As summer air travel is nearly upon us, I thought I’d list out a few of the new routes I am most excited about. The news for each hit the press months ago, but I figured a recap of what is coming would be good. Given that I live in northern California, the focus is a bit skewed to the West Coast.
TAP San Francisco to Lisbon
in a surprising addition, Portugal’s TAP is beginning service to SFO from their capital city. The route will be operated by one of their A330-900neo aircraft, a much more fuel efficient version of the tried-and-true Airbus jet.
Portugal is a current travel hotspot, so this route does make sense in some ways. I hope it is profitable so TAP will keep it. Given the fare sales we see with TAP, especially the uncharacteristically good one-way fares, they may have an advantage over other carriers. There is some competition to the Iberian peninsula, though, by both Iberia (to Madrid) and their subsidiary LEVEL (to Barcelona), not to mention Norwegian’s route to Barcelona as well.
El Al San Francisco to Tel Aviv
While United already operates a daily service from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, the route will be new to El Al. If the service addition is any indicator, the route is a profitable one, linking Bay Area tech companies with their counterparts in Israel. This route picks up in mid-May.
The service will be operated by one of El Al’s new 787 Dreamliners with their beautiful new business class product. It is a significant upgrade from their old product, which had to be one of the worst beds in the sky. Given that I’m far more interested in flying foreign carriers than U.S. airlines, I will absolutely consider this route if I ever make a trip to Israel.
Atlantic Airways NYC to Vagar, Faroe Islands
Ever since this Faroe Islands-based airline applied for a foreign air carrier permit from the U.S. regulators, I’ve been super excited about the prospect of Atlantic Airways flying to America. The airline’s sights are set on New York City, which makes sense. The Faroe Islands are an up-and-coming travel destination, so you may want to consider flying there sooner rather than later, before some new hotels open and the crowds find this gem.
Atlantic Airways plans to operate this service using new A320neo aircraft. The single-aisle jet will offer increased fuel efficiency and lower the operating costs of the route. While Atlantic Airways flies to a number of destinations in Europe, this will be the first route directly between the United States and the self-governing Danish archipelago.
American Airlines Philadelphia to Dubrovnik
This new nonstop service set to launch is early June is an exciting add by the world’s largest airline. The route from the City of Brotherly Love to one of the most popular destinations on the shores of the Adriatic will likely be an excellent seasonal service. The old city of Dubrovnik is utterly picturesque, albeit crowded.
If you do want to hop on this nonstop service to Croatia, I’d do some research ahead of time to see if you can plan your visit during a period when there are no cruise ships to be found, which are one of the primary sources of the hordes that descend on the walled city of Dubrovnik.
United additions to Denver, including Portland, Maine and Arcata, California
This one only makes the list because I find it impressive that I could soon fly one-stop between our tiny regional airport and Portland, Maine. With service from Arcata-Eureka to Denver picking up on June 6 (a date I keep quoting over and over to my boss, who now considers me a flight wizard), we’ll be able to fly one-stop to a far larger number of destinations. One of the new summer destinations is Portland, Maine. I’ve yet to visit anywhere in New England, and if I had to pick somewhere to start, it’d probably be Acadia National Park.
There are other United additions as well from their Denver hub, but the option to visit Maine tops my list.
All of these new nonstop options are exciting. I love the fanfare when a new route begins, and one day I know I’ll jump on an inaugural flight. But it won’t be this year.
What new summer routes are you excited about?