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In route news this week, Singapore Airlines announces a new U.S. gateway; United will extend is SFO-Tahiti route and offer new summer SFO-Alaska service; United pushes for another Shanghai flight; Southwest revises its Bay Area schedules this weekend; California Pacific starts San Jose flights; Delta unveils three new domestic routes; Air Canada and WestJet enter new transborder markets; Singapore Air takes off from LAX nonstop to SIA; one airline adds a Mumbai route while another cancels one; and Norwegian eliminates a destination from the northeast.

Let’s start by updating a couple of items we covered last week. First, we said reports from southeast Asia hinted that Singapore Airlines had its eye on Seattle as a new U.S. destination, and this week the airline confirmed it. Singapore said it will begin flying between Singapore and Seattle on September 3 of next year, starting with three fights a week and increasing to four in October. It will use an Airbus A350-900 – not one of its ultra-long-range, two-class ULR planes, but a standard A350-900 with business class, premium economy and regular economy seating. There’s currently no non-stop service in the market – in fact, there’s none from Seattle to any airport in southeast Asia. The new flight will take 15 hours and 50 minutes, the airline tells us, saving travelers almost six hours off the current code-sharing and connecting options between the two cities. It will steal the title of “longest nonstop from Seattle” from Emirates’ nonstop to Dubai.

Second, we mentioned last week that United was launching its new San Francisco-Papeete, Tahiti 787-8 flights on October 30, and it did. And here’s a new development – the airline was planning to operate that route through the winter season only, but now it will fly it year-round, extending its three-days-a-week schedule beyond its former March 30 cutoff date, with flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. At a launch event at SFO, United executives said that the route was extended to year-round service based on “consumer demand and community support” for the flight. See slideshow at the top of this post for a look at how United sent off its first 787 to Papeete. Interested in going? Fares running as low as $618 round trip this winter on both United and French Bee. Flight time is 8-9 hours.

Also at San Francisco, United is planning to offer seasonal service to Fairbanks, Alaska next summer, operating three flights a week with a 737-800 from June 6 through August 18. The carrier will also offer Denver-Fairbanks flights four days a week during that same period.

This week United stated its intentions to add a second daily nonstop from its New York/Newark hub to Shanghai Pudong starting in June 2020. United CEO Oscar Munoz say the additional flight will be added “in response to the demand for travel between each country’s financial center, which has grown annually for the last several years.” If approved, United will deploy a Boeing 777-200 on the route, allowing it to offer both morning and afternoon departures.

November 4 is the date when Southwest Airlines switches over to the revised Bay Area schedule that it announced back in June. At San Francisco International, Southwest is eliminating its three daily flights to Portland and to Orange County, but it is increasing frequencies to both of those cities from Mineta San Jose – boosting SJC-Portland from six flights a day to eight, and SJC-Orange County from 10 a day to 12. Southwest is also kicking off new San Jose-Tucson service six days a week.

Elsewhere in California, Southwest said it will add non-stop service six days a week from Burbank to Chicago Midway and to Houston Hobby, and weekly Sunday service from Sacramento to Philadelphia, all starting November 4.

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California Pacific, that new little airline based in Carlsbad, California, started flying this week to San Jose and Reno, using 50-seat ERJ 145s. Flights from SJC to Carlsbad operate six days a week with southbound departures at 8:45 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. Carlsbad-Reno service is offered four days a week, and the airline plans to add Carlsbad-Las Vegas and Carlsbad-Phoenix service on November 15. For details, go to (Based on the images on its website, California Pacific appears to be targeting future routes to Denver as well as Watertown and Pierre, South Dakota.) Its base at Carlsbad’s McClellan-Palomar Airport is about 50 minutes north of San Diego.

Photo: SJC
The first California Pacific E145 flight at Mineta San Jose gets a tug

As major carriers continue to firm up their 2019 domestic network plans, Delta just announced three new routes for next year. On June 17, it will begin daily service between Sacramento and its Detroit hub, using a 737-800. The eastbound segment will be a red-eye, departing Sacramento at 10:50 p.m. On June 16, Delta kicks off new daily flights between its Salt Lake City hub and Columbus, Ohio, using an A319. And June 20 is the launch date for daily service between Delta’s Minneapolis/St. Paul hub and Charleston, S.C.

Air Canada this week started new seasonal service on two transborder routes, offering daily Air Canada Rouge A319 flights from Edmonton to Las Vegas, and daily Calgary-Palm Springs roundtrips with an A320. Both routes will continue through April 30. Meanwhile, Delta’s Canadian codeshare partner WestJet said that on March 3, it will introduce the only non-stop service between Calgary and Atlanta, starting with six flights a week and increasing to daily frequencies on April 7.

On Friday, Singapore Airlines launched nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Singapore, the company’s third U.S. nonstop flight announcement in the past three weeks. The airline will use an Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft on the 8,763-mile route with a scheduled flight duration of 17 hours and 50 minutes, making it one of the world’s longest nonstop journeys. Flight SQ37 took off from LAX last night sporting a two-class layout, with 94 Premium Economy Class seats, as well as 67 Business Class seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. (It’s the same plane type used on the Newark-Singapore nonstops.) TravelSkills correspondent Tim Jue is onboard the flight and will write up a review of the experience in coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Photo: Tim Jue
To celebrate LAX-Singapore nonstops, Singapore Air offered this lovely “gate cake” to all passengers before take off.

In other Air Canada news, the carrier apparently will discontinue its Toronto-Mumbai flights after March 29, according to, instead of operating four flights a week during the summer as previously planned. Maybe some of that slack will be picked up by Air India on the New York JFK-Mumbai route, where it plans to resume service (after an eight-year absence) on December 7, using a 777-300ER to fly the route three days a week.

Finally, Norwegian continues to fine-tune its transatlantic operations by scaling back more of its service between the northeastern U.S. and Scotland/Ireland. In the latest change, the budget carrier will eliminate Edinburgh from that network on March 30 when it discontinues flights there from Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. This week, Norwegian ended its seasonal Providence-Edinburgh service with no plans to resume it next year.

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Chris McGinnis is the founder of The author is solely responsible for the content above, and it is used here by permission. You can reach Chris at [email protected] or on Twitter @cjmcginnis.

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