International route news this week includes American revealing its plans for new Los Angeles-Tokyo flights, an Icelandic budget airline expanding to San Francisco and Los Angeles, Air Canada adding new long-haul destinations, Emirates casting its eye at an available U.S. gateway and Alaska starting service to Costa Rica.
American Airlines has set February 11 as the launch date for new daily, year-round non-stops between Los Angeles International and Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport; it will take bookings beginning November 8. American said it will use a 787-8 with business class, Main Cabin Extra and regular economy seating, and equipped with satellite Wi-Fi. American got the route authority after Delta agreed to give up its Seattle-Tokyo Haneda service (although it still flies Seattle-Tokyo Narita, and American and partner Japan Airlines both fly from LAX to Tokyo Narita). It will be the second new transpacific route for American in three months; AA starts its new LAX-Sydney non-stops on December 17.
Looking for a cheap way to get from the West Coast to Europe — or Iceland? Reykjavik-based discount carrier WOW Air said it plans to begin flying to both San Francisco and Los Angeles next summer, although it didn’t give an exact starting date. The carrier said it will fly to LAX four times a week and to San Francisco five times a week, using a one-class, 340-passenger A330-300. WOW already operates from Boston and Washington to Iceland’s Keflavik Airport (and will add Toronto and Montreal flights in May 2016), with connections to various European cities. No word on fares yet, but the carrier’s website (www.wowair.us) currently shows basic one-way connecting prices as low as $149 from Boston or Washington to London Gatwick — plus ancillary fees, of course.
Air Canada is adding long-haul international services left and right. This week, it started flying non-stop from Toronto to Delhi, India four times a week, along with new non-stops three times a week from Toronto to Dubai. On both routes, Air Canada is using 787-9s with business, premium economy and economy class seating. The Canadian carrier also plans to resume Toronto-Seoul Incheon service on June 17, 2016, using a 787-8; it last flew the seasonal route in 2013.
Now that Delta has angrily announced its exit from the Atlanta-Dubai route effective February 11, blaming the big Mideast airlines for laying on excessive capacity to the U.S., Emirates has its eye on the route. The Dubai-based airline also dismissed Delta’s claim that it couldn’t successfully compete in the market, estimating that Delta earned more than $10 million a year on the Atlanta-Dubai route. Delta immediately denounced Emirates’ assertion, saying it has been losing money on the route for the past two years.
Alaska Airlines has added Costa Rica to its route network. The carrier this week started flying from Los Angeles to both San Jose and Liberia, Costa Rica, offering four flights a week on each route with 737-800s.
According to Airlineroute.net, which tracks carriers’ schedule filings, Lufthansa will not resume seasonal Chicago-Dusseldorf flights on March 27 as previously planned. However, on the same date the German carrier will switch from an A330-300 to a much larger A340-600 on its Newark-Dusseldorf route, increasing capacity by about 50 percent.
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