In international route news, Norwegian is adding two more U.S. gateways with low-cost service to London; LOT Polish starts new west coast service; Japan Airlines adds a new route out of New York; United will drop an intra-Asian route; Eva adds more flights to San Francisco; a European leisure carrier plans San Diego-Zurich service; and an Avianca affiliate adds a Miami route to Brazil.
Transatlantic low-cost carrier Norwegian just keeps adding more routes to the U.S. In its latest foray, the airline said it will start flying to London Gatwick from both Seattle and Denver beginning in mid-September. It will use 787-9s on both routes. The schedule calls for Denver service to start September 16 with two flights a week, increasing to three on November 2. From Seattle, Norwegian will start flying on September 17 with four weekly non-stops to LGW.
Norwegian’s “launch fares” on both routes start at $199 one-way in economy, including taxes; and $839 one-way in its Premium Cabin. Flying economy can bring lots of add-ons for various services and amenities; the premium fare includes a luggage allowance, lounge access, priority boarding, sleeper seats, and all meals and drinks. Seats are on sale now at www.Norwegian.com/us.
Those two routes are just the latest in an onslaught of U.S. service for Norwegian in 2017. In June, it will start flying to Barcelona from Los Angeles, Newark and Oakland; and in June and July it will kick off a slew of 737MAX routes from three smaller northeastern airports (Newburgh, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; and Hartford, Conn.) to points in Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Norway. Orlando-Paris and Ft. Lauderdale-Barcelona start later in the summer.
LOT Polish this week began service from Los Angeles to Warsaw, using a 787-8 to fly the route four times a week. The 6,500-mile route is the longest in LOT’s network. The Polish carrier – a member of the Star Alliance — is due to start Newark-Warsaw flights at the end of April, and to begin Chicago-Krakow service in August.
Japan Airlines this month started flying from New York JFK to Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport. The daily flight to Haneda is in addition to JAL’s daily service from JFK to Tokyo Narita. The new Haneda flight uses a 244-seat 777-300ER, and JAL switched its JFK-Narita flight from a 787-8 to a 777-300ER as well. The larger 777 has a first class cabin that the Dreamliner doesn’t, along with business class, premium economy and regular economy seating.
At the end of October, United Airlines is planning to discontinue service on its route from Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon, which it serves once a day with a 737-800. The route will continue to be served by United’s Star Alliance partner Asiana.
Taiwan’s EVA Air has filed plans to boost frequencies on its route from Taipei to San Francisco. The carrier currently flies the route twice a day, and plans to increase that to 17 a week starting November 5. The extra flights will use a 777-300ER. EVA is a member of the Star Alliance.
Ever hear of Edelweiss? Yes, it’s a small mountain flower and a song in ‘The Sound of Music’, but it’s also a leisure carrier affiliated with Swiss International (www.flyedelweiss.com). And it plans to start seasonal service June 9 between San Diego and Zurich. Edelweiss will use an A340-300 to fly the route twice a week, with SAN departures on Fridays and Mondays. The aircraft has a business class with lie-flat seats along with premium economy and regular economy seating.
Avianca’s Brazilian affiliate, Avianca Brasil, has started taking reservations for a new route between Miami and Sao Paulo Guarulhos, which it will start flying June 23. The service will operate once a day with an A330-200.