A Week of Big Schedule Change Highlights the Final Episode of Skeds of Air Lines

Schedule Changes

Skeds of air Lines has been the #1 soap opera in the world* since its launch last year, but as they say, all good things must come to an end. This will be the final episode as the residents of Airlineville have all decided to retire and move to Florida, free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.

*among those that target people in the airline industry

This week, the residents were incredibly busy as they tried to close up shop for the holidays. The drama was thick as the Maple Leaf turned her back on Edmonton and the Widget cut ties between Salt Lake and the Midwest. The Eagle set spring break plans, and the Heart, well, the Heart rode off into the summer sun.

Don’t worry, the residents may check in from time to time. Maybe there will be a holiday spectacular or a reunion special. But more likely is that I’ll focus on writing up individual occurrences in more detail instead of summarizing everything that happened. Those summaries will be reserved for Cranky Network Weekly subscribers.

So for the last time in its regularly scheduled spot… like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.

Air Canada Takes Down Edmonton, Shifts Other Routes

Air Canada slashed Edmonton this week, continuing the suspension of service through end of schedule to Kelowna, Fort McMurray, Grand Prairie, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

It also shifted a variety of flying this summer:

  • Gone through summer: Montreal – Santa Clara; Ottawa – Boston; Toronto – Holguin, Panama City, Samana
  • Gone for good: Montreal – Hartford; Toronto – Grenada, Memphis, St Vincent; Vancouver – DFW
  • Reduced frequency: Halifax – St Johns (5x->3x daily); Ottawa – Washington/National (2x->1x daily); Toronto – Detroit (4x->3x daily), Havana (1x daily -> 4x weekly); Vancouver – Castlegar (3x->2x daily), Chicago/O’Hare (2x->1x daily)
  • Increased frequency: Calgary – Kamloops (2x->4x daily); Montreal – Miami (1x->2x daily), Washington/National (2x->3x daily); Toronto – Charlottetown (2x->3x daily), Indianapolis (2x->3x daily), Sydney, NS (1x->2x daily), Thunder Bay (3x->6x daily); Vancouver – Kamloops (4x->5x daily)

Alaska Begins to Pull Down Q2

Alaska has started to bring down some of its Q2 flying that it knows won’t make the cut. Overall, it cut less than 2 points of capacity, and it was mostly just frequency. Going further into summer, both Bozeman and Kalispell saw frequencies pulled down in larger numbers. Ft Lauderdale also sees only 1x daily to Seattle instead of the previous plan for 2x. Las Vegas – Portland is a winner, going from 3x to 5x daily.

Allegiant Adds New Markets

As announced, Allegiant added flights from Appleton to Denver, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota; Flint to Boston and Jacksonville; Knoxville to Minneapolis/St Paul and Phoenix/Sky Harbor; Phoenix/Mesa to Toledo; and St Pete to Clarksburg (WV). It also extended Key West – Indy through the summer.

American Brings March Down

American brought March to reality this week. Capacity came down more than 11 percent, putting the airline down 4 percent for the month vs 2019. It was a broad pulldown, but there were also some longer term standouts through the end of schedule.

In the Caribbean, Miami – Anguilla and Dominica went up from 3x weekly to 1x daily and Bermuda from 1x weekly to 1x daily. Santiago (DR) goes down from 4x to 1x daily and Port-au-Prince drops from 3x to 1x daily. Knoxville will fly through the summer. Austin sees Cancun drop from 1x daily to 4x weekly and Nassau from 4x weekly to 1x weekly. Charlotte – Santo Domingo goes from 1x daily to 1x weekly. DFW sees 1x daily Cancun flight move to Chicago and Hilton Head drops from 1x daily to 1x weekly. It also sees San Juan and San Luis Potosi lose a flight, but Idaho Falls goes from 1x to 2x daily, so that seems to be going well.

Along with the expansion of the Northeast Alliance, American will fly Boston – Louisville and Memphis (each 6x weekly) along with Halifax, Pensacola, and Traverse City (1x weekly).

And in Phoenix, American moved things around. Cincinnati, Cleveland gets extended through June while Montrose and Pittsburgh go through August. Cancun, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Sioux Falls go from 2x to 1x daily.

Lastly, American will move all of its flights from Tegucigalpa to the new Comayagua airport starting this month.

Delta Gets to Work on Summer

Delta took down May through August capacity between 2 and 3 percent. Much of this is just frequency cuts in existing markets, but there were some standouts.

Cincinnati non-hub routes to Chicago, DFW, and San Francisco are now delayed until at least after Labor Day.

LaGuardia gets a leisure tilt as it brings back service to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Traverse City, and Wilmington (NC). Frequencies get cut from Charlotte, Cleveland, Des Moines, Houston, Knoxville, Louisville, Milwaukee, Omaha, and St Louis.

Lastly, Atlanta – Rochester (MN); Boston – Bermuda; MSP – Tulsa; Salt Lake – Cleveland, Columbus, Des Moines, Madison, Pittsburgh look to be gone from the network.

Hawaiian Moves on Interisland

Hawaiian has now gone further out, bringing interisland flying down all the way through May. It has also delayed Auckland through April while keeping Haneda suspended into March. Sydney will also be cut from 1x daily to 5x weekly through end of schedule.

JetBlue Boosts the Summer

JetBlue took summer capacity up 3.5 percent in May, 4.8 percent in June, and then between 2 and 3 percent beyond that. Frequencies get shifted all around. Sarasota loses service from Boston and Newark this summer, but LaGuardia will operate. LaGuardia is also connected to Portland (ME).

Vancouver joins the network with JFK and Boston flights.

Southwest Extends Through Summer

As expected Southwest has filed part 2 of its schedule extension, now going all the way through Labor Day. June and July are up 4 percent vs 2019 while August is up 10 percent. More details are here.

Spirit Files Memphis

Spirit will, as announced, fly to Memphis from Las Vegas and Orlando starting in April followed by Los Angeles in June. All flights are 1x daily.

United Extends Cuts

United also did a little housekeeping, extending some suspensions well into April and May. February and March are down just over 2 percent while April is down 3.5 percent. Many route suspension extensions are San Francisco longer-haul routes like Atlanta and Columbus, but it’s more than that. Further, Denver – Dayton, LA – Madison, and San Francisco – Oklahoma City are gone through the summer season. And United will move all Tegucigalpa flying to Comayagua.

In good news, Cleveland’s Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tampa flying will now go into early May instead of ending in late March as planned. Hilton Head will again have flying from Newark, and Washington/Dulles. Myrtle Beach gets Chicago daily this summer.

Other Randomness

  • Aer Lingus won’t fly Dublin – LA or Seattle until May now.
  • Air India has brought back Chicago – Hyderabad with 1x weekly service starting again this month.
  • Air New Zealand will not fly to Honolulu or San Francisco until April, Houston until July, and Chicago until September. Its LAX – Rarotonga flight is gone through the full summer season.
  • ANA has extended its pandemic schedule until late March, zeroing out Narita – Honolulu and JFK along with Haneda – Chicago, Houston, and Washington/Dulles until then.
  • Boutique appears to be ending Jackson (TN) – St Louis service this month. Atlanta ends in March.
  • British Airways has now cut spring flying after setting summer last week. It has also announced it will bring back JFK – Gatwick in May and Pittsburgh – Heathrow in June. It will also launch Portland (OR) – Heathrow in June.
  • Gol will not fly Orlando – Fortaleza through summer.
  • KLM has cut frequency in 2022 with Houston, MSP, and San Francisco losing 2x weekly. LA loses 4x in the spring, dropping to 2x by summer.
  • Lufthansa will move its 5x weekly San Diego flight from Frankfurt to Munich for summer 2022. It will also launch 3x weekly from Frankfurt to St Louis, bringing back the first Transatlantic service from St Louis since American dropped Gatwick in October 2003. (This assumes you don’t count WOW’s short-lived Keflavik flight.)
  • Play out of Iceland has filed its first US flights with 1x daily service from Keflavik to Baltimore and Boston starting in April and May respectively. No St Louis yet….
  • Porter has once again reversed its seat count from 78 to 74 seats. I don’t get what is happening here, but it’s clearly just some weird glitch.
  • Qantas won’t fly LA – Brisbane until May, but then it will go to 2x daily instead of 1x.
  • SAS is putting its A321neos to good use. One of the two Newark – Copenhagen flights and the sole Dulles – Copenhagen flight will be downgraded from a widebody to the neo.
  • SATA will bring back Boston – Terceira in January.
  • Singapore has extended its JFK – Singapore nonstop through the full summer season.
  • Swoop will not fly to Vegas from Victoria this winter, but it will add service from Abbotsford instead.
  • T’way will leave the Osaka – Guam market.
  • World 2 Fly has filed 1x weekly from Orlando/Sanford to Madrid next July.

That’s all folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed this over the last year as much as I have, but it’s time to say goodbye to the show… for now.

36 comments on “A Week of Big Schedule Change Highlights the Final Episode of Skeds of Air Lines

    1. David – Yep, exactly. It will be a regular post, so I’m not cutting back on the schedule, just doing things that don’t require me working all weekend to create.

      1. Wow, didn’t realize you spent your weekends creating these wrap-ups. I appreciate the info. Not much to comment on but I do read them to take in the ever changing landscape of flying in these unusual times.

  1. All good shows jump the shark at some point. For the life of me I can’t remember when SoaL jumped exactly…any guesses? Looking forward to whatever scintillating new series replaces our beloved Skeds.

  2. BA gave up a Boston frequency (4>3) this coming summer but the A380 will be one of the three. Lots of seats on this market: AA 772; UA 763; DL 764; one or two B6; Virgin 789 to go along with BA.

  3. Thank you, CF, for your dedication to providing these valuable weekly updates to the aviation community throughout the pandemic. Another sign of healing as we return to “normal.”
    Hope you enjoy the little bit of your weekend that you regain.

    1. Same strategy that lost a ton of money before? Well, let’s paint the airplanes red and try it again!

  4. I’m a bit surprised to see DL drop ATL-RST. I assumed they had a lucrative corporate contract with Mayo Clinic to prop up that flying, but I guess that contract must have expired.

    1. Kevin – You mean the one where the Eagle gets married to Ms Blue, the fitness instructor? Definitely a good storyline for the future.

      1. @ Cranky,

        Not only a fitness instructor, but a massage therapist as well. Makes for a more rounded storyline.

  5. Tuesdays on enilria.com (airline backwards) they do an even more detailed version of this that used to be on airliners.

  6. “This will be the final episode as the residents of Airlineville have all decided to retire and move to Florida, free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.”

    Someone here pulled a Leslie Neilson!

    To all the airline executives out there, we the readers of “Cranky Flyer would like to tell you good luck – we’re all counting on you.

  7. I missed the Icelandair RDU announcement, flying from May. A welcome addition to the NC to Europe connectivity. Prices seem competitive vs other options.

    And sad to see Skeds go. The “other randomness” was where I got most value due to it focusing on international connections.

    Can I make a blog suggestion? We are seeing more and more A321LR and B737 Atlantic crossings. How are they doing? Who is doing it well? What else is coming? I flew TAP from EWR to LIS this past September and was impressed. My son just flew Aer Lingus from JFK to MAN and was also impressed. Curious to get your take.

    Happy holidays!

    1. CLT – It’s still hard to know what’s doing well with the neo and what’s not because long-haul travel still hasn’t recovered. But it’s clear that airplane is a rock star, so it’s just a matter of finding the right sweet spot. It’s going to be fun to watch this story for years to come while Boeing keeps turning in circles chasing its tail.

  8. So glad to hear that both Dominica and Anguilla will receive daily flights from Miami beginning April 4th, 2022.

  9. (wipes tears)

    Appreciate ALL the effort to keep this going.

    So Monday’s will be given to the Cranky Chef???

  10. Thanks for putting all of these together! I certainly got a lot of value from them.

    Shame DL has given up on SLC-MSN. It did well against UA’s DEN service, was generally full (yes I know LF =/= yield), and avoided a double connect through MSP for a lot of Mountain West (and west coast) cities.

  11. Thanks for putting together nearly 100 of these. It still blows my mind that nearly 2 years into this, airlines are still publishing back-to-normal (2019) long range schedules and then cutting them closer in.

  12. I’m happy for you on two levels. One is your opportunity to get a little more time with your family and the other is the return to a new normal, whatever that turns out to be. I used to regularly take America West/US Airways/American to Milwaukee from Phoenix. It was a nice trip and was the best way to see my mom, who lived in Madison until her death. O’Hare was usually a pain, and connecting at Minneapolis/St. Paul was often quite a hike.

  13. Why do they always cancel the best shows? Can’t wait for the 2 hour “made for TV special” in a year!

  14. CF – thanks for ALL that you do! It is very much appreciated!

    I trust that you and your family will have a very Happy Christmas / Holiday Season!

    Brgds

    E

  15. I, for one, will not miss the YUL-BDL route on AC. It was a turbo prop with miserable seats.

    Although I have to say that kudos to AC for maintaining their in-flight service, for the most part. They still serve a plated snack (smoked salmon and potato salad) on an one hour flight, with drinks served in glassware. Also, I was reminded that there’s no blockage requirement (drink cart or wire cage) to open the cockpit door in flight on Canadian airlines.

  16. I will miss this greatly so just wanted to thank Brett for the hard work of putting it together. And stop calling him Shirley.

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