New airline routes launched (29 May – 4 June 2012)
Hawaiian Airlines’ Honolulu to New York JFK
- Hawaiian Airlines launched its longest domestic route on 4 June when it began serving the US east coast from its Honolulu, HI (HNL) base. The airline now flies daily to New York JFK, NY (JFK), where it connects with its new partner airline jetBlue. 294-seat A330-200 aircraft are used on the 8,000-kilometre route, which indirectly competes with United’s daily flights at Newark. For video coverage from the route launch celebrations at the Hawaiian end of the route, see KITV’s coverage on YouTube.
LOT Polish Airlines’ Warsaw to Beijing
- On 29 May, LOT Polish Airlines introduced thrice-weekly services from Warsaw (WAW) to Beijing (PEK). The 7,000-kilometre route between the capitals of Poland and China is currently offered with 767-300ER aircraft. Marcin Piróg, president of LOT Polish Airlines, said: “LOT is going back to the Far East, the world’s fastest developing region. We are very well prepared to introduce flights to Beijing. We have convenient slots, high-class airports in the centre of both cities, a Star Alliance partner Air China and high standard of in-flight service during just a nine-hour flight. The prestige of the route will soon be enhanced by introducing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.” LOT previously briefly offered the route in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but was forced to withdraw from the market following Russia’s cancellation of the airline’s permit for flights over Siberia.
The rest of this week’s new routes
- On 1 June, the Greek carrier Aegean Airlines commenced a seasonal service connecting Corfu (CFU) and Brussels (BRU), where it connects with its Star Alliance partner Brussels Airlines. The route will be operated with twice-weekly frequencies until the end of September, using A320 aircraft. Jetairfly provides competition on the route, which it also serves with weekly frequenicies.
- Aeroflot launched two new routes in the last week; one domestic and one to the Ukraine. On 1 June, the Russian flag carrier connected its Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) hub with Odessa (ODS), the third-largest city in the Ukraine. Flights to the city on the Black Sea coast operate daily with 87-seat Sukhoi Superjet aircraft. Indirect competition at the other Moscow airports comes from Aerosvit’s nine weekly flights to Vnukovo as well as Transaero’s nine and S7’s two flights a week from Domodedovo. On 2 June, Aeroflot continued its expansion by launching a daily service from its Moscow hub to Tomsk (TOF) in Siberia. The route, which is operated with 140-seat A320 aircraft, indirectly competes with also each daily flights on Transaero and S7 from Domodedovo and UTair from Vnukovo.
- On 1 June, Aerolíneas Argentinas extended its daily flights from Córdoba to Mendoza (MDZ), and now serves what is known as the country’s petroleum corridor. The new stopping service to Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD) via Neuquén (NQN) will depart Mendoza with thrice-weekly frequencies. Another Argentinian carrier, Sol, already serves the corridor with six weekly frequencies, although its flights originate in Rosario rather than Córdoba. Mariano Recalde, CEO of Aerolíneas Argentinas, said: “The new route considerably improves the region’s connectivity, as various international destinations can now be reached through Córdoba without the necessity of travelling via Buenos Aires.”
- Taif (TIF) in Saudi Arabia has become the 53rd and newest destination to be offered by Air Arabia from its main base in Sharjah (SHJ). The route will be served three times weekly on Monday, Thursday and Saturday using an A320. It is the low-cost airline’s first new route from Sharjah in 2012 (it launched a total of six in 2011 – two each to Russia, Saudi Arabia and the Ukraine) and becomes the airline’s seventh destination in Saudi Arabia after Dammam, Gassim, Jeddah, Medinah, Riyadh and Yanbu.
- Air Astana expanded its network to Russia on 2 June when the Kazakh airline connected its main hub at Almaty (ALA) with Kazan (KZN) in Russia’s Tatarstan region. The 2,400-kilometre route is operated three times weekly with 97-seat E-190 aircraft. This is Air Astana’s sixth destination in Russia after Moscow Sheremetyevo, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, St Petersburg and Samara.
- Air Botswana increased its network to neighbouring South Africa on 1 June when the airline connected Maun (MUB) in northern Botswana with Cape Town (CPT). Flights operate daily with BAe 146 aircraft. Although the airline already operates from Gaborone, Francistown, Kasane and Maun to Johannesburg in South Africa, the new service from Maun is the airline’s only route to Cape Town. The airline particularly targets safari tourism to the Okavango Delta region, for which Maun is the gateway, from Cape Town.
- Air Moldova launched its fifth route to Italy on 4 June when the airline connected its base in the Moldovan capital Chisinau (KIV) with Verona (VRN) in northern Italy. Flights operate three times weekly with a mixture of its 114-seat E-190 and 170-seat A320s. Competition comes from Meridiana fly’s daily operations on the same route. Air Moldova already serves Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Venice and Bologna in Italy.
- Alitalia’s subsidiary Air One has added a sixth international destination to its base at Milan Malpensa (MXP). Starting Friday 1 June, the low-cost airline introduced daily flights to Warsaw (WAW) using an A320. The route is already served by LOT Polish Airlines with up to three daily flights and was one of the routes Lufthansa Italia operated until its closure at the end of 2011. Indirect competition is also provided by Wizz Air, which operates four weekly flights from Milan Bergamo to Warsaw’s main airport until 16 July, when flights transfer to the new Warsaw Modlin Airport.
- New airline AirAsia Philippines has launched daily flights between its base at Clark (CRK) in the Philippines and Kuala Lumpur (KUL) in Malaysia. This complements the existing daily service between the two airports operated by the Malaysian sister airline AirAsia. This is AirAsia Philippines’ first international service from Clark as the three previous routes it introduced since its launch at the end of March were all to domestic points.
- Latvian carrier airBaltic has re-introduced flights between Riga (RIX) and Dublin (DUB). The route used to operate year-round with between two and seven weekly flights until the route was withdrawn last August. Now the route is being re-launched as a summer only service with four weekly flights between 1 June and 31 August. Flights depart Riga at 23:20 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The return flight departs Dublin at 01:10 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving back in Riga at 06:10. The route is served by a 737. Competition is provided by Ryanair which serves the routes with daily flights. Back in January when the resumption was announced, Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, said: “Due to repeated calls from our customers and high demand, we have reintroduced Dublin as a seasonal flight this summer.”
- Airlinair took over a route dropped by Air France on 29 May when the French regional carrier launched 16 weekly flights between Toulouse (TLS) and Marseille (MRS). The 315-kilometre route between the two southern French cities is served with 46-seat ATR42 aircraft, whereas Air France previously operated the route 11 times weekly, mostly with 138-seat A319 aircraft.
- While Southwest subsidiary AirTran continues to function as a separate entity operationally and from a passenger booking perspective, it is also continuing to start new routes in its own right. It has launched three new routes to Mexico, one from Chicago Midway (MDW) and two from Santa Ana (SNA) in California (also better known as John Wayne Airport in Orange County). The three new non-stop Denver (DEN) routes to Akron (CAK), Dayton (DAY) and New York LaGuardia (LGA) will all be taken over by Southwest on 12 August. The two ‘new’ domestic routes from Santa Ana (SNA) to Las Vegas (LAS) and San Francisco (SFO) are already served by both Southwest and United.
|3 June||Chicago Midway, IL (MDW)||Cancun (CUN)||7|
|3 June||Denver, CO (DEN)||Akron, OH (CAK)||7||Frontier (14)|
|3 June||Denver, CO (DEN)||Dayton, OH (DAY)||7||Frontier (14), United (13)|
|3 June||Denver, CO (DEN)||New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA)||14||Frontier (25)|
|3 June||Santa Ana, CA (SNA)||Las Vegas, NV (LAS)||7||Southwest (46), United (34)|
|3 June||Santa Ana, CA (SNA)||Mexico City (MEX)||7|
|3 June||Santa Ana, CA (SNA)||San Francisco, CA (SFO)||7||Southwest (39), United (52)|
|3 June||Santa Ana, CA (SNA)||San Jose Del Cabo (SJD)||7|
|Source: AirTran, Innovata
WF: Weekly Frequency
- Ak Bars Aero launched two domestic routes to the Russian Black Sea coast on 2 June. From Nizhniy Novgorod (GOJ) on the river Volga, the airline now flies each twice-weekly with CRJ200s to Sochi (AER) and Gelendzhik (GDZ). The Sochi route is operated in competition with Yamal Airlines’ also twice-weekly flights.
- Alaska Airlines launched six new regional operations on 4 June, operated with Horizon Air’s 76-seat Q400s or SkyWest’s 70-seat CRJ700s. The three routes out of Portland, OR (PDX) are all seasonal, operating until the end of August, whereas the three California-originating routes are year-round services. Notably, Alaska Airlines has operated a couple of the routes in the past. The airline operated from Portland to Santa Barbara until 2008, while it served Bellingham during the summer of 2010. The route between San Jose and Reno had been operated by Southwest since 1993 until the airline dropped it in April this year, and it is now reinstated by Alaska Airlines.
|Portland, OR (PDX)||Bellingham, WA (BLI)||7||Q400|
|Portland, OR (PDX)||Bozeman, MT (BZN)||7||Q400|
|Portland, OR (PDX)||Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)||7||CRJ700|
|San Diego, CA (SAN)||Fresno, CA (FAT)||14||Q400|
|San Diego, CA (SAN)||Monterey, CA (MRY)||7||Q400|
|San Jose, CA (SJC)||Reno, NV (RNO)||14||Q400|
- Alitalia launched its second route to Libya on 3 June when the Italian SkyTeam airline began operating twice-weekly between its Rome Fiumicino (FCO) hub and the country’s second-largest city Benghazi (BEN). The airline already flies daily to Libya’s capital Tripoli. The new operation, which is performed with 88-seat E-175s, is taken over from Libyan Airlines, which dropped the route on 26 May.
- On 4 June, Colombia’s largest carrier Avianca launched three domestic routes, two of which involve the country’s second-largest city, Cali (CLO). Barranquilla (BRQ) and Cartagena (CTG), both important Colombian sea ports, are now offered from Cali with five weekly frequencies each. Additionally, Avianca added services from Colombia’s second-largest city, Medellín (MDE), to Cúcuta (CUC) in the northeast of the country. Services from the Antioquian city will depart with also five-weekly frequencies. Flights on all routes will be operated with the airline’s fleet of 100-seat A318s. Competition on the route to Cartagena comes from Colombia’s latest airline arrival, VivaColombia, which launched operations as recently as 25 May with two routes from Medellín. The new airline entered the market from Cali to Cartagena on 1 June.
- On 1 June, Azerbaijan Airlines expanded its presence in Russia with weekly services from Baku (GYD) to Novosibirsk (OVB) in Siberia. The 2,900-kilometre route is operated with A319 aircraft. The only other airline to operate the route is Russia’s S7, which serves Baku from Novosibirsk with twice-weekly flights. Recent anna.aero country feature on Azerbaijan showed, that besides Turkey, Russia is the largest country market from Baku.
- Belavia expanded its network to Russia on 3 June when the Belarussian national airline launched a new twice-weekly service between Minsk (MSQ) and Novosibirsk (OVB) in Siberia. The 3,500-kilometre route is operated with 737-500 aircraft. This is the airline’s sixth route to Russia after flights to Moscow Domodedovo, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Sochi and Ekaterinburg.
- Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air has introduced twice-weekly flights between Satu Mare (SUJ) in north-west Romania and Venice (VCE). The service operates on Mondays and Wednesdays and becomes the airline’s third route to Venice which it also serves from Bucharest and Bacau. According to the airline’s timetable, it started flights between Satu Mare and Cuneo in Italy at the beginning of the summer season. Satu Mare’s only other scheduled service is operated by Tarom to Bucharest Otopeni Airport. These flights operate twice on Mondays and Thursdays and once on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays using at ATR 42-500.
- Blue1, SAS’ Finnish subsidiary, launched three routes with its 115-seat 717s at the start of the month. On 1 June, the Star Alliance member further grew its network between its parent’s main base at the Danish capital Copenhagen (CPH) and Finland, launching four weekly flights to Lappeenranta (LPP) by the Russian border. From its main base in Helsinki (HEL), the airline launched two seasonal routes on 2 June, operating until 29 September. Budapest (BUD) in Hungary and Bologna (BLQ) in Italy will initially be served each once-weekly, but increasing to twice-weekly during July and the beginning of August. The airline has operated the Budapest route in the past, in 2007-08. “We are delighted to welcome Blue1 back to the market,” said Kam Jandu, Budapest Airport’s Aviation Director. “This is a great additional seasonal connection to Finland providing passengers travelling from Budapest with improved transit connections to destinations in Scandinavia and beyond.”
- British Airways CityFlyer continued expanding its summer leisure offering out of London City (LCY) by adding to new routes to France. On 29 May, the airline began operating thrice-weekly to Angers (ANE) in the Loire Valley and the following day twice-weekly to Quimper (UIP) in Brittany. Neither of the northwestern French destination airports have other international services. Both routes are operated with the airline’s 76-seat E-170 aircraft; the Angers route until 6 October and Quimper until 9 September. Luke Hayhoe, BA CityFlyer’s GM Commercial, said: “We are very excited about the new routes which are completely new destinations for London City Airport and offer our customers even more holiday choices.”
- Brussels Airlines for the first time launched a transatlantic service on 1 June when the Star Alliance airline connected its Brussels (BRU) hub with New York JFK, NY (JFK). The route was previously operated by the Belgian airline’s state-owned predecessor Sabena until its demise in 2001, but has not been served by any Belgian airline since. 284-seat A330-300 aircraft are used on the route, which now is operated daily in competition with three foreign airlines; American Airlines, Delta and Jet Airways each operate daily, however, Jet Airways will suspend its operations between Brussels and JFK in September. Indirect competition also comes from each daily Newark services on Jet Airways and Brussels Airlines’ Star Alliance partner United.
- Carpatair, the Romanian regional airline, launched a new route out of neighbouring Moldova’s capital Chisinau (KIV) as part of a liberalised agreement between Moldova and the EU. As of 4 June, the airline serves Venice (VCE) in Italy twice weekly in competition with Air Moldova’s thrice-weekly and Meridiana fly’s weekly services. Carpatair already serves Venice from its home base in Timisoara. The new route is operated with 148-seat 737-300 aircraft.
- On 31 May, Cayman Airways commenced seasonal services connecting the Caribbean island Grand Cayman (GCM) and Panama City (PTY). The 1,200-kilometre route connecting the two financial centres is now offered with twice-weekly frequencies until 3 September, and is operated with 737-300s. David Kirkaldy, President of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, said: “The new route makes the Cayman Islands directly accessible from Central and South America, without the need to apply for the US visa. We have lobbied such route for many years.” There is no competition on the route, for which connecting in Miami is the alternative.
- Croatia Airlines took yet another step in the improvement of air connections between Croatia and Serbia on 1 June when the Star Alliance member launched a twice-weekly seasonal service from Split (SPU) on the Croatian coast and Serbia’s capital Belgrade (BEG) with its 76-seat Q400s. Flights operate until the end of September. Although the airline currently faces no competition, Jat Airways will also operate the route twice-weekly between July and September.
- Dragonair, Cathay Pacific’s regional subsidiary, launched its second route to the Philippines on 29 May when the airline launched a daily connection between its Hong Kong (HKG) hub and Clark (CRK). Flights are operated with the airline’s A320 aircraft and compete with three other airlines; SEAir’s eight flights a week, Cebu Pacific’s also daily flights as well as Airphil Express’ four flights a week. Compared with these Philippine competitors, Dragonair makes use of its onward network out of Hong Kong, particularly to Mainland China.
- Dutch Antilles Express, the Caribbean regional carrier based in Curacao (CUR), launched its first route to the US on 1 June when it began serving Miami, FL (MIA). Flights operate daily with MD83 aircraft. Competition comes from American Airlines’ twice-daily operations and Insel Air’s six flights a week.
- Emirates returned to the Vietnamese market on 4 June when the Gulf carrier launched daily flights between its Dubai (DXB) hub and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), the commercial capital of fast-growing Vietnam. The airline previously operated the route in 1995-96. Flights are operated with 278-seat A330-200 aircraft. This makes Emirates the second of the ‘MEB3’ airlines to serve Vietnam after Qatar Airways, which serves both HCMC and Hanoi via Bangkok. Emirates’ EVP Passenger Sales Worldwide, Thierry Antinori, said: “I would like to thank the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam for their support, partnership and vision in ensuring that the launch of Emirates’ services was a success. We look forward to growing our partnership with Vietnam.”
- Denver-based Frontier Airlines has added two more US airports to its network of services to Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic. Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and St Louis (STL) are the latest airports to get connections. Weekly frequency varies during the rest of the year as the service is run in conjunction with tour operators. During the course of 2012, Frontier will also serve Punta Cana from Baltimore/Washington, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
- Lufthansa has passed its Stuttgart (STR) to Bilbao (BIO) route over to its low-cost subsidiary germanwings with effect from Sunday 3 June. The route will now be operated four times weekly with A319s. When Lufthansa operated the route, it typically operated between five and seven weekly flights using 100-seat Fokker 100s operated by Contact Air. However, Lufthansa has decided to end all contract agreements with Contact Air by the end of the current summer season. The airline has been providing up to six Fokker 100s operating under the Lufthansa Regional brand. Bilbao becomes germanwings’ fifth route from Stuttgart to Spain as it already serves Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca.
- Gotlandsflyg, the regional brand of the Swedish regional carrier Sverigeflyg, launched a new route from its base in Visby (VBY) on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea to the mainland on 4 June. The airline now flies four times weekly with ATR72 aircraft to Malmö (MMX) in southernmost Sweden.
- On 2 June, Iberia’s low-cost subsidiary Iberia Express commenced services on the route from Madrid (MAD) to Naples (NAP) in the Italian region of Campania. The A320 operated route is offered with twice-weekly frequencies in competition with easyJet’s five weekly flights. Air Nostrum previously operated the route for Iberia since 2004, but the six weekly flights were dropped altogether in January 2012.
- UK LCC Jet2.com has started seven new routes spread across three of its UK bases. Newcastle (NCL) is the biggest beneficiary with four new routes to Bodrum (BJV) in Turkey, Reus (REU) in Spain, and Rome (FCO) and Venice (VCE) in Italy. The new Berlin (SXF) service from Leeds/Bradford (LBA) was originally supposed to serve the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The two new East Midlands (EMA) routes to Malaga (AGP) and Murcia (MJV) are likely to benefit from the expected closure of bmibaby in September, although Ryanair will be a competitor on both routes.
|1 June||East Midlands (EMA)||Malaga (AGP)||5||bmibaby (13), Ryanair (10), Thomson Airways (1)|
|31 May||East Midlands (EMA)||Murcia (MJV)||3||bmibaby (2), Ryanair (5)|
|1 June||Leeds/Bradford (LBA)||Berlin (SXF)||3|
|4 June||Newcastle (NCL)||Bodrum (BJV)||1||Thomas Cook Airlines (2), Thomson Airways (1)|
|1 June||Newcastle (NCL)||Reus (REU)||2||Thomas Cook Airlines (1), Thomson Airways (2)|
|3 June||Newcastle (NCL)||Rome (FCO)||2|
|31 May||Newcastle (NCL)||Venice (VCE)||3|
|Source: Jet2.com, Innovata
WF: Weekly Frequency
- Lufthansa started a major expansion in the German capital Berlin from 3 June, launching 21 routes in the first two days. Although the expansion was intended to take place at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the German Star Alliance airline now has launched the routes out of its current base at Berlin Tegel (TXL). Some of the routes are a result of operations being taken over from Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary germanwings’ routes from Berlin Schönefeld. On 2 June, Lufthansa also launched a weekly service between Munich (MUC) and Jersey (JER), which is operated seasonally with 116-seat E-195 aircraft until 29 September.
|03-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||7||A319||airberlin (14), Vueling (6); SXF: easyJet (18)|
|03-Jun-12||Bucharest Otopeni (OTP)||4||A319|
|03-Jun-12||Catania (CTA)||2||A32S||airberlin (5)|
|03-Jun-12||Geneva (GVA)||12||A319||SXF: easyJet (13)|
|03-Jun-12||Helsinki (HEL)||7||A319||Finnair (14), airberlin (13)|
|04-Jun-12||Istanbul Atatürk (IST)||4||A320||Turkish Airlines (28)|
|03-Jun-12||Izmir (ADB)||4||A32S||Turkish Airlines (2), SunExpress (2); SXF: SunExpress Deutschland (2)|
|03-Jun-12||Lyon (LYS)||5||A32S||SXF: easyJet (4)|
|03-Jun-12||Malaga (AGP)||2||A320||airberlin (5); SXF: easyJet (2)|
|03-Jun-12||Manchester (MAN)||7||A319||SXF: easyJet (5)|
|03-Jun-12||Nice (NCE)||5||A319||SXF: easyJet (7)|
|03-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||6||A319||airberlin (26); SXF: easyJet (7), Condor (7)|
|03-Jun-12||Rome Fiumicino (FCO)||7||A320||airberlin (14); SXF: easyJet (14)|
|03-Jun-12||Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)||12||A319||airberlin (18), SAS (11)|
|03-Jun-12||Sylt (GWT)||2||A319||airberlin (4)|
|03-Jun-12||Tel Aviv (TLV)||2||A320||airberlin (3); SXF: El Al (8), Israir (5)|
|03-Jun-12||Vienna (VIE)||6||A319||airberlin (39), Austrian (26)|
|*WF: Weekly Frequency
Competition source: Innovata data for w/c 4 June 2012
- On 2 June, Meridiana fly introduced seasonal flights from Olbia (OLB) on the Italian island of Sardinia to Hamburg (HAM) in northern Germany. Flights on the 1,400-kilometre route are operated with twice-weekly frequencies until 29 September using A320s. There is currently no competition on the route, although a number of airlines, including airberlin, have served the market in the past.
- On 30 May, the Russian airline NordStar launched a new route from its secondary hub in Novosibirsk (OVB) to Sochi (AER), located on the Black Sea coast north of Abkhazia. Serving Russia’s third-largest and Siberia’s largest city, Novosibirsk Airport, which was recently analysed by anna.aero, is now connected to the country’s most populous resort with weekly frequencies. NordStar operates the route with 737-800 aircraft and faces competition from S7’s twice-weekly services.
- Norwegian has added another international destination from its main base in Oslo (OSL). From Saturday 2 June, it has added non-stop flights to Ajaccio (AJA) on the French island of Corsica. Initially, flights will operate weekly (Saturday) but from 27 June there will also be an additional flight on Wednesdays. Flights operate until the end of September. Last year, Ajaccio saw total passenger numbers grow by 5.5% to 1.18 million, but international traffic fell by 10.9% to just 50,734 passengers. This summer, there are additional international flights to Basel (easyJet), Brussels (Jetairfly), Geneva (easyJet), London Gatwick (easyJet), Luxembourg (Luxair), and Rome (Air Corsica).
- On 1 June, Poland’s OLT Express launched direct flights from Szczecin (SZZ) in the north-western corner of the country, to both Kraków (KRK) and Katowice (KTW) in the south. While services on both routes are operated with ATR72s, flights to Kraków will depart on a daily basis and to Katowice with six weekly frequencies. As on many other of its routes, OLT Express faces competition from eurolot. LOT Polish Airlines’ regional subsidiary offers nine weekly services on the route to Kraków, which it operates with ATR42s.
- On 2 June, the German regional carrier OLT launched seasonal services from Basel (BSL), Bremen (BRE), Munich (MUC), and Vienna (VIE) to Heringsdorf (HDF). The northern German resort, located on Usedom Island on the German Baltic Sea coast, is offered with weekly services from each of the four destinations until the end of September. There is no direct competition on any of the Saab 2000-operated routes.
- On 1 June, RusLine launched its 13th route from Moscow Domodedovo (DME). Twice-daily services to Orsk (OSW), which is located around 100 kilometres south of the Ural Mountains, are operated with CRJ200s. OrenAir is the only other airline to operate the route, and currently serves the market with daily flights.
- Ryanair launched a modest four routes during the last week. Three of these were from Genoa (GOA) in northwestern Italy’s Mediterranean coast to destinations in Spain; Ibiza (IBZ), Madrid (MAD) and Valencia (VLC). This brings to eight the number of routes the airline operates from Genoa. The previous five routes include three domestic routes to Bari, Cagliari and Trapani, and international services to Brussels Charleroi and London Stansted. Last year passenger numbers at Genoa airport increased by 9.3% to just under 1.4 million. The fourth new route launched this week is between two bases; Cork (ORK) in Ireland and Pisa (PSA) in Italy. All of these new routes will be served twice weekly apart from Genoa – Venice, which gets three weekly flights.
- On 29 May, S7 added twice-weekly flights to Gorno-Altaisk (RGK) in the foothills of the Altai Mountains, to the domestic network it offers from Moscow Domodedovo (DME). The same day, the airline also introduced an international route to Batumi (BUS) in Georgia. Flights operate once a week, complementing the airline’s daily flights to the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Competition on the route comes from Georgian Airlines’ three flights a week. Additionally, on 2 June, the oneworld airline S7 expanded its presence in Spain where its partners with Iberia, making Valencia (VLC) the 11th destination it serves in the country from Moscow. Spain’s third-largest airport on the Mediterranean coast is now offered with weekly frequencies. All three routes are operated with A319 aircraft.
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines resumed flights to Israel’s main airport in Tel Aviv (TLV) from its main hub in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen (CPH) on 4 June. Flights operate once a week with 141-seat A319s, but frequencies increase to twice-weekly between mid-July and the end of August. The Star Alliance airline used to operate the route for decades until it was dropped in 2001. Most recently, the route was operated by now bankrupt Cimber Sterling, which dropped the route in April.
- Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ long-haul low-cost subsidiary, launched operations on 4 June when it began operating its first route; between Singapore (SIN) and Sydney (SYD) in Australia. Flights operate daily with the airline’s 777-200 aircraft. Competition comes from Singapore Airlines’ 28 flights a week, Qantas’ 13 weekly flights and British Airways’ daily operations. Sydney Airport’s CEO Kerrie Mather said: “This is an exciting day for Sydney Airport, with a brand new long-haul low cost carrier starting a daily service to Sydney on a wide-bodied aircraft. We’ve seen how low cost carriers have stimulated demand here and overseas and Scoot’s daily service to Sydney will add 290,000 seats a year to this key growth corridor.”
- Czech LCC SmartWings has begun twice-weekly flights between Prague (PRG) and Bilbao (BIO). The airline is also expanding its network from Ostrava (OSR) with the addition of seasonal flights to Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus and Chania (CHQ) in Greece.
- Sunday 3 June saw the launch of two new daily routes by Southwest. Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) is now connected to Oklahoma City, OK (OKC), while Houston Hobby, TX (HOU) now has daily flights to Seattle, WA (SEA). Indirect competition is provided between Chicago O’Hare and Oklahoma City by American and United, each with five daily flights, while Houston Bush and Seattle-Tacoma are currently served by Alaska Airlines (daily flights) and United Airlines (with seven daily flights). Southwest recently learned that Houston City Council had voted in favour of allowing expansion of Houston Hobby Airport by the airline, which plans to develop a five-gate international facility for international operations.
- Self-styled ULCC (Ultra Low Cost Carrier) Spirit Airlines has added Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) to its growing domestic network with the introduction of daily flights to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) and triple-daily flights to Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD). Spirit’s Chief Marketing Officer Barry Biffle said: “We understand that the Twin Cities has been hungry for low fares and we’re here to satisfy that need by saving consumers money on travel with our ultra low fares. Our super low fares have saved customers millions and given many the opportunity to travel that wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford to do so.” Jeff Hamiel, executive director/CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates Minneapolis/St. Paul International, added: “Spirit Airlines is a great new low-fare option for people travelling between Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, Las Vegas and several points beyond. I wish Spirit every success here and look forward to seeing the airline grow its operation in Minnesota in the years to come.” Spirit Airlines will face considerable competition on the Chicago O’Hare route with American Airlines offering eight daily flights, Delta nine, and United a further 13. In addition, Delta and Southwest both operate eight daily flights from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Chicago Midway Airport. In total, there will now be 49 daily flights between the two cities. On the Las Vegas route, Delta already operates five daily flights, while Sun Country Airlines offers between one and two flights a day.
- On 1 June, TACA expanded its international network from San José (SJO) in Costa Rica, with stopping services to Brazil’s capital Brasilia (BSB) via Bogotá in Colombia. Only a day later, flights to Monterrey (MTY) in Mexico were inaugurated. While four weekly frequencies to the Brazilian capital are offered on the A319-operated service, flights on the 2,400-kilometre route to Monterrey in northern Mexico are offered thrice-weekly and operated with E-190s. There is no direct competition on either of the routes, both of which are operated by the Costa Rican member of the TACA Group, LACSA.
- On 3 June, TAP Portugal commenced four-weekly flights to Turin (TRN), making the northern Italian city the sixth destination it serves in the country from Lisbon (LIS). Services on the 1,600-kilometre route are operated with A319 aircraft. In the past, TAP Portugal’s now regional subsidiary Portugalia operated scheduled flights on the route until services were dropped in 1993.
- Tiger Airways has added another route to its Singapore (SIN) network with the launch last Thursday of flights to Colombo (CMB) in Sri Lanka. The three weekly flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The route is already served by Singapore Airlines (daily with 777s) and SriLankan (double-daily with A320s). This brings to 26 the number of destinations now served by Tiger Airways from Singapore after almost eight years of operation.
- Transaero launched two routes to coastal holiday destinations from Moscow in the last week; both with 101-seat 737-500 aircraft. On 1 June, the Russian airline began operating weekly flights between Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and Girona (GRO) on Spain’s Costa Brava. Flights operate seasonally until 28 September. The following day, the airline launched three weekly flights from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) to Simferopol (SIP) on the Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. The airline already serves the Ukrainian airport with twice-weekly flights from Domodedovo. Simferopol is served with a total of 62 weekly frequencies from the three Moscow airports, of which UTair and Aerosvit compete directly with Transaero at Vnukovo with daily and three weekly frequencies respectively.
- TransAsia launched a new route across the Taiwan Strait on 31 May when the Taiwanese airline began operating twice-weekly between Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) and Sanya (SYX) on the tropical island of Hainan. The flights, which compete with China Airlines’ also twice-weekly operations, are operated with 182-seat A321 aircraft.
- Twin Jet, the French operator of 19-seat Beech 1900D aircraft, launched a new domestic route on 4 June when the airline began operating nine times weekly between Montpellier (MPL) on the Mediterranean coast and Strasbourg (SXB) on the border to Germany. During part of the summer, Air France will also operate the route and in September, Volotea will begin operating between the two airports.
- The Russian carrier Ural Airlines launched three new routes to the Mediterranean at the end of May; each operating once a week with the airline’s A320 aircraft seasonally until September/October. On 29 May, the airline, which was analysed by anna.aero last October, launched two routes to Barcelona (BCN) in Spain; from Krasnodar (KRR) and Mineralnye Vody (MRV) in southern Russia. On 31 May, the airline also began serving Paphos (PFO) in Cyprus from Krasnodar. Of the three new routes, the only to face competition is the service between Krasnodar and Barcelona, which Yakutia Airlines also operates once a week.
- UTair launched two new domestic Russian routes in the last week. On 30 May, the airline began flying from Syktyvkar (SCW) in northern Russia to Anapa (AAQ) on the Black Sea coast. The weekly flights are operated seasonally with 737-500 aircraft until mid-September, competing with Nordavia’s twice-weekly flights. On 2 June, UTair expanded its network out of Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) by adding a weekly service to Beloyarsk (EYK) in northwestern Siberia with Yak 42 aircraft. Competition comes from Gazpromavia’s twice-weekly flights.
- On 1 June, Colombia’s youngest airline VivaColombia launched further three domestic routes from its Medellín (MDE) base. Services to Barranquilla (BAQ) and Cali (CLO) now depart with each weekly frequencies. Additionally, the airline now offers four weekly flights to Pereira (PEI) in the west of the country. Apart from increasing connectivity in the Antioquia region, of which Medellín is the capital, VivaColombia also commenced services from Colombia’s third-largest city, Cali, to Cartagena (CTG), a popular tourist destination on the Caribbean coast. Three out of these four routes are operated in competition with Avianca. Colombia’s largest airline serves the Cali to Cartagena market with five weekly services, and also provides 19 and 47 weekly flights respectively on the routes from Medellín to Barranquilla and Cali.
- Mexico’s low-cost airline Volaris has initiated flights between its base in Tijuana (TIJ) on the US border to California and Colima (CLQ) in west-central Mexico. The twice-weekly flights operate on Thursdays and Sundays flown by one of the airline’s 174-seat A320s. Colima’s only other scheduled route is, not surprisingly, to Mexico City (less than 500 kilometres away), which is operated by Aeromar (with up to three daily flights using 48-seat ATRs) and Aeromexico (which operates between one and two daily flights with 50-seat Embraer regional jets). Because of the longer sector length to Tijuana (almost 2,000 kilometres) and the use of larger aircraft, this new service more than doubles the number of ASKs (Available Seat Kilometres) provided at Colima.
- Fast-growing new Barcelona-based LCC Volotea has launched 10 new routes during the seven day period examined using its 717s. There are five French domestic routes (four of them between the French mainland and the island of Corsica), two Italian domestic routes, plus a route each between France and the Czech Republic, France and Spain, and Italy and Greece. The main beneficiary is Nantes (NTE) which gets five new services and 11 new weekly flights, followed by Ajaccio (AJA) in Corsica which gets two new routes and six new weekly flights. Bastia (BIA), Bordeaux (BOD), and Palermo (PMO) also all get two new routes. Direct competition is provided on just two of the 10 new routes.
|1 June||Bordeaux (BOD)||Ajaccio (AJA)||3|
|2 June||Bordeaux (BOD)||Bastia (BIA)||2|
|1 June||Nantes (NTE)||Ajaccio (AJA)||3||Air France (1)|
|2 June||Nantes (NTE)||Bastia (BIA)||2|
|2 June||Nantes (NTE)||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||2||Transavia.com France (1)|
|3 June||Nantes (NTE)||Prague (PRQ)||2|
|3 June||Nantes (NTE)||Toulon (TLN)||2|
|2 June||Palermo (PMO)||Ancona (AOI)||2|
|1 June||Palermo (PMO)||Trieste (TRS)||2|
|2 June||Venice (VCE)||Thessaloniki (SKG)||2|
|Source: Volotea, Innovata
WF: Weekly Frequency
- Having successfully bid for eight slot pairs last November, WestJet has now launched flights from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to New York LaGuardia (LGA). Initially, the carrier will operate seven flights each weekday, increasing to eight from 12 July, using a mix of 737-600s and 737-700s. It will compete against Air Canada which offers 14 daily flights, and American Airlines with nine daily flights (using CRJ700s). John MacLeod, WestJet’s VP Network Management and Alliances said: “This is another significant milestone for WestJet. Toronto to New York is the largest transborder market from Canada, and this new non-stop service, offered on our Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, will offer business and leisure travellers alike the convenience, comfort and affordability they’ve been looking for. Service to Canada’s largest international market, with a convenient schedule, is a key part of WestJet’s strategy to welcome more business travellers on board.”
- The relatively small Icelandic market has now spawned its second low-cost carrier with the launch on Thursday 31 May of flights by WOW air from Reykjavik (KEF). A total of 13 routes will be launched in the first two weeks of operation using two 168-seat A320s (leased from Avion Express of Lithuania) but four have made it into the period of analysis for this week. The very first flight was to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), a route already served twice-daily by Icelandair, while Transavia.com links Paris Orly and Iceland with a further two weekly flights. The remaining three routes are to Copenhagen (CPH), Krakow (KRK) and London Stansted (STN). Copenhagen will be served with four weekly flights, London with three and Krakow with one. Iceland Express serves both Copenhagen and London Stansted, while Icelandair serves the Danish capital airport and London Heathrow. Iceland Express previously operated flights to Krakow. easyJet recently launched flights from London Luton to Keflavik, while Iceland Express also operates daily to London Gatwick.
- Yakutia expanded its network out of Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) on 4 June when the Russian airline launched a twice-weekly service to Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KXK) in the Russian Far East. The 6,100-kilometre route is operated with 757-200 aircraft. The route was operated up until last year by Vladivostok Air.