Airlines are offering more U.S.-Europe service than ever — but don’t expect bargains

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A passenger walks in the Terminal 2 corridor of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport with Air France airplanes in the background, on the northeastern outskirts of Paris, amid a strike by air traffic controllers on September 16, 2022.

Julian DeRosa | AFP | Getty Images

Flights to Europe will be plentiful this summer. Cheap Airfare? Not so much.

Airlines scheduled nearly 51,000 flights from the US to Europe from June to August, according to airline data firm Cerium. The number of scheduled seats is the highest since 2018.

Despite increased capacity across the Atlantic, fares have risen sharply as airlines test passengers’ appetite for overseas travel. According to Hooper, US-to-Europe roundtrip flights are going for an average of $1,032, up 35% from last year and 24% from 2019. A round trip, roughly in line with pre-pandemic levels.

Executives like longtime European service operators Deltanewcomers like jetblueAnd budget innovators like Norse Atlantic Airways and Play are all making big bets that travelers will face worst-case scenarios for more international trips. covid – and with travel restrictions – in the rearview mirror.

Airlines and airports are racing to fill jobs in hopes of avoiding last summer chaos,

“European travel was definitely booming last summer,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in an interview with CNBC in late March. “I think a lot of people didn’t fly last year, and now they’re looking forward to flying this year.”

JetBlue is flying from New York and Boston to London’s two biggest airports, and plans to launch service to New York to Paris in June, It plans to add service to Amsterdam this summer,

Delta plans to offer a record number of seats from the US to Europe, up 20% from last summer. A spokesperson said the carrier will provide service to 69 markets in Europe.

Airlines Summer Flights to Europe


“If you’re traveling during those peak summer months, you need to book now,” said Hayley Berg, chief economist at Hopper.

She recommended avoiding national holidays and flying in the middle of the week to avoid extremely high fares.

some airline executives have recently noted Passengers are going back to a more traditional booking pattern, which drives up fares on busy days. While airlines typically reduce capacity during less popular periods of the week or year, there may still be a chance for some more attractive prices. Airlines’ schedules from late March to late October show they will offer a record number of seats for that period, data from the OAG show, a sign they may be strong demand expected in shoulder season.

Berg recommends keeping an open mind about connecting trips only and cautions against filtering flights for nonstop only.

Icelandic low-cost airline Play’s flights stop at its home airport in Reykjavík, requiring passengers traveling to other destinations to change flights. The carrier is growing rapidly with its fleet of Airbus A320 and A320neos. The company said it is serving 39 destinations this month, up from 31 in December.

“We are extremely positive and excited about this year,” said CEO Birgir Jonsson. About 36% of Play’s travelers to Iceland’s capital last month were connecting to other destinations via the airline Said,

Other low-cost airlines are increasing service between the US and Europe, including Norse Atlantic Airways, which operates the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The carrier serves London Gatwick, Berlin, Paris and Oslo, Norway, and plans to start flights to Rome from New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport next month. It also plans to offer London Gatwick service from several US cities including San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Los Angeles and Washington, DC in the coming weeks.

Philip Allport, Norse Atlantic’s senior vice president of communications, said its fares have been higher than normal for US-Europe routes, but the carrier is still on the “cheap end of our direct competitors”. A round trip on Norse between New York and Paris was going for close to $1,300 for a trip departing July 1, return a week later, less than $1,804 on Delta, each on a standard economy ticket.

Here’s how traditional and non-traditional airlines differ in their services and prices for standard economy tickets: