Greetings from a sunny and warm Airlineville. Ok, so maybe Airlineville isn’t that sunny and warm, but I’m flying back from my sunny and warm weeklong vacation this afternoon, so that’s where my mind is right now.
Even if Airlineville isn’t warm and cozy, at least two of our residents are thinking about warmer days. The Animal took a look at summer, and decided he wasn’t on the right path. Meanwhile, Pualani has given up on seeing her friends down under for awhile. Oh, and of course, the Maple Leaf was full of more doom and gloom. But other than that, it was a relatively quiet week as I pored over the Cirium data with a view of the ocean and a whisky in my hand.
The Widget did take a look at May and, naturally, revised plans downward. It also continued its leisure shift. The Globe also looked at May, but only in a small corner of the world.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Takes a Swing at Delta
Remember how Delta was planning all those new flights to Alaska for the summer? Well, Alaska noticed. Go figure. It’s now adding flights this summer from Anchorage to Minneapolis/St Paul. Coincidence? I think not.
Alaska is also liking American’s new aggressiveness out of Austin, so it’s piling on with a second daily from Portland and 4th daily from Seattle for the summer.
American’s One Summer MAX Route
Clearly this is going to change, but as of now, the only MAX route American has scheduled this summer is from Miami to… Indianapolis. Say what? Well, American just hasn’t filed any other MAX flying beyond June 2 yet, but this week, American did do some upgauging in Miami including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and of course, Indianapolis which gets the MAX. Miami also goes from only 1x daily Hartford flight to 3x daily. Why? Oh right, JetBlue just announced the route, so it’s time for a friendly fight.
In other news, American is feeling more confident that it can avoid swapping A321ceos in for A321neos on more routes, so it has expanded the number of routes where it will sell the full 196 seats on the neo instead of 192. Oh, and American is pushing back most Buenos Aires flights into early May while China gets pushed again until early June. The latter will get pushed further, no doubt.
Delta Takes a Crack at May
Delta took its first swing at May schedules with just shy of a 20 percent cut vs last week. It’s showing down 26 percent vs 2019 while April is down 33 percent. Delta doesn’t usually do one cut but rather it does multiples, so we’ll see where this goes.
Delta also loaded its announced summer outdoorsy adds. Most of these are returning markets from summer 2019 or 2020, but a handful are not. Boston – Bangor hasn’t been flown since 2009 while Atlanta – Bangor hasn’t been flown since 2008. These markets haven’t been served at all by Delta, at least not this century: Boston – Hilton Head, Traverse City; New York/JFK – Bozeman; Detroit – Jackson Hole, Rapid City; Seattle – Fresno, Kalispell, Reno.
Lastly, Delta gave Minneapolis/St Paul and Salt Lake City the weekend treatment it rolled out elsewhere. They now have more Saturday flights than before. Salt Lake is almost at a regular weekday schedule while MSP still remains below, but the gap has closed.
Frontier Makes Big Changes
Frontier is usually all about tactical moves, but this week it actually made some larger summer changes, mostly cuts. St Louis was the big winner with several new routes and seats up a third. Orlando was the only other market that was up. Big losers are Newark, Chicago, Boston, Philly, and Raleigh/Durham all losing more than 10,000 seats during July.
Hawaiian Gives Up on Down Under For Now
Hawaiian has extended its cancellation of flying to Australia and New Zealand into October. That may still be too optimistic, but at least we’re getting into the realm of reality.
JetBlue in Hartford
As mentioned above, JetBlue will fly a daily flight from Hartford to Miami. American didn’t like that.
United Cuts Non-Domestic Narrowbodies for May
United hasn’t done its big May cuts, and it probably won’t for some time, but it did make cuts in non-domestic short-haul flights. It appears to be shaping up better than April so far, but there’s a lot of time left for more changes. Meanwhile, United did up capacity from Denver and Chicago to Honolulu this summer with more frequency. Oh, and it has filed flights from Denver to West Yellowstone.
- Aeroflot and its ongoing saga of schedule changes continues. It will now up JFK to 1x daily again in June after cutting it down last week. LA will go up from 2x weekly to 4x weekly while Miami will go from 2x weekly to 3x weekly.
- Air Canada took May down this week, and it’s ugly, of course. Canada is just ugly in general and will be for a long time.
- Air Transat has extended its full hibernation from May 1 until June 14.
- Cathay Pacific now won’t fly Boston – Hong Kong at least until July.
- Eastern is looking to do Miami – Montevideo flights starting in June, a route American is scheduled to fly only in the northern winter.
- Fiji Airways won’t fly to Honolulu at least through June while Los Angeles will only get a couple flights during the same period, probably for repatriation purposes.
- Mokulele used to file flights only a few months out, but it looks like it’s extending that from ending in Nov to going through Mar 2022.
- Sun Country won’t fly Nashville – LA or Dallas/Fort Worth – Montego Bay this summer. It also reversed where it put the single 737-700 in its fleet. Those markets have now gone back to 737-800 capacity.
- Virgin Atlantic has delayed the resumption of Manchester – US flights from April 20 to May 17.
- WestJet has delayed London flying again. Toronto will get 3 flights in May, but Calgary won’t start until early June.
That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for the final episode of March next week on Skeds of air Lines.