In domestic route news, American grows its Philadelphia hub and expands transcon wide-body flights there; United adds spokes to its O’Hare and Denver hubs; JetBlue revives a California route for the holidays; Southwest drops a Washington D.C. route; and Frontier keeps rearranging its network.
American Airlines is expanding access to its Philadelphia hub by adding several new routes there. On February 15, American will add daily A319 flights between PHL and San Antonio, followed on May 4 by new daily E175 American Eagle service between PHL-Madison, Wis.; and twice-daily roundtrips between PHL-Des Moines, Iowa; and PHL-Omaha, Neb. The airline also said that beginning March 25, it will deploy a wide-body Airbus A330 on one of its daily flights between Philadelphia and Los Angeles International, “offering West Coast customers better access to PHL and American’s transatlantic service.” Meanwhile, the A330 that American just started flying on one of its daily PHL-San Francisco flights will now be extended until at least March 4 instead of ending on December 14 as previously scheduled.
Effective December 1, United is due to add a couple of spokes out of Chicago O’Hare, with six flights a week to Quincy. Ill., and to Cape Girardeau, Mo., using CRJ-200s. At its Denver hub, meanwhile, United is looking at a May 1, 2018 start for new service to the outdoor activities mecca of Moab, Utah, offering 12 flights a week via Skywest CRJ200s; followed on June 1 by new service from DEN to Vernal, Utah, also running 12 times a week with Skywest CRJ200s.
For the third year in a row, JetBlue plans to lay on special holiday-season service between its New York JFK hub and Palm Springs, California. The daily flight will operate from December 21 through January 3, and it will use an Airbus A321 that features JetBlue’s premium-class Mint service with lie-flat seats.
November 4 is the final day for Southwest Airlines’ three-year-old route between Indianapolis and Washington Reagan National. A Southwest official told a local business publication in Indiana that the route just wasn’t attracting enough business to make it profitable.
The former CEO of Milwaukee-based Midwest Express Airlines – which disappeared in 2011 – is behind an effort to bring new service to MKE from OneJet, a business jet operator that offers scheduled service on underserved business routes out of Pittsburgh (including daily Pittsburgh-Milwaukee service). On November 1, OneJet is due to start twice-daily roundtrips from Milwaukee to both Columbus, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska, using seven-passenger Hawker 400XP jets.
It’s difficult to keep up with all the route news from ultra-low-cost Frontier Airlines, but we’ll try. The carrier just kicked off new daily flights from San Jose to Denver, to be followed by four flights a week from SJC to Las Vegas November 1, and less-than-daily departures to five other cities next April. At Cleveland, meanwhile, Frontier has axed the four weekly CLE-San Diego service that it just launched last spring, as well as seasonal flights from Cleveland to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston And Charlotte. But the airline is expanding at Denver, starting less-than-daily frequencies to Omaha November 2; to Grand Rapids December 10; to Charleston, S.C. February 20; to Little Rock March 1; and to Tulsa March 15. The carrier plans to add daily Orlando-Phoenix service November 1 and three weekly Orlando-Memphis flights November 2. On December 16, Frontier will start three flights a week between San Francisco and Las Vegas. At Colorado Springs, Frontier plans new flights to San Antonio and Seattle starting April 8 and to San Jose and Minneapolis-St. Paul as of April 9. Seasonal service from Philadelphia to Charleston, S.C. three days a week starts February 20, followed by less-than-daily service from PHL to Jacksonville February 14, to Madison April 8, and to Memphis and Omaha April 9. Twice-weekly Frontier service from Chicago O’Hare to Charleston, S.C. starts May 11, and limited-frequency service from Omaha to Las Vegas starts April 8, followed by Omaha-San Francisco June 4.