In domestic route developments, United announced plans to serve a bevy of new regional markets next year; Alaska will add a big spoke from its Seattle hub; American will expand at Washington Reagan National in 2018; and Spirit grows at Columbus and New Orleans.
United plans to launch new service in 2018 from five major airports to several smaller ones. At its Chicago O’Hare hub, United will begin year-round twice-daily service starting April 9 to El Paso, Tex., and to Wilmington, N.C. (By the way, United said that starting next February, it will implement an “enhanced bank structure” at O’Hare that will mean “shorter connection times and better access to more destinations” for connecting passengers.)
Also beginning April 9 for United will be a daily Denver-Jacksonville flight, and twice-daily service from Los Angeles to both Redmond and Medford, Oregon; from Newark to Elmira, N.Y.; and from Washington Dulles to Wilmington, N.C.
New seasonal service from United, beginning June 7, includes daily flights from O’Hare to Fresno, California; and from LAX to Kalispell and Missoula, Montana (all located near major national parks). All the above flights will use regional jets operated by United Express partners.
Routesonline.com turned up some additional smaller new markets for United Express next year. It said United will launch service on January 30 from Denver to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, twice a day; on February 1 from Denver to North Platte, Nebraska, twice a day; and on February 6 from Denver to Pueblo, Colorado and Liberal, Kansas six times a week. United had previously announced new service from Denver to Moab, Utah starting May 1 and to Vernal, Utah beginning June 1.
Alaska Airlines will begin service in September 2018 to the 90th destination from its Seattle hub when it adds a daily 737 flight to Pittsburgh, with an 8:25 a.m. eastbound departure and a return flight leaving Pittsburgh at 5:20 p.m. Currently, there is no non-stop service in the Seattle-Pittsburgh market.
American Airlines plans to add service in various domestic markets next year, including three new routes from Washington Reagan National. New DCA service for American will include a daily CRJ900 flight to Tallahassee starting February 15, and six CRJ200 flights a week to Montgomery, Alabama, as of June 7, both operated by PSA Airlines; and a daily E175 flight from DCA to Little Rock, operated by Republic Airlines. American will also expand its weekend-only service to daily between DCA and Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Florida starting May 4; and between DCA and Myrtle Beach, S.C. as of April 3.
Elsewhere, American will begin twice-daily flights in April between New York LaGuardia and Portland, Maine, with 50-seat regional jets. And on February 15, American will begin mainline A320 service between its Charlotte hub and Tucson, Arizona, with a very-late-night (12:30 a.m.) eastbound departure time.
Spirit Airlines announced plans to add Columbus, Ohio to its network on February 15, offering daily, year-round service to Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Las Vegas, as well as seasonal daily flights to Tampa and Ft. Myers that will end April 11 and resume November 8. On March 22, Spirit will add seasonal service three times a week from Columbus to New Orleans and Myrtle Beach, continuing through November 7. On March 15, Spirit will also begin daily flights from Richmond, Virginia to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. Earlier this month, Spirit launched new daily service from New Orleans to Boston, Newark, Tampa and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
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