These Airlines Are Adding New Routes This Year

Money expert Clark Howard predicts that travel will take off in the second half of 2021. And a few major airlines are adding new routes just in time for peak summer travel.

“They’re expecting that as we move into summer and especially by fall, there’s going to be very strong demand for travel,” Clark says.

4 Airlines Adding New Routes

Delta Air Lines


Delta is launching new daily nonstop flights to Iceland (Reykjavik (REK)) from three U.S. cities:

  • New York-JFK on May 1
  • Boston on May 20
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul on May 27

The flights will be available to travelers who have received a complete COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinated travelers will be exempt from Iceland’s mandatory testing and quarantines.

Travelers must still show a negative COVID-19 test that is no more than three days old in order to be allowed to board a return flight to the United States.


Delta is adding flights to the Caribbean from Atlanta starting June 5: Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, Roatan and Bonaire. (Flights do not operate daily.)

Travelers need to be aware that Covid-19 restrictions may be in place such as proof of a negative test or quarantine upon arrival. For instance, St. Kitts requires travelers to download a tracing app and endure a series of tests in order to be able to move around the island freely.

Find out the current requirements for each of the Caribbean islands by using the CDC global travel map.


Delta is expanding service to Alaska for summer travel:

  • May 5: Salt Lake City to/from Anchorage and Fairbanks
  • May 5: Increased service to/from Atlanta and Anchorage
  • May 28: Detroit, New York-JFK, Los Angeles to/from Anchorage
  • May 28: Seattle to/from Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan
  • May 28: Increased connecting service from Anchorage to/from Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan

Delta has announced it will extend middle seat blocking through April 30, 2021.


The carrier plans to launch new routes from New York-JFK and Boston to London on or around August 2. Flights are not yet on sale, but the process of securing gates at Heathrow's Terminal 2 and Gatwick Airport are underway.

These flights will be on Airbus A321LRs with new JetBlue Mint Suites.

Southwest Airlines

Check out these new nonstop routes from Southwest (service may not be daily):

May 8: Sarasota – Columbus, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis
May 9: Sarasota – Chicago
May 9: Austin – Sacramento
May 23: Myrtle Beach – Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Dallas
June 1: Denver – Montrose/Telluride, Hayden/Steamboat
June 1: Dallas – Montrose/Telluride, Hayden/Steamboat
June 6: Bozeman – Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix
June 6: Austin – Burbank, Miami, Minneapolis, Orange County, Salt Lake City, Destin/Fort Walton
June 6: Myrtle Beach – Atlanta, Columbus, Indianapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis
June 12: Dallas – Sarasota (Saturdays only)
June 12: Dallas – Grand Rapids (Saturdays only)
Current: Sarasota – Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Nashville

Remember that Southwest never charges a fee to change or cancel your purchased tickets. Also, travelers are allowed to check two pieces of luggage at no charge!

United Airlines

The carrier will add dozens of new nonstop flights just in time for Memorial Day and all summer long.

Starting May 27, United will begin nonstop service to Charleston, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Pensacola and Portland, Maine, from seven cities including Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, St. Louis, Pittsburg, Milwaukee and Indianapolis.

And for peak summer travel, United will roll out new nonstop service between these city pairs:

  • Chicago – Nantucket, Massachusetts
  • Denver – Portland, Maine
  • Houston – Kalispell/Glacier, Montana
  • Washington-Dulles – Bozeman, Montana

Before You Book Your Next Flight

If you really want to travel in 2021, book soon. Clark predicts that fares will begin to rise as demand starts to surge. Plus, customer-friendly change fee policies and protections will probably start to disappear in the coming weeks.

“If you think you’re going to travel later this year, and you can find a real deal right now, book it.”

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