New airline routes launched (5 – 11 June 2012)

Route of the Week: Virgin America to Portland

Real and fake: Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Virgin America’s CEO David Cush were joined by actor Kyle MacLachlan who plays Mayor of Portland in the comedy TV series Portlandia. Virgin America now serves Portland from both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

  • Virgin America expanded its network on the US West Coast on 5 June. From its bases in San Francisco, CA (SFO) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Virgin America now flies to Portland, OR (PDX) with its A320 aircraft. From LA, flights are operated twice-daily, while the San Fran route is one frequency short – a single operation on Sundays – of the same frequency. Both routes are highly competitive, with United operating 61 and Alaska Airlines 41 flights a week on the San Francisco route, and Alaska 39 and United 21 from Los Angeles.

Cake of the Week: TAP Portugal’s Lisbon to Berlin

TAP Portugal’s new route between the capitals of Portugal and Germany was welcomed to Berlin with a cake featuring the two cities’ landmarks – Berlin’s TV tower and Lisbon’s cathedral and trams. Cutting the cake were Marjan Schoeke, Head of Airline Marketing, Berlin Brandenburg Airport; Sigrid de Mello, District Sales Manager, TAP Portugal; and Carlos Lourenço, TAP Portugal’s GM Germany & Austria. (Photos: Jürgen Heinrich, Berlin Brandenburg Airport)

  • TAP Portugal returned to the German capital on 5 June when the Star Alliance airline began operating five times weekly from its Lisbon (LIS) hub to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) with 132-seat A319 aircraft. Berlin is TAP’s fifth German destination after Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. The airline previously served the German capital at Berlin Tegel until 2001. Notably, after the delay in opening Berlin Brandenburg, TAP Portugal will serve Schönefeld rather than its partner Lufthansa’s hub at Tegel. Competition on the new route comes from easyJet’s three flights a week.

The rest of this week’s new routes

Aegean’s new route to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi was welcomed with a cake featuring an Aegean Airlines aircraft, the airline’s logo as well as the logo of the airport operator TAV. The twice-weekly A320 service provides major boost on the route, which Georgian Airways operates with only 50 seats a week.

  • Aegean Airlines launched a new route to Georgia on 11 June when the Greek Star Alliance airline connected the capitals of Greece and Georgia, Athens (ATH) and Tbilisi (TBS), with two flights a week. The flights, which are operated overnight on Mondays and Thursdays with 168-seat A320s, compete with Georgian Airways’ weekly 50-seat CRJ operations. Dimitris Gerogiannis, Managing Director of Aegean Airlines, said: “With today’s launch we are now offering customers non-stop service to Tbilisi, the significant industrial, social, and cultural center of Georgia. Our flights from Tbilisi offer convenient connections over our base of Athens to an extensive network of more than 10 popular destinations throughout Greece as well as to a network of 14 international destinations.” TAV Georgia GM Mete Erkal added: “I am sure that regular flights from Athens to Tbilisi will please thousands of Georgians who are living and working in Greece. I hope that the new route between two countries will also be popular among Greek tourists.”

  • Aer Lingus Regional launched two international routes from airports in western Ireland in the last week, using Aer Arann’s ATR72 aircraft. From Knock (NOC), the airline took over the route to Birmingham (BHX) in the UK that just was dropped by soon-to-close-down LCC bmibaby. Flights started on 11 June and are operated daily. This is Aer Lingus’ second route to Knock after its London Gatwick flights. On 9 June, the airline began flying once a week between Shannon (SNN) and Rennes (RNS) in Brittany, northwestern France. Flights operate seasonally until 1 September.

  • On 7 June, the Ukrainian private airline AeroSvit launched new route from Kiev Boryspil (KBP) to the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi (AER), making the Russian city the 11th destination it serves in the country. Twice-weekly flights are now offered on this 1,000-kilometre route, which will be operated with E-190 aircraft.

The celebratory ribbon was cut at Berlin Tegel to welcome Air France’s new twice-weekly service from Marseille. (Photos: Günter Wicker)

In Venice, the passengers travelling on Air Moldova’s maiden flight to Chisinau were treated to live Moldavian folk music.

  • On 5 June, Air Moldova commenced services from its base in Moldova’s capital Chisinau (KIV) to the northern Italian cities Bologna (BLQ) and Venice (VCE), bringing the total number of destinations it serves in the country to five, as the airline already serves Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Verona airports. Each new destination is now offered with thrice-weekly frequencies and operated with E-190s. Meridiana fly provides competition on both of the routes as it serves Bologna with two and Venice with one weekly frequencies; additionally, Carpatair flies twice-weekly on the route to Venice.

The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad is again connected with Germany. Celebrating the 550-kilometre route with a cake in the German capital airport Berlin Tegel were Till Bunse, Berlin Brandenburg Airport’s VP Marketing & Public Relations; Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO airberlin; and Andrey V. Zverev, Representative of the Russian Embassy to Germany. (Photos: Günter Wicker, Berlin Brandenburg Airport)

  • On 5 June, airberlin began serving Kaliningrad (KGD) in Russia from Berlin Tegel (TXL) with three weekly flights operated by Q400s. The flights operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays with an additional Saturday service from mid-September. airberlin’s CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said: “The economic relations between Germany and Russia continue to grow and this means an increased demand for air travel, especially in the market sector of business travel. No other airline connects these two cities nonstop from Germany. Our new route between Berlin and Kaliningrad fills this gap in the European route network.” Since the collapse of KD-Avia in September 2009, Kaliningrad airport has seen passenger numbers fall from a peak of 1.92 million to 2008, to just over one million in 2010, although last year traffic was up over 20% to 1.23 million. Other airlines serving the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania include Aeroflot, airBaltic, LOT and SAS, although LOT’s six times weekly service to Warsaw appears to stop operating from the end of June.

  • Alaska Airlines launched two routes in the last week; one Californian intra-state service and one transcontinental route. On 5 June, Alaska Airlines’ regional sister airline Horizon Air began operating daily between San Diego, CA (SAN) and Santa Rosa, CA (STS) in California’s Wine Country north of San Francisco, using its 76-seat Q400 aircraft. This is the airline’s fourth route to Santa Rosa after Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland. Notably, the airline’s route between Las Vegas and Santa Rosa was just dropped at the start of June. On 11 June, Alaska Airlines expanded its main base at Seattle, WA (SEA) with another route to the US East Coast; Philadelphia, PA (PHL). Flights are operated daily with 157-seat 737-800 aircraft, competing with US Airways’ four daily flights. “Philadelphia is one of the largest cities we don’t currently serve from Seattle,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ VP marketing.

As Arkefly arrived in Oakland, it marked the Dutch leisure airline’s first route to the US West Coast. Flights from Amsterdam will operate twice a week during the summer season. Posing for the camera were Purser Willemijn Snoek; Bart van Bolhuis, Dutch Consul General in San Francisco; John Albrecht, Port of Oakland’s Manager of Aviation Communications and Marketing; and Captain Lars de Regt.

  • Arkefly, the Dutch leisure airline in TUI Group, began serving the US West Coast last week. From its Amsterdam (AMS) base, the airline began operating once a week to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) on 7 June, continuing to Oakland, CA (OAK) in the San Francisco Bay Area. On 10 June, yet another weekly service was launched, operating non-stop from Amsterdam to Oakland (which in total gets two weekly connection; one non-stop and one stopping), and continuing to Los Angeles, CA (LAX). Arkefly’s only other services to the US are to Orlando Sanford and Miami. 283-seat 767-300ER aircraft are used for the new routes that are scheduled to operate seasonally until the second half of October. In addition to emphasising the benefits of inbound tourism to the San Francisco Bay Area, Deborah Ale Flint, Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland, commented: “Bay Area travellers will welcome a departure from Oakland to Amsterdam as an attractive option for vacation plans this summer. Amsterdam is an exciting and desirable destination in itself, and is a great connecting point to many other European cities.”

Sun-Air of Scandinavia was welcomed to Bergen in Norway with a fire-truck salute. Greeting the crew, including the captain – Sun-Air’s CEO and owner Niels Sundberg, was Hege K. Sandtorv, Director Trafic Development, Avinor Bergen Airport Flesland.

  • British Airways, through its Danish franchisee Sun-Air of Scandinavia, launched a new intra-Scandinavian route out of Denmark’s second-largest airport Billund (BLL). Bergen (BGO) in southwest Norway becomes the airline’s second Norwegian destination out of Billund after Oslo. Flights are operated five times weekly with the airline’s 32-seat Do328s.

  • Carpatair of Romania continued expanding with routes to Italy out of its foreign base in Moldova’s capital Chisinau (KIV). The new routes, which follow last week’s reported route launch to Venice, serve the Italian capital airport Rome Fiumicino (FCO) as of 5 June and Milan Bergamo (BGY) in the north of the country from 7 June. Each of the two routes is served three times weekly with 148-seat 737-300 aircraft. The route to the capital faces competition from Air Moldova’s also thrice-weekly operations as well as Meridiana fly’s weekly flights.

China Southern Airlines - Guangzhou - London Heathrow

China Southern’s new route to London Heathrow brings the airline’s European network out of Guangzhou in southern China to three destinations. With the new service, the SkyTeam airline particularly targets traffic between the UK and Australia and New Zealand.

  • China Southern Airlines expanded its network to Europe out of its main hub in Guangzhou (CAN) in southern China on 6 June when the SkyTeam airline began operating thrice-weekly to London Heathrow (LHR) in the United Kingdom. This is the airline’s third European route from Guangzhou after flights to the SkyTeam hubs Paris CDG and Amsterdam. The new route is operated thrice-weekly – on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays – with A330-200 aircraft. Si Xiamen, GM of China Southern Air Holding Company and Chairman of China Southern Airlines, particularly highlighted how the airline with the new route targets transfer traffic between the UK and Australia and New Zealand: “From a sheer geography standpoint, Guangzhou is the most logical transit point with the shortest transit distance.” He added: “China Southern Airlines is also looking at route expansion into South America, Africa and other emerging markets to expand our hub network. The broader vision of China Southern Airlines’ Canton Route is to build Guangzhou as a global comprehensive long-haul aviation hub.”

  • On 5 June, Copa Airlines commenced services from its Panama City (PTY) hub to the Caribbean island of Curaçao (CUR), located just off the Venezuelan coast. Four weekly flights are now offered on the 1,200-kilometre route, three of which will be operated with 94-seat E-190s, while 124-eat 737-700s will service the remaining weekly frequency. Curacao is the second island Copa serves of the three ‘ABC Islands’ after Aruba.

  • On 7 June, Delta Air Lines launched a total of nine new routes from its base at New York JFK, NY (JFK), the subject of one of this week’s airline analyses. One of the routes is operated by Delta mainline, while three are operated by Chatauqua and a further five by Pinnacle Airlines on Delta’s behalf. All routes are served daily with the exception of Dayton, OH (DAY) which gets three daily flights. Six of the nine routes are not served by any other carrier, while the other three are flown by jetBlue, with American also providing competition on the route to Austin, TX (AUS).
Destination WF Competition (WF)
Austin, TX (AUS) 7 American Airlines (7), jetBlue (14)
Charleston, SC (CHS) 7
Dayton, OH (DAY) 21
Greensboro, NC (GSO) 7
Elmira, NY (ELM) 7
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 7 jetBlue (20)
Kansas City, MO (MCI) 7
Milwaukee, WI (MKE) 7
New Orleans, LA (MSY) 7 jetBlue (20)
Source: Delta, Innovata
WF: Weekly Frequency

A busy maiden flight on the return leg of the new Estonian Air route from Tallinn to Venice is a good omen for the airline, which returns to Italy after a nine month break.

  • On 9 June, Estonian Air resumed services to Italy with new route from Tallinn (TLL) to Venice (VCE). The twice-weekly service comes as yet another spoke for the airline’s emerging Tallinn hub. Flights are operated with CRJ900s and 737-500s. Rauno Parras, Estonian Air’s CCO, said: “A poll conducted last year revealed Venice was the most sought-after summer holiday destination for Estonians, but Italian tourists will also welcome a direct link between northern Italy and Tallinn.” The airline left the Italian market in September 2011; over the seven years of its presence there, Estonian Air operated flights to both Milan airports, as well as to Rome Fiumicino.

eurolot’s Commercial Manager Mateusz Kokosiński, who arrived on the airline’s first service from Kraków, was welcomed to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol by its Director Aviation Marketing Marcel Lekkerkerk.  Video coverage from the launch can be seen on Schiphol TV .

Reviving Hanseatic connections: In the northern German city of Bremen, eurolot’s Commercial Manager, Mateusz Kokosiński, cut the ribbon together with Bremen Airport’s CEO Jürgen Bula and Florian Kruse, Head of Public Relations and Marketing, launching the a new service to Gdańsk on the Polish Baltic coast.

  • eurolot, which less than a month ago commenced its international expansion from Poland’s regional airports with services from Gdańsk to Aarhus, and from both Wrocław and Kraków to Lviv in the Ukraine, last week continued its new strategy with the launch of a combined total of six new European destination from Gdańsk (GDN) in the north of Poland and Kraków (KRK) in the south. Additionally, a weekly service from the capital Warsaw (WAW) to Zadar (ZAD) on the Croatian coast was integrated into the carrier’s network. There is no direct competition on any of the international routes. On the domestic front, eurolot – which lately has experienced increased pressure from fast-expanding OLT Express – inaugurated a twice-weekly service connecting Gdańsk and Poznań (POZ).
Launch date Origin Destination W/F* A/c Competition (WF*)
06-Jun-12 Gdańsk (GDN) Amsterdam (AMS) 3 DH4
06-Jun-12 Bremen (BRE) 3 eqv
10-Jun-12 Poznań (POZ) 2 ATR42 OLT Express (12)
06-Jun-12 Kraków (KRK) Amsterdam (AMS) 4 DH4
09-Jun-12 Dubrovnik (DBV) 1 DH4
07-Jun-12 Florence (FLR) 2 DH4
07-Jun-12 Vilnius (VNO) 2 ATR72
09-Jun-12 Warsaw (WAW) Zadar (ZAD) 1 DH4
*WF: Weekly Frequency
Source: Innovata for w/c 11 June

Assisted by the crew of the inaugural service out of Memmingen, Ralf Schmid, Allgäu Airport’s Managing Director; Markus Bauman, Avanti Air’s Managing Director, and Georg Eisenreich, flytouropa’s Managing Director, presented a celebratory cake in Memmingen.

Hamburg Airport welcomed flytouropa with a cake and a celebratory water-cannon salute. The delighted crew was also met with flowers by Hamburg Airport’s Key Account Manager Aviation Marketing, Robert Piltz.

flytouropa was also welcomed in the German capital.

flytouropa was also welcomed in the German capital.

  • On 11 June, the German start-up virtual airline flytouropa commenced operations from Memmingen (FMM) in the south of Germany to the northern port city of Hamburg (HAM), and to the capital airport Berlin Schönefeld (SXF). Each of the two domestic routes is operated with the Avanti Air’s fleet of ATR72s; nine times a week to Berlin and eight times weekly to Hamburg. There is currently no direct competition in either of the markets, although a combined total of 156 weekly flights to Hamburg, and 182 to Berlin’s two airports, are on offer from nearby Munich.

  • Frontier Airlines has added another US airport to its network of services to Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic. After last week’s introduction of Chicago and St. Louis flights, this week sees the airline introduce weekly flights from its home base at Denver, CO (DEN). The non-stop service run in conjunction with tour operators and operates until 4 August. Frontier now operates non-stop from Denver to 68 airports, of which eight are outside the US. David Siegel, president and CEO of Frontier said: “With the launch of service to Punta Cana, Frontier will be the only carrier offering nonstop service from Denver to the Caribbean. We are proud to be Denver’s only hometown, low-fare carrier and we’re confident our customers will enjoy travelling nonstop to Punta Cana aboard our comfortable Airbus aircraft with DIRECTV® service and the extra legroom our STRETCH seating provides.”

  • Lufthansa’s in-house LCC germanwings has launched two new routes between its home base at Cologne/Bonn (CGN) and Morocco. It now serves Tangier (TNG) every Thursday and Casablanca (CMN) every Wednesday for the rest of the summer season with its A319s. The Tangier route was previously served by airberlin with either one or two weekly flights until the end of last summer, while the Casablanca route was served last summer by both Air Arabia Maroc and airberlin, neither of whom are serving the market this year. Although air traffic at Moroccan airports grew by just 2% in 2011 to 15.67 million, passenger numbers between Morocco and Germany grew by some 7% to almost 650,000.

  • Hong Kong Airlines launched its tenth route to Mainland China on 7 June. The Hainan Airlines-affiliated airline now flies from its Hong Kong (HKG) hub to Guiyang (KWE) in the southwest of China. The 860-kilometre route is operated three times weekly with the airline’s 164-seat 737-800s. This makes Hong Kong the second location outside of Mainland China to have a non-stop connection with Guiyang after Taipei.

Astrid Thüssing and Sebastian Maurans, Cologne/Bonn Airport’s Managers Business Development and Aviation Marketing, presented Iceland Express’ CCO Thorunn Reynisdottir with a cake to celebrate the airline’s arrival at the German airport.

Astrid Thüssing and Sebastian Maurans, Cologne/Bonn Airport’s Managers Business Development and Aviation Marketing, presented Iceland Express’ CCO Thorunn Reynisdottir with a cake to celebrate the airline’s arrival at the German airport. Three airlines now compete on the route from Reykjavik.

  • Of all the airport-pairs in Europe likely to sustain three competing LCCs, Cologne/Bonn (CGN) to Reykjavik (KEF) would not be on many people’s list of obvious candidates. But thanks to the launch last week of services from both Iceland Express and WOW air, to compete against germanwings, passengers now have a choice of three airlines on this route, at least until the end of August. Iceland Express operates the route twice-weekly with A320 aircraft. Last year, the Germany – Iceland market was 210,000 passengers of which just under 8,000 were from Cologne/Bonn. Iceland Express is starting a total of three new routes this summer. Apart from Cologne/Bonn, it will shortly be launching new non-stop flights to Prague (20 June) and Vilnius (26 June).

  • Yorkshire-based has introduced weekly flights between Newcastle (NCL) and the Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik (DBV). Saturday flights will operate until the beginning of October. This is the airline’s fifth route to Dubrovnik which it already serves from Belfast International, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford and Manchester. It also brings to nine the number of UK airports with direct flights to Dubrovnik this summer. This is the second time that has introduced a route to Croatia from Newcastle, having offered summer-only flights in both 2009 and 2010. This brings to 25 the number of destinations served by the carrier from Newcastle this summer plus ski flights to Chambery in winter and a couple of pre-Christmas shopping trips to New York (Newark).

Following a gate party with a ‘monumental cake’ and entertainment provided by a jazz duo, jetBlue departed from Tampa bound for Washington Reagan Airport on 11 June with a shower of affection, courtesy of Tampa Fire Rescue. The daily flights will compete with US Airways’ five daily flights. Posing with the cake were Chris Minner, Tampa International Airport’s VP Marketing; Linda Meech, jetBlue’s GM Tampa; and Scott Link, jetBlue Airport Operations.

  • New York-based jetBlue has launched three new routes to Florida from New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA). The airline already served Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and West Palm Beach, but has now added daily flights to Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ) and Fort Myers (RSW), and double-daily flights to Tampa (TPA) in the Sunshine State. With the addition of these flights, jetBlue is now offering 16 flights per day between LaGuardia and Florida. The airline also took the opportunity to launch daily flights to Tampa from Washington Reagan, DC (DCA) airport on 11 June. From LaGuardia jetBlue will compete with Delta on the Fort Myers and Tampa routes, while between Washington Reagan and Tampa there is competition from US Airways with five daily flights.

  • Lufthansa continued its expansion in the German capital, launching seven summer season routes from Berlin Tegel (TXL) in the last week; three of which are to the Croatian coast. The services to Bastia (BIA), Dubrovnik (DBV), Split (SPU) and Zadar (ZAD) were previously operated from Berlin Schönefeld by Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary germanwings and are now taken over by the full-service parent. Three of Lufthansa’s new routes face competition at either of Berlin’s two airports. The route to Reykjavik now is the most competitive, now having four operating airlines. Notably, WOW air also launched its Berlin-Reykjavik route this week.
Date Destination WF A/c Competition (WF)
9 June Bastia (BIA) 1 A319
6 June Bergen (BGO) 2 A319
9 June Dubrovnik (DBV) 1 A319 SXF: Croatia Airlines (1)
7 June Reykjavik (KEF) 2 A319 airberlin (3); SXF: Iceland Express (2), WOW air (2)
5 June Split (SPU) 3 A319 SXF: Croatia Airlines (1)
6 June Valencia (VLC) 2 A320
9 June Zadar (ZAD) 1 A319
WF: Weekly Frequency
Competition source: Innovata data for w/c 11 May 2012

Hossein Hosseini, Mahan Airlines’ Marketing Director (pictured talking to the press), travelled on the airline’s maiden flight from Tehran to Erbil in northern Iraq, where he was greeted by airport officials.

  • Mahan Airlines commenced its first service to Iraq on 11 June. Flights on the 660-kilometre route from the airline’s main base in Iran’s capital Tehran (IKA) to Erbil (EBL) in northern Iraq are now offered with twice-weekly frequencies. Announcing the new service, Mahan Airlines’ Marketing Director Hossein Hosseini said: “Continued growth of trade volume between Iran and Iraq have created the right opportunities for introducing direct services.” 185 economy and 10 business class seats are offered on board the airline’s A310 aircraft, which will be deployed on the route. Erbil Airport, which has seen 12 route launches this year prior to Mahan Airlines’ introduction of Tehran service, is the subject of an analysis this week. Iran Air and Iran Aseman Air already operate a total of 12 routes between Iran and Iraq.

  • On 9 June, having launched services to Hamburg the previous week, Sardinia-based Meridiana fly added another low frequency seasonal destination to its Olbia (OLB) network. London Gatwick (LGW) is now offered with a weekly frequency using 737 family aircraft. Competition on the route comes from easyJet, which currently flies to the Sardinian airport with six weekly frequencies, but will increase the number of weekly flights up to nine times weekly in August.

no images were found

  • Europe’s third largest LCC Norwegian has added two more destinations from its home base at Oslo (OSL). On 8 June the airline launched twice-weekly (Monday and Friday) flights to Kiev Borispol (KBP) in the Ukraine, having begun serving Reykjavik (KEF) in Iceland the day before with three weekly flights (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday). The Reykjavik route is also served by Icelandair and SAS with daily flights, but not by either of Iceland’s LCCs Iceland Express or WOW air. This summer, Norwegian will serve over 70 international destinations from its Oslo base, as well as 15 domestic destinations.

  • On 7, 9 and 11 June respectively, Russia’s Polet Airlines inaugurated low-frequency seasonal services from Voronezh (VOZ), near Russia’s border to Ukraine, to three Greek destinations; Heraklion (HER), Thessaloniki (SKG) and Rhodes (RHO). While twice-weekly flights are offered to the first two destinations, Rhodes is served with single weekly frequency. All flights are operated with An-148 aircraft on a seasonal basis and will end in late September.

Shaking hands to celebrate the arrival of Qatar Airways in Baghdad at a welcome ceremony at Baghdad International Airport were Iraq’s CAA Director General, Nasser Hussein Bandar, and Fathi Al Shehab, Qatar Airways’ SVP GCC, Levant, Iran, Yemen, Iraq and Indian Sub-continent. After cutting the cake, Al Shehab spoke to the gathered media.

  • On 7 June, within two weeks of entering the Iraqi market with its Route of the Week winning service to Erbil, Qatar Airways added a second destination in the country to its network from Doha (DOH). Four weekly services are now offered on the 1,100-kilometre route to Bagdad (BGW); all will be operated with A320s. Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said: “During Iraq’s current period of reform and development, with industries resurging and many new companies expanding operations to Iraq, we felt this was the time to move into the country.” Besides the two passenger services, the airline is also introducing a dedicated freighter service to Erbil next month.

  • On 8 June, S7 commenced weekly intra-Siberian service form Irkutsk (IKT) to Yakutsk (YKS). Flights on the 1,900-kilometre route, which connects the southern Siberian Irkutsk Oblast and the diamond-rich Sakha Republic, are operated with A320s. Yakutia Airlines and IrAero each provide twice-weekly flights on the route. In addition, S7 also launched two seasonal services from Moscow Domodedovo (DME). On 7 and 9 June respectively, flights to Croatian Dubrovnik (DBV) and Ukrainian Odessa (ODS) were inaugurated using A319s. One and four weekly frequencies are offered respectively to these destinations popular with Russian tourists. Transaero competes on both summer sun routes as it serves Dubrovnik with one and Odessa with nine weekly flights. VIM Airlines offers a further weekly service to the Ukrainian city.

  • SilkAir, Singapore Airlines’ regional subsidiary, became the fifth operator on the route between Singapore (SIN) and Vietnam’s capital Hanoi (HAN) on 5 June. Its thrice-weekly operations, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, complement its parent Singapore Airlines’ daily operations as well as competing with Vietnam Airlines’ daily flights, Tiger Airways’ five flights a week and Jetstar Asia’s four weekly flights. Singapore Airlines’ SVP Marketing Tan Chik Quee said: “Singapore Airlines and SilkAir have always sought to increase the synergy in our combined network of 97 cities in 37 countries, and enhance the connectivity options available to our customers. We are therefore delighted that the new SilkAir flights to Hanoi will be an ideal complement to the services already offered by Singapore Airlines.”

  • Czech LCC SmartWings has begun weekly (Saturday) flights from Ostrava (OSR) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI). The service continues through the summer period until 22 September. The airline has also launched charter flights to the Greek island airports of Kos and Skiathos, but these only operate every 10 to 11 days, also until just after mid-September. According to the airline’s route map, it will serve 17 destinations from Ostrava this summer.

  • With AirTran and Southwest still not having combined their booking systems due to IT integration issues, the two carriers are now “competing” on certain routes. The latest example of this is the launch on 10 June of daily flights between Atlanta (ATL) and Los Angeles (LAX) by the Dallas-based carrier, a route that AirTran already serves with up to four daily flights this summer. Southwest will increase its service to twice-daily from 12 August until the end of October. In addition, Delta operates between 10 and 11 daily flights between the two airports. This brings to eight the number of destinations served non-stop by Southwest under its own name from Atlanta; Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Denver and Houston Hobby flights began on 12 February, followed by Las Vegas and Phoenix on 10 March.

  • On 10 June, Canadian leisure carrier Sunwing Airlines resumed seasonal services to Paris with its twice-weekly operation from Toronto Pearson (YYZ), which it last operated in July and August last year; however, now replacing CDG with Paris Orly (ORY). There is no direct competition on the route, although Air Canada, Air France and Air Transat provide a combined total of 18 weekly flights to Toronto Pearson from Paris CDG.

Milton Carrera, Napo Province Governor; Rafael Farias, TAME’s CEO; Fernando Guerrero, General Director, Aviación Civil; and Carlos Jácome, Subsecretary, Aeronáutica Civil; arrived in Tena to launch the Ecuadorian airline’s 15th destination.

  • On 5 June, Ecuador’s national carrier TAME commenced thrice-weekly flights from its base in Quito (UIO) to Tena (TNW), the capital of Napo province, which is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. All flights will be operated with the airline’s fleet of ATR42s. Carlos Jácome, Aeronáutica Civil’s Subsecretary, said: “We are very pleased with this service, which further increases connectivity within the country, and becomes a gateway for Amazonia.”

  • On 7 June,, the Dutch LCC that is part of the Air France-KLM Group, launched weekly (Thursday) flights between Amsterdam (AMS) and Erbil (EBL) in northern Iraq, the airport analysed this week. According to the airline’s on-line booking tool, a seat on any of the airline’s flights to Erbil during the summer will cost €335 each-way regardless of which flight is chosen.

  • Turkish Airlines added two new routes to its network and took over eight routes at Ankara (ESB) from its low-cost brand Anadolujet in the last week. On 5 June, the airline launched a twice-weekly service from Izmir (ADB) on the Aegean coast to Germany’s capital airport Berlin Tegel (TXL). The seasonal service, which will operate until the end of September, competes with SunExpress’ five and Lufthansa’s four flights a week. On 11 June, the Star Alliance airline connected its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub with Yanbu (YNB) on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, making it Turkish Airlines’ fifth destination in the country after Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh and Damman. Flights operate three times weekly. The routes taken over from Anadolujet are detailed in the table below.
Date Destination WF A/c Competition (WF)
9 June Amsterdam (AMS) 3 B738
10 June Brussels (BRU) 3 B738
10 June Cologne/Bonn (CGN) 3 B738 germanwings (2), Pegasus (1)
9 June Düsseldorf (DUS) 4 B738 SunExpress Deutschland (4), Pegasus (1)
9 June Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) 7 B738
9 June Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) 3 B738
9 June Tehran (IKA) 5 B738 Iran Air (2)
10 June Vienna (VIE) 4 B738 Pegasus (2)
WF: Weekly Frequency
Competition source: Innovata data for w/c 11 May 2012

United’s new route from Washington Dulles to Dublin was celebrated with an Irish themed cake.

United’s new route from Washington Dulles to Dublin is the airline’s second route to the Irish capital. The city pairs attracted 35,000 passengers last year in spite of the lack of a direct service.

  • United Airlines launched six routes from across five of its bases last week. Only one airport, Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) saw the launch of two routes; one international and one domestic. This is United’s second route to Dublin (DUB) after flights from Newark and it is the airline’s ninth route to Honolulu, HI (HNL) from the US mainland and its second from the US East Coast after Newark. With the exception of the Hawaii route, all other services launched by United last week are seasonal. The only to face competition is the route from Denver, CO (DEN) to Fairbanks, AK (FAI), which faces Frontier’s four flights a week. Commenting the new route to Ireland, Dublin Airport Authority’s interim CEO Oliver Cussen said: “Last year, despite the lack of a direct service, about 35,000 people travelled between Dublin and Washington D.C. and the advent of United’s new direct daily service will significantly grow that market. Ireland is a key location for US foreign direct investment in Ireland, as American firms have invested more in Ireland than in Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. The US is also a major inbound tourism market for Ireland and vice versa.”
Date Origin Destination WF A/c
7 June Denver, CO (DEN) Fairbanks, AK (FAI) 7 B738
8 June Houston Bush, TX (IAH) Jackson Hole, WY (JAC) 2 B752
9 June New York Newark, NJ (EWR) Bozeman, MT (BZN) 1 B735
7 June Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) Dublin (DUB) 7 B752
8 June Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) Honolulu (HNL) 7 B764ER
7 June Houston Bush, TX (IAH) Rapid City, SD (RAP) 7 ERJ145

  • US Airways launched a new transcontinental route from Washington National, DC (DCA) on 8 June. The Star Alliance airline now flies daily to San Diego, CA (SAN), its only Californian destination served from the US capital downtown airport. Flights are operated with 124-seat A319 aircraft and indirectly compete with United’s three flights a day from Washington Dulles and Southwest’s twice-daily flights from Baltimore/Washington. “We are delighted to connect the San Diego community with Reagan National for the first time,” said Andrew Nocella, US Airways’ SVP marketing and planning. “Not only will we offer our customers in San Diego direct access to our nation’s capital, but the new flight offers the same convenient service to our Washington customers – providing them the opportunity to visit San Diego’s beaches and top attractions. With San Diego established as the West Coast’s largest U.S. naval operation, it is also important to connect our military personnel to the District.”

  • On 8 June, VivaColombia, Colombia’s first low-cost airline, added a sixth route from its base airport in Medellín (MDE). Flights to the capital of the north-eastern Colombian region of Santander, Bucaramanga (BGA), are now performed with five weekly frequencies using the airline’s fleet of A320s. Fred Jacobsen, VivaColombia’s CEO, said: “We are confident that Bucaramanga is an attractive destination for passengers originating in Medellín, and would like to see frequencies on the route raise to daily sometime soon.” Until now, passengers had to transfer in Bogotá.

Cologne/Bonn Airport’s Tobias Lyssy, Head of Business Development & Airline Marketing and Aviation Marketing, and Chi Mee Yuen, Manager Business Development and Aviation Marketing, welcomed WOW air’s crew with a huge cake. Three airlines now operate between Reykjavik and Cologne/Bonn.

WOW airs first flight from Warsaw

As passengers checked in for WOW air's first flight from the Polish capital Warsaw, they were handed special treats to commemorate the inaugural flight.

WOW air now takes on germanwings on the route between Reykjavik and Stuttgart in southern Germany. The start-up low-cost airline was welcomed with a fire-truck salute.

  • New Icelandic LCC WOW air, whose start-up was reported on last week, has launched a further seven new routes to destinations in Europe, each served with just one or two weekly flights from Reykjavik (KEF). It faces competition from two carriers on routes to Cologne/Bonn (CGN) and Alicante (ALC), competition from one carrier on flights to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF), Stuttgart (STR) and Warsaw (WAW), but no direct competition on its two weekly routes to Lyon (LYS) and Kaunas (KUN).
Launch date To WF Competition (WF)
5 June Berlin (SXF) 2 Iceland Express (2)
5 June Cologne/Bonn (CGN) 1 germanwings (2), Iceland Express (2)
5 June Stuttgart (STR) 2 germanwings (1)
6 June Alicante (ALC) 1 Icelandair (1), Iceland Express (1)
9 June Lyon (LYS) 1
11 June Kaunas (KUN) 1
11 June Warsaw (WAW) 2 Iceland Express (1)
Source: WOW air, Innovata
WF: Weekly Frequency


  1. Chris says:

    The Estonian Air service to Venice isn’t to be served with 737-500 aircraft, but with CRJ-900 as evidenced by both the photo in the story, and as shown on the company’s web site.

Comments are closed