In domestic route news, Hawaiian Airlines will add new West Coast routes as new aircraft come online; Alaska eyes more expansion in the months ahead; Delta grows again at Seattle; United adds two routes in the west; and Southwest’s Houston hub will get a new spoke.
As it takes delivery of new single-aisle Airbus A321neos next year, Hawaiian Airlines said it will add or alter service in some West Coast markets. Hawaiian’s first new A321neo service will begin January 8 between Oakland and Maui, where the plane will replace the existing A330 service. Hawaiian will begin new service January 18 between Portland and Maui, also using an A321neo. The airline’s seasonal Oakland-Kauai flights, currently using a 767, will stop September 4, then use an A321neo when they start up again April 11. And Hawaiian will inaugurate wide-body Los Angeles-Kona daily flights March 11, switching to an A321neo on the route next summer.
Although they provided no specifics, Alaska Airlines officials said in an earnings conference call that the carrier will start service in 30 new markets over the next six months, according to the travel industry news website Skift. That presumably includes some new service that has already been announced but hasn’t yet started, like new Bay Area routes Alaska will phase in from late summer through fall, as well as some new Dallas Love Field service coming in late August and February. Officials also said that of 20 markets the airline entered in the past nine months, 15 are now operating in the black. (I’m hoping for some competition on the SFO-ATL route! Come, Alaska! Let’s go!)
Delta has announced plans for some more growth at Seattle. Its new Seattle-Austin service, which started last month with a single daily roundtrip, will add a second frequency October 1, providing a morning departure from Seattle. On the same date, the carrier will launch new daily Delta Connection/SkyWest flights between Seattle and Medford, Oregon, with a two-class E175. October 1 also marks the addition of new Delta service between Los Angeles and Albuquerque, operated six days a week by Delta Connection/Compass Airlines with an E175.
United Airlines dropped service between Los Angeles and St. George, Utah, more than four years ago, but it plans to resume that route on October 6. United Express/SkyWest will fly the route once a day with a CRJ200. Another route United will revive, this one on December 1, is Denver to Pueblo, Colorado, with two daily weekday CRJ200 flights also operated by SkyWest.
Southwest Airlines’ Houston Hobby hub will get a new spoke on March 8, when the airline adds daily service to Milwaukee. The airline said the route will allow for easy connections to international destinations including Mexico City, Cancun and Belize. On the same date, Southwest will start weekly Saturday service to Tampa from Detroit and Omaha.