In domestic route news, Virgin America announces a new U.S. destination; Delta will enter a major market from Los Angeles; Spirit adds several new routes from LAX; American targets regional growth at Phoenix; and Alaska adds another spoke at its Seattle hub.
The next dot to be added to Virgin America’s route map is Denver. The airline said it will start service from San Francisco to Denver International Airport on March 15, operating three daily roundtrips. Virgin officials said that of the routes where it doesn’t currently fly, Denver is “the number one destination requested by the airline’s high-tech corporate accounts,” and is also the largest market from San Francisco that it doesn’t now serve. Virgin is offering introductory fares from $52.80 one-way– get it? Denver is 5,280 feet above sea-level, hence it’s “Mile High City” nickname. Now there are new reasons it’s called mile-high, right? 😉
Speaking of Denver: Delta flies to dozens of cities from Los Angeles International, but it doesn’t fly to Denver — yet. But Delta plans to add that route to its map next June 1 when its Delta Connection/SkyWest partner starts flying DEN-LAX five times a day with CRJ-900s. It’s a crowded market, already served by American, United, Southwest, Spirit and Frontier.
Following up on its new service from LAX to Oakland, which started last week, low-cost Spirit Airlines announced plans to add several more Los Angeles routes next spring. The airline said it will launch twice-daily LAX-Seattle service on March 24, followed on March 25 by a daily LAX-Portland flight. On April 8, Spirit will begin two flights a day from LAX to Phoenix, and will add a second daily LAX-Denver flight. And on April 14 it will start daily service from Los Angeles to both Philadelphia and New Orleans.
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In addition to new daily Phoenix-Memphis flights announced last week and starting next March, American Airlines will also add new regional service out of its PHX hub, according to Airlineroute.net. Operated by American eagle/Mesa Airlines and beginning March 13, they include daily roundtrips to Lubbock and Midland, Texas with CRJ-900s and to Roswell, New Mexico with a CRJ-200. In another part of the country, American is coming back to Albany, N.Y., where it stopped service a few years ago. The carrier plans to launch American Eagle service on March 3 from Albany to its Chicago O’Hare hub, operating three flights a day — two of them with two-class, 63-seat CRJ-700s and one with a 50-seat ERJ-145.
Alaska Airlines this week kicked off a new transcon route from its Seattle-Tacoma International hub to Charleston, S.C., operating 737 flights four days a week — Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
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