Iceland’s long-haul low cost operator WOW air has rapidly added new US service during the last year to largely medium-sized airports. But the country’s fourth largest city, Houston, is also interested in adding service from the newest generation of low cost trans-Atlantic operators.
WOW air is adding fights from Reykjavik during 2018 including St Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas and Detroit. Norwegian’s widebody expansion to the US this year includes Paris-Denver, London Gatwick-Chicago O’Hare, London Gatwick-Austin, Rome-Oakland and Paris-Orly-Newark. It operates Boeing 737MAX-8 narrowbodies from Belfast, Cork, Edinburgh, Dublin and Shannon to Providence, Rhode Island. The company also offers service from all those airports to Stewart, New York in addition to Bergen, Norway.
Speaking at the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Americas Aviation Summit, Houston Airport System Director of Aviation Mario Diaz stated Houston was still looking for additional flights to Southeast Asia and Africa. He concluded Africa is “very important and big”. Presently, Sonair operates service to Houston Intercontinental to Angola’s capital Luanda.
Mr Diaz stated Houston Intercontinental is interested in securing low cost, long-haul flights from the “Norwegians and WOWs of the the world”. Houston Intercontinental’s roster of international low cost airlines includes Volaris flights from Guadalajara, VivaAerobus’ service from Monterrey and a WestJet offering from Calgary.
Houston Hobby welcomed regional international flights in Oct-2015 with the debut of a new terminal. The airport’s largest airline, Southwest, operates service to Belize, Liberia, Montego Bay, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta.
Mr Diaz remarked he has gotten requests to extend the runways at Hobby, but declared “the answer is no”, declaring Hobby would remain a regional airport for the Americas.