New airline routes launched (18 – 24 September 2012)
Allegiant Air’s Phoenix-Mesa to Ogden
- Allegiant Air, the US ultra-low cost carrier, added the state of Utah to its network on 20 September when the airline launched flights from Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) to Ogden, UT (OGD). The airport, located only 50 kilometres north of Salt Lake City and therefore functioning as a secondary airport for Utah’s capital, will now be connected twice-weekly with the airport serving Arizona’s golf and sunshine resorts. This is the only scheduled commercial service at Ogden Airport.
British Airways’ London City to Aberdeen
- British Airways, through its BA CityFlyer subsidiary operating out of London City (LCY) – the base analysed this week, launched a new domestic route to Scotland on 23 September. The oil city of Aberdeen (ABZ) is now served 16 times weekly – thrice-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays – with the airline’s 76-seat E-170 aircraft. Mainline British Airways already serves Aberdeen with 84 flights a week from London Heathrow, while indirect competition in the London area comes from Flybe’s and easyJet’s Gatwick flights (19 and 13 weekly, respectively) and easyJet’s 11 flights a week from Luton. Luke Hayhoe, BA CityFlyer’s commercial manager, said: “Our direct flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow to London City are extremely popular with Scottish customers who want to want fly straight to the heart of the City, for both business or leisure. We are delighted to be adding flights from Aberdeen linking Europe’s oil capital with the UK’s financial and business hub.”
The rest of this week’s new routes
- Air One, Alitalia’s low-cost subsidiary, continues expanding out of Milan Malpensa (MXP) into new markets after entering the Ukrainian market last week. On 18 September, the airline launched a twice-weekly operation to Belgrade (BEG), the capital of Serbia, in direct competition with Jat Airways’ four flights a week. The only other Italian airport to be connected with Belgrade is Rome Fiumicino.
- Frontier Airlines continued expanding its network out of Colorado Springs, CO (COS) on 18 September, launching its second Californian route from the airport after its service to Los Angeles. The airline now serves San Diego, CA (SAN) with three flights a week, using its 138-seat A319 aircraft. In mid-November, frequencies will increase to four times weekly. Frontier already serves San Diego 26 times a week from its main base in Denver. Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s SVP commercial, commented: “Colorado Springs in an important part of Frontier’s network and we are pleased to provide southern Coloradans with their only nonstop access to sunny San Diego.”
- Monarch, the British leisure airline, launched three routes to Munich (MUC) in Germany on 21 September. The airline now serves the Bavarian airport from Birmingham (BHX), Manchester (MAN) and London Luton (LTN) using A321 aircraft. Initially, each of the routes is operated twice-weekly, but frequencies are set to increase to four times weekly at the start of the winter scheduling season. Two of the three routes face direct competition, while the London Luton route only faces indirect competition at other London Airports. Lufthansa serves Birmingham with 19 weekly flights, while there are three airlines competing on the Manchester route; Lufthansa with 20 flights a week, and easyJet and Singapore Airlines with each six weekly flights. The new routes notably launch in time for Oktoberfest, as well as the upcoming skiing season.
- Red Wings Airlines continued growing its network out of its Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) base on 24 September, launching five weekly flights between the Russian capital airport and Chelyabinsk (CEK) located just east of the Ural Mountains. The route, which is operated on weekdays with 210-seat Tu-204 aircraft, competes with Kuban Airlines’ four weekly flights. Chelyabinsk becomes Red Wings’ fifth scheduled destination from Moscow Vnukovo, after the airline only went from being a charter operator to scheduled carrier in June this year.
- Rotana Jet launched the United Arab Emirates’ second domestic route on 19 September. The airline now flies between the country capital Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Fujairah (FJR), the Emirate on the Gulf of Oman. Flights operate twice-daily with 50-seat ERJ145 aircraft. The only other domestic service in the country is also to Abu Dhabi; from Ras Al Khaimah with RAK Airways.
- Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary, continued expanding its network out of Singapore (SIN) on 18 September. The airline now serves Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) three times weekly with its 402-seat 777-200s. The flights increase to daily at the start of the winter scheduling season when they also will begin to continue onwards to Tokyo Narita. The Singapore-Taipei route is already highly competitive with six other airlines already operating. Singapore Airlines, China Airlines and Jetstar Asia operate twice-daily, while Tiger Airways, TransAsia and EVA Air each fly the route once a day.
- SpiceJet, the airline analysed this week, launched its second route to Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo (CMB) on 20 September. The Indian low-cost airline now flies daily from Madurai (IXM) in southern India, merely 350 kilometres away, using its 78-seat Q400 aircraft. Colombo was SpiceJet’s first international destination in September 2010 and the new route is now the airline’s sixth international service. The only other destination outside of India to be served with more than one SpiceJet route is Dubai, which the airline serves from both Delhi and Mumbai.
- Spirit Airlines launched an intra-state route from its Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) base, connecting Texas’ two biggest airports with low-cost flights by beginning to operate twice-daily flights to Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH) on 20 September. The route, which is operated with the airline’s 145-seat A319 aircraft, competes with United’s 57 and American Airlines’ 47 flights a week. “We know that Houstonians have been hungry for low fares and we are thrilled to be here to satisfy that need,” said Texas native and Spirit’s Chief Marketing Office Barry Biffle. “We are committed to saving our customers money on travel by offering them the lowest fares, and we look forward to giving our new customers from Houston the opportunity to take advantage of the ultra low fares that the rest of our growing customer base has come to know and love.”
- Twin Jet, the French regional carrier, launched a new domestic route from Marseille (MRS) on the Mediterranean coast on 18 September. Using its Beechcraft 1900D aircraft, the airline now flies twice a week to Limoges (LIM) in west-central France.
- VIM Airlines expanded its network to Tajikistan on 20 September when the Russian airline connected Sochi (AER) on the Russian Black Sea coast with Dushanbe (DYU), Tajikistan’s capital. The airline already serves Khujand, Tajikistan’s second-largest city, from Sochi. The new route is operated once a week with 757 aircraft, competing with Don Avia’s twice-weekly and Tajik Air’s weekly flights.