In international route news, Air Canada will add some new transborder routes next year; Virgin Atlantic will drop a key U.S.-London service; China’s Hainan Airlines applies for rights to two U.S. cities; United suspends two Europe routes this winter and one next summer; American goes all-787 on a London route; Volaris adds two U.S.-Mexico routes and Delta drops one.
Air Canada said it plans to add or expand half a dozen U.S. routes next spring, using regional jets on all of them. On May 1, the airline will begin new daily service from Toronto to San Antonio and Memphis, and its Vancouver to Phoenix service will be expanded from seasonal to year-round. On the same date, Air Canada will start seasonal Toronto-Savannah, Ga., flights for the summer, operating six times a week through October 15. On May 18, Air Canada will begin twice-daily flights between Vancouver and Denver, and on May 26 it will add daily flights between Montreal and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Virgin Atlantic’s summer Chicago-London Heathrow flights, which last year operated from mid-May through mid-October, will not resume in 2017, according to Routesonline.com. Virgin said suspension of the Chicago flights will allow it to add a third daily Los Angeles-London flight, as previously announced.
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What’s the big attraction of Chengdu, in central China’s Sichuan province? For one thing, it has a population exceeding 10 million. China’s Hainan Airlines has asked the U.S. Transportation Department for rights to fly to Chengdu twice a week from Los Angeles in the first quarter of 2017, and three times a week from New York in the second quarter, using 787s on both routes. It already has the approval of China’s government. Chengdu is already served by United from San Francisco, by China Eastern from LAX via Nanjing and Sichuan Airlines from LACX via Hangzhou.
United Airlines plans a temporary suspension of two routes to Germany this winter, according to Routesonline.com. United will drop its four weekly Newark-Hamburg 767 flights from January 9 through May 4, and its five weekly Houston-Munich 767 roundtrips from January 10 through April 3. And next summer, United has reportedly decided not to offer previously planned seasonal daily 757 flights between Newark and Oslo, which had been scheduled to operate from May 5 to September 5.
American Airlines, which currently uses 767s and 777s on its Chicago O’Hare-London Heathrow route, reportedly plans to change over to all 787-8 Dreamliners for those flights beginning March 5. The airline’s three daily ORD-LHR flights will be supplemented with a fourth daily 787 roundtrip for the summer starting April 4. AA also will replace its daily 767-300ER flight from O’Hare to Dublin with a 787-8 from July 5 through October 4.
Delta’s daily Los Angeles-Guadalajara 737-800 flight is due to be discontinued February 1. But Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris continues to expand transborder service. This month, it started daily A320 roundtrips from Monterrey to Denver, and in March it is due to launch twice-weekly service from Guadalajara to Milwaukee.
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