There are lots of developments in international services this week. United started a new China route; Air Canada kicks off a San Jose route; European carriers begin new transatlantic service from LAX, Oakland, Salt Lake City and Denver; a Chinese carrier sets the date for new Seattle flights; Chicago gets a new transpacific option; and a South American carrier comes to Washington D.C.
United Airlines on Sunday started its newest transpacific route, linking its San Francisco hub with Xi’an, a city of 8 million in central China; it’s the only non-stop service between the U.S. and Xi’an. United will fly the seasonal route three times a week – through October 27 – using a 787 Dreamliner. Westbound flights depart SFO on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1:25 p.m. The westbound flight takes a little over 13 hours.
Low-cost European carrier Norwegian is set to begin its previously announced Oakland-London Gatwick service on May 12. The carrier will use a 787-8 with economy and premium seating, offering non-stop service three times a week. Norwegian’s initial fares on the route started at $299. On May 10, Norwegian increases Los Angeles-London Gatwick service from three flights a week to four.
On May 9, Air Canada kicks off new non-stop service out of Mineta San Jose International Airport to Vancouver. The Canadian carrier will offer two daily roundtrips using CRJ705 regional jets with 10 seats in business class and 65 in coach. Speaking of Vancouver, Air Canada recently announced it will begin a new ultra-long-haul route there on October 20 with non-stop service to Delhi, India operating four days a week with a 787-9 Dreamliner.
Aer Lingus last week kicked off Los Angeles-Dublin flights — the first of three new U.S. routes it will be adding this summer. The year-round service from LAX operates four times a week, using an Airbus A330-200. Later this year, the Irish carrier plans to begin new daily flights from Newark starting September 1, and new service from Hartford in late September.
Instead of resuming seasonal service this year between Amsterdam and Dallas/Ft. Worth, KLM opted instead to go with Salt Lake City, where it started flying last week. Its transatlantic joint venture partner Delta also serves the SLC-Amsterdam route. KLM started off with twice-weekly flights Thursdays and Saturdays, and will add a Monday departure on July 4. It’s using an A330-200 on the route. KLM also plans to add seasonal Miami-Amsterdam service in late October.
May 11 is the launch date for new Lufthansa service between Denver and its Munich hub; the German carrier already flies from Denver to Frankfurt. The new Munich service will operate five days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday), using an Airbus A330—300 with four classes of service, including premium economy, for the 10-1/2 hour flight. The eastbound flight leaves Denver at 4:05 p.m. Easy connections to the new route are available through Lufthansa’s Star Alliance partner United, which has a hub at DEN.
China’s Xiamen Airlines, a member of Delta’s SkyTeam global alliance, has started taking bookings for its new Seattle-Xiamen route, which will begin September 26. The new service will operate three days a week via an intermediate stop in Shenzen, using a 787-8.
Taiwan’s EVA Air plans to launch new service on November 2 from Taipei to Chicago O’Hare, flying the route four times a week with a 777. EVA also will increase its Taipei-New York JFK schedule effective October 3 from the current 10 flights a week to twice-daily service.
South America’s LATAM Airlines last week started its newest U.S. route, linking Washington Dulles with Lima, Peru – the only non-stop service between the two capital cities. LATAM will initially offer three flights a week, using a 767-300 with business class and regular economy seating.
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