Here is a rarity in these uncertain times: a small airline launching a new international leisure route. Easter Airlines has been getting by with flying relatively underserved routes in Latin America without too much competition.
Now it faces stiff competition from United on its New York JFK to Los Cabos route, scheduled to take off later this month. It’s the airline’s first foray into Mexico.
Eastern Airlines Reveals Twice Weekly New York – Mexico Link
Eastern Airlines has revealed plans for a new twice-weekly service to Los Cabos from New York, starting August 29th. The airline will operate this route using a 767, departing from JFK on Saturday and returning on Wednesday every week. The current pandemic has delayed Eastern’s resurrection plans, but with traffic picking up once again, the carrier is looking to start new routes.
New route to Mexico
Eastern Airlines’ new flight to Los Cabos marks its first new scheduled route since March, when the airline switched to providing repatriation services. With this route, the airline is targetting leisure travelers who wish to visit the region for its resorts and popular attractions.
The flight will depart New York-JFK at 09:20 and arrive at Los Cabos International Airport at 13:30 local time. The return leg will be on Wednesday, with the flight leaving Los Cabos at 15:30 and arriving in JFK at 23:40.
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To mark the beginning of the route, Eastern is offering benefits to those who fly before November 18th. Fares will be $199 roundtrip, all-in, and those traveling will be able to carry their sports equipment with them for free. The sports gear could be anything from surfboards to golf kits, a huge saving for those traveling with their gear.
Eastern will face competition on this route from United, but the airline hopes to win passengers with its lower fares. The introductory $200 fare is over 60% cheaper than United’s flight on average.
Eastern Airlines has had an interesting 2020. After flying its first scheduled route after bankruptcy in January, the carrier had to suspend flights due to COVID-19. However, instead of hibernating, the airline switched gears and flew over a hundred repatriation flights for those stuck in South America.
While the airline is still flying a handful of repatriation flights to Haiti, Argentina, and Paraguay, it has also re-established its scheduled flights. The twice-weekly service from New York and Miami to Guayaquil has returned, along with the new Los Cabos flight. While there is competition on all these routes, Eastern’s low fares could help it gain market share.
Eastern Airlines is betting on plans to connect underserved, popular leisure cities with US hubs at a low cost. While this might have been a great strategy before, the current pandemic has significantly reduced non-essential international travel.
With the US and Mexico both seeing widespread effects of the coronavirus, it is unclear how many will hop on a plane for a holiday.
Eastern also recently acquired a used 777 and painted in a bright new livery, marking its return to the market. It’s unclear where it will deploy this widebody aircraft since the airline is yet to announce any long-haul flights (although there was talk of a New York-Anchorage-Jinan, China route). Only time will tell if Eastern survives the third time around as it tries to be a successful 2020 startup airline.
What do you think about Eastern Airlines’ new route? Would you take the flight right now? Let us know in the comments!