Right in the middle of the pandemic, when his airline’s flying activity had been reduced to a few flights per…
Star Alliance and Oneworld Carriers Announce New, Extended Transatlantic Service
Passengers loyal to both Star Alliance and oneworld will have even more transatlantic options after a pair of airlines announced on Wednesday two new flights from the U.S. to the United Kingdom while another revealed popular seasonal routes would be available past their original set end dates.
British Airways revealed it would become the first airline to offer year-round direct flights between its hub in London and Portland, Oregon. As a part of a transatlantic joint venture involving Atlantic Joint Business partners American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair, the U.K. flag carrier will launch service between the two cities beginning June 1, 2020, scheduled to solely rival Delta Air Lines’ existing service.
“Portland will be a fantastic addition to our route map,” British Airways Director of Networks and Alliances Neil Chernoff said.” As a major technology and innovation hub the city is drawing ever-increasing numbers of international visitors.
“Since 2015 we’ve launched routes to Pittsburgh, Charleston, Nashville, New Orleans and San Jose, and this is key to our joint business strategy which is growing across North America.”
The Oneworld transatlantic joint venture is now set to launch eight new routes for summer 2020, a number of which are seasonal routes operated by American Airlines. The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline on Wednesday detailed extensions to five of those routes beyond the summer season.
The airline’s service between Chicago and Athens will now run until Oct. 24, 202o, and its new flight between Chicago and Barcelona will now run through the busy Thanksgiving travel season, ending on Nov. 29, 2020. Finally, the carrier’s flights between its home airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Rome, in addition to two routes from Philadelphia to Prague and Lisbon, will now run until Jan. 5, 2021.
In the Star Alliance family of airlines, United Airlines announced a new flight that the airline hopes will also prove an attractive option for travelers in the Bay Area’s tech sector, daily service between San Francisco and Dublin, slated to begin June 5, 2020. With the route, the airline will become the first American carrier to fly between the U.S. West Coast and Dublin, the only other to fly the route being Ireland’s own Aer Lingus.
“Dublin and the Silicon Valley are two regions synonymous with big tech,” United Vice President of International Network Patrick Quayle said in a statement. “Many global tech companies have a major footprint in both regions, and they need a carrier with an extensive worldwide network to help conveniently connect their business. As the only U.S. airline to serve Ireland from the West Coast, United is uniquely suited to provide the connectivity these companies and economies need to continue thriving.”
All of these new flights represent further examples of the newest generation of transatlantic routes, those centered around what some have called second-tier cities. These are the long, thin routes that, in the past, didn’t have the demand to support service with the large aircraft used to operate the services.
With the ubiquity of smaller, more efficient widebodies including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner — which will operate both British Airways’ and United’s new flights — an increasing number of those routes continue to become viable. And come next summer, a higher number of routes will be a reality.
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