TPG’s 9 favourite new airline routes of 2023, as nominated by the aviation workforce

As we shut out the yr, the TPG workforce is trying again in any respect the large journey bulletins from 2023.

This consists of going by way of the near-constant stream of route-map updates unveiled by airways all over the world.

We have already rounded up the highest 10 greatest new airline routes of the yr, and now the TPG aviation workforce — comprised of senior aviation editor Ben Mutzabaugh, senior aviation enterprise reporter David Slotnick and senior reporter Zach Griff — has compiled its private favourite new flights.

Need extra airline-specific information? Join TPG’s free biweekly Aviation e-newsletter.

Right here they’re.

Icelandair: Pittsburgh to Reykjavik

Okay, I will admit up entrance: It is a nostalgia play. I’ve lengthy had a smooth spot for Pittsburgh Worldwide Airport (PIT).

The airport was the primary hub I flew by way of in my late teenagers and early twenties again when it was nonetheless a hub (and a cutting-edge one, at that). I’ve recollections of bouncy Sprint 8 turboprop flights ferrying me from the small airport in State Faculty, Pennsylvania, to PIT — the place connections to the world awaited. It was a fantastic place to attach.

Its “AirMall” idea, launched in 1992 as PIT opened a glowing new terminal, pioneered the retail and meals expertise now commonplace in U.S. airports. After arriving at PIT, I linked to nonstops all throughout the nation. My first abroad flight was from Pittsburgh — USAir’s nonstop to Frankfurt.

However the 2000s weren’t sort to PIT. USAir, which had rebranded as US Airways by then, struggled by way of a number of bankruptcies and finally dropped PIT as a hub. The airport’s lineup of European nonstops — as soon as a supply of delight for a metropolis the dimensions of Pittsburgh — dried up. The airport’s home flight schedule additionally shrank dramatically as US Airways struggled to remain afloat and made reduce after reduce in Pittsburgh.

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Lately, nevertheless, PIT has had a resurgence, specializing in native demand and rebuilding its home schedules throughout numerous airways. With renewed stability and progress, the airport prioritized the return of abroad flights. There have been some wins, equivalent to British Airways returning in 2019 with nonstops to London. Others have come and gone.

This brings us to Icelandair’s new nonstops from PIT to its hub in Reykjavik. For me, the story behind the route will be simply as thrilling because the route itself. So, whereas Icelandair’s arrival to PIT could not appear excessive profile, it retains Pittsburgh linked with a second transatlantic route and lets me hold my recollections of the airport’s glory days alive.

— Ben

JSX’s service to Boca Raton


I grew up simply beneath the flight path for arrivals into Florida’s Boca Raton Airport (BCT). Whereas the airport has solely been used for normal aviation, I used to be shocked after I noticed JSX announce earlier this yr that it would launch two new winter seasonal companies to Boca from Westchester County, New York, and Morristown, New Jersey.

JSX would not function like a standard airline, and the provider’s public air constitution mannequin means you possibly can present up simply 20 minutes earlier than your flight and benefit from the comfort of departing from FBOs or fastened base operators. (JSX gives free drinks and snacks, in addition to high-speed Starlink Wi-Fi.)

Behind the scenes: Touring JSX’s ultra-spacious 1-1-configured jet

I might like to attempt considered one of JSX’s new flights, although the fares — beginning at round $1,000 — are fairly steep.

— Zach

United’s new transpacific crossings


I discover United’s present worldwide technique fascinating. The airline is taking an enormous threat by betting closely on continued premium worldwide leisure demand by way of the remainder of the last decade. It thinks it could construct a few of that demand by launching service to locations that may not be intuitive or have sturdy enterprise demand, however may have sturdy attraction to vacationers and people touring to go to family and friends overseas.

To that finish, Manila, Philippines, and Christchurch, New Zealand, each signify that plan. Manila has demand from Filipino Individuals visiting kinfolk and vacationers trying to discover the islands throughout the Philippines.

Christchurch, in the meantime, is generally a pure leisure play. The route supplies direct entry from the continental U.S. to New Zealand’s South Island with its unbelievable landscapes and journey alternatives. This makes it extra accessible — and subsequently extra interesting — to vacationers deciding on a trip spot.

Excessive-end competitors: United will ship its poshest aircraft on a brand new flight to Italy

Solely time will inform if United can hold these routes worthwhile and if the broader technique will play out. For now, it is enjoyable to see the place on the earth the airline plans to go subsequent.

— David

JetBlue: New York to Paris

JetBlue has been busy constructing out its transatlantic community, however no route has been extra thrilling to me than its new service to Paris.

Other than the truth that one can by no means go to Paris an excessive amount of, JetBlue’s posh Airbus A321LR jets and stylish nice eating are nice methods to reach or depart from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).

Higher but, JetBlue’s fares through the offseason are amongst a number of the least expensive within the aggressive set, supplying you with much more motive to attempt the airline’s fledging transatlantic companies.

— Zach

New flights to Tulum

It is not typically you see a very new worldwide airport open, however that is precisely what occurred this month in Tulum, Mexico.

To go to the beautiful seashores and historic Mayan ruins of Tulum, vacationers beforehand has to fly to Cancun and journey two hours by floor — both by renting a automobile, hiring a taxi or taking a bus.

With the opening of Tulum Worldwide Airport (TQO), vacationers can skip the drive and fly proper into the Yucatan Peninsula vacationer sizzling spot.

The airport was initially slated to open this spring, however AeroMexico and VivaAerobus started flying there this month. For now, flights are all from places in Mexico, with connections in Mexico Metropolis doable for vacationers coming from the U.S.

5 U.S. carriers — American, Delta, JetBlue, United and Spirit — start flying to Tulum from numerous home airports in March 2024, so it will likely be thrilling to see this new airport develop.

— David

A coast-to-coast turf conflict

I have been masking the airline trade since 2002 and have lined extra storylines than I can keep in mind. I’ve loved most of them, however few are as enjoyable as an excellent old style turf conflict. Some turf wars are a simple tit-for-tat back-and-forth, however one of the best ones are these the place one airline makes fully over-the-top retaliation to a rival’s unwelcome incursion.

The 2000s and early 2010s could have been the high-water mark for these aviation grudge matches. A lot of them concerned Northwest, maybe probably the most vicious of the day for retaliating towards carriers including new routes to its hubs.

We do not see these as a lot nowadays, however one new route that wakened some echoes got here after Alaska Airways introduced new nonstop service between San Diego Worldwide Airport (SAN) and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD). The latter, after all, is a hub for United Airways — and it did not wait to answer Alaska’s encroachment.

A earlier turf conflict: Alaska Airways defends its residence turf in latest spat with Delta

United already served the route with three day by day flights of its personal, however — only a week after Alaska’s announcement — United stated it might add a fourth day by day flight on the route. That is not all: United determined to fly that further IAD-SAN flight with a 364-seat Boeing 777-200. That is the highest-capacity aircraft in United’s fleet, and utilizing it for the additional flight is a shocking alternative for positive.

Usually, this route would not make my record of most enjoyable new routes, however the palace intrigue behind the turf conflict was sufficient for me. I am curious to see how this competitors performs out in 2024.

— Ben

American: Philadelphia to New York

After (quickly) shifting to Philly this yr, I have been spending extra time driving the Amtrak than ever earlier than. (I even earned Amtrak Visitor Rewards Choose Plus elite standing for the primary time in my life.) However when my journey plans name for a visit to Lengthy Island or a flight from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK), taking the Amtrak to New York’s Penn Station is not all the time preferrred.

As a substitute of taking a number of practice connections (which all the time contain lugging baggage up and down flights of stairs), I am thrilled that American introduced again its up-to-three-times-daily service between Philly and LaGuardia this yr.

That is maybe the quickest technique to get to Lengthy Island, and I am hopeful that Philly to JFK service will resume earlier than I return to New York Metropolis. After all, some aviation insiders take into account these flights to be “slot squatting,” however on this case, I am actually not complaining.

— Zach

Avelo’s base in Wilmington, Delaware


Delaware has three many years price of historical past of constructing it onto — after which falling off — the U.S. aviation map. For a lot of the Nineties and into the 2000s, service at Wilmington Airport (ILG) — the state’s solely passenger airport — had been spotty. It endured a number of stretches with no airline service in any respect, giving Delaware the doubtful distinction of being the one state in America with out industrial flights. When it did have service, it was typically on the likes of carriers like Shuttle America and Skybus — the latter a short-lived ultra-low-cost provider that lasted lower than a yr.

Hopes had been maybe highest in 2006 with the arrival of Delta, whose Delta Connection associates provided service to the airline’s hub in Atlanta. Nevertheless, that ended a yr later, once more leaving Delaware with no flights. Funds provider Frontier tried Wilmington twice — as soon as in 2015 and once more in 2020 — however left after comparatively brief stays.

That brings us to Avelo, which introduced that it might make Wilmington its third base and produce airline service again to the state. Will it stick this time? That is the query that led me to place Avelo’s ILG routes on my most fascinating record.

The airline began in February 2023 with 5 routes and now’s as much as 10 which suggests an excellent begin. Let’s test again this time subsequent yr to see the way it’s all going.

— Ben

JetBlue: Boston to Amsterdam

I’ve lived in Boston since 2020, so I am all the time excited to see my new(ish) hometown acquire connectivity and competitors.

JetBlue has continued to develop its transatlantic presence over the previous few years, focusing on in style European locations with traditionally sturdy demand or these that may be served economically with JetBlue’s long-haul, narrow-body A321LR.

Amsterdam is its newest vacation spot, and watching the airline compete with the Delta-KLM three way partnership out of each New York and Boston has been enjoyable. I have never had an opportunity to make the most of the route but, however I am hoping to quickly.

I am additionally excited to see JetBlue launch service to Dublin from Boston and JFK subsequent yr, together with flights from New York to Edinburgh. I went to graduate college in Edinburgh and have a tendency to make it again pretty typically, so I am all the time thrilled to see extra service to the Scottish capital from the Northeast.

— David

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