Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 18 April 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.
Southwest Airlines Incident
As has been widely reported, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft has been involved in an incident.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which was scheduled to operate from La Guardia New York to Dallas Love Field airport, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after crew reported issues with the number one engine. There was one fatality.
Air Canada Signature Service
Air Canada has officially launched its new “Signature Service” for international flights from today and select transcontinental flights within North America from 1 June 2018.
The Air Canada Signature Service effectively replaces Air Canada’s international business class and its transcontinental business class.
Eligible passengers will have access to Air Canada airport concierge teams, expedited check-in and security screening, priority baggage handling and boarding as well as access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges.
Full fare customers travelling to international destinations from Toronto-Pearson also have access to the Air Canada Signature Suite, featuring à la carte dining from a menu created by Canadian chef David Hawksworth. Full fare customers connecting from a domestic to an international flight at Toronto-Pearson will also be provided with a car transfer from later in 2018.
Tommorow, Thursday 19 April 2018, Primera Air will launch its inaugural transatlantic route from London Stansted as Flight PF41 departs for New York Newark.
Flights from Stansted to Boston will follow from Friday 18 May, Toronto from Thursday 31 May, and Washington Dulles from Wednesday 22 August 2018.
Primera Air had planned to launch services using new Airbus A321 aircraft. However, the New York Newark route will be operated with a chartered Boeing 757 from launch to Friday 4 May 2018. After little more than a week of Airbus A321 operations, the flight reverts to a chartered Boeing 757 from Sunday 13 May until Sunday 5 August 2018. Boston will also be operated with a Boeing 757 from launch on Friday 18 May until 28 May 2018.
As with any new market entrant, Primera Air’s operations will be under close scrutiny from launch to see whether they are sufficiently reliable and resilient, which is a challenge for small long-haul operators.
American Airlines and BA introduce Basic Economy
American Airlines, BA and their transatlantic joint-venture partners, Iberia and Finnair, introduced “basic economy” on selected routes.
It has only been introduced on a small number of routes on select dates in a very low-key fashion. Availability also varies by point-of-sale.
Routes from London at launch include Austin, Boston, Denver, Oakland and Philadelphia.
The relatively muted and tentative launch is in sharp contrast to Virgin Atlantic’s confident launch of its new three-tiered economy product last month.
There’s more detail in this article from last week.
Los Angeles Airport People Mover
Anyone who has ever flown to Los Angeles couldn’t fail to notice the sprawling land mass given over to public parking at the airport, and of course, the notorious traffic to downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles City Council has approved funding for a new elevated passenger track which will whisk passengers on automated trains from the terminals to a ground transportation hub and the Los Angeles Metro Crenshaw line which is being extended to the airport. This is all part of a “28 by 2028” plan to improve public transport in Los Angeles.
Also of note this week:
Delta announces its winter transatlantic schedules which includes now year-round routes from New York-JFK to Lisbon; Los Angeles to Paris and Amsterdam; and Indianapolis to Paris and Orlando to Amsterdam. There’s no mention of summer seasonal services from London Heathrow to Portland and Salt Lake City going year-round. (Delta)
Delta reflects on ten years since its merger with Northwest Airlines. (Delta)
IAG and Norwegian. Could it really happen? (London Air Travel)
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