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Southwest expansion, from Norway to SFO + Tampa, Mexico, JetBlue, SJC, SLC, more



For route news, Southwest establishes new routes from O’Hare and Colorado Springs – but not to Oakland; Norway publishes its proposed 2021 transatlantic timetable including SFO-London flights; United, Alaska will add its Tampa service from SFO next month; United cut through Atlanta, Raleigh; Puerto Vallarta imposes new coronavirus restrictions; JetBlue adjusts the middle empty seat policy; United tests COVID-19 for free on the Newark-London route; hundreds of visitors are currently banned for not wearing masks; The Delta-WestJet joint venture is expected to be OK; news on international routes from Alaska, United, Lufthansa, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue; XpresCheck extends beyond COVID testing at JFK and Newark; Mineta San Jose is building a new attraction for the kids; and Salt Lake City International opened a second new lounge.

Though Oakland is home to a substantial Southwest Airlines airline It is not among the routes the airline will add from two new airports on its system map next year. Southwest recently announced it will expand its presence in Chicago next year from Midway Airport to O̵

7;Hare, and it has now revealed its initial schedule. The airline will begin flying out of O’Hare on February 14 with 20 departures daily, including six flights per day to Denver, four flights per day to Nashville, Dallas Love Field and Baltimore / Washington and two flights per day. Phoenix. Southwest will operate out of Terminal 5 at O’Hare. On November 11, Southwest also began new service from Colorado Springs, about an hour south of Denver, with four flights a day to Denver International (only 75 miles), three to Dallas Love Field International and two days to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Chicago Midway. The company will also add the Houston George Bush Intercontinental to its network next year but has yet to say which markets it will serve.

Remember the Norwegian Air? The low-cost transatlantic airline has been largely inactive since the outbreak of the pandemic, operating only a few regional flights in Europe as it struggled to secure fresh funding. But according to a new schedule filing, Norwegian is preparing to return to the US in the spring, reinstating the service from London Gatwick and Paris CDG. Currently, the only Bay Area service on Norway’s schedule is San Francisco International to Gatwick, which starts March 28 with four flights from 787-9 a week, increasing to seven by May 22. Starting the same day are flights to Gatwick from Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, New York JFK and Orlando, followed by Denver-LGW on 29 March and Austin-LGW on 22 May. head on March 28 from JFK and LAX, followed by Boston and Orlando on May 21, and Austin and Denver on May 22 (Of course, all of this can depend on what happens to COVID-related travel restrictions next spring…)

The people of California head to Florida’s west coast There will soon be more direct flight options with two additional airlines adding flights to Tampa. United Airlines will resume San Francisco-Tampa flights on November 4 and on November 21, Alaska Airlines will launch a new service to TPA from SFO twice a week and from Los Angeles International once a day. Delta offers daily nonstop flights to Tampa from LAX. In related news, United have eliminated direct flights from San Francisco to both Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham in the fall months, but will likely bring them back on holiday.

Tourists plan a quick distance trip to Mexico should be informed that Puerto Vallarta has introduced new restrictions on businesses and attractions over the next two weeks because of a sudden increase in coronavirus cases. Specifically, beaches will close daily at 3pm; Unnecessary businesses including bars and restaurants must close before 8:30 pm; and public transportation including Uber rides will not be available after 10:00 pm

JetBlue The latest airline to adjust its “empty middle seat” policy this week, said this week it will continue to provide them during the year-end holidays, but not as much as before. The airline will reduce the number of seats per flight that is blocked from its existing inventory in anticipation of more family vacationers wanting to sit together; it currently limits sales at 70% capacity. JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes told Reuters in an interview that he believes “over time the caps will go away, but right now it’s a very important issue for customer perception.” “. But he added that the policy is “extremely expensive” for the airline. As we mentioned last week, Southwest on December 1 will follow in United and American’s footsteps in selling all seats where possible, rather than securing seats empty in between. Alaska Airlines recently extended its mid-seat vacancy policy through Jan. 6. Delta also renewed that policy until the first week of January, but more recently, Chief Executive Ed Bastian said the airline would continues to block the middle seats “next year”.


As we reported this week, United Airlines Next month will begin a month-long pilot project of free COVID testing for passengers on three Newark-London flights weekly, as the airline industry tries to convince governments to rely on the test before fly as an alternative to mandatory quarantine of incoming international passengers. United already offers COVID (up to $ 250) testing options at San Francisco International for passengers arriving in Hawaii.

In other COVID-related news, the Washington Post this week surveyed major airlines about their policy of banning passengers from refusing to wear masks and learned that the total number of people on the no-fly list at the three airlines Large current is more than 900 people. , including 460 at Delta, about 300 at United and 146 in Alaska. American and Southwest will not publish their numbers.


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