In international route news this week, Norwegian confirms its plans for Oakland-London service; United says it is considering new non-stops to Singapore; Air France will add a new Paris route — but not to Charles de Gaulle; a Chinese carrier plans new LAX flights; KLM will boost its San Francisco schedule; and Southwest will drop a Mexico route.
Following up on our report from last week, European low-cost carrier Norwegian has confirmed that it plans to start new service from Oakland to London Gatwick effective May 12, operating three flights a week. The carrier said fares on the route will start at $299 one way, including taxes (plus ancillary fees, of course; it’s already taking bookings at www.Norwegian.com/us). Norwegian also announced plans to increase its Los Angeles-London Gatwick schedule from three to four flights a week starting May 10, and to move up the start of Boston-London service from late May to March 27, with five weekly flights instead of four. The carrier’s long-haul routes use 787-8s with economy and premium seating.
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Now that Singapore Airlines is on track to resume non-stop flights to the U.S. in 2018, United Airlines is considering a competing service. A United executive told Aviation Daily that the company is considering its aircraft options. “When we have the right aircraft, we will tackle that market” (i.e., non-stops to Singapore), United’s VP-Network Brian Znotins told the publication. Singapore Airlines will use a long-range version of the Airbus A350 designated the A350-900ULR. Znotis did not say which U.S. gateway United has in mind, but Av Daily noted that San Francisco would be the carrier’s hub closest to Singapore.
Air France already operates several flights a day from New York JFK to Paris Charles de Gaulle, but in June it plans to add a daily flight from JFK to Paris Orly, using a 309-seat 777-200 with business, premium economy and regular economy classes. Connections at Orly are available to the airline’s domestic network. Air France also plans to begin three weekly flights from CDG to Teheran, Iran in April.
According to Airlineroute.net, China’s Hainan Airlines plans to begin service between Changsha and Los Angeles on January 21, operating two flights a week with a 787-8. Changsha is the capital of Hunan Province in south-central China.
For its summer schedule beginning May 4, KLM plans to increase its Amsterdam-San Francisco schedule from seven flights a week to nine, using 787-9 Dreamliners for the two extra flights. The others will continue to use a 747-400.
Southwest Airlines will change its Mexico City operations on March 16, according to Airlineroute.net. The carrier plans to discontinue its daily service between San Antonio-Mexico City and to add a second daily roundtrip between Houston Hobby and Mexico City.
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