Alaska and United Work on Summer Plans During a Quiet Weekend

Schedule Changes

It was a quiet, peaceful weekend in Airlineville as families got together and celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. They were all feeling pretty thankful for the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel… until that jackass Omicron decided to show up.

Now governments around the world have completely lost their minds, and the residents of Airlineville are gearing up once again to figure out what the heck to do.

With that backdrop, the Cirium data was pretty quiet. Both the Eskimo and the Globe had decently busy weeks as they made some plans for next summer, and the Animal did some more shifting, but there wasn’t much more than that.

All this and at least a little bit more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.

Alaska Starts Working on Next Summer

Alaska moved a lot of capacity around this weekend for next summer. May and June are down about 3 percent while July and August are closer to flat as not all changes went through the full period. Here’s what is changing for June:

  • Boise – Chicago (1x -> 2x daily), San Jose (2x -> 1x daily), Spokane (3x -> 4x daily)
  • Los Angeles – Anchorage (2x -> 1x daily), Boise (4x -> 3x daily), Bozeman (2x -> 1x daily), Fresno (2x -> 1x daily), Las Vegas (4x -> 3x daily), Lihu’e (1x daily -> 4x weekly), Missoula (out), Santa Rosa (3x -> 2x daily), Spokane (2x -> 1x daily), Washington/Dulles (1x -> 2x daily)
  • Portland – Anchorage (3x -> 2x daily), Austin (2x -> 1x daily), Billings (out), Boston (1x -> 2x daily), Burbank (3x -> 2x daily), Dallas/Fort Worth (2x -> 1x daily), Denver (1x -> 2x daily), Kahului (2x -> 1x daily), Las Vegas (4x -> 3x daily), Missoula (out), Oakland (2x -> 3x daily), Ontario (3x -> 2x daily), Palm Springs (2x -> 1x daily), Reno (2x -> 3x daily), Sacramento (3x -> 4x daily), Salt Lake City (3x -> 2x daily), San Francisco (8x -> 7x daily), Santa Rosa (2x -> 1x daily)
  • San Diego – Boise (2x -> 1x daily), Boston (2x -> 1x daily), Honolulu (2x -> 1x daily), Missoula (out), Monterey (2x -> 1x daily), Sacramento (6x -> 7x daily), Salt Lake City (2x -> 1x daily), San Jose (6x -> 7x daily), Seattle (9x -> 8x daily), Spokane (2x -> 1x daily)
  • San Francisco – Anchorage (2x -> 1x daily), Honolulu (1x -> 2x daily), Las Vegas (4x -> 5x daily), Los Cabos (2x daily -> 8x weekly), Missoula (out), Redmond/Bend (1x -> 2x daily), Salt Lake City (2x -> 1x daily), Zihuatanejo (new 1x weekly in summer)
  • Seattle – Anchorage (22x -> 19x daily), Atlanta (3x -> 4x daily), Baltimore (2x -> 1x daily), Billings (3x -> 2x daily), Bozeman (4x -> 3x daily), Burbank (5x -> 4x daily), Calgary (3x -> 2x daily), Fairbanks (5x -> 6x daily), Great Falls (2x -> 1x daily), Helena (2x -> 1x daily), Kalispell (4x -> 3x daily), Kansas City (2x -> 3x daily), Kelowna (2x -> 1x daily), Ketchikan (7x -> 6x daily), Kahului (4x -> 3x daily), Las Vegas (8x -> 7x daily), Minneapolis/St Paul (3x -> 2x daily), Newark (4x -> 3x daily), Palm Springs (2x -> 3x daily), Phoenix (8x -> 7x daily), Reno (3x -> 4x daily), San Antonio (2x -> 1x daily), San Francisco (13x -> 11x daily), San Jose (7x -> 8x daily), Santa Rosa (2x -> 3x daily), Victoria (3x -> 2x daily), Walla Walla (3x -> 2x daily), Washington/Dulles (2x -> 3x daily), Wenatchee ( 3x -> 2x daily), Yakima (3x -> 2x daily)

I wouldn’t normally put this level of detail, but there just isn’t much else to talk about this week so I figured… why not?

Frontier Upgauges

After moving nearly all future flights on to the A320ceo last week, Frontier has moved them to the A320neo this week which means 6 more seats. This is in no way final and will change as it gets closer and some flights are moved on to A321s.

United Goes Outdoors

Apparently United made its people work on Thanksgiving more than most, because the airline had a fair bit of change filed this week. Most notably it started to file summer 2022 schedules with a focus on growth in outdoor markets. Here’s a list of what changed vs last week’s filed schedule.

  • Chicago – Anchorage (new 1x daily), Bozeman (1x -> 2x daily), Kalispell (new 1x daily), Missoula (new 1x daily), Montrose (new 1x daily), Reno (1x -> 2x daily)
  • Denver – Aspen (4x -> 8x daily), Bozeman (4x -> 6x daily), Burlington VT (new 1x daily), Gunnison (1x -> 3x daily), Kalispell (3x -> 4x daily), Missoula (2x -> 4x daily), North Bend OR (new 2x weekly), Panama City (new 2x weekly), Pensacola (new 1x daily), Portland ME (new 1x daily), Sarasota (new 1x daily), Sun Valley (new 1x daily), Traverse City (new 1x daily), Vail (2x -> 3x daily)
  • Houston – Aspen (new 2x daily), Bozeman (new 1x daily), Gunnison (new 1x daily), Kalispell (new 1x daily), Montrose (new 1x daily)
  • Los Angeles – Aspen (1x -> 2x daily), Kalispell (new 1x daily), Sun Valley (new 1x daily)
  • Newark – Bozeman (new 1x daily), Jackson Hole (1x -> 2x weekly)
  • San Francisco – Aspen (new 1x daily), Kalispell (new 1x daily), Missoula (new 1x daily), Sun Valley (new 1x daily)
  • Washington/Dulles – Bozeman (new 1x daily)

Other Randomness

  • Air Seoul will double Incheon – Guam flying from 2x to 4x weekly.
  • Avianca will cut JFK – San Jose back from 6x to 4x weekly through winter while LA and Miami – San Jose each go from 1x daily to 4x weekly.
  • El Al will cut LA – Tel Aviv from 5x to 4x weekly this winter.
  • Flair — the ULCC up in Canada — has cut one weekly frequency from Edmonton – Las Vegas and Phoenix/Mesa, Halifax – Orlando/Sanford, and Vancouver – Burbank. It will cut two weekly frequencies from Abbotsford – Las Vegas along with Kitchener – Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. The only growth is 2x weekly new Toronto/Pearson – Fort Lauderdale flights.
  • Iberia is feeling good. Madrid – Miami and JFK will each go from 10x weekly to 2x daily for the summer schedule.
  • Korean has extended the suspension of Honolulu – Tokyo/Narita through January.
  • Porter is back down from 78 seats to 74 seats per flight again. This just seems like a fun game the airline is playing now to see if it can make my head explode.
  • Swoop will bring back Toronto – Orlando 6x weekly and Miami 1x weekly from January along with Montreal – Miami 1x weekly.
  • Viva Air will cut Miami – Medellín from 2x daily to 11x weekly for the summer.

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

17 comments on “Alaska and United Work on Summer Plans During a Quiet Weekend

  1. Not to get too political here but at some point the panic over Covid is going to have to end.

    Variant or no variant.

    At some point, people are just going to be tired of dealing with it, and hearing about it, and they will demand normal life going forward. The idea that we are ever going to “defeat“ this disease and put it behind us is clearly misguided.

    I also think that some of these countries that are trying to go back to lockdowns and whatever are going to start seeing serious unrest if they continue to do so.

    Doesn’t mean we need to give up, but we cannot simply change the way humans live because of this disease. And I think going forward you will see more and more countries decide in this way.

    1. Sure, I don’t know anyone who isn’t tired of it. But how we feel doesn’t change the reality that hospitals and specifically ICUs in parts Germany, Austria etc. are full and patients are being air-lifted by the military to other regions of the country. In the US we are still seeing about a thousand deaths per day. We have already seen more deaths in 2021 than in 2020, despite vaccines. Given the protect that vaccines provide, my guess is that a lot of the 386,000 who died so far in 2021 were unvaccinated, no longer paid attention to NPIs, and simply were “done with the virus”…. but the virus wasn’t done with them.

      Germany has lost a significant percentage of ICU capacity over the course of the pandemic due to burn-out of staff. I think we are seeing the same in the US. And scheduled procedures/surgeries are getting cancelled to preserve capacity. Just because we want to live a normal life again doesn’t mean we actually can. Unless, say, we all agree that hospitals simply no longer provide any COVID care? (which, of course, isn’t realistic)

      I can’t wait to get back to a more normal life. But overall even my Covid-life is still pretty good compared to what others have been enduring for the last twenty months. That includes kids in school, front line workers, elderly who had very limited contacts with family in retirement homes etc.

      1. What I am saying is that at some point we will have to accept the health care costs, and live with it. When does it end? Two years? Three? Five?

        People don’t want to live that way. And eventually they will rebel. Especially those at low risk. Unrest is going to spread in places where they try to limit the freedoms of those not at high risk. I am not exaggerating when I say I believe that continuing to enforce restrictions runs the risk of serous unrest and people taking up arms to fight for their freedoms.

        And I say that as a moderate Democrat whose wife works in a hospital in a low income area that was overwhelmed by Covid cases.

        1. Funny. I thought we have elections to help settle this type of thing. . . have we already moved past that stage to “take up arms?”

        2. Many epidemiologists have been saying that at some point COVID will move from being a pandemic to just “endemic”, much like the annual flu. But COVID is much more dangerous than the seasonal flu, and because so many people globally have not had the disease yet but have also not been vaccinated, it is still mutating very fast and the more mutations there are the higher the possibility that a new mutation could be resistant to the vaccines or immunity from prior illness.

          That, besides the ongoing strain on hospitals (which we see in countries and regions where vaccine uptake is very low and the hospitals are being overwhelmed again), is why we can’t just treat COVID like the common cold or the seasonal flu yet. Once we get the vast majority of the world vaccinated and reduce the speed and number of mutations, it will become another endemic illness that we live with.

          We’re just not there yet.

          1. When will that be? It’s been almost two years. We will have to ultimately live with it. How long are we going to significantly alter portions of people’s lives for a disease that is not a serious threat to the health of most?

            I have my doubts that “the vast majority of the world” will EVER be vaccinated, given the resistance to it in many areas. There will always be mutations and new variats, and people running around tearing their hair out over it.

            Doesn’t mean we ignore it. We need to keep pouring resources into fighting it, and developing new medicines and updating the vaccines to deal with new strains. But the idea that we need to “flatten the curve” or just wait a little bit longer is getting outdated.

            People want freedom. The freedom to assemble, to celebrate weddings and funerals and graduations. Freedom to attend group events with others. Freedom to enjoy their lives. If you take away that freedom for too long, they will start to fight for it. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of assembly, but in some areas that freedom is STILL being restricted in the name of fighting a pandemic, almost two years later.

            Again, I say this as one whose spouse was directly affected. She got Covid early on, due to a lack of adequate PPE. They were overwhelmed, both initially and during later spurts of the virus. I also say this as one whose uncle died of Covid. Eventually people will get tired of being told to distance and avoid groups. It’s time we all accepted the reality of our world, and that includes Covid.

            Brett, if you read this, and would like me to leave the subject alone, let me know. I think it is pertinent to the blog, because it obviously directly affects this industry, but if you would rather limit the discussion, I will abide.

            1. Where exactly is the freedom to assemble being curtailed? Football stadiums around the country are full as are all the planes I’ve been on recently.

              I live in ultra blue DC and I can shop, go to restaurants, I’ve seen plenty of weddings and gatherings here.

              What freedoms are being deprived on a widespread basis that would cause people to “take up arms” as you said?

  2. Alaska is dropping Missoula service from Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. That would leave service from Seattle. What is going on here? Flights to Western Montana in June should not be a hard sell. At the same time, it looks like United is adding a bunch of flights to Missoula, although I believe that at least some of these are resumptions of seasonal routes that United has flown in summers past. But it feels like Alaska is just throwing in the towel.

    Meanwhile in Portland … it looks like Alaska is continuing to gradually trim back this hub. Alaska is flying PDX-SLC twice a day. Meanwhile Delta has ~five mainline flights.

    1. I’m curious if the cut on the Montana routes are due to the wildfires.

      I was in Montana in August 2021, and the smoke made it not that good. Perhaps bookings took quite a bit due to smoke?

  3. Management and marketing personnel at Delta Airlines have breathed a sigh of relief that a new COVID-19 variant has a name not related to their company!

  4. Bill, I was referring more to how some countries overseas are handling this, with more lockdowns and bans on assembly in left numbers.

    1. Korean Airlines has Japan-US rights. I flew Tokyo Narita-LAX return a few years ago. Now they fly NRT-HNL

    2. Nick – Yep, that used to run LA – Narita – Incheon, but a few years back they switched it to HNL. I don’t know why, but they must have enough local Japanese business to keep running it.

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