What Pandemic? Airlines Announce Scores Of New Routes, Expanded Service

The airline industry appears to be more than ready to move ahead into a post-pandemic era, with several major U.S. carriers announcing a plethora of new routes over the past few days. Why It Matters: It was no understatement that 2020 was the year from hell for airlines, and getting people back in the air is the industry’s top priority. Still, the damage created by the pandemic is acute. IATA, the airline industry’s trade association, predicted carriers will not return to 2019 levels of passenger traffic until the 2023-2024 timeframe. And the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) released data predicting the global airline industry ended 2020 with a $370 billion loss, “with airports and air navigation services providers losing a further $115 billion and $13 billion, respectively.” See Also: Reopening Stocks Under Among the companies expanding their destinations are, in alphabetical order: Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK): The carrier is launching new nonstop service between Anchorage and Minneapolis-St. Paul, new Seattle-based service Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Redding, California, and new flights connecting Los Angeles and San Diego with Kalispell, Montana, and San Francisco and San Diego with Bozeman, Montana. American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL): The carrier is expanding its coverage of Austin, with the Texas capital receiving new twice-daily service Las Vegas, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Washington Dulles. Daily service is being added in Austin to New Orleans, Orlando and Tampa. Furthermore, new seasonal routes will connect Austin with Aspen, Colorado, Los Cabos, Mexico and Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL): Delta is readying nine new routes and adding flights to more than 20 leisure destinations this summer. Among the additions to the spring service will be new flights to three Montana cities – Bozeman, Glacier Park and Missoula – and to Fresno, California, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Rapid City, South Dakota, and Reno-Tahoe, Nevada. Delta is also adding more flights to four New England destinations – Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts, Bangor, Maine, and Burlington, Vermont – as well as increased flights to the Caribbean. Frontier Airlines, which announced plans for an initial public offering, is launching new connections from Las Vegas to El Paso, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas, Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas, as well as Mexican-focused service to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. Frontier is also adding new nonstop routes from Miami International Airport Cancun, St. Thomas and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, along with maiden service to Central America from Miami with nonstop flights to Guatemala City and San Salvador. Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV): Earlier this month, the carrier added Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to its destination list, and it has now announced the first scheduled flights. Starting May 23, travelers can enjoy nonstop flights from Myrtle Beach to Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Chicago (Midway), and Nashville, with additional nonstop service from Dallas (Love Field) and Pittsburgh beginning May 29. Additional Myrtle Beach to Atlanta, Columbus, and Indianapolis begin June 6. Southwest is also offering travelers in Austin direct flights to Sacramento (beginning May 9), and Burbank, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orange County and Salt Lake City (beginning June 6). Earlier this month, the airline Bellingham, Washington, and Eugene, Oregon, to its destination line-up, but it has yet to announce new routes from those localities. Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE): The carrier is adding flights out of New York City’s LaGuardia Airport to San Juan, Nashville and Los Angeles while increasing the number of flights to Fort Lauderdale to five each day. Spirit is also giving Florida’s Pensacola International Airport new nonstop flights to Columbus, Indianapolis and Louisville, as well as new flights connecting St. Louis Lambert International Airport with Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Pensacola. United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL): The carrier announced 26 new nonstop routes between six Midwest cities – Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis – and Pittsburgh to popular vacation destinations including South Carolina’s Charleston, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, Pensacola, Florida, and Portland, Maine. The airline will start new service between Orange County, California, and Honolulu, and will resume more than 20 domestic routes that were put on hiatus during the pandemic. Photo by Tomás Del Coro / Wikimedia Commons. See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaMadison Square Garden Acquires MSG Networks In All-Stock DealRare Van Gogh Painting Sells At Auction For .4M© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.