The airline network planners didn’t simply fast forward to 2024.
Instead, they spent much of December — especially the weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday — rolling out tweaks to their route maps.
This includes some big expansions from Air Canada and Frontier, as well as JetBlue, which joined the fray in adding service to Tulum’s new airport. The planners down in Atlanta also didn’t rest on their 2023 laurels when they unveiled a major expansion in Austin.
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.
Catch all the airline route news you might’ve missed below — and we’ll see you again in 2024.
Alaska Airlines filed some noteworthy changes in one of its key focus cities: Boise, Idaho. While the airline experimented with some eastward-bound flights to Austin and Chicago from the city during the pandemic, those routes are being cut early in 2024.
Instead, Alaska will again focus on connectivity throughout the West for its Boise base.
All of this comes as the airline focuses on longer leisure-focused flights, such as the newly inaugurated service this month from Los Angeles and Seattle to Nassau in the Bahamas.
Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter
Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts
American didn’t file any major network-related press releases this month, but that didn’t stop the airline from toying with its route map.
This includes cutting two routes: Los Angeles to San Jose, California, and Dallas-Fort Worth to Fayetteville, North Carolina. These domestic outstations will continue to be served from other American hubs.
Meanwhile, the carrier is boosting service to Appleton, Wisconsin, with all-new flights from Dallas/Fort Worth taking off on June 5, 2024, and year-round service from Charlotte.
Additionally, the airline added new daily seasonal service from Charlotte to Spokane beginning on June 5, 2024, followed by once-weekly seasonal service from Charlotte to Calgary launching on June 8, 2024.
Breeze will launch a new route between Hartford and Orlando on May 29, 2024. Frontier, JetBlue and Southwest all already operate this route, so Breeze’s competition will be fierce.
Delta Air Lines
Delta had perhaps the busiest December with two blockbuster route announcements.
The first is in Austin, where the airline is adding 11 new flights and 3 new routes, two of which are intra-Texas markets. These are rare point-to-point flights for the carrier that are aimed at connecting smaller Texas communities with the airline’s global network. All of the increased Austin service comes just weeks after American retreated in the market.
Delta is also resuming flights to Taipei with the introduction of its first-ever transpacific flights from Seattle to Taiwan. Previously, Delta served Taipei from its Tokyo Narita hub (that’s since been shuttered).
Finally, Delta is tweaking its domestic network by cutting service from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Delta also filed plans to scrap one of its unique point-to-point services between Miami and Nassau.
Frontier unveiled a sizeable expansion earlier this month with seven new nonstop routes. This includes flying between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on a twice-daily basis.
This intra-state route will compete with American Airlines, which operates a big hub in Philly. Frontier will also compete with American on several of the new routes that touch Dallas-Fort Worth.
JetBlue made just one network announcement this month: it would add service to Tulum’s new international airport.
The U.S. airlines have been rushing to add service to Tulum after the airport’s official opening this month. JetBlue is joining the fray with daily service from New York.
It’ll be interesting to see how the airline fares in a market that’s quickly becoming saturated with nonstop service from the U.S.
United added another new long-haul route for next summer: San Francisco to Barcelona. The airline will compete against Spanish low-cost carrier Level and give West Coast flyers another convenient way to get to Spain.
The flight, operated by a Boeing 777-200ER, will take off on May 23, 2024, and operate daily through Oct. 25, 2024.
United also inaugurated another long-haul route from San Francisco this month. This one, transpacific service to Christchurch, New Zealand, represents a big push by the carrier to expand across the Pacific.
Elsewhere, United is adding seasonal flights from Cleveland to both Las Vegas and Phoenix for a short spring break season (from March 7, 2024, to May 20, 2024).
Finally, United is pulling out of two U.S. cities in early January: Moab and Vernal in Utah. These airports, which receive subsidized service under the government’s Essential Air Service (EAS) program, will instead be connected to American’s Phoenix hub by interline partner Contour Airlines.
Air Canada joined in on the fun this month with a major transborder expansion that includes five new routes and two new destinations: Charleston and Tulum.
The airline is also boosting service to two existing U.S. gateways: Austin and St. Louis. Air Canada added a slew of frequencies across its network as part of one of its largest schedules to date.
Avelo didn’t add any new flights this month, but it did make some cuts.
The airline is suspending service to Mobile, Alabama, as part of a network adjustment that includes the suspension of the following routes:
- Burbank to Colorado Springs
- Orlando to Mobile
- Orlando to Greenville
- Las Vegas to Brownsville
- New Haven to Baltimore
- Wilmington to Daytona Beach
- Wilmington to Nashville
- Wilmington to Myrtle Beach
- Wilmington, Delaware to Wilmington, North Carolina
Avianca inaugurated service this month between San Juan and Medellin, as well as between Chicago and Guatemala. Avianca will have a monopoly on both routes, but the airline only plans to fly them through January during the busy VFR, or visiting friends and relatives, winter travel period.
Etihad didn’t announce any new routes this month, but it did share some whale-sized news that it would bring back the A380 to the U.S.
The A380 will return to New York on April 22, 2024, and with it comes the reintroduction of the flagship Residence product on flights to the U.S.
Etihad will also fly a first-class-equipped Boeing 787 to New York and stop selling this cabin on flights to Washington, D.C.
You may have never heard of HiSky before, but this Moldova-based airline announced this month that it’ll launch flights between New York and Bucharest, Romania, on June 7, 2024. Flights will operate on a four-times-weekly basis.
HiSky is leasing an Airbus A330-200 for its first (and so far, only) long-haul route.
The Canadian low-cost carrier Lynx Air announced this month that it would add two new pins on its U.S. route map: Boston and San Francisco. Lynx will serve both cities from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).
Boston flights begin on March 28, 2024, followed by San Francisco on May 3, 2024. Fares start at $129 each way.
Norse Atlantic Airways
Transatlantic low-cost carrier Norse Atlantic announced this month that it would add service between New York and Athens, Greece. The new flight will take off on May 30, 2024, and operate on an up-to four-times-weekly basis. Norse’s new route will operate seasonally through Oct. 26, 2024.
Unfortunately, the timetable for the new flight isn’t ideal — it departs Athens at 7:30 in the morning, which is likely too early to make a same-day connection in Athens from one of the Greek islands. The eastbound service departs New York at 1:10 p.m., which is among one of the earliest transatlantic departures from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
The flight arrives in Athens at 5:45 a.m., which should give you time to make other connections beyond the Greek capital.