to the recent outbreak of the COVID virus, airlines have begun to add new routes. The virus is constantly evolving and new variants have been identified, prompting many countries to open their borders to vaccinated visitors accompanied by the right protocols. While many Americans will eagerly travel again by 2022, they are likely to choose routes that are closer to home or offer nonstop flights.
A Congressional investigation into airline delays prompted by the influenza pandemic has begun in Washington. The Commerce Committee chair, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, is overseeing the investigation, and her office told The New York Times that it is nearing completion. The head of the Transport Workers Union, John Samuelsen, has asked whether American Airlines was prepared for Thanksgiving and New Year’s travel. He said that the airline had not planned for these holidays, and that their proposed schedules could not meet the demand.
A new airline service by American Airlines is launching in several cities, including Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago. The new service will operate on Boeing 777-200 aircraft, and American expects international travel to resume in the fall. In the meantime, the airline will focus on bolstering its domestic service with widebody jets. Its executive team has compared the widebody jets to Porsches, and they are designed to fly long distances and carry higher-paying passengers.
Despite the recent travel ban, domestic leisure bookings have recovered from a year ago. But international travel remains hampered by quarantine requirements, closed attractions, and entry bans. Despite the current economic climate, airlines are increasing capacity and adding new routes to capitalize on the recovery. Adding more routes is good news for travelers. Moreover, a large portion of the flights on American Airlines are scheduled to operate daily.
After a disastrous pandemic, Alaska Airlines is back in the game, adding routes and expanding its service. The airline says it’s stronger than ever and is poised to take on bigger markets and boost its stock price. The company recently announced that by the end of next year, it will be flying 24 additional mainline jets. This expansion means the airline will need to hire hundreds of more pilots.
In the Northwest, the airline is strengthening its connections with four new nonstop flights. One of those new routes will connect Boise, Idaho, with Chicago O’Hare. Another new route will connect Austin, Texas, with a new Seattle-area destination. Alaska Airlines has also announced a new daily nonstop flight between Seattle and Cincinnati. The new service will begin in May 2020. The airline is adding four new routes in the Pacific Northwest this year, with three flights per week.
In addition to introducing new flights, the airline also announced plans to add flights to Seattle and San Diego. In addition to Seattle and Burbank, Alaska will add flights from Los Angeles and Portland. Several other airlines already serve San Diego and Seattle. Adding the Santa Rosa route will increase the airline’s presence in San Diego, which is still dominated by the West Coast carrier. However, Alaska Airlines will only serve a small portion of the San Diego market and will compete with American on this route.
American airline companies are adding routes to compete for leisure travelers. Frontier Airlines is no exception. Last year, the airline added flights to Miami, Cancun, and Tampa. This year, the airline will add nonstop service to Kingston, Jamaica. It will also expand its network from DFW to ten destinations. And, with a few new additions, you can expect cheaper fares as well.
The airline’s marketing is based on animal themes, including a fox, a bear, and a rabbit. Some of the aircraft have names, too. The fox and rabbit appear in television commercials. Other animals, such as Flip the dolphin, are featured on the plane. The airline will also begin flight service to ten new cities this fall and next spring. The carrier is also expanding its route network as it seeks to attract travelers to its new cities.
As a publicly traded company, Frontier Airways will face heightened scrutiny. Institutional investors will look for signs of trouble beyond financials, such as DOT complaints. Any misdeeds or complaints will tarnish the airline’s reputation. Picoult noted that a high-quality airline has a higher stock value than a company with low customer satisfaction. So, it’s important for both sides to be proactive in the fight to win back customers.
With the flu pandemic nearly halting commercial air travel just two years ago, it is understandable why airlines would make risky moves to make more flights available to travelers. United recently kicked off a massive expansion, targeting travelers who are desperate to experience the world again. To that end, it has resumed flights to cities across Europe, including Berlin, London, Zurich, Munich, Milan, Nice, and Paris.
After President Biden’s speech, search volumes for Fourth of July flights spiked 63%. Travelport, a London-based global distribution system, said that U.S. bookings are currently at 70% of pre-pandemic levels and international travel makes up 52% of overall bookings. The travel ban ends Nov. 8, when international visitors can resume travel to the U.S. once again. The airlines that have increased their schedules and gotten their planes out of mothballs are Delta and United. American, meanwhile, has not added new routes. However, United is now the number four airline at Boston Logan airport, with flights to Mexico, Europe, and Latin America.
The airline industry is reacting to these changes as air travel has stabilized at 75 percent of levels of last year. However, a new government plan easing travel restrictions for foreigners is expected to boost air travel, especially around holidays. United expects Thanksgiving week and the Sunday after Thanksgiving to be particularly busy. Other popular dates are Thursday, Dec. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 2. There is even a new route connecting Boston to Nantuckettuckett, Conway, and Phoenix.
Air Tahiti Nui
As the United States economy continues to recover, Air Tahiti Nui is adding routes to the French Polynesia islands and expanding its network to the mainland. New flights between Los Angeles and Papeete are scheduled to start in April. The airline will fly seven times per day on Airbus A380s and three times on Boeing 777-200ERs. In addition to the new routes, the airline is coordinating service and flight schedules with other airlines.
The new Seattle flight marks Air Tahiti Nui’s second route to the United States. The new route is also accessible to Canadians, and Alaska Airlines is extending its partnership with the carrier. As part of the deal, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn Air Tahiti Nui miles while traveling on the new airline. This new flight will depart from Papeete on Tuesdays and arrive in Seattle on Wednesdays.
The airline will operate Boeing 787-9 aircraft with seats for up to 232 passengers. Flights to Seattle will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The flight will travel 4,784 miles in both directions and be blocked at 9h25m each way. The airline operates four Boeing 787-9 aircraft and offers 30 business class seats and 32 premium economy seats. For more information on the aircraft’s 787-9 business class, visit their website.
Delta Air Lines
The news comes at a time when the flight industry has experienced tremendous disruption over the past two years. Carriers are moving into a recovery phase and selective cutbacks are becoming more common. Last week, Atlanta-based Delta announced the cancellation of seven routes and a three-city reduction. Now, it has responded to the competitive pressure by adding routes to its core hubs and bringing modern planes to its fleet.
With many international travel restrictions and limited business travel, airlines have responded to consumer demand. Despite the ongoing economic crisis, nearly half of American adults plan to take a vacation this summer. While the country’s international borders remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are beginning to seek a more domestically-oriented vacation. Delta Air Lines has announced plans to resume service to Iceland’s capital Reykjavik in May.
In addition to restoring transatlantic service, Delta also announced plans to expand hub-to-hub service between the U.S. and Europe. New nonstop flights from Seattle and LAX to Amsterdam and Paris will be complemented by new service from other Delta affiliates, such as United Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The airline also plans to restart flights to Boston and Toronto from Atlanta.