Proposed new flights to Japan lead this week’s air travel news.
This week both American Airlines and Delta announced their intention to apply for additional flights to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. American said that the application will cover additional service from Dallas – Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The airline currently operates one daily flight between Los Angeles and Haneda, a service that began in 2016. The proposal would add one additional service from Los Angeles, which American says will improve connection options for customers, as well as new flights from Dallas and Las Vegas. The new service will operate as part of American’s Pacific joint business with Japan Airlines.
Delta’s application, meanwhile, covers daily daytime service between Haneda and Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta and Portland, as well as twice-daily service out of Honolulu. The proposed routes would be the only direct service currently offered by U.S. carriers out of Seattle, Portland, Atlanta and Detroit, and they would add to the carrier’s existing service from Minneapolis – St. Paul and Los Angeles. Pending government approval, the new routes would launch in 2020.
The two applications are the result of an agreement reached last month between the United States and Japan to expand access at Haneda, a deal that will open up to 12 additional daytime slot pairs for operations by U.S. carriers.
Also on the West Coast, this week Alaska Airlines unveiled plans for a new 8,500-square-foot, top floor lounge at San Francisco International Airport. Set to open in 2020, the new lounge will be located in Terminal 2, offering guests sights of the Bay and the runway, as well as a number of food and beverage options, including a tapas bar in the afternoon and evening. Made-to-order meals will also be available for purchase. The move is part of the airline’s ongoing investment in its lounge experience, which will also include refreshes of its lounges in Portland, Anchorage, Los Angeles and Seattle.
In other domestic travel news, this week American Airlines released its summer schedule for its Charlotte hub, which will include more than 700 daily flights by the end of this year. Notable new flights will include two daily flights to Baltimore, two to Fort Lauderdale, one to Orlando and one to Newark. The airline also plans to increase its Chicago O’Hare service to 10 daily flights, Los Angeles to eight and New York – JFK and Newark to up to 16 daily flights. The airline will also launch new long-haul international service to Munich on March 30, as well as eight additional new routes this year: to Erie, PA, in May; and to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Traverse City, MI in June. This week also saw the reopening of the airport’s refreshed Admiral’s Club.
In Europe, this week saw low-cost carrier Norwegian report that, in 2018, it became the largest non-North American airline to serve the New York and New Jersey area, overtaking British Airways. The airline carried over 2 million passengers in 2018, falling 50,000 passengers short of being tied with Air Canada for the largest international airline to serve New York City.
Also this week Paris-based XL Airways announced it will move its flights from New York – JFK to Newark Liberty starting June 3 and combine its operations with its 100 percent business class sibling airline, La Compagnie. That airline has been operating out of Newark since 2018.
Finally, in the Caribbean, this week St. Maarten welcomed the inaugural flight on JetBlue’s new daily service from Fort Lauderdale.