New airline routes launched (13 – 19 November 2012)


Asiana’s Seoul Incheon to Vladivostok

Yoon Young Doo, President of Asiana Airlines, and Igor Lukishin, COO of Vladivostok International Airport, celebrated the launch of the South Korean Star Alliance airline’s third passenger service to Russia and the only to operate with daily frequencies.

  • Asiana Airlines launched two new international routes in the last week. The South Korean Star Alliance member now flies daily from its Seoul Incheon (ICN) hub to Vladivostok (VVO) in easternmost Russia using A321 aircraft. The 2,275-kilometre route, which launched on 16 November, competes with each daily flights on both Korean Air and Vladivostok Air. This is a major expansion in the Russian market as it is Asiana’s third route to the country after Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, which are served with lower frequencies. On 18 November, the airline also launched its second route to Okinawa (OKA) in Japan. In addition to its Seoul Incheon flights, Asiana now flies once a week from South Korea’s second-largest city Busan (PUS) with A320 aircraft.

JetBlue’s New York JFK to Samaná

Posing with the impressive cake baked for JetBlue’s maiden arrival from New York JFK were the airline’s cabin crew; Kelvin Pabon, JetBlue’s GM Dominican Republic; Aerodom’s Francisco Cuellar, CCO; Riad Simon, Route Development Manager; Jeff Goodell, JetBlue’s VP Government Affairs; and Mónika Infante, Aerodom’s CEO.

McKeeva Bush, Premier of the Cayman Islands, cut the celebratory ribbon, cheered by JetBlue's EVP & CIO, Eash Sundaram; Miss Cayman Islands, Lindsay Japal; and the CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, Jeremy Jackson. JetBlue’s arrival to Grand Cayman from New York JFK was marked with the airline’s generous donation to the  Blue Iguana Recovery Program.  The $10,000 cheque was presented to the environmental charity by the airline’s EVP and CIO, Eash Sundaram.

  • JetBlue launched twice-weekly flights on the 2,400-kilometre route from New York JFK, NY (JFK) to Samaná (AZS) in the Dominican Republic on 14 November. The airline, which now serves a total of six routes to the Caribbean state, received a magnificent welcome in Samaná, as it was presented with a spectacular themed cake showcasing all the local treasures. Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s VP Network Planning and Partnerships, said: “Samana is a beach paradise in the Dominican Republic, a secret worth discovering. We have no doubts our customers will rush to learn everything that this tropical location has to offer. As the country’s largest carrier, we’ve long had our eye on it.” In addition, on 15 November, the airline added two routes to Grand Cayman (GCM) in the Cayman Islands and now serves the island with thrice-weekly flights from New York JFK as well as weekly flights from Boston, MA (BOS). Flights on all three routes are served with the airline’s fleet of A320s. JetBlue faces competition on only one of them, as Cayman Airways already operates a twice-weekly schedule from Grand Cayman to New York JFK.

The rest of this week’s new routes


  • Afriqiyah Airways inaugurated services on the 2,200-kilometre route from Benghazi (BEN) on the Libyan Mediterranean coast, to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum (KRT) on 13 November. The airline, which launched two routes to Tunis on 6 November (four weekly departures from Benghazi and thrice-weekly from Sebha, also in Libya), now offers twice-weekly services from Benghazi to Sudan’s second-largest city. The Sudanese consul, Abdul-Halim Omar, who was flew on the inaugural flight, underlined: “The new service is bound to strengthen trade and economic ties between businessmen and investors in both countries, which previously had no direct air link.” Afriqiyah Airways will deploy A319s to operate the route.

Montpellier Méditerranée Airport celebrated the arrival of Air Arabia Maroc’s fourth route between Morocco and the southern French airport.

Montpellier Méditerranée Airport celebrated the arrival of Air Arabia Maroc’s fourth route between Morocco and the southern French airport. The low-cost airline now flies once a week from Marrakech.

  • Air Arabia Maroc expanded its network to Montpellier (MPL) in southern France on 14 November when the Moroccan low-cost airline launched its fourth route to the city. A weekly service is now operated with the airline’s A320s from Marrakech (RAK), complementing existing Montpellier services from Casablanca, Fez and Nador.

  • Air Côte d’Ivoire, which launched operations on 12 November, added further three routes to its budding Abidjan (ABJ) network. On 13 November, the airline began operating thrice-weekly flights to the Congolese city of Brazzaville (BZV). Three days later, routes to Bamako (BKO) in Mali and Lome (LFW) in Togo were inaugurated; each is offered with twice-weekly frequencies. The carrier will compete against Nouvelle Air (five weekly frequencies) and Mauritania Airlines (three) on the route to Mali, as well as face ASKY’s ten weekly flights on the route to Lome.

Allegiant’s second route to Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina was welcomed from Fort Lauderdale with a ceremonial water arch, after which Mike Reisman, the airport’s Deputy Executive Director, addressed the gathered passengers. The airline’s flights from Orlando Sanford began in November 2011.

  • Allegiant Air took on Alaska Airlines on two routes to Hawaii out of Bellingham, WA (BLI), the secondary airport for Vancouver, Canada, in the last week. The low-cost airline also launched a further three routes to Honolulu, HI (HNL) as it expanded in the Mainland US to Hawaii market with its 223-seat 757s. The airline also began operating two routes to Palm Springs, CA (PSP) and one to Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL).
Date Origin Destination WF A/c Competition (WF)
14-Nov-12 Bellingham, WA (BLI) Kahului, HI (OGG) 2 B757 Alaska Airlines (4)
15-Nov-12 Bellingham, WA (BLI) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 2 B757 Alaska Airlines (7)
17-Nov-12 Santa Maria, CA (SMX) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 1 B757
18-Nov-12 Stockton, CA (SCK) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 1 B757
17-Nov-12 Eugene, OR (EUG) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 1 B757
15-Nov-12 Eugene, OR (EUG) Palm Springs, CA (PSP) 2 MD80
15-Nov-12 Oakland, CA (OAK) Palm Springs, CA (PSP) 2 MD80
15-Nov-12 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Asheville, NC (AVL) 2 MD80
Source: anna.aero new route database, Innovata for w/c 19 November 2012

Miami Airport’s Deputy Director Business, Miguel Southwell, and Deputy Director Operations, Ken Pyatt, flanked American Airlines’ Regional Sales Manager for Honduras, Silvia Arias, and Airport Manager, Patricia Evers, as they cut the celebratory ribbon for American Airlines’ new service to Roatán.

Cutting the ribbon for the launch of American Airlines’ service in Roatán were Shawn Hyde, Governor of the Department of Bay Island; Julio Galindo, Mayor of Roatán; Syntia Bennett Solomon, Honduras’ Vice-Minister of Tourism; Romeo Silvestri, President of the Commission of Tourism, Honduran Congress; American Airlines’ Verna Osorto, Country Manager Honduras; Frances Vallecillo, Airport Coordinator San Pedro Sula; and Marvin Diaz, Regional Managing Director, Mexico and Central America.

Cutting the ribbon for the launch of American Airlines’ service in Roatán were Shawn Hyde, Governor of the Department of Bay Island; Julio Galindo, Mayor of Roatán; Syntia Bennett Solomon, Honduras’ Vice-Minister of Tourism; Romeo Silvestri, President of the Commission of Tourism, Honduran Congress; American Airlines’ Verna Osorto, Country Manager Honduras; Frances Vallecillo, Airport Coordinator San Pedro Sula; and Marvin Diaz, Regional Managing Director, Mexico and Central America.

Cheering crowds and a water-cannon salute welcomed American Airlines back in Paraguay’s capital Asunción after a six-year absence.

Cheering crowds and a water-cannon salute welcomed American Airlines back in Paraguay’s capital Asunción after a six-year absence.

Dallas/Fort Worth sent off American Eagle’s maiden flight to Puebla in Mexico with a cake served on a colourful sarape.

Dallas/Fort Worth sent off American Eagle’s maiden flight to Puebla in Mexico with a cake served on a colourful sarape. This is American Airlines’ 18th destination in Mexico.

The late-evening arrival of American Eagle’s new service from Dallas/Fort Worth to Puebla in East-Central Mexico, was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute. Victor Mata, Mexico’s Sub-Secretary of Transport (pictured fourth left), underlined: “The new service is the effect of collaborative efforts of the Transport and Tourism Ministries to attract investment and tourism.”

  • American Airlines returned on the route from Miami, FL (MIA) to Asunción (ASU) in Paraguay on 15 November, following a six-year absence. Art Torno, the airline’s VP Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America, said: “American Airlines is proud to be the only airline to offer the unique direct service between the US and Paraguay though our connections centre in Miami.” Four weekly flights are now offered on the 6,200-kilometre route, which will be operated using 757s. In addition, on 17 November, the airline added services on its third (after San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa) route from Miami to Honduras in Central America. Flights to Roatán (RTB), the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea, are now offered with weekly frequencies using 737-800s.  Nelly Jerez, Minister of Tourism in Honduras, commented: “Roatán is an important tourism destination and this flight will further showcase Honduras as a world-class destination for diving, ecotourism and adventure.” American Eagle, the regional subsidiary of American Airlines, also launched services on the route from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Puebla (PCB), making it the 18th destination American Airlines offers in Mexico. Beginning on 15 November, daily ERJ135-operated flights will depart from the Texan hub airport to the east-central Mexican city.

Berjaya Air launches second international route from Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport

The Lord Mayor of Hua Hin, Nopporn Vuttikul, presented a gift to Berjaya Air’s Senior Manager Sales & Marketing and Business Development, Choo Chun Fai, to celebrate the airline’s launch of flights to the Thai coastal resort city from Kuala Lumpur.

  • Berjaya Air, the Malaysian regional airline, launched its second international route on 18 November, following services to Singapore. From Kuala Lumpur Subang (SZB), Berjaya now operates three times a week to Hua Hin (HHQ), the famous Thai beach resort, with its 72-seat ATR 72 aircraft. This makes Berjaya Air the second airline to serve Hua Hin after Thai Regional Airlines.

  • China Eastern Airlines launched a new route across the Taiwan Strait on 13 November. From Nanjing (NKG) in eastern China, the SkyTeam airline now flies twice a week to Kaohsiung (KHH), Taiwan’s second-largest city, using A320 aircraft. This is the airline’s second route to Kaohsiung after its route from Wuhan.

Dutch Antilles Express’ inaugural flight from Curaçao was greeted in Suriname’s capital Paramaribo with the traditional water cannon salute. Thanks to Timothy Mendonça and Andrew Müller from Paramaribo Airport who took these great pictures for anna.aero.

  • Dutch Antilles Express launched flights on the route from the Caribbean island of Curaçao (CUR) to Paramaribo (PBM) in Suriname in northern South America on 19 November. Services on the 1,700-kilometre route will depart with daily frequencies and will be operated using one of the airline’s three F100s. Competition on the route comes from another Curaçao-based carrier, Insel Air, which serves the route with thrice-weekly flights.

Cutting the ribbon for the arrival of Frontier Airlines at Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport was the airport authority’s chairman, Henry Isaacson, who was joined by fellow board members Gloria Whisenhunt, Mark Moore, Paul Mengert, Jim White and Don Webb.

At Phoenix-Mesa in Arizona, Frontier is now the third airline operating after Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines. With daily frequencies, it is the highest-frequency route launched by the airline this week.

  • Frontier Airlines launched four new routes in the last week, three of which were to destinations new to the airline. In Trenton, NJ (TTN), Frontier is now the only airline – and has announced further expansion – and at Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA), it is the third airline after Allegiant and Spirit. The new route from Denver, CO (DEN) also competes with Spirit, which operates with the same daily frequency. Frontier is also a new arrival in Greensboro, NC (GSO), while the route from Colorado Springs, CO (COS) to Orlando, FL (MCO) stands out for being 2,450 kilometres long.
Date Origin Destination WF A/c Competition (WF)
15-Nov-12 Colorado Springs, CO (COS) Orlando, FL (MCO) 3 A319
15-Nov-12 Denver, CO (DEN) Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) 7 A319 Spirit (7)
16-Nov-12 Orlando, FL (MCO) Trenton, NJ (TTN) 2 A319
17-Nov-12 Orlando, FL (MCO) Greensboro, NC (GSO) 3 A319
Source: anna.aero new route database, Innovata for w/c 19 November 2012

Bet for Mexico! The former (and husband of the current) mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, and Interjet’s President, Miguel Alemán Magnani, helped launch Las Vegas as the airline’s second US destination from Toluca.

  • Interjet inaugurated twice-weekly services on the route from Toluca (TLC), the capital of Mexico State, to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) on 15 November. The airline, which already offers also twice-weekly flights from Toluca to San Antonio, TX, will operate the new route using its fleet of A320s. Speaking during the launch ceremony, Miguel Alemán Magnani, Interjet’s President, said: “Carrying Mexican residents in the Las Vegas area is very important for us. They have to bet for Mexico!”

When Maldivian arrived in Mumbai, a cake was baked to celebrate. At the cutting-ceremony were Robert Norohna, Assistant General Manager MIAL; T.S. Rajakrishnan, Country Head, Maldivian; Mohamed Latheef, Board Member, Maldivian; Hussain Lirar, Deputy Minister of Tourism; MIAL’s Tariq Butt, VP Airport Marketing and Aero Business; Jude Fernandes, Senior Manager Airport Marketing and Aero Business; Mannik Nangia, Assistant General Manager Airport Marketing and Aero Business; Shafi Patel, Senior Manager Airport Marketing and Aero Business; and Balvir Bhatia, Deputy General Manager Terminal Operations.

Also at Malé’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport were celebrations held for the new routes. In addition to a cake baked for the stopping service, passengers on Maldivian’s new route to Chennai and Dhaka were welcomed with flower rings to the island nation.

A cake was also baked in Malé to celebrate the new link to India’s largest city Mumbai. Passengers were treated to cake, coconut juice and traditional drum music.

  • Maldivian, the national carrier of the Maldives, expanded its network in the last week as it took delivery of its first A320 aircraft to complement its Q200s and Q300s. The airline, which dominates the domestic market in the island nation, began operating from its Malé (MLE) base to India’s largest city Mumbai (BOM) on 16 November. The new route is operated three times weekly. On 15 November, a new route was also launched to Chennai (MAA) in southern India from where the aircraft continues with full fifth freedom rights to the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka (DAC). The route is also operated with three weekly frequencies. Notably, none of the new routes face direct competition from any other airline. Maldivian’s only previous international route, to Trivandrum in southern India, is now also operated with the new 152-seat A320 aircraft.

  • Ryanair relaunched the route from Bremen (BRE) in northern Germany to the Latvian capital Riga (RIX) on 15 November, which it previously operated between April 2007 and December 2011. Thrice-weekly flights are offered on the 1,100-kilometre route, which is Ryanair’s second to Riga from a German airport, as it also offers twice-weekly service from Frankfurt Hahn. 

  • SunExpress Germany began operating low-frequency services on the route from German Düsseldorf (DUS) to Erbil (ERB) in northern Iraq on 19 November. Erbil, which is sometimes described as ‘New Dubai’, is regarded as the region’s boom town and enjoys strong development based on the region’s substantial oil production of around a quarter of a million barrels a day. This has resulted in the local airport growing by 22% in 2010, 37% in 2011, and 52% in the first four months of 2012, according to an anna.aero analysis. Recent route launches to the Iraqi airport include Air Arabia flights from Sharjah, which was distinguished with the anna.aero Route of the Week prize in October. SunExpress Germany will benefit from these developments, as it now flies a weekly service to Erbil using 737-800 aircraft. Competition on the route comes from two other German carriers, airberlin and Germania, which operate also weekly services each.

The LATAM team helped inaugurate TAM’s second route to Montevideo in Uruguay. Francisco Chiari, LATAM’s GM in Uruguay, who was present at the launch ceremony, said: “It is our pleasure to launch this brand new route, which will bring about significant improvements in the region’s connectivity.”

  • TAM launched services on the 1,800-kilometre route from Rio de Janeiro (GIG) to Montevideo (MVD) on 15 November. The route, which was previously served by Pluna prior to its collapse in July, is now offered by the Brazilian carrier on daily basis and is operated using A320s. TAM already serves the Uruguayan capital from São Paulo Guarulhos, on which it increased from two to three weekly frequencies in the northern winter scheduling season.

Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, and the low-cost airline’s cabin crew celebrated the airline’s new route to Xi’an in China.

Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, and the low-cost airline’s cabin crew celebrated the airline’s new route to Xi’an in China – the airline’s seventh route to China and fifth to the mainland of the booming market.

  • Thai AirAsia launched its seventh Chinese destination from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK), to which it recently transferred all of its Bangkok operation from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Starting on 16 November, flights to the capital of the Shaanxi province, Xi’an (XIY), will be offered with daily frequencies using the airline’s 180-seat A320 aircraft. Jumnong Junnapinya, Thai Tourism Authority’s Director East Asia, commented: “We expect more than 2.2 million Chinese to visit Thailand this year; in the first nine months alone, Chinese arrivals were up 39%. Since it offered its first route from Thailand to China in January 2009, Thai AirAsia grew to become the third largest operator in the market, after Thai Airways and China Eastern.”

Entertaining on board VietJet Air’s first flight to Vinh in northern Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City were a balloon artist and Marilyn Monroe. The emerging low-cost airline will face competition from both Vietnam Airlines and the low-cost competitor Jetstar Pacific on the new route.

  • VietJet Air launched operations on another domestic route on 15 November. The Vietnamese low-cost airline now flies daily with its 180-seat A320s from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Vinh (VII) in the north of the country. Competition comes from Vietnam Airlines’ 17 and fellow low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific’s 14 weekly flights. “We’re delighted to open this flight connecting Vinh city and Nghe An province to Vietnam’s largest business and tourism hub,” said Pritam Singh, Deputy General of VietJet Air. “We believe our service will help meet the significant demand for travel between these two cities.”

During the launch celebrations for WestJet’s latest Caribbean route from Toronto Pearson, Robert Palmer, the airline’s PR Manager, presented a commemorative model aircraft to Trinidad and Tobago delegates. The island state celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence, so carnival mood is guaranteed.

  • WestJet, which recently added three Caribbean destinations to its Toronto Pearson (YYZ) network, launched yet another winter sun route on 16 November. Daily flights on the 4,100-kilometre route from Canada’s largest city to Port of Spain (POS) will operate seasonally until 27 April and be operated using 737-700s. Peter Tong, WestJet’s Director of Schedule and Network Planning, said: “We’re very pleased to offer daily service to Trinidad and Tobago, especially as the islands celebrate the 50th anniversary of their independence.” Competition on the route comes from Caribbean Airlines’ 12 weekly flights.

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