Top Five New Flight Routes in 2020

Direct flights are the way to go. Each year, airlines create more flight routes that cover more ground, connect new markets and in some instances, lower fares. In addition to the convenience and time saved, direct flights have a positive sustainable impact by using less fuel, allowing travelers to stay in the air and get to their destination faster while avoiding landing and taking off—the most fuel-intensive parts of flying.

In addition to a growing emphasis on direct flights, carriers are beginning to pursue more proactive environmentally sustainable policies, with more inclusive carbon offsetting programs. Carbon offsets are financial contributions to sustainable energy projects that help reduce CO2 emissions, made either by an individual or by a corporation. The first American airline to commit to a fully carbon-neutral flight program is JetBlue, pledging to contribute to forest conservation projects and other environmentally sustainable measures on all its domestic flights.

2020 is already seeing a host of new offerings from multiple carriers, linking cities with non-stop flights and direct connections. Here are the top five new flight routes that we’re most excited about in 2020.

New York to Auckland, New Zealand: Nonstop

Air New Zealand and United Airlines have teamed up to provide the first nonstop flight between the U.S. and Auckland out of Newark Liberty in New Jersey. Using the newly configured Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the flight departs three times a week and shaves about three hours off of the 17-hour flight.

For Kiwis wanting to explore North America or Americans who have added the wildly gorgeous nation to their bucket list, the non-stop flight offerings link the two cities like never before on a direct long-haul. Auckland serves as a perfect jumping-off point to explore New Zealand, or a destination in its own right. As the country’s largest and most populous city, it’s a cultural hub with a thriving arts scene, strong foodie culture and gateway to the island’s vast and untamed wild landscapes.

Grass-covered roof deck with lounge chairs at The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa

Newark to Cape Town, South Africa: Nonstop

United Airlines’ non-stop flight between Newark and Cape Town launched in December of 2019 and is the first and only non-stop flight linking North America and South Africa. Travelers en route to Cape Town from the U.S. on any other airline typically have to make at least one stop, usually in Europe. The new route, however, has no connections, resulting in a flight that is on average four hours shorter.

Related: South Africa’s wine country has risen in recent years as a culinary epicenter with some of the world’s best restaurants.

Direct Flights to Krakow and Warsaw, Poland


is looking to be much more connected to the U.S. in 2020, with a total of four new nonstop flight routes going into effect. Starting in the summer, American Airlines will begin flying direct to both Krakow and Warsaw from Chicago. Positioning itself to be the nation’s direct carrier to Eastern Europe, American is using Chicago as its hub city because of local ties to the region; the city has been home to thriving Polish communities for decades.

On the West coast, LOT Polish Airlines will begin its nonstop service from San Francisco to Warsaw five times a week on its Dreamliner starting in August. LOT, Poland’s main international carrier is also adding direct routes to Warsaw from Washington D.C. and New York. Connecting the country’s two major cities with direct flights also are likely to drop the cost of airfare, potentially boosting opportunities for increased travel. Although the new Eastern European routes will only be offered for a few months in the summer as a sort of trial run, American will look into extending the flights indefinitely if they are successful.

In addition to Poland, American will also be flying non-stop to other destinations in Eastern and Central Europe including Budapest, Prague and Bucharest.

Direct Flights to Colombia

Delta, New York’s largest carrier out of John F. Kennedy Airport is now hosting direct flights to Bogotá, the up-and-coming cultural and foodie hub of Colombia. The once-daily flight schedule links Colombia’s capital the U.S., allowing quick access to the mountainous Colombian city in flights that are just over five hours.

Along with the Bogotá route, Delta is also offering daily direct flights to Colombia’s other two major cities out of Atlanta: Cartagena and Medellín. Delta may be positioning itself as the premier non-stop carrier to Central and South America and the Caribbean with focused routes to Panama, Costa Rica and Peru.

Related: Bogotá 101: When to Go, Where to Stay and Where to Eat in Bogotá, Colombia

New York to Mumbai: Nonstop

After 10 years out of action, Delta has reinstated its direct flight route from New York's JFK Airport to Mumbai, India. Delta started offering the flight after increased demand and competition in the Indian market for both leisure and business travelers.

So far, Delta is the only service offering direct flights for the long-haul, slicing hours off the flight time, compared to other carriers that have to make stopovers, typically in London or Amsterdam. Delta will fly its newly renovated Boeing 777-200LR aircraft on the route, including private "suites" with increased legroom and recline room, making the 16-hour flight a dream.

Contact Indagare for more information on direct flights and trip-planning to the destinations that are right for you.

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