In news of international routes, United wants to add a new China destination from San Francisco; Delta plans to add more service to Brazil from Orlando; SAS drops a key U.S. route for the energy industry; Canada’s WestJet goes transatlantic in a big way; and Miami is adding more European routes this winter.
- United Airlines said it has filed for government approvals to add a new seasonal route to China next year. United wants to fly from San Francisco to Xi’an three times a week from May 8 through October 27, using a 787. If approved, it will be the first commercial air service available on that route. Xi’an, a city of 8 million, is the capital of central China’s Shaanxi Province. It is also home to one of China’s most famous historic and cultural attractions, the Terracotta Warriors.
- Delta is doubling down on its planned new Brazilian route from Orlando to Sao Paulo, which begins December 19. Instead of keeping frequencies on the route at the initial four a week, Delta now says it intends to increase that to daily flights starting February 20. Delta will use its partnership with Brazilian carrier GOL to offer Sao Paulo passengers connections to 32 destinations from the city’s Guarulhos International Airport. Delta will use a 767-300 on the route. And could this be a coincidence? Brazilian carrier Azul, which had previously planned to start flying the same route on December 15, has now pulled that service from its schedule, according to airlineroute.net.
- Canadian carrier WestJet is going transatlantic next year in a big way. The low-cost airline will use 767s to start flying to London Gatwick from six Canadian cities — Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and St. John’s, with frequencies ranging from twice a week to daily, depending on departure airport and season. During peak season, WestJet will offer 28 flights a week from Canada to London, with one-way fares starting as low as $249 (Canadian) from Toronto, $199 from St. John’s.
- Miami International Airport notes that it will welcome significantly increased transatlantic service this fall and winter. In October, Austrian Airlines will start flying from MIA to Vienna and Turkish Airlines will debut MIA-Istanbul flights; British Airways will put an A380 super-jumbo onto its London Heathrow route; Lufthansa will add more Miami-Munich flights; Swiss will increase frequencies to Zurich; and Finnair will do the same to Helsinki. In November, Air Berlin starts twice-weekly service to Berlin.
- SAS has a route from Houston to Stavanger, Norway dedicated to the energy industry — linking Texas oil companies with North Sea operations — and it uses an all-business-class, 44-seat 737-700. But that route will reportedly be dropped on October 25. The special aircraft, provided for SAS by Privatair, will be converted to a two-class, 88-seat version, and will go onto the Copenhagen-Newark route, according to airlineroute.net.
Related: Trip Report SFO-Copenhagen on SAS
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