In international route news, American will deploy new 787s on a pair of Los Angeles routes this fall, and will end first class on some London flights; Delta eyes new South America service from Orlando; Air China will add capacity at LAX and Icelandair will do the same at Seattle; and Qatar plans to move up its Atlanta debut.
American Airlines unveiled plans to add more new Boeing Dreamliners to its international network this fall, with an October 5 launch date for 787 flights from Los Angeles to Sao Paulo, and a November 5 start for new LAX-Shanghai Pudong 787 service. It currently operates Dreamliners from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Beijing, Buenos Aires and Shanghai, and will begin Chicago O’Hare-Tokyo 787 flights August 18. The 787s are replacing 777-200s.
In other developments, American plans to eliminate first class cabins on two of its three daily New York JFK-London flights on December 17 by switching them from 777-300ERs to 777-200s configured with business class, economy and main Cabin Extra seats. Meanwhile, American plans to change equipment from a 767-300ER to a 777-200ER on its JFK-Milan route September 9, and on its Miami-Paris CDG route starting November 5.
Delta has filed for government approval to move its Atlanta-Brasilia flights to Orlando starting December 1, serving the Brazilian capital city four times a week with a 757-200ER. Delta said the altered route would complement its new Orlando-Sao Paulo service. In other news, Delta plans to switch from a 767 to an Airbus A330-300 for five of its seven weekly flights between Atlanta and Dublin beginning May 26, 2016.
Air China last week relocated its Los Angeles operations from Terminal 2 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, and also expanded its schedule between LAX and Beijing with the addition of a third daily roundtrip. All three flights use 777-300ERs with first, business and economy classes.
Starting May 5 of next year, Icelandair will boost its Seattle-Reykjavik schedule from seven flights a week to 11. The four additional flights will include “the only two international morning flights from Sea-Tac,” Icelandair said, with 9:15 a.m. departures on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Qatar Airways, which had announced plans to begin Atlanta-Doha flights on July 1, 2016, now reportedly will move up that schedule by a month, beginning the new 777-200LR service on June 1 instead. The airline is on a U.S. expansion binge, which also includes new flights to Los Angeles starting January 1, to Boston March 16, and a second daily New York flight March 1.
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