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Eurofly Increases Flights for Summer

Eurofly (tel.800/459-0581; www.euroflyusa.com) has announced their summer schedule from JFK, which includes two new destinations. Flights to Pescara begin May 8, and depart from JFK every Tuesday, and flights to Lamezia Terme begin on May 12 and depart every Saturday. Summer service from New York to Palermo begins May 6, Naples begins May 7, and Bologna begins May 8. That's great, but what about the fares?

  • New York to Lamezia Terme, from May 12 through May 18, is $970 round-trip, including taxes, on Eurofly. A quick search for these same dates on orbitz.com gives us a lower fare of $883 round-trip, with taxes. Unfortunately, this includes two stops. The best one stop fare is $896 round-trip, including taxes, on Delta Airlines.
  • New York to Palermo, from June 7 through June 15, is $809 round-trip, including taxes, on Eurofly. Orbitz lists the best fare as $818 round-trip with Air France and Alitalia, which includes two stops. Eurofly is listed as the best non-stop, but at $1,031 round-trip, with taxes.
  • New York to Bologna, from June 16 through June 24, is $999 round-trip, including taxes, on Eurofly. Orbitz lists Eurofly as also having the lowest fare, but at $1,092.

Japan Airlines Sale

Japan Airlines (tel.800/525-3663; www.ar.jal.com) is having a sale, the details of which we find a tad bothersome. The advertisement on their website lists fares to cities in Asia that aren't listed in any of the fare charts once you click on the ad. Tokyo/Osaka/Nagoya are lumped into one category, as are Fukuoka/Sapporo/Okinawa. Everything else is relegated to a non-descript Zone A, explained at the bottom of the page, that seems to only include other cities in Japan. There's nothing else to indicate that Bangkok, Shanghai, or Hong Kong are actually on sale, and if so, on what dates. A little frustrating, wouldn't you agree? Regardless, here's a round up:

San Francisco to Tokyo is advertised as $783 round-trip, for departures from April 15 through May 2. We searched for travel from May 2 through May 8 and found a fare of $855 round-trip, including taxes. We plugged these same dates in for our search on zuji.com and found a fare of $712 round-trip, including taxes, on American Airlines. That does include a brief layover in Los Angeles but if it'll save us $143, we'd gladly wait. (Note: we don't suggest you buy fares on Zuji.com, Travelocity's Asian affiliate, but once you find available dates there you can generally switch over to Travelocity.com and find the same fares there).

Chicago to Osaka is advertised as $875 round-trip for departures between May 8 and May 23. We found $1,855 round-trip, including taxes, using May 15 through May 23 as our travel dates. However, Zuji lists the same trip, on the same dates, on Nippon Airways for $960 round-trip, including tax.

New York to Okinawa is advertised as $1,080 round-trip for departures between May 24 and June 7. For travel on May 30 through June 7, we found $1,153 round-trip. A quick search for the same trip on Zujishows China Airlines with the lowest fare of $1,460. Japan Airlines is clearly your best bet for this route.

Boston to Tokyo is advertised as $918 round-trip, for departures between May 24 and June 7. With May 29 through June 3 as our dates of travel, we found $1,414 round-trip on Japan Airlines. This same trip will cost you $1,180 on Nippon Airways, which we found using Zuji.

Los Angeles to Tokyo is advertised at $875 round-trip for departures between May 24 and June 7. By using May 28 through June 4 as our dates of travel, we found $947 round-trip, with taxes, on Japan Airlines. Zuji.com lists American Airlines as having the lowest fare of $692 round-trip, with taxes, for these dates.

In most cases, this sale isn't any better than what's being offered by other carriers. No particular airline seems to be holding all the good deals for these routes, and we recommend shopping around. Should you decide to go with Japan Airlines, remember that these sale fares must be purchased by May 2.

Azores Express Announces New Summer Schedule

Azores Express (tel.800/762-9995; www.azores-express.com) will soon begin their summer schedule, adding extra flights from Boston's Logan International to the Azores and Lisbon, Portugal. On Saturdays beginning June 9, direct flights to Terceira will be available, and on Thursdays and Sundays starting June 21, non-stop flights to Lisbon will be available. Additionally, four weekly flights will be available from Boston to Sao Miguel, the main island in the Azores archipelago. For those traveling from Rhode Island, direct service from Providence to Ponta Delgada will begin on June 22. Azores Express offers the only direct flights from Boston to Lisbon, and fares will range from $580 to $846.

We found a fare of $868 round-trip on Azores Express, for travel from June 12 through June 19, from Boston to Terceira Island. Not bad at all for mid June. These same dates on Orbitz.com show a fare of $1,184 round-trip on Sata International, which is actually the same company as Azores Express.

Business Class Bargains to London

EOS Airlines (tel.800/458-1277; www.eosairlines.com) has a two-for-one offer that expires by end of day (EST) Friday. This is not the best deal they've ever offered, once you read the fine print. The lowest qualifying fare for the purchased ticket is $5,200 round-trip plus tax, so you're looking at $2,600 round-trip per person, plus taxes and certain fees. Still, travel can take place any time between now and January 31, 2008, with a seven-day advance purchase. EOS flies into London Stansted, which is an easier airport to navigate (shorter security lines, shorter taxiing to and from the runways, etc.) than Heathrow.

Over at Silverjet (tel.877/359-7458; www.flysilverjet.com) they're offering 50% off the cost of a one-way flight between Newark and London's Luton Airport. To qualify, you need to submit a registration giving details of your membership in another airline's frequent flyer program, along with your membership number and status level (silver, gold, etc.). You must book your discounted flight before May 25 and begin travel before December 31. You must buy a round-trip ticket. Starting July 2, Silverjet will fly twice a day between Newark and London. Silverjet is less expensive than EOS however, at as little as $1,800 round-trip plus taxes of about $154. So with this offer, you're looking at, let's see here, $900 plus $450 plus $154 plus $154--calculators please! -- $1,656 all-in, not a bad deal at all. Both airlines offer fully lie-flat seats.

And Speaking of London...

Zoom Airlines (tel.866/359-9666; www.flyzoom.com) is set to begin servicing New York JFK to London Gatwick in late June for $199 each way, which is going to work out to $699 RT including taxes. As of this writing, the cheap seats are readily available. By comparison, other airlines are charging close to $1,000 RT including tax for non-stops on this route.

Iberia Sale to Europe, the Mediterranean, and Middle East

To celebrate the launch of its new 5 days-a-week Boston-Madrid route, Iberia Airlines (tel.800/772-4642; www.iberia.com) has announced a great fare sale to a number of domestic, European, and Mediterranean destinations, including Cairo, Casablanca, and Tel Aviv.

The fares are generally very good and there are some extraordinary bargains to be had on usually pricey routes to cities like Lisbon, Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Vienna. Destinations included in the sale are:

  • Madrid, Barcelona
  • Bilbao, Malaga, Santiago, Sevilla, Valencia
  • Lisbon, Porto, Rome, Milan, Venice, Athens
  • Paris, Nice, Geneva, Zurich, Vienna, Moscow
  • Amsterdam, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich
  • Tel Aviv, Cairo, Algiers, Casablanca

For departures before May 15, fares to Spain and the rest of Europe are $100 off the advertised rate and start at $450 (or $500-560 incl. taxes, depending on the destination). Points beyond Europe are $200-400 more.

You can travel through Dec. 31 with a 30-day maximum stay, but prices are higher after May 15 and tickets must be purchased by May 31. Iberia Plus members earn double frequent flier points.

JetBlue Spring Sale

JetBlue's (tel.800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com) latest sale has some pretty decent fares, including Boston to Bermuda for $99 each way and Newark to Orlando for $59 each way. Other airlines are matching, but not always with JetBlue's signature nonstop service and tasty snacks. These fares must be purchased by April 20, and are good for travel from May 3 through June 19 in most cases.

--Additional reporting by Tracy W. Stewart and Bo Borre

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and blogger whose website, www.airfarewatchdog.com, tracks unadvertised airfare wars and fare sales, including the most helpful and always updated Top 50 Airfares.

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