s E-175s are owned and operated by Republic. It’s also interesting to note the used E-170s American is acquiring from BA CitifFlyer (and other sources), or getting transferred from Delta’s former Republic-flown fleet. Those E-170s are being reconfigured to seat 65 (There are 66 seats on the aircraft, but only 65 are available for sale) since American has almost no practical limit on the number of that size aircraft it can fly under its scope clause. I’m wondering if those will replace the E-145s or simply add to American Eagle’s fleet.

  2. I like what UA is doing here. It made a pretty decision of how its fleet structure will become and decided that certain small markets simply don’t work in the new model. And its cutting them now and not worrying about how it looks. It seems to me that both AA & DL will gain from having fewer competitors in some markets. But that’s not something for UA to worry about. Also, the fact that it comes right after OSHA deadline makes me think that it at least has something to do with making sure the regionals have enough crewmembers to operate their flights.

    It seems to me that AS doesn’t want to lose any JFK slots, but is having a hard time finding places to utilize those slots. They are simply not competitive from JFK to markets outside of SEA/PDX. LAX clearly doesn’t work. SJC didn’t work. SFO has long been a struggle that they are keeping around for network reasons. SAN numbers are terrible too.

    I’m not sure how long WN can keep up with some its HI schedules. Its a massive drag of their overall network.

    1. I see AA and AS trading slots at JFK. I would expect AS will drop SFO and potentially SAN and keep SEA/PDX, increase frequency to SEA, apply for a code-share approval with AA, which will face some scrutiny given the NEA with B6. AA would use the slots to up SFO and restart SAN. AS would move to T8.

  3. I think United’s regional problem is indicative of the overall problem in this industry in the U.S.. The majors like AA, DL, UA, WN, and even airlines like B6 all saw a lot of pilots retire during the height of pandemic some taking early out packages. To make up for this the majors are all hiring and many of their new hires are coming from regional carriers. United Airlines may not have a pilot shortage problem they have managed to navigate their way through the pandemic without pilot related meltdowns but I fear United may have forgotten about their regional carriers in the process. If regionals can’t find and hire qualified pilots then this could be just the beginning of United’s regional troubles and it could also spell regional trouble for AA and DL.

    it takes years to train and accumulate the hours necessary for a pilot to even be considered by a regional carrier in this country, with the number of pilots that retired industry wide in the U.S. regionals might be struggling to find qualified pilots then hold on to those qualified pilots as the majors continue to poach them away.

  4. Starting to sweat a bit for my trip to PHX from FAT next weekend (via American). Should I just take my chances? Ore should my buddy and I go to plan B, which would be for me to drive to SoCal and he drives us to PHX and back.

    1. Matt D – I don’t know why you’d be sweating anymore than before. These are all changes being made in advance, not last minute cancellations. I don’t think the picture has changed for short term flying plans.

      1. Coincidentally, there are problems at PHX this morning, but completely outside the airlines’ control.


        Fortunately the power company’s worker’s injuries are not life-threatening.

        Hopefully passengers (especially WN’s) aren’t too jaded by the recent problems and will be kind to the airline staff…way too many “plane and airport rage” stories lately.

  5. I wonder if AA will really ever fly SEA-BLR? The route never made sense before the pandemic and now it makes even less sense.

    1. I can understand there being demand from BLR to the US that would let customers not have to connect through Delhi or Bangkok and then connect again in the US for many destinations, but the UA service to their SFO hub scheduled to start in May makes more sense.

    2. There is a fairly large Indian immigrant community in Seattle – coming in to work in tech (and often flying domestically on AA partner Alaska). Although whether they’d be better served by New Delhi or Mumbai, I don’t know. Prior to the pandemic my impression was a lot went to India the other way around the world via Emirates.

      1. EK actually makes a lot of sense. You can fly to any major city in India to DXB and then onward to major cities in Europe and North America. It opens up a lot of one-stop itineraries.

        Seattle does have an Indian population, but will it be enough to fill a plane to Bangalore? Plus, AA doesn’t really have much of a network out of SEA, you’d have to fly AS and going between multiple airlines is sub-optimal IMO. I think UA’s SFO – BLR route will be more successful since United has a lot of connection options out of SFO. Plus, the Bay Area has a much larger Indian population than Seattle.

  6. CWA has been oddly very competitive for a long time. Three airlines serving such a small local market. Before the airlines retired their turboprops about a decade ago, I think this was a three turboprop airline market.
    LAN & AZO were also three airline markets, but they’re both much larger markets than CWA.

    1. Well the catchment area for that market is geographically huge. Northern WI is very sparsely populated, and there’s not a lot of commercial air service north of a line that extends between GRB and MSP.

      I don’t know how network planning is done for that region, but services comes and goes. For instance, when AA dropped the ATR 42s, they pulled out of CWA altogether for a few years before returning with an RJ.

      1. Came here to say the same thing. EAU, RHI, and IMT are about it north of the line you drew- of course, none of those are viable options for the CWA catchment area.

        FWIW, I just pulled up CWA’s website, and there’s no mention of UA on it anymore, though one of the banner pictures shows a UA tail.

    2. What’s happening in LAN and AZO is defiantly partially because GRR is doing so well attracting new air service and is within an hours drive.

      Living in South Bend I have been surprised with its range of non-stop destinations and have considered driving to it to avoid the shlep and traffic of O’Hare and Midway, when I cant find a decent flight with a connection out of my hometown airport (generally my first choice).

  7. Starting new routes during pandemic recovery with jet fuel at $2.40 and climbing will have a very chilling impact on their potential for being profitable.

    It is worth noting that more than half of United’s domestic flights are on regional jets, by far the highest percentage of the four US airlines that use RJs. United’s much larger 50 passenger fleet, including its CRJ550s, make the economics much less favorable due to both labor costs due to fewer pilots and also due to high jet fuel prices.

    Given that Alaska does not have 50 seat regional jets and Delta is just about out of the 50 seat RJ game, they will be in a stronger position.

    1. Totally agree. DL faces a steep climb starting BOS-TLV and BOS-ATH during pandemic recovery with jet fuel that high. Who knows what they’re thinking?

    2. One new route isn’t going to make or break an airline. The only way to know if something will work is to give it a shot.

      To your point about RJs, you and I are in agreement. To paraphrase the movie Casablanca, “There’s gambling at Ricks? I’m shocked, I tell you! Shocked!! LOL !! But seriously, I see the legacies moving toward Delta’s mix of more mainline and less regional flying. United’s massive order for new aircraft is evidence of that, as is American’s continuing acquisition of E-175s, CRJ-700s, and E-170s. It’ll be interesting to see if American or United will acquire A220s as Delta has.

  8. I’ll let you in a couple secrets if you won’t tell anyone
    1. BOS-TLV and BOS-ATH frequencies have both been taken from Delta’s previous double daily schedule from JFK to both of those cities; combined, JFK and BOS now are double daily. ATL-ATH was restarted last summer and will continue but the combined capacity for TLV is essentially unchanged; in reality, it is down slightly because Delta will have their premium economy cabin on all transatlantic aircraft by next summer so there are actually a few less seats on the A330-300s which operate all DL ATH flights. TLV has been an A330-900 and had premium economy from the factory.
    2. Based on DOT filings from AA, DL and UA, the A330-300 burns 18% less fuel per hour than the 777-200ER while the A330-900 burns 30% less. A330-900 fuel burn and capacity is within a couple percent of the 787-9.

    AA and UA aren’t just adding “one new route”

    1. Tim,

      I didn’t write that American was only starting one new route. I simply stated the obvious. And with all due respect, your #2 comment sounds a lot like gloating. But to the larger point, American had both A330-300 and -200 in its fleet for years, and knows firsthand (not through DOT statistics) the real-world performance and operating costs of those aircraft. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the decision-making processes airlines use when deciding which aircraft to acquire, not only fuel burn. Those costs aren’t always reflected in the DOT data, and may be part of the reason American chose to retire its relatively new A330-200s relatively early in their lives. Delta tends to fly the larger variants of the A330, so that affects the DOT statistics (I’ll spare you my customary Mark Twain quote). Airlines tend to tailor their aircraft to their networks, and I’m guessing the professionals who do the fleet analysis for the various airlines might know a wee bit more about the characteristics and operating costs of various aircraft than what’s reported to the DOT. Again, and with all due respect, it’s kind of sad that your comments tend to sound as if you’re rooting for American and United to fall flat on their corporate faces. I was really happy to see that Delta made a profit after factoring out government assistance last quarter. I hope the others quickly follow suit.

      1. First, airlines do report the total cost to operate each fleet type to the DOT and there is no reason to believe AA’s data is not correct.
        Second, they had more A330-200s which were both younger but less fuel efficient than the A330-300, of which AA had a smaller number of older model.
        Third, AA execs specifically said that about 1/3 of its long-haul international fleet did not make money on a consistent basis so they got rid of two fleet types – the A330s and the B767 while Delta is growing its A330 fleet – which is still more economical to operate than the B777 while Delta and United are both operating the 767 although in smaller numbers.
        Different is good and AA simplified, but none of that changes that the A330-300 was more economical to operate before the pandemic and still is; the A330-900 is even more fuel efficient, although Delta’s data with the DOT shows that the total cost of operating both the -300 and 900 aren’t that much different right now because the -900s have higher ownership costs.

        given that American and JetBlue aren’t operating BOS to either TLV or ATH, Delta is bulking up its BOS hub by cutting a part of the capacity from JFK. Delta still will have more capacity from JFK to ATH and TLV than AA. Delta still has more than enough capacity to serve the NYC local market to those destinations. It is clearly capturing a larger portion of the BOS to Europe and TLV market and also funneling a certain amount of connecting passengers thru BOS just as they already do on existing BOS to Europe flights.
        As for JFK-NRT, if AA can make it great, go for it. But given that JL is operating HND flights and HND flights get a revenue premium, AA will be trying to operate a flight where its partner gets the highest revenue to the preferable airport for local TYO traffic.
        And AA has added flights including JFK-DEL if it has finally launched; BLR is still on the horizon even though UA is certain to cut that flight off at its knees as well as SEA-PVG even thought the Chinese government has not allowed US carriers to return to all their pre-covid routes.

        This isn’t about poking at or rooting against anyone. it is simply looking at all of the facts.

        The best thing for AA, DL, and UA is that European and Brazil flights to the US are packed this week. but that doesn’t make new flights viable, again due to much higher fuel costs and much less fuel efficient aircraft or with 50 seat RJs which are both less fuel as well as less labor efficient.

        1. nobody operates BOS-TLV/ATH, because the demand is not comparable to NYC. If there were enough demand. LY would be operating BOS-TLV by now. Cutting a flight from JFK does not mean those same passengers will continue to fly DL out of BOS. That’s a terrible assumption when there are a lot of other airlines around. Just think about all the European airlines that will dump capacity on TATL next summer because their local market isn’t as strong as US domestic market These are 2 rather ridiculous routes to launch in the current environment. If you are going to take UA to task for adding a bunch of low yielding TATL leisure markets, then you should be able to admit that BOS-TLV/ATH or even relaunching BOS-LIS is similarly crazy.

          At this point, I don’t anticipate AA to ever fly SEA-BLR. That was dead the day UA announced SFO-BLR. But at least they are trying something different at JFK. They are covering some TATL markets as well as a good number of South American one and a couple of Asian ones. If you want to fly from NYC internationally to anywhere outside of Europe, DL is not an option for you. That’s just the reality. Maybe DL should put some more effort into keeping its position in NYC.

          1. Delta clearly knows how much international demand exists from BOS, to where, and how much connecting traffic they can carry through BOS – and alot of it is available from the DOT and other sources for those that can access it.
            Delta is not even moving a daily flight from JFK to BOS-TLV and BOS-ATH. They still will be larger than AA from JFK to both markets AND will add less-than-daily service from BOS.
            I’m not sure why you talk incessantly about the size and scope that AA/B6 will provide and can’t honestly admit that Delta is doing the same thing from BOS.
            B6 is shifting resources from BOS (or not growing as much as it could) to grow in NYC including by using slots that AA cannot use. DL simply sees an opportunity to grow BOS faster and will displace B6 in size (ASMs) next summer based on currently filed schedules. Delta was already the largest airline in LOCAL BOS revenue during the summer pre-covid and they will likely maintain that to encompass an even larger part of the year w/ its new cities as well as a larger int’l network.

            As for NYC international, it is again noteworthy that so many people have talked about how unprofitable NYC has been for so many airlines – and yet somehow think size matters now. AA, B6, DL and the whole US airline industry are for-profit companies. They can and will fly only what they profitably fly.

            Delta is buying A350s – new and used – as well as A330-900s at a faster pace than American and United will have the most efficient and economical widebody fleet for years to come. They will add flights where it makes sense to do so. Other airlines cannot sustain flights that don’t make money. Given AA, DL and UA’s current cost and revenue structure and the project fleets for each airline, DL will be profitable on international flights before AA or UA will. That’s not my opinion but based on reams of data which is available for those that know how to find it.

            There is always a desire to translate new route announcements into long-term rearrangement of the industry but that is really not likely to happen. Post covid there is a huge desire by some carriers to rewrite the shape of the industry through growth. UA primarily but also AA is trying to enter markets where they think they can grow. The real verdict will come not even when all those flights make their first flights but when corporate level and individual route data comes out to know what sticks – and by that time the airlines themselves will have made their decisions about what will stay and what will go.

            1. 2019Q3 by local revenue in BOS for domestic stuff, so not counting international or ancillary revenues.
              B6 34.7%
              DL 22.9%
              AA 18%
              For Q2 of this year
              B6 37.3%
              DL 24.6%
              AA 19.7%
              let’s not make stuff stuff up here. The reality is DL is simply very weak. You take shots at UA for adding some ambitious TATL stuff for next summer, but can’t admit that some of these DL’s BOS adds are just as ambitious.

              DL is an airline that needs to dominate local market to be profitable as a hub airline. It simply cannot do that at BOS and SEA. That’s why both stations are firmly bottom 5% station. DL should have given up one of these two as hubs during COVID. Instead, it decided to cut everywhere else. The latest local revenue market share show they have lost out to AA everywhere in the southeast and middle part of the country.

              If it chooses to ignore NYC, it will lose out there too. It has already lost local market share at NYC vs pre-COVID times.

            2. your data is not local BOS market revenue including international which you probably cannot access.

              For the top 3 carriers, it is B6 30.1, DL 22.6 and AA 17.4

              This month, Delta is operating more flights than JetBlue from BOS.

              By next summer, Delta is scheduling more ASMs than JBLU.

              Delta gets a substantial average fare revenue from BOS in both domestic and international markets and other major markets including NYC including to their own hubs where AS and B6 do very poorly.

              I know you want to believe that DL is weak but the data – all of it – says it has built two very competitive hubs in much lower CASM competitors.

              Delta is simply not ignoring NYC. It has the resources to grow in its strategic markets while defending its core hubs – where its capacity share (forward looking) and revenue share (flown) is unchanged.

              oh, and Delta was profitable in the 3rd quarter after excluding government cheese and will pay less than every other US airline except for Southwest which is hedging.

              If you don’t think a fuel cost advantage of 10-20 cents/gallon doesn’t matter, you should stay tuned to the next few quarters of earnings.

              Unlike AS at SEA, B6 has taken its ball off of BOS while B6 focuses in NYC and DL is swooping in. It isn’t rocket science for anyone to figure out.

            3. My data is definitely local. You are out of your mind if you think B6 gets more from outside of Boston than local resident. The fact is B6 gets most of its Boston revenue from local resident than visitors.

              You are also quite blind if you think 7 or 8 TATL flights (with several on domestically configured 757s) can increase DL local revenue by 50%. If we factor in ancillary revenues (CF has an article on how much each airlines get from this), the gap will be even larger.

              You can quote all the summer stats you want, but the fact is nothing is finalized yet. There are a lot of additions and subtractions which we have yet to see.

              Your high average fare is a lie since you use Q1 fares when DL was blocking seats and nobody else was. You like to take certain “facts” that suit your point of view and ignore all other evidences. Its really weak stuff.

              Fact is B6 had higher yield when accounting for load factor and connections than DL on not only BOS-LAX/SFO in Q2 of this year, but also JFK-LAX/SFO. Keep your obsession over BOS alive. DL lost market share in local revenue in Q2 data vs pre-COVID in NYC. Its JFK and LGA shares will shrink more as AA & B6 shifts from those awful slot squating 44/50 seats that AA used to long haul widebodies and mainline E90/A320s.

              Fact is B6 will not lose any gates at BOS from focusing on NYC right now. It can bring back BOS as quickly or slowly as it wish. Why does it matter if it brings things back 1 or 2 quarter late? They and AA have a huge gate advantage against DL at BOS. No amount of DL adds next summer will change that.

            4. In the interest of making this a beneficial discussion for all of CF’s readers, I’ll make these final points.

              1. You are arguing points I am not making.
              2. You and I both know what they say about data so I won’t argue it since most of CF’s readers cannot see even what you and I see – and we aren’t looking at the same data for some of the reasons I noted.
              3. Delta has figured out how to organically build hubs in other airline hubs/focus cities post 9/11, something no other legacy carrier has succeeded at doing, even while they defend their own core hubs something many want to believe they cannot do – but the evidence overwhelmingly says Delta is succeeding.
              4. I never said that Delta is or would be the largest in terms of flights or traffic on a long-term basis – either in Seattle or Boston. They have reached revenue parity with B6 at times and they will probably do that more often and they will exceed B6 at times.
              5. The NEA clearly opens opportunities for B6 to grow including by gaining access to slots at LGA and JFK – and B6 would be a fool not to take advantage of those opportunities. I expect B6 will be able to hold onto some of those slots even if the DOJ succeeds in limiting the NEA.
              6. B6 simply does not have the assets to pursue all of its strategic plans – we saw that with RDU which was supposed to be a big focus just a year ago. NYC is strategically more important to B6 even if they do not become a true global challenger to DL or UA w/ or w/o the NEA.
              7. DL has far more assets at its disposal; it can shift a relatively small percentage of its capacity in ATL, DTW and MSP to BOS and NYC and be strategically stronger across all of its network.
              8. The A330 in all versions is now the predominant fleet type on DL’s international network by ASMs flown. The 767-300ER has above average costs but comparable to or less than the 777-200ER. If the 767-300ER won’t work economically, the 777-200ER doesn’t either.
              9. Don’t be surprised if access to E concourse gates in BOS ends up differently than you think.


    2. It doesn’t work that way. NYC has huge demand to TLV and ATH. Huge VFR demand to these places. Go take a look at % of Israeli and greek expats on the east coast that live in NYC area. On top of that, leisure demand to TLV/ATH aren’t going to be as high as last summer now that rest of Europe is also open for vaccinated passengers. People in NYC are not going to connect at BOS when there are plenty of non-stop options around. BOS does not have anywhere close to the same level of demand. JFK has far more feed than BOS. You can justify it anyway you want, but those are routes launched as retaliations against AA/B6. As usual, DL’s entire route planning network is based on perceived slights.

      AA hasn’t added anything thus far. But it does sound like JFK-NRT is coming. With that, DL will have the weakest global network out of the 3 legacy carrier out of NYC. Maybe DL should spend some more time worrying about NYC rather than a market that it’s always going to get dominated at.

      1. FC,

        As I consistently mention to Tim, there’s no need to compare airlines in a contest of one-upmanship. At the risk of repeating myself, each airline is different and unique. And I like that. All of them are doing what they can to turn a profit and compete. The days of chasing market share for the sake of market share are probably gone. And that’s long overdue.

        American only recently completed its merger process. It’s also having delivery issues with its new 787-8s. United is doing a major revamp of its fleet and adding a bunch of debt to do it. Delta is currently going gangbusters. And good for it. Even with all of their differences, the trends are going in the right direction. I really think we’ll continue to see less direct head-to-head competition (except in the obvious markets) and more flying on unique routes. But airlines will hedge their bets by doubling down where they’re strong. Delta is doubling down in New York and Atlanta. American is doubling down in Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte, and Miami. United is doubling down in Chicago, Denver, and Newark. An example of how I think things will work is in Seattle. Both American and Delta are building international gateways there. That’s because it’s a much better place to fly to northern Asia than Los Angeles for a number of reasons, including geography and competition. Delta will fly to Beijing Daxing from Seattle. American has a codeshare arrangement with Hainan to Beijing Capital. I can see American or JAL adding service to Tokyo Narita from Seattle. Delta will serve Haneda. Both Delta and American (or their joint venture partners) will fly to London and Shanghai. I obviously could be dead wrong, but that’s how I think the situation will ultimately shake out in Seattle. In any competitive environment, the only way to see if a new route will work is to fly it. The bottom line is that there’s more than one way to compete, and airlines are doing just that.

  9. I thought these small markets were driving higher profit since large O&Ds has ULCCs and very low yields.

  10. Shouldn’t Breeze be included in the ‘Other Randomness’? I don’t know why Neeleman deserves higher mention than other airlines their size. Some people still worship his every move but so far they’re a big zzz.

    1. Alki – It isn’t airline specific. If there’s new worth talking about in greater detail, then it gets its own heading, as has been the case with many others. And if it’s a one-liner, it gets put in Other Randomness.

  11. Such a pain in the arse, UA ditching LAN – I’d literally just booked my first two flights in 20 months, to finally move over to start work at MSU, and they cancelled my reservation within 24h of booking. ORD-LAN ends on Jan 4th – I was booked on Jan 3rd, but they’ve cancelled that already. Now stuck with GRR or DTW as alternatives.

  12. Air Canada did not suspend Vancouver-Hong Kong flight. It is just no long a non-stop flight. AC007 and 008 will stop at ICN to change crew. There will be NO AC crew staying at HKG. New crew get on at ICN to continue the flight to HKG and work the return flight to ICN.

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