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Earlier this month we looked at new flight connections within Europe for 2011. We now follow up with a review of new transatlantic links for summer 2011. A raft of new routes creates many new opportunities for North Americans looking for creative itineraries to and around Europe.
New routes from California
California gets its first-ever direct link to Spain, with Iberia now offering a thrice-weekly service from Los Angeles to Madrid. During the summer peak (from July to September) an extra flight will push the weekly schedules up to four each way.
Also in California, British Airways returns to San Diego on June 1 after a gap of eight years with a daily non-stop flight to London Heathrow.
From the Pacific Northwest
Seattle gets a welcome boost in late June as leisure airline Condor (part of the Thomas Cook group) launches twice-weekly services to Frankfurt. For travelers north of the border, Condor will also offer a new twice-weekly flight from Calgary to Frankfurt. This brings to four the number of Condor’s routes from Canada to Germany. The others are Halifax, Vancouver and Whitehorse.
Yes, you really can fly direct from the Yukon to Europe. And not just with Condor, for Swiss carrier Edelweiss Air will this summer launch a wholly new route with a weekly flight that will operate a Zürich – Whitehorse – Anchorage – Zürich routing.
New links from NYC and Chicago
American Airlines offers two new transatlantic services this season. First off the blocks was a new daily New York JFK to Budapest service which started earlier this month. AA will follow up with a daily Chicago to Helsinki link from June 1. And there is more competition on the New York to Berlin route this summer, with Air Berlin offering a new service from next month.
Newark Airport in New Jersey is a big winner in the 2011 schedules. Continental will launch a new Stuttgart link in June, while SAS has just started a daily flight to Oslo.
Florida: Seven new transatlantic routes
From Florida, Iberia has launched a direct service to Barcelona. The Spanish carrier started the new thrice-weekly link on March 29 (complementing the existing Miami to Madrid service). Also in the Florida market, Air France will offer Orlando to Paris from June, while Delta has started flying the busy Miami to London Heathrow route.
From June, TAP will offer a new direct Miami to Lisbon service. Dutch carrier ArkeFly will inaugurate scheduled services from two Florida airports, Miami and Sanford, to Amsterdam in June. Edelweiss will offer a new Orlando to Zürich route from early July to mid-September.
Direct from Charlotte
US Airways introduce two seasonal services to Europe from its Charlotte hub in early May with direct flights to both Dublin and Madrid.
Sun Country…. or Uzbek Airlines?
The quirkiest new route across the Atlantic comes from Minnesota-based budget carrier Sun Country Airlines which last year experimented with a few flights from Minneapolis to London Stansted. Next month Sun Country starts a more ambitious transatlantic program with weekly flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul to London Gatwick airport. The flights will make an en-route technical stop in Gander (Newfoundland).
But truly dedicated devotees of oddball air routes will surely opt not for any of this season’s new services but for the long-standing weekly Uzbek Airlines direct flight from New York to Riga. There is, in our view, no more eccentric way to jet across the Atlantic.