International Airlines Make a Push for the U.S. with New Nonstop Routes
Another week, another nonstop international flight. Over the last year—and into 2015—many overseas airlines, including Etihad, Emirates, Korean Air, and Cathay Pacific, are enhancing their presence in the U.S. market, launching new routes to and from hubs around the world. One of the latest comes from Qantas, whose new nonstop between Dallas and Sydney is now the world’s longest flight, at 8,500 miles and almost 16 hours.
Most of the carriers have set their sights on either Boston or Dallas—two cities that are heavily investing in air travel. In fact, overseas air service is the fasting growing segment at Boston’s Logan International Airport: it currently serves 36 international markets with nonstop flights, up from 26 in 2004. (Five of those were added over the last couple of years, including the first-ever nonstop flights to mainland China, via Hainan Airlines.)
The city has a lot to offer the airlines, according to Eric Odone, the Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Americas, of Cathay Pacific, which is launching nonstop flights between Hong Kong and Boston in May 2015. (San Francisco starts on November 18.) “It has a strong base of business travelers that’s not overly reliant on one industry like banking,” he says. “The city also has strong Asian communities and many colleges, which attract a lot of students. And people in Asia are excited to have direct service to such a special tourist destination.”
For Etihad, the attraction of Dallas (flights start Dec. 3) stems mostly from the oil and gas sector—not to mention the 20 Fortune 500 companies that call the city home. “It’s also the largest and most important hub for American Airlines, one of our U.S. codeshare partners,” says Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Office for Etihad.
In addition to the aforementioned Qantas, Hainan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Etihad routes, read on for a few other new nonstops:
A daily nonstop between Dubai and Chicago started in August. Also on tap: nonstop flights to and from Boston, launching March 10, 2015.
The Doha-based carrier made a big U.S. push this year, with three new nonstop routes: Philadelphia, Miami, and Dallas/Fort Worth.
As of last May, there is nonstop service between Houston’s George Bush International Airport and Incheon International Airport in Seoul. To celebrate the launch, a Korean Air food truck is roaming the streets of Houston through Oct. 26 dishing out sample inflight meals such as galbi-jjim (braised short ribs).
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.