Airline route maps have seen some drastic changes since the beginning of the pandemic. While several international routes remain suspended due to ongoing travel restrictions, airlines are hopeful that those restrictions will ease and pent-up demand will have travelers booking flights to brand new destinations in 2022.
Surprisingly, three new airlines launched service in the domestic U.S. market in 2021, which is indicative of a trend towards leisure-friendly locations closer to home. In 2022, this means new routes to Mexico and outdoor-friendly destinations in the U.S. along with a handful of new transatlantic routes. Here’s a look at 15 of the most exciting new airline routes launching in 2022.
Albuquerque (ABQ) – Burbank (BUR) on Southwest
After aggressive expansion to several new cities in 2021, Southwest has shifted its focus to add more flights between existing cities in 2022. Starting January 17, you’ll be able to fly nonstop between Albuquerque and Burbank.
The daily flight will be the only nonstop service between the two airports, however, Southwest, American, and Delta all fly nonstop between Albuquerque and Los Angeles. Still, many travelers may prefer the local feel and quieter experience flying in/out of Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Dallas (DFW) – Helsinki (HEL) on Finnair
Finnair started expanding its transatlantic network late in 2021 with a few new routes between Stockholm and major U.S. cities New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. In 2022, the Oneworld member will launch an interesting connection between Texas and Scandinavia when it begins new nonstop service between Dallas and Helsinki on February 6.
By connecting partner American Airlines’ largest hub in Dallas with its own hub in Helsinki, Finnair will offer flyers from the southern U.S. more options and much-needed competition to Scandinavia; a region that is currently dominated by SAS and the Star Alliance. The 10+ hour flight will be operated by Finnair’s modern A350-900 aircraft 4x weekly on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Orlando (MCO) – Ponce (PSE) on Spirit
Spirit Airlines is adding its third Puerto Rican destination in 2022. Starting February 16, look for a daily nonstop flight between Orlando and Ponce. The short three-hour flight will operate overnight, departing Orlando at 11:45 pm, arriving in Ponce at 3:35 am, where it will sit for about an hour before returning from Ponce at 4:28 am, arriving back in Orlando at 6:29 am.
Although this schedule sounds brutal, it will allow for connections from most Spirit cities in the U.S. JetBlue also flies to Ponce from both Orlando and New York so be on the lookout for some fare wars on flights to Puerto Rico’s southern coast in 2022.
Related: The 10 Worst U.S. Airports for Flight Delays
Buffalo (BUF) – Cancun (CUN) on Frontier
Frontier added an astonishing number of new routes in 2021, with a focus on expanding flights to Florida and the Caribbean. And it looks like the ultra-low-cost carrier is continuing that trend in 2022 with its latest announcement to add 18 new nonstop routes to Florida, San Juan, and Mexico, including the only nonstop flight between Western New York and Mexico. Starting February 18, Frontier will fly nonstop between Buffalo and Cancun 3x weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The seasonal flights can be booked for travel through April and will be the quickest way to trade lake-effect snow for the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya. And you’ll save more than time—intro fares were just $99 one-way. Prices may not go that low too often but Frontier’s fares will almost always beat the competition.
Long Island-Islip (ISP) – Charleston (CHS) on Breeze Airways
One of the newest U.S. airlines is expanding its wings in 2022. Breeze Airways will add two new cities to its route map in February, Long Island-Islip and West Palm Beach, which will bring its total to 18 destinations and 42 routes. One of the newest routes, between Long Island-Islip and Charleston begins flying February 18, on Fridays and Mondays.
The twice weekly flights will be a godsend for those who would rather skip the traffic and busier airports in New York City for a quick weekend getaway either from or to Long Island. Typical for Breeze Airways, there isn’t any direct competition on this route but you’ll find connecting flights on American or Southwest, and nonstop flights from either JFK or LaGuardia on Delta or JetBlue. Still, you probably won’t find a better price or a more convenient flight than Breeze Airways.
New York (JFK) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR) on JetBlue
Mexico has remained open to travelers throughout the pandemic and airlines continue to add new flights to keep up with the demand. While Cancun is well-served from the East Coast, it’s surprising to me that there aren’t more nonstop flights between major East Coast markets and Mexico’s beaches along the Pacific. Starting February 19, 2022, JetBlue will add such a flight when it begins nonstop service between New York-JFK and Puerto Vallarta.
Flights will operate 4x weekly on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. While there won’t be any direct competition out of JFK, United flies a weekly Saturday service from Newark. JetBlue probably won’t lower fares too often as it can win over travelers willing to pay a little more for a nonstop flight, but it’s likely there will be a few fare wars with Delta/Aeromexico selling super cheap connecting flights in the future.
Related: The 6 Best Flight Search Sites for Finding Cheap Flights
Kansas City (MCI) – New York (JFK) on JetBlue
JetBlue has been busy adding new cities and routes as part of its Northeast Alliance with American Airlines. Starting March 27, 2022, JetBlue will fly nonstop between Kansas City and New York-JFK, which will be the first JetBlue flight from Kansas City International Airport. The popular airline will also begin flying between Kansas City and Boston on this date, as well as new flights from Milwaukee to both Boston and New York.
While Delta, American, and Southwest fly this route between KC and LaGuardia, and United flies from Newark, once JetBlue starts flying, it will be the only airline flying nonstop between Kansas City and New York’s JFK Airport. As JetBlue’s largest hub, passengers will be able to connect onward to several destinations along the East Coast and Caribbean as well as long-haul flights on American Airlines.
Los Angeles (LAX) – Paris-Orly (ORY) on French Bee
Low-cost carrier French Bee is adding its third U.S. city in 2022. Starting April 9, French Bee will fly nonstop between Los Angeles and Paris-Orly Airport. Initially, the flight will operate 4x weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, increasing to 6x weekly in July. There will be no direct competition between these two airports, though both Air France and Air Tahiti Nui fly nonstop between LAX and Paris-CDG airport.
French Bee already flies between Paris-ORY and both Newark and San Francisco as well as a continuation flight from San Fran to Tahiti. The low-cost model has helped bring down prices on all airlines for these routes—especially if you’re just looking for a one-way ticket. And a new interline agreement with Alaska Airlines will also allow connections from other West Coast cities. Bottom line, there should be some good deals to Paris in 2022.
Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amman (AMM) on United
One of the most interesting new routes for 2022 is United’s plan to be the only U.S. airline with nonstop service between the U.S. and Jordan. Starting May 5, it will fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner between its hub in Washington D.C.-Dulles and Amman. The eastbound flight clocks in at around 11 hours, flying on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, while westbound flights are a little over 12 hours, flying Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
The flights are timed to allow for connections from all over United’s route map, which will greatly increase accessibility to the Middle Eastern nation known for UNESCO World Heritage Site Petra. Currently, Royal Jordanian flies nonstop from New York, Chicago, and Detroit to Amman, with limited connections possible on American. New routes like this often spark fare wars and we may even see other Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar get in the mix with cheaper flights to Jordan in 2022.
Related: 8 Tips for Flying Wizz Air
Chicago (ORD) – Milan (MXP) on United
Starting May 6, 2022, there will be a daily nonstop flight between Chicago and Milan on United. The seasonal service will run through the end of September and will be the only nonstop flight between the two cities. Currently, the only other U.S. cities with nonstop flights between the U.S. and Milan are New York, Newark, and Atlanta.
The new flight will make it easier to connect from the western U.S. to Italy’s fashion capital by connecting in United’s largest hub, centrally located at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. While flights are normally cheap from the New York area to Milan, fares from other cities in the U.S. haven’t been very competitive compared to other cities in Europe. Look for that to change in 2022 with this new option between Chicago and Milan.
San Francisco (SFO) – Vancouver (YVR) on Flair Airlines
Flights to Canada have become much more competitive in recent years thanks to new ultra-low-cost carriers taking on Air Canada’s massive market share. Flair Airlines expanded rapidly in 2021 and plans to add more U.S. cities to its route map in 2022, including new nonstop service between San Francisco and Vancouver, starting May 17.
The flight will operate 3x weekly on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with fares that are usually around half the price of other carriers. Air Canada, United, and WestJet all have daily flights between these two cities as well so you’ll want to compare your options but it will be hard to beat fares on Flair Airlines for a quick getaway up north.
Boston (BOS) – Athens (ATH) on Delta
While Delta’s transatlantic plans for 2022 mostly involve resuming flights that it had flown previously, the airline is also adding a few new routes out of Boston. Starting May 27, Delta will fly nonstop between Boston and Athens making it the only carrier flying between Boston and Greece. The roughly 10-hour flight will operate on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in both directions.
Delta will also add a new flight between Boston and Tel Aviv and resume flights to Edinburgh, Rome, Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, and Lisbon. In all, it will fly more transatlantic flights out of Boston than any other carrier. The new connection to Greece will complement its existing flights from Atlanta and New York.
Related: 9 Tips for Flying Frontier Airlines
Newark (EWR) – Tenerife, Canary Islands (TFS) on United
United has the most exciting transatlantic plans for 2022 compared to its other main competitors in the U.S. The airline is planning five new destinations, which are leisure-focused, including new nonstop flights between Newark and Tenerife, starting June 9. The new seasonal flight runs through September and will drastically reduce the travel time between the U.S. and the Canary Islands of Spain.
Eastbound flights clock in at around 7 hours, operating on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, while westbound flights are around 8 hours, flying on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Currently, flights between the U.S. and the Canary Islands require connections in the U.K. or mainland Europe, which often requires an overnight layover in one direction. If you can connect to one of the new United flights, you’ll be enjoying the Spanish island life in no time.
Seattle (SEA) – Miami (MIA) on Alaska Airlines
After officially joining the Oneworld alliance in 2021, Alaska Airlines’ partnership with American Airlines grew, which has led to Alaska Airlines returning to Miami for the first time since 2012. New daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Miami begin June 16, 2022, and will offer flyers a daytime flight between the two cities rather than the red-eye option on American.
Alaska flyers will also be able to connect in Miami to American’s extensive flight network throughout Latin America. Alaska Airlines will continue to serve south Florida’s other major airport with two daily flights between Seattle and Ft. Lauderdale, a route which JetBlue also flies. We’ve often seen Delta undercut prices in these markets to try and lure flyers on connecting flights and it’s likely this will continue in 2022.
Minneapolis (MSP) – Burlington (BTV) on Sun Country
Minnesota’s hometown airline is adding seven new cities to its route map in 2022, all of which fit the trend of outdoor-friendly leisure destinations. One of the most exciting new routes Sun Country plans to fly is a twice weekly service between Minneapolis and Burlington. The flights will operate on Sundays and Thursdays, through Labor Day.
At one point, it was the only nonstop flight being sold between Minnesota and Vermont. However, quickly after Sun Country announced the new service, Delta decided to defend its turf and announced it will also fly nonstop between Minneapolis and Burlington on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, next summer. The new flights will make for a cheap getaway to Vermont and could also be used as a jumping off point for a trip to Montreal, which is less than a two hour drive from Burlington.