The Pacific is Terrific For United
- Clearly, United is hitting home runs in Australia and New Zealand. Between October and early December, the carrier will launch three new nonstop Boeing 787 routes to Australasia. One is a new route connecting San Francisco with Christchurch, three times a week. In addition, with existing service from San Francisco to Brisbane and Auckland obviously thriving, United will fly to both cities from Los Angeles as well. LAX-Brisbane will run three times a week. LAX-Auckland will run four times a week. It helps to have friends on the other end of such long routes, and sure enough, United partners with both Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. It also helps that United is making a concerted effort to find routes that make money in the northern winter, noting in its first-quarter earnings call that winters are weaker than they used to be due to their reliance on business traffic that’s no longer as robust post-Covid. In case there’s still any doubt about how well United is performing Down Under, it’s also adding capacity to Sydney and Melbourne. What’s behind the demand strength? Quite simply, the post-pandemic world is full of Americans eager to travel abroad.
- Avianca, a big player in El Salvador since merging with TACA a decade ago, will start flights connecting the country’s capital with Las Vegas. That’s on top of the new San Salvador service Avianca will offer to Boston and Orlando. It recently launched a new Boston-Bogota route as well. Avianca has a lower cost structure following its passage through bankruptcy. It’s now eyeing a return to the stock market.
- China’s international connections are far from fully restored. But with each passing week, airlines are re-establishing flights. Jetstar Asia, based in Singapore, said it will have flights to Hainan Island (specifically Haikou) up and running later this month.
- Route Tidbits: JetBlue is adding more service to Puerto Rico, including a new route connecting Raleigh-Durham with San Juan and another linking Tampa with Agaudilla. Low-cost upstart Avelo is expanding from Wilmington, Delaware. In Europe, Ryanair will add capacity to France in advance of this fall’s Rugby World Cup, taking place in various cities across the country.