New airline routes launched (19 – 25 June 2012)
Route of the Week
Cayman Airways’ Grand Cayman to Dallas/Fort Worth
- Having recently launched services to Panama City, on 23 June, Cayman Airways commenced operating weekly flights to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), also from its base in Grand Cayman (GCM). The low-frequency seasonal service is operated with 737-300 aircraft until 2 September. Dallas/Fort Worth has become the airline’s sixth US destination after Miami, Tampa, New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles.
Cake of the Week
Pegasus Airlines’ Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Omsk
- Pegasus Airlines launched its second route to Russia on 21 June when the fast-growing Turkish low-cost airline connected its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) base with Omsk (OMS). The airline, which already served Krasnodar in southern Russia, now operates three times weekly to the city in southwestern Siberia with its 189-seat 737-800s.
The rest of this week’s new routes
- Air Europa, the Spanish SkyTeam airline, expanded its African network out of Spain’s capital Madrid (MAD) on 20 June. The airline now flies once a week to Banjul (BJL) in the Gambia with 189-seat 737-800 aircraft. This makes Air Europa the second airline to operate scheduled services between Europe and Banjul year-round after Brussels Airlines. There is also considerable charter traffic on European leisure airlines to Banjul during winter.
- Air France launched its second route to Hungary’s capital Budapest (BUD) on 19 June when Brit Air began operating from Lyon (LYS) on the French flag carrier’s behalf. Flights are operated with 100-seat CRJ1000 aircraft, initially twice-weekly, but increasing to three times a week from 22 September. The route was last operated by Malev between 2004 and 2008. Philippe Maudet, Air France-KLM’s GM Central Europe, said: “Lyon has been one of the most sought-after destinations amongst our business travellers and corporate clients from Budapest for years, so we are delighted to now be able to offer a direct flight between these two key European cities. The new, regular schedule provides greater access for passengers from Budapest to this important region of France. With a flight time of just two hours we are sure this route will be a success.”
- Air Moldova expanded its network on 19 June when the airline added another weekly frequency between Chisinau (KIV) and Frankfurt (FRA) in Germany, a weekly flight that then continues to the Irish capital Dublin (DUB). Flights operate with A320 aircraft and the new Frankfurt-Dublin sector competes with Lufthansa’s three and Aer Lingus’ two flights a day.
- On 19 June, Air New Zealand launched its first route to South East Asia since it dropped flights to Singapore in 2006. The Star Alliance airline now operates from its Auckland (AKL) hub to Denpasar (DPS) on Bali in Indonesia. The airline has operated the route in the past, between 1990 and 1997, and flights now operate seasonally until 13 October; however, the airline already at the announcement flagged the possibility of the route becoming a year-round operation subject to demand. The operations are scheduled twice a week with 228-seat 767-300ER aircraft. The leisure route is notably a contrast from the airline’s focus on islands in the South Pacific. Air New Zealand’s outgoing CEO Rob Fyfe commented the new route: “Our flight time of eight and a half hours is a significant improvement on the indirect services offered by competitors that can involve long layovers and a total journey time of at least 14 and sometimes more than 24 hours.”
- AirAsia X moved its service to northern China from Tianjin to Beijing (PEK) on 22 June. The long-haul low-cost airline initially flies four times weekly from its Kuala Lumpur (KUL) base, but frequencies increase to daily in August. Flights will operate with the airline’s 377-seat A330-300s, competing with Malaysia Airlines’ twice-daily operation and Air China’s three flights a week.
- airphil Express began serving the capital of Malaysia on 21 June when the Philippine low-cost airline launched a thrice-weekly service from the Philippines’ capital Manila (MNL) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL). KL is the airline’s third international destination after Singapore and Hong Kong, which the airline serve from both Manila and nearby Clark. Flights operate with A320 aircraft and compete with Malaysia Airlines’ 21 and Cebu Pacific’s 12 flights a week. Further indirect competition at Clark comes from AirAsia and AirAsia Philippines.
- Allegiant Air further expanded its network out of Orlando Sanford, FL (SFB) on 21 June when the airline began serving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA (AVP) – a route that anna.aero predicted almost two years ago. Flights operate twice a week with the airline’s 150-seat MD80 aircraft. This is the only route to the airport that is not a regional hub-feeder service, as Wilkes-Barre/Scanton’s only other airlines are Delta, United and US Airways, which operate two routes each.
- Bahrain Air continued expanding out of its brand new foreign base in Dammam (DMM) in Saudi Arabia. Following last week’s launch of flights to Khartoum, the airline launched flights to Lebanon’s capital Beirut (BEY) on 20 June. Flights operate three times a week with the airline’s A320s. Competition comes from daily flights on Middle East Airlines and four flights a week on Saudia.
- Belle Air Europe has added Sweden to its network out of Pristina (PRN), the capital of Kosovo. On 21 June, the airline launched a weekly operation to Malmö (MMX) in southern Sweden with A319 aircraft. Indirect competition at Denmark’s Copenhagen Airport, just across the Øresund Strait, comes from SAS’ three flights a week.
- On 22 June, Thomas Cook’s German leisure airline Condor launched a seasonal route from Frankfurt (FRA) to Toronto (YYZ) in Canada. The new service will be operated on a twice-weekly basis, on Mondays and Fridays, until 10 September using 767-300ER aircraft. Competition on the route comes from Air Canada’s twice-daily and Lufthansa’s daily flights, as well as Air Transat’s four flights a week. Condor’s COO, Uwe Balser, commented: “The successful inclusion of Calgary in summer 2011 persuaded us to offer our Canada fans flights to Toronto as well. Condor is growing, and we wanted to comply with our passengers’ wishes in the choice of new Condor destinations.”
- On 23 June, the new Star Alliance member Copa Airlines commenced four-weekly services from its Panama City (PTY) hub to Recife (REC), the capital of the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco. The 5,300-kilometre route will be operated using 737-700s. According to Copa Airlines’ Brazil Sales Manager, Alessandra Tortora: “We were able to upgrade to daily operations on the existing Brazilian routes to Brasilia and Porto Alegre within a year after their launch. Recife will follow the same rhythm.” In addition, Copa Airlines launched twice-weekly flights to Liberia (LIR) in the Costa Rican region of Guanacaste, also from Panama City, which will be operated with E-190s. Liberia is the airline’s second destination in Costa Rica after San José.
- easyJet launched five routes to Mediterranean destinations over the weekend; three to Greece and one each to Croatia and Spain. All five routes are scheduled to operate during the summer peak season only, until September and the end of August.
|23-Jun-12||Basel (BSL)||Ibiza (IBZ)||2||A319||airberlin (2)|
|24-Jun-12||Berlin Schönefeld (SXF)||Mykonos (JMK)||2||A319|
|23-Jun-12||Berlin Schönefeld (SXF)||Rhodes (RHO)||2||A319||Condor (2); TXL: airberlin (1)|
|23-Jun-12||Madrid (MAD)||Dubrovnik (DBV)||3||A319||Iberia (5)|
|24-Jun-12||Madrid (MAD)||Heraklion (HER)||2||A319|
|*WF: Weekly Frequencies Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012|
- On 20 and 21 June respectively, the Israeli flag carrier El Al added two European capitals to its network of seasonal destinations out of Tel Aviv (TLV). Vilnius (VNO) in Lithuania and Lisbon (LIS) in Portugal are now offered with each weekly frequencies using the carrier’s fleet of 757s. Both routes are seasonal and will be dropped in mid-September and mid-October respectively.
- On 23 June, eurolot commenced flying on the 1,200-kilometre route from Gdańsk (GDN) on the northern Polish coast, to the Croatian holiday resort city of Zadar (ZAD). The weekly seasonal service is operated with the Polish regional airline’s new fleet of Q400s.
- On 20 June, germanwings inaugurated twice-weekly seasonal flights connecting Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) and Rijeka (RJK), the popular summer holiday destination on northern Croatia’s coast. The 800-kilometre route will be operated until 31 August, using A319s.
- Iceland Express expanded its European network on 20 June when the virtual low-cost airline connected its Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) base with the Czech capital Prague (PRG), which notably is the home of the operating carrier Holidays Czech Airlines. Flights operate seasonally on a weekly basis with 180-seat A320s until 21 October.
- On 21 June, the Mexican low-cost airline Interjet launched its second international route to Central America, connecting its base in Mexico City (MEX) with San José (SJO) in Costa Rica. The 1,900-kilometre route, which follows the airline’s route to Guatemala City, is now offered with daily frequencies and operated with the carrier’s fleet of 150-seat A320s. Competition between the Mexican and Costa Rican capitals comes from Aeromexico’s 12 weekly flights, while further seven flights a week are offered by the TACA Group subsidiary LACSA.
- Jat Airways, the Serbian national carrier, returned to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta (MLA) on 23 June when the airline launched a weekly service from its Belgrade (BEG) base. The route, which the airline will operate with 737-300 aircraft, was dropped by the airline at the beginning of last year, as Libyan airspace was closed and Jat served Tripoli via Malta.
- On 22 June, Jeju Air commenced services on the 560-kilometre route from its main international base at South Korea’s largest airport, Seoul Incheon (ICN), to Qingdao (TAO) in eastern China. The new daily service is operated with 737-800s. Jeju Air faces fierce competition, as the Seoul Incheon to Qingdao market already is served non-stop by China Eastern (21 weekly flights), Korean Air (17), Asiana (14), Air China (14), and Shandong Airlines (7).
- On 21 June, Korean Air made the Kenyan capital Nairobi (NBO) the first African destination it serves from Seoul Incheon (ICN). Notably, the SkyTeam carrier connects with its alliance partner Kenya Airways in Nairobi. Korean Air’s new service will be operated thrice-weekly by A330-200 aircraft with a total capacity of 226 seats. The airline’s Managing VP Europe, Middle East & Africa, Jaeho Kim, said: “With only 13 hours of flying time, this new route serves as a catalyst in facilitating travel between North-East Asia and Africa.”
- Norwegian launches six seasonal routes over two days; 24-25 June. Four of the routes are to Greece, one to Bulgaria and one is a Norwegian domestic service – from the country capital Oslo (OSL) in the south to Andenes (ANX) on the island of Andøya in northern Norway. The only route to face direct, scheduled competition, between Helsinki (HEL) and Rhodes (RHO), was also operated once a week by Air Finland; however, the Finnish leisure carrier filed for bankruptcy yesterday, 26 June, and has suspended all operations.
|25-Jun-12||Copenhagen (CPH)||Bourgas (BOJ)||2||B738|
|24-Jun-12||Helsinki (HEL)||Corfu (CFU)||1||B738|
|25-Jun-12||Helsinki (HEL)||Rhodes (RHO)||1||B738||TUIfly Nordic (3)|
|24-Jun-12||Oslo (OSL)||Andenes (ANX)||2||B738|
|24-Jun-12||Oslo (OSL)||Preveza (PVK)||1||B738|
|24-Jun-12||Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)||Corfu (CFU)||2||B738|
|*WF: Weekly Frequencies Source: Innovata for w/c 2 July 2012|
- Precision Air of Tanzania expanded its international, intra-African network on 22 June. From Dar Es Salaam (DAR), the airline now flies to Lubumbashi (FBM), the mining city in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then continuing to Lusaka (LUN), the capital of Zambia. Flights operate three times a week with its 116-seat 737-300s – the largest aircraft in the airline’s fleet.
- Ryanair affirmed its position in the Spanish market on 22 June as the low-cost airline launched three further domestic routes in the country with its 189-seat 737-800s. On all three routes, Ryanair faces competing airlines operating higher frequencies.
|Gran Canaria (LPA)||Bilbao (BIO)||2||Air Europa (4), Vueling (2)|
|Seville (SVQ)||Bilbao (BIO)||4||Iberia (14), Vueling (8)|
|Valencia (VLC)||Menorca (MAH)||3||Iberia (8)|
|*WF: Weekly Frequency Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012|
- On 23 June, S7 launched weekly services from the capital of the Kamchatka region, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC), to Beijing (PEK) in China. This is S7’s 10th route to the Chinese capital. The 3,500-kilometre service is the first international route to be offered by S7 from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and will be operated with A320s.
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines launched five routes in the last week; four from the Norwegian west coast to the Mediterranean and one between the capitals of Sweden and Iceland. Norwegian competes on all four of the Mediterranean routes from Bergen (BGO) and Stavanger (SVG), operating the same or higher frequencies. SAS’ route between Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) and Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) is resumed, having last been operated in 2007.
|23-Jun-12||Bergen (BGO)||Malaga (AGP)||2||B73G||Norwegian (3)|
|25-Jun-12||Bergen (BGO)||Split (SPU)||1||B73G||Norwegian (3)|
|24-Jun-12||Stavanger (SVG)||Nice (NCE)||1||B73G||Norwegian (2)|
|25-Jun-12||Stavanger (SVG)||Split (SPU)||1||B73G||Norwegian (1)|
|22-Jun-12||Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)||Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF)||4||B738||Icelandair (12)|
|*WF: Weekly Frequencies Source: Innovata for w/c 2 July 2012|
- SmartWings expanded its presence in Hungary’s capital Budapest (BUD) as the Czech low-cost airline launched three low-frequency seasonal services; one to Bulgaria and two to Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Flights to Zakynthos (ZTH) and Corfu (CFU) in Greece were launched on 19 and 20 June respectively, while services to Bourgas (BOJ) on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast commenced on 24 June; all will end by the end of September. Wizz Air provides competition on all three routes and offers thrice-weekly flights to Bourgas, and weekly services to each of the Greek destinations. SmartWings already serves Heraklion and Rhodes in Greece from Budapest.
- On 25 June, SpiceJet added a third international destination to its network, when the Indian low-cost airline launched daily flights from both Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM) to Dubai (DXB). Previously, the airline had launched international routes to neighbouring country capitals; Colombo in Sri Lanka and Kathmandu in Nepal. Both of the two new routes to Dubai are operated with 189-seat 787-800s and face considerable competition from Emirates (28 and 35 weekly flights to Delhi and Mumbai respectively), Air India (7 and 14), Jet Airways (7 and 28), and IndiGo (7 and 7). This makes SpiceJet the second low-cost airline to enter the two routes after IndiGo. SpiceJet’s CEO Neil Mills said: “Opening up Dubai is a milestone for us as it will offer us an opportunity to serve the large Indian and Western expatriate community along with the UAE citizens with an affordable flying option.” He also indicated that the airline has ambitious plans for further international expansion.
- Spirit Airlines continued expanding its network out of Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW), the base analysed this week. On 21 June, the airline launched four new routes; three domestic and one to Toluca (TLC), the secondary airport for Mexico City that the airline already serves from Fort Lauderdale. Each of the new routes is operated daily with the low-cost airline’s 145-seat A319 aircraft. American Airlines competes on the three domestic routes to Detroit, MI (DTW), Portland, OR (PDX) and San Diego, CA (SAN) with 36, 30 and 55 weekly flights respectively, while Delta also operates to Detroit with a frequency of 29 flights a week. Jeff Fegan, CEO of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, commented: “The Toluca flight is the 49th international destination being served from DFW. The route has been of great interest to local business travelers and with Toluca being a Sister City to Fort Worth, it already has great support. Spirit’s growth here at DFW has been fast-paced and travelers are benefiting from these greater travel options.”
- On 19 and 20 June respectively, Turkish Airlines inaugurated new services from both Istanbul airports. Flights to Kiev Borispol (KBP) are now offered from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) with thrice-weekly frequencies in addition to the 13 weekly flights the airline already operates from Istanbul Atatürk. The 1,060-kilometre route is operated using 737-800s. In addition, new also thrice-weekly route from Istanbul Atatürk (ISL) to Taif (TIF) in the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia was launched by the Turkish Star Alliance member. Taif becomes the airline’s sixth Saudi Arabian destination and will be served with A320s.
- On 19 June, the Russian airline UTair inaugurated services from Novosibirsk (OVB), Siberia’s largest city, to Blagoveshchensk (BQS) on the Russian border to China. Flights on the 3,000-kilometre domestic route are offered with twice-weekly frequencies and operated using 737-500 equipment. There is no competition on the route, which is UTair’s first to Blagoveshchensk.
- The fast-emerging start-up carrier Volotea launched a further 11 new routes in the last week, using its single fleet of 125-seat 717s. Italy dominates the new routes, with 15 of the 22 route ends involving the country. Notably, three routes are scheduled to operate year-round; Cagliari (CAG) in Sardinia to Ancona (AOI) on the Italian east coast, Malaga (AGP) in southern Spain to Bordeaux (BOD) in southwestern France, and Venice (VCE) in northeast Italy to Valencia (VLC) in eastern Spain.
|23-Jun-12||Cagliari (CAG)||Ancona (AOI)||2|
|24-Jun-12||Cagliari (CAG)||Brindisi (BDS)||2||until 24 Oct|
|24-Jun-12||Ibiza (IBZ)||Palermo (PMO)||2||until 8 Sep|
|22-Jun-12||Malaga (AGP)||Bordeaux (BOD)||3||Air France (1)|
|22-Jun-12||Palermo (PMO)||Olbia (OLB)||3||until 28 Sep|
|22-Jun-12||Venice (VCE)||Split (SPU)||2||until 28 Sep|
|22-Jun-12||Venice (VCE)||Valencia (VLC)||3|
|24-Jun-12||Venice (VCE)||Alghero (AHO)||3||until 30 Sep|
|24-Jun-12||Venice (VCE)||Corfu (CFU)||2||until 30 Sep|
|23-Jun-12||Venice (VCE)||Lampedusa (LMP)||3||until 30 Sep|
|25-Jun-12||Venice (VCE)||Mykonos (JMK)||2||until 6 Sep|
|*WF: Weekly Frequency Source: Volotea, Innovata for w/c 2 July 2012|
- The Spanish low-cost airline Vueling set out on a major route expansion in the last week, launching an entire 21 new routes; 10 of which face direct competition from other airlines. New destinations for the airline are Edinburgh (EDI), Nuremberg (NUE), Santander (SDR), Southampton (SOU), Split (SPU), Stavanger (SVG), Tarbes/Lourdes (LDE), Zagreb (ZAG) and Santorini (JTR).
|24-Jun-12||Alicante (ALC)||Cardiff (CWL)||3||A320||Thomson Airways (1)|
|23-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Edinburgh (EDI)||3||A320||Ryanair (5)|
|22-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Lanzarote (ACE)||4||A320||Ryanair (4), Air Europa (3)|
|22-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Nuremberg (NUE)||3||A320|
|22-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Santander (SDR)||4||A320||Ryanair (7)|
|23-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Southampton (SOU)||3||A319|
|23-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Split (SPU)||4||A320|
|21-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Stavanger (SVG)||2||A320||SAS (1)|
|23-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Tarbes/Lourdes (LDE)||2||A320|
|22-Jun-12||Barcelona (BCN)||Zagreb (ZAG)||3||A320||Croatia Airlines (3)|
|23-Jun-12||Bilbao (BIO)||Berlin Tegel (TXL)||3||A320|
|23-Jun-12||Bilbao (BIO)||Santorini (JTR)||1||A320|
|24-Jun-12||Bilbao (BIO)||Venice (VCE)||2||A320||Volotea (3)|
|22-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Alicante (ALC)||3||A320||airberlin (14), Iberia (2), Air Europa (1)|
|22-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Bordeaux (BOD)||2||A320|
|24-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Cardiff (CWL)||3||A320||Thomson Airways (3), Thomas Cook (2)|
|22-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Moscow Domodedovo (DME)||3||A320||S7 (6)|
|22-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Nice (NCE)||3||A320|
|23-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Tenerife Norte (TFN)||2||A320|
|24-Jun-12||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Vigo (VGO)||3||A320|
|23-Jun-12||Paris Orly (ORY)||Asturias (OVD)||3||A320|
|*WF: Weekly Frequencies Source: Innovata for w/c 2 July 2012|