This Week's Sky High Launches: Spotlight on Long-Haul Newcomers

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 10, 2024 10:30 AMNews
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White and blue airplane on airport during daytime
White and blue airplane on airport during daytime. Source: unsplash

In my 124th edition of weekly airline route updates, we delve into a selection of the most thrilling long-haul routes inaugurated as airlines transitioned to their summer schedules this March. The aviation world buzzed with activity, reintroducing beloved summer routes and unveiling entirely new paths across the globe. Here are the top six standout services that took to the skies.

SWISS Makes a Grand Return to Washington Dulles

After a 21-year hiatus, SWISS resumed its service to Washington Dulles from Zurich on March 28, marking its reentry with daily flights operated by the A330-300. This addition not only expands SWISS's footprint in North America but also complements its codeshare partner United's existing daily service, enhancing connectivity between these two cities.

Virgin Atlantic Ventures into Bengaluru

On March 31, Virgin Atlantic inaugurated its maiden voyage to Bengaluru, India, from London Heathrow, establishing a direct daily service. Despite the competitive market, Virgin's strategic scheduling facilitates convenient connections to multiple U.S. cities, tapping into the substantial point-to-point demand and challenging British Airways' dominance on this route.

Air Canada's Long-Awaited Return to Singapore

Air Canada restarted its service to Singapore from its Vancouver hub on April 3, marking a significant return after a 33-year absence. This route, now the airline's longest, underscores Air Canada's commitment to expanding its Asia-Pacific connectivity, promising robust traffic flow through codeshare agreements and strategic scheduling.

Etihad Expands Its Reach to Boston

Etihad Airways launched its inaugural service to Boston, adding a vital connection to its expanding North American network. With four weekly flights operated by the 787-9, Etihad now offers travelers enhanced access to its Middle Eastern hub, alongside competitive options provided by other carriers servicing Boston.

Singapore Airlines Rekindles Brussels Connection

Reviving a route last flown in 2003, Singapore Airlines resumed its service to Brussels on April 6. Operated four times a week by the A350-900, this route caters to both point-to-point and transit passengers, highlighting Brussels' role as a gateway to Southeast Asia and Australasia.

JetBlue's Second Foray into Paris

JetBlue's launch of its Boston to Paris CDG route on April 3, 2024, marked its continued European expansion, following the successful introduction of its New York JFK to Paris service. As the only independent carrier on this route, JetBlue aims to capture the city-level market demand, offering daily flights on the A321LR.

These launches not only signify the airlines' strategic growth ambitions but also reflect the ever-evolving dynamics of global air travel, promising passengers more choices and convenience. As we look forward to the summer travel season, these new routes set the stage for an exciting period of exploration and connection across continents.

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