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The 13 Best New Airline Routes for 2020

SmarterTravel

Airlines shuffle route networks around every year, and in 2020 there are already some exciting new routes on a variety of airlines. Cheap flights are a common side effect of new route announcements, so these 13 destinations are likely to see lower airfares in 2020.

The Best New Flights Starting in 2020

Africa, Mexico, Europe, and the South Pacific will all have new connections to North American cities in 2020. All but one of the new routes mentioned here do not currently have a nonstop flight on any other carrier between the specific airports listed. This means you’ll be able to get where you’re going quicker than ever before. And less time in the air means more time to explore.

Houston (HOU) to Cozumel (CZM) on Southwest

Colorful souvenir, coffee shops located in Cozumel, Mexico
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Southwest has had to delay its Hawaii expansion due to the extended grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, but it has used its existing aircraft to add an exciting new route to the Mexican Caribbean. Starting on March 7, 2020, Southwest will begin flying twice-daily nonstop service from Houston to Cozumel—initial airfares were as low as $99 one-way or $214 round-trip.

As the “Southwest effect” settles in, expect to see lower fares than in previous years to this vacation island just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. United competes on this route from its Houston hub (IAH), but Southwest flies from Houston’s smaller and more convenient Hobby Airport, with connecting options from several cities around the U.S.

Flights to Cozumel are limited on the major U.S. carriers, and in the past the best deals have often only been on Mexican airlines. Southwest brings a new choice that includes its customer-friendly no-change fee policy, and two free checked bags on all fares.

 

Boston (BOS) to Vienna (VIE) on Austrian

Nostalgic yellow tram "Vienna Ring Tram" in front of Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) on Ringstrasse in Vienna, Austria.
Photo Oz/Shutterstock

Starting on March 29, 2020, Austrian Airlines will fly nonstop from Boston to Vienna, making it the only airline to offer direct service between Boston and Austria. The new flights will operate every day except Mondays on a seasonal basis through October 24, 2020.

Since there isn’t any other nonstop competition, expect nonstop flights to remain on the expensive side. But you may start to see more flash sales from Boston to Austria on competing airlines with connecting service. The new route will also connect Boston to more cities throughout Central and Eastern Europe with just one stop.

Newark (EWR) to Ontario (ONT) on Frontier

los angeles palm trees and skyline at sunset.
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The new domestic route I’m most excited about connects the two largest markets in the U.S. on an ultra-low-cost carrier. Starting on April 23, 2020, Frontier Airlines will fly daily nonstop service between Newark and Ontario airport (which is in the Los Angeles area). When service was announced, intro fares were as low as $79 each way, and with frequent promo code sales on Frontier I wouldn’t be surprised to see this route available for less than $100 round-trip at some point. Even after adding bag fees, that’s super cheap.

The major airlines are likely to compete by keeping airfares low on the most popular market in the U.S. between all New York and L.A.-area airports. Look for flights during the peak summer travel season to be lower than previous years—and off-peak travel dates could consistently be available for less than $100 each way on the top U.S. airlines.

 

Austin (AUS) to Paris (CDG) on Norwegian

Eiffel tower, Paris. France
beboy/Shutterstock

After eliminating service from certain smaller airports in the Northeast, Norwegian Airlines is adding new routes from the Western U.S. to Europe. The most exciting new route for 2020 is new nonstop service from Austin to Paris, starting on May 6, 2020. This flight will operate three times per week on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and will be the only nonstop flight between the two cities.

Chicago (ORD) to Prague (PRG) on American

Prague Old Town Square and Church of Mother of God before Tyn in Prague, Czech Republic.
Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

The Midwest will have a new connection to the Czech Republic this summer. Starting on May 9, American Airlines will fly nonstop five times per week from Chicago to Prague. Flights depart Chicago Mondays through Thursdays, and Saturdays, and return from Prague Tuesdays through Fridays, and Sundays. Seasonal flights will end October 23, 2020.

American will fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the new route, which will complement American’s existing service between Philadelphia and Prague. It will be easier to reach Prague from more cities in the Western U.S. thanks to the new Midwest connection, and opens up the possibility of more flash sales to the Czech Republic in 2020.

Boston (BOS) to Calgary (YYC) on Air Canada and WestJet

Peace Bridge in Calgary Alberta, Canada
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Canada’s two largest carriers are going to battle for business between Boston and Calgary this summer. Both airlines will introduce new nonstop service in 2020, with WestJet flights scheduled from May 14 through October 12, 2020, and Air Canada flights planned for June 23 through September 6, 2020.

Fares on WestJet have been hovering under $300 round-trip since service was announced—even for some peak summer travel dates. And although fares are always subject to change, you’ll likely be able to find great deals on this route fairly often due to the two airlines competing for passengers in this new nonstop market.

 

Montreal (YUL) to Lisbon (LIS) on TAP Air Portugal

Tuk tuk vehicle in front of blue facade building in the Lisbon, Portugal.
Visual Intermezzo/Shutterstock

TAP Air Portugal will bring its low-cost flights and classic service to one of North America’s most European cities this summer. Seasonal nonstop flights from Montreal to Lisbon begin May 14, and will operate through October 24, 2020. Canada’s leisure carrier Air Transat currently offers nonstop service between the two cities on limited days per week, but TAP Air Portugal will offer daily service. Flights from Montreal to cities all across Europe have drastically dropped in price thanks to the new flight options.

When flying TAP Air Portugal to cities beyond Lisbon, travelers can take advantage of its free stopover program and check out Portugal for a few days on the way to or from their final destination. And with relatively little difference in price between a carry-on only fare and a checked bag-inclusive fare, TAP Air Portugal is a great choice when flying with a checked bag.

Newark (EWR) to Palermo (PMO) on United

Famous fountain of shame on baroque Piazza Pretoria, Palermo, Sicily, Italy.
Romas_Photo/Shutterstock

Fly from NYC to Sicily in a jiffy with new nonstop service from Newark to Palermo on United Airlines. Daily seasonal service begins on May 20 and will run through September 30, 2020. The new route will serve as the only nonstop flight between the U.S. and Sicily; and with so many new routes to Italy starting this year, we’ve been seeing some super low airfares to this foodie-favorite destination.

Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca (CMN) on American

pigeons soar over the area of the mosque Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco.
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American Airlines will become the only U.S. airline to fly to Morocco this year. Starting on June 4, 2020, seasonal nonstop service from Philadelphia to Casablanca will operate three times per week. Flights depart Philly on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays; and return from Casablanca on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. The seasonal service will run through the peak summer travel season ending on September 8, 2020.

When service was first announced, we saw fares in the $600 range from nearly every U.S. city, which is a nice price drop for travelers looking to visit this culture capital in North Africa. Fares from several cities have remained under $700 on a fairly consistent basis; so if Morocco has been on your bucket list, this summer is a great time to go.

New York (LGA) to Bozeman (BZN) and Kalispell (FCA) on American

Scenic street view with shops and restaurants in Kalispell, Montana.
Nick Fox/Shutterstock

American Airlines is adding a few interesting routes between New York and Montana this summer. Seasonal nonstop service on Saturdays from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to both Bozeman and Kalispell begins on June 6, and will run through September 5, 2020. At 1,888 miles to Bozeman and over 2,000 miles to Kalispell, both of these flights break the perimeter rule, which limits flights from LaGuardia airport to only 1,500 miles.

The rule was put in place back in the 1950s to divert air traffic to New York’s larger airports and was reduced to 1,500 miles in 1984. Denver is the only daily flight outside this range that was grandfathered in due to existing service. And since this new rule does not apply to flights on Saturdays, American is attempting to fill the demand for longer nonstop flight options during the peak summer travel season.

San Diego (SAN) to Montreal (YUL) on Air Transat

Aerial view of Montreal showing the Biosphere Environment Museum and Saint Lawrence River during Fall season in Quebec, Canada.
R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock

Traverse North America with the first ever nonstop flight between San Diego and Montreal this summer. Starting on June 15, 2020, Air Transat will fly three times each week, departing San Diego on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays; and departing Montreal on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. The seasonal service will run through October 29, 2020, and will be a welcome addition to Montreal’s expanding flight network. Air Transat was named the World’s Best Leisure Airline for the second year in a row in 2019 by Skytrax, so why not give this unique airline a try in 2020?

San Francisco (SFO) to Warsaw (WAW) on LOT Polish Airlines

Panoramic view of Warsaw in a summer day in Poland
S-F/Shutterstock

Poland will be better connected to the U.S. in 2020, with a total of four new nonstop routes starting this year. The new West Coast connection from San Francisco to Warsaw begins August 5, 2020. LOT Polish Airlines will fly its Dreamliner between the two cities five times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. LOT will also add new flights from Washington, D.C., to Warsaw, and from New York to Krakow. And. American Airlines plans to fly nonstop from Chicago to Krakow. All of these new flights to Poland mean we’ll likely see airfares drop to this budget-friendly European destination.

Newark (EWR) to Auckland (AKL) on Air New Zealand

View from the Wynyard Quarter in Auckland, with people, residential and commercial buildings, Sky Tower and boats.
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Ultra-long-haul flights are the new craze for airlines looking to connect opposite sides of the world as quickly as possible. In 2020, Air New Zealand will crack the top five longest flights in the world with its new nonstop service between Newark and Auckland. The 8,800-mile flight route begins on October 29, 2020, and will operate three times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Clocking in at 17 hours and 40 minutes from Newark, you may want to try Air New Zealand’s “Skycouch” product, which turns a row of Economy seating into a lie-flat option for couples willing to fork over the extra cost of an empty seat between them. The flight will be flown on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which has higher humidity levels than other aircraft and provides more comfort with less dehydration on the extended flight. By connecting two Star Alliance hubs, the new service will make it much easier for those on the East Coast to reach the South Pacific, with several connecting flight options on United.

For more ideas, see the Top Travel Destinations for 2020.

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