20 airlines to start 28 new Transatlantic routes in 2011; summer capacity up 4.1%; Delta still on top

May 1: airberlin begins four-times weekly flights from Berlin Tegel to New York JFK, while American Airlines simultaneously began non-stop services from Chicago O’Hare to Helsinki – just two of almost 30 new transatlantic services expected to start in 2011.

The transatlantic market between Europe and the USA (and Canada) continues to generate many new services – according to anna.aero’s proprietary New Route Database almost 30 new transatlantic services have already been started or are expected to start in 2011, to be operated by 20 airlines. The following table summarises the new routes sorted by airline name.

Launch Airline From To WF
7 June 2011 Air France Paris CDG (CDG) Orlando (MCO) 3
15 May 2011 Air Transat Montreal (YUL) Istanbul (IST) 1
1 May 2011 airberlin Berlin Tegel (TXL) New York JFK (JFK) 4
5 April 2011 American Airlines New York JFK (JFK) Budapest (BUD) 7
1 May 2011 American Airlines Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Helsinki (HEL) 7
24 June 2011 Arkefly Amsterdam (AMS) Orlando Sanford (SFB) 2
1 June 2011 British Airways London Heathrow (LHR) San Diego (SAN) 7
23 June 2011 Condor Frankfurt (FRA) Seattle (SEA) 2
24 June 2011 Condor Frankfurt (FRA) Calgary (YYC) 2
9 June 2011 Continental Newark (EWR) Stuttgart (STR) 7
10 June 2011 Continental Washington Dulles (IAD) Paris CDG (CDG) 7
26 March 2011 Delta Boston (BOS) London Heathrow (LHR) 14
26 March 2011 Delta Miami (MIA) London Heathrow (LHR) 7
1 June 2011 Delta New York JFK (JFK) Reykjavik (KEF) 7
28 March 2011 Iberia Madrid (MAD) Los Angeles (LAX) 4
29 March 2011 Iberia Barcelona (BCN) Miami (MIA) 3
10 June 2011 Iceland Express Reykjavik (KEF) Chicago O’Hare (ORD) 1
13 June 2011 Iceland Express Reykjavik (KEF) Boston (BOS) 4
17 May 2011 Icelandair Reykjavik (KEF) Washington Dulles (IAD) 4
21 March 2011 KLM Amsterdam (AMS) Miami (MIA) 4
29 March 2011 SAS Oslo (OSL) Newark (EWR) 7
27 May 2011 Sun Country Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP) London Gatwick (LGW) 1
6 June 2011 TAP Portugal Lisbon (LIS) Miami (MIA) 5
3 March 2011 Turkish Airlines Istanbul (IST) Los Angeles (LAX) 4
14 May 2011 US Airways Charlotte (CLT) Dublin (DUB) 7
13 May 2011 US Airways Charlotte (CLT) Madrid (MAD) 7
3 April 2011 Virgin Atlantic Manchester (MAN) Las Vegas (LAS) 2
26 May 2011 XL Airways France Paris CDG (CDG) Las Vegas (LAS) 2
Source: anna.aero new route database, OAG, airline websites
WF: Weekly frequency

In addition to these new services, a few other routes have been started over the winter season, including airberlin between Berlin Tegel and Miami, Transaero from Moscow Domodedovo to New York JFK and Miami, and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Washington.

However, a few routes have also been dropped, including LOT’s services to the US from Krakow and Rzeszow, American’s seasonal Chicago to Frankfurt service, Continental’s Newark service to Bristol, US Airways’ seasonal Philadelphia to Oslo service and Air India’s ‘scissor hub’ routes from Frankfurt to Chicago and Newark.

In addition to the new routes in the table above, Canadian charter operator Sunwing Airlines appears to be starting seasonal transatlantic services from mid-June from Toronto to Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, Paris, Porto and Rome.

Planned capacity currently up 4% in August

Comparing OAG schedule data for the first week in August 2011 with that of 2010 reveals that transatlantic capacity (between Europe and US/Canada) is up 4.1% to an estimated 920,000 weekly one-way seats. Aircraft movements will also be up almost 5% suggesting the use of slightly smaller aircraft on average.

Not surprisingly, the leading country-pair market is between the UK and the US. It is 80% larger than the Germany – US market, which in turn is 40% bigger than the France – US market. Three Canadian country-pair markets rank in the top 12.

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010 and w/c 1 August 2011

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010 and w/c 1 August 2011

For the second year running, the USA to Spain market has seen double-digit capacity growth despite Spain’s historically deep recession, in part thanks to Iberia’s two new routes started this summer from Barcelona to Miami, and Madrid to Los Angeles.

Delta still #1 but complaining about overcapacity

The combined transatlantic capacity for the ‘new’ United (including Continental) fall just short of the figure for Delta, leaving Delta as the #1 transatlantic carrier at present. However, it has been reported that the airline blames a significant part of its poor Q1 financial performance on an oversupplied transatlantic market, where it grew capacity by 16% in the first quarter compared with a year ago. Based on current schedule data, Delta’s peak August capacity is up a more modest 3.2%.

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010 and w/c 1 August 2011

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010 and w/c 1 August 2011

The fastest-growing airline among the top 12 in the transatlantic market appears to be KLM where capacity this summer is up 11%. Some of this can be attributed to the introduction of a new Miami service that began in March, but there are also frequency (and hence capacity) increases to Toronto, and capacity increases to Atlanta.

New pax taxes impact Germans more than Brits

The introduction of an ‘eco-tax’ in Germany this year has added €40 per person to a flight to the USA, and last November saw an increase of 33% in Air Passenger Duty (APD) in the UK from £45 to £60 ($100) for flights to the US. This appears to have curtailed growth in the US-Germany market (notwithstanding airberlin’s best efforts), but seems to have had little impact on the UK market, at least in capacity terms. According to UK CAA data for the first three months of 2011, passenger numbers between the UK and USA are up just 0.5%, having risen 2.5% in January, fallen 1.4% in February and been up just 0.2% in March.


  1. Alan says:

    Condor also started service to Fort Lauderdale, FL from Frankfurt, 2x per week.

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