Travel to Europe should be easier and more convenient next year, as a number of international airlines are adding new routes over the North Atlantic next spring and summer. A notable trend is the addition of nonstop flights from secondary cities, giving consumers in those cities an alternative to connecting through a crowded hub like New York’s JFK. And there will be more direct service to the West Coast, thanks to the advent of more efficient aircraft that make these longer runs more economical.
Among the destinations getting new service from the U.S.:
Great Britain: Next March, American Airlines is launching a new, seasonal flight from Phoenix to London Heathrow.
In April, British Airways is starting flights between Pittsburgh and London, and from Charleston to London – the first nonstop on the route from the South Carolina city.
Also next spring, Virgin Atlantic will start service between Los Angeles to Manchester and is returning to the Boston-Manchester market.
And next summer, Delta is launching flights from Boston to Edinburgh.
Italy: Air Italy, the new branding of Meridiana, has announced the start of new service from Milan to San Francisco and Los Angeles next April. The flights have already attracted controversy; Qatar Airways owns 49% of the Italian carrier, which is reviving complaints by some U.S. carriers that the Middle East airline is gaining an unfair advantage through government subsidies.
And next May, Alitalia is starting its first flights connecting Rome with Washington, D.C.
United Airlines is also upping its service to Italy, with seasonal flights between Newark and Naples, from May 22 through Oct. 4.
France: La Compagnie, (pictured above) the boutique, all-business-class airline flying between Newark and Paris, will add a new route, from Newark to Nice. It will operate from May through October, flying five times a week, from Wednesday through Sunday.
Portugal: TAP Air Portugal will land on the West Coast in June, with new flights connecting San Francisco to Lisbon. The carrier had also announced recently that it will debut in two other U.S. gateways, Chicago, Washington, D.C.; both are also set for early June.
Ireland: Aer Lingus is starting service from Minneapolis St. Paul to Dublin July 8, with daily flights in the summer, decreasing to four a week in the winter months.