Prior to March 2020 the airline industry was experiencing record growth and demand was only predicted to increase. As a result many US airlines were adding new international routes and increasing the frequency of flights to established destinations abroad. However, the pandemic changed all of that. Now, with demand at an all-time low, it perhaps seems surprising that several airlines are once again announcing new routes to far-flung destinations.
Yet this unexpected move could nonetheless prove lucrative. Since demand for domestic business travel has decreased dramatically in recent months and is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels any time soon, it therefore makes sense for airlines to shift more towards leisure travel, with exciting foreign trips being the most attractive option on the market right now. As international travel restrictions continue to ease, airlines are now starting to announce an array of exciting foreign trips to attract their customers back to the skies.
In July of this year American Airlines launched two new international routes from Miami, both of which are to previously unserved destinations: Chetumal, Mexico (CTM), and San Andres Island, Colombia (ADZ). AA are set to fly to both destinations on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting in the beginning of December.
Following this expansion, AA will serve a staggering 28 destinations in Mexico and seven in Colombia, making it the largest U.S. carrier in Mexico, and second largest in Colombia (with Spirit Airlines just ahead). AA has also announced that starting from November 2nd, the airline is going to increase the frequency of its flights from Miami to several destinations in Central America.
This week Delta announced that they would be introducing new routes to Tel-Aviv (TLV) and Athens (ATH) from Boston, starting in summer 2022. These new routes will complement Delta’s existing flights to Amsterdam and Rome, as well as the return of pre-COVID services to Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London, and Paris.
Delta will fly three times a week to Tel Aviv on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays beginning May 26, 2022, using an Airbus A330-900 aircraft. The outbound will depart at 4:20 p.m. and arrive at 9:35 a.m. the following day, while the return will take off at 11:50 a.m. and land at 4:45 p.m. the same day.
The service to Athens, will also fly three times a week but on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays beginning May 27, 2022, using an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The outbound will depart at 6:55 p.m. and arrive at 12:30 p.m. the following day, while the return will take off at 2:45 p.m. and land at 7:15 p.m. the same day.
“We’ve strengthened our Boston hub as demand has accelerated, adding about 3,800 more seats a day by next summer than our last peak in 2019,” said Joe Esposito, Delta’s S.V.P. – Network Planning. “Boston is a fast-growing market with a booming economy, and we’re committed to offering customers significant choice and better convenience when making their travel plans, in addition to Delta’s superior products and experience.”
By next summer Delta will operate up to 160 daily nonstop flights to 55 destinations from its Boston hub, resulting in a more than 20% increase in capacity since their pre-pandemic peak of October 2019.
Delta have also announced additional seasonal services to Aruba (AUA), Montego Bay (MBJ), Nassau (NAS), Punta Cana (PUJ) and St. Thomas (STT), for customers to book their warm winter breaks.
Starting in May 2022, WestJet have said they will fly to Dublin, Ireland, on a seasonal summer service four times a week before increasing that to daily flights in June, using an American-made Boeing 737 MAX to hop across the Atlantic.
“As demand increases, we know travellers are looking for convenient and affordable options for travel between Canada and Europe. As we continue to focus on expanding our network from our Toronto hub where we offer 33 international destinations, these flights will further strengthen business and leisure ties between Canada and Ireland and will increase connectivity between two key markets," explained John Weatherill, WesJet's Chief Commercial Officer.
Frontier airlines also announced on Wednesday that they would be introducing 12 new flights to Florida and Mexico in time for the winter season. Going forward, Frontier will provide services to Cancun, Mexico, and Tampa, Florida in its new network expansion.
The new schedule will begin on November 30th, and the expansion includes six new flights to Cancun International Airport, five non-stop services to Tampa International Airport, and a connection between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic.