Delta Air Lines intends to serve Shanghai from its hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul, growing the connecting opportunities between the USA and China. The carrier applied for the necessary route authorities this morning, seeking to launch daily service in June 2020 on the A350-900. The new route would bring to three the number of Asia destinations served from MSP.
Airplanes and Airports
The first Delta Air Lines A220 flights are now loaded into the schedule and on sale for travelers. The carrier intends to base the fleet initially at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and serve routes focused on business travelers, with Boston and Dallas-Fort Worth the first two destinations starting 31 January 2019. Over the summer of 2019 as the fleet grows the A220 will also serve Houston, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul and JFK.
London, Paris and Dublin are the first destinations for WestJet’s new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The aircraft will be based in the carrier’s Calgary hub and offer streamlined connecting opportunities for passengers headed to Europe as the carrier adjusts its connection banks to benefit the Transatlantic routes.
Building on yesterday’s report that JetBlue plans “aggressive” changes to its route network details the changes are now public. One new international destination joins the route map and several routes see increased frequencies. The carrier will also close three stations and shift one to seasonal service. A handful of routes will also be shuttered. This round of changes will begin to show in JetBlue’s schedule effective in January 2019.
The JetBlue route map should look very different later in 2019 compared to today. While transatlantic operations are not to be had in 2019 the current route network should see “aggressive” redeployment of aircraft. At risk of change are several destinations in the Midwest, as well as some smaller markets on the East Coast.
Istanbul’s new airport is officially delayed. The yet-to-be-named facility was due to begin operations at the end of October; December is the new target. Still ahead of the new Berlin airport.
JetBlue spent the past several years teasing the idea of transatlantic flying. The company believes its Mint business class service could clean up in a market that sees high fares and relatively limited competition. Alas, it remains a dream in many ways. The market was reminded this morning at an investor briefing that such a “distraction” is not welcome at this time.
Primera Air’s Transatlantic LCC efforts sank the company. Small but stable in delivering European charter services, the carrier sought something more. It wanted the grandeur of being a transatlantic operator. Instead it is closing up shop tonight.
JetBlue continues to grow at its favorite seasonal destination of Palm Springs, California. The carrier will resume its JFK flights with an extended season and more of the premium Mint service as well as adding new flights between Boston and the Southern California desert oasis.
The first A350-900 ULR flew home to Singapore on Saturday. The routing it took was rather less than ordinary, lasting more than 16 hours and included a visit to the North Pole.