New airline routes launched (6 – 12 November 2012)

Spirit’s Tampa to Chicago O’Hare

Tampa International Airport in Florida welcomed Spirit’s new O’Hare route with a Chicago-style deep dish pizza cake, Green River soda and a jazz band. Posing by the pizza cake were Chris Minner, Tampa Airport’s VP Marketing; Mark Kopczak, Spirit Airlines’ Senior Director of Network Planning; and Justin Meyer, Tampa Airport’s Director of Air Service Development.

  • Spirit Airlines launched eight new routes on 8 November; seven domestic and one international to Los Cabos (SJD) in Mexico, which notably is a new destination for the low-cost airline. “We’re excited to grow our network of ultra low fare options for our west coast customers in San Diego and Portland with service to a new international destination – Los Cabos, Mexico,” said San Diego resident and Spirit’s Senior Manager Route Planning Robyn Platt. Three of the new routes are to Southwest Florida International Airport at Fort Myers, FL (RSW), while the only route not to face direct competition is between Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) and Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD). However, Allegiant operates twice a week from Phoenix-Mesa to Chicago Rockford, and US Airways, American Airlines and United fly between Phoenix and Chicago O’Hare with high frequencies.
Origin Destination WF A/c Competition (WF)
Boston, MA (BOS) Fort Myers, FL (RSW) 7 A32S JetBlue (39), Southwest (7)
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) Fort Myers, FL (RSW) 3 A319 American Airlines (18)
Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) Fort Myers, FL (RSW) 7 A32S Delta (15), Sun Country (8)
Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) 7 A32S Delta (7)
Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) 7 A319
Portland, OR (PDX) San Diego, CA (SAN) 7 A319 Alaska Airlines (21)
San Diego, CA (SAN) San Jose del Cabo (SJD) 7 A319 Alaska Airlines (7)
Tampa, FL (TPA) Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) 7 A319 American Airlines (21), United (21)
Source: new route database, Innovata for w/c 12 November 2012

Condor’s Frankfurt to Rangoon

  • Condor launched two new long haul routes on 6 November; both with 270-seat 767-300ER aircraft. The German Thomas Cook Group leisure airline then launched a weekly service from its Frankfurt (FRA) home base to Rangoon (RGN), becoming the first and only carrier to serve Burma/Myanmar non-stop from Europe. On the return sector, flights operate via Phuket in Thailand. The airline also launched its second route to Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic after its flights from Frankfurt when the airline began operating once a week from Austria’s capital Vienna (VIE).

The rest of this week’s new routes

At Lijiang Airport in Yunnan Province, Air China’s new route from Tianjin via Chongqing was welcomed with a commemorative banner. (Thanks to our friends at Carnoc for the photos.)

  • Air China expanded its domestic network on 8 November when the Star Alliance airline launched a new service from Tianjin (TSN) on the coast east of Beijing via Chongqing (CKG) in the southwest of the country to Lijiang (LJG) near the border to Burma in Yunnan Province. Flights operate three times a week with 737 aircraft. On the Tianjin to Chongqing sector, Air China faces competition from West Air’s and Tianjin Airlines’ each daily flights as well as Sichuan Airlines’ three flights a week, while the Chongqing to Lijiang route faces further competition: West Air operates twice-daily and Chongqing Airlines 11 times weekly, while Xiamen Airlines, Lucky Air and Sichuan Airlines each operate daily.

  • Air Côte d’Ivoire inaugurated operations on 12 November following months of delays and at least three maiden flights. All services will depart from Abidjan (ABJ) in Ivory Coast, initially to four destinations across West Africa. The company, which is majority state-owned, but in which Air France has a 35% stake, operates two A319s acquired from the French carrier. Rene Decurey, Air Côte d’Ivoire’s CEO, said: “We will begin with flights to the sub-region of West and Central Africa, but will eventually expand services to include domestic routes within Ivory Coast.”
Origin Destination WF* Competition
Abidjan (ABJ) Dakar (DKR) 7 Senegal Airlines (7), Kenya Airways (4)
Libreville (LBV) 4
Conakry (CKY) 3 Asky Airlines (4)
Douala (DLA) 3
Source: Innovata data for w/c 12 November 2012
*WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch

  • Alaska Airlines launched two further routes to Hawaii in the last week. On 8 November, the airline connected Bellingham, WA (BLI), located near the border to Canada and Vancouver, with Kahului, HI (OGG) on the island of Maui. This is the airline’s second route to the state of Hawaii from Bellingham after its Honolulu services. Flights on the new route operate seasonally until 14 April; four times a week with the airline’s 157-seat 737-800s. Allegiant is just about to start competing with two weekly flights from 14 November. On 10 November, Alaska Airlines also connected Anchorage, AK (ANC) with Kona, HI (KOA) on the Big Island – its third Hawaiian route from Alaska’s largest city. Flights operate once a week with 737-800s until 7 April.

  • Allegiant Air returned to MidAmerica St. Louis, IL (BLV) on 7 November when the airline resumed services from Orlando Sanford, FL (SFB). The secondary airport for St Louis had been left without scheduled commercial services when Allegiant pulled out at the beginning of 2009. The airline last operated the route from Sanford in August 2008. Twice-weekly flights, on Thursdays and Sundays, are now operated with the airline’s MD80 aircraft. Indirect competition between Lambert-St. Louis and Orlando International comes from Southwest’s 29 flights a week.

Helping to launch Cebu Pacific’s inaugural service from Hong Kong to Iloilo was the Philippine Consul General in Hong Kong, Noel Servigon, who himself was born and bred in Iloilo.

  • Cebu Pacific expanded its presence in Iloilo (ILO) last week, as it launched its first international flights from the airport serving the capital of Western Visayas. The airline now offers flights from Iloilo City to both Singapore (SIN), thrice-weekly as of 9 November, and Hong Kong (HKG), twice-weekly from 8 November. All services will be operated using the airline’s fleet of A320s. Cebu’s VP Marketing and Distribution, Candice Iyog, said: “With these new routes, Cebu Pacific affirms its commitment to provide connectivity to Iloilo and Western Visayas, by basing an aircraft here, and making Iloilo one of the airline’s operational hubs.” 

  • Danube Wings launched operations on the 200-kilometre route from Ostrava (OSR) in eastern Czech Republic, to the Austrian capital Vienna (VIE). Five weekly frequencies will be operated on the route, using the airline’s fleet of four ATR 72 aircraft.

  • Delta Air Lines launched flights to the oil city of Williston, ND (ISN) on 12 November when the airline launched twice-daily flights from its Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) hub, using 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft operated by SkyWest. This makes Delta the third airline to serve the North Dakota airport after Great Lakes Airlines as well as United, which only launched its Denver flights a week before Delta’s arrival.

  • flydubai inaugurated services on the 1,900-kilometre route from Dubai (DXB) to Tabuk (TUU) in north-western Saudi Arabia. This is the airline’s eighth service to Saudi Arabia. Twice-weekly departures will be operated with the low-cost airline’s 189-seat 737-800s. flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “We are very grateful to the Saudi authorities for helping us connect Dubai to underserved destinations in the Kingdom. Besides its business credentials, Tabuk is also an emerging leisure hub. With more and more families preferring to travel within the region, this low-cost link provides an alternative holiday spot.”

  • Frontier Airlines began serving Fargo, ND (FAR) on 9 November when the low-cost airline connected its Denver, CO (DEN) home base with the North Dakota city. Flights are operated three times a week with 138-seat A319s, while United that competes on the route flies 24 times a week with 50-seat CRJ200s. “We are excited to bring back service to Fargo, one of Frontier’s original destination markets,” said Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s SVP Commercial. The airline previously served operated the route between 2008 and 2010.

  • Juneyao Airlines launched its first route to Thailand – the airline’s third international route, on 9 November. The Chinese airline now offers four weekly departures from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to the popular Thai resort of Phuket (HKT). A320s will be deployed on the route, on which Juneyao Airlines will compete against Shanghai Airlines’ 14 weekly flights.

  • Korean Air returned to Saudi Arabia on 9 November, as the SkyTeam carrier relaunched its route from Seoul Incheon (ICN) to Jeddah (JED) via Riyadh (RUH) after 15 years. Flights on the 8,400-kilometre route will depart with thrice-weekly frequencies and be operated using A330-200s. Ha Man-kee, Korean Air’s Manager Saudi Arabia, said: “We resumed our flights to Saudi Arabia as demand from the construction, housing and power plant markets is growing. More and more Korean construction companies are winning contracts in the country; we therefore expect an increase in the number of passengers.”

  • LAN Airlines launched services to the 16th domestic destination it serves from Santiago de Chile (SCL) on 6 November, and now offers flights to Castro (MHC) on Chiloé Island, which is located off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean and is among the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Five weekly A320 frequencies are offered on the route that will be operated via Puerto Montt (PMC), the gateway to the Zona Austral region in Chile’s Northern Patagonia.

Ryanair launches 20 new routes, mostly to Eastern Europe

Cork Airport’s Marketing Manager, Kevin Cullinane; Marketing Executive, Aoife Buckley; and Servisair’s Customer Service Agent, Brian Devery, celebrated Ryanair’s new service to the Polish city of Kraków.

Riga Airport’s Aldis Mūrnieks, Acting Chairman of the Board; and Liene Freivalde, Director of Aviation Services Department, cut the inaugural cake during the launch event for Ryanair’s new Manchester service to the Latvian capital.

  • Ryanair, having launched ‘only’ five and three new routes respectively in the previous two weeks, added as many as 20 new services last week, making this week the true start of the Ryanair new winter season. Almost three quarters of the route make use of the strong VFR traffic flows from Ireland and the UK to Eastern Europe. Notably, half of Ryanair’s new Eastern European routes face competition from Wizz Air’s existing services. In addition, the Irish low-cost carrier inaugurated services on two domestic routes in Spain where it competes against the country’s Air Europa, Iberia and Vueling on two routes to Tenerife North (TFN).
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
09-Nov-12 Alghero (AHO) Cuneo (CUF) 2
07-Nov-12 Barcelona (BCN) Tenerife Norte (TFN) 4 Vueling (11), Air Europa (7)
07-Nov-12 Birmingham (BHX) Barcelona (BCN) 4
08-Nov-12 Milan Bergamo (BGY) 3
07-Nov-12 Krakow (KRK) 2
08-Nov-12 Brussels Charleroi (CRL) Vilnius (VNO) 3
07-Nov-12 Cork (ORK) Krakow (KRK) 3
07-Nov-12 Warsaw Modlin (WMI) 3 Wizz Air (2)
08-Nov-12 Wroclaw (WRO) 3 Wizz Air (2)
09-Nov-12 Vilnius (VNO) 2 Wizz Air (2)
10-Nov-12 Gdansk (GDN) 2 Wizz Air (2)
08-Nov-12 Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Budapest (BUD) 4 Wizz Air (2)
07-Nov-12 Leeds/Bradford (LBA) Vilnius (VNO) 2
07-Nov-12 Liverpool (LPL) 2 Wizz Air (2)
09-Nov-12 Oslo Rygge (RYG) 2
07-Nov-12 London Luton (LTN) Vilnius (VNO) 5 Wizz Air (7)
07-Nov-12 Madrid (MAD) Tenerife Norte (TFN) 7 Air Europa (31), Iberia (26)
07-Nov-12 Manchester (MAN) Riga (RIX) 2
09-Nov-12 Gdansk (GDN) 2
11-Nov-12 Oslo Rygge (RYG) Vilnius (VNO) 5
Source: Innovata for w/c 12 November          *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch

  • Starbow inaugurated services on the 300-kilometre route from the capital of Ghana, Accra (ACC), to Abidjan (ABJ), the former capital of Ivory Coast. Five weekly flights will initially be offered on the route, although this will be increased to daily. Brock Friesen, Starbow’s co-CEO, commented: “The domestic airline industry is considerably bigger than a year ago. We want to be the safest carrier in the country; we want to do daily flights to 12 cities in West Africa within next year.” The airline, which was relaunched under its current name last year, operates a fleet of three 94-seat BAe146-300s.

  • UTair started flying the domestic Russian route from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) to Kursk (KRS), which is located near the border with the Ukraine. Six weekly flights will be operated on the route, which is the airline’s second domestic route from the Moscow airport after Tambov, also in the European part of Russia, which is currently served with 11 weekly flights. An-24, 44-seater turbo-props, will be deployed to operate on the route.

  • Uzbekistan Airways resumed weekly services on the 1,500-kilometre route from its base in Tashkent (TAS) to Urumqi (URC), the capital of the north-western Chinese region of Xinjiang Uyghur. The 767-300ER-operated service faces competition from China Southern’s also weekly flights.

  • Volaris began operating flights on the route from Guadalajara (GDL) in the western-pacific region of Mexico, to Sacramento, CA (SMF) on 8 November. Twice-weekly, A319-operated services will be offered on the route, which is the carrier’s seventh to a US destination from Guadalajara. Aeromexico provides competition, operating the route to the capital of the state of California with five weekly frequencies. 

Cutting the cake for Yakutia Airlines’ arrival in Dresden were Semen Vinokourov, Yakutia’s transport minister; Pavel Udod, Deputy Director General of Yakutia Airlines; and Michael Hupe, CEO Dresden Airport. (Photos: Michael Weimer, Dresden Airport)

  • Yakutia Airlines became the second airline after Aeroflot to fly between Russia’s capital and Dresden (DRS) in eastern Germany on 7 November. The Russian carrier now flies from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) three times weekly – on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays – with 132-seat 737-700s. In addition to serving Dresden, the route is targeting traffic to neighbouring Czech Republic’s capital Prague, a market where demand is much greater than the bilateral accommodates.


  1. Jurgen says:

    Riga Manchester is one of the reopened routes at RIX
    Much worser situation is at LCC base airport in Lothuania, where Ryanair closed 80% pf all routs. It‘s mean now they are disconnected from 20 destinations at once.

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