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Airlines will raid on new flights when travel to Europe resumes

Now that tourism-dependent countries such as Croatia, Greece, Iceland and Italy have begun to allow visitors from the United States and other countries for the first time in a year, major airlines are competing to add new transatlantic services. I am.

Delta Air Lines We started flights from Boston to Reykjavik, Iceland on May 20th. Then, a week later, we resumed direct flights from Minneapolis to the capital of Iceland. Service from New York began on May 1st. United AirlinesThe first service to Dubrovnik will begin on July 1st from the hub in Newark, NJ. The airline plans to add a July-October flight from Washington Dulles to Athens next month, in addition to the service from Newark launched earlier this month.

As Spain, Portugal and Italy open, airlines are tightening their schedules. American AirlinesFor example, we pushed service from Philadelphia to Athens in late August, and in September from both Philadelphia and Chicago to Rome. This is the route that will be reopened next summer.

European Union this week Recommended to add US Add to the list of safe countries of origin. This will allow US visitors to easily enter blocks in 27 countries this summer. The EU has banned them since the early days of the pandemic, and change is fueling airline efforts to avoid another Lost European summer..

Rapid flight initiation, airline scrambling boosts revenue, Delta, United, and American combine.

Airlines generally prefer to announce new international destinations in fanfare months, sometimes nearly a year ago. The long lead time gives airline marketing time time to inspire customers with campaigns that offer views of sun-tanned cobblestone streets and the Adriatic Sea. Government officials and airport teams will also give time to secure a contractor and permission to handle everything from check-in to wheelchair service to ground refueling long before the first flight takes off.

It’s outside the window of the pandemic era. Instead, airlines were waiting for a green light from the government to lift travel restrictions to help rebuild their international network. In addition, due to pandemic uncertainty, travelers have to wait longer to book.

Brian Znotins, vice president of network and scheduling for American Airlines, said American Airlines typically takes about a year to launch a new international route from Miami to Tel Aviv. He said hundreds of employees were involved in planning the new route.

“All these timelines are compressed. People didn’t book 8 and 12 months ago. They booked 2 to 3 months ago,” Znotins said. Mr. says. His team is “moving at the speed of light.”

Patrick Kiel, vice president of international networks and alliances at United, said demand for the new United market, Dubrovnik Croatia, was very high after the airline announced it, vice president of global airport operations for the airline. I called David Kinselman. “I want to start a week early, can I do it?”

“We’re loading it relatively late and we’re putting it out there in the hope that people will book it,” Quale said. He said that demand in Croatia, Greece and Iceland is “smaller” in demand for the United Kingdom, which is usually the largest transatlantic destination.

Domestic leisure reservations for this summer are imminent 2019 level -When Matching fares — However, due to the many travel restrictions that remain, favorable overseas travel is usually lagging behind.It ’s an American aircraft carrier Focus more on US destinations,In some cases, Deploy the largest jet It will usually fly across the ocean.

United said its international capacity in July this year was 36% of the total, down from its 45% share in 2019. In addition, domestic flights are only a quarter less than they were two years ago, and international capacity has doubled.

However, the demand for travel to Europe is increasing. Hopper, a fare tracking app, said Friday that the number of searches for flights in Europe almost doubled from this time last month.Travel site Kayak The number of searches in Europe’s travel search has decreased by 11% compared to 2019, with July airfares between the US and Europe averaging $ 929, about 6% lower than two years ago.

As airlines add services to Europe, despite petition from airlines and travel agencies, the United States still bans most non-citizens who have stayed in the European Union or the United Kingdom in the last two weeks. Demand and services are still out of 2019 levels Industry to governments on both sides of the Atlantic. US citizens can visit the United Kingdom, but they still need to be quarantined.

However, airlines are looking for flights that can be launched and the starting point is very low.

According to industry group Airlines for America, passenger numbers between the United States and the top 25 destinations in May fell by more than 90% from 2019, with passenger numbers between the United States and Italy and between the United Kingdom and Spain more than 95%. It has decreased. A group that represents most of the major US carriers.

Covid’s travel restrictions also pose a challenge as airlines remotely organize ground facilities and staff to set up new flights.

Kinselman, vice president of global airports at United, said that was the case prior to the launch of Dulles Airlines to Accra in Ghana this year.

“Usually I couldn’t get people to go out and do site audits and station visits,” he said. “Often it’s just a video like this we say. Take your camera and walk around the space. What will your customer experience look like? And it was very helpful.”

Kinselman added that airlines don’t want to do it indefinitely, but said “necessity is the mother of invention.”

Airlines will raid on new flights when travel to Europe resumes

Source link Airlines will raid on new flights when travel to Europe resumes

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