Route of the Week:
United Airlines’ Washington to Bahrain
Dr Osama Al Ali, CEO of Bahrain Airport Company, was joined by the US Ambassador to Bahrain, Adam Ereli, and Capt. Abdul Rahman Al Gaoud, Undersecretary of Bahraini Civil Aviation Affairs to cut the cake for United Airlines' first flight from Washington D.C. while United’s SVP Alliances, International and Regulatory Affairs Mark Schwab looked on.
- United Airlines began serving Bahrain (BAH) on 18 April. The American major now operates daily flights from Washington Dulles (IAD) via Kuwait (KWI) using 777-200ERs. This is the first direct air service between Bahrain and the United States since Gulf Air dropped its New York JFK service in 1997. For United, it is also the airline’s 15th capital to capital route. Dr Osama Al Ali, CEO of Bahrain Airport Company, commented: “With United Airlines flying to Bahrain daily, we have now expanded our network to include another important destination via a highly acclaimed carrier. We want to grow our relationship with United Airlines to become one of the prime destinations on their route map to the Middle East. That means operating more flights, to more destinations, including non – stop to the Mid West and the West Coast. As we strengthen our ties with United Airlines, I am confident we can take Bahrain International Airport to new heights.”
Cake of the Week:
JetLink Express’s Nairobi to Khartoum
Khartoum Airport’s VIP lounge was the setting of the celebrations for JetLink Express’s new route from Nairobi. The cake was cut by Capt. Elly Aluvale, MD/CEO JetLink; Kenya’s Ambassador to Sudan, Robert Mutua Ngesu; and (far right) Capt. Adil Mofti MD/CEO Mass Travel Sudan, JetLink’s GSA. Ready to sample the cake are a delegation of JetLink employees; Cindy Wamalwa, Marketing Executive; Bena Omusinde, Reservations Agent; Eva Kavere, Marketing Executive, Cyrus Kikuyu, Station Manager (background); Carol Barasa, Cabin Crew; Noella Madaga, Head of Cabin Services (background).
- JetLink Express launched five weekly CRJ100 flights between its Nairobi (NBE) base and Khartoum (KRT) on 15 April. The route is operated in competition with Kenya Airways’ six weekly and the Eritrean airline Nasair’s four weekly flights. Both competitors use larger 737 aircraft.
- Alitalia has launched two seasonal, domestic routes from Milan Malpensa (MXP) on 16 April. The southern Italian destinations Brindisi (BDS) and Lamezia Terme (SUF) will each be served daily with A320s until the end of October.
- Belavia, the Belarusian national airline, launched six weekly CRJ200 services to Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) from its Minsk (MSQ) base, a journey scheduled to last 80 minutes, on 15 April. The airline already serves the other two Moscow airports Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo three and two times daily, respectively.
- easyJet, which was supposed to launch a new base at Doncaster/Sheffield (DSA) on 19 April, at least had time to launch four weekly flights from Bristol (BRS) to Paphos (PFO) in Cyprus on 14 April, before the volcanic ash cloud disrupted large parts of European air traffic. Although this is the airport’s only scheduled service to Cyprus, charter flights to both Paphos and Larnaca compete with the new easyJet service.
- Egyptair launched flights to Paphos (PFO) from its Cairo (CAI) hub. On 17 April, the airline began serving the Cypriot destination with two weekly flights using 737-800s. The airline already serves Larnaca four times weekly in competition with Cyprus Airways’ two weekly flights.
A great cake was baked to welcome Frontier’s route to Louisville. Frontier Airlines’ VP Strategy and Planning Daniel Shurz cut the cake with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. All passengers were treated with refreshments as well as a gift bag each, filled with airport and Frontier trinkets. Representatives from the Louisville Zoo were also on site, such as Bump the Red-Tailed Hawk and Hobbs the Barn Owl.
Branson Airport was delighted to welcome the Frontier service from Denver and celebrated with both a cake and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Jeff Bourk, Branson Airport’s Executive Director, remarked: “Today’s inaugural flight throws open the doors to Branson. Frontier’s Denver service with connecting cities, allows the western United States low fare access to and from Branson.”
- Frontier launched three new routes out of Denver (DEN) on 19 April. Louisville, KY (SDF) gets the highest frequency and capacity with daily A319 services that compete with United Airlines’ also daily flights. Branson, MO (BKG) and Green Bay, WI (GRB) will be served with E-190s, four and three times weekly respectively. The Green Bay service is seasonal and will operate until 22 October.
Bryan Thompson, Mumbai Airport's Director Operations, lights the inaugural lamp and cuts the ribbon for the launch of Jet Airways's Mumbai-Johannesburg flights. Joining him are Jet Airways' CCO Sudheer Raghavan and CEO Nikos Kardassis.
- Jet Airways launched daily flights between Mumbai (BOM) and Johannesburg (JNB) on 14 April. The flights, which will be operated on 220-seat A330-200s, compete with South African Airways’ four weekly flights. In addition to the potential of the large Indian diaspora in South Africa, Jet Airways’ CEO Nikos Kardassis comments: “Jet Airways is delighted to enter Africa with its daily Mumbai-Johannesburg service. South Africa’s reputation as a leading tourist and business destination, and the fact that it will play host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup also presents a huge opportunity for Jet Airways.”
Vijay Arora, All India Head of Sales, Kingfisher Airlines, hands over the boarding pass to the first passenger on Kingfisher Airlines’ inaugural Delhi-Bangkok flight. The airline, which expands internationally from Delhi and Mumbai, will face considerable competition on the two routes, but benefit from a large domestic feeder network.
- Kingfisher Airlines have launched flights to Bangkok (BKK) from both Mumbai (BOM) and Delhi (DEL) on 17 April. These launches are the airline’s fourth and third international routes from the two airports respectively. The each six weekly flights will be operated with A320s and both enter already competitive markets. On the Mumbai route, competition comes from Jet Airways (14/w), Thai Airways (10/w), Indian Airlines (7/w) and Cathay Pacific (3/w), while the Delhi service competes with Thai Airways’ twice daily as well as Jet Airways’, Indian Airlines’ and Cathay Pacific’s each daily flights. Kingfisher Airlines’ EVP Commercial Manoj Chacko commented: “Kingfisher Airlines has the largest network in India and flies to many cities that are served only by Kingfisher Airlines. The Mumbai – Bangkok flight offers excellent connectivity with Ahmedabad, Goa, Nagpur, Indore amongst other cities”.
- Midwest Airlines launched a daily, non-stop service between Milwaukee (MKE) and San Francisco (SFO) on 19 April. The flights will be operated seasonally until 30 September with A319s and face competition from AirTran’s also daily service. The airline also operates the route year round as a stopping service via Kansas City.
- Ryanair has added another route to Béziers (BZR) on the French south coast. On 13 April, Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) was connected with a twice-weekly 737-800 service to the airport, which only is served by the Irish LCC, presently from Bristol, London Luton and Düsseldorf Weeze.
Ibaraki Prefecture’s governor, Masaru Hashimoto, led the ribbon cutting ceremony and spoke to the gathered crowd celebrating the brand new Ibaraki Airport’s second route. Skymark now connects the airport, which serves Tokyo, daily with Kobe.
- Skymark became the second airline, after Korea’s Asiana Airlines, to launch flights into the brand new airport in Ibaraki (IBR) on 16 April, which counts as Tokyo’s third airport. The daily flights from Kobe (UKB) will be operated with 737-800s. Skymark has informed anna.aero that the route has been an instant success, with loads exceeding what the airline had anticipated.
Spanair’s much anticipated new flights from Barcelona to Belgrade – the first link in over a decade – were celebrated with a conference attended by president, Ferran Soriano, and CEO, Mike Szücs. Speaking is none other than the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic.
- Spanair, the subject of this week’s airline analysis, managed to avoid major disruption to its route launches this week and launched five new routes, of which three were to Moroccan destinations. From the airline’s Barcelona (BCN) hub, three weekly flights were launched to Belgrade (BEG) on 15 April using 156-seat A320s. This is the first flight between the Serbian capital and Spain since November 1998, when JAT dropped its Madrid service. On 19 April, the airline managed to find a routing that avoided restricted airspace and thus launched its thrice-weekly A320 Zagreb (ZAG) service out of Barcelona as planned. The service will be operated in competition with Star Alliance partner Croatia Airlines, although the two airlines complement each other’s services by flying on different days of the week. The three Moroccan routes launched are all served twice-weekly. From Barcelona, Nador (NDR) was launched on 18 April, while Malaga (AGP) saw the addition of Marrakech (RAK) and Tangier (TNG) on 14 and 18 April respectively. The Nador service is operated in competition with Ándalus’s three weekly and Jet4You’s two weekly flights, while Ándalus also flies between Malaga and Marrakech twice-weekly.
Los Mochis got two new routes on vivaaerobus in the last week. As of 13 April, the airport is connected each twice weekly with both Monterrey and Tijuana on the ultra low cost carrier.
- vivaaerobus launched six new routes in the last week, all operating twice-weekly with the airline’s 737-300s. On 13 April, Monterrey (MTY) saw the launch of four routes, to Ciudad Obregon (CEN), Los Mochis (LMM), Mexicali (MXL) and Morelia (MLM), while Tijuana (TIJ) received a route to Los Mochis (LMM). The Tijuana service is operated in competition with a daily service operated by Mexicana only, as AeroMéxico pulled out of the route at the end of February this year. As of 15 April, Guadalajara (GDL) is also connected with Puerto Vallarta (PVR) on vivaaerobus. The 200-kilometre route competes with AeroMéxico’s 26 weekly flights and Mexicana’s 14 flights a week.
Previous weeks’ launch celebrations
At the beginning of the summer season, the Romanian LCC Blue Air launched flights between Bucharest Băneasa and Dublin, which is here seen celebrated in Dublin with the airport authority’s Aviation Marketing Manager Mark Evenden, who received an intriguing statue as a gift to mark the occasion.
Big celebrations were due for the launch of Blue Air’s new foreign base at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus, where the Romanian LCC now has one aircraft based. Blue Air’s new CEO Sherif Ussama cut the cake before being joined by Antonis Paschalides, the Cypriot minister of tourism, in cutting the ribbon.