In international route news, United announced a pair of new long-haul destinations from its San Francisco hub; Delta unveiled plans to add a pair of new Europe routes next year; and a European low-cost carrier suggests it might offer transatlantic fares as low as $69.
In addition to its recently announced plans to serve X’ian, China from San Francisco starting next May, United now says it will add two more very long-haul SFO routes in 2016 — to Auckland, New Zealand, and to Tel Aviv, Israel.
The carrier said it will use a new 787-9 Dreamliner to fly from San Francisco to Tel Aviv three times a week — a 14- or 15-hour flight, depending on direction — beginning March 30. The Auckland flights will beginning July 1 three times a week with a 787-8, expanding to daily in October 2016 and transitioning to a 787-9. The Auckland flights will take 12 to 13 hours, and will be marketed in partnership with Star Alliance member Air New Zealand.
Delta said it will inaugurate new service next year from two of its Midwestern hubs to Europe. Beginning May 26, Delta will kick off six flights a week from Detroit to Munich, using a 767-400ER; and on the same date, it will begin daily non-stops from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Rome, operating a 767-300ER.
European low-cost carrier Norwegian could start offering transatlantic air fares as low as $69 one-way in 2017 by targeting service from low-fee secondary U.S. airports, company CEO Bjorn Kjos told Reuters in an interview. He noted that adding on common ancillary fees is likely to being the roundtrip cost closer to $300 — still an amazing bargain considering the price of transatlantic air travel these days. He said Norwegian could manage this by using East Coast airports that don’t currently offer flights to Europe, like Connecticut‘s Bradley International and New York‘s Westchester County Airport.
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