In international route developments, Qatar Airways starts flying to a new U.S. gateway, SAS adds a West Coast route, a Delta seasonal route to London will go year-round, American deploys a 787 Dreamliner on a U.K. route, and a WestJet division starts new service to the northeastern U.S.
Qatar Airways this week inaugurated service on its newest U.S. route, offering daily non-stop flights from Boston to Doha, Qatar. The carrier is using a new Airbus A350 on the Boston route, which is one of three new U.S. markets it will serve this year. In January, the airline started daily non-stops from Los Angeles to Doha, and it plans to launch Doha-Atlanta daily non-stops on June 1. And on April 1, Qatar Airways will add a second daily non-stop from Doha to New York, also using an A350.
Another new route that kicked off this week is Scandinavian Airlines’ daily service from Los Angeles International to Stockholm Arlanda. SAS, a Star Alliance member, is also on a growth track in the U.S. this year; at the end of March, it will begin Boston-Copenhagen service, and in September it plans to add flights from Miami to Oslo and Copenhagen. On the LAX-Stockholm route, SAS is using an Airbus A330-300 with three cabins: SAS Go has seats in a 2-4-2 configuration with 31/32 inch pitch; SAS Plus has 2-3-2 seating with 38-inch pitch; and SAS Business has a 1-2-1 layout with lie-flat seat-beds that have a massage feature.
Delta’s new non-stops from Salt Lake City to London Heathrow that start on May 1 were intended to be seasonal, but now the airline plans to keep the route going year-round, according to Airlineroute.net. The airline will cut back its daily frequencies after October 28, offering three flights a week through December 18, then four a week starting December 19. Delta will use a 767-300 on the route.
The 767-300 that American Airlines uses on its daily service from Chicago O’Hare to Manchester, U.K. will be replaced this summer with a 787-8 Dreamliner. The changeover, which begins June 3, will put an extra 154 seats a week onto the route.
A three-year-old affiliate of Canada’s WestJet called WestJet Encore has launched its first transborder service, flying three times a day between Boston and Toronto Pearson. Encore’s fleet consists entirely of Q400 turboprops. The carrier plans to start Toronto-Nashville flights in June.
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