Continuing with our route news updates, this time we’ll focus on transatlantic. Delta is adding a pair of non-hub routes to Europe and a new route to Africa; American will introduce some new routes to Europe next year but drop others; British Airways adds a U.S. gateway to Heathrow and some high-density 777 service to Gatwick; Lufthansa ends year-round San Jose flights; United makes an aircraft change on SFO-London; and Iceland’s WOW will fly to more U.S. cities;
Delta has set a May 24, 2018 start for new daily non-stop flights to Paris CDG from … Indianapolis? Yep. It’s not a hub, but Delta does operate 37 fights a day there and has a Sky Club as well. Another new non-hub route for Delta will be the only non-stop service between Orlando and Amsterdam, operating daily starting March 30 of next year. The airline will use 767-300ERs on both routes, with Delta One, Comfort+ and regular economy seating. Delta’s only other international route from Orlando is to Sao Paulo.
On March 24, 2018, Delta will kick off another transatlantic route, from New York JFK to Lagos, Nigeria. The carrier already flies to Lagos from Atlanta four times a week, and the JFK flights will operate three times a week (eastbound on Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday). That route will get an Airbus A330-200 with lie-flat Delta One seats as well as Comfort+ and regular economy.
Look for some changes in American Airlines’ transatlantic summer schedules next year. The airline has announced it will add new daily seasonal service May 4-October 27 from Philadelphia to both Prague and Budapest, using 767-300s; and from Chicago O’Hare to Venice with a 787-8. (American already flies to Venice from Philadelphia.) According to schedule updates in Routesonline.com, American also plans to add daily service starting March 25 from Philadelphia to Zurich, a route it last served in September 2016. Seasonal service getting the ax from AA next year, effective March 25, includes Boston-Paris, JFK-Zurich and JFK-Manchester.
Nashville hasn’t had non-stop flights to London since the 1980s, but it will get them again on May 4, 2018, when British Airways is due to begin five flights a week to Heathrow from the Music City with a 787-8 Dreamliner. Tennessee is reportedly offering BA incentives worth $1.5 million to fly the route. From Philadelphia, meanwhile, British Airways will boost its LHR schedule from seven flights a week to 10 starting in April with the addition of second departures on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays, also with a 787-8. And on May 8, BA will replace one of its two daily 747-400 flights between Chicago O’Hare and London with an Airbus A380 – the first regularly-scheduled A380 service at O’Hare.
British Airways has also been converting some of its 777-200ERs to a higher-density configuration to compete with low-cost competition like Norwegian from London Gatwick, and it will put the aircraft onto some U.S. routes next year. The three-class 777s will have 32 business class seats, 52 in premium economy and 252 in regular economy. They’ll fly once a week to Gatwick from Ft. Lauderdale starting September 13, daily from New York JFK beginning July 8, once or twice a week from Orlando as of May 11, and twice a week from Tampa starting June 7. BA will also beef up its Las Vegas service on March 27, adding three weekly Las Vegas-London Gatwick 777 flights a week to its 11 weekly LAS-LHR flights.
The San Jose-Frankfurt non-stops introduced last year by Lufthansa will no longer operate year-round. The German carrier had been planning to keep flying the route five times a week, but now has decided to scrap the service for the winter. The SJC-FRA A340-300 flights will be suspended from October 29 through March 24.
Flying United from San Francisco to London? From October 28 through December 19, United plans to make an equipment change on the route. Instead of using 777-200ERs on both daily departures, it will switch one of them (UA900/901) to a 787-9.
Iceland’s ultra-low-cost WOW Air plans to add service from more U.S. cities next spring, offering four Airbus A321 flights a week to Reykjavik (with connections to lots of European cities) from Detroit starting April 26, from Cleveland May 4, from Cincinnati May 10 and from St. Louis May 17. The carrier will also begin Dallas/Ft. Worth service May 24 with three flights a week. One-way fares on the new routes will start as low as $99 (with plenty of extra fees for various amenities and services).