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May 15, 2018

Air Travel: New Flights to Tahiti, South Africa

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A host of new flights and new rules for emotional support animals lead this week's air travel news affecting the meetings and events industry. 

New Flights to Tahiti

A number of new flights are on tap for Tahiti, International Meetings Review learned at an event in New York this week, including new service from San Francisco

French bee, a new low-cost carrier, launched service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Papeete on May 11. The new route will be operated on Airbus A350 aircraft twice per week in low season and three times per week during peak season. United Airlines is adding seasonal service between SFO and Papeete, starting October 30, 2018, and running through March 28, 2019, three times per week on Boeing 787 Dreamliners

British Airways Adds Direct Service to Durban, South Africa

In other new flight news, British Airways has announced that it will launch nonstop service three times a week from London to Durban, South Africa, starting on October 29, 2018. The new service will be the only nonstop flight between Europe and Durban. The overnight flight will depart on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) Terminal 5 at 3:15 p.m. and arrive at Durban’s King Shaka International (DUR) at 5:35 a.m. local time. The returning flight will depart Durban on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7:35 a.m. and arrive in London at 5:45 p.m. The flight will be operated by the airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Southwest Plans to Launch Nonstop Flights to Hawaii from California

Also this week Southwest Airlines shared more details in the carrier's service plans for Hawaii by announcing initial gateway cities in California that would offer nonstop service, pending required regulatory approvals. 

Oakland Metropolitan Airport (OAK), San Diego International Airport (SAN), Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Sacramento International Airport (SMF) would gain Hawaii service in the carrier's flight schedules following FAA authorization for Hawaii service.

United Airlines Increases Flights Between Houston, Havana

In the Caribbean, this week United Airlines announced it is increasing service between Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Havana, Cuba's Jose Marti International Airport beginning July 20. 

Subject to government approval, United will operate the new daily service with either Boeing 737-800 mainline aircraft or Embraer E175 regional aircraft operated by Mesa Airlines as United Express. Tickets are now available for purchase.

American’s New Support Animal Policy to Take Effect July 1

Finally, this week American Airlines followed fellow U.S.-flagged carriers Delta and United Airlines in updating its rules for customers flying with emotional support animals. Customers will now be required to provide documentation 48 hours in advance of travel, and the airline has expanded prohibited animal types to include insects, hedgehogs and goats. A full list of the new rules is available here

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