Welcome back to Airlineville, the city that never sleeps. The good folks at Cirium have now changed their update process, and the weekly download now arrives just a bit later on Friday. Why? Well, the later cut-off means more residents get their changes in before the place closes down. And this week was a busy one.
May has firmed up as slackers the Taxi and the Globe have now finalized their plans for the month. Ms Blue is so done with May that she has shifted her gaze toward where she can and can’t go on her ballpark tour this summer. And the Widget? Well, the Widget was playing small ball with all sorts of little initiatives keeping him busy.
Meanwhile, the Eskimo and the Eagle were feeling frisky this week, throwing right at the heads of those who dare step into the batter’s box. Why all the baseball references? Thursday was opening day, of course. And that’s a day that should be a national holiday.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Pulls Back on Mexico From LA
Alaska is taking down Mexico a little this summer from Los Angeles. Loreto goes from daily to 3x weekly, Mazatlan from daily to 4x weekly, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo from daily to 3x weekly, and Manzanillo from 4x weekly to 2x weekly.
On the flip side, after JetBlue extended Newark-Seattle to year-round last week, Alaska extended its retaliation to year-round this week. You’ll now see 3x daily through the winter. Anchorage to Fairbanks also gained two more daily flights this fall and winter, BUT that’s because it has been downgauged from a 737-700 on all flights to an Embraer 175. Apparently the introduction of that fleet into the 49th state is doing well for the airline.
American Boosts Outdoors Markets, Fights Hawaiian
American was busy playing the upgauge game again. It’ll now put a second 787-9 into Alaska with Anchorage – Chicago getting the airplane from June 3 through August 16. Even more fun is the response to Hawaiian’s new Phoenix – Kahului flight. American will upgauge one of its two daily flights from Phoenix to both Kahului and Honolulu from an A321neo to a 777-200.
Outside of that skirmish, this week was more about frequency increases. Outdoorsy markets get yet another boost. All of these gain more flight frequencies this summer:
- Boston – Wilmington
- Charlotte – Kalispell, Salt Lake City
- Chicago/O’Hare – Asheville, Charleston (SC), Fort Walton Beach, Savannah
- DFW – Asheville, Buffalo, Colorado Springs, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Norfolk, Panama City, Portland (ME), Salt Lake City, Tampa, Vail
- Miami – Guayaquil, Quito
- New York/JFK – Jackson Hole
- New York/LaGuardia – Hilton Head
- Philadelphia – Bozeman, Panama City
- Phoenix – Redmond/Bend, St George (UT), Tampa
- Washington/National – Key West, , Myrtle Beach, Wilmington
It’s not all good news, however. Japan takes a real hit. DFW and LAX to Tokyo/Haneda have now been removed through the end of the summer season in late October. The only flight operating to Japan will be a single daily DFW – Narita flight. Joint venture-partner Japan Airlines also slashed flying but only through September. Boston and LA – Narita each go from daily to 4x weekly while DFW – Haneda goes from daily to 3x weekly. On the other hand, DFW – Narita (4x weekly) and JFK – Narita (3x weekly) will come back into the schedule, presumably to drive up whatever meager connections might exist.
Delta Gets Busy In So Many Ways
Delta had a really busy week, pulling down May a bit more and making all sorts of interesting moves. Let’s just line ’em up.
- Delta has slashed Europe in May, giving up on the beginning of the season. It will now only return one new market in May vs April, that’s JFK – Keflavik. Five others will see frequency increases. Everything else will have to wait until June and hope for a better outcome.
- Delta also brought down domestic more in May. This was largely centered on the 737-800/900 fleet. Normally I wouldn’t pay attention to something like this, but with Delta again running into cancellation issues this holiday weekend, I wonder if operational needs could be behind some of this. I have no idea, but it seemed worth mentioning.
- Delta seems to be getting a dose of reality. Of the 16 markets from Atlanta with the most seats, 10 have seen significant cuts ranging from 1x daily flight to a whopping 5-6x daily being cut to LaGuardia. This feels like the most obvious haircut that acknowledges demand is going to be weaker, and Delta has made these through the end of schedule.
- Focus cities from the past and present will be toast through Labor Day. Cincinnati has lost Baltimore, Philly, and RDU through then, even though it isn’t a focus city anymore. Raleigh/Durham will also lose Baltimore and Chicago/O’Hare, plus Cancun service will go weekend-only. Former love San Jose loses Detroit this summer, and it looks like JFK is gone for good.
- Boston and LaGuardia get the smoothing treatment. Weekday flights come down through the summer while weekend flights go up. Saturday is still significantly below weekdays, but it’s a much lower spread.
Frontier Tweaks Summer
Frontier again looked long and changed schedules again through the summer. New summer markets are the suddenly-very crowded Hartford – Miami along with Charleston to both Cleveland and Trenton, Denver – Jacksonville, and Raleigh/Durham to both Portland (ME) and Tampa.
Hawaiian Pulls Back on Mainland Flying
Hawaiian appears to have a little too much capacity flying to the mainland. It is bringing Honolulu – San Francisco down from 2x to 1x daily while Seattle comes down from 10x weekly to 1x daily. Oh, and the Honolulu – Papeete flight has been suspended through May.
JetBlue Tries to Set a Summer Schedule
JetBlue took a big whack at summer, cutting a little over 15 percent of available seat miles. The following routes will not operate this summer:
- Boston – Baltimore, Burbank, Rochester, Syracuse
- Fort Lauderdale – Aguadilla, Grand Cayman
- Los Angeles – Seattle
- New York/LaGuardia – Fort Myers
- Orlando – Atlanta, Austin, Bogota
- Philadelphia – Fort Myers, Tampa, West Palm Beach
- Raleigh/Durham – Austin, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Tampa
- Tampa – Washington/National
- West Palm Beach – Chicago/O’Hare, Pittsburgh
Southwest Extends Into November
Southwest has extended its schedule from late August through November 5, and it is… really boring. It looks like the airline basically just posted a carbon copy of its summer schedule with just a small handful of summer markets going away.
Spirit Sets May
Pulling up the rear as usual, Spirit has set May to be down only 3 percent vs 2019, an improvement over the April schedule which was down 11 percent. Spirit also extended its schedule from August through November 16. And it filed its newly-announced flights to Puerto Vallarta and from LA to Columbus.
United Also Finalizes May
After cutting the first half of May last week, United did the back half this week. May is now down 48 percent vs 2019 compared to being down 51 percent in April. United filed its flights from Houston to Joplin for its new essential air service flying. It also added service from Chicago to Rhinelander which is apparently a city where some people live, or at least want to visit.
- Azul has canceled flights from Orlando to Sao Paulo/Campinas into June.
- Avianca is bringing back Miami – San Pedro Sula in July, a route that hasn’t been flown since right before the pandemic. It is also bringing back Miami – San Jose (CR) which it hasn’t flown since 2013.
- Boutique filed its new essential air service flying from Jackson (TN) to both Atlanta and St Louis. It also extended flying from Ironwood (MI) to Chicago/O’Hare and Minneapolis/St Paul.
- TAP Air Portugal will not fly Boston – Ponta Delgada outside of the summer season.
- Viva Aerobus has filed to fly from Cincinnati to Cabo San Lucas. That is one heck of a route for an airline that often focuses on visiting friends and relatives markets and not pure leisure like this one.
That’s all for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode.