New airline routes launched (23 – 29 October 2012)

New airline routes launched (23 – 29 October 2012)


AirAsia Japan’s Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon

Kazuyuki Iwakata, AirAsia Japan’s CEO, was the soul behind the launch ceremony for the airline’s new route from Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon.

Iwakata then travelled to Seoul on the inaugural flight, where he was made welcome by airport officials and AirAsia Japan’s Seoul based staff.

  • AirAsia Japan, which only commenced operations on 1 August (becoming the winner of the anna.aero Route of the Week prize on the spot!), decided to go international and set up its first South Korean route on 28 October. The carrier now offers daily services on the 1,300-kilometre route across the Sea of Japan from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Seoul Incheon (ICN). Kazuyuki Iwakata, AirAsia Japan’s CEO, said: “The announcement of our new international routes to Korea gives me much pleasure as we can now further expand the AirAsia Group’s existing extensive route network, connecting Japan and other countries in Asia. It makes much sense to begin our international flights to Korea, our next-door neighbour.” Competition in the market is fierce. Already operating on the route are Korean Air (28 weekly frequencies), Asiana Airlines (21), JAL (14), ANA (7), Delta (7), Eastar Jet (7) and United Airlines (7). The addition of the new AirAsia Japan service brings the combined number of weekly seats offered on the route up to almost 25,000. The low-cost airline has already announced the launch of its second route to South Korea with services to Busan scheduled to start end of November.

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The rest of this week’s new routes


Crew and passengers arriving on Aegean Airlines’ inaugural flight from Athens was welcomed to London Gatwick with a water cannon salute.

Crew and passengers arriving on Aegean Airlines’ inaugural flight from Athens were welcomed to London Gatwick with a water cannon salute.

  • Aegean Airlines launched flights on the 2,400-kilometre route across the Europe from Athens (ATH) to London Gatwick (LGW), which was previously served by Olympic Airlines until the airline’s demise in late 2009, and then shortly by its successor, Olympic Air, which ultimately pulled the route in March 2010 as it reshaped its network. Aegean Airlines now offers daily frequencies on the route, all of which will be operated using A321s. The Greek Star Alliance airline will compete directly against easyJet, which it matches in terms of weekly flights. Moreover, Aegean Airlines already operates 12 weekly flights to London Heathrow, which is also served by British Airways’ 19 weekly frequencies. No other London Airport has a direct link to the Greek capital.

Celebrating the launch of a new Aer Lingus route to London’s Gatwick Airport from George Best Belfast City Airport were Nik Robinson, Aer Lingus cabin crew; Keith Tenn, Aer Lingus’ Sales Manager UK; Matt Wood, Gatwick Airport’s Head of Airline Relations; and Geraldine Dove-Higginson, Aer Lingus cabin crew.

Celebrating the launch of a new Aer Lingus route to London’s Gatwick Airport from George Best Belfast City Airport were Nik Robinson, Aer Lingus cabin crew; Keith Tenn, Aer Lingus’ Sales Manager UK; Matt Wood, Gatwick Airport’s Head of Airline Relations; and Geraldine Dove-Higginson, Aer Lingus cabin crew.

  • Aer Lingus resumed services to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen (CPH) from its Dublin (DUB) hub on 28 October. The Irish flag carrier now flies the route daily with its 174-seat A320s, competing with SAS’ 13 flights a week and Norwegian’s twice-weekly operations. Aer Lingus previously operated the route between October 2007 and November 2008. The airline is also making a switch in the Northern Ireland market on the same day, pulling out of Belfast International and moving to Belfast City (BHD). Now in winter, only one route will move; the three daily flights to London Heathrow (LHR), which are operated with 144-seat A319 aircraft in competition with British Airways’ 41 weekly operations. Two leisure routes, to Malaga and Faro, will relaunch next spring, but other routes are dropped. However, 28 October also saw the launch of a new route. Aer Lingus now flies from Belfast City to London Gatwick (LGW), also three times a day with A319 aircraft.

Aeroflot’s first flight from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Tallinn was in fact a return of the airline – the Russian flag carrier served Estonia’s capital until 12 years ago.

  • Aeroflot commenced operations on six new international routes from its hub at Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO), including services to Turkmenistan’s second-largest airport, Ashgabat (ASB), and to Samarkand (SKD), Uzbekistan’s second-largest city. The Russian carrier also added Miami, FL (MIA) as its fourth US destination from the Moscow airport, and returned to the Estonian capital, Tallinn (TLL), which it last served 12 years ago. Indirect competition on the Miami route comes from Transaero’s two weekly flights from Moscow Domodedovo to the Florida city.
Launch date Destination WF A/c Competition (WF)
28-Oct-12 Ashgabat (ASB) 5 A319
Hurghada (HRG) 3 IL96 Transaero (7)
Miami, FL (MIA) 3 A332
Tallinn (TLL) 7 A319 Estonian Air (15)
29-Oct-12 Samarkand (SKD) 6 A320
Sanya (SYX) 2 IL9
Source: Innovata data for w/c 5 November
*WF: Weekly Frequency

Matt Wood, Gatwick Airport’s Head of Airline Relations (centre), welcomed Air Arabia Maroc’s Driss Fehli, captain on the inaugural service; Mostafa Lakhdar, Head of Operations; Hafid Zouggari, Head of Ground Operations; and Amin Alhaimy, COO, with a celebratory cake. The airline entered the UK market with services from both Casablanca and Tangier.

  • Air Arabia Maroc, which currently has just over 6% of international market from Morocco according to a recent anna.aero analysis, continues to use to its benefit the ‘open skies’ policy between its home country and the European Union, further expanding its presence in the Old Continent on 28 October. The airline, which is a joint venture between Moroccan investors and Air Arabia of the UAE, added weekly services from Marrakech (RAK) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) in northern Italy, which it also serves from Casablanca. Notably, last week also saw the airline enter the UK market with services to London Gatwick (LGW) from both Casablanca (CMN) and Tangier (TNG). Commenting on the launch of the new routes to Great Britain, which will be offered each with thrice-weekly frequencies, Air Arabia’s Group CEO, Adel Ali, said: “This announcement marks a new milestone for Air Arabia Maroc. Entering the United Kingdom will further strengthen our current flights between Morocco and Europe; and at the same time, offers customers wider choice of affordable air travel between Casablanca, Tangier and London.” The airline’s fleet of A320s will be deployed on all new routes.

  • Air Botswana grew its international network from Gaborone (GBR) on 28 October as it launched services to both Cape Town (CPT) and Lilongwe (LLW). While thrice-weekly flights to the South African destination are now offered using BAe 146 aircraft, services to Malawi will depart with five weekly frequencies using variable equipment.

  • Air China launched a new domestic route on 28 October. From Wuhan (WUH) in central China, the Star Alliance airline now flies daily to Lanzhou (LHW) in the northwest of the country using 128-seat A319 aircraft. Four other airlines compete on the route; each daily flights are operated by China Southern, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, while China Eastern operates the route three times a week.

  • Air Europa, which has been busy expanding its domestic and international networks following Spanair’s collapse last January, launched new services on the domestic route from Madrid (MAD) to Valencia (VLC) on 29 October. 28 weekly flights will be operated for the Spanish SkyTeam carrier by Helitt Líneas Aéreas using ATR 72s. Competition on the route comes from Iberia’s 35 weekly frequencies, which are operated by Air Nostrum, as well as indirectly from the high-speed AVE trains, which cover the 1.5-hour journey 15 times a day.

Celebrating the arrival of the first CityJet flight from London City in Münster/Osnabrück were Warner Rootliep, Air France-KLM Germany’s Director; Ben Schaafsma, CityJet’s Head of Marketing and Communications; and Gerd Stoewer, CEO Münster/Osnabrück Airport.

  • Air France began serving its first German destination from London City (LCY) on 29 October, as its subsidiary CityJet launched six weekly flights to Münster/Osnabrück (FMO) in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Andre Cini, CityJet’s CCO, commented: “The new service has had good forward bookings and better than our previous launches. There is huge opportunity in Germany as it is a big business and convention destination and more cities could be served from London City.” All flights are operated using the airline’s fleet of F50s. None of London’s airports have been linked directly to Münster/Osnabrück since airberlin pulled its London Stansted service in October 2011.

As Air One arrived with its third route to Albania’s capital Tirana, the ribbon for the new Venice service was cut by the Italian low-cost airline’s captain and Kreuza Kotorri, Director Airline Marketing Department, Tirana International Airport.

  • Air One added its third route to Albania’s capital Tirana (TIA) on 28 October when the Alitalia low-cost subsidiary launched three weekly flights from Venice (VCE) in northeast Italy. The operator of 180-seat A320s, which already serves Tirana from its other two bases at Milan Malpensa and Pisa, competes on the route with Belle Air’s daily operations.

Cutting the Colosseum cake baked to celebrate Alitalia’s return to Zurich were Mario Testa, Alitalia’s GM Switzerland; Ermanno Schena, Alitalia’s Station Manager GVA; Peter Grünig, Zurich Airport’s Head of Aviation Marketing; the inaugural flight’s captain; Osvaldo Liparoti, Alitalia’s Station Manager ZRH; and Pierfrancesco Carino, Alitalia’s Country Manager Germany, Switzerland & Austria.

  • Alitalia relaunched flights from its hub at the Italian capital airport Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to the finance capital of Switzerland, Zurich (ZRH), on 29 October. The ‘old Alitalia’ previously operated the route until October 2008, and the ‘new Alitalia’ now returns with 12 weekly frequencies, all of which will be operated using 88-seat E-175s. Competition on the route comes from Swiss, which already serves the market with 28 weekly flights.

  • Allegiant Air expanded its network out of Orlando Sanford, FL (SFB) on 25 October when the US ultra-low cost airline became the only operator of scheduled commercial traffic at Columbus Rickenbacker, OH (LCK), the secondary airport for Ohio’s capital city that was left without services when Vision Airlines left the airport in early September. Allegiant operates the route twice a week with its MD80 aircraft. Indirect competition at Port Columbus International comes from Southwest’s 15 weekly flights and its subsidiary AirTran’s daily operations to Orlando International.

ANA was welcomed back to Delhi with a cake. The celebrations for the new route between the capitals of Japan and India also included a sake-drinking ceremony.

  • ANA All Nippon Airways has relaunched services to Delhi (DEL) in India. On 28 October, the Japanese Star Alliance member began operating daily flights from its Tokyo Narita (NRT) hub, using 202-seat 767-300ER aircraft. This is the airline’s second route to India after Mumbai. ANA last served Delhi in 2001, when it operated via Bangkok, and now faces competition from JAL’s also daily flights as well as Air India’s five operations a week.

  • Avianca Ecuador, the airline previously known as AeroGal, launched a new route between Ecuador and its parent company’s home country, Colombia, on 23 October. From Guayaquil (GYE), Ecuador’s largest city, the airline now flies three times weekly to Cali (CLO) in western Colombia using 120-seat A319 aircraft. The route is also operated twice a week by sister airline TACA Peru.

  • The Hainan Airlines subsidiary Beijing Capital Airlines connected Haikou (HAK) on the tropical island of Hainan with Changde (CGD) in the north of Mainland China’s Hunan Province on 28 October. Four weekly flights are now offered on the 1,000-kilometre route that will be operated with 138-seat A319 aircraft. 

  • Belavia introduced a new route from its base in Belarus’ capital Minsk (MSQ) to Kutaisi (KUT), making the second-largest Georgian city the third destination the Belarusian national carrier serves in the country, after Tbilisi and Batumi. Beginning on 28 October, the airline offers twice-weekly flights to the newly reopened airport in Kutaisi, all of which will be operated with CRJ200s.

  • Berjaya Air took on Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary Firefly on the busy domestic route between Kuala Lumpur Subang (SZB) and Kota Bharu (KBR). Using ATR 72 aircraft, the regional airline launched twice-daily operations on the route on 28 October. Firefly’s directly competing flights operate 54 times a week, but further indirect competition at Kuala Lumpur International Airport comes from AirAsia’s 56 and Malaysia Airlines’ 33 weekly flights.

5-year-old Aelfred, who was flying home to Aberdeen after the school holiday he spent with his grandmother in Bristol, posed together with Shaun Browne, Bristol Airport’s Aviation Director (left), and Alex Ryder-Elton, bmi regional’s Marketing Executive (right), behind the cake showing a bmi regional aircraft flying across Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon Gorge. The celebrations continued to the sound of bag pipes when Browne and Ryder-Elton were joined by Don Yule, bmi regional’s Sales Manager.

bmi regional now flies between Manchester in the UK and Antwerp, Belgium’s second-biggest city. The airline operates the route 12 times a week after Cityjet dropped its operations in September this year.

  • bmi regional, the newly independent British regional airline, launched two routes on 28 October; one domestic and one international. From its home base in Scotland’s oil capital Aberdeen (ABZ), the airline now flies to Bristol (BRS) in southwest England with 12 weekly frequencies using 49-seat ERJ145 aircraft. Ian Woodley, bmi regional’s chairman, said: “We have had significant interest in the route since it was announced and today’s inaugural flight marks the beginning of a new chapter of growth within our regional network.” The route used to be served by Eastern Airways until September 2011, but the airline now operates 15 times weekly with a stop at Leeds/Bradford. From Manchester (MAN), bmi regional also began operating to the Belgian port and diamond city of Antwerp (ANR). The 12 weekly operations with 37-seat ERJ135s reinstate the services dropped by Air France/CityJet until September this year.

Show girls were at Gatwick Airport to celebrate British Airways’ new route to Las Vegas, complementing its Heathrow route. The cake baked to welcome the route featured all things Vegas – a show girl, Elvis and the famous Las Vegas sign – above Gatwick bridge. Posing with the cake were Jonathan Sloan, MD Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority UK; Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport’s CCO; and Silla Maizey, British Airways’ MD Gatwick.

  • British Airways added three routes from two London airports on 28 October. Thrice-weekly flights from London Gatwick (LGW) to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) are now offered in addition to the daily service the airline already offers from London Heathrow. The 777-operated transatlantic service will compete directly against Virgin Atlantic’s daily flights on the same route. In addition, British Airlines moved its Marseille (MRS) service from Gatwick to London Heathrow (LHR) and now offers thrice-weekly frequencies to the southern-French city from its main hub. Last but not least, the British carrier added new route from Heathrow to the popular with Spanish destination of Alicante (ALC). Thrice-weekly flights to the Spanish airport, as well as services to Marseille will be operated using A319s.

Bagpipe players created a Scottish atmosphere at Brussels Airport as the winter scheduling season started. Brussels Airlines now serves Edinburgh with six weekly flights.

Bagpipe players created a Scottish atmosphere at Brussels Airport as the winter scheduling season started. Brussels Airlines now serves Edinburgh with six weekly flights.

  • Brussels Airlines added another UK destination to its network on 28 October when the Belgian airline began operating from its Brussels (BRU) hub to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh (EDI). Flights now operate six times a week with 141-seat A319 aircraft, doubling to 12 weekly flights when the summer scheduling season starts at the end of March next year. Brussels Airlines previously codeshared on the route with its Star Alliance partner bmi, but competition on the route now comes from the successor airline bmi regional’s 18 flights a week.

  • China Airlines added its second route to New Zealand’s biggest airport in Auckland (AKL) on 29 October. The airline, which already serves Auckland from Taipei Taoyuan via Brisbane, now also extended its route to Sydney (SYD) to continue across the Tasman Sea. The four weekly flights are operated with A330-300 aircraft and the Taiwanese airline faces considerable competition on the Sydney to Auckland sector. Qantas and Air New Zealand operate 34 weekly flights each, while Emirates operates daily, Lan six times weekly and Jetstar and Virgin Australia each five times a week.

  • China Eastern Airlines commenced thrice-weekly services on the 1,950-kilomtere route from Kunming (KMG) in the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan to the popular Thai holiday island of Phuket (HKT). China Eastern has operated the route on and off since April 2009 and now returns with services operated with 737-700. 

  • Condor, the German leisure airline, launched its third route to Brazil on 27 October. Apart from Recife and San Salvador in the north-east of the country, the carrier now also offers weekly services from Frankfurt (FRA) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG). Competition on the route comes from Lufthansa’s twice-daily and TAM’s daily flights. Condor will use 767-300ER aircraft to operate the route.

  • As an attempt to merge the two biggest Greek airlines is again underway, Cyprus Airways chose to expand its presence in the Greek domestic market. On 28 October, the airline launched five routes between two airports in the Greek mainland, Athens (ATH) and Thessaloniki (SKG), and two island airports; Rhodes (RHO) and Heraklion (HER) on Crete.
Origin Destination WF A/c Competition (WF)
Athens (ATH) Heraklion (HER) 14 A320 Aegean (29), Olympic (24), Sky Express (4)
Athens (ATH) Rhodes (RHO) 7 A320 Aegean (16), Olympic (16)
Rhodes (RHO) Heraklion (HER) 4 A320 Sky Express (7)
Rhodes (RHO) Thessaloniki (SKG) 3 A320 Aegean (4)
Thessaloniki (SKG) Heraklion (HER) 7 A320 Aegean (7), Olympic (7)
Source: anna.aero new route database, Innovata for w/c 5 November 2012

  • Darwin Airline took over the Italian domestic PSO routes between Sicily and the Pelagie Islands, which are located between Malta and Tunisia, on 28 October. Using 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft, the Swiss airline now flies from Palermo (PMO) to Lampedusa (LMP) and Pantelleria (PNL), as well as from Trapani (TPS) to Pantelleria. Each of the three routes is operated twice-daily. Before Darwin Airline was awarded the routes, they were operated by Meridiana fly.

  • Dragonair has resumed operations on the route between its Hong Kong (HKG) hub and Haikou (HAK) on Chinese tropical island of Hainan. On 28 October, the Cathay Pacific subsidiary began operating daily with A320 aircraft, competing with Hong Kong Airlines’ also daily flights. Dragonair has operated the route in the past, but dropped it in 2008.

Jason Holt, easyJet’s Head of Gatwick (centre), together with the airline’s Suzi Marcelino and Hannah Thompson, displayed the St George-inspired cake to celebrate the launch of services from London Gatwick to Luxembourg.

Jan Van de Reyd, Brussels Airport’s Manager Aviation Marketing (right), welcomed the delighted easyJet crew operating the inaugural flight from Basel with Belgian chocolates.

Jan Van de Reyd, Brussels Airport’s Manager Aviation Marketing (right), welcomed the delighted easyJet crew operating the inaugural flight from Basel with Belgian chocolates.

  • easyJet added several new routes at the turn of the scheduling seasons. The airline launched three new destinations from Basel (BSL) at the Swiss/French/German borders. Of the routes to Brussels (BRU), Budapest (BUD) and Manchester (MAN), easyJet only faces competition to the Belgian capital from Brussels Airlines’ 11 weekly flights. Furthermore, easyJet launched long-awaited low-cost operations to Luxembourg (LUX), breaking the full-service carrier monopoly. The new route from London Gatwick (LGW) faces indirect competition in the London area from Air France/CityJet and Luxair at London City as well as British Airways at London Heathrow, which all offer 61 weekly frequencies to Luxembourg combined. Gatwick also saw the move of easyJet’s services to Estonia’s capital Tallinn (TLL), which it previously served from London Stansted.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
28-Oct-12 Basel (BSL) Brussels (BRU) 6 Brussels Airlines (11)
28-Oct-12 Budapest (BUD) 4
29-Oct-12 Manchester (MAN) 4
28-Oct-12 London Gatwick (LGW) Tallinn (TLL) 4
29-Oct-12 Luxembourg (LUX) 4
Source: Innovata data for w/c 5 November 2012
*WF: Weekly Frequency at launch

The EVA Air crew was delighted to inaugurate the new route to Hakodate – the Taiwanese airline’s seventh route to Japan from Taipei Taoyuan Airport.

The EVA Air crew was delighted to inaugurate the new route to Hakodate – the Taiwanese airline’s seventh route to Japan from Taipei Taoyuan Airport.

  • EVA Air, the Taiwanese airline due to join Star Alliance next year, expanded its network to Japan on 28 October when the airline connected its Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) hub with Hakodate (HKD) on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. This is EVA Air’s seventh route to Japan from Taipei Taoyuan. Competition on the route comes from TransAsia’s also twice-weekly operation.

Flybe resumes former bmibaby routes from East Midlands

Dutch and British cheese exchange: Celebrating Flybe taking on KLM on the route between Birmingham and Amsterdam were Jerry Blackett, CEO of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce; Mandy Haque, Airline and Trade Relations Manager, Birmingham Airport; Iselle Van Dijk from Dutch cheese-maker Bouter; Paul Willoughby, Regional Sales Manager, Flybe; Martin Moyden from Mr Moyden’s Handmade Cheese in Shropshire; and John Philips, Regional Director, Institute of Directors.

  • Flybe launched five new routes from across three UK airports on 28 October; Birmingham (BHX), East Midlands (EMA) and Southampton (SOU). Two of the routes are to Amsterdam (AMS), while Jersey (JER), Paris CDG (CDG) and Nantes (NTE) got a route each. Notably, the routes from East Midlands all used to be served by now closed-down bmibaby, while the new route to Nantes becomes the fifth route Flybe operates to France from Southampton this winter season. All of the new routes are operated with the airline’s fleet of 78-seat Q400 aircraft. The route between East Midlands and Amsterdam is planned to increase to twice-daily frequencies at the start of the summer scheduling season.
Origin Destination WF Competition (WF)
Birmingham (BHX) Amsterdam (AMS) 16 KLM (34)
East Midlands (EMA) Amsterdam (AMS) 6
East Midlands (EMA) Jersey (JER) 3
East Midlands (EMA) Paris CDG (CDG) 12
Southampton (SOU) Nantes (NTE) 7
Source: anna.aero new route database, Innovata for w/c 5 November 2012

Gambia Bird continues launching routes; now serves London and Barcelona

Gambia Bird has landed in Spain. The new Gambian flag carrier now serves Barcelona once a week, every Sunday, from Banjul.

Date Origin Destination WF Competition (WF)
26-Oct-12 Banjul (BJL) Accra (ACC) 2
28-Oct-12 Banjul (BJL) Barcelona (BCN) 1
24-Oct-12 Banjul (BJL) Conakry (CKY) 1 Royal Air Maroc (2), Brussels Airlines (1)
25-Oct-12 Banjul (BJL) Freetown (FNA) 2 Arik Air (3)
24-Oct-12 Banjul (BJL) London Gatwick (LGW) 1 Thomas Cook Airlines (2)
24-Oct-12 Conakry (CKY) Freetown (FNA) 1 Air France (2)
23-Oct-12 Dakar (DKR) Conakry (CKY) 1 Senegal Airlines (7), Mauritania Airlines International (3)
27-Oct-12 Freetown (FNA) London Gatwick (LGW) 1

  • GOL inaugurated services on the route from Rio de Janeiro (GIG) to Córdoba (COR), Argentina’s second-largest city, on 28 October. Daily flights on the 2,300-kilometre route will make a stopover in São Paulo (GRU), and are aimed at boosting Córdoba-bound tourism flows. All services are operated using the airline’s 737-800s.

Celebrating the return of scheduled services to Vitoria were the city’s Mayor, Javier Maroto; Helitt’s CEO, Abel Moreno; and the region’s Deputy General, Javier de Andrés.

Celebrating the return of scheduled services to Vitoria were the city’s Mayor, Javier Maroto; Helitt’s CEO, Abel Moreno; and the region’s Deputy General, Javier de Andrés. Commenting on the recent reduction in operating hours (12 hours a day from 24/7) at the Basque airport by its operator Aena, Moreno said: “This is the moment to show the world that Vitoria Airport is rentable, which should create pressure on AENA to reverse its decision.”

  • Helitt Líneas Aéreas launched services on the route from Barcelona (BCN) to Vitoria (VIT), the second-largest Basque city located in the north of Spain. Six weekly flights will be operated with the airline’s ATR 72 aircraft until the end of winter season. While the route to Barcelona was last operated in July 2009 by Iberia, Vitoria saw its last year-round scheduled service – Iberia’s flight to Madrid – depart in February 2011.

  • Iberia began operating services on the 2,800-kilometre route from Tenerife Norte (TFN) to Paris Orly (ORY) on 28 October. Weekly flights are now offered by the Spanish flag carrier, which already serves the Paris airport from Tenerife South, the island’s larger airport, also with weekly operations. Notably, competition in the market from Paris to Tenerife is limited with only Ryanair offering weekly flights from Paris Beauvais to Tenerife South.

  • Interjet further expanded its presence in Cuba with twice-weekly services from Monterrey (MTY) in northeastern Mexico to Havana (HAV) on 25 October. The airline, which already offers nine weekly frequencies to the Cuban capital from Mexico City, will deploy A320s on the new route. Monterrey is Mexico’s fourth airport to be directly linked to Havana.

  • Iran Air launched a new international service from Mashhad (MHD), Iran’s second-largest city, on 29 October. The Iranian national carrier then took up the route dropped earlier in October by Gulf Air, to Bahrain (BAH), which it now serves twice a week with A320 aircraft.

At Naha Airport on Okinawa, the ribbon was cut for Jetstar Japan’s new route from Osaka Kansai.

At Naha Airport on Okinawa, the ribbon was cut for Jetstar Japan’s new route from Osaka Kansai. The airline is the second low-cost carrier to launch this route in a matter of weeks.

  • Jetstar Japan began operating the domestic route between Osaka Kansai (KIX) and Okinawa (OKA) in the south of the country on 28 October. The low-cost carrier will operate the route daily with its 180-seat A320s, increasing to twice-daily operations in December. Jetstar Japan just follows its main competitor Peach, which began operating the route a week earlier with twice-daily frequencies. Further competition comes from ANA’s four daily operations, each three daily flights on Japan Transocean Air and Skymark, as well as JAL’s two flights a week.

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines became the only airline to link Europe non-stop with Harare (HRE), capital of Zimbabwe, when the SkyTeam airline relaunched flights from its Amsterdam (AMS) hub on 29 October. Using 243-seat A330-200 aircraft, the airline now flies three times a week, stopping in Lusaka in Zambia – a route launched earlier this year – on the return. The airline last served Harare in 1999, then via Johannesburg. Erik Varwijk, KLM Managing Director and EVP Air France KLM International & the Netherlands, commented: “KLM sees great growth opportunities in Africa. This year we launched service to Luanda in Angola and Lusaka in Zambia, and in 2011 we began serving Kigali in Rwanda. This new addition to our network strengthens our position in Africa.”

  • Lucky Air launched services on the 600-kilometre domestic route in Mainland China from Kunming (KMG) to Nanning (NNG) on 28 October. Flights to the capital of the Guangxi region, located just north of the border to Vietnam, are now offered with daily frequencies and operated using 737-800s. Competition on the route comes from China Southern and Kunming Airlines, which serve it each with also daily flights; in addition, China Eastern offers six weekly frequencies. Lucky Air already serves Nanning with thrice-weekly flights from Xiamen.

  • Lufthansa began operating the route from Munich (MUC) to Cape Town (CPT) on 28 October. The German airline previously served the South African city from Frankfurt, but in March 2012 decided to drop the service due to night flying restrictions being implemented at the airport. While another German carrier, Condor, will begin serving Cape Town from Frankfurt on 3 November, Lufthansa decided to move its service to Munich and now offers five weekly flights from the Bavarian capital. Flights will be operated using A340-300s.

  • Monarch continues to expand its presence in East Midlands (EMA), where it previously launched flights to a number of popular sun destinations in the Mediterranean. On 29 October, the leisure airline began operating services to Lanzarote (ACE), making the lunar-like island the first out of the two destinations it will offer in the Canary Islands this winter season, with services to Tenerife South launching on 30 October. Flights on the 2,800-kilometre route are offered with twice-weekly frequencies and are operated with A320 aircraft. Competition on the route comes from Ryanair and Thomson Airways, which also offer each twice-weekly flights, as well as from weekly frequencies each by Jet2.com and Thomas Cook.

When the regional airline NextJet began flying from Stockholm Arlanda to Växjö in Sweden’s Småland region – known for its forests with elk/moose – passengers were treated with a special moose cake by Smaland Airport and Lena Stockhaus, NextJet’s Brand & Sponsorship Manager.

  • NextJet, the Swedish regional airline, took over a domestic route from the virtual airline Sverigeflyg/Flysmaland on 28 October. Previously operated on behalf of Flysmaland, the route between Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) and Växjö (VXO) in the Swedish region Småland in the southern part of the county is now operated under NextJet’s own name. The airline operates 16 flights a week with Saab 340 aircraft. Indirect competition comes from Flysmaland’s 18 weekly flights from Stockholm Bromma.

  • Norwegian launched two new routes from Sweden to Gran Canaria (LPA) on 29 October. The low-cost airline now flies once a week from both Malmö (MMX) in southernmost Sweden and Karlstad (KSD) in central Sweden with its 737-800s. Competition on the Malmö route comes from TUIfly Nordic’s two weekly flights and Primera Air’s weekly operation. Norwegian already serves Gran Canaria from three other Swedish airports; Stockholm Arlanda, Gothenburg Landvetter and Umeå.

Over 160 passengers were travelling on the first flight between Novosibirsk in Russia and Sharjah in the UAE and got to enjoy the desert-themed cake that was cut by airline and airport staff along with Gregory Pomerantsev, Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport’s Commercial Director, Alexader Losev, Director of Pegas Touristik in Novosibirsk.

  • The Russian airline Orenair began operating a long haul route in cooperation with the tour operator Pegas Touristik on 23 October. From Novosibirsk (OVB), Siberia’s largest city, the airline now flies once a week (although on varying days of the week) to Sharjah (SHJ) in the United Arab Emirates with its 737-800 aircraft.

  • Palau Airways, which launched operations in May this year, has launched its second route out of its Koror (ROR) base on the Pacific island associated with the United States. The airline now operates twice a week to Hong Kong (HKG) with its 737-400 aircraft.

Passengers on Qantas’ first flight back at Gold Coast Airport were welcomed with Qantas-logo cupcakes and a reception by Paul Donovan, COO Gold Coast Airport; Jann Stuckey, Queensland Tourism Minister, and Lyell Strambi, CEO Qantas Domestic.

  • Qantas expanded its domestic network on 28 October when the Australian flag carrier resumed services to Gold Coast (OOL) from its Sydney (SYD) hub. The airline now operates the route three times a day using 737-800s. The last time Qantas operated the route was in 2009. The route is highly competitive and Qantas now faces three other airlines, including its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar. Virgin Australia operates 77 weekly flights, Jetstar 72 and Tiger Airways Australia 19.

  • Qatar Airways began serving Tokyo Narita (NRT) non-stop from its Doha (DOH) hub on 28 October. The fast-growing MEB3 airline due to join oneworld previously operated to Tokyo via Osaka Kansai. The new non-stop service to the hub of its future alliance partner JAL is operated daily with 259-seat 777-200LR aircraft.

  • RusLine expanded its domestic network from both Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and St Petersburg (LED) on 29 October as it launched respectively four routes from the Russian capital and one from the city on the Baltic Sea. While all services will be operated with CRJ200 regional jets, frequencies will vary by route. RusLine faces competition on only two of the newly launched routes.
Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
Moscow Domodedovo (DME) Gelendzhik (GDZ) 5 CRJ200 Alrosa Avia (2)
Murmansk (MMK) 6 CRJ200 Yamal Airlines (4)
Syktyvkar (SCW) 2 CRJ200
Usinsk (USK) 3 CRJ200
St. Petersburg (LED) Anapa (AAQ) 2 CRJ200
Source: Innovata data for w/c 5 November 2012
*WF: Weekly Frequency at launch

  • Ryanair launched the five routes in the first two days of the winter scheduling season. Four of the new routes that commenced last week involved Warsaw Modlin (WMI), the new low-cost airport serving Poland’s capital, where Ryanair and Wizz Air compete fiercely for passengers. Only one of Ryanair’s new routes therefore does not see competition between the two carriers; Frankfurt Hahn (HHN). In addition, the low-cost carrier added a new domestic service in Spain, and now connects Reus (REU) on the Mediterranean coast with Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) in the north-western region of Galicia.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
28-Oct-12 Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Warsaw Modlin (WMI) 4
28-Oct-12 Liverpool (LPL) 3 Wizz Air (3)
29-Oct-12 Eindhoven (EIN) 3 Wizz Air (2)
29-Oct-12 Paris Beauvais (BVA) 3 Wizz Air (3)
29-Oct-12 Reus (REU) Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) 3
Source: Innovata data for w/c 5 November
*WF: Weekly Frequency at launch

Valentin Zheludkov, Head of S7's operation in Novosibirsk; and Gregory Pomerantsev, Novosibirsk Airport’s Commercial Director, cut the inaugural cake – themed on the Hong Kong flag – for S7’s new service to Hong Kong.

  • S7 added services on the 4,500-kilometre route from Russia’s third-most populous city, Novosibirsk (OVB), to Hong Kong (HKG), which it already serves from two destinations in the Russian Far East, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. Twice-weekly flights from the Siberian city are now offered and will be operated with 737-800 by S7’s subsidiary, Globus.

SAS continues expanding in the Polish market. Posing in front of the CRJ200 in Łódź were Przemysław Nowak, CEO Lodz Airport; Björn Ekegren, SAS’ Regional General Manager Central Europe; Wanda Brociek, SAS’ GM Poland; Elisabeth Milton Hemmingsen, SAS’ VP International; and Marek Cieślak, Deputy Mayor of Łódź. The VIPs then cut the ribbon and held a press conference in the warm indoors.

SAS’ purser Cina Fasth (left) and captain John Magnell (right) were welcomed to Birmingham Airport from Stockholm Arlanda by Mandy Haque, Airline and Trade Relations Manager, Birmingham Airport; and Christian Wild, Key Account Manager, SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

SAS’ purser Cina Fasth (left) and captain John Magnell (right) were welcomed to Birmingham Airport from Stockholm Arlanda by Mandy Haque, Airline and Trade Relations Manager, Birmingham Airport; and Christian Wild, Key Account Manager, SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines launched three new routes at the start of the winter scheduling season. From its Copenhagen (CPH) hub, the Star Alliance carrier has continued its expansion in the Polish regional market and added six weekly flights to Łódź (LCJ) in on 28 October, making the central Polish city SAS’ sixth destination currently served in the country. However, the airline has announced that it is dropping its route to Katowice in December. The new 630-kilometre route is operated with Cimber’s 50-seat CRJ200s. SAS also expanded with two routes from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). On 28 October, the airline began operating four weekly flights to the Norwegian petroleum city Stavanger (SVG), the next day followed by five weekly flights to Birmingham (BHX) in the UK. The route to the Midlands airport is operated with 120-seat 737-600s and is SAS’ second to the city after its flights from Copenhagen.

Everyone wanted to pose with Scoot’s CEO Campbell Wilson on the inaugural flight to Tokyo Narita. On site in the Japanese capital, Wilson continued his modelling career – now as a sumo wrestler.

  • Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary Scoot further expanded its intra-Asian network on 29 October when the airline added Japan to its route map. The airline’s flights between Singapore and Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) now continue to Tokyo Narita (NRT). The daily flights are operated with the airline’s single fleet of 402-seat 777-200ER aircraft. The Taipei-Tokyo sector is operated in direct competition with six other airlines. China Airlines operates three times a day, while JAL and EVA Air each contribute with twice-daily operations and ANA, Delta and Cathay Pacific with each daily flights.

  • Shenzhen Airlines resumed services on the 2,600-kilometre route from Shenzhen (SZX) in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong to Singapore (SIN). The airline, which previously operated the route between September 2009 and 2010, now offers daily frequencies on the route, all of which are operated using 737-900s. Competition on the route comes from two Singapore-based carriers, Tiger Airways and SilkAir, which offer five and four weekly flights respectively.

  • SilkAir inaugurated flights on its eighth Indian route on 28 October. The airline now flied thrice-weekly from Singapore (SIN) to Vishakhapatnam (VTZ), a large port city on the eastern coast of India. All flights on the 2,900-kilometre route across the Bay of Bengal are operated using the airline’s fleet of A319s.

  • SkyWork inaugurated twice-weekly flights from its base in Bern (BRN) to Zagreb (ZAG) in Croatia on 28 October. The airline, which now serves as many as 12 European cities from the Swiss capital, will operate the new service to Croatia’s capital using Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft. During the launch, SkyWork’s CEO, Tomislav Lang, said: “I’m proud that we succeeded to establish this important relationship and I thank those who have provided support throughout the process. We will not stop here, for we have big plans for the future, and judging by the interest it was noted in Bern in Zagreb, we’ll make them come true.”

Cutting the inaugural cake in Orlando to celebrate the launch of TAM’s second route to the city were: Jason Pirozzolo, Vice Chairman, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board; John Martinez, Commissioner, Orange County; Pablo Chiozza, LATAM’s VP North America, Canada & Caribbean; Tony Ortiz, Commissioner, City of Orlando; and Phil Brown, Executive Director, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

  • TAM inaugurated daily flights from Rio de Janeiro (GIG) to Orlando, FL (MCO) on 29 October. The new service, which comes on top of the airline’s twice-daily link to the Florida airport from São Paulo Guarulhos, will be operated using 223-seat A330-200s in a three-class layout.

Thai Airways launches its sixth Japanese route from Bangkok

Takaaki Sawada, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Thailand; Apiporn Pasawat, Member of THAI’s Board of Directors; Sorajak Kasemsuvan, President of Thai Airways; Pandit Chanapai, THAI’s EVP Commercial Department; and Hiroshi Matsuda, Director of Japan National Tourism Organization in Thailand; helped launch Thai Airways’ sixth Japanese route, as it connected Bangkok and Sapporo.

  • Thai Airways increased its presence in Japan on 28 October, as the Star Alliance airline launched thrice-weekly flights from its hub in Bangkok (BKK) to Sapporo Chitose (CTS), making the northern-Japanese city the sixth destination offered in the country. Thrice-weekly A330-300-operated flights are offered on the new route.

The first passenger to check in for Transaero’s new route from Moscow Vnukovo to London Heathrow was 16-year-old Leonid Krendelschikov who was travelling to London for studies. He was also evidence of Vnukovo’s considerable domestic network, since he arrived at the Moscow city airport on a domestic flight.

  • The Russian airline Transaero expanded its network with four new routes in the first two days of the winter scheduling season. On 28 December, the airline moved one of its two daily flights to London Heathrow (LHR) from Moscow Domodedovo to its emerging base at Moscow Vnukovo (VKO). The airline also expanded its Vnukovo network by adding flights to Ekaterinburg (SVX) the following day. The new daily service competes with Red Wings Airlines’ five weekly flights and complements Transaero’s also daily flights from Domodedovo. Both new routes are operated with 121-seat 737-700s. However, Transaero also expanded its network out of Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 29 October. The airline now flies three times a week on the domestic route to Kaliningrad (KGD), the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania, using 101-seat 737-500 aircraft. Direct competition comes from S7’s also three flights a week. Transaero also expanded its network to Italy and launched two weekly flights to Rome Fiumicino (FCO), complementing its five flights a week from Vnukovo. 164-seat 737-800 aircraft are used on the route that faces indirect competition at Moscow Sheremetyevo from Aeroflot (three daily) and Alitalia (two daily flights).

  • Ural Airlines further expanded its domestic network from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 28 October, as the airline inaugurated services on the 900-kilometre route to Rostov (ROV). Twice-daily frequencies are now offered by the airline, both operated with A320. S7’s 23 and Transaero’s 12 weekly flights provide competition on the route.

  • VietJet Air, the Vietnamese low-cost airline, continued expanding its domestic network. On 28 October, the airline began operating on the route between the country capital Hanoi (HAN) in the north of the country and Da Nang (DAD), gateway to Central Vietnam and a centre of the country’s booming coastal tourism industry. The airline, which already serves Da Nang from Ho Chi Minh City, now operates the new route twice a day with its 180-seat A320s. Competition comes from Vietnam Airlines’ 59 weekly flights.

  • Vietnam Airlines began operating its third route to Vinh (VII) in northern Vietnam on 28 October. The SkyTeam carrier now operates four times weekly from Da Nang (DAD) on Vietnam’s central coast using ATR 72 aircraft, complementing its existing services from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Virgin Atlantic’s CEO, Steve Ridgway, who travelled to Mumbai on Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight from London, was welcomed to India by Tariq Butt, Mumbai Airport’s VP Airport Marketing & Aero Business.

  • Virgin Atlantic returned to India’s largest city Mumbai (BOM) on 29 October when the British airline resumed services from its London Heathrow (LHR) base. The airline, which also serves Delhi in India, previously served Mumbai between 2005 and 2009 and now points out the growth that the UK-India market has experienced since then. Flights are now operated daily with the airline’s 266-seat A330-300 aircraft, competing with twice-daily flights on each British Airways and Jet Airways as well as also daily flights on Air India. Notably, the route also used to be operated daily by Kingfisher Airlines. In addition to traffic between India and the UK, Virgin Atlantic targets transfer traffic between India and the US with the relaunched route.

  • Volotea connected two of its bases on 28 October when the airline began operating twice a week between Venice (VCE) in northeast Italy and Nantes (NTE) in western France with its 125-seat 717s. The route was operated by Vueling during this past summer season and although Volotea currently faces no competition, Transavia.com will also operate the route previously served in winter by XL Airways France between December and March.

WestJet adds three new destinations to its network; Antigua, Liberia and Curacao

Allan Flores, Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism, exchanged gifts with Cam Kenyon, WestJet’s EVP Operations, as the Canadian low-cost airline launched a new route from Toronto Pearson Airport in competition with Air Canada.

WestJet adds three new destinations to its network; Antigua, Liberia and Curacao

Curacao is WestJet’s latest Caribbean destination and the only of the three routes launched from Toronto Pearson in the last week not to face competition from Air Canada. Cutting the ribbon were Howard Bohan, VP of Aviation Services, GTAA; Andre Rojer of the Curacao Tourism Board; and Robert Palmer, Manager of Public Relations, WestJet.

  • WestJet launched three new seasonal winter sunshine routes from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) on 28 and 29 October. All are scheduled to operate with 136-seat 737-700s until the end of April. The airline now serves the Caribbean island Antigua (ANU) and Liberia (LIR) in Costa Rica with each twice-weekly frequencies, while Curacao (CUR) – also in the Caribbean – is served on a weekly basis. Air Canada competes on two of the routes; with also twice-weekly operations to Antigua, but only one weekly flight to Liberia.

After the cake was cut that welcomed Wizz Air’s Skopje base, a press conference was held in the Macedonian capital by Zoran Krstevski, GM TAV Macedonia; Vladimir Peshevski, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs; Mile Janakieski, Minister of Transport and Communications; and John Stevenson, EVP Wizz Air.

Wizz Air launches Macedonian base in Skopje

Ralf Schmid, CEO Allgäu Airport, welcomed Wizz Air’s Skopje route to Memmingen with a big commemorative plaque. Also on-site to celebrate was Daniel de Carvalho (right), Wizz Air’s Corporate Communications Manager.

Wizz Air launches Macedonian base in Skopje

Wizz Air’s crew and de Carvalho were also welcomed to Malmö in southern Sweden, where airport director Peter Weinhandl presented the Wizz Air team with a gift.

  • Wizz Air launched six new routes in the last week; one from Ljubljana (LJU), Slovenia’s capital, and five from the launch of a base in Macedonia’s capital Skopje (SKP). Each of the routes is operated twice-weekly with the low-cost airline’s 180-seat A320s. John Stevenson, EVP Wizz Air, commented the base launch: “We are very happy that it is Skopje where today we open our 16th low-cost base. Since our announcement of the six new exciting destinations, the users from Macedonia and the countries with which we connect Skopje have gathered on our website to use the low-cost fares, and over 25.000 passengers have already booked their flights from Skopje to the new destinations.”
Date Origin Destination
29-Oct-12 Ljubljana (LJU) Brussels Charleroi (CRL)
28-Oct-12 Skopje (SKP) Dortmund (DTM)
28-Oct-12 Skopje (SKP) Eindhoven (EIN)
29-Oct-12 Skopje (SKP) Malmö (MMX)
29-Oct-12 Skopje (SKP) Memmingen (FMM)
28-Oct-12 Skopje (SKP) Milan Bergamo (BGY)

  • Yakutia Airlines expanded its network from Krasnodar (KRR), which is located around 150 kilometres north-east from the Black Sea coast, with one each international and domestic routes. On 26 October, the Russian airline commenced services to Munich (MUC), which it now operates with twice-weekly frequencies. On 28 October, Yakutia Airlines launched flights on the 7,000-kilometre route to the Far Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok (VVO). This service is operated via Ekaterinburg (SVX) owing to the distances involved. Both routes will be operated with aircraft from the 737 family.

  • Yamal Airlines, which recently launched services from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to the White Sea port of Arkhangelsk, launched flights to another northern port city on 28 October, and now serves Murmansk (MMK) with four weekly frequencies. All flights on the new route are operated with CRJ200s. A day later, the Russian carrier added new route from Tyumen (TJM), one of the most important economic and cultural centres of the Russian eastern Urals region, to Belgorod (EGO), located near the northern Ukrainian border. Services on the 2,000-kilometre domestic route are operated with 737-500s.

  • Zest Air launched its first international destination from Clark (CRK) on 27 October, and it now offers daily services to Seoul Incheon (ICN). The 2,500-kilometre route is now served with daily frequencies using the airline’s fleet of A320s. Zest Air competes against two Korean airlines, Asiana Airlines and Jin Air, which already serve the market from Clark to the Korean airport with daily and four-weekly frequencies respectively. While it is the first international service Zest Air offers in Clark, the airline already serves Seoul Incheon from Cebu, Kalibo and Manila.

Comments

  1. Cityjet London City to Münster/Osnabrück
    “The new service has had good forward bookings and better than our previous launches. There is huge opportunity in Germany as it is a big business and convention destination and more cities could be served from London City.”

    Bremen, Cologne, Dortmund & Mönchengladbach are four German airports that I can think of that were previously served from LCY. I think it was VLM that operated Mönchengladbach and OLT the other 3 routes.

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