US airlines are planning a surge in domestic widebody routes amid rebounding demand in the country this summer. American and Delta Air Lines are leading the charge on twin-aisle domestic flights, bringing out jets like the 787 and A330neo. Let’s find out more about these airlines’ summer schedules.
According to CNBC, American Airlines, Delta, and United are all planning widebody domestic operations. With international demand still abysmally low, airlines have found domestic demand as the path towards an eventual recovery. Considering that domestic leisure demand has almost bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, the big three are sensing an opportunity to boost capacity on some interesting routes.
American Airlines is planning to use its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on routes like Philidelphia to Orlando, Chicago to Orlando, Las Vegas to Miami, and several others. The aircraft features 285 seats in a three-class layout and is usually found on routes like Los Angeles to Sydney, Dallas to Shanghai, and more.
Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines is planning to deploy its internationally-equipped Boeing 767s on several domestic routes. Based in Atlanta, the jets will fly to Las Vegas, San Diego, and Denver, as well as Delta’s hub in Minneapolis.
Additionally, the carrier is also planning to deploy some of its A330s out of Hawaii. The widebody will fly from the Pacific island to Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, and even shorter flights like Twin Cities to Phoenix. The changes come as Delta recently overtook United as the largest US domestic widebody airline.
In addition to the schedules above, Delta is also deploying a special aircraft on the high-profile transcontinental route: the Airbus A330neo. While this aircraft is usually reserved for some of the most popular international destinations like Amsterdam, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo, it is now found itself in transcon market.
According to The Points Guy, the A330neo will fly routes like JFK to Seattle and Detroit to Seattle later this year. This would be the first time the airline deploys these flagship jets, which feature the full Delta One suites.
The aircraft features 281 seats in a three-class layout, with 29 in Delta One, 56 Comfort+, and finally 168 in economy. Keep an eye out for this aircraft if you’re crossing the country this summer!
After a crushing 12 months for US airlines, most are hoping that this summer kickstarts the much-awaited recovery. The country has seen a steady uptake of vaccinations, allowing millions to travel under new CDC guidelines. Despite some cancelations over the summer, airlines are now prepared for a strong schedule in the coming months. If this materializes remains to be seen.
What do you think about the deployment of widebodies of domestic routes? Will airlines find the yields they are looking for?