In domestic route news, Delta will grow at Cincinnati, and keeps a key Dallas route for now; Southwest adds new routes from Long Beach and Ontario; Alaska enters a new market from Orange County; Frontier adds new service in 10 markets; and Spirit Airlines expands in the northeast.
For years, Delta has been scaling back operations at Cincinnati, which was once one of its hubs. But now the airline plans to grow there, citing 15 straight months of increasing passenger numbers. Delta said its plan calls for a capacity increase of 6 percent in total seats flown out of Cincinnati, including the addition of more frequencies in five key business markets, with additional daily flights from Cincinnati to Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Orlando and Toronto.
It will also upgrade Cincinnati-Denver service to mainline aircraft, and will offer first class seating on all flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Its seasonal winter service from Cincinnati to Ft. Myers will continue to operate daily through the summer, Delta said, and its seasonal Seattle flights will extend into the fall and spring. Finally, departures from CVG to Charlotte, Hartford, Newark and Philadelphia will be retimed to permit easy same-day trips out and back. The airline will have a total of 82 peak-day departures at Cincinnati this summer, to 35 destinations. (More Cincy news below!)
In other news, Delta has won a court victory – for now, at least – that allows it to keep operating five flights a day between Atlanta and Dallas Love Field. Southwest has been eager to kick Delta out of the Southwest gates it has been subleasing at DAL, in a court fight that is going into its third year. A district court has blocked Southwest from doing so until the matter goes to trial, and this week an appellate court upheld that ruling. So Delta’s DAL-ATL route is safe for the time being. Delta offers even more service between ATL and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Southwest Airlines is adding two new routes out of southern California. From Long Beach, Southwest just started operating twice-weekly 737-700 service to Denver. The flights operate on Saturdays and Sundays. Southwest has also kicked off new daily 737-700 flights between Ontario, California and Dallas Love Field.
Continuing its growth at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, Alaska Airlines has set an August 18 start for new service from SNA to Albuquerque. The flights will operate once a day, using Horizon Air E175 jets with 12 first class seats, 12 in premium class and 52 in regular economy. That’s the same date that Alaska will begin recently announced new service between Portland and Albuquerque.
Frontier Airlines plans to kick off new daily service between Cincinnati and New York LaGuardia on April 21, and it also announced new service with less-than-daily frequencies on nine other routes. From Austin, Frontier will begin four flights a week to Washington Dulles on April 21, and three a week to San Diego beginning April 23. Other new service from Cincinnati includes four flights a week to Minneapolis beginning April 21 and three a week to San Diego starting May 21. From Cleveland, Frontier will add four weekly flights to Charlotte on April 21, three a week to Minneapolis starting April 23, four a week to Houston Bush Intercontinental and four a week to San Diego, with both routes starting May 22. Also on the schedule is new service three days week between Chicago O’Hare and San Antonio starting April 23.
Spirit Airlines will add new service out of Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport to sun destinations this spring. On April 27, Spirit will launch daily service from Bradley to Orlando, and four flights a week to Myrtle Beach, S.C. On June 15, the airline will add daily service from Bradley to Ft. Lauderdale.