The ten finest new airline routes of 2023

One other yr has come and gone, and boy was this was a busy one for airline community planners throughout the nation and around the globe.

From new routes to far-flung locations like Christchurch, New Zealand, to industrial airline service returning to Delaware, airways added many new dots and contours to their route maps in 2023.

After all, not all had been profitable — simply take a look at American Airways’ huge retreat in Austin — nor had been all of them noteworthy sufficient for a narrative.

However as we mirror again on 2023, TPG’s aviation group voted on the highest 10 new routes that had been both introduced or commenced this yr.

With out additional adieu, listed below are the winners.


Avelo’s Wilmington service

Earlier this yr, there was only one U.S. state with out industrial air service: Delaware. Native vacationers needed to drive to close by cities like Philadelphia or Baltimore to catch a flight.

However that modified when airline startup Avelo entered the market with a sequence of routes from Wilmington Airport (ILG). A few of them have since been suspended, however Delaware vacationers can nonetheless go to a slew of locations from Wilmington, together with Orlando, Tampa and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Earlier than Avelo’s entry earlier this yr, Delaware hadn’t had air service since June 2022, when Frontier Airways retreated from the market, Cirium schedules present.

Atlantic Airways to the Faroe Islands

Most readers have most likely by no means heard of Atlantic Airways, however the airline gave New York its first-ever flights to the Faroe Islands this summer season season.

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The three,024-mile service, which operated seasonally as soon as per week from August to October, was flown on an Atlantic Airbus A320neo.

The Faroe Islands are within the North Atlantic Ocean and have traditionally had restricted air service as a result of Danish territory’s distant location. Vagar Airport (FAE) is the territory’s solely airport, and it serves the capital of Torshavn, the biggest metropolis within the Faroe Islands.

Atlantic Airways flew there from New York’s “different” airport — Stewart Worldwide Airport (SWF) — and there isn’t any telling but if the flights will return for an additional season.

New Tulum airport

Maybe no airport obtained as a lot consideration in 2023 as the brand new worldwide airport in Tulum, Mexico, which formally opened on Dec. 1, 2023.

U.S. airways have been busy making ready their Tulum schedules, and Delta Air Strains was the primary to announce service there from its Atlanta hub. American, JetBlue, Spirit Airways and United Airways have all adopted up with their very own route bulletins, and Air Canada even joined in on the enjoyable, too.

The brand new Tulum airport makes it dramatically simpler and extra handy to go to Tulum, permitting you to skip the prolonged and expensive drive from Cancun.

San Antonio will get Europe flights


Each midsized U.S. airport goals of getting a flight to Europe.

Final yr, St. Louis was reconnected with Europe because of Lufthansa, and this yr, San Antonio obtained the faucet from Condor.

The German leisure provider Condor will begin flights between San Antonio and Frankfurt subsequent yr. “Now we have arrived on the world stage,” the San Antonio mayor claimed, exhibiting how necessary the flight is for the town.

United’s Pacific enlargement

Of all of the U.S. airways, United has the largest wide-body fleet and essentially the most bold plans to cowl its route map with pins from all throughout the globe.

This yr, the provider’s long-haul progress technique turned a brand new web page: It boosted service throughout the Pacific and launched two new routes to cities which may not have been in your 2023 bingo card — Manila, Philippines, and Christchurch, New Zealand.

These cities may not have been apparent decisions, however because the provider leans into world progress, I would anticipate extra pins in smaller locales.

Turf conflict in San Diego

Alaska Airways isn’t any stranger to a turf conflict, and this yr, the airline picked a battle in two markets.

Most notably, the airline launched flights between San Diego and Washington, D.C., in June.

Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD) is a key hub for United Airways, and the incumbent clearly did not like Alaska’s transfer. United retaliated by including a fourth each day flight available in the market, operated by its high-density Boeing 777, flooding the market with further capability.

Each airways are nonetheless duking it out on this 2,700-mile route, so we’ll have to attend till 2024 to see whether or not Alaska folds or United accepts the brand new competitor.

(Alaska’s different new transcontinental route from Portland, Oregon, to Miami additionally sparked a turf conflict with American Airways, which operates a hub in South Florida. American determined so as to add new Miami to Portland service simply days after Alaska’s announcement.)

Starlux involves the U.S.


The launch of a brand new airline is at all times thrilling, particularly when it claims to be a “luxurious provider.”

It seems Taipei-based Starlux Airways is the actual deal, providing vacationers a top-notch expertise in first-class, enterprise class, premium economic system and economic system onboard its flagship Airbus A350.

Starlux inaugurated U.S. service to Los Angeles in April and adopted up with service to San Francisco this month. Seattle service can also be slated to begin subsequent yr.

Delta to Taipei

Delta introduced earlier this month that it would return to Taiwan for the primary time in seven years.

This time round, Delta will function its Taiwan flights nonstop from the U.S., with each day year-round service from the airline’s Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport (SEA) hub beginning on June 6, 2024.

Delta hasn’t served Taiwan since Might 2017, when the airline used to fly there from its now-shuttered Pacific gateway hub at Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT). Clients might fly Delta to Tokyo after which join onwards on Delta planes to Taipei.

Qantas will get nearer to the world’s longest flight

For years, Qantas has been speaking about dethroning Singapore Airways because the record-holder for the world’s longest recurrently scheduled industrial flight.

Qantas has lengthy stated that it needs to function roughly 10,000-mile nonstops from Sydney to each London and New York. That dream got here one step nearer to actuality this yr.

The provider launched service from Sydney to New York through Auckland (following Air New Zealand’s lead final yr), and it unveiled the business-class cabins that vacationers can anticipate on these so-called “Venture Dawn” flights slated to begin in late 2025.

American leans into Europe


American is getting inventive with the launch of three new long-haul locations in Europe subsequent summer season: Copenhagen; Naples, Italy; and Good, France.

All three of those locations might be served from Philadelphia, which hasn’t seen a lot thrilling transatlantic progress from American lately.

In truth, American’s long-haul playbook in recent times has largely been to double down on serving main European cities and key Oneworld connecting hubs, similar to London and Madrid.

This new Philly-to-Europe service will hopefully be a harbinger of what is to come back for American — giving flyers extra nonstop locations throughout the globe.

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