WestJet to Make Asia Debut

Edward Russell
December 12th, 2022 at 12:04 AM EST

  • WestJet will make its long-anticipated debut to Asia next spring. The airline will launch thrice-weekly flights between its Calgary base and Tokyo Narita with Boeing 787s on April 30. WestJet executives had previously teased Asia, while not necessarily Tokyo, as a possible destination for the 787s when it ordered the aircraft in 2017. Air Canada offered summer service on the Calgary-Tokyo route until 2019 but has yet to resume the flights, per Diio. In addition to Tokyo, WestJet will also launch new nonstops to Barcelona and Edinburgh from Calgary in May. The airline served both markets from Toronto Pearson this past summer; it has not said whether it will resume those routes.
  • Air Canada is also beefing up its map next summer with two new U.S. dots: New York JFK and Sacramento. It will connect JFK, which it last served in 2016, with Montreal and Toronto Pearson on Embraer E175s from March 26, and Sacramento with Toronto on an Airbus A220 from June 1. The airline has long said that the A220 would allow it to open new long and thin routes, like Toronto-Sacramento, that are not economically feasible with larger aircraft. In addition, Air Canada Rouge will add thrice-weekly flights between Montreal and Fort McMurray, Alberta, on June 20.
  • American and JetBlue unveiled at least six new — or transferred — routes under their partnership last week. American will add flights between New York LaGuardia and Birmingham, Buffalo, Grand Rapids, and Greenville-Spartanburg, and resume flights between LaGuardia and Columbia and Knoxville after a pandemic suspension on May 5. JetBlue will add flights between LaGuardia and Bermuda, Hyannis, and Nassau, as well as takeover flights between the New York airport and Atlanta from its partner next summer. Separately, JetBlue will add new summer seasonal service between Boston and Vancouver.
  • Across the Atlantic, Eurowings will open a new base — its 11th — in Graz, Austria, next summer. The Lufthansa Group discounter will launch nine new routes as part of the expansion: Graz to Berlin, Chania, Corfu, Hamburg, Hurghada, Karpathos, Kos, Larnaca, and Rhodes. No airlines currently operate any of the routes, per Diio. The summer 2023 schedule begins at the end of March.
  • And in the UK, EasyJet will also add nine new routes next summer, mostly connecting British cities with southern European or Mediterranean destinations where the discounter is growing rapidly. The new routes are: Belfast to Rhodes; Birmingham to Milan Malpensa; Bristol to Enfidha, Tunisia; Edinburgh to Catania; Glasgow to Porto; Jersey to Amsterdam Schiphol; Liverpool to Corfu; and Murcia, Spain, to London Luton and Manchester. The expansion includes the addition of a ninth aircraft, an Airbus A320neo, to EasyJet’s Edinburgh base, and a seventh one, an A319, to its Liverpool base. All of the new summer routes begin in March, April, or June.
  • Not to be outdone, Ryanair has also unveiled eight new summer 2023 routes. The discounter will connect Bournemouth to Carcassonne, Edinburgh and Venice; Bristol to Bydgoszcz, Porto, Marseille, and Venice; and Knock, Ireland, to Lanzarote. The summer 2023 schedule runs from end-March through end-October, though all of the routes are unlikely to operate for the entire period.
  • And Iceland is heating up route-wise. Icelandair plans new four-times weekly flights between Reykjavík and Detroit on a Boeing 737 Max from May 18 to October 30. While, Delta plans its own new Detroit-Reykjavík nonstop that will also operate four-times weekly on a Boeing 757 from May 15-October 27. Separately, Icelandair will also add a summer seasonal nonstop to Prague from its Reykjavík hub from June 1.
  • Breeze Airways is connecting the dots on its map with six more routes this summer. The airline will add nonstops between Cincinnati and Orange County and Providence; Columbus and Orange County and Raleigh-Durham; Orange County and Pittsburgh; and Raleigh-Durham and Jacksonville in March and May. Breeze faces competition on just one route: Allegiant Air on Cincinnati-Providence, per Diio. Fun fact, the last airline that flew the Pittsburgh-Orange County route was US Airways in 2003 before it dismantled its Pittsburgh hub.
  • Route tidbits: American will end service to Paramaribo, Suriname, from Miami on March 1. It launched the route in September 2021. Avianca proposed a new daily flight between Bogotá and Palmerola, and to resume flights between Cali and San Andres that it has not operated since January 2019, in recent filings with Colombian regulator Aerocivil. And KLM will connect Amsterdam and Rennes twice weekly from March 26; its sister airline, Air France, already operates the route, per Diio.

Edward Russell

Edward Russell
December 12th, 2022 at 12:04 AM EST

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