Aviation Round-Up: 23rd August 2018 – New Routes, Deliveries and More

Routes News

British Airways – Bound for Pittsburgh 

Britain’s Flag Carrier continues its rapid expansion in the US this month, with the announcement of a new connection between London-Heathrow and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. British Airways will operate 4x weekly services on a year-round basis, from 2nd April 2019. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner equipment will operate the new service, with 35 Business Class seats, 25 Premium Economy seats and 154 Economy Class seats.

British Airways has expanded rapidly in the US in recent years – to New Orleans, Austin, Nashville and Fort Lauderdale, just to name a few.

BA will face competition from WOW Air, Condor and Delta (whom all operate seasonal flights across the Atlantic) to Reykjavik, Frankfurt and Paris-CDG respectively. However, British Airways will provide Pittsburgh’s only nonstop connection to Europe throughout the year.

Qantas – A fifth International destination for the 787 Dreamliner

Qantas launched the first ever Aus-UK non-stop flight back in March.

Qantas’ 787-9 Dreamliner is set to be deployed on selected rotations from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Hong Kong. This marks the fifth international destination for the Dreamliner, which currently operates the non-stop Perth to London flight. The Dreamliner will represent a significant upgrade for passengers on Australia-HK routings, as they will have access to the Australian carrier’s newest products in all cabin classes.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – Resumes flights to Boston

The Dutch national carrier has announced that it will be resuming flights to the US city of Boston, beginning in Spring 2019, from its Amsterdam-Schipol hub.

KLM’s new Amsterdam-Boston flight will be operated by a 292-seater Airbus A330-300.

The three-weekly services (KL617/618) will be operated by Airbus A330-300 aircraft, and will add to existing frequencies operated by KLM’s joint-venture partner, Delta. From July 2019, the service is planned to increase to four-weekly – with an additional frequency on Mondays.

Cathay Pacific – Opening a NEW U.S. Gateway

Cathay Pacific’s newest Business Class product, onboard the Airbus A350, in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Cathay Pacific will launch a new service to Seattle, beginning next Spring, from its Hong Kong hub. The flight will represent Seattle’s only connection to Hong Kong, as Delta recently withdrew its flight between the two cities and will be operated by the Airbus A350-900, featuring three cabin classes. The expansion means Cathay Pacific will now serve 10 destinations in North America.

Thomas Cook Airlines – Manchester Transatlantic Flights Tweaked

Thomas Cook Airlines has amended its summer 2019 schedules for its transatlantic flights from Manchester.

Thomas Cook will operate to 6 US destinations nonstop from Manchester in 2019.

The headline changes include an increase from 2 to 3-weekly flights on the recently inaugurated Manchester-Seattle route, and increases in flights to New York JFK and Orlando International. The airline will also resume a once-weekly flight from Manchester to Jamaica, choosing Montego Bay as its Jamaican gateway.

Wizz Air – A raft of new U.K. expansion

Following year of rapid expansion in the U.K. market, low-cost carrier Wizz Air has announced an additional five new routes.

Wizz Air has expanded rapidly from London Luton this year, with the launch of a new UK AOC.

The airline will operate daily services from London Luton to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon and thrice weekly flights to the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. From Liverpool, the airline is also initiating expansion – to the Romanian cities of Bucharest, Iasi and Cluj.

Jet Airways – Increases Manchester operation

Jet Airways has taken the decision to increase the frequency of its upcoming Mumbai-Manchester link – 3 months prior to its launch. One additional weekly frequency will be added, meaning the flight will operate five times per week. The Indian airline will operate an Airbus A330-200 on the route, in a two-class configuration.

Jet Airways’ new route will offer an economic boost to the North of England and will stimulate new business and leisure travel demand.

China Eastern – Gatwick gains Shanghai link

China Eastern will launch a new nonstop route to Shanghai Pudong to London’s second busiest airport – beginning December 7th. The new flight will operate on a thrice weekly basis, with Airbus A330-200 equipment. Gatwick’s CEO – Stewart Wingate – said the following:

”I’m delighted to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick and look forward to the start of this vital new link to Shanghai which, like London, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important cities and business hubs”


Qatar Airways – Heads to Gothenburg, Sweden

LondonSpotter Author – Callum Johnson – reviewed Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787-8 Business Class earlier this year.

Qatar Airways has operated flights to the Swedish capital, Stockholm, for over 10 years and operates nonstop connections from Doha to Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki. However, this year, Qatar Airways will expand further in Scandinavia, with the launch of a new nonstop flight to Gothenburg. The 5x weekly operation will inaugurate on 12th December, operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner equipment. It is thought that the new route will provide easier connections from Gothenburg to the Middle East, Africa and Asia – with no competition from Qatar Airways’ Gulf rivals at present.


The last few weeks saw more Airbus A320neo aircraft emerge from factories in Hamburg and Toulouse, including Lufthansa’s first example adorned with the airline’s new livery. 


German flag-carrier Lufthansa has recieved its first Airbus A320neo, featuring the airline’s reimagined livery in the past month.

The aircraft is registered D-AINK and becomes Lufthansa’s 11th example of an A320neo, marking the first new delivery of a short haul aircraft for the airline since November 2017.

Other Aviation Stories

American Airlines Makes Changes to ‘Basic Economy’

American Airlines will make its ‘Basic Economy’ product a little more bearable, with a new change coming into effect as of 5th September. Basic Economy fares will once again include the ability to take one carry-on bag onboard, free of charge.

American even offers basic economy, when flying Transatlantic.

American’s President claims this is about making basic economy more ‘competitive’, although this is clearly a climb down from the initial proposals for Basic Economy.

“Basic Economy is working well in the markets where we offer it, and we continue to see more than 60 percent of customers buy up to Main Cabin when offered a choice. Removing the bag restriction will make Basic Economy more competitive, allowing us to offer this low-fare product to more customers.”

-Robert isom, American airlines president