Cautious Ryanair Adds 18 Routes
- Despite CEO Michael O’Leary’s cautious attitude towards the peak summer season ahead, Ryanair is moving forward with plans to fly 15 percent more capacity than three years ago. The discounter is adding 18 new routes from Cork, Edinburgh and Leeds-Bradford to destinations in Europe and North Africa this summer. From Cork, Ryanair will add nonstops to Alghero, Pisa, and Venice, Italy; Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Manchester, UK; and Venice, Italy. It will connect Edinburgh to Bari and Palermo, Italy; Madrid and Santiago, Spain; Marrakesh, Morocco; and Nimes and Paris Beauvais, France. And from Leeds, Ryanair will offer new nonstops to Barcelona, Paris Beauvais, and Zadar, Croatia. Ryanair did not indicate when the new routes will begin, though the summer IATA schedule starts at the end of March.
- Australian budget startup Bonza has unveiled its initial route map. The airline will serve 16 destinations with 25 routes that primarily originate from bases in Melbourne and Sunshine Coast, which is located a little over 60 miles north of Brisbane. Bonza’s first destinations are in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria and lie primarily along Australia’s eastern coast from Cairns in the north to Avalon, Victoria, in the south; Newcastle, New South Wales, is the closest to the country’s largest city, Sydney. The carrier plans to launch in mid-2022 with five Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
- Delta Air Lines is proving it is not once scorned, twice shy when it comes to South Africa flying. The carrier has returned to U.S. regulators for three weekly frequencies to serve Cape Town from its Atlanta base from around November 22. This is the second attempt by Delta to fly to Cape Town after South African regulators last year shot down its plan for a circle route that would fly Atlanta-Johannesburg-Cape Town-Atlanta. It would fly an Airbus A350-900 on the route if approved.
Separately, Delta has unveiled plans to begin flights between Atlanta and Kahului on November 19. The airline will also connect Detroit and Honolulu the same day, as well as New York JFK and Honolulu from December 17. While the Atlanta route is new for the carrier, Delta flew both the Detroit and New York routes on a limited basis in 2019 and 2020, Cirium schedules show.
- While Delta is adding, American Airlines is trimming its long-haul flying this summer. The carrier will suspend three routes — Dallas-Fort Worth-Santiago, Los Angeles-Sydney, and Seattle-London — and postpone the launch of Dallas-Fort Worth-Tel Aviv due to the ongoing delivery delays facing new Boeing 787s. American had planned for four 787-8s to arrive by summer, which would have supported these routes, but has now pulled those aircraft from its schedule plan. It hopes to receive 10 787s in 2022 — down from 13 — with the balance arriving next year.
- Last week was a big one for Connecticut airports. Startups Avelo Airlines and Breeze Airways both unveiled big expansion plans in the Nutmeg State. Avelo will expand at New Haven’s Tweed Airport with new nonstops to Charleston and Myrtle Beach, S.C., Nashville, and Savannah beginning May 5 and 6. The routes will operate up to six-times weekly with 737-700 aircraft.
And just up I-91, Breeze named Hartford’s Bradley Airport as its fifth crew base. The airline will add eight routes from the airport that will be unveiled in early March that will bring its total nonstops from Hartford to 12. Breeze will staff roughly 200 people at Bradley.
- Spirit Airlines executives weren’t kidding when they said it was business as usual as their proposed merger with Frontier Airlines awaits approval. A week after the announcement, Spirit unveiled plans to add the Kodak capital of the world, also known as Rochester, to its map as part of a six-route expansion this summer. The airline will connect Rochester to Orlando and Myrtle Beach from June 24. In addition, it will launch new service between Myrtle Beach and Manchester, N.H., from April 20; Louisville and St. Louis from May 26; and Milwaukee from May 27.
- Porter Airlines is stretching its wings a bit in Atlantic Canada this summer. The carrier will connect its Toronto Billy Bishop base nonstop to Fredericton and Moncton year-round from May 5. The new routes will complement Porter’s existing service to the cities from Ottawa.
- Staying in Canada, discounter Swoop isn’t done with its Boeing 737 Max-fueled expansion this summer. The airline is adding five new U.S. destinations, plus eight routes, in May and June. Burbank, Calif., Chicago O’Hare, Nashville, New York JFK, and San Francisco will all join Swoop’s map and bring its presence in the U.S. to 11 destinations. The new routes include Edmonton to Burbank, Chicago, Nashville, and San Francisco; Hamilton, Ontario, to Las Vegas; and Toronto Pearson to Las Vegas, Nashville, and New York.
- And Canadian budget startup Lynx Air is adding Victoria, British Columbia, to its map a month after taking the skies on April 7. The airline will connect Victoria and Calgary twice-weekly from May 12 with an additional weekly frequency coming in June. Lynx will also connect Toronto and Winnipeg nonstop from May 5.