Aer Lingus to cross the Pond more often; NCL takes delivery of its largest ship to date; and Baha Mar has its Halloween costume—a skeleton. Here are this week’s travel updates!
JetBlue Airways and Seabourne Airlines began selling flights under a codeshare agreement. Connections will be made via San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marín International Airport (SJU). This new agreement allows passengers to complete one-stop check-in, baggage transfers to the final destination, and convenient travel routes. JetBlue placed its B6 designator code on eight Seabourne routes, including Anguilla (AXA); Tortola, British Virgin Islands (EIS); Dominica (DOM); Nevis (NEV); St. Kitts (SKB); St. Maarten (SXM); St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT); and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (STX). JetBlue will place the B6 on the following routes after governmental approval: Antigua (ANU); Fort-de-France, Martinique (FDF); La Romana, Dominican Republic (LRM); Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe (PTP); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ); and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ).
JetBlue also expanded service to Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados (BGI) with daily roundtrip flights from Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), which will launch April 2016, subject to governmental approval. The increased flights will join seasonal Saturday service between Boston (BOS) and Barbados and seasonal Saturday Mint service between New York-JFK and Barbados; both begin Nov. 7. Seasonal Mint service between Boston and Barbados will begin March 2016.
Travel Weekly reports that American Airlines will be using Sabre GDS through New Distribution Capability to allow agents book their extra-charge seating, including seats with additional legroom. The service will be available Nov. 7.
Delta Air Lines finalized an agreement to receive six pairs of slots from Air France-KLM at London Heathrow. Air France has allowed Delta to use these slots for years, so there are no disruptions in flight schedules.
— Delta (@Delta) September 27, 2015
Delta extended its partnership with the Seattle Seahawks. Delta will continue to be the Official Airline of the Seahawks, and the Seahawks will continue to carter Delta for every road game. Delta also keeps the title Delta Sky360 Club at CenturyLink Field, but now the Seahawks have rebranded their five-state, 48 station radio network to the Delta Air Lines Radio Network.
Delta Air Lines’ partner SkyWest Airlines announced an order for 19 76-seat Embraer E175 regional jets with delivery to begin in 2016. The new aircraft will have 12 First Class seats, 16 Delta Comfort+, and 48 seats in the main cabin, and will be equipped with Wi-Fi.
Travel Weekly reports that Virgin America will begin nonstop flights from the U.S. mainland to the Hawaiian Islands this November, debuting daily route from Honolulu-San Francisco (HNL-SFO) on Nov. 2. The airline will add a daily nonstop flight between San Francisco and Maui Kahului Airport (SFO-OGG) on Dec. 3.
USA Today reports that Aer Lingus added three new destinations from its Dublin (DUB) hub—Los Angeles (LAX), Newark, N.J. (EWR), and Hartford, Conn. (BDL), which will bring the number of routes to 12 and cities to 10 in the U.S. and Canada. The Los Angeles route will begin May 4, 2016 with five flights a week. The Newark route will begin Sept. 1, 2016 with daily, round-trip flights, and the Hartford route will begin Sept. 28, 2016 with daily round-trip service.
— Cruise Norwegian (@CruiseNorwegian) October 22, 2015
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the line’s largest ship, Norwegian Escape, the first ship of the company’s new Breakaway Plus Class. The ship set sail from Bremerhaven, Germany, for Hamburg, where she will enjoy her European inaugural festivities. After a two-nights stop in Southampton, Escape will head to her year-round homeport of Miami on Oct. 29. The ship’s christening will be on Nov. 9. Escape has the largest Haven in NCL’s fleet with a three-story covered courtyard; 11 complimentary dining options and signature restaurants, including Le Bistro, Cagney’s, and La Cucina; award-winning musicals lie After Midnight and Million Dollar Quartet, plus The Record: The Brat Pack.
Norwegian Epic returned to service after a three-week dry dock with new entertainment features like The Cavern Club, the legendary venue where the Beatles found fame; Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical, based on the Oscar-winning movie; extensive renovations to the dining venues; the addition of SplashGolf, and more. Epic will sail the next winter and summer seasons from Barcelona before returning to Port Canaveral in fall 2016.
Norwegian was named “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” by the World Travel Awards for the third consecutive year.
Travel Weekly reports that Anteros Cruises, a new cruise line dedicated to the LGBT community, will launch in April 2017, sailing with itineraries in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Sailing will be on “an intimate, 400-passenger luxury yacht-like ship.”
In the continuing saga of Baha Mar in the Bahamas, Travel Weekly reports more formal asset-liquidation may start as early as next month as no agreement has been reached between the developer, lender, and contractor. On Friday, 2,000 employees were laid off. Baha Mar was to include the 1,000-room Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, the 707-room Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, the 300-room SLS Lux at Baha Mar, and the 200-room Rosewood at Baha Mar. The Melia Nassau Beach, the fifth hotel, was a pre-existing property and is currently open. The developer says 97 percent of the Baha Mar complex is completed.
Travel Pulse reports that Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts will be offering complimentary Wi-Fi, accessible by one click inside the hotel on unlimited devices. Guests will need to upgrade their Wi-Fi if they wish to download large files, HD streaming, gaming and more, and it will not be available in China and India due to local regulations. Certain remote properties will also be unable to connect to Wi-Fi.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced the opening of W Amsterdam, near the Dam Square and the Royal Palace. The hotel hosts the WET DECK, the city’s first rooftop pool; 238 guestrooms in two iconic buildings, and a total of 22 suites. The 172 rooms in The Exchange building are open now while the remaining 66 room in The Bank will open early next year.