New airline routes launched (10 – 23 July 2012)

AirAsia Philippines’ Clark to Macau

AirAsia Philippines celebrated the launch of daily flights between Clark and Macau. The airline’s CEO Maan Hontiveros was on board to organise a raffle, congratulating the winner of two return tickets to Palawan.

  • AirAsia Philippines took a big step in expanding its international network on 19 July. The low-cost airline, which commenced operations at Clark (CRK) near Manila at the start of this scheduling season, has until now only served its sister airline’s main base in Kuala Lumpur as well as domestic destinations. The Philippine airline now operates each daily flights to both Hong Kong (HKG) and neighbouring Macau (MFM) with its 180-seat A320s. There are notably considerable Overseas Filipino Worker communities in both Chinese special administrative regions. Competition on the Hong Kong route comes from SEAir’s nine weekly flights in cooperation with Tiger Airways, as well as each daily flights on Dragonair and Cebu Pacific, and four flights a week with Airphil Express. Meanwhile, Ceby Pacific also competes on the Macau route with three flights a week.

Alaska Airlines’ Seattle to Fort Lauderdale

Cutting the cake for Alaska Airlines’ first flight to Fort Lauderdale were Kent George, Airport Director, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; Barbara Sharief, Broward County Commissioner; Alfredo Gonzalez, VP International Business & Tourism, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; Ron Calvin, Alaska Airlines’ Director Eastern Region, before being joined by Jeff Etherington, Alaska Airlines’ GM Sales and Community Marketing, in cutting the ribbon.

  • On 16 July, Alaska Airlines launched daily overnight flights from Seattle, WA (SEA) to Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL). The 4,400-kilometre transcontinental route comes as a replacement of the airline’s Miami service, which terminated the day before. Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ VP Marketing, said: “By redirecting our flight to the lower-cost Fort Lauderdale airport, we can serve the same geographic area and continue to offer our customers low fares.” The two Florida airports are less than 40 kilometres apart, but the Fort Lauderdale is more popular with departing cruise ship passengers. There is no direct competition on the route, although American Airlines serves the market with daily services between Seattle and Miami.

The rest of this week’s new routes

  • Aegean Airlines launched two new seasonal services to Italy from the Greek island of Corfu (CFU) last week. The Star Alliance carrier now flies from the Greek island across the Adriatic from Italy to both Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Milan Malpensa (MXP). Each route is operated once a week with A320 aircraft until the beginning of September. The route to the Italian capital, which was launched on 17 July, competes with Blu-express’ four and easyJet’s three flights a week, while the Milan service is operated against easyJet’s five weekly flights.

  • AeroSvit launched its fourth route to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku (GYD) on 17 July. Complementing its flights from Kiev, Odessa and Donetsk, the private Ukrainian carrier now flies seasonally from Lviv (LWO) in western Ukraine. Flights operate once a week with A320 equipment until 11 September, competing with Azerbaijan Airlines’ also weekly operations.

  • On 16 July, Air Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, commenced services connecting Astana (TSE) and Omsk (OMS) in Russia. Flights to this major Siberian industrial and transportation centre are operated with Fokker 50s on a twice-weekly basis until September, when two additional E-190-operated flights a week will be added. “Omsk becomes Air Astana’s seventh destination in Russia and will significantly boost business, cultural, educational and tourism links between the two cities and provide convenient onward connections,” commented Dmitriy Kaparulin, the airline’s Regional GM Russia and CIS.

  • Air Busan expanded its network to China on 19 July when the Busan (PUS) based subsidiary of Star Alliance’s South Korean member Asiana launched twice-weekly services to Macau (MFM). The flights, which are operated with 162-seat 737-400s, complement the airline’s thrice-weekly flights to nearby Hong Kong.

  • On 14 July, Air France commenced seasonal domestic services connecting Figari (FSC) in the south of the Mediterranean island of Corsica, and Caen (CFR) in northern France. Weekly flights on the 1,100-kilometre domestic route will be operated until 1 September using BritAir’s 70-seat CRJ700s. There is no competition on the route, which is Air France’s 12th domestic service from the southern Corsican airport.

  • The start-up Indian regional carrier Air Mantra launched operations on 23 July when the airline began operating twice-daily within Punjab, connecting Amritsar (ATQ) with the state capital Chandigarh (IXC). The 225-kilometre route is served with 17-seat Beechcraft 1900D aircraft.

  • Air Niugini, the flag carrier of Papua New Guinea, launched its second route to the Philippines on 17 July when the airline connected Port Moresby (POM) with Cebu (CEB), complementing the airline’s service to Manila. The new route is operated twice-weekly with the airline’s single 140-seat 737-700 aircraft.

  • On 13 July, Alitalia’s subsidiary Air One expanded its summer offering from Venice (VCE) as it launched four-weekly services each to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) and Mahon (MAH) in the Balearic Islands. Both routes are served with A320s and will end on 9 September. Offered on a year-round basis, Barcelona is the airline’s only other Spanish destination from Venice. A day later, Air One also launched seasonal services from Milan Malpensa (MXP) to Mykonos (JMK) in the Greek Cyclades Islands. Four weekly A320-operated flights on the 1,700-kilometre route will be offered until early September. The main competitor on the route is easyJet with 12 weekly flights, but Aegean Airlines and Meridianafly each offer weekly services.

  • blu-express, the Italian low-cost airline analysed last week, launched four seasonal flights in time for the Italian August holiday period on 19 July. From Catania (CTA) in Sicily, the airline now flies to Heraklion (HER) on the Greek island of Crete and the Spanish island airport Palma de Mallorca (PMI). From the Italian capital airport Rome Fiumicino (FCO), the airline launched two Greek routes; to Karpathos (AOK), the island located between Crete and Rhodes, and to Preveza (PVK) on the mainland, serving the nearby island of Lefkada in the Ionian Sea. Each of the four flights is operated twice-weekly.

  • On 12 July, China Southern resumed services to Tashkent (TAS) from Urumqi (URC) in the north-western Chinese region of Xinjiang Uyghur, and now offers a total of 15 international destinations from the airport. Weekly services are now operated using 737-200 equipment. The Uzbek capital was previously served by China Southern, but flights on the 1,500-kilometre route were discontinued in April 2010 owing to bilateral issues. Currently, there is no competition on the route, but Uzbekistan Airways are also expected to resume services shortly.

Route of the Week, 18 July issue:
Copa’s Panama to Iquitos

Copa’s CEO, Pedro Heilbron and Ollanta Humala, President of Peru, cut the ribbon for the airline’s inaugural service linking Iquitos and Panama. The world’s most remote large city, Iquitos has no access roads and huge tourist appeal.

  • On 14 July, Copa inaugurated flights to the second after Lima Peruvian destination from its hub in Panama (PTY). The largest city in the Peruvian rainforest and the capital of Loreto Region, Iquitos (IQT) is also the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road. Copa’s new service, which is the airport’s only international link, is offered with twice-weekly frequencies and operated using E190s. Norma Córdova, Regional Director for Foreign Trade, Tourism and Handicrafts, said: “Expectations are high: a comprehensive strategic plan is in place to boost the region’s tourist and commercial appeal in Panama”. This includes a workshop session ‘Río Amazonas’ to be held in Panama in August in cooperation with Copa and Promperú, the country’s agency for tourism and foreign trade promotion.

Although 11 July was the date of a big expansion for Delta at New York LaGuardia, Louisville in Kentucky welcomed the airline’s arrival from a second New York Airport – JFK – with cupcakes and goodie bags.

In Roanoke, Virginia, passengers on the first Delta flight to New York LaGuardia were treated to bagels, courtesy of Tom Weeks, Regional Manager for Republic Airways that operates the service, and Regional Elite’s Station Manager Jessica Mooney.

Delta’s National Account Executive, Robert Furtado, celebrated the launch of the airline’s new service from LaGuardia to Halifax in Canada together with his colleague Lina Deramo, District Sales Manager Eastern Canada; and Louis Gosselin, WestJet’s Director Interline.

Delta launches nine domestic and three transborder routes from New York LaGuardia; adds Louisville to its JFK network

A fire truck sprays water over Delta’s commuter plane bound for New York LaGuardia as it pushes back from the gate in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • On 11 July, Delta commenced services from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to 12 destinations across the US and Canada in the final stage of its expansion aimed at capturing the lucrative Manhattan traffic. Nine new domestic routes are now offered, including 49 weekly services to Pittsburgh, PA (PIT), as well as routes to three Canadian airports; Halifax (YHZ), Montreal (YUL) and Ottawa (YOW), the latter being the airport analysed in this week. Additionally, on the same day, Delta added daily services from New York JFK, NY (JFK) to Louisville, KY (SDF). The 1,000-kilometre route is operated with CRJ200s by Delta’s regional partner Chautauqua Airlines.
Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
New York, NY (LGA) Charlotte, NC (CLT) 35 eqv United (87), American Airlines (33)
Charlottesville, VA (CHO) 7 ERJ145
Cleveland, OH (CLE) 35 ERJ145 United (50), American Airlines (33)
Denver, CO (DEN) 14 B738 United (33), Frontier (25), AirTrans (13)
Halifax (YHZ) 14 ERJ145
Houston, TX (IAH) 28 eqv United (59)
Montreal (YUL) 35 ERJ145 Air Canada (45), American Airlines (33)
Ottawa (YOW) 21 ERJ145 Air Canada (18)
Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 28 ERJ145 US Airways (87)
Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) 49 eqv US Airways (43)
Roanoke, VA (ROA) 7 ERJ145
Wilmington, NC (ILM) 14 ERJ145
Source: Innovata data for w/c 16 July 2012 *WF: Weekly Frequency

Cake of the Week, 18 July issue:
Ethiopian Airlines’ Addis Ababa to Toronto

This spectacular cake was baked in Toronto to celebrate the arrival of new Ethiopian Airlines service from Addis Ababa. Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO, and Howard Eng, CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, helped launch the route.

Ethiopian Airlines team led by its CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, is set for more long-haul travel, as the airline is soon to receive its first 787. In Toronto, they were greeted with a traditional water cannon salute.

  • On 16 July, Ethiopian Airlines launched a new route from its Addis Ababa (ADD) hub, making Toronto (YYZ) the first destination it serves in Canada. The airline, whose first 787 aircraft is scheduled to arrive in late August, will operate the 11,500-kilometre route using 777-200LRs. Its CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “Although Ethiopian is scheduled to fly to Toronto just twice weekly, we are ready to immediately add more flights, once the bilateral agreement between the two countries is enhanced”.

  • On 15 July, germanwings took over yet another route from Stuttgart (STR), previously operated by Contact Air for Lufthansa. As a result of the new strategy, which Lufthansa has implemented since January 2012, germanwings now operates the five weekly services to Manchester (MAN) in the UK. All flights are operated using the airline’s fleet of A319s.

  • On 13 July, Hainan Airlines increased its offering to Thailand as it launched four weekly services between the capitals of China and Thailand; Beijing (PEK) and Bangkok (BKK). The airline already serves the Thai capital from Hangzhou and Nanning. Flights on the new 3,300-kilometre route are operated with 737-800s. The airline will face competition from Thai Airways (11 weekly frequencies), Air China and SriLankan Airlines (each daily flights). Bangkok is the second Thai destination after Phuket to be offered by Hainan Airlines from Beijing.

  • On 13 July, Iberia commenced twice-weekly stopping services on the new route from Madrid (MAD) to Nouakchott (NKC). Flights to the capital of Mauretania in West Africa are operated using A321 equipment via Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The new service is geared at the growing trade exchange between Spain and Mauretania, in particular within the fishing industry. On 18 July, the airline also launched twice-weekly services from Madrid to Accra (ACC) in Ghana. The new route is operated with 122-seat A319 aircraft on Wednesdays and Saturdays, becoming the only non-stop service between the two countries. In addition, on 14 July, the airline launched services on the 350-kilometre route from Palma de Mallorca (PMI) in the Balearic Islands, to Perpignan (PGF) in the south-western corner of France’s Mediterranean coast. The weekly seasonal service will be operated until early September with Air Nostrum’s fleet of CRJ200s.

  • On 12 July, IrAero of Russia commenced services on the 1,300-kilometre route from Omsk (OMS) in southwestern Siberia to Bishkek (FRU), the capital of Kirgizstan. Weekly services are now offered using CRJ200 aircraft. The new service comes as a result of a memorandum signed earlier this year between IrAero and Omsk Airport.

  • On 12 July, Jat Airways added London Gatwick (LGW) as the second UK destination it serves from Belgrade (BEG). The seasonal service will be offered on a twice-weekly basis in addition to the nine weekly frequencies the airline already offers to London Heathrow. All flights will be operated until mid-September using 737-300s. There is no direct competition on either of the London routes operated by Jat Airways; however, Wizz Air operates four-weekly services from the Serbian capital to London Luton.

  • Monarch, the British leisure airline, launched two Mediterranean routes out of Birmingham (BHX) with its A320 aircraft in the last week; both in competition with bmibaby that is set to shut down at the beginning of September. On 20 July, Monarch launched daily flights to Nice (NCE) on the French Riviera and the following day, four weekly flights were launched to Spain’s second-largest city Barcelona (BCN). bmibaby operates both routes with the same frequencies.

  • On 14 July, the private Mongolian carrier Mongolian Airlines launched services from Ulaanbaatar (ULN) to Tokyo Haneda (HND), making the Japanese capital its second international destination following the launch of Hong Kong services just over a month ago. Thrice-weekly services are now offered on the 3,000-kilometre route, and will be operated using A319s on a seasonal basis until early September.

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary was on board the first passenger aircraft to land at Warsaw Modlin Airport. He then entertained the passengers in the check-in area to the tune of Frédéric Chopin music.

Elina Hakkarainen, Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Executive, Nordics and Baltics, together with Oslo Rygge Airport celebrated the opening of the Warsaw Modlin route with cake, balloons and competition for all passengers at the terminal to win a mini break in Poland.

  • On 15 July, Ryanair officially launched its Warsaw Modlin (WMI) operations with scheduled flights starting the following day. The opening of the new low-cost airport serving the Polish capital marks Ryanair’s return to Warsaw. The airline withdrew all services in 2008 following a dispute over landing fees. At Warsaw Modlin, Ryanair will initially offer eight routes to a selection of European cities. The airline will compete against Wizz Air on four of the new routes.
Origin Destination WF* Competition
Warsaw Modlin (WMI) Brussels Charleroi (CRL) 5 Wizz Air (5)
Budapest (BUD) 7 Wizz Air (3)
Dublin (DUB) 3
London Stansted (STN) 7
Milan Bergamo (BGY) 3 Wizz Air (3)
Oslo Rygge (RYG) 3
Rome Ciampino (CIA) 5
Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) 3 Wizz Air (5)
Source: Innovata data for w/c 16 July 2012       *WF: Weekly Frequency

  • Skymark Airlines inaugurated seasonal services to two domestic destinations from Okinawa (OKA) in southern Japan. On 13 July, services were launched to Ibaraki (IBR) north of Tokyo. A week later, on 20 July, Skymark inaugurated new route to Kitakyushu (KKJ) in Fukuoka prefecture. Both routes are offered with daily frequencies and operated with the airline’s fleet of 737-800s until the end of September and August respectively.

South African Airways inaugurates services from Durban in South Africa to Lusaka in Zambia

Welcoming the arrival of the maiden flight from Durban were Yamfwa Mukanga, Zambia’s Minister of Transport and Communication; Moses Chikane, South African High Commissioner to Zambia; Bwelani Magwanisha, Zambia’s Minister Public Enterprises; and Michael Mabuyankulu, Minister of Development and Tourism.

  • On 12 July, South African Airways launched a new regional route from Durban (DUR), South Africa’s busiest sea port located on the Indian Ocean coast, to Lusaka (LUN), the capital of Zambia. The 1,600-kilometre route is offered thrice-weekly and will be operated by the airline’s regional partner, South African Express, using CRJ200s. Inati Ntshanga, CEO of the operating airline, said: “The objective is to enable Zambia, South Africa and the Southern African Development Community to grow tourism and trade opportunities.”

StarFlyer launches new international route from Kitakyushu to Busan in South Korea

Airport employees see off StarFlyer's first regular overseas from Kitakyushu to Busan, South Korea.

  • On 12 July, StarFlyer inaugurated services on the 240-kilometre route across the Korea Strait, connecting Kitakyushu (KKJ) in the Japanese Fukuoka province and Busan (PUS) in South Korea. Shinichi Yonehara, StarFlyer’s CEO, said: “We will make every effort to become a bridge for Japan and South Korea. We are keen to explore further opportunities for international expansion.” Twice-daily flights geared at passengers returning on the same day are offered on the route. All flights will be operated with the airline’s A320s.

  • On 15 July, TACA launched non-stop flights between the capitals of El Salvador and Ecuador; San Salvador (SAL) and Quito (UIO). Thrice-weekly services will be operated with A319. Danilo Correas, TACA’s Sales Director for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, said: “We are very enthusiastic about this new service, as it allows us to offer more travel options to our passengers”. The route is TACA’s third offered to Quito after its flights from Lima and Medellin, and comes only days after the launch of another international route from the airport, the Bogotá service operated by TAME.

  • On 13 July, Air France-KLM’s low-cost subsidiary inaugurated low-frequency seasonal services on the route from the French capital airport Paris Orly (ORY) to the popular Croatian holiday destination of Split (SPU). Weekly flights on the 1,200-kilometre route will be operated using 737-800s until early October.

Turkish Airlines launches services from Istanbul Atatürk to Edinburgh

Turkish Airlines’ aircraft covered with pictures of the airline’s staff was welcomed to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh with a water cannon salute from three directions.

  • On 16 July, Turkish Airlines added Edinburgh (EDI) as the fifth UK destination the airline serves from its hub at Istanbul Atatürk (IST). Four weekly flights are now offered on the 2,900-kilometre route, which is operated using A319s. Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s CEO, underlined: “Connectivity guides everything we do and this new route is doubly exciting because of the onward connection possibilities Istanbul offers”. In addition, on 18 July, the airline launched services from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to Osh (OSS), Kirgizstan’s second-largest city. Thrice-weekly flights are offered on the 3,700-kilometre route, which also is operated with 124-seat A319s.

Celebrating its expansion at Washington Reagan, US Airways treated its passengers to a selection of branded cakes in the departure terminal.

A welcome cake and ribbon cutting were only a part of celebrations of the new US Airways route from Washington Reagan to Minneapolis/St Paul. Suzanne Boda, US Airways’ SVP Airport Customer Service, presented a commemorative glass plate to Jeff Hamiel, Metropolitan Airports Commission’s Executive Director.

Cutting the celebratory cake for the arrival in Augusta, Georgia of US Airways’ new service from Washington were Chuck Allen, the airline’s Director Corporate Affairs; Daniel Gonzalez, Station Manager; Deke Copenhaver, Mayor of Augusta; and Jay Forrester, Augusta Aviation Commission Chairman.

  • On 11 July, US Airways further expanded its presence in Washington Reagan, VA (DCA), as it launched services to three domestic and two Canadian destinations. All routes will be served with regional jets, and the airline faces competition on three of them. Notably, both Canadian routes will see US Airways enter Star Alliance partner Air Canada’s territory. Andrew Nocella, US Airways’ SVP Marketing and Planning, said: “Our new service to Reagan National Airport shows our commitment to connect communities of all sizes to our nation’s capital.”
Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
Washington Reagan, VA (DCA) Augusta, GA (AGS) 7 CRJ
Fayetteville, AR (XNA) 6 CRJ
Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) 20 E70/E75 Delta (35)
Montreal (YUL) 20 CRJ Air Canada (20)
Toronto (YYZ) 25 CRJ Air Canada (34)
Source: Innovata data for w/c 16 July 2012                               *WF: Weekly Frequency

  • On 20 July, Mexico’s vivaaerobus inaugurated operations in Cuernavaca (CVJ) in south-central Mexico with two new routes. The city, which was nicknamed as “The City of Eternal Spring” by the German traveller Alexander von Humboldt, is now connected with Cancun (CUN) on the country’s Caribbean coast and Monterrey (MTY) in Mexican north, each with twice-weekly flights operated with the airline’s fleet of 737-300s.

Celebrating the launch of the new Volaris service in Orlando, Florida were Alberto Fierro, Mexican Consul in Orlando; José Calderoni, Volaris’ Director Sales and Marketing; Phil Brown, Orlando Airport’s Executive Director; Tony Ortiz, Commissioner, Orlando City Council; and Johanna Russo, Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

  • On 14 July, the Mexican low-cost airline Volaris launched twice-weekly services from Mexico City (MEX) to Orlando, FL (MCO) – its sixth US destination from the Mexican capital. The A320-operated route is offered with twice-weekly frequencies until the first week of September when frequencies will be reduced to weekly operations. The airline’s Director Sales and Marketing, José Calderoni, said: “Volaris makes another step in the US, and we could not think of a better way to do so then with services to the magical Orlando.” Competition on the route comes from another Mexican carrier, AeroMéxico, which offers 15 weekly flights on the route.

  • Each day between 15 and 18 July, the European all-717 operator Volotea launched a new seasonal service from its Venice (VCE) base to four Greek islands. Flights to Heraklion (HER) on Crete, Kos (KGS), Rhodes (RHO) and Santorini (JTR) are performed with twice-weekly frequencies until the beginning of September.

Yakutia Airlines launches its first international route from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Cutting the ribbon in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for Yakutia Airlines’ inaugural flight to Anchorage were Viktor Kravchenko, Minister of Sport and Tourism; Elizabeth McDonald, US Consul General on Economic Affairs in Vladivostok; Dmitry Ponomarev, Yakutia Airlines’ CEO; Vladimir Kayumov, Minister of Transport and Civil Engineering Kamchatka; and Yuri Gribkov, Yakutia Airlines’ Director Marketing.

  • On 12 July, Russia’s Yakutia Airlines launched services from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC) in the far-eastern Russian province of Kamchatka, to its first US destination; Alaska’s largest city Anchorage (ANC). Weekly flights, which will be operated using 737-700s, are offered on the 3,200-kilometre route across the Bering Strait until 13 September. Victor Kravchenko, regional Minister of Sport and Tourism, said: “Opening of the long-awaited services to Anchorage will boost Kamchatka’s attractiveness for international tourism.”


Comments are closed