Some transatlantic additions are among the most eye-catching routes starting in June, with the likes of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Finnair, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and United Airlines expanding their long-haul networks.
Starting June 1, Germany’s flag-carrier Lufthansa will begin serving St. Louis (STL) three times per week from its Frankfurt (FRA) hub. The route will become the Missouri city’s first nonstop service to mainland Europe in nearly two decades.
Although defunct Icelandic LCC Wow Air offered a limited scheduled service between Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) and St. Louis from May 2018 to January 2019, the US city has otherwise been without regular flights to Europe since the early 2000s. The last nonstop to continental Europe was on TWA to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) in September 2001, while American Airlines ended service to London Gatwick (LGW) in the UK two years later.
Also starting on June 1 is Finnair’s new service from Helsinki (HEL) to Seattle (SEA). The 7,672-km (4,767-mi.) seasonal route to the Pacific Northwest city will operate three times per week using A330-300s, becoming the sixth point in the US served by Finnair from its home hub—one more than before the pandemic.
While Sabre data shows that O&D traffic between Helsinki and Seattle totaled just 9,100 two-way passengers in 2019, Finnair’s new codeshare partnership with Seattle-based oneworld partner Alaska Airlines opens ups a range of one-stop options to the US West Coast.
Spanish carrier Iberia is also beefing up its US network this month, opening routes from Madrid (MAD) to both Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Washington Dulles (IAD) on June 1. The US cities will each receive four flights per week with A330-200 aircraft.
Washington Dulles will also receive a new service from Ethiopian Airlines on the same day, with the African carrier beginning a nonstop service from Lome (LFW), the capital of Togo. The route, which will start and end in Addis Ababa (ADD), will be 3X-weekly using Boeing 787-9s.
Other notable new routes in June include United Airlines’ operations from Newark (EWR) to Spanish island destinations Palma de Mallorca (PMI) and Tenerife (TFS); and SAS adding service to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) using its new A321neos.
American Airlines will also begin flying daily from New York (JFK) to Doha (DOH) on June 4, cementing its relationship with oneworld alliance partner Qatar Airways. While there will be some demand for travel to Qatar itself—particularly ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup which begins in November—the route will seek to drive traffic through Doha to points in Qatar Airways’ network not served by American.
Elsewhere, JetBlue Airways will begin flying north of the US border to Canada for the first time from June 9. The route from New York JFK to Vancouver (YVR) will be daily using A320s. On the 3,928-km (2,441-mi.) service, JetBlue is likely to cater mainly for point-to-point traffic, attracting two-way leisure passengers. For New York-originating customers, Vancouver has a strong outdoor appeal and cruise industry in summer and is close to ski resorts in winter.
As well as exploiting a supply gap and the demand for leisure travel, the route also has transit potential for JetBlue through New York. However, JetBlue has halted plans for a second route to Vancouver, with a seasonal service from Boston (BOS) that was slated to begin on June 16 recently cut from its schedule.