If a European vacation isn’t in your 2020 plans, it should be—hopping across the pond will be easier than ever with a slew of new routes launching. It’s not just the big connecting hubs that are benefitting; smaller European cities like Kraków and Palermo are getting nonstops from the United States as well, an added convenience for those wanting to start their journey a bit farther off the beaten track.
San Francisco to Rome, Alitalia
Italy’s national carrier is landing in the Bay Area on June 1, launching the only nonstop service from San Francisco to Rome. The thrice-weekly flights will operate on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, through October 28, via Boeing 777-200 planes with 293 seats, including 30 lie-flat beds in business class and 24 premium economy seats.
Newark to Palermo, United Airlines
Good news for those dreaming of a trip to southern Italy: Starting May 20 you can fly directly from the New York area to Sicily, when United Airlines starts the only daily nonstop service between the United States and Palermo. Flights will operate from the carrier’s Newark Liberty International Airport hub through September 30, using 767-300ER equipment.
Portland (Oregon) to London, British Airways
On June 1, British Airways will become the only airline to offer a year-round nonstop flight from Portland to the United Kingdom when it launches five-times-a-week service to London Heathrow. Flights will operate Friday through Monday, and Wednesday, via Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Economy tickets will start at $487 round-trip.
Los Angeles to Copenhagen, SAS
Scandinavia’s flag carrier is first out of the gate in 2020, with flights from Los Angeles to the Danish capital starting January 13, replacing its current LA to Stockholm service. Flights will operate via Airbus A340-300 aircraft every day except Tuesdays until March, when frequencies rise to daily to get a jump on the peak travel season. Introductory fares start at around $700 round-trip during the winter. The news is especially welcome coming in the wake of competitor Norwegian Air’s decision to drop all of its U.S. flights to Copenhagen and Stockholm.
Austin to Amsterdam, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
On May 4, you’ll be able to fly nonstop from the Texas capital to the Netherlands, when KLM launches nonstop, year-round service to its hub at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The Dutch carrier will operate three days a week, Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, via a 292-seat Airbus A330-300. There are 30 business class and 40 “extra-room” economy seats for those who want to stretch out on the flight, which takes 10.5 hours westbound.
Austin to Paris, Norwegian Air
This year Austin is also getting its first regularly scheduled direct flight to Paris. Starting May 6, Norwegian Air will operate the route three times a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, to Paris Charles de Gaulle, dropping to twice weekly from September 20 to October 23 before ending for the year. Flights will be aboard Boeing 787-9 airliners, with 309 economy seats and a 35-seat premium-class cabin.
Seattle to Munich, Lufthansa
On June 1, Lufthansa will launch a new route from Seattle to Munich, flying daily except Thursdays, through October 28 with a brand-new Airbus A350-900. It’s part of a major transatlantic expansion during the 2020 summer season that will give the airline and its fellow Lufthansa Group carriers (Swiss, Austrian Airlines, and Eurowings) a total of 25 gateways in the United States.
Boston to Vienna, Austrian Airlines
On March 29, Bostonians will for the first time be able to fly nonstop to the capital of Austria, thanks to a new, year-round service by the country’s flag carrier. The flights, via 211-seat Boeing 767-300ER jets, will operate every day except Mondays.
Chicago to Prague and Budapest, American Airlines
American Airlines is launching new seasonal flights between Chicago O’Hare and Prague from May 9 to October 24, part of a larger push to expand transatlantic service out of its Windy City hub. The service will operate five times a week using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. And from May 7 to October 24, the carrier is starting another new European route from Chicago to Budapest, flying four times a week, also with 787 aircraft.
New York to Kraków, LOT Polish Airlines
Starting May 3, Polish flag carrier LOT will offer the first nonstop service from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Kraków, a historic gem in Poland that is attracting a growing number of visitors. The airline will fly the route once a week, on Sundays, until October 18, via Boeing 787 Dreamliner equipment. The 252-seat planes feature 18 business-class seats and 21 premium economy seats.
Boston to Ponta Delgada, the Azores, TAP Air Portugal
On June 4, TAP Air Portugal will begin flying from Boston to Ponta Delgada, the main airport serving the remote Azores archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic. Service will operate five times a week via brand-new, single-aisle Airbus A321 planes, with 171 seats, including 16 fully flat business-class beds. The route is already served by tiny Azores Airlines, but it’s a first for Portugal’s flag airline, making it easier for travelers to connect to Lisbon and points beyond.
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Barbara Peterson Barbara Peterson is AFAR’s special correspondent for air, covering breaking airline news and major trends in air travel. She is author of Blue Streak: Inside JetBlue, the Upstart That Rocked an Industry and is a winner of the Lowell Thomas Award for Investigative Reporting.