Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are revamping their services out of
Dallas Love Field, adding four routes to boost service 40 percent and
swapping Virgin America aircraft out of many routes from the airport.
Beginning this summer and through early next year, Alaska 76-seat
Embraer 175 jets will replace Virgin America flights on several Love
Field routes, including those to New York’s LaGuardia Airport and
Washington Reagan National Airport. That frees up the larger Virgin
America aircraft on new long-haul flights from San Francisco and new
service between Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
“Prior to [the] merger, Virgin America lacked a regional aircraft to take
advantage of midsized routes,” according to Alaska Airlines VP of capacity
planning John Kirby. “The fuel-efficient E176 jet has the same amenities
and features of a mainline jet and is perfectly suited for Love Field.”
Alaska does plan to retire the Virgin America brand, but in the mean-
time, it will continue to operate three daily Virgin America flights be-
tween Love Field and each Los Angeles and San Francisco.
JetBlue will expand its premium Mint service this year. By the end of the year, the carrier projects, Mint will
be available on 70 daily flights, one out of every 14 that JetBlue operates.
Routes on Which Mint Is New
• New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport-San Diego: One daily round-trip beginning
Aug. 15 and another beginning Oct. 10
• JFK-Las Vegas: One daily round-trip beginning Nov. 6 and another beginning Nov. 10
• Boston-San Diego: One daily round-trip beginning Dec. 10 and another beginning Dec. 20
Routes with Added Mint Service
• Boston-Los Angeles: A fourth daily round-trip beginning Oct. 20
• JFK-Barbados: A second Saturday round-trip beginning Nov. 4
• JFK-St. Maarten: A second daily round-trip during the Christmas peak and on Saturdays before/after Thanksgiving.
Alaska Airlines Will Shift
Virgin America Love Field
Service to Regional Aircraft
JetBlue Adds Mint to San
Diego & Las Vegas Routes
Emirates is reducing service to five of the 12
U.S. cities it serves, citing weakened demand
related to increased travel restrictions. “The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened
security vetting and restrictions on electronic
devices in aircraft cabins have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air
travel into the U.S.,” Emirates wrote in a letter to
its agency partners in mid-April. “Over the past
three months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our U.S.
routes across all travel segments.”
• On May 1, it reduced Fort Lauderdale service
from daily to five times weekly.
• On May 23, it will reduce Orlando service from
daily to five times weekly.
• On June 1, it will end one of its two daily flights
• On June 2, it will end one of its two daily flights
• On July 1, it will end one of its two daily flights to
Travelers booked on those flights have been rebooked on others and their fares are eligible for refunds.
Both the U.S. Travel Association and the International
Air Transport Association released reports last month
that showed that international travel demand to the U.S.
has remained strong. They also cautioned, however, that
both the electronics ban and President Donald Trump’s
immigration-related executive orders could stifle demand in the long term. The electronics ban in particular
affects Emirates’ flights to the U.S.; the U.S. included
Dubai in its ban, while the U.K. did not. Like Qatar Airways, Emirates is attempting to mitigate that by loaning free Microsoft Surface tablets to First and Business
Class passengers who are flying to the U.S.
With the reductions, Emirates will operate 101
flights to the U.S. per week. The carrier said it would
“closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate
and grow our U.S. flight operations as soon as viable.”
Emirates Will Pull Back on U.S. Service
Qantas is testing free inflight
Wi-Fi on domestic flights aboard
a Boeing 737-80. By mid-year,
the carrier will begin expanding
the service across its 80 Airbus
330s and Boeing 737s. Qantas
expects to complete the task
by the end of 2018. It is using
global broadband services provider ViaSat and Australian satellite service NBN Sky Muster,
which the carrier claims will be
as much as 10 times faster than
conventional onboard Wi-Fi.
“Inflight Wi-Fi has been on
our wish list for quite a while,
but the sheer size of Australia
meant it was hard to offer a ser-
vice that was fast and reliable,”
according to Qantas Group CEO
Alan Joyce. “The NBN has made
Joyce expects particularly
high demand on business trav-
el-heavy routes between Bris-
bane, Melbourne and Sydney.
While the service is fast enough
to enable streaming video, Qan-
tas does not plan to allow pas-
sengers to use it for voice calls
“in the interests of everyone in
Qantas also is working on a
Wi-Fi product for its interna-
tional fleet “that can overcome
a number of technical, perfor-
mance and coverage challeng-
es,” according to the carrier.
On a Virgin America A320
• Daily round-trip to Seattle
starts Aug. 27, 2017
On Alaska Airlines E175s
• Second daily round-trip to
Seattle starts Aug. 27, 2017
• Daily round-trip to Portland,
Ore., starts Aug. 27, 2017
• Daily round-trip to San
Diego starts Feb. 16, 2018
• Daily round-trip to San
Jose starts Feb. 16, 2018
New Love Field Routes