The New International Flight Routes We’re Most Excited About This Year

They include new nonstop flights from the U.S. to Auckland, Rio, Paris, London, and Rome.

A beach with umbrellas and a palm tree on Spain's Costa del Sol

Fly nonstop to Spain’s Costa del Sol courtesy of United.

Photo by Shutterstock

International travel is back. And to keep up with the surge in demand, airlines are racing to rebuild their pandemic-crippled global flight networks. Consequently, new routes have entered the mix—right in time for spring, summer, and fall travel. What is appealing about the latest flock of new flights is that it’s a solid mix of carriers flying to more predictable larger hubs but also to some under-the-radar destinations like Málaga, Spain, and Aalborg, Denmark, which are gaining nonstops from the States this year.

The rise in demand for flying internationally has, however, come with a rise in rates. And the sticker shock of booking a peak season flight abroad is very real these days. But there’s some good news. Several low-cost carriers, such as JetBlue and Norse Atlantic (the latter a reboot of Norwegian Air), have swooped in to help offset the sky-high airfares with more affordable options.

Here are the new routes that have us dreaming about and plotting our future getaways.

Cincinnati to London with British Airways

Starting June 5, British Airways will add nonstop service from its London Heathrow hub to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (a hub in Hebron, Kentucky, that serves the Cincinnati area), becoming the 27th U.S. destination for the U.K. flag carrier. The new flight will operate five times per week during the summer, dropping to four a week during the winter. The route will take place on 214-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with 35 lie-flat business-class seats and 25 in premium economy.

Cleveland to Dublin with Aer Lingus

Cleveland’s Hopkins International will get its first nonstop route to Europe in almost five years on May 19, when Aer Lingus begins flying to Dublin four times a week. The new service is via Airbus A321 LR aircraft with 184 seats, including 16 in business class. The Irish carrier was wooed by local leaders with a package of subsidies, providing a much-needed boost to the airport, whose last transatlantic service was on Icelandair and the now-defunct Wow Air; both airlines pulled out in 2018.

Los Angeles to Auckland with Delta

The options for flying to New Zealand are expanding after the country finally reopened last year following strict border closures during the pandemic. Launching on October 28, new daily flights between New Zealand and Los Angeles will be a first for Delta Air Lines, the only U.S. carrier offering the nonstop long-haul route—the flight takes about 13 to 14 hours. The service will take place on Airbus A350-900 planes.

Overhead view of city in Taiwan

Starlux is coming stateside in April, starting with flights to Taiwan from the West Coast.

Photo by Shutterstock

Los Angeles to Taipei with Starlux

A new player over the Pacific, Taiwanese carrier Starlux will make its U.S. debut on April 26 with nonstop flights from Taipei to Los Angeles. Flights will be aboard Airbus A350 aircraft, with a four-class layout: 4 first-class seats, 26 in business class, 36 in premium economy, and 240 in coach. Initially, flights will operate five times a week, increasing to daily in June

Newark to Málaga, Spain, with United

Good news for those dreaming of a trip to southern Spain: Starting May 31, you can fly directly from the New York area to Málaga, on the Costa del Sol, which is the gateway to exploring the Andalusia region. United Airlines’ new seasonal service will operate three times a week through September via narrow-body Boeing 757 aircraft, with 169 seats, including 16 in United’s Polaris business class.

New York to Auckland with Qantas

Los Angeles isn’t the only major U.S. hub getting New Zealand service. On June 14, Australian carrier Qantas will launch three times weekly service from New York’s JFK to Auckland, via a Boeing 787-9 with 236 seats, including 42 in business class and 28 in premium economy. That puts it in direct competition with Air New Zealand, which already serves the route nonstop. Unlike its Kiwi rival, however, Qantas is using Auckland as a refueling stop before continuing on to its ultimate destination, Sydney. Nonstop flights between New York and Australia won’t begin until 2025, when the Aussie carrier will take delivery of aircraft able to fly the 10,000-mile route nonstop.

New York to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero with Delta

When the summer ends here, it’s about to get started in the Southern Hemisphere, making fall and winter a fine time to take advantage of Delta’s new seasonal service from JFK to both Argentina and Brazil (the carrier already flies to both countries from Atlanta). Daily flights from Kennedy to Buenos Aires will start on October 28, operated by a Boeing 767-400 aircraft, with four classes of service, including Delta One first class. Flights to Rio will start on December 16 with a 767-300, also with the same four-class layout.

Colorful homes  on residential street in Aalborg

Aalborg, in Denmark’s scenic Northern Jutland region, awaits.

Photo by Shutterstock

New York to Copenhagen and Newark to Aalborg with SAS

This season, Scandinavian Airlines (aka SAS), the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, is bringing back its New York–Copenhagen service with daily flights from JFK after a 30-year hiatus. And it’s starting a new—and decidedly offbeat—flight from Newark to Aalborg, the largest city in Denmark’s scenic Northern Jutland region. The thrice-weekly service, which launches April 27, will be via an Airbus A321 LR with 157 seats, including 22 fully-flat business-class beds, 12 in a two-by-two premium economy layout, and 135 in coach.

New York to Paris with JetBlue

Following its successful London debut, JetBlue is launching its first-ever nonstop service from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to France, with daily flights to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport starting June 29. The carrier’s transatlantic flights are via narrow-body Airbus A321 LR (long-range) planes, with 114 coach seats and an expanded 24-seat Mint premium class (JetBlue’s version of business) featuring lie-flat seats. The self-styled air travel disruptor—which is eyeing other European capitals—is kicking off its France flights with discounted rates starting at $479 round trip.

New York to Rome with Norse Atlantic

Discounter Norse Atlantic Airways, which is reviving the long-distance network formerly operated by Norwegian Air, is set to launch seasonal service between JFK and Rome Fiumicino on June 20. The airline will offer daily flights with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, featuring premium economy and coach seating, through September.

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.
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