Airlines constantly tweak their schedules, trying to find profitable new routes or pulling the plug on ones that have underperformed. Airports and communities court these new services.
There are dozens of changes to airline routes each month. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting:
Boston-Honolulu to be USA’s longest-ever domestic route
Hawaiian Airlines will add Boston to its route map, launching nonstop service to Honolulu that the carrier says will become the USA’s longest regularly scheduled domestic flight in history.
The Honolulu flights launch April 4, which Hawaiian spins as “timed to offer winter-weary New Englanders a vacation” to Hawaii’s tropical climate. The carrier will offer five flights a week on 278-seat Airbus A330 widebody jets that include lie-flat seats in business class.
Hawaiian’s Boston-Honolulu route will cover a distance of 5,095 miles, making it “the longest regularly scheduled domestic route in U.S. history,” the airline says. The route will overtake the current No. 1, Hawaiian’s existing New York JFK-Honolulu route.
Flight time from Boston is listed at 11 hours, 40 minutes westbound with the return scheduled for 10 hours, 15 minutes.
By comparison, Hawaiian’s flights will be longer than most European routes from Boston. Alitalia’s flight from Rome, for example, is scheduled for 9 hours, 20 minutes while the Turkish Airlines arrival from Istanbul is listed at 10 hours, 55 minutes. Other notable Boston long hauls include departures to Sao Paulo (LATAM Airlines; 10 hours, 20 minutes) and Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific; 16 hours, 5 minutes).
Boston had been the largest U.S. market without a nonstop link to Hawaii, according to Hawaiian. Connections to Hawaii’s other islands are available via Hawaiian’s Honolulu hub.
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Cayman Airways: Denver to become its longest route ever
Cayman Airways will make Denver its newest U.S. gateway, launching nonstop service to Grand Cayman in what will become the longest route ever flown by the carrier.
Cayman Airways will use new Boeing 737 Max 8s for the seasonal service, which will begin March 2. The carrier will offer two flights a week through August. The service will pause in August before resuming again in December.
The flights by the national airline of the Cayman Islands also will give Denver its only nonstop route to a Caribbean island beyond Mexico (which United serves with flights to Cozumel), according to current schedules.
New airline California Pacific ready for West Coast takeoff
Make room for California Pacific as the USA’s newest airline brand.
California Pacific Airlines’ West Coast flights are set to begin Nov. 1, culminating eight years of start-and-stop efforts to launch the carrier.
The airline will be based at the McClellan-Palomar Airport, a secondary airport that sits about 30 miles north of San Diego in the California city of Carlsbad.
The airline has announced four routes from Carlsbad, with the first two – to San Jose, California, and Reno, Nevada – set to launch Nov. 1. Additional service to Las Vegas and Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona, debuts two weeks later.
Technically, some California Pacific flights have already begun. To help pave the way for its long-anticipated launch, California Pacific acquired Aerodynamic Inc. (ADI) – a small Georgia-based carrier – in 2017. The move gave California Pacific access to ADI’s FAA operating certificate and fleet of four Embraer E145 regional jets.
ADI already operated two routes from Denver as part of a government contract. Those routes, which connect Denver to the South Dakota cities of Pierre and Watertown, switched over to the new California Pacific name and booking platform on Sept. 1.
United Airlines adds Prague and Naples, Italy
United Airlines is adding three high-profile international routes – including two new destinations – as it pushes ahead with an aggressive international expansion.
The new cities – Naples, Italy, and Prague – will both be served from United’s hub at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport. United will become the only airline to fly to Naples from anywhere in North America once the service launches May 22.
The third route is a new European link for the airline’s San Francisco hub; nonstop service to Amsterdam begins March 30.
FULL REPORT: United Airlines adds Prague and Naples, Italy
United also confirmed that two seasonal European routes – Newark-Reykjavik, Iceland, and Newark-Porto, Portugal – will return to the schedule in May 2019 after debuting this year.
The new services are the most-recent in a growing list of new international routes to be announced by United during the past two years. Highlights have included new routes to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Tel Aviv, Israel; Singapore; Tahiti, French Polynesia; and Sydney.
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Expanding Frontier big on Orlando
Frontier Airlines says it will now fly nonstop to more destinations from Orlando than any other carrier.
That’s after the airline announced four new routes from the Florida vacation hotspot, revealing nonstop options to Burlington, Vermont; Little Rock, Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
With the additions, Frontier will now offer either seasonal or year-round service to 54 nonstop destinations from Orlando International.
Despite Frontier’s growing roster of nonstop destinations from Orlando, many of its routes operate just a few times a week. Because of that, a number of other airlines still fly more passengers in Orlando thanks to their more-robust schedules there.
Nationally, Frontier has announced three new cities to its network during the past month. Portsmouth and Burlington will be the carrier’s newest destinations once the flights to Orlando begin. One other new destination – Harlingen, Texas – will become a Frontier city when flights to Chicago O’Hare and Denver begin in November.
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