Air Travel: 737 Max Update, United Back in India

Air France's new lounge at Washington - Dulles // Photo by Air France

This week in air travel saw a number of updates on the 737 Max, as well as the lifting of airspace restrictions over the Persian Gulf

This week The Wall Street Journal reported that, based on conversations with a number of government and aviation industry sources, the grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft is unlikely to fly again until 2020 due to the time needed to fix its flight control software and carry out other tasks. At the same time, both United Airlines and American Airlines announced further flight cancellations related to the grounding through the start of November. 

United also announced plans to resume its daily nonstop flights between New York City’s Newark airport and Delhi and Mumbai, India, following the lifting of a restriction airspace over Iran and the Persian Gulf. That restriction was issued earlier this summer due to ongoing political tensions in the region. The flights will resume in early September, and in December, the airline will also launch seasonal nonstop service between San Francisco and Delhi, making it the only U.S. airline offering nonstop service between the West Coast and India. 

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In the Caribbean, JetBlue opened bookings for its new flights to Guadeloupe. The new service out of New York – JFK will operate three times per week on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays starting February 1, 2020. 

In South America, Aerolineas Argentinas announced plans to launch a direct flight between Orlando and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Starting December 9, 2019, the new seasonal route will run three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, marking the only nonstop route between central Florida and the city. The service will operate through March 21, 2020.

In Europe, Air Italy announced that it will recommence its flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto on March 29, 2020, in addition to its existing year-round services to New York and Miami. The flights will operate through October 24, 2020, out of the airline’s Milan hub. 

In partnership with Japan Airlines, American will add additional flights between Tokyo Narita and Las Vegas to support the high demand for CES 2020. The airline will also add more nonstop flights from Austin and San Jose, and upgauge existing flights from Philadelphia and Dallas – Fort Worth. The additional service will run January 4 – 12, 2020. 

In airport news, Air France opened its revamped lounge at Washington – Dulles. Open to Air France La Première, Business customers and Flying Blue Elite Plus members, the lounge has a new dining area serving the airline’s night service, as well as a refreshed bar area and updated food and beverage offerings. 

Birmingham – Shuttlesworth International Airport also launched CLEAR, making it the 31st airport in the biometric company’s network. 

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