Route of the week: Air Arabia’s Sharjah to Kiev service
|Low-cost carrier Air Arabia is continuing to expand into the Eastern European market, with the launch of a thrice-weekly flight from Sharjah to Kiev. The inaugural flight was attended by Adel Ali, Air Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer, with special guests including the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.|
- Air Arabia has started its first route to the Ukraine. From this week the airline flies three times weekly from Sharjah (SHJ) to Kiev (KBP). No other carrier currently serves the route. The 3,500-kilometre flight is one of the longest among the airline’s growing network. In two weeks the airline will celebrate its fifth anniversary, having carried 10 million passengers in that time. Its fleet has steadily grown to reach 11 A320s.
Cake of the Week: OpenSkies Amsterdam – New York Service
|The new service between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and New York John F. Kennedy Airport marks the second route for OpenSkies, which began daily flights between New York-JFK and Paris-Orly in June.
Present at the cake cutting ceremony were Dale Moss (Managing Director OpenSkies), Marjorie Ames (Consulate USA in Amsterdam) and Marcel Lekkerkerk (Director Aviation Marketing Amsterdam Airport Schiphol).
- OpenSkies, the all-business class subsidiary of British Airways, has started its second route this week. Following the launch of flights between Paris and New York in June, Amsterdam (AMS) will now be connected with New York JFK (JFK) six times weekly, using a 757 configured with just 64 seats in two classes (Biz and PREM+).
- Alaska Airlines through its partner Horizon Air has begun operating daily flights between Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) and Idaho Falls (IDA) in Idaho. A Q400 will serve the 900-kilometre route.
- Allegiant Air launched two more routes this week. Eugene (EUG) in Oregon is now connected twice weekly with Phoenix/Mesa (AZA) in Arizona, while Kalispell (FCA) in Montana (also known as Glacier Park International Airport) gets twice-weekly flights to Las Vegas (LAS). As usual all flights are operated by 150-seat MD80s.
- easyJet has added a new destination to its network this week. From Monday the airline has been operating domestic daily flights from its Milan Malpensa (MXP) base to Lamezia Terme (SUF) in southern Italy. Competition is provided by Volareweb, who also operate the route daily. Lamezia Terme airport, which handled nearly 1.5 million passengers in 2007, is popular with low-cost carriers and already welcomes Air Berlin, Germanwings, Niki and Ryanair. So far in 2008 traffic at the airport has grown by 4.8%.
- Norwegian has started weekly operations from Oslo (OSL) to Lanzarote / Arrecife (ACE). Flights depart every Monday until 4 May 2009.
- Pacific Blue, the name for Virgin Blue’s international operations, began two new routes this week from Sydney (SYD), including new daily flights to Auckland (AKL) in New Zealand. Virgin Blue Group CEO Brett Godfrey said: “Our strategy is always to look for markets that are under-served – not just in capacity but in terms of value for money. Sydney is an iconic holiday destination and Auckland is a key gateway to New Zealand and a beautiful harbour city in its own right, so it’s great to be able to offer much more affordable fares between these two cities and play a positive part in boosting tourism on both sides of the Tasman.” The other route started this week links Sydney (SYD) twice-weekly with Port Vila (VLI) on the island of Vanuatu.
- TAM has begun daily flights between Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Lima (LIM) using an A320. The route is currently served by LAN Peru and TACA. Lima therefore becomes TAM’s 17th international destination and first in Peru. According to Paulo Castello Branco, TAM’s Vice President of Sales and Planning: “The start of service to Lima gives continuity to our strategy of expanding TAM’s international network. Offering passengers new destinations and possibilities of connections is part of our search for excellence of service, one of TAM’s three pillars of performance, together with management and technical-operational excellence.”
- United Express has begun new twice daily flights between Portland, Oregon (PDX) and Klamath Falls (LMT), and North Bend (OTH). Both of these airports are also in Oregon. Services are operated by United Express regional partner SkyWest Airlines using Embraer 120 Brasilias. These services replace flights operated by Horizon Air who ended services on both of these routes on 11 October.
- Virgin Blue has added a new destination to its Australian network with the start of daily flights between Melbourne (MEL) and Mildura (MQL) in Victoria. Flights will be operated by an Embraer E170 regional jet. Mildura already has 50 weekly departures for Melbourne, shared between Regional Express (24 weekly departures) and Qantas (26 weekly departures). Scheduled flight time is just 60 minutes. Virgin Blue CCO Stefan Pichler commented: “We chose Mildura to be Virgin Blue’s newest regional destination as it ticked all the boxes in terms of population base, existing airport infrastructure, tourism growth potential and also largely thanks to a pro-active and supportive council and business community who encouraged Virgin Blue to bring its services to the Sunraysia region.”
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