Lonely Planet Writer

Where to fly in 2019? The 10 most exciting new flight routes

If you’re thinking about trying something different in the new year, you might consider a trip to a new destination. A number of carriers have introduced brand new routes for 2019 that will open up new experiences for travellers. From short-haul trips to far-flung journeys, here are some of the most exciting new flight routes departing US and UK airports in 2019.

Osaka, Japan | Departing from London Heathrow

Asia makes its appearance at third place with Osaka. Photo by Luciano Mortula – LGM/Shutterstock

Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019, British Airways will operate flights directly to Osaka (for the first time in 21 years) in collaboration with Japan Airlines. The flight will run four times a week from next March when the country’s famous cherry blossom season will be in full bloom.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | Departing London Gatwick

Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil.
Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Image by ©Moskow/Getty Images

Low-cost carrier Norwegian Airlines will connect London Gatwick with Rio de Janeiro Galeao airport from next spring (dates have yet to be announced). It’s the first ever low-cost route between the UK and Brazil. In February, the carrier launched flights from Gatwick to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Charleston, South Carolina | Departing from London Heathrow

British Airways will operate Europe’s first direct flight to Charleston. Image by ©f11photo/Shutterstock

Travellers looking to soak up America’s old-world charm can do so from next April when British Airways will operate Europe’s first direct flight to Charleston, South Carolina. Flights will depart two days a week (Thursday and Sunday) year-round from London Heathrow.

Kyiv and Lviv, Ukraine | Departing from London Gatwick

Andriyivskyy Descent. Kyiv, Ukraine

Ryanair announced two new routes to Ukraine: Kyiv and Lviv. The service was launched at the end of October as part of Ryanair’s winter 2018/2019 schedule. There are now five flights a week to and from Kyiv and three a week to and from Lviv from London Stansted.

Burgas, Bulgaria | Departing from London Stansted

Nesebur (Mesembria) will be easy to reach with Jet2’s new flight route to neighbouring Bourgas. Image by Getty

Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast will be easier than ever to get to thanks to Jet2. The low-cost carrier will operate two weekly flights (Monday and Thursday) to Burgas (sometimes written as Bourgas) from London Stansted from next May. The port city offers miles of golden sand along the Black Sea coastline and is close to Balkan resorts like Sunny Beach, Nessebar (pictured), Obzor and St Vlas.

Rijeka, Croatia | Departing from Manchester and London Gatwick

TUI has announced direct flights from the UK to Rijeka. Image by Getty

TUI Airlines will launch twice-weekly flights to Croatia’s third city Rijeka from 23 May, 2019 until 17 October, 2019 from Manchester Airport and London Gatwick. The bustling port city of Rijeka has excellent nightlife and culture and is also the gateway to the northerly Kvarner islands, which is good news for island-hoppers looking to explore the Kvarner Gulf.

Auckland, New Zealand | Departing from Chicago O’Hare

Auckland, New Zealand. Image by Westend61/Getty Images

A new non-stop route between Chicago O’Hare and Auckland, New Zealand will launch on 30 November with Air New Zealand, making it New Zealand’s first ever direct link to the Midwest. The flight will operate three times a week with a 16-hour flight time (15 on the way back) between the two cities.

Bologna, Italy | Departing from Philadelphia

The first direct flight to Bologna, Italy will depart from Philadelphia next year. Image by Getty

American Airlines added a number of new European cities to its route map for next summer, including the first direct flight between the USA and Italy’s culinary capital, Bologna. Flights will depart from Philadelphia four times a week from 6 June until 28 September, 2019.

Dubrovnik, Croatia | Departing from Philadelphia

Old town of Dubrovnik is surrounded by old, solid walls. Image by ©John and Tina Reid/Getty Images

American Airlines will launch the first direct route between the USA and Croatia in almost 30 years. The route will operate from 7 June, 2019 between Philadelphia and Dubrovnik and will run three times a week until 27 September, 2019.

Guayaquil, Ecuador | Departing from Fort Lauderdale

JetBlue is scheduled to launch non-stop service from Fort Lauderdale to Guayaquil, Ecuador. Image by Getty

Early in 2019 (dates have yet to be announced), JetBlue will launch a non-stop flight between Fort Lauderdale and Guayaquil, Ecuador. Not only is vibrant Guayaquil the largest city in Ecuador, it’s also the gateway to the Pacific beaches and the Galapagos Islands.