A number of new transatlantic connections are set to open this month, coinciding with the start of the northern summer 2022 season.
From March 26, Canada’s WestJet will add a second London airport to its network, saying the expansion signals its confidence in the recovery of business and leisure travel. As well as flying from Calgary (YYC) to London Gatwick (LGW), the airline also plans to start serving London Heathrow (LHR) from its Alberta hub. Flights will be 4X-weekly using Boeing 787-9s.
On March 27, Finnair will begin flying from its Helsinki (HEL) hub to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), the home of oneworld alliance member American Airlines. Service between the destinations was originally planned to launch in early February, but the start date was pushed back due to increased sick leave among Finnair’s employees following a spike in COVID-19 cases. The HEL-DFW route will operate four times per week using Airbus A350-900s.
Also starting on the same day is Lufthansa’s new service to Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG). The German carrier resumed flights to the Brazilian city from Frankfurt (FRA) last December but will operate service from Munich (MUC) for the first time from March 27. Five flights per week will be available using A350-900s. Munich will also receive a new Lufthansa link to the US on March 30. Operations to San Diego (SAN) will be 3X-weekly.
Additionally, the group’s subsidiary Eurowings Discover is scheduled to launch six new long-haul routes this month, connecting Frankfurt with Las Vegas (LAS), Panama City (PTY) and Fort Myers (RSW), and Munich with Cancun (CUN), Las Vegas and Punta Cana (PUJ).
Other transatlantic routes set to open in March are KLM’s delayed service between Amsterdam (AMS) and Austin-Bergstrom (AUS), originally slated to start in 2020, and Virgin Atlantic’s flights from Edinburgh (EDI) to Orlando (MCO).
Elsewhere, March will also see Saudia resume flying to Thailand, connecting Riyadh King Khalid (RUH) and Bangkok (BKK). The launch comes after Saudi Arabia and Thailand agreed in January to restore full diplomatic ties. The agreement to normalize relations ended a 30-year dispute that was triggered by the 1989 theft of gems belonging to the Saudi royal family by a Thai employee.