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Norwegian launches flights from the U.S. to Barcelona

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Norwegian has announced it will launch flights from four cities in the United States – Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Newark and Oakland – to Barcelona, Spain, in June 2017. The nonstop flights to Spain follow the airline’s recent new service from the U.S. to Paris, France, launched in July this year. Norwegian will also add service from Oakland to Copenhagen, Denmark, offering five nonstop routes to Europe from the Bay Area by next spring.

New York (Newark Liberty International Airport) to Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) will launch on June 6, 2017, and operate twice a week until the end of August when it becomes a four weekly service. This will be Norwegian’s first service from Newark; the airline’s other flights from New York City operate from John F. Kennedy International Airport, where Norwegian has year-round service to Copenhagen; London; Oslo; and Stockholm; as well as seasonal service to Guadeloupe and Martinique in the French Caribbean.

Service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Barcelona will launch on June 5, 2017, and operate twice weekly until the end of August, when it becomes a thrice weekly service. Flights from Oakland International Airport (OAK) to Barcelona will launch on June 7, 2017, and initially operate twice weekly until the end of August, from when it will operate three times a week. The new twice-weekly Oakland to Copenhagen service will launch on March 28, 2017.

Flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Barcelona will launch on August 22, 2017, and operate twice weekly.

“Continued U.S. expansion is key to Norwegian’s global strategy, and we’re excited to offer affordable fares to even more nonstop European destinations so that travelers can enjoy our award-winning onboard service. We now offer a greater amount of nonstop routes from the U.S. to Europe than any other European airline, and we look forward to continue adding additional routes and frequencies so that American travelers have even more choices,” said Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Launch fares in Economy to Barcelona from both Fort Lauderdale and New York/Newark start as low as $189 one-way, including taxes; fares from both Los Angeles and Oakland start from $199 one-way, including taxes. Launch fares to Copenhagen from Oakland start at $179 one-way, including taxes. All fares are now available for sale on Norwegian’s website, Norwegian.com/us. Additionally, the website’s low fare calendar displays the lowest available fares to all of Norwegian’s destinations.

The lowest fares in Norwegian’s Premium Cabin to Barcelona from New York/Newark start at $649 one-way including taxes; Premium fares from both Los Angeles and Oakland start at $849 one-way including taxes. Premium service includes a dedicated check-in counter, additional luggage allowance, fast track security, lounge access, priority boarding, sleeper seats, all meals and drinks.

“We welcome this initiative of Norwegian which is undoubtedly an important development in connectivity with Spain and a qualitative leap in regards to the U.S. West Coast, where San Francisco will be connected for the first time with an airport in Spain. These new routes from Barcelona will allow the continuing growth of more than two digits experienced by the outbound US tourism traveling to Spain in the last two years. Spain is recognized and loved by many Americans for its history, culture, gastronomy and people, so we are convinced that the flow of Americans traveling to our country will continue to increase. Norwegian has made a wise decision that will surely benefit Spain’s tourism. Our most sincere congratulations,” said Elisa Sainz, Consul for Tourism Affairs, Tourist Office of Spain.

Barcelona is the seventh European city with nonstop service to the U.S. in Norwegian’s ever-growing route network. The carrier offers a total 44 routes from the U.S., 37 of which are to Europe and seven are to the French Caribbean. Upcoming routes from the U.S. include Las Vegas to London launching on October 31; Las Vegas to Oslo launching on November 1; and Fort Lauderdale to Guadeloupe launching on December 17.

Norwegian operates one of the world’s youngest fleets comprised of brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. All long-haul flights include both a Premium and an Economy cabin.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx proposes U.S. airlines and cities for new scheduled service to Havana

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to normalize relations with Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today proposed to select eight U.S. airlines to begin scheduled flights between Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Orlando, and Tampa and Havana as early as this fall. Today’s proposal comes nearly one year after the United States and Cuba reestablished diplomatic relations in July 2015.

“Today we take another important step toward delivering on President Obama’s promise to reengage Cuba,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Restoring regular air service holds tremendous potential to reunite Cuban American families and foster education and opportunities for American businesses of all sizes.”

A dozen U.S. airlines applied for the chance to operate scheduled passenger and cargo service to Havana. Collectively, the airlines applied for nearly 60 flights per day to Havana, exceeding the 20 daily flights made available by arrangement between the two governments. The Department’s principal objective in making its proposed selections was to maximize public benefits, including choosing airlines that offered and could maintain the best ongoing service between the U.S. and Havana.

The airlines receiving the tentative awards are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines.

DOT’s proposal allocates nonstop Havana service to areas of substantial Cuban-American population, as well as to important aviation hub cities.

The Department’s process of selecting carriers offers an opportunity to present the public with a wide array of travel choices in the type of airline (network, low-cost, ultra-low-cost); choices of airport; and choices of non-stop or connecting service. The DOT’s proposed selections would simultaneously address service needs while promoting competition.

On February 16, 2016, Secretary Foxx and Department of State Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin signed an arrangement with their Cuban counterparts opening the way for scheduled air service between the two countries to resume after more than 50 years. This new arrangement will facilitate visits for travelers that fall under one of 12 categories authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. At the time of the signing, the administration announced that scheduled service would begin later in 2016.

Under the arrangement, each country may operate up to 20 daily roundtrip flights between the U.S. and Havana. The arrangement also provides each country with the opportunity to operate up to 10 daily roundtrip flights between the U.S. and each of Cuba’s nine international airports, other than Havana, for a total of 90 daily roundtrips. DOT announced the approval of six U.S. airlines’ applications to serve cities other than Havana on June 10.

Six airlines approved to open scheduled services from the U.S. to Cuba

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved six domestic airlines to begin scheduled flights between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis/St. Paul and Cuba as early as this fall.

“Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to ‘begin a new journey’ with the Cuban people,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century.”

On February 16, 2016, Secretary Foxx and Department of State Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin signed a non-legally-binding arrangement to re-establish scheduled air service between the two countries. At the time of the signing, the administration announced that scheduled service would begin later in 2016.

The carriers receiving the awards are American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines.

The five U.S. cities that will receive new scheduled service to Cuba are Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Philadelphia. The nine Cuban cities are Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Santiago de Cuba.

Under the new arrangement, each country has the opportunity to operate up to 10 daily roundtrip flights between the U.S. and each of Cuba’s nine international airports, other than Havana, for a total of 90 daily roundtrips. Longer term, the arrangement also provides for up to 20 daily roundtrip flights between the U.S. and Havana. Collectively, U.S. carriers have requested nearly 60 flights per day to Havana, thus requiring DOT to select from among the proposals. A decision on the Havana routes will be announced later this summer.

Singapore Airlines to re-launch nonstop service to U.S.

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is to launch non-stop flights between Singapore and San Francisco and will add a second daily service to Los Angeles in an expansion of its US operations.

The non-stop Singapore-San Francisco flights will be operated on a daily basis with effect from 23 October 2016 using Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

SIA currently serves San Francisco twice-daily, with one flight operating via Hong Kong and the other via Seoul Incheon. With the launch of non-stop Singapore-San Francisco services, the Singapore-Seoul-San Francisco flight will be re-routed to operate as a Singapore-Seoul-Los Angeles service, also from 23 October 2016. This will result in a second daily service to Los Angeles, complementing existing flights that operate on a Singapore-Tokyo Narita-Los Angeles routing.

Flying time for the new Singapore-San Francisco services will be between 14:35hrs and 17:45hrs depending on direction and time of year, over a journey of around 13,600km. They will be the longest flights in SIA’s network until 2018, when a new variant of the A350-900 will enter service, enabling even longer flights between Singapore and both Los Angeles and New York. SIA is the launch customer for the new variant, the A350-900ULR, with seven of the type on order.

“Our customers have been asking us to offer more U.S. services and we are pleased to be able to do so. With new non-stop San Francisco flights and the increase in frequency to Los Angeles, customers will have two flights to choose from each day to both of these popular US West Coast destinations,” said Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Lee Wen Fen.

SIA has at the same time taken the decision to suspend services to Sao Paulo in Brazil as a result of the sustained weak performance of the route. SIA operates three weekly flights to Sao Paulo via Barcelona and the last flight will be operated on 20 October 2016. Services between Singapore and Barcelona will continue to be operated.

The A350-900 is able to operate non-stop San Francisco flights on a year-round basis, although depending on headwinds there will be some payload restrictions which will result in some seats not being offered for sale. The aircraft is configured with 253 seats in Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class.

Flights will be conveniently timed to depart Singapore in the morning, also arriving in San Francisco in the morning to enable onward connections to other destinations. Return flights from San Francisco will also depart in the morning, arriving in Singapore in the early evening.

In addition to San Francisco and Los Angeles, SIA’s US network includes flights to Houston via Moscow and New York JFK via Frankfurt.

United Airlines begins San Francisco - Singapore nonstop service

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

United Airlines today launches the only nonstop flights between the United States and Singapore using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to operate the service from the airline's San Francisco Pacific-gateway hub. The nonstop flights connecting the two financial and tech centers will save travelers up to four hours' journey time each way compared with one-stop service.

Measured by distance, the new route between San Francisco and Singapore is the longest scheduled 787 flight operated by any airline, and the longest scheduled flight operated by any U.S. carrier, at 8,446 miles.

"Our nonstop service between San Francisco and Singapore further enhances our already unprecedented trans-Pacific route network and builds an even stronger gateway to the Pacific from our San Francisco hub," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer. "These flights will offer our customers unique nonstop convenience when traveling to Singapore from the West Coast, with dozens of one-stop options from other cities across the Americas, including more than 26 that did not have one-stop service to Singapore before."

"Singapore offers a unique Asian experience where distinct cultures – Chinese, Malay, Indian & Eurasian – come together to form a rich tapestry of diverse experiences," said Kershing Goh, regional director, Americas, Singapore Tourism Board. "Singapore is now more accessible than ever with United's nonstop flight, and its rapid progress as an innovative and forward-looking destination will leave visitors inspired by the possibilities of what's to come.

"From the moment they step off the plane, visitors will be awestruck by the futuristic cityscapes, enticed by the exotic smells of our ethnic cuisines, enchanted with the lush greenery and wowed by the unique spirit and soul of the Singaporean people. Singapore should be on every globetrotter's list of top destinations."

United Flight 1 will depart San Francisco at 10:55 p.m. daily, arriving at Singapore's Changi Airport at 6:15 a.m. two days later (all times local). On the return, Flight 2 will depart Singapore at 8:45 a.m. daily, arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 9:15 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be approximately 16 hours, 20 minutes westbound and 15 hours, 30 minutes eastbound.

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