This week the Quintana Roo Tourism Board reported the addition of a number of new, direct flights to Cancun International Airport, as well as increased capacity on several routes, to respond to growing demand for tourism in the region. In terms of new flights, Aeromexico has added a new route from Medellin, Colombia; Frontier Airlines has launched new flights from Raleigh - Durham and Las Vegas; GOL Airlines has added a new route from Brasilia, Brazil; Southwest Airlines launched new routes from Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Raleigh - Durham and San Antonio; and WestJet added new routes from Calgary, Saskatoon and Vancouver, Canada. In terms of capacity upgrades, Copa Airlines began operating its existing Panama City, Panama, route with larger 737 aircraft.
In the Caribbean, this week Spirit Airlines launched its inaugural flight from Orlando to St. Thomas. The low-cost carrier will operate three flights a week on the new route, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, complementing existing daily flights from Fort Lauderdale. The airline will operate Airbus 319 aircraft on the route.
Also this week Saint Lucia welcomed its first flight with JetBlue’s Mint service from Boston Logan International Airport. Mint passengers can enjoy fully lie-flat seats, cushions with adjustable firmness and a massage feature, a comforter and pillow, individualized seatback TVs and unlimited snacks.
In Africa, this week Ethiopian Airlines announced that it has changed its ultra-long haul route from Los Angeles to Addis Ababa to transit through Lome, Togo, as of December 17. Previously, the route had stopped in Dublin, Ireland. The move will make the route the first and only to connect the West Coast of the United States with West Africa with a nonstop flight. Ethiopian’s Lome hub will offer passengers connections to cities in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and points throughout Africa. The route will operate three times per week, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Dublin will remain a part of Ethiopian’s network, with a new route planned from the city to Addis Ababa via Madrid starting December 16.
Finally, in Asia this week Singapore Airlines launched a new nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Singapore on the carrier’s Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft. The new flight has a two-class layout, with 94 Premium Economy seats and 67 Business Class seats, and it initially operated three times per week before ramping up to daily operations as of November 9. Starting December 7, another three services per week will be added, for a total of 10 times per week.