This Week in Air Travel: November 20 to 26, 2022
Air Travel News
A New Transatlantic Airline is Being Planned
FlyAtlantic is a new startup airline that has announced plans to start operating flights starting in summer 2024. The airline will be based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and will operate either Airbus A321neo or Boeing 737 MAX narrowbody aircraft.
The airline plans on offering low-cost transatlantic flights as well as short-haul flights to European destinations. Presumably, the model will be similar to that of Icelandair, which both brings travel to Iceland and offers inexpensive transatlantic connections through Iceland.
The airline will face an uphill battle, as the low-cost transatlantic market is notoriously difficult to make profitable. A whole host of airlines, including Primera Air, La Compagnie, WOW Air and Norwegian have tried and failed in this market.
Oneworld Airlines Consolidating Operations at JFK
Terminal 8 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) has been the home of American Airlines, as well as several oneworld alliance partners including Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian. The terminal recently underwent a $400 million redevelopment.
British Airways is in the process of moving its operations from Terminal 7 to Terminal 8 to join its oneworld partners. American and British Airways have a transatlantic joint venture (along with Finnair and Iberia) so this will be great news for the airlines and passengers. The two airlines are planning on opening a new co-branded check in area as well as new lounges. Operations are currently in a transition phase but all British Airways flights should be operating out of Terminal 8 by the end of the month.
Iberia is also moving from Terminal 7 to Terminal 8 on December 1, 2022. Japan Airlines is planning to make the move to Terminal 8 as well (from Terminal 1) in May 2023. This will leave Royal Air Maroc and Alaska Airlines as the only oneworld airlines to not be operating out of Terminal 8 at JFK.
Frontier Eliminates Customer Service by Phone
Last weekend, ultra low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines closed their phone lines and completed a transition to online, mobile and text support only. Customers who call the Frontier Airlines customer support phone number are now greeted with a pre-recorded message directing them to the airline’s website or mobile app.
Frontier was already charging customers $35 to make a booking over the phone (although they were not alone in this practice). An executive told investors that eliminating phone service would lower labor costs and speed up interactions.
Customers using the chat feature on the airline’s website are now greeted with a chatbot but the airline has 24/7 live support for issues that cannot be resolved through the bot. Frontier also says that customers can contact them through social media platforms.
Frontier is now the largest airline in the United States to not offer phone support. Startup airline Breeze Airways also does not have customer service by phone.
Air China is planning on starting flights between Wenzhou Longwan International in eastern China and Milan Malpensa Airport on November 28, 2022. The flights will be operated once weekly using Airbus A330-300s and will add to the airline’s existing route between Milan and Beijing.
Air India is starting service between San Francisco International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on December 15. The route will be operated 3x weekly with Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. The airline is also restarting its route between Mumbai and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 14, 2023. The daily service is also scheduled to be operated by the Boeing 777-200LR.
Breeze Airways is adding three new routes out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in February 2023. It will be launching service to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut on February 9, Richmond International Airport in Virginia on February 10, and Northwest Arkansas National Airport serving Fayetteville on February 17. Each route will be operated 2x weekly.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is launching flights between Copenhagen Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 9, 2023. The route will be operated 5x weekly before ramping up to daily flights in the summer. Flights are slated to be operated by the Airbus A321LR to start with a switch to the Airbus A330-300 in the summer.
Eastern Airways is starting daily flights between Southampton Airport in England and Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland on Feb. 9, 2023 using the ATR 72-600.
Air India is restarting its pre-pandemic route between Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and Copenhagen Airport. The 2x weekly service is scheduled to start on March 1, 2023 using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.
Icelandair is launching a summer seasonal service between Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport. They plan on flying the route 4x weekly from May 18 to October 30, 2023 with Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
LATAM Brasil is launching 3x weekly service between São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport on July 1, 2023. The route will be operated by Boeing 777-300ERs and will add to LATAM’s existing flights out of Los Angeles to Santiago and Lima.
Korean Air is resuming operations to a number of routes to China, Japan and Israel. The airline started flying between Seoul Incheon Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport on November 20, 2022. Throughout December, flights will resume to Nanjing, Qindao, Sapporo, Okinawa and Tel Aviv.
Condor is also resuming a pre-pandemic route. It restarted flights to Grenada (Maurice Bishop International Airport) and Tobago (A.N.R. Robinson International Airport) from Frankfurt Airport. The once weekly flight is operated by a Condor Boeing 767-300ER and flies from Frankfurt to Grenada before continuing to Tobago. The return flight operated directly from Tobago to Frankfurt, meaning passengers departing Grenada will have to take the short leg to Tobago first.
easyJet started flights between Bristol in England and Rovaniemi Airport which serves Lapland in Finland. The 2x weekly winter seasonal service is being operated by the airline’s narrowbody Airbus aircraft.
Fiji Airways began flights between Nadi International Airport in Fiji and Vancouver International Airport. The service is being offered 2x weekly with Airbus A330 aircraft.