New carriers to Los Angeles International Airport are bringing routes to England, Iceland and European cities — mostly at budget prices.
Thomas Cook Airlines plans to start operating nonstop service between L.A. and Manchester, England, on May 2.
Manchester isn't the most convenient destination; it's about 200 miles northwest of London's more popular Heathrow. But you can catch a cheap ticket if you book early. In a search on Thomas Cook's website, I found $559 for a round-trip fare that leaves L.A. on May 23 and returns May 30.
Wow Air, a no-frills airline based in Iceland, will begin service from Los Angeles on June 15. Seats sold out quickly in January when the airline announced prices as low as $99 each way to Iceland and $199 each way to European destinations like London and Paris.
Wow's website shows an airfare of $679 to fly round trip from L.A. to Reykjavik, Iceland. Note that connecting flights to European destinations require a stop in Iceland.
Wow also is starting service from San Francisco on June 9.
And you can expect to see more U.S. flights on budget carrier Norwegian Air International from a hub in Ireland.
In a controversial decision, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave the company — which owns Norway-based Norwegian Air Shuttle — a tentative OK to start transatlantic flights from Ireland.
U.S. carriers and airline workers had opposed the action, accusing the airline of skirting labor laws for workers and pilots. Norwegian disputes the claims.
Norwegian Air Shuttle already flies L.A.-U.S. routes from Norway. For example, I found a $721 round-trip airfare from L.A. to Oslo (via Copenhagen) leaving May 19 and returning June 1.
The bottom line is more options may mean more savings for fliers, especially in summer when airfares to Europe are at their highest.
Just don't wait too long to make a reservation. The lowest fares always go quickest — but you know that.