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Southwest Airlines Expects To Breakeven This Month

 

Southwest Airlines estimates it will breakeven this month as bookings start to return to pre-COVID levels. Despite operating revenues still lagging behind 2019, the airline is hopeful it can breakeven or even achieve positive cash flow for the month of June.

Southwest Airlines Expects To Breakeven This Month - Simple Flying

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Russian Low-Cost Carrier Pobeda’s Load Factor Has Returned To 99%

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As the Russian air travel market continues to recover, its main airlines are gearing up for a summer of domestic leisure demand by reestablishing Soviet-era nonstop connections, bypassing St Petersburg and Moscow. With fleets now being reinstated, Aeroflot’s budget carrier Pobeda is leading the way with a 99% load factor.

Russian Low-Cost Carrier Pobeda's Load Factor Has Returned To 99% - Simple Flying

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Singapore Airlines Looks To Restart A350 Flights To Manchester

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Singapore national flag carrier Singapore Airlines has announced that starting from July 16, 2021; it will resume flights from its hub at Singapore Changi Airport to Manchester Airport in the United Kingdom. On the three weekly flights’s the Asian carrier will deploy one of its 55 new Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Singapore Airlines Looks To Restart A350 Flights To Manchester - Simple Flying

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Edmonton using the "build a field and they will come" approach.

Post-pandemic flights: Edmonton hopes $10M investment will bring new routes to EIA

From CTV News – link to source story – Thanks CW

Jay Rosove, CTV News Edmonton | Monday, June 7, 2021

Busy EIAThe City of Edmonton is hoping a nearly $10 million investment will help attract new flights, and travelers to the EIA in the post-pandemic world. (File Photo)

EDMONTON — Alberta’s capital city is investing $9.88 million into the Edmonton International Airport (EIA), in anticipation of post-pandemic travel.  

City council voted in favour of the move during Monday’s meeting.

The money is meant to account for two-thirds of the new Air Service Opportunities Fund. 

The EIA hopes the remaining $5 million will come from other neighbouring municipalities. 

The $15 million fund would go toward maintaining existing direct flights, restoring flights that were cancelled during the pandemic, and attracting newly established direct flights. 

“These flights we want to get are going to be long-standing,” Edmonton Global CEO Malcolm Bruce said during the meeting. “This is really the ‘prime the pump’ so to speak, to get it started.”

During its annual public meeting, last month, the EIA said it recorded a net loss of $89.3 million in 2020, and that passenger demand fell by 68 per cent compared to 2019. 

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson was one of 11 council members to vote in favour of the funding.

“If we do not protect our airports competiveness and intervene strategically here, with our neighbours,” he said before the vote, “air service in the aftermath of COVID will consolidate in Calgary.”

The fund can only be accessed after an airline has agreed to establish a new route, or restore an old one. 

The money will be distributed over the next three years.

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Emirates Continues To Grow With Resumption Of Two French Routes

 

Emirates continues to bring its international network back. With France reopening, the UAE-based airline is returning to Nice and Lyon this summer. The two routes, which are resumptions, will come back online in July and align with Emirates’ strategy of returning its international routes as countries reopen.

Emirates is bringing back service to two French destinations as the country reopens for leisure travel. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Emirates is coming back to France

Already serving Paris, Emirates is set to resume flights from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) and Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS). Service to Nice will resume on July 2nd, while service to Lyon will resume on July 9th.

Both cities will initially see four flights per week using a Boeing 777-300ER. EK077 will depart Dubai for Nice on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 08:45 and arriving in NCE at 13:40 (all times are local). The return flight, EK-78, will depart Nice on the same days at 15:55 and arrive in Dubai at 00:10 the next day (all times are local).

 

For Lyon, EK081 will depart Dubai to Lyon on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 14:35 and arrive in LYS at 19:30 the same day (all times are local). The return flight will depart LYS at 21:45 and arrive in DXB at 06:05 the next day (all times are local).

The two routes are to southern France. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

Already flying the Airbus A380 to France

These two route resumptions come as Emirates has already returned the Airbus A380 to service in France. The global giant is flying its flagship Airbus A380 on 14 flights per week between Paris and Dubai.

The Airbus A380s flying to Paris, according to Emirates, even sport the airline’s latest premium economy product and refreshed products in all other cabin classes. Note that access to premium economy currently remains restricted, as Emirates is waiting to have more jets with the cabin type before opening it up fully for booking.

 

Passengers can also take advantage of connecting opportunities in Dubai to travel to destinations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The airline’s international travel strategy

France is opening its borders for most passengers from June 9th. Tourists coming from an “orange” or “green” list country (which is most of the world, including the UAE, Thailand, Japan, the US, and more) will face the least restrictions. Arrivals from a “red” country (including India, Argentina, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, and more) will face additional restrictions.

With France opening up to most of the world, Emirates is continuing to chart its strategy of adding capacity back in markets as they open. Whereas some other airlines have maintained their flying throughout the crisis, Emirates has opted to go with a slightly more conservative strategy and bring back destinations as travel restrictions allow.

Emirates is primarily using its Boeing 777s to bring back smaller, more niche destinations as countries reopen. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

In recent weeks, Spain, Thailand, Italy, and others have moved to reopen for fully vaccinated travelers or those who undergo mandatory testing. As each destination announced plans to reopen, Emirates followed with more flights, primarily using its Boeing 777 aircraft.

As more countries open up, expect Emirates to come back to more destinations and restore frequencies. However, it is starting to get a little late in the summer booking curve, so Emirates is being cautious with the amount of capacity it deploys in destinations that are just now starting to reopen. Expect the airline to continue to express cautious optimism with returning its network.

Emirates is not alone in bringing back more France capacity. Both Delta Air Lines and Air France are moving to grow services to the country as the reopening moves forward. Delta will also be coming back to Nice.

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How Colombia Is Shaping Up For A V-Shaped Recovery

 

So far, the Colombian airline industry is having one of the best recoveries worldwide from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to OAG, Colombia currently has a scheduled capacity of 23.8% below its pre-pandemic numbers, the second-best in Latin America, only behind Mexico. But, how has this country been able to have a quick comeback? We see three trends. Let’s investigate further.

Colombia is already 23.8% below its pre-pandemic capacity. Photo: Getty Images

Colombia’s international boom

The South American country is becoming a tourist trend. Recently, ProColombia (the local tourism board) announced the government had approved the launch of 20 international routes for this year alone. So far, eight have already begun.

These eight new routes connect Colombian cities like Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellin with different countries like Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and the US.

 

Flavia Santoro, ProColombia president, said in a statement,

“Recover the Colombian air connectivity was one of the priorities of the economic reactivation. Now, we can say: 20 airlines are connecting eight Colombian cities with 20 different countries. They offer 498 weekly frequencies and have available up to 89,000 seats.”

The new routes that have already begun are:

 
  1. JetBlue, New York-Bogota
  2. Wingo, Cancun-Medellin
  3. American Airlines, New York-Bogota, New York-Medellin, and New York-Cali
  4. Viva Air, Cancun-Medellin, Bogota-Mexico City, and Orlando, Medellin.

Plus, LATAM also is planning to operate Guayaquil-Bogota this month; Wingo is looking to start Lima-Bogota.

In July, Avianca two routes from Medellin to Cancun and Punta Cana; JetSMART will launch Medellin-Santiago de Chile; and Wingo will launch Medellin-Punta Cana and Cali-Cancun.

 

Finally, in August, JetBlue will launch Newark-Cartagena; Viva Air, Medellin-Mexico City, and Viva Aerobus, Bogota-Mexico City.

Mexico’s low-cost Volaris is also planning to connect Mexico City and Cancun with Bogota. So far, it hasn’t announced a launch date.

 
 

Colombia reduces travel restrictions

Earlier this month, the Colombian authorities relaxed the travel restrictions throughout the country.

According to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, the local health authorities eliminated two entry requirements. International travelers no longer have to arrive with a negative PCR test going into Colombia.

Additionally, Colombian citizens won’t be required to download the Coronapp to travel domestically. These two developments open Colombia up for international travel big time.

 

Some travel requirements are still in place, though. First, passengers arriving must fill an immigration form before boarding their flights. Second, the use of face covers is mandatory at Colombian airports. Also, and this one is odd, passengers must try to remain silent while in the airport or onboard an aircraft, said El Tiempo.

Finally, international travelers must inform their health status on arrival and deliver information regarding where they are staying in Colombia.

 

The low-cost boom

Finally, to fully understand Colombia’s V-shaped recovery, we have to take a look at the low-cost boom. While Avianca and LATAM are under Chapter 11 processes, Viva Air is soaring up.

This low-cost operator is already in a close battle to become the second-largest airline, by traffic figures, in Colombia. So far, in 2021, the airline has carried 1.30 million passengers in Colombia. Viva Air is 13% below its 2019 levels at the moment.

Meanwhile, LATAM Colombia has carried 1.34 million passengers in 2021, 16% below its pre-pandemic numbers. Meanwhile, Avianca has had 2.02 million travelers.

So far, Viva Air has launched several new routes. It is planning to become a low-cost hub operator from Medellin International Airport.

In the meantime, several international low-cost airlines are also eyeing Colombia. The Mexican carriers Volaris and Viva Aerobus plan to launch flights to Bogota and Medellin; JetBlue is connecting New York with Bogota; JetSMART also has plans in Colombia. Finally, there may be a Colombian low-cost startup coming up shortly.

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3 Months To Go: Air France’s First A220 To Be Delivered In September

There are just three months to go until Air France receives its first A220. The airline, which has a firm order for 60 A220-300s from Airbus, is set to replace its aging fleet of A318 and A319s with the A220. The first six planes will be delivered from September, with Air France expecting all 60 jets delivered over five years.Air France is set to receive its first A220-300 in September this year. Photo: Airbus

Air France fleet modernization begins

Air France is on course to take delivery of its first A220-300 this September. The French carrier expects six A220s to be delivered from September this year, with a further 15 jets on course for delivery through 2022. As a result, the airline expects to have 21 operational A220-300s in its fleet by the end of 2022.

Air France has an order for 60 A220-300s placed in December 2019, which it plans to use on short and medium-haul routes. The new planes will phase out Air France’s existing fleet of A318 and A319s – the average age of each fleet is 16 years and 20 years respectively. The A220 will offer lower operating costs, improved range and lower emissions.Air France expects six A220s this year and another 15 next year

All 60 A220 jets are scheduled for delivery over the next five years. It has been earmarked for Air France’s short and medium-haul network, which is currently served by A318 and A319s. The A220 is likely to become a staple on busy European routes including Amsterdam, London, Rome and Brussels, amongst others. The jet is also more than capable of reaching destinations across the Middle East and Africa .Net zero emissions by 2050

Air France’s fleet modernization is in part motivated by its goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Air France-KLM’s April 2020 bailout conditions involved environmental targets set by the French and Dutch governments.

This includes cutting domestic emissions in France by 50% by 2024 and halving the volume of CO2 per km by 2030. The A220-300 puts Air France in a good position to achieve its environmental targets. The airline has said the A220 emits around 20% less CO2 and can cut the cost per seat mile by around 10%.

The A220-300 will reduce emissions and operating costs. Photo: Airbus

Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM Group, said in July 2019,

“We are very pleased to work with Airbus to add the A220-300 to our fleet, an aircraft that demonstrates optimum environmental, operational, and economic efficiency. The selection of the Airbus A220-300 supports our goal of a more sustainable operation by significantly reducing CO2 and noise emissions.”

France opens up to tourism

After enforcing some of the strictest travel restrictions in Europe for most of 2021, France is set to open its borders to travelers with a new traffic-light system. The system, set to come into force today (June 9th), will utilize a Green, Amber and Red list of countries. The traffic-light system favors vaccinated travelers and also takes into account your reasons for entry.

Air France will look to phase out its A318 and A319 jets. Photo: Getty Images

A total of 38 countries are on the Green list, which will allow vaccinated travelers restriction-free entry into France. This includes 26 EU member states, Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand. However, those who have not been vaccinated can still enter but need to provide a negative PCR test upon arrival.

For the Amber list, vaccinated travelers are still allowed in without a strong reason but must provide a negative PCR test result. However, unvaccinated travelers from the Amber list must have sufficient reason to travel, which rules out leisure trips. It is believed that four jabs are currently approved – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

 

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Toronto flights returning to Fredericton as early as June 26

From CBC News – link to source story

Air Canada and WestJet are both set to make a return to the Fredericton International Airport by late June

Aidan Cox · CBC News · Jun 09, 2021

renovated-fredericton-international-airp The Fredericton International Airport is expecting WestJet to offer daily flights to Toronto from its airport starting on June 26. (Submitted by Fredericton International Airport)

As higher vaccination rates are expected to bring loosened COVID-19 restrictions, the Fredericton International Airport is preparing to welcome the return of flights to cities like Toronto and Montreal by the end of June.

Johanne Gallant, the airport’s president and CEO, said WestJet is set to bring back Toronto flights on June 26, while Air Canada is expected to bring back Montreal flights on June 28 and Toronto flights on July 1.

PAL Airlines will also start offering flights from Fredericton to Deer Lake, N.L., and St. John’s, as well as Halifax and Ottawa later this summer.

Speaking on CBC’s Information Morning Fredericton show, Gallant said the flights that are returning won’t bring the airport back to its normal capacity, but it’s a good start.

“So we had more frequency than that pre-pandemic, however, this is a really good start,” Gallant said.

“And they [the airlines] will measure the demand. This is all [supply] and demand, so as the flight fills up and the demands grow, we’ll see more and more flights.”

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Alaska Airlines Grows As It Seeks To Become A National Brand

Alaska Airlines announced several new routes on Thursday. Targeting sun destinations for winter travelers, the airline is furthering its commitment to the West Coast of the United States. At the same time, the airline is making significant strides toward becoming a national carrier, which is a goal for the airline’s new CEO, Ben Minicucci.

Complete article: Alaska Airlines Grows As It Seeks To Become A National Brand - Simple Flying

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United Airlines Will Not Furlough Flight Attendants This Fall

There is some very good news for flight attendants at United Airlines. The airline has informed its flight attendants that there will not be any furloughs this fall when the third round of government payroll support runs out. This represents a stark change just months after the airline last warned about furloughs. United is now clearly on the path to recovery and has decided it needs all its staff this fall and beyond.

 

United Airlines will not furlough crew in September

When the third round of government support runs out in September 2021, United has announced that there will be no furloughs for its flight attendants. This is excellent news just a year after many in the airline industry worried about the future of their jobs.

Now, the industry is in much better financial straits. With travelers coming back and yields starting to trend upwards, United has been busy building back its flight schedules and looking to the future. With that in mind, the airline has decided it needs all of its staff this fall

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What you need to know before you book (or put off) your summer trip

Cameron FrenchCTVNews.ca writer

Published Monday, June 14, 2021 2:08PM EDT

TORONTO -- Rising vaccination rates and a gradual easing of international travel restrictions may be causing some Canadians to dream of that exotic summer vacation they had long since written off as a lost cause.

But with many restrictions still in place, challenges with accessing certain insurance, and the question of travelling with unvaccinated children, there are several things to consider before spending money on plane tickets in 2021.

 

WHERE YOU CAN GO

Canada continues to maintain a level-3 travel health notice to “avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.”

However, the federal government signalled on June 9 the removal of a major travel hurdle, when it announced that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to travel outside the country without having to quarantine on their return, possibly by early July.

The move came as Germany said it is taking Canada off of its travel risk list, meaning Canadians will be able to travel there with only a negative test result, and Air Canada announced that next month it will begin flights to Rome allowing travellers with negative tests to avoid quarantine on arrival.

While these are all positive signs for would-be travellers, the pandemic is still very much in progress, and any rules could change or revert, says Richard Vanderlubbe, president of Tripcentral.ca.

“What exists today may not exist a week from now or when you travel or when you’re in the middle of your trip,” he told CTVNews.ca on Friday. “There's some relaxed conditions about hotel quarantines and home quarantines, but there is still PCR testing, there’s still all kinds of different restrictions provincially and where you're travelling to that can change.”

Vanderlubbe said, thus far, he has seen little demand for summer travel bookings, with most of the focus on travel next winter and beyond.

“International travel is basically written off. The only thing that's happening now is questions with respect to Christmas travel,” he said. “This summer we will be lucky if we can go interprovincially yet alone to the U.S.”

While Germany and Italy are starting to reopen, Europe currently has a hodgepodge of different rules. Technically, there is an EU travel ban on Canadian tourists, as Canada is not yet on the EU “green list” of safe countries. However, the EU ban is essentially advice for member states implementing their own policies. Spain, for instance, recently opened its border to vaccinated travellers, while the U.K. allows in Canadians, but requires them to quarantine in place on arrival.

Of course, the biggest international restriction for Canadians has been the closed land border with the U.S. The current restrictions expire on June 21, and some U.S. politicians have called for the border to be opened by July 4. Canadians have been able to fly to the U.S., but the main dissuasion to doing so has been the threat of two weeks of quarantine upon returning to Canada.

“The hotel quarantine, what it’s succeeded in doing is absolutely killing the demand for travel for anybody that's not got a lot of money,” said Vanderlubbe.

Within Canada, there are varying restrictions to interprovincial travel, but there are also signs of easing, as Ontario and Quebec announced on Monday they will end restrictions on non-essential travel between the two provinces on Wednesday. Restrictions between Ontario and Manitoba will also be lifted.

This will move central Canada more in line with the western provinces, which have few restrictions on travel. Eastern Canada maintains stricter barriers, as the Maritime provinces require travellers to isolate.

Flights to sun destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico were mostly halted earlier January, but have begun resuming on a limited basis. Air Canada currently runs four flights per week to Mexico City and will resume weekly flights to Montego Bay and Nassau in early July, for example. Many sun destinations don’t require quarantine, but some require proof of a negative test or proof of medical insurance

Air Canada offers limited flights to a few destinations in Asia, but most countries have major restrictions for travellers.

For those hoping to take a cruise this summer, Canada continues to advise avoiding all travel on cruise ships until further notice, and warns that if an outbreak occurs on a ship, Canadians could be subject to quarantine aboard ship, followed by a 14-day quarantine upon returning to Canada. If a government-organized repatriation flight is needed, the traveller could be responsible for covering the cost.

VACCINATION PROOF

With about two-thirds of Canadians having received at least one vaccine dose and the focus now on second doses, many Canadians will be fully vaccinated before the end of the summer. However, it is still unclear what sort of proof of vaccination Canadians will be required to present both for international and domestic travel.

“If I have my little symbol slip with the Ontario Trillium on it from my vaccination, what is an EU passport person going to think about that? What is the consistent proof that we need to provide?” said Vanderlubbe.

Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc said last Wednesday that Ottawa is working with provincial leaders on a proof-of-vaccination document, but that it may not be ready by the time the federal government allows Canadians to re-enter without full quarantines.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far been cool to the idea of vaccine passports for domestic use. However, there are signs provinces may put their own rules in place, as Manitoba premier Brian Pallister said on June 8 the province will issue vaccination cards to Manitobans two weeks after their second dose.

The issue of travel is more complicated for families with children under 12, as vaccines are not expected to be approved for that age group until much later this year at the earliest.

While that wouldn’t stand in the way of a trip to a country that allows unvaccinated travellers, the issue would be the return to Canada, where the quarantine exemption as currently envisioned, would apply only to vaccinated travellers.

However, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said last week that families with children would not be separated upon arrival, and a spokesman for Hajdu, Thierry Belair, told CTVnews.ca that one option being considered is that families returning with unvaccinated children would be permitted to quarantine at home, rather than required to do so at a hotel.

INSURANCE

With considerable uncertainty not only about border restrictions, but over the path of the pandemic itself, Canadians willing to make summer travel plans are likely going to want to have an exit strategy.

Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat have all relaxed fees for flight changes and cancellations, but those who typically buy cancellation insurance will likely be out of luck if their plans are derailed by COVID-19, says Martin Firestone, president of Travel Secure.

“Until the Level-3 travel advisory is lifted in Canada, which is what is in force right now…. all trip cancellation policies will not cover you if pandemic is the reason for cancellation,” he told CTVNews.ca.

Travel medical insurance covering COVID-19 was suspended by many companies in March 2020, but the industry has since begin offering insurance with limited pandemic coverage.

However, Firestone noted that Manulife Financial recently said it will now cover COVID-related claims of up to $5 million for fully vaccinated people, compared to $1 million for those not vaccinated. The insurer also plans to offer COVID-19 coverage for fully vaccinated customers on cruises once the government lifts its advisory to avoid cruise travel.

“(The industry) are finally recognizing that fully vaccinated people should be given some better recognition going forward from an insurance perspective,” he said.

However, like Vanderlubbe, Firestone sees a quiet summer for international travel.

“I would say summer 2021 travel is limited, at best, [to] locally within Canada,” he said.

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JetBlue Shakes Up Route Map With Cuts Across The US

 

As airline passengers return to the skies, not all markets will see returning service. JetBlue has updated its schedules and is making some scheduling cuts across the US. Most of the affected routes were recent leisure adds over the course of the crisis. Some routes are not flying altogether, while others are being trimmed to operate around peak travel periods. JetBlue is making reductions in services to point-to-point leisure-oriented routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

JetBlue makes cuts across the US

JetBlue has filed some updates for its schedules. As noted in Cranky Flier, the airline has made permanent reductions on over 30 routes. The following routes are all being cut permanently or are seeing seasonal reductions:

  • Austin (AUS) to Raleigh/Durham (RDU)
  • AUS to San Francisco (SFO)
  • Boston (BOS) to Burbank (BUR)
  • BOS to Baltimore (BWI)
  • BOS to Bermuda (BDA)
  • BOS to Portland (PDX)
  • BOS to San Jose (SJC)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • Fort Myers (RSW) to Cleveland (CLE)
  • RSW to Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Richmond (RIC)
  • LAX to Seattle (SEA)
  • Orlando (MCO) to Atlanta (ATL)
  • MCO to AUS
  • MCO to Bogota (BOG)
  • MCO to Philadelphia (PHL)
  • MCO to SFO
  • Newark (EWR) to SEA
  • RDU to RSW
  • RDU to Jacksonville (JAX)
  • RDU to Las Vegas (LAS)
  • RDU to Montego Bay (MBJ)
  • RDU to MCO
  • RDU to SFO
  • RDU to Tampa (TPA)
  • Richmond (RIC) to LAS
  • TPA to PHL
  • TPA to Washington D.C. (DCA)
  • West Palm Beach (PBI) to Chicago (ORD)
  • PBI to PHL
  • PBI to PIT
Screen-Shot-2021-06-14-at-3.21.50-PM-100 The routes across the US seeing changes. Rendering created at Great Circle mapper

Check your itineraries to see if you are impacted. Some routes will continue to run as seasonal operations; others will not run at all.

 

What to make of the route cuts

A quick look at many of the routes shows that many of the routes were recent additions that started only in the last year or so.

Simple Flying reached out to JetBlue for an explanation of the route cuts, and the airline offered the following:

“During the pandemic, we added new markets to provide service where there was the most demand to help generate cash for operations during a very difficult time. As our customers return to more expected booking patterns, we will continue to adjust our schedule and add new destinations and routes that support our long-term network strategy and grow our focus cities so we can compete with the legacy and ultra-low-cost carriers.”

 JetBlue took advantage of the crisis to add leisure-oriented flying to generate some cash from bookings. Photo: Getty Images

JetBlue was one of the first airlines in the crisis to add more point-to-point flying. The carrier spent much of 2020 adding flights in cities like Richmond, Raleigh, and Austin. These were not core JetBlue cities but were instead major markets where JetBlue saw an opportunity to add flying temporarily.

 

Going back to higher yield markets

These routes are mostly leisure-oriented routes which are lower yield routes that price-sensitive leisure travelers frequent. As passengers come back, JetBlue is going back to what it knows and is so far seeing its passengers come back to pre-pandemic flight patterns.

While JetBlue is cutting some of this flying, it is still expecting flying to increase by about 3% over 2019 in October. The airline will also be launching around 40 new routes in the coming months, with more on the way. Some of those new routes include the airline’s highly anticipated launch of flights to London.

 
 The airline is set to pivot back toward its largest bases in core markets like New York and Boston. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

One of the key drivers of this growth is the Northeast Alliance with American Airlines. JetBlue was founded in and knows this geography very well. While Boston is getting some cuts, it is telling that New York (JFK) is seeing no cuts at this time.

With the recovery underway, JetBlue is now turning its attention back to higher-yield flying on routes of significant importance. For example, while JetBlue’s flying between Raleigh and Montego Bay may have been profitable, the airline can earn more money and fly better aircraft utilization out of one of its core cities like New York or Fort Lauderdale to reopening or reinvigorated markets.

JetBlue will still be able to market connections to customers based in those cities. However, it is starting to end some of the routes from its pandemic-era strategy as it further tries to cement its position in New York and Boston amid growing competition.


 
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Feds confident airports will be ready when border restrictions ease

From City News 1130 – link to source story

BY CORMAC MAC SWEENEY, NEWS STAFF | Jun 16, 2021

Details of the gradual federal border reopening plan are going to be announced within days – ahead of the expiration of the current border restrictions on Monday.

The federal government says it is confident the airline industry and airports in Canada will be prepared to start accepting travellers again when the borders start to reopen to non-essential travel.

Transport Minister @OmarAlghabra says the federal government has been in contact with airports and the airline sector about the plan to re-open the borders, which will be announced in days. Confident the industry will be prepared for a gradual lifting of restrictions. #cdnpoli

Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) June 16, 2021

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the government has been in contact with airlines and airports about the plan but says reopening may not happen as soon as the restrictions expire.

“Certainly we need to give them time to prepare for reopening,” says Alghabra. “We feel confident with our partnership with them, and their dedicated and committed workers will be ready to work with us on the reopening of travel.”

He did not give any additional details of the plan but did say the government will make sure airports have the screening and testing resources needed to deal with an increase in travellers.

Only four airports in Canada are currently accepting international flights but Alghabra says as the reopening expands the government will make sure other airports have the necessary resources to deal with an increase in passengers.

The federal government have already indicated people will likely need a digital vaccine passport to visit another country.

The government also eliminated the need for fully vaccinated Canadian air travellers to spend three days quarantining in an authorized hotel upon arriving in the country.

Canada introduced a rule earlier in the year that those entering the country by air without an exemption have to stay at a government-approved hotel for up to three nights before going home to finish the rest of their quarantine.

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And the path back includes a new "Normal" for some carrier rules.  Latest one follows:

Aer Lingus Now Charging For Carry-On Bags On Intra-Europe Flights

Up until now, Aer Lingus passengers could bring a bag that weighs up to 10 kg into the cabin for free. However, with immediate effect, those wanting to bring their hand luggage with them on the flight have to pay €5.99/£5.99 (~$7.00) for priority boarding.

Aer Lingus is changing its carry-on policy for its European routes. Photo: Aer Lingus

New policy

To avoid the charge, customers will have to check in this luggage. Moreover, if they don’t purchase priority boarding and try to bring the 10 kg baggage to their gate, they will have to pay a €35.00 fee (~$41.00).

“We’ve changed our carry-on bag policy and now offer different ways to bring your 10kg bag on your journey. A free option for your 10kg bag remains available, and a small personal item (handbag or laptop bag) is still included for all customers.”  Aer Lingus.

According to the airline, only the following passengers automatically have a carry-on bag with priority boarding included. Furthermore, all travelers with a carry-on bag with priority boarding that is either purchased or included need to check in online or via the carrier’s app.

  • Those connecting to and from a transatlantic flight with Aer Lingus or one of its partners
  • Passengers with books made with Aer Space, Advantage, and Plus fares
  • Customers flying with an infant
  • Fliers with Silver, Platinum, and Concierge AerClub membership (companions not included)
 

A growing pattern

This move follows similar measures by other European carriers in recent times. For instance, in February, easyJet reduced its basic cabin bag allowance, with passengers needing a more expensive ticket or an easyJet Plus membership for larger bags to be stored overhead. Ryanair and Wizz Air also have corresponding views with their policies.

Notably, unlike these other airlines, the flag carrier of Ireland is not a budget carrier. Rather, it operates a hybrid business model, with a full service on transatlantic flights and a mixed fare offering across Europe.

The flights across the Atlantic haven’t gone through the same policy shift.

 

“The 10kg carry-on bag policy remains unchanged on transatlantic flights where you can bring the bag on board and store it in the overheard locker. A small personal item (handbag or laptop bag) is also included, and must be stowed under the seat in front of you” – Aer Lingus

 

Fewer quick exits

It’s worth a note that even though the charge may seem small, in some cases, this cost is close to an actual ticket price. For instance, one-way flights between London and Dublin are as low as around £9.00 (~$12.00) with the likes of Ryanair.

Additionally, passengers often choose not to check in a bag due to added time and risk involved. Dropping off a bag and waiting for it to appear on the conveyor belt on the other side can add many crucial minutes to a journey. Additionally, these bags often get lost, incentivizing travelers to keep important items or documents with them in the cabin.

verall, airlines are continuing to find ways to monetize the customer journey. Whether it’s a low-cost carrier or a national outfit, operators are all going in a similar direction.

Simple Flying reached out to Aer Lingus for comment on the report regarding the baggage policy. We will update the article with any further announcements from the airline.

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British Airways Considers Dropping Gatwick To Preserve Heathrow

Reports have emerged that UK flag carrier British Airways may be planning to abandon its operations out of London Gatwick. The motivation for this prospect is reportedly to consolidate its operations at its Heathrow hub, ahead of the present coronavirus-induced slot waivers potentially coming to an end next year. The airline has already temporarily suspended its flights from London’s second airport multiple times since the pandemic began.

British Airways Considers Dropping Gatwick To Preserve Heathrow - Simple Flying

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American Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights due to staffing shortages and maintenance issues

tsonnemaker@insider.com (Tyler Sonnemaker)  2 hrs ago
 
Like1 CommentAmerican Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights this weekend, ABC News reported Sunday.
  • The company canceled flights due to staffing and maintenance issues.
  • American plans to cancel dozens more per day through July amid a surge in travel.
  • American Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights scheduled for the weekend and Monday due to staffing shortages, including employees out sick, as well as maintenance issues, ABC News reported Sunday.

The company canceled 123 flights scheduled for Saturday, 178 for Sunday, and 97 for Monday, mostly involving Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, according to ABC.

"We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation," American Airlines spokesperson Sarah Jantz told Insider.

"The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers' plans," Jantz added.

American, the world's largest airline, said it also may continue to cancel at least 50 to 60 flights per day during the remainder of June and 50 to 80 flights per day in July, but that it will try to notify customers far ahead of their scheduled flight, according to ABC.

"Labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July," Jantz told Insider.

American's flight cancellations and schedule changes come amid a surge in travel as vaccine rates slowly rise and people become more comfortable getting on planes, causing staffing shortages at a number of major airlines and the TSA.

They also follow American's decision to cut 30% of its support and management staff, around 1,500 workers, which the company followed by asking employees at its corporate headquarters in Dallas to volunteer to work shifts at nearby Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Jantz said those cuts did not include pilots and were not connected to the recent strain on American's operations.

On June 13, the TSA recorded more than 2 million people going through airport security across the US - the largest number of screenings since the pandemic started.

Update: Statement from American Airlines added.

image.pngAmerican Airlines Cancels Flights Over Staffing Shortage: Report (businessinsider.com)

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Southwest Suffers Another Weekend Of Canceled Flights

 
 
 
 
 

In what risks becoming a regular weekend event, another major United States-based airline experienced a significant spate of delays and cancelations over the weekend. Southwest Airlines has canceled 729 flights and delayed 3,813 flights since Friday. Competitor airlines Delta and American have recently experienced similar problems over different weekends.

Southwest-Flight-Cancelations Southwest Airlines has experienced a weekend of cancelations and delays. Photo: Denver International Airport

Southwest Airlines cancels 729 flights last weekend, delays a further 3,813 flights

Breaking the data down, FlightAware reveals Southwest Airlines canceled 254 flights and delayed 1,575 flights on Friday. On Saturday, Southwest canceled 307 flights and delayed 1,440 flights. On Sunday, the airline canceled 168 flights and delayed 798 flights.

Southwest Airlines was blaming bad weather across the United States as the cause. Pointing to storms in Denver, Orlando, Chicago, and St. Louis, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said;

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