This week in air travel news a number of new flights began operations, and more were announced as on the way.
United Airlines launched its new nonstop flights between New York City’s Newark Liberty International Airport and Cape Town, South Africa, making it the only carrier to serve the route from the United States. Flights will run three times weekly.
American Airlines inaugurated its new daily service between New York – JFK and Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, an up-and-coming ecotourism destination in South America. The first flight took off Wednesday, December 18.
Also this week, Qatar Airways operated its first flight from Doha to Gaborone, Botswana. The carrier will operate this service three times per week, and it will be the only non-African airline to fly to the country.
In new codeshare news, American and Royal Air Maroc, Morocco's largest airline, launched a new reciprocal agreement, effective December 26. American’s customers will be able to purchase select Royal Air Maroc flights to Casablanca, Morocco, which will provide seamless connecting service to Marrakech, Morocco. These flights are available for booking now for travel beginning December 26. The codeshare will expand to additional cities across the African continent in early 2020, the airline said.
In the Caribbean, air service from the United States and Canada officially returned to Grand Bahama Island as the area continues to recover from the passage of Hurricane Dorian. Sunwing Airlines, which resumed operations December 14, will operate two flights to Freeport from Montreal and Toronto each Saturday through April 2020. Bahamasair resumed its flights from Florida to Freeport on December 16; these will operate daily, except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On December 19, Silver Airways resumed its flights between Fort Lauderdale and Freeport, which depart daily except on Tuesdays. Two flights operate on Saturdays.
Looking ahead, two major U.S. carriers are planning to launch new transatlantic routes from the West Coast next summer. American Airlines and British Airways have announced plans for the first and only service from Portland, Oregon, to London, while United Airlines has announced a new daily nonstop service from its San Francisco hub to Dublin, Ireland.
British Airways, American’s Atlantic joint business partner, will operate the Portland – London flight, which starts June 1, 2020. The new San Francisco – Dublin flight will begin June 5, 2020, making United the only U.S. airline to offer daily direct flights to Dublin from the West Coast. United will operate the route on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.