LOT Polish Airlines, together with the Georgiae Faveo Foundation, baked a cake in the shape of the Georgian flag to celebrate the inaugural Warsaw-Tbilisi service, as well as flowers in the nation’s colours and souvenirs.
LOT Polish Airlines launched services from Warsaw to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, on 15 September. The service is operated three times per week with Embraer 175 aircraft. It is the latest step in the expansion of the Polish carrier’s rich ‘Eastern’ route network.
Together with the Georgiae Faveo Foundation, LOT Polish Airlines prepared a cake in the shape of the Georgian flag for the first passengers, as well as flowers in the nation’s colours and souvenirs. Each passenger also received a book by Georgian author Giorgi Maglakelidze – “Georgian Toasts – The Forgotten Art of the Feast of the World”.
Cake of the Week:
Dragonair’s Hong Kong to Shanghai Hongqiao
Our first Chinese Cake of the Week! Celebrating the new daily service between Hong Kong and Shanghai Hongqiao, which coincides with Dragonair’s 25th anniversary, four people were needed to cut the grand cake: Sam Swire, Dragonair’s GM mainland China, and Wang Guangdi, VP Shanghai Airport Authority, as well as Dragonair’s CEO James Tong and Hu Yaming, Deputy Director General East China Regional CAAC.
Dragonair was the first Hong Kong airline to begin operating between Hong Kong (HKG) and Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA). On 15 September, the airline launched a daily service on the route with A330-300s. Only a week earlier, the same route was launched from the mainland China end by both China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines, each also operating daily. At the beginning of the winter season, Hong Kong Airlines will become the fourth airline to operate the route daily.
anna.aero Angel: Janis Vanags, VP Corporate Communications at airBaltic
airBaltic’s VP Corporate Communications, who readers will recognise from many cake-cutting pictures, is challenging a local Latvian journalist to a flower selling competition. If you would like to support our industry colleague, vote for him in this poll
The rest of this week’s new routes
Aerosvit on 20 September launched a new international route from the Black Sea city of Odessa (ODS). The airline now serves Milan Malpensa (MXP) four times a week, operated by Dniproavia with 49-seat ERJ145 aircraft. Notably, this is the airline’s first route to Milan, which it does not serve from its main base in Kiev.
Passengers in the gate area for Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight from and to Seattle were treated with jazz and blues music and, after the customary ribbon-cutting ceremony, departing passengers were pampered with Alaska Airlines goody bags.
Alaska Airlines launched two new routes from the Pacific Northwest US in the last two weeks. From Portland, OR (PDX), the airline serves Honolulu, HI (HNL) as of 20 September, while Seattle, WA (SEA) got connected with St Louis, MO (STL), a new destination for the airline, a week later. Both routes are served daily with 157-seat 737-800s. The Hawaiian route faces competition form Hawaiian Airlines’ also daily flights, while the St Louis service is uncontested. Joe Sprague, Alaska’s VP marketing, said: “We’re pleased to bring our award-winning customer service to the ‘Gateway to the West. With new nonstop service to St. Louis, Alaska Airlines and our sister carrier, Horizon Air, together serve 30 of the top 35 most-visited destinations from Seattle.”
Allegiant Air on 15 September expanded its network into Colorado Springs, CO (COS), which it already has served from Las Vegas, NV since 2002. Two new routes have been launched, from Long Beach, CA (LGB) as well as Phoenix/Mesa, AZ (AZA), both of which will be served twice weekly with the airline’s MD80s. Mark Earle, Colorado Springs Airport Director of Aviation, said: “The Allegiant service to Las Vegas has been a very successful route at Colorado Springs Airport. The addition of new nonstop Allegiant service to Phoenix and Long Beach means our customers will now have low-cost service to three of our top destinations.”
Belavia was welcomed to Batumi in Georgia with a gorgeous cake, fruit and refreshments. The TAV run airport is now connected with the Belarusian capital Minsk twice a week.
Belavia, the expanding Belarusian national carrier analysed by anna.aero last month, launched a new service between its Minsk (MSQ) base and Batumi (BUS), the Georgian city on the Black Sea. As of 15 September, flights operate twice a week with 737-500s. The route was most recently operated last summer by Sky Georgia as a weekly, seasonal service.
bmibaby resumed a route to Munich just in time for the ‘Oktoberfest’ beer festival. As of 17 September, the day before the festival, the British low-cost carrier flies three times a week from East Midlands (EMA), alternating between 148-seat 737-300s and 131-seat 737-500s. The airline last operated the route between 2002 and 2003.
Danish Tourist Board hostesses join BA CityFlyer crew were at London City’s steps to welcome new and regular users of the Copenhagen link - Cimber Sterling suspended its 11-weekly flights only two days before BA’s launch.
British Airways’ subsidiary BA CityFlyer on 21 September launched a new service between London City (LCY) and Copenhagen (CPH). Flights will operate 11 times a week with 76-seat E-170s and keep the route alive after Cimber Sterling suspended its also 11 weekly flights only two days before BA’s launch. Similarly to Cimber Sterling, BA will operate morning and evening flights Monday to Friday and evenings only on Sundays. The British Airways brand is already flown between London City and Denmark by the airline’s franchisee Sun-Air of Scandinavia, which has served London City from Billund since January 2009.
Cape Air on 17 September took over an ‘Essential Air Service’ from Air Choice One. The airline now flies 21 times a week between St Louis, MO (STL) and Kirkville, MO (IRK) using 9-seat Cessna 402 aircraft.
Chalair was saluted as its Beechcraft arrived into Brest. The two daily connections with Lille add to the airline’s existing services from Bordeaux to the expanding Brittany airport.
Chalair, the French regional carrier, launched two new routes between Brittany in northwest France and Lille (LIL) in the north of the country on 27 September. From Rennes (RNS), the airline flies ten times a week to Lille before continuing to Brest (BES). Flights operate twice-daily on weekdays with 19-seat Beechcraft 1900.
CityLine Swiss, a virtual airline whose flights are operated by CityLine Hungary, on 20 September began operating two new routes from Marseille (MRS). Six days a week, the airline flies to both Pau (PUF) in the French Pyrenees as well as Rome Fiumicino (FCO). The aircraft used is a quick-change 737-200. The new Rome service competes with Air France’s two daily ATR72 flights operated by CCM Airlines.
Eastern Airways, which predominantly flies domestic routes in the UK, launched its first foreign base on 20 September when it began operating from Dijon (DIJ) in the east of France to Bordeaux (BOD) in the southwest of the country. Bordeaux Airport’s Commercial Development Director Jean-Luc Poiroux told anna.aero how there is a business market not the least in the wine industry between the two wine regions. A week later, another route was added to Toulouse (TLS). Both routes have been operated in the past, although last in 1992. Each route is now operated 11 times a week with 29-seat Jetstream 41 aircraft.
Frontier’s Chautauqua Airlines operated ERJ145 was welcomed to Bradley International after its maiden voyage from Milwaukee.
Frontier on 27 September began serving Hartford, CT (BDL) from Milwaukee, WI (MKE). Flights between the two airports were last operated by Midwest Airlines, now a part of Frontier, until September 2008. This is not the first time the Frontier brand has been operated into the New England airport Bradley International, as the airline used to operate flights from Denver between 2007 and 2008. The new route will be operated by Chautauqua Airlines 12 times a week with ERJ145s. Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s VP strategy and planning, commented: “Providing the Hartford community with its only nonstop service to Milwaukee will add some much needed convenience and great value for business and leisure travelers alike. With twice-daily roundtrip flights, the Hartford community can now enjoy nonstop access to our Milwaukee hub, with connections to more than 70 destinations across the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica.”
Gulf Air expanded its Yemeni network on 22 September when it added the port city of Aden (ADE) to its network. Its five weekly flights between Bahrain (BAH) and Sana’a (SAH) have been reduced to four times a week and instead operate via Aden on the return leg. 124-seat A319 aircraft are used on the route. Maher Al Musallam, Gulf Air’s Deputy CEO, said: “Gulf Air has been linking Yemen for nearly 35 years since we started our services to the capital Sana’a in 1976. We strongly believe there is a huge commercial and tourism potential in Aden; with the presence of the largest port in the country, just 4 nautical miles from the second largest shipping corridor in the world, a free trade zone, a transhipment point, a modern port, and a renovated airport. Aden is well positioned to grow as a hub of manufacturing, real estate/land development, transshipment and tourism. We have scheduled the flight timings in such a way that it provides a convenient two-way connectivity to all the major GCC cities in addition to major cities in the Indian sub-continent via Bahrain.”
Iberia on 16 September launched services to its second Algerian destination after the country capital Algiers, when the airline launched two weekly services between Madrid (MAD) and Oran (ORN) on the Algerian Mediterranean coast. The airline last served the city between 1992 and 1995. The 600-kilometre route will be operated with 132-seat A319s.
Interjet, the Mexican low-cost carrier, on 20 September expanded its Mexico City (MEX) network by launching two new routes previously operated by defunct Mexicana. The airline now flies six times a week to both the coastal city of Veracruz (VER) and Villahermosa (VSA) in the south of the country. Flights are operated with the airline’s 150-seat A320 aircraft, an atypical seating density for a low-cost airline. Competition to Veracruz comes from AeroMexico’s 46 and Aeromar’s 26 flights a week, while the Villahermosa route faces AeroMexico’s 37 weekly frequencies.
Harry van Lieshout, Manager Sales & Operations, FlyOrange; Dieter Fassold, FMO Passenger Services; Detlef Döbberthin, Manager Aviation Marketing Münster/Osnabrück Airport; Joachim Jones, CEO Jetisfaction.com; and Andrés Heinemann, Marketing Manager, Münster/Osnabrück Airport, saw off Jetisfaction’s first flight from Münster/Osnabrück to Poznan, a route that launched with a full load of passengers. On arrival at the Polish airport, Mariusz Wiatrowski, President Poznan Airport, and Joachim Jones posed for a photo to commemorate the promising new service.
Jetisfaction, the German airline that ordinarily provides charters, launched two scheduled routes on 27 September. From Münster/Osnabrück (FMO) in northwest Germany, the airline now flies ten times a week, mornings and evenings Monday to Friday, to Zurich (ZRH) as well as five times a week, midday every weekday, to Poznan (POZ) in western Poland. Flights are operated by the Dutch company FlyOrange with 18-seat Beechcraft 1900D.
Moldavian Airlines was welcomed to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, the world’s fastest-growing airport, with its new twice-weekly service from Chisinau. Nicolae Petrov, the airline’s CEO, presented the new route to the gathered press.
Moldavian Airlines launched two weekly flights between the Moldovan capital Chisinau (KIV) and fast-growing Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) on 15 September. The flights, which are operated with the airline’s 105-seat Fokker 100, compete directly with Air Moldova’s also two weekly flights on the route as well as indirectly with Turkish Airlines’ and Air Moldova’s each daily flights between Chisinau and Istanbul Atatürk.
Palau-based PacificFlier relaunched operations – surprisingly with an A310 again – and arrived into Clark in the Philippines on its first of two flights a week.
PacificFlier of Palau, the Micronesian island nation, relaunched its operations by opening two routes out of Koror (ROR) in the last week. On 21 September, the airline launched three weekly flights to Taipei (TPE), a distance of 2,400 kilometres, and the following day, two flights a week began operating to Manila Clark (CRK), 1,750 kilometres away. When the airline previously suspended operations, it stated that a more suitable aircraft than the A310 was required, however, the new routes are still operated with an A310-300. The airline has plans to commence flights to Hong Kong, Australia and Guam in the future.
Press interest at at the launch of Chennai Madurai services – there are 15 microphones here. Senior SpiceJet executives doing the talking: Bhulo Kansagra, Director, Kishore Gupta, Director and Interim CEO, and Samyukth Sridharan CCO. The cake says “Proud to be in Madurai!” Oh how we love civic pride on anna.aero!!
The Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet on 27 September expanded its Chennai (MAA) network by adding two daily services to its 20th destination; Madurai (IXM) in the south of the country – a distance of 415 kilometres. The 189-seat 737-800s originate in Delhi and Mumbai respectively, creating one-stop connections with the city. The sector from Chennai will compete with Paramount Airways’ 21, Jet Airways’ 19, Star Aviation’s 14, Indian Airlines’ seven and Kingfisher Airlines’ also seven flights a week.
Celebrating the new Tiger Airways Australia route to Cairns with a cake – and a tiger: Steve Wettenhall, MP for Barron River, Cairns Airport’s local constituency; Stephen Gregg, Cairns Airport CEO; Tiger Airways Australia's MD Crawford Rix and Tourism Tropical North Queensland's CEO Rob Giason.
Tiger Airways Australia launched a new route between its Melbourne (MEL) base and Cairns (CNS), an almost vertical route across Australia, on 17 September. This is the airline’s first route to the city known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Flights operate daily with the airline’s 180-seat A320s, competing with Jetstar’s two daily flights, eight flights a week on Virgin Blue and also daily services on Qantas. Tiger Airways Australia’s Commercial Director Steve Burns said: “It’s an exciting time of significant growth for Tiger Airways in Australia as we continue to expand our paw print across the nation. Tiger Airways now flies into every major city and across 19 routes spanning every state and territory.” Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s CEO Rob Giason said: “Melbourne and regional Victoria are among Tropical North Queensland’s most important domestic tourism markets with some 200,000 people arriving from these areas each year. The additional capacity and competitive fares offered on Tiger’s Melbourne – Cairns route will provide additional opportunity to grow these visitor numbers.”
“Antonio” is “Christened” on arrival in La Paz – one of six new routes responding in part to Mexicana’s failure.
Volaris, the Mexican low-cost carrier that recently was analysed by anna.aero, filled some of the void left after Mexicana’s demise when it launched six new routes out of Mexico City (MEX), all of which used to be operated by Mexicana, with its 144-seat A319s in the last week.
AeroMexico (12), Interjet (30), vivaaerobus (7)
AeroMexico (74), Interjet (20)
AeroMexico (32), Interjet (7)
La Paz (LAP)
Los Cabos (SJD)
AeroMexico (9), Interjet (7)
AeroMexico (40), Interjet (14)
*WF: Weekly Frequencies
WindJet is welcomed to Moscow Domodedovo for an astonishing 5th time! It already serves the Russian capital from Forlì, Catania, Verona and Turin; and now Milan Bergamo.
WindJet expanded its Russian network as it launched flights between Milan Bergamo (BGY) and Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 21 September. The airline, which was the first private Italian airline to serve Russia, already serves the Russian capital from Forlì, Catania, Verona and Turin. From the end of October, the airline will also launch flights from Bergamo to St Petersburg. Flights are operated three times a week with 180-seat A320 aircraft. Indirect competition comes from Aeroflot’s two daily and Alitalia’s daily flights between Milan Malpensa and Moscow Sheremetyevo.
Zest Air launched its second route to South Korea, as it on 17 September added services between Kalibo (KLO) in the northwest of Panay Island in the Philippines and Busan (PUS). Flights operate twice a week with A320 aircraft. From Kalibo, the airline already serves the South Korean capital Seoul, as well as its own country capital Manila.
Other celebrations in the last week
Avianova transported its millionth passenger on 23 September – shortly after the airline’s first anniversary. The lucky passenger, Oksana Kryukova who was travelling with her son Ivan from Moscow to Rostov-on-Don, got the golden luggage label that will give her free baggage allowance on Avianova flights for life.