In international route developments, Japan Airlines returns to a big U.S. gateway; American sets a starting date on a new route from LAX; Hawaiian adds a transpacific route; a German carrier adds service to three U.S. cities; Delta kicks off a Latin America code-share; Royal Air Maroc plans a new U.S. gateway; an eastern European carrier will go transatlantic; and Etihad upgrades its New York service.
Japan Airlines this week came back onto the Dallas/Ft. Worth-Tokyo Narita route that it had dropped 14 years ago. JAL will initially operate four flights a week to DFW using a 161-seat 787-8 with business and economy class seating, but plans to go daily on the route next March. The airline’s Oneworld partner American already flies the route twice a day.
Speaking of Tokyo, the Transportation Department has reaffirmed American’s rights to take on the Los Angeles-Tokyo Haneda route, rejecting a complaint from Delta that American hadn’t launched service on the route in a timely manner. (AA got the route because Delta gave up its Seattle-Haneda authority.) DOT gave American until late March to start flying LAX-Haneda, but the carrier said it expects to start daily flights on February 11.
And in yet another bit of Tokyo news, Hawaiian Airlines announced plans to begin service next summer between Honolulu and Tokyo Narita; it already flies from Honolulu to Haneda. Hawaiian said it will begin daily HNL-NRT flights on July 22, using an A330-200 with business class, regular economy and Extra Comfort seating.
Lufthansa’s Eurowings (previously known as Germanwings) will start flying to the U.S. from Cologne. The carrier will use A330-200s to fly three times a week to Miami beginning May 1, followed by three weekly flights to Boston and two a week to Las Vegas, both starting May 4. The flights will carry the Lufthansa code.
Delta on December 10 starts code-sharing to Argentina with SkyTeam alliance partner Aerolineas Argentinas. The Delta code is now on Aerolineas flights from New York JFK and Miami to Buenos Aires; from Miami to Cordoba, Argentina; and on the Argentine carrier’s domestic flights from BA to Cordoba, Mendoza and Trelew, Argentina.
Morocco’s flag carrier, Royal Air Maroc, will add another U.S. gateway next year when it begins service between Casablanca and Washington Dulles. Starting September 8, the airline plans to operate three weekly flights using a 787-8 Dreamliner. Its only existing U.S. service is to New York JFK.
Subject to government approvals, Air Serbia — which was launched two years ago — plans to start flying its first transatlantic route in June 2016, according to Travel Weekly. The carrier, which is 49 percent owned by Etihad Airways, plans to use a two-class A330-200 to operate five weekly flights between Belgrade and New York.
Speaking of Etihad, that airline has put an Airbus A380 super-jumbo into service between New York JFK and its Abu Dhabi base. The plane features super-luxury accommodations called The Residence — three-room suites with a double bed, shower and butler. That’s in addition to first class, business class and economy. The A380 is used on one of the airline’s two daily New York flights; the other is a 777-300ER. Meanwhile in San Francisco, we are still waiting for a real Etihad jet instead of the current Jetihad plane.
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