While 2020 was supposed to be a big year for new route launches, 2021 is now looking like a better year for new long-haul routes. Multiple US airlines have announced plenty of new services, and these are the ones Simple Flying is waiting for the most.
6. Hawaiian’s Honolulu to Austin
Hawaiian will be connecting Austin nonstop from April 21st with twice-weekly flights. Using an Airbus A330, Hawaiian will be offering the only nonstop service to Hawaii from the Texas capital.
Austin is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the United States, so it is a worthwhile bet for Hawaiian to try out this route. However, as a long-haul route, these are not always guaranteed successes, even though it is a domestic route. As a premium leisure airline, the carrier will be mostly catering to travelers looking to fly nonstop between Hawaii and Texas.
5. Delta adds Cape Town
Delta Air Lines is officially adding Cape Town to its route network. The airline will be operating the flight as Atlanta-Johannesburg-Cape Town-Atlanta. With the retirement of the Boeing 777, Delta can only fly nonstop to Johannesburg and has to make a stop in Cape Town on the way back using its Airbus A350-900s. Delta will not be able to fly passengers solely between Johannesburg and Cape Town, but it can book passengers from Atlanta to Cape Town.
This route is less interesting for its logistics and more interesting in terms of how this will perform for Delta. While Delta early on expected a monopoly on routes to South Africa from the United States, it will now have to compete with United, which will not be a limited task.
4. United’s Newark to Maui
Another major long-haul route that United Airlines announced are flights from Newark to Maui four times a week from next June. The airline will be operating a Boeing 767 on this route.
However, what makes this route interesting is the aircraft and length of the route. Maui has a short runway for a US airport, so United will need to monitor the loads on this flight carefully. It will be very interesting to see if United has to modify its services or the number of times the airline’s operation has to make a diversion in case of weather or operational disruptions.
3. JetBlue’s Miami expansion
In particular, the Miami to Los Angeles, which is slated to begin from February, will be a route to watch. JetBlue is putting a daily service with its Mint business class. This lie-flat product will place its premium cabin in competition with American Airlines, which also flies widebodies on the route.
JetBlue and American Airlines have a new partnership, but this only touches routes that operate to and from the Northeastern United States, giving American a greater opportunity to compete for passengers out of New York, in particular.
However, partners sometimes compete against each other, which is the case with JetBlue and American Airlines in this case. How this plays out, however, remains to be seen. JetBlue will mostly be catering to nonstop travel between the two cities, while American will be capturing a share of connecting passengers heading to Latin America with a stop in Miami.
2. United’s Newark to Johannesburg
United Airlines is adding a new nonstop service to South Africa from its Newark hub. Starting from March 27th, United will be flying a Boeing 787-9 between New Jersey and South Africa. This route, which will operate daily, is the airline’s second nonstop route from South Africa to the United States, with the other being a seasonal service to Cape Town.
This route is going to be a big deal for the airline. It will mark the only nonstop service between New York and South Africa, given how South African Airways has ceased operations on the route, and its future is still in doubt on this route.
After SAA’s demise early on in the crisis, Delta Air Lines looked like it would be in a good position for a monopoly between the United States and South Africa. That, however, did not materialize. With Delta adding a stop on the way back from Johannesburg in Cape Town, due to the retirement of the Boeing 777s,
Simple Flying is combining three routes in one for the top spot. Bangalore is becoming a massive tech center, and there is demand for travel from the US to this Indian city. This year, Bangalore received a host of new air service announcements. The following airlines are adding the following flights to Bangalore from the United States:
- American Airlines from Seattle
- United Airlines from San Francisco
- Air India from San Francisco
American and United are flying Boeing 787s to Bangalore, while Air India will be running a Boeing 777.
In terms of competition, United and American will be able to beat out Air India on products and connecting opportunities. American’s partner hub in Seattle with Alaska will help make the route work, and United’s massive San Francisco hub, along with its notoriety in the Bay Area, will help it compete on this route.
United’s service is likely one of the strongest in terms of profitability. American Airlines will be relying more on connections than United will, and Air India’s product will require the airline to cut its fares on the route. Plus, Air India is only flying twice a week, while United is flying daily.
United, which has a major presence in India as is, will be growing that. However, this will be the only city American Airlines serves in India, as past forays into the market have not gone well for the carrier. This will be a space to watch.
Which of these routes are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!