Airline notes: American, Piedmont, Frontier & Wilmington Airport parking

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In what could be a positive development coming out of the court-ordered break-up of the regional alliance between Jet Blue, American Airlines is moving a key international flight from New York’s JFK to Philadelphia and adding more service to Europe next summer.

The flight in question goes to and from Doha in the United Arab Emirates and eases fears that American would gradually shift international flights elsewhere. American apparently believes that an inability to feed Jet Blue passengers from JFK into that flight made Philly a better choice.

So far, there’s no indication that Qatar Airways will alter its daily service between Philadelphia and Doha.

Following a federal judge ruling against the Northeast Alliance, Jet Blue decided not to appeal the ruling and will focus on a proposed merger with low-fare carrier Spirit. That deal is also drawing a skeptical response from antitrust officials.

It follows another positive development at PHL – moving flights between Spain and Italy to year-round status.

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More good news came last week when American announced it will add three nonstop international routes to Nice, Naples and Copenhagen in summer 2024. It’s the first time PHL passengers will be able to fly nonstop to the European destinations.  

“American has expressed its commitment to Philadelphia as its transatlantic hub and the addition of these new routes for summer 2024 is proof of that commitment,” said PHL CEO Atif Saeed. “As the only American hub serving Copenhagen, Nice and Naples, PHL looks forward to welcoming both an increased number of international guests, as well as domestic passengers making connections to those amazing cities.”  

Flights to and from Nice and PHL will operate daily from May 6-October 5. The Naples-PHL route will operate daily from June 5-October 25. Service between Copenhagen and Philadelphia will operate daily from June 6-October 5. 
  

The addition of American’s service to Copenhagen, Nice and Naples will bring PHL’s total nonstop service to 29 international year-round and seasonal destinations.

Charlotte remains an attractive hub for American’s domestic and international flights, given the lack of discount competitors with significant market shares.

The number of American flights in Philadelphia remains below pre-Covid levels, partly due to a pilot shortage that led to cutbacks in service from smaller Piedmont and othr regional jets to hubs.

Plenty of parking at Wilmington Airport

Finally, while there are mqny Avelo passengers parking their vehicles at Wilmington Airport, spaces are not jet in short supply

A check of the airport website on Thursday showed upwards of 150 spaces available in the A and B lots near the terminal that run $9.50 a day. A third lot is available, with shuttle service when the other lots fill up. The cost is an economical $7 a day.

You can check on parking here. (Revised link)

Legislation could ground any chance of Reagan-Salisbury service

Speaking of Piedmont, pending legislation could doom already remote chances of service from Salisbury, MD. to Reagan Airport in Virginia, WBOC reported.

The bill would open up more distant routes more from the boxed-in airport, which in most parts of the country have been closed long ago. However, members of Congress and staff love to fly out of the Virginia airport due to its proximity to the Capitol and money has poured in four improvements.

Adding more distant cities would completely close the door on regional service from Salisbury. American Airlines subsidiary Piedmont is based in Salisbury. Its predecessor, Henson, also had its HQ in the Eastern Shore City.

As airlines consolitated, Piedmont Aviation bought Henson, with Piedmont later snapped up by U.S. Airways. U.S. Airways later became part of American Airlines, with the giant carrier keeping the Piedmont name for its regional operation that now employs about 10,0000.

That number would be higher. However, regional airlines are dealing with the above-mentioned pilot shortage.

Piedmont now offers flights from Salisbury to Charlotte and Philadelphia mainly catering to business travelers or some leisure travelers willing to pay extra and not make a long drive to Philadelphia or Baltimore.

Longtime Delaware residents might remember that when US Airways acquired North Carolina-based Piedmont, a sizable number of that airline’s employees moved from North Carolina to Delaware as part of the consolidation of the two carriers. For a time, Piedmont jackets were a common sight in the northern part of the state.

Frontier adds free bag to fare promotion

Frontier Airlines, the second largest carrier out of PHL, is offering a free carry-on bags with reservations made today for post Labor Day September travel.

To qualify, flight reservations must be made on FlyFrontier.com or via the Frontier mobile app. Customers must add a carry-on bag during the reservations process to take advantage of the flash sale. Frontier has extended the sale until midnight Eastern.

“Now is a great time to snag a deal on a September adventure and we are making our already low fares extra attractive with this unprecedented one-day-only offer,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president of commercial, Frontier Airlines. “With fares starting at $29 per person, plus a free carry-on bag, it’s more affordable than ever to explore new places or catch up with loved ones.”

Those $29 fares sometimes come on routes also served by Avelo from Wilmington.

Frontier is offering the promotions during a period after Labor and before Thanksgiving that is a slow period for airlines.

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