New airline routes launched (27 March – 2 April 2012)
Route of the Week: AirAsia Philippines’ launch
- The latest AirAsia franchise, AirAsia Philippines, started operations on 28 March with a twin domestic route launch involving popular tourist destinations. Flights from Clark (CRK) to Kalibo (KLO) in the Visayas and Davao (DVO) in Mindanao are now offered each with twice-daily frequencies, and are operated with the airline’s small fleet of two A320s, which will double in size by the end of this year. “Philippines is a robust and growing market. We are here because we are confident of its growth,” said AirAsia Group’s CEO Tony Fernandes. AirAsia Philippines faces AirPhil Express on both routes, as the competing airline also launched operations at Clark the on 29 March. AirPhil Express now serves a total of four destinations, including thrice-weekly to Davao and four-weekly to Kalibo.
The rest of this week’s new routes
- On 28 March, Aegean Airlines further expanded its international network from Heraklion (HER) in the eastern part of the island of Crete. Unlike the second Greek carrier, Olympic Air, which has abandoned all Western-European markets, Aegean now offers each twice-weekly flights from the airport to both Brussels (BRU) and Munich (MUC). Both services are operated with A320s. Aegean will face competition from Condor in the Munich market with its also twice-weekly services. Other international routes operated by Aegean from Heraklion include Paris CDG and Moscow Domodedovo.
- Air France continued its expansion in the French regions by launching its Toulouse (TLS) base, resulting in 10 routes being launched on 1-2 April, as detailed in the table below. Notably, Air France has avoided routes that compete with low-cost airlines, of which both easyJet and Vueling are based in Toulouse. The Hamburg route is notable for connecting two major Airbus sites. On 30 March, the airline also expanded its French network from its base at London City (LCY), which is operated by its subsidiary CityJet. The airline now flies twice-weekly to Brest (BES) in Brittany in northwestern France using 50-seat Fokker 50s.
|01-Apr-12||Berlin Tegel (TXL)||4||A32S|
|02-Apr-12||Casablanca (CMN)||3||A319||Royal Air Maroc (6)|
|01-Apr-12||Marrakech (RAK)||2||A32S||Royal Air Maroc (4)|
|01-Apr-12||Seville (SVQ)||4||A319||Iberia (4)|
|01-Apr-12||Tunis (TUN)||4||A32S||Tunis Air (7)|
|Source: anna.aero new route database & SRS Analyser for w/c 2 April 2012|
- Having abandoned its two European routes (London Gatwick and Paris Orly) and also withdrawn from the Indian market (Delhi and Mumbai), AirAsia X is consolidating its position in the Australian market instead with the launch of new daily flights between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Sydney (SYD) which started on 1 April. The route is already served by Malaysia Airlines with two daily flights. AirAsia X started serving Australia in November 2007 when it launched flights to the Gold Coast. Melbourne and Perth both followed in November 2008. According to official Australian statistics, AirAsia X last year had a 2.4% share of the Australian international market, ranking it in tenth place (Malaysia Airlines ranks eighth with 4.2% of the market). In December 2011, AirAsia X’s share was as high as 2.8% as the airline carried 75,797 passengers at an average load factor of almost 81%. Sydney Airport’s CEO Kerrie Mather commented: “Asia is one of our strongest growth markets for both inbound and outbound travel and AirAsia X’s decision to start a daily service to Sydney shows that we are in a great position to capitalise on the boom in Asian tourism. Low cost carriers are unlocking new demand to travel, particularly in South East Asia. Last year, Malaysian visitors to Sydney grew 9 per cent and we expect to achieve strong growth in the coming years. Likewise, the strong Australian dollar is seeing Australians go abroad in record numbers.”
- Just one day after the launch of Philippines AirAsia, also reported on this week, AirPhil Express entered the new airline’s territory, starting as many as four new destinations from Clark (CRK). Cebu (CEB) and Kalibo (KAL) are now served with four weekly frequencies, while three weekly flights are offered from Davao (DVO) and Puerto Princesa (PPS). All flights are operated with the airline’s fleet of A320s. AirPhil Express will face competition on three of the new routes. The Cebu market is already served with thrice-weekly services by Cebu Pacific, while AirAsia Philippines launched its first two destinations, Davao and Kalibo, on 28 March and each is now offered on a twice-daily basis.
- On 30 March, Colombia’s Avianca commenced twice-weekly services to Havana (HAV) from its base in Bogotá (BOG). The 2,200-kilometre route is served with A319 equipment, offering 120 seats inclusive of 12 in business class. This new Caribbean route reinforces Avianca-TACA’s presence in Havana, as the airline group also offers services from San Salvador and Lima. Avianca’s CEO, Fabio Villegas Ramírez, said that “while considering this route, the airline was looking to consolidate connecting opportunities for Latin America’s Caribbean-bound leisure segment.” The airline faces competition from both Copa and Cubana, which serve the market with one weekly flight each.
- Bangkok Airways expanded internationally out of Koh Samui (USM), the Thai island airport owned by the airline, on 31 March. The airline now flies daily to Kuala Lumpur (KUL), the main airport serving the capital of neighbouring Malaysia and the hub of Bangkok Airways’ new codeshare partner Malaysia Airlines, using A319 aircraft. Indirect competition at Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Airport comes from Firefly’s daily and Berjaya’s three flights a week.
- Following last week’s launch of three new routes from Belfast City (BHD), bmibaby has added another route from the airport this week. Palma de Mallorca (PMI) will be served twice-weekly during the summer season with a third weekly flight between the end of June and the beginning of September. In addition the airline has launched six other new routes; three each from its two bases in the UK midlands, Birmingham (BHX) and East Midlands (EMA). The three ‘new’ Birmingham routes to Barcelona (BCN), Lisbon (LIS) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO) have all been served by the airline before. Barcelona was served between 2007 and 2009, while Lisbon and Rome were both served between 2008 and 2009. Direct competition on these routes is currently limited to Monarch’s new service to Rome. From East Midlands (EMA), bmibaby faces direct competition from Ryanair (with daily flights) on the Murcia (MJV) route, and from Thomson Airways (with weekly flights) on the Naples (NAP) route.
|27-Mar-12||Belfast City (BHD)||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||2|
|29-Mar-12||Birmingham (BHX)||Barcelona (BCN)||4|
|31-Mar-12||Birmingham (BHX)||Lisbon (LIS)||2|
|30-Mar-12||Birmingham (BHX)||Rome Fiumicino (FCO)||4|
|31-Mar-12||East Midlands (EMA)||Gibraltar (GIB)||3|
|31-Mar-12||East Midlands (EMA)||Murcia (MJV)||2|
|01-Apr-12||East Midlands (EMA)||Naples (NAP)||2|
|Source: anna.aero new route database WF: Weekly frequency|
- CSA Czech Airlines continued expanding its Eastern European network by adding its sixth Russian destination on 28 March. The SkyTeam airline now flies twice-weekly from its Prague (PRG) hub to Ufa (UFA), the capital of the Bashkir Republic west of the Ural Mountains, with 128-seat A319 aircraft. This makes Czech Airlines’ the third non-CIS airline to serve Ufa after Turkish Airlines and flydubai. With the new route, Prague also becomes the only point in the European Union with a scheduled link to Ufa. Jiří Marek, Czech Airlines’ VP Sales and Marketing, commented: “We have declared repeatedly that Czech Airlines will increasingly focus on markets in the post-Soviet region, where there is significant long-term potential.” He continued: “The new route between Prague and Ufa is the next step in the fulfilment of our strategy and the transformation of our carriage network.”
- Donavia, Aeroflot’s subsidiary based in Rostov on Don (ROV) in southern Russia, launched a new route from its main base to Antalya (AYT) on Turkey’s southern coast on 27 March. The airline initially operates twice-weekly, on Fridays and Sundays, increasing with an additional Saturday operation at the end of May.
- EastarJet, the South Korean low-cost airline, launched its fifth international route and third route to Japan on 30 March when the airline began operating between Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Osaka Kansai (KIX). Flights operate twice-daily in competition with each three daily flights on Asiana and Korean Air as well as each daily flights offered by ANA and Jeju Air.
- A busy week for easyJet with the launch of 16 new routes; nine from its two new bases in France, six from three UK bases, and one from its main Swiss base. Leading the way are the airline’s first ever flights from London Southend (SEN), which became a base on Monday 2 April. The first day saw routes to Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN) and Belfast International (BFS) with more new routes starting later in the week which we will cover in next week’s anna.aero. Speaking at the launch event, Catherine Lynn, easyJet’s Director for Customer and Revenue, commented: “We are delighted to be checking in our first passengers from London Southend this morning. We have worked hand in hand with the airport for many months to make this a great passenger experience. We are confident that more than 800,000 passengers will enjoy the fast, convenient and friendly experience of travelling from London Southend over the next year.” Nice (NCE) finally became a dedicated base and celebrated with the launch of six new routes; three domestic (all against Air France), two to Italy and one to Spain. The Nice – Barcelona route is already served by both Iberia and its LCC partner, Vueling. From Toulouse (TLS), easyJet has started three more international routes to Basel (BSL), Porto (OPO) and Venice (VCE) all served with three weekly flights. A notable new route from the UK is the introduction of flights between London Luton (LTN) and Reykjavik (KEF) in Iceland. Although easyJet has never previously served Iceland, Go (which easyJet acquired in 2002) operated seasonal summer services from London Stansted to Reykjavik in both 2000 and 2001. Paul Simmons, easyJet’s UK Director, said: “We are thrilled our first flight to Iceland has taken off from London Luton Airport today and are pleased with the fantastic response we have received from passengers. This is set to be one of our most successful destinations to date, and as a result we have committed to a year-round service.” The British ambassador to Iceland, Ian Whitting, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome easyJet as the first British airline for many years on the UK Iceland route.”
|28-Mar-12||Geneva (GVA)||Venice (VCE)||3|
|28-Mar-12||London Gatwick (LGW)||Fuerteventura (FUE)||2|
|31-Mar-12||London Luton (LTN)||Corfu (CFU)||2|
|27-Mar-12||London Luton (LTN)||Reykjavik (KEF)||3|
|02-Apr-12||London Southend (SEN)||Amsterdam (AMS)||12|
|02-Apr-12||London Southend (SEN)||Barcelona (BCN)||7|
|02-Apr-12||London Southend (SEN)||Belfast International (BFS)||13|
|30-Mar-12||Nice (NCE)||Barcelona (BCN)||4|
|30-Mar-12||Nice (NCE)||Bordeaux (BOD)||4|
|30-Mar-12||Nice (NCE)||Lille (LIL)||4|
|30-Mar-12||Nice (NCE)||Nantes (NTE)||5|
|31-Mar-12||Nice (NCE)||Naples (NAP)||3|
|31-Mar-12||Nice (NCE)||Venice (VCE)||3|
|27-Mar-12||Toulouse (TLS)||Basel (BSL)||3|
|31-Mar-12||Toulouse (TLS)||Porto (OPO)||3|
|27-Mar-12||Toulouse (TLS)||Venice (VCE)||3|
|Source: anna.aero new route database
WF: Weekly frequency
- Following last week’s several route launches, Estonian Air added yet another destination from its base at Tallinn (TLL). Beginning on 2 April, services to Hannover (HAJ) in northwest Germany are offered with six weekly frequencies, using 72-seat CRJ900 aircraft. The 1,200-kilometre route has not been served before.
- On 2 April, Ethiopian Airlines launched a new route connecting its Addis Ababa (ADD) hub and Mahé (SEZ) in the Seychelles. The airline, which is the youngest member of Star Alliance, offers thrice-weekly services to the Indian Ocean island using its fleet of 118-seat 737-700s. Ethiopian is the only Star member to serve the archipelago. “Ethiopian Airlines is pleased to fly to Seychelles, offering travellers from any part of the world access to its legendary beauty and amenities,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. There is no competition on the 2,400-kilometre route.
- Etihad Airways might have served a total of 72 worldwide destinations, but it was not until 1 April that the airline launched its first non-stop East African route. The Emirati carrier’s hub in Abu Dhabi (AUH) is now connected with daily services to the Kenyan capital Nairobi (NBO). There is no competition on the 3,500-kilometre route, which Etihad operates with 136-seat A320s. “This new route will allow Etihad to tap into large traffic flows between East Africa, North Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent,” commented Etihad’s CEO James Hogan. Nairobi became the second African destination started by the carrier in 2012, following the relaunch of Tripoli services in mid-January. Etihad is set to further expand its African network and flights to Lagos, scheduled to launch in July, are next in the pipeline.
- Beginning on 2 April, the Finland’s national carrier Finnair operates from its Helsinki (HEL) home base to Dubrovnik (DBV) on the Croatian Adriatic coast. The thrice-weekly flights are operated by the Finnish oneworld member using A320 equipment. The airline will not face competition until 4 May, when SAS-owned Blue1 restarts its twice-weekly seasonal service, which it has operated since 2009.
- UK regional airline Flybe has introduced three weekly flights between Newcastle (NCL) in the north-east of the UK, and Bergen (BGO) on Norway’s west coast using Q400 aircraft. This is a route required by the Norwegian airport in the Route Shop. Newcastle already has direct scheduled services to another Norwegian city; Stavanger, also famous for its oil industry links, is served by both Eastern Airways and Widerøe. Newcastle becomes the sixth UK airport to have non-stop flights to Bergen, after Aberdeen (Widerøe), Edinburgh (Norwegian), London Gatwick (Norwegian), London Heathrow (bmi British Midland) and Manchester (SAS). Last year, passenger numbers at Bergen rose by 10.4% to 5.61 million, while at Newcastle they fell by just 0.2% to 4.34 million.
- Lufthansa’s in-house LCC germanwings has added four new routes from its main Cologne/Bonn (CGN) base and one from its Stuttgart (STR) base. The airline’s new routes to Catania (CTA) from both airports will compete with existing services operated by airberlin. The Nador (NDR) route from Cologne/Bonn is already served by Air Arabia Maroc, but both Rijeka (RJK) and Tunis (TUN) are not currently served by any other scheduled carrier. This summer, germanwings will serve almost 70 destinations from Cologne/Bonn.
|Launch date||Origin||Destination||WF||Competition (WF)|
|27-Mar-12||Cologne/Bonn (CGN)||Catania (CTA)||2||airberlin (3)|
|30-Mar-12||Cologne/Bonn (CGN)||Nador (NDR)||1||Air Arabia Maroc (2)|
|27-Mar-12||Cologne/Bonn (CGN)||Rijeka (RJK)||3||-|
|30-Mar-12||Cologne/Bonn (CGN)||Tunis (TUN)||2||-|
|27-Mar-12||Stuttgart (STR)||Catania (CTA)||2||airberlin (4)|
|Source: anna.aero new route database, SRS Analyser|
- Mexican LCC Interjet, which has a 25% share of the Mexican domestic market having carried over 6.3 million passengers in 2011, has launched a new domestic service between Mexico City (MEX) and Leon (BJX), a sector length of less than 400 kilometres. The route, which Interjet will operate daily with its 150-seat A320s, is currently served by Aeromexico with five daily flights using regional jets. This summer, Interjet will operate 39 routes (including five international routes to Guatemala, Havana, Miami, and San Antonio) using a fleet of 33 A320s.
- UK low-cost airline Jet2.com has introduced seven new routes from its bases in Scotland and the north of England. The main focus is on the Spanish leisure market with new routes to Alicante (ALC) from Edinburgh (EDI), Lanzarote (ACE) and Malaga (AGP) from Glasgow (GLA), and Barcelona (BCN) from both Glasgow and Manchester (MAN). There are also new routes from Leeds/Bradford (LBA) to Budapest (BUD) and from Manchester to Paris CDG (CDG). Ryanair already serves the Edinburgh – Alicante route, easyJet has daily flights from Glasgow to Malaga, Monarch already links Manchester with Barcelona, while Air France and Flybe already operate flights between Manchester and Paris CDG.
|Source: anna.aero new route database WF: Weekly frequency|
- Jetairfly, the Belgian airline in TUI group, in the last week launched two new routes to the Mediterranean from Brussels Charleroi (CRL), a domestic route within France and a new service to the Azores from Brussels (BRU). From the Belgian capital’s main airport, Jetairfly launched two weekly flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) on 2 April. The seasonal route will operate with 737-700s until 8 October. From the Belgian low-cost airport at Charleroi, the leisure airline began operating to Nice (NCE) in southern France on 30 March. Flights then continue to Paris Vatry (XCR), the airport in France’s Champagne region that anna.aero reported from last week. On both routes, the two weekly operations will increase to three a week during July and August. The following day, Jetairfly also launched three weekly flights to Palma del Mallorca (PMI), competing with Ryanair’s five flights a week on the same route.
- On 27 March, KLM added new African route to its network from Amsterdam (AMS), making Luanda (LAD) its 11th destinations on the continent. Amsterdam is the seventh European city to be directly linked to oil-rich Angola’s capital, which is now offered with twice-weekly frequencies. The new service adds to the also twice-weekly Air France schedule from Paris CDG, and consolidates the group’s domination of African markets in Europe. “Together with our partner Kenya Airways, we offer 89 flights a week between Europe and Africa, offering travellers a network that is as seamless as possible,” said Pieter Bootsma, KLM’s EVP Marketing, Revenue Management and Network.
- Having launched a number of destinations from its Frankfurt and Düsseldorf hubs last week, Lufthansa turned to Munich (MUC), Europe’s sixth busiest airport as shown in a recent anna.aero analysis, for even more network growth. On 31 March, the airline launched services to the Spanish city of Valencia (VLC), while flights to another Mediterranean destination, Montpellier (MPL) in France, were commenced on the following day. Both destinations are offered with one weekly frequency, but Lufthansa uses smaller CRJ900s on the French route, as opposed to A319s that serve Valencia. There is no direct competition on either route. Lufthansa already serves Valencia from Düsseldorf, while Montpellier is a new destination for the German Star Alliance member.
- Following the introduction last week of seven new routes, UK hybrid carrier Monarch has added two further destinations from its Manchester (MAN) base. Dubrovnik (DBV) in Croatia will be served with three weekly flights while Venice (VCE) will also be served with three weekly flights, both routes operated by A320s. While the former is uncontested, Jet2.com offers six weekly flights between Manchester and Venice this summer. Maybe surprisingly, Ryanair does not (yet) operate flights between Manchester and Venice Treviso, although it serves the secondary Venice airport from Leeds/Bradford.
- Norwegian, Europe’s third largest LCC, has added a further seven new routes this week from its bases across Scandinavia. Of particular interest is the new route between Gothenburg (GOT) and London Gatwick (LGW), which was served by easyJet between September 2010 and January 2012. The only one of these new routes with direct competition is Norwegian’s new Stockholm (ARN) to Amsterdam (AMS) service, which will offer an alternative to passengers travelling with KLM (five daily flights) and SAS (daily flight). Bratislava (BTS), the capital of Slovakia, is a new destination for Norwegian, bringing the number of destinations served from Norwegian’s main hub at Oslo (OSL) to well over 80 this summer. Tomas Kika, Chief Commercial Officer of Airport Bratislava, commented: “I am very happy that it is again Norwegian Air Shuttle that will introduce further new connections from Bratislava to Copenhagen already in May. I believe that the move of flights from Vienna to Bratislava was very good step and beginning of strong and lasting partnership.” Notably, the new service between Trondheim (TRD) and Berlin (SXF), currently Schönefeld – soon Berlin Brandenburg, was a key route required by the Norwegian airport in the Route Shop.
|30-Mar-12||Bergen (BGO)||Edinburgh (EDI)||2|
|29-Mar-12||Gothenburg (GOT)||London Gatwick (LGW)||6|
|28-Mar-12||Oslo (OSL)||Bratislava (BTS)||2|
|27-Mar-12||Oslo Torp (TRF)||Gran Canaria (LPA)||1|
|30-Mar-12||Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)||Amsterdam (AMS)||6|
|30-Mar-12||Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)||Krakow (KRK)||3|
|28-Mar-12||Trondheim (TRD)||Berlin (SXF)||2|
|Source: anna.aero new route database|
- On 1 April, OLT Express inaugurated its operations with a new service from Warsaw (WAW) to Gdańsk (GDN), while regular services launched on the following day. The new Polish airline, which made headlines in mid-February with its promise to revolutionise the domestic market, faces either the Polish flag carrier, LOT Polish Airlines, or its subsidiary eurolot on three out of the 10 routes. Competition is set to tighten, as both carriers respond to OLT Express’ entry; eurolot already announced the increase of frequencies in a number of markets, and will also follow OLT Express in the Poznań (POZ) to Gdańsk (GDN) market beginning in May. Among routes previously unserved, OLT Express brings Łódź (LCJ) back to Poland’s domestic market, as it adds services to Gdańsk (GDN) and Wrocław (WRO). Notably, OLT Express serves eight routes with A319s and A320s, providing capacity levels unheard of before in the country. The table below summarises all new routes launched by OLT Express this week.
|Gdansk (GDN)||Szczecin (SZZ)||8||ATR42|
|Wroclaw (WRO)||12||ATR72||Eurolot (7)|
|Warsaw (WAW)||41||A32S||LOT Polish Airlines (48)|
|Wroclaw (WRO)||Warsaw (WAW)||28||A32S||LOT Polish Airlines (40)|
|Katowice (KTW)||Rzeszow (RZE)||5||ATR72|
|Source: anna.aero new routes database, OLT Express website WF: Weekly frequency|
- Following the launch last week of its third route, Japan’s newest LCC Peach has started a fourth route from Osaka Kansai (KIX) to Kagoshima (KOJ) on the southern tip of Japan. The route will be served double-daily with an A320. Although no other carrier serves this airport-pair, Skymark Airlines operates twice-daily flights from Osaka Kobe to Kagoshima, while ANA operates five daily flights between Osaka Itami and Kagoshima.
- Europe’s fifth biggest LCC Pegasus has launched flights to its 51st destination. From 2 April the airline is operating four weekly flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) to Sanliurfa (GNY) in south-eastern Turkey. Flights depart Istanbul on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 05:35 and at 20:10 on Thursdays. For the first couple of weeks, there is an additional flight on Fridays as well. Last year, Pegasus carried over 11 million passengers and grew by 32%. It now operates a fleet of well over 30 737-800s, having taken delivery of two further units during January.
- For the second week running, Ryanair has launched 70-odd new routes across its network of 50 European bases. This week’s highlights include making Wroclaw (WRO) the airline’s first designated base in Poland, and 26 new routes to various Greek destinations, mostly from the UK and Italy. The average weekly frequency of the new routes launched this week is just 2.2 flights per week, with just one (Karlsruhe-Baden to Palma) operated more than three times per week. Just five of these routes are already served with airberlin operating Karlsruhe-Baden to Palma, Aer Lingus serving Dublin – Verona, bmibaby serving East Midlands – Almeria, Royal Air Maroc operating between Marseille and Oujda, and Wizz Air linking Wroclaw and Paris Beauvais.
|28-Mar-12||Ryanair||Budapest||BUD||Palma de Mallorca||PMI||2|
|27-Mar-12||Ryanair||East Midlands||EMA||La Rochelle||LRH||3|
|27-Mar-12||Ryanair||Frankfurt Hahn||HHN||Lamezia Terme||SUF||2|
|27-Mar-12||Ryanair||Karlsruhe-Baden||FKB||Palma de Mallorca||PMI||7|
|28-Mar-12||Ryanair||Palma de Mallorca||PMI||Cork||ORK||2|
|27-Mar-12||Ryanair||Palma de Mallorca||PMI||Kaunas||KUN||2|
|27-Mar-12||Ryanair||Palma de Mallorca||PMI||Magdeburg/Cochstedt||CSO||3|
|29-Mar-12||Ryanair||Palma de Mallorca||PMI||Tampere||TMP||1|
|Source: anna.aero new route database
WF: Weekly frequency
- Following last week’s launch of four routes, including two from Khabarovsk (KHV), the Russian oneworld carrier S7 added further two routes from the capital of Khabarovski Krai in the Russian Far East. On 29 March, the airline launched new domestic route to Magadan (GDX) in the Eastern Russian region of Kolyma, while flights to Hong Kong (HKG) commenced on the following day. Each of the two routes is operated once a week. There is no competition on the international route, while IrAero, Yakutia Airlines and Sakhalin Airlines each serve the 1,600-kilometre routing to Magadan with weekly flights, and Vladivostok Air provides further four-weekly frequencies. In addition, S7 started international services from Yakutsk (YKS) to Beijing (PEK), which are offered thrice-weekly. All new routes are operated with the airline’s fleet of A320s.
- Having launched four new routes the previous week, SAS added further three services on 31 March. Two sunshine destinations in the Mediterranean were added from the carrier’s hub in Copenhagen (CPH); thrice-weekly flights to Malaga (AGP) on the Spanish Costa del Sol as well as weekly services to Split (SPU) in Croatia. In addition, flights were launched from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Malaga (AGP) were added and are now operated on a thrice-weekly basis. The airlines faces Scandinavia’s low cost carrier Norwegian on the two routes to Malaga, on which it provides twice as many weekly frequencies as SAS. Cimber Sterling provides additional competition in the Malaga market, offering daily flights from the Danish capital.
- SATA International of Portugal’s Azores launched a new route to Germany on 31 March. Using 161-seat A320s, the airline now flies weekly from Porto (OPO) in the north of the Portuguese mainland to Munich (MUC) in southern Germany. This is the airline’s second German destination after Frankfurt.
- On 31 March, SkyWork launched two new summer routes from its base in Bern (BRN). The Swiss capital is now connected with weekly flights to Olbia (OLB), which serves the popular Italian island of Sardinia, and Reus (REU) in Spain’s southern Catalonia. The airline, which started two routes last week, will operate the routes with 31-seat Do328 turbo-props.
- On 1 April, Tajik Somon Air added its fifth Russian destination from Khujand (LBD), connecting Tajikistan’s second-largest city with Sochi (AER), which serves the popular Black Sea resort that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The airline, which is headquartered in Dushanbe, serves the route with weekly services operated with 737-800 equipment. Competition comes from the Moscow Domodedovo based VIM Airlines, which also offers the service with one weekly frequency.
- Air France/KLM’s in-house LCC Transavia.com has launched a new route from its main Amsterdam (AMS) base to Seville (SVQ) in Spain. Flights will operate three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for much of the summer season, although not apparently between 6 July and 3 September. The Spanish LCC Vueling also operates three weekly non-stop flights (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) on this route during the summer season, starting on 26 April. According to AENA statistics, in 2011 the Amsterdam – Seville route was flown by just 21,931 passengers whereas 41,443 passengers flew between Seville and Eindhoven with Ryanair.
- Ural Airlines added flights to its second German destination after Munich on 2 April when the Russian airline launched a new route between Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and Cologne/Bonn (CGN). The internationally growing airline, which was analysed by anna.aero last year, will operate the new route three times weekly, increasing to five weekly flights in June. The all-Airbus operator will use 159-seat A320s on the new route, which indirectly competes with germanwings’ four weekly flights to Moscow Vnukovo.
- Virgin Australia launched its fourth route to Darwin (DRW) in Northern Territory on 2 April as the airline began operating from Sydney (SYD), complementing its operations from Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. The daily route is operated with 176-seat 737-800 aircraft. Notably, Virgin Australia’s partner airline SilkAir last week launched Singapore flights to Darwin, creating connection opportunities, although not with coordinated schedules. Merren McArthur, Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances, Network and Yield, commented: “We are excited to bring competition to the Sydney-Darwin route with our new daily service between the two capital cities. Darwin is an important commercial hub and is also the gateway to the Northern Territory’s popular leisure destinations.” Competing airlines on the new route are Qantas, which flies twice-daily, and Jetstar, which operates 11 flights a week.
- Mexican LCC vivaaerobus has resumed flights between its base at Guadalajara (GDL) and Cancun (CUN). Flights on the 1,700-kilometre sector operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Rival LCC Volaris already operates the route with two daily flights. vivaaerobus previously operated the route briefly in early 2010. Last year, the airline carried 2.94 million passengers on its Mexican domestic flights, giving it an 11.5% share of the market.
- Leading Mexican LCC Volaris has added three more routes to its growing domestic network. It has added twice-weekly flights between Cancun (CUN) and Aguascalientes (AGU), Cancun and León (BJX), and Guadalajara (GDL) and San Jose del Cabo (SJD). Last year, Volaris carried 4.6 million passengers on Mexican domestic flights giving it an 18% share of the market. According to Airbus, the airline currently operates a fleet of 24 A319s and 10 A320s with outstanding orders for an additional 58 A320s, including 30 A320neo.
- After launching 16 new routes last week, Vueling has introduced a further 12 new routes this week. From its main base in Barcelona (BCN), the airline has launched six new routes and resumed flying to Nice (NCE). While France is a major focus for growth with new routes to Lyon (LYS), Marseille (MRS) and Strasbourg (SXB), there are also two domestic routes to Almeria (LEI) and San Sebastian (EAS), and one to Cardiff (CWL) in Wales. The Barcelona – Cardiff route was served by bmibaby in the summer of 2008 and 2009. Vienna (VIE) gets its second Vueling service with the launch of three weekly flights to Paris Orly (ORY).
|31-Mar-12||Palma de Mallorca||PMI||Lyon||LYS||3|
|Source: anna.aero new route database WF: Weekly frequency|
- Europe’s now sixth biggest LCC Wizz Air (it was overtaken last year by Pegasus) has introduced seven new routes during the last week. Three of the routes are between Poland and Norway with Gdansk (GDN) getting new connections to Haugesund (HAU) and Trondheim (TRD), and Warsaw (WAW) getting a service to Stavanger (SVG). Norwegian competes on the Stavanger route with twice-weekly operations. Wizz Air is also resuming flights from Lviv (LWO) in the Ukraine, with the re-launch of flights to Dortmund (DTM) and Venice Treviso (TSF). This follows the completion of runway reconstruction works at the airport. According to Sergii Dementiev, Director General of Wizz Air Ukraine, “Lviv is expecting a sharp increase in the number of foreign visitors in 2012, starting with the EURO 2012 Football Championships, so modernization of the airport infrastructure, resulting in an improved travel experience, is well-timed. The reintroduction of these popular German and Italian destinations will also create a truly affordable and convenient travel opportunity for many Ukrainians working abroad or travelling for business or leisure purposes.” Another route resumption for Wizz Air is between Budapest (BUD) and Warsaw, which the airline operated between December 2005 and March 2008. LOT Polish Airlines provides competition with double-daily flights. Finally, Thessaloniki (SKG) in Greece returns to the airline’s network. During April, there will be two weekly flights from Budapest with services then resuming once more between 22 June and 14 September.
|31-Mar-12||Wizz Air||Lviv||LWO||Venice Treviso||TSF||3|
|Source: anna.aero new route database WF: Weekly frequency|
- On 2 April, the Russian carrier Yakutia Airlines expanded its network with two new destinations; one domestic and one international. A weekly service to the Kirgiz capital Bishkek (FRU) is now offered from Krasnodar (KRR) in southernmost Russia. 737-800s are used on the route and Yakutia Airlines does not face any competition in the market. In addition, the airline increased its presence at Moscow Vnukovo (VKO), launching daily services to Makhachkala (MCX) in the Republic of Dagestan. Flights to the North Caucasian town on the shores of the Caspian Sea are operated with TU154 equipment. Yakutia Airlines faces competition from Gazpromavia and UTair, which serve the market with daily and twice-daily services respectively.