New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 14 March – Friday 20 March)

Route of the week: Singapore to Kuwait (via Abu Dhabi)

Image: Singapore Airlines
Ahmed Al-Adwani, Singapore’s ambassador of Kuwait at the launch of the Singapore- Kuwait service, via Abu Dhabi. The carrier will now operate seven times weekly from Abu Dhabi (thrice weekly from Jeddah and four times weekly from Kuwait).
  • Singapore Airlines has made Kuwait (KWI) its 68th and latest destination. Flights will operate four times weekly from Singapore (SIN) via Abu Dhabi (AUH) using 777-200s. The addition of Kuwait to the Singapore Airlines network comes after the conclusion and signing of a broad Open Skies Agreement between Singapore and Kuwait last November. “Its geographical size and a relatively small population belie Kuwait’s position as a prominent financial and trade centre in the Middle East, and a treasure trove of interesting historical sights,” said Mr Huang Cheng Eng, Singapore Airlines’ Executive Vice President, Marketing and the Regions. He added: “As trade and investment opportunities increase in the Middle East, and new tourism potential is being tapped, Singapore Airlines is playing its part connecting these economic centres with Singapore and its global network beyond.”

Kilt of the week: Bahrain to Kathmandu

Image: Bahrain Air
Bahrain Air has launched its fifteenth destination since beginning operations last year. The privately owned national carrier now serves Kathmandu with thrice-weekly flights. At the welcoming reception in Nepal were a number of Bahrain Air officials, including managing director, Ibrahim Abdulla Alhamer (the masked figure isn’t him)
  • Bahrain Air, having recently celebrated its first birthday, has added Kathmandu (KTM) in Nepal to its growing network. Flights depart Bahrain (BAH) on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Gulf Air already operates the route nine times weekly. Bahrain Air will be adding two further new routes in the coming weeks when it starts daily flights to Abu Dhabi (from 29 March) and thrice-weekly flights to Kozhikode (Calicut) in India from 1 April. The airline operates a mix of A319s and A320s.
Image: Heinan Airways
March 19: Wang Ying Ming, the President of Hainan Airlines is greeted at Sheremetyevo 2 for the route opening ceremony in which passengers departing for Beijing enjoyed a performance by Chinese drummers. Flights from Moscow to Beijing place from three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  • Hainan Airlines has begun direct flights between the capitals of China and Russia. This week saw the launch of thrice-weekly services between Beijing (PEK) and Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO). An A330-200 will be used on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday though the airline hints that an A340-600 may be used in the future. Hainan Airlines will be joining Aeroflot and Air China who already both serve this eight-hour route with daily flights. According to OAG data Hainan Airlines already operates scheduled services from Beijing to Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk in Russia.
  • Aer Lingus is now complementing its existing daily service between Dublin and Lisbon with a thrice-weekly service between Cork (ORK) and Lisbon (LIS) using an A320. This brings to 17 the number of destinations served by Aer Lingus from Cork with Rennes making it 18 at the end of April. However, routes to Jersey and Prague from Cork that operated last summer are no longer operated by the airline.
Image: Jeju Air
  • Jeju Air, a mostly private low-cost Korean airline which began operations in 2006, has started flying daily between Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Osaka Kansai (KIX) in Japan. It has also started serving Kitakyushu (KKJ) thrice-weekly from Seoul. Both routes will be operated by the airline’s 737-800s. Its existing scheduled network consists of connecting Jeju with Seoul Gimpo (with 13 daily flights) and Busan (four times daily) using a mix of Q400s and 737-800s.
Image: Mexicana launch
No lesser mortal than the President of Mexico himself, Filipe Calderon, was guest of honour this week at the launch of Mexicana Link which immediately began two services from its base in Guadalajara to Monterrey and Puerto Vallarta.
  • Mexicana Link is the brand name for Mexicana’s new Guadalajara (GDL) based regional airline designed to re-establish routes lost after the demise of several local low-cost airlines. The airline will use 50-seat CRJs formerly operated by Chautauqua Airlines in the US. Its first two routes started this week to Monterrey (MTY) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR). Both routes will be operated four times daily. On both routes the airline will be competing directly with AeroMexico while on the Monterrey route, where AeroMexico offers 55 weekly departures, there will be additional competition from Aviacsa (14 weekly flights) and Interjet (12 weekly flights). Last year Mexicana handled 11.7 million passengers. For the latest trends in Mexican aviation see this week’s trendwatch.
Image: Turkish Airlines
Continuing Trish Airlines’ expansion programme, Mashad-Istanbul is Turkish Airlines’ 112th international route and the 3rd destination point in Iran after Tehran and Tabriz.
  • Fresh from launching flights to Ufa in Russia last week, Turkish Airlines has this week added Mashad (MHD) in Iran to its rapidly expanding Istanbul (IST) based network. Flights will operate thrice weekly using a 737-800. The route is operated as a night-flight as flights arrive in Mashad at 03:05 local time and depart back to Istanbul at 04:05 local time. Mashad, in the north-east of the country becomes the airline’s third route to Iran as it already serves Tehran and Tabriz.

Route Recycle Bin

To see the latest information we have on routes that have recently been dropped or soon will be, check out our unique downloadable Route Recycle Bin spreadsheet. We currently have over 860 routes in our database which may be of interest to carriers.


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