In international route news, Delta will add new transatlantic routes next year; Norwegian starts up London flights from two western U.S. cities; Icelandair will add U.S. gateways in 2018; Austrian Airlines debuts a new cabin class; British Airways will put 747s on two U.S. routes; United adds a Mexico destination from two cities; Aeromexico replaces Delta on a U.S. route; and new services are coming for Avianca, Azul and WestJet.
Delta said this week it plans to add new service from Los Angeles to two European destinations next year. Effective June 16, Delta will use a 777-200LR to fly from LAX to both Paris and Amsterdam, but it will not offer daily departures on those routes. The Paris flights will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (eastbound), and the Amsterdam flights on the other four days of the week. Many onward connections at both destinations will be available on Delta partners Air France and KLM. At New York JFK, Delta will start flying five days a week as of May 24 to Ponta Delgada in the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal about 1,000 miles west of Lisbon in the Atlantic Ocean.
At its Atlanta hub, Delta will add seasonal 767 service to Lisbon from May 24 through September 4. And starting May 16, Delta will add a third daily roundtrip between Detroit and Paris CDG (already served by daily flights from Delta and code-share partner Air France). Delta had previously announced new transatlantic service three times a week as of March from JFK to Lagos, Nigeria; Orlando-Amsterdam flights beginning March 30; and Indianapolis-Paris starting May 24.
In other news, Delta this week resumed code-sharing with Russian carrier Aeroflot, putting its DL code onto 14 Aeroflot domestic routes out of Moscow Sheremetyevo. You can see a full list of the affected routes here.
Low-cost Norwegian has started flying a pair of previously-announced new transatlantic routes. This week it inaugurated daily 787-9 service to London’s Gatwick Airport from Seattle-Tacoma International, as well as twice-weekly (Saturday/Tuesday) 787-9 service from Denver International to Gatwick. The Denver service is scheduled to increase to increase to three flights a week on November 2 with the addition of a Thursday departure from DEN.
Icelandair is expanding its U.S. route network next year, as it faces growing competition from low-cost Icelandic carrier WOW Air. Icelandair will add Dallas/Ft. Worth to its route map in May 2018, offering 757-200 flights to Reykjavik four days a week out of DFW’s Terminal D. (Earlier this month, WOW announced new DFW-Reykjavik service also starting in May 2018, operating three times a week with an A330.) Also coming in mid-May 2018 is new Icelandair service from Cleveland to Reykjavik, operating five days a week with a new two-class 737MAX 8. The day after Icelandair announced its Cleveland route, WOW announced it will also fly Cleveland-Reykjavik, starting May 4 with four flights a week, with fares starting at $99 one-way.
Austrian Airlines — the Lufthansa subsidiary that flies to Vienna from New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami – unveiled plans to offer premium economy seating, bookable now for flights starting March 6. The new seats will be wider than regular economy and will offer a 38-inch pitch as well as footrests, a 12-inch seatback screen, power outlets and USB ports. Premium economy passengers will be allowed two free checked bags, and will get welcome drinks, amenity kits, and meal service on china.
You want more chances to fly on a 747 before they all disappear? British Airways still relies on the Boeing jumbos for some long-haul services, and it plans to put a 747-400 onto its London Heathrow-Austin route next spring (effective April 8), replacing the 787-9 it currently uses. And from August 8 through September 30 of next year, according to Routesonline.com, BA will replace an A380 on its Los Angeles-LHR route (BA283/282) with a 747-400.
United Airlines is adding service to Mazatlan, Mexico just in time for the winter holidays. From its Houston hub, United will fly to Mazatlan four times a week from December 21 through April 8, then cut back to weekly Saturday-only service through mid-August. From Chicago O’Hare, United will offer once-a-week Saturday service to Mazatlan from December 23 through April 7. In other Mexico route news, Delta’s existing daily Delta Connection/Skywest CRJ900 service from Salt Lake City to Guadalajara will be replaced in January by daily E190 flights operated by Delta’s new joint venture partner Aeromexico.
Elsewhere in Latin America, Brazil’s Azul will expand its U.S. network in December by adding new service four times a week between Orlando and Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and four flights a week linking Ft. Lauderdale with Belem, Brazil. Avianca’s TACA Airlines unit plans to revive Newark-San Salvador, El Salvador service November 17, operating five flights a week. And Avianca Brasil plans to offer daily flights to Sao Paulo Guarulhos from New York JFK beginning December 15.
And to Canada, Westjet will start flying between Denver and Calgary effective March 8, operating one daily roundtrip with a 737-700.