New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 26 July – Friday 1 August 2008)
- Fast-growing Romanian LCC Blue Air began its third non-stop service from Sibiu (SBZ) this week. Having started services to Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart earlier this summer the airline is now starting twice-weekly (Friday, Sunday) flights to Madrid (MAD). It already serves Madrid four-times weekly from its main base at Bucharest Baneasa.
- Etihad launched not one but two new routes to India this week from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) base, bringing to six the number of Indian cities served by the airline. Daily services began on Friday to Kozhikode (CCJ) and Chennai (MAA). Some readers may be more familiar with these places by their former names, Calicut and Madras. Both routes will be served by the airline’s 140-seat A320 fleet. Local rivals Emirates began flying to Kozhikode on 1 July. Recently awarded traffic rights will allow Etihad to serve Kolkata and Jaipur. The airline has yet to announce launch dates for these routes.
- Ryanair re-started an Italian domestic route this week between Rome Ciampino (CIA) and Alghero (AHO) in Sardinia. The airline had operated the route between May 2005 and April 2006 before the Italian authorities banned Ryanair from operating it by giving it PSO (Public Service Obligation) status. Ryanair will now operate the route daily with indirect competition from Air One who fly four times daily from Rome Fiumicino to the Sardinian airport. It will become Ryanair’s 13th route to the airport where the airline currently has a 55% share of scheduled capacity. Last year Alghero airport handled a record 1.3 million passengers (+21.4%) and in the first five months of 2008 traffic is up a further 16%.
- Volareweb has added a weekly service from Milan Malpensa (MXP) to Rhodes (RHO) which will operate until 6 September. That’s just seven round trips in total.
- Wizz Air inaugurated three new routes this week two from its expanding Sofia (SOF) base in Bulgaria. Barcelona (BCN) will be served thrice weekly and Valencia (VLC) twice weekly. Both routes will compete directly with Bulgaria Air services. This will bring to eight the number of destinations currently served by Wizz Air from Sofia. Another new service links Budapest (BUD) with Oslo Torp (TRF) twice-weekly making it the only scheduled service from Hungary to Norway.
AHO, AUH, BCN, Blue Air, BUD, CCJ, CIA, Etihad, MAA, MAD, MXP, New routes July 2008, RHO, Ryanair, SBZ, SOF, TRF, VLC, Volareweb, Wizz Air