American, Spirit, Southwest and United all preparing for new flights
With the year coming to the close, airlines are getting bullish on adding new routes. Over the last month, these are the new services announced by airlines around the world.
Los Angeles flyers will soon have a new choice in traveling to China. FlightGlobal reports the Dallas-based carrier will begin offering direct flights between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) starting on November 5, 2017.
Service is anticipated to begin with a Boeing 777-200 flying daily between the two destinations. Although it is unknown how many slots American has at the Chinese airport, analysts speculate the availability could have come from the airline’s $200 million investment in China Southern Airlines.
Cathay Pacific will also grow routes out of their hub at Hong Kong International Airports (HKG). This month, the carrier announced they would begin flying to three European destinations starting in 2018.
The new routes includes those to Brussels Airport (BRU) in Belgium, Copenhagen Airport (CPH) in Denmark and Dublin Airport (DUB) in Ireland. Service to BRU and DUB will fly four times per week, while flights to CPH will take place three times per week. All routes will be operated with the Airbus A350-900.
American flyers will also have an opportunity to experience the Cathay Pacific A350-900. Starting October 29, 2017, the carrier will begin flying the composite-body aircraft between HKG and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), replacing a Boeing 777-300ER.
Low cost carriers are also expanding their footprint by adding new routes in November 2017. Spirit Airlines will offer four new routes to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY): Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Tampa International Airport (TPA) and EWR will all get daily service to and from the “Big Easy.” Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) will also gain service to MSY, flying four times per week.
Florida and Central America will also see significant expansion starting November 9. Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers and Tampa International Airport (TPA) will get new nonstop service to Hartford Bradley International Airport (BDL) and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), while Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) will get seasonal service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) ending in April. Pending government approval, the low cost carrier will also introduce service between Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and ORD to Cancun International Airport (CUN).
Other new routes for Spirit includes daily service between Las Vegas McCarren International Airport (LAS) and EWR.
Southwest Airlines will increase their presence in California, while flying more aircraft to Mexico next year. The carrier announced several new routes across the west and into Central America in the last month.
Beginning March 2018, Southwest will add service to Mexico from San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Sacramento International Airport (SMF), pending government approval. In April 2018, Southwest will offer daily nonstop service from SMF to four new destinations: Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Boise Airport (BOI), Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) and St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL). At the same time, SMF will get new service to AUS and STL. By May 2018, the carrier will also begin flights from both California airports to Orlando International Airport (MCO).
If government approvals can be secured, Midwest and southern flyers may also get access to Mexico. Starting in April 2018, the carrier plans to add seasonal weekend service from Columbus John Glenn International Airport (CMH) and MSY to CUN.
Finally, United Airlines will also expand their commitment to Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) by offering daily service to Australia. Subject to government approval, the Chicago-based airline plans daily flights between IAH and Sydney Airport (SYD) starting January 18, 2018.
The flight will be operated with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, featuring the United Polaris business class product. At 8,596 miles, the new service will be the second-longest flown by United.