In international route developments, United kicks off new service from San Francisco to Israel; Qatar Airways doubles up its New York-Doha schedule; SAS and Norwegian both add new service out of Boston; Iberia comes to LAX; Chicago O’Hare gets new service to Iceland, China and Mexico; American and TAM both drop South American routes; and Air Canada revives a Salt Lake City route.
March 30 is the starting date for United’s new non-stop flights from San Francisco to Tel Aviv. United will use a 787-9 Dreamliner to fly the route three times a week, with SFO departures at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The eastbound flight is estimated to take 14 hours and 10 minutes, with the return taking 15 hours 5 minutes. The carrier also flies to Tel Aviv from its Newark hub.
Qatar Airways, which started service earlier this month to Doha from Boston, is due to add a second daily frequency between New York JFK and Doha starting April 1. The airline will use a new Airbus A350-900-XWB for the extra flight, which departs JFK at 6 a.m. The other flight still uses a 777.
Boston is getting new service to a pair of European destinations. March 29 is the launch date for SAS to start flying from Boston to Copenhagen every day. The Scandinavian carrier is using a non-standard aircraft on the route – a 737-700 Boeing Business Jet operated by PrivatAir, with 20 business and 66 economy seats. The other new Boston route that started this week is Norwegian’s Boston-London Gatwick service. The low-cost airline is using a 787 to fly the route four days a week. Norwegian also announced plans to start weekly service from Las Vegas to Oslo starting in November.
Iberia, a member of American’s Oneworld alliance, begins seasonal service March 30 from Los Angeles to Madrid. Using A330s and A340s, Iberia will start off with three flights a week, increasing to five a week May 17, then six a week beginning June 6 and daily frequencies from July 3 to August 28 before it starts to scale back the schedule again.
At Chicago O’Hare, Icelandair has kicked off year-round service to Reykjavik, using a 767 to fly the route four days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays), with an early-morning arrival in Iceland that permits easy connections to 20 destinations in Europe. Also at O’Hare, China Eastern Airlines has launched new non-stops to Shanghai Pudong, where it offers scores of connections to other Chinese cities. China Eastern is using a 777-300ER for the daily flights. And Mexican carrier Volaris announced plans to start service from Chicago O’Hare to Monterrey, Mexico on June 17, flying the route twice a week with an A320.
South America is losing a couple of routes to the U.S. On April 4, American Airlines plans to suspend its three-month-old New York JFK-Caracas flights “until market conditions improve.” And on June 3, Brazilian carrier TAM is due to discontinue its three to four flights a week from Orlando to Brasilia.
Air Canada plans to return to Salt Lake City International on May 27, offering daily service to its Toronto hub with a 97-seat, two-class Embraer 190.
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