New airline routes launched (11 – 17 December 2012)


ANA Tokyo Haneda to Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport
(NEW AIRPORT!!! Shared with Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni)

Col. James C. Stewart, Commanding Officer Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, leads the ribbon cutting for the opening of the civilian Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport December 9, 2012. 1,000 invited citizens of the city of Iwakuni were also given a souvenir pair of scissors to symbolise the creation of the airport as a community asset. Excellent photos and information provided by Lance Cpl. Brian A. Stevens, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

  • ANA inaugurated flights on the domestic route from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Iwakuni (IWK) in Yamaguchi, becoming the first airline to offer commercial services to this US Marine Corps naval base in 48 years. Four daily flights are offered on the route and operated with 737-800s.

Wizz Air’s Budapest to Kiev Zhulyany

Patrick Bohl, Budapest Airport’s Head of Airline Business Development welcomed the arrival of Wizz Air’s new service from Kiev Zhulyany with a sweet take on the city’s St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery.

Inaugural service from Geneva to Budapest

József Váradi, Wizzair’s CEO; and Yves-Daniel Viredaz, Genève Aéroport’s Head of Marketing, helped dispatch the airline’s inaugural service from Geneva to Budapest – Wizz Air’s first service to the Swiss city ever.

Wizz Air ribbon-cutting ceremony during the launch event for new service to Milan Malpensa from Debrecen in eastern Hungary

Performing the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the launch event for Wizz Air's new service to Milan Malpensa from Debrecen in eastern Hungary were: József Újhelyi, Wizz Air's Head of Airport Development; Lajos Kósa, Mayor of Debrecen; and István Herdon, Xanga Group's CEO.

  • Wizz Air added five new routes to its schedule last week. On 14 December, the airline commenced flights from Budapest (BUD) to both Geneva (GVA) and Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) offering three flights a week on each route, with the latter being operated by Wizz Air Ukraine. Commenting on these new developments, Kam Jandu, Budapest Airport’s Director Aviation, said: “Kiev is a very important route for the business and leisure community alike and will no doubt be a success. Geneva presents many year round opportunities for travellers and we are delighted with the increased options Wizz Air provides.” Competition in these markets comes from AeroSvit’s six weekly frequencies to Kiev Boryspil and easyJet’s nine weekly flights to Budapest. Following the launch of London Luton flights earlier this year, the carrier also continues its expansion from Debrecen (DEB), the second-largest Hungarian city located in the east of the country, where on 15 and 16 December respectively, the carrier inaugurated twice-weekly services both to Eindhoven (EIN) and Milan Malpensa (MXP). Additionally, on 15 December, Wizz Air added thrice-weekly frequencies to Basel (BSL) to its Belgrade (BEG) network of eight existing destinations.

The rest of this week’s new routes


Announcing AeroMéxico’s new route from Mexico City to London

Announcing the new route from Mexico City to London were AeroMéxico’s Chairman, José Luis Barraza; Gloria Guevara, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism; Dionisio Pérez-Jácome, Secretary of Communications and Transport; and Andrés Conesa, AeroMéxico Group’s Director General.

  • AeroMexico inaugurated services on the 8,900-kilometre route from Mexico City (MEX) to London Heathrow (LHR) on 14 December. Thrice-weekly flights are offered on the route and operated using  a 767. British Airways provides competition on the route – also with thrice-weekly frequencies. Andrés Conesa, AeroMexico Group’s Director General, said of the new launch: “It is a great achievement, but also great responsibility for us, given the new route’s importance to the Mexican economy.”

Nanning became AirAsia’s fifth Chinese destination from Kuala Lumpur. Celebrating this milestone in the Chinese city were Dato' Pahamin Rejab, Air Asia’s Ex-Chairman; Dato' Aziz Bakar, Chairman of AirAsia; and Jasmine Lee, Commercial Director of AirAsia Berhad in Nanning.

  • On 11 December, AirAsia launched thrice-weekly flights between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and the south-western Chinese city Nanning (NNG), which became the airline’s seventh route to China (and fifth from the Malaysian capital). AirAsia operates the route with 180-seat A320-200 aircraft, and is the first airline to offer direct flights between these two cities.

Raymond Wang, Taiwanese Ambassador to the Philippines received a commemorative gift from AirAsia Phillipines’ CEO Maan Hontiveros in the presence of Victor Jose Luciano, Clark Airport’s CEO.

  • AirAsia Philippines continued its international expansion from its main base in Clark (CRK) near Manila. Following flights to Hong Kong as well as the Route-of-the-Week-winning Macao service launched earlier this year, the airline commenced daily frequencies to Singapore (SIN) and four-weekly to Taipei (TPE), on 15 and 16 December respectively. While there is no competition on the route to Taipei, the market from Clark to Singapore is already served by South East Asian Airlines (10 weekly frequencies), Cebu Pacific (7), and AirPhil Express (3).

Cutting the cake for Alitalia’s inaugural flight from Yerevan to Rome Fiumicino were Alitalia’s Garegin Kamalyan, GM Ground Services Armenia; Giovanni Simonini, GM Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Belarus; Bruno Scapini, Italian Ambassador to Armenia; Oksana Kilicci, Alitalia’s Country Manager Ukraine; Giancarlo Lombardini, Station Manager Alitalia - Djamal Muradov, Air France's Station Manager Yerevan.

  • Alitalia, which commenced services to Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, continues to expand its international network, as it launched twice-weekly flights from its Rome Fumicino (FCO) base to the Armenian capital of Yerevan (EVN) on 11 December. Flights on the 2,700-kilometre route are operated using A320s.

  • Allegiant Air launched three new routes on 15 December. The US carrier now flies to Montrose, CO (MTJ), one of the primary gateways for the popular ski resort of Telluride, from both Oakland, CA (OAK), and Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA). Telluride Tourism Board President, Michael Martelon, said: “There has never been a more affordable or more accessible way for people in Phoenix and the Bay Area to discover what makes Telluride one of the world’s premier winter vacation destinations.”  In addition, Allegiant Air inaugurated services from the Phoenix airport to St Cloud, MN (STC). All new routes are offered with twice-weekly frequencies and operated using MD80s.

  • Blue Islands inaugurated services on the 730-kilometre route form Jersey (JER) in the British Channel Islands, to Chambéry (CMF) in the French Rhône-Alpes region, making it easy for the islanders to get to the slopes this winter. Rob Veron, Blue Islands’ MD, said: “This direct Saturday service not only caters for one of the busiest resort days, but perfectly complements our already popular Switzerland services to Zurich and Geneva.” The weekly ATR42-operated service is offered until 13 April 2013.

  • Delta inaugurated services on winter sun routes from New York JFK, NY (JFK) and LaGuardia, NY (LGA) on 15 December. Notably, the twice-daily service to Sarasota, FL (SRQ) was previously offered via either Atlanta or Detroit. Joe Esposito, Delta’s MD Domestic Network Planning, said: “With the new service, our customers will enjoy convenient access to their preferred airport, while flying to and from New York. And thanks to our new domestic hub at LaGuardia, Delta customers flying to LaGuardia can take advantage of convenient one-stop service to destinations throughout the north-eastern US and beyond.”
Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
New York JFK, NY (JFK) Fort Myers, FL (RSW) 7 MD88 JetBlue (21)
St. Maarten (SXM) 1 B757 JetBlue (8)

American Airways (7)

New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA) Sarasota, FL (SRQ) 14 MD88 JetBlue (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 7 January 2013.
*WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

easyjet's inaugural Newcastle flight to Amsterdam

Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s Commercial Manager UK; and Chris Sanders, Newcastle Airport’s Aviation Development Director, celebrated the airline’s inaugural flight to Amsterdam. Aitken said: “We are delighted to add this new flight to Amsterdam, which will make it more affordable for businesses to connect with the Dutch market, easier to enjoy a break in Holland, and attract more Dutch visitors to the North East.”

  • easyJet added three new routes to its network last week. On 13 December, the airline commenced four weekly flights from its northern English base at Newcastle (NCL) airport to Amsterdam (AMS) in competition with KLM’s 28 weekly flights to its Dutch hub. On 14 December the airline further expanded its network from London Southend (SEN) airport by launching a thrice-weekly service to the popular ski and city destination Geneva (GVA) and now offers 14 destinations in total from its newest London’s airport. On the following day easyJet launched another ski destination Turin (TRN) from its largest base at London Gatwick (LGW) airport. The twice-weekly service now competes with British Airways’ 10 weekly departures; Thomas Cook provides additional capacity, as it serves the market from London Gatwick to Turin with a weekly frequency.

  • Flybe commenced services from East Midlands (EMA), where it considerably expanded its presence following bmibaby’s demise earlier this year, to the south-eastern French destination of Chambery (CMF) on 15 December. The weekly service is geared at ski enthusiasts and offered with Dash 8 Q400s until 6 April 2013. Competition on the route comes from Jet2.com, operated with the same weekly frequency.

Garuda Indonesia launches services from Balikpapan to Tarakan in Indonesia

Celebrating Garuda Indonesia’s arrival in Tarakan were Deputy Mayor of Tarakan, Suhardjo Triyanto; Garuda Indonesia’s GM East Kalimantan, Setya Budhi; Garuda Indonesia’s Representative Eastern Indonesia, Rosyiana.

  • Garuda Indonesia connected Balikpapan (BPN) on the eastern coast of East Kalimantan province, and Tarakan (TRK) in northern Borneo, on 12 December. Daily flights are offered in competition with Lion Air (56 weekly frequencies), Sriwijaya Air (21) and Batavia Air (7). Services on the route are provided using CRJ1000 in 96-seat configuration, including 12 business seats.

Announcing GOL’s new routes to the US via Santo Domingo were the airline’s Julio Perotti, GM; José Carlos Fradji, Commercial Executive; Oscar Tejada, Commercial Manager; Giancarlo Alcalai, General Manager; and Helio Vitor Ramos, Brazilian Consul Geral in Miami.

Gol's arrival in Miami from Santo Domingo

Gol's arrival in Miami from Santo Domingo was welcomed with the traditional water cannon salute. Chris Mangos, the airport's Aviation Department Marketing Division Director, said: “We proudly welcome GOL to our family of more than 90 airlines, and we thank the airline for choosing to provide scheduled service at MIA."

  • GOL launched daily services on two routes each to and from Santo Domingo (SDQ) in the Dominican Republic, and now uses the Caribbean airport as a connector between São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG) in Brazil, and Miami, FL (MIA) and Orlando, FL (MCO) in the US. All four routes are operated with the airline’s fleet of 737-800s.

Indonesia AirAsia took the celebration of its new services to Makassar on the Indonesian Sulawesi Island out to the streets, as it organized a themed workout session at the city’s Losari Beach.

  • Indonesia AirAsia expanded domestic services with the launch direct flights to Makassar (UPG) in eastern Indonesia, from both Jakarta (CGK) and Balikpapan (BPN). Starting 17 December, the airline offers 14 weekly frequencies on each route to this largest city on the Sulawesi Island. The carrier faces substantial competition from numerous of Indonesian airlines already operating on both routes:
Origin Destination Competition
Balikpapan (BPN) Makassar (UPG) Lion Air (21)
Garuda Indonesia (11)
Merpati Nusantara Airlines (7)
Jakarta (CGK) Lion Air (119)
Garuda Indonesia (63)
Wings Air (48)
Sriwijaya Air (28)
Batavia Air (21)
Merpati Nusantara Airlines (14)
Citilink Indonesia (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 7 January 2013

  • Jet2.com expanded its seasonal offering on 15 December with weekly services from East Midlands (EMA) to Geneva (GVA), and from Leeds/Bradford (LBA) to Grenoble (GNB). In addition, the airline inaugurated twice-weekly flights to Grenoble from Manchester (MAN) on 16 December. Flights on all three routes are operated using 737-family aircraft until mid-April 2013. Competition on both routes to Grenoble comes from Monarch’s thrice-weekly flights (which also launched last week), as well as from Thomas Cook’s weekly departures on the route from Manchester.

  • Jetstar returned on the 8,900-kilometre route from Melbourne (MEL) to Honolulu, HI (HNL) on 14 December, following a spike in Hawaii’s appeal as a holiday destination for Australians. The airline, which previously operated the route from December 2006 to October 2007, initially offers twice-weekly A330-200-operated flights to the Hawaiian destination, but plans to add a third weekly frequency in March.

  • Lufthansa started flying from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Innsbruck (INN) on 15 December. Thrice-weekly services will be operated using A320-family aircraft in two-class configuration until the end of March 2013. Competition of the 600-kilometre trans-border route comes from airberlin, which also offers three weekly departures. Reinhold Falch, Innsbruck Airport’s Director, said: “For winter 2012/13, we anticipate the busiest season ever, as services from 15 scheduled and 17 charter operators are now on offer. Lufthansa’s new route is initially scheduled until the end of March, but we hope for it to be extended beyond that point.”

  • Malaysia Airlines increased its international offering from Kota Kinabalu (BKI) for a second week running, as it launched flights to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) on 11 December. Kota Kinabalu, which last week saw the launch of services to Perth, is now linked to the Chinese city with twice-weekly flights, all of which will be operated using 737-800.

Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
14-Dec-12 Leeds/Bradford (LBA) Munich (MUC) 2
London Gatwick (LGW) Friedrichshafen (FDH) 4
15-Dec-12 Grenoble (GNB) 2 easyJet (4), Thomas Cook (2)
15-Dec-12 Birmingham (BHX) Grenoble (GNB) 3 easyJet (1), Thomas Cook (1)
Leeds/Bradford (LBA) 3 Jet2.com (1)
Manchester (MAN) Friedrichshafen (FDH) 2
Grenoble (GNB) 3 Jet2.com (2), Thomas Cook (1)
Source: Innovata w/c 7 January 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

The arrival of Pegasus Airlines to Alanya Gazipaşa Airport on 17 December is a real breakthrough for the airport, which has previously been used for charter operations. The airline’s Uğur Alyakut, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist, said: “We are convinced that this will be a great route for us.”

  • Pegasus inaugurated operations in the southern Turkish airport of Alanya Gazipaşa (GZP), as it commenced four-weekly services to its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) base on 17 December. The airline, which now serves 22 domestic destinations from the Istanbul airport, will operate the 600-kilomtere route using its fleet of 737-800s.

Krzysztof Hetman, marshall of the province; and Lublin’s Mayor, Krzysztof Żuk, crushed the ice sculpture for inauguration of Poland’s second, after Warsaw Modlin, new airport this year. Wintry landscapes welcomed the arrival of first scheduled services from Ryanair, but did not disturb local wildlife – first departure to London Stansted was delayed by a rabbit skipping across the runway.

Carcassonne welcomed the return of non-stop services to Paris last week

Carcassonne welcomed the return of non-stop services to Paris last week, with the arrival of Ryanair’s inaugural service from Paris Beauvais. Air Liberté served the Carcassonne to Paris market before its demise in 2001.

Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
12-Dec-12 Maastricht (MST) Dublin (DUB) 3
12-Dec-12 London Stansted (STN) 6
12-Dec-12 Carcassonne (CCF) Paris Beauvais (BVA) 3
14-Dec-12 Maastricht (MST) Venice Treviso (TSF) 2
17-Dec-12 London Stansted (STN) Lublin (LUZ) 3 Wizz Air – LTN (3)
Source: Innovata w/c 7 January 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • SAS expanded in Finland on 12 December, as it launched flights from its Copenhagen (CPH) hub to Ivalo (IVL) in the north of the country. Twice-weekly flights will be operated on the route by the airline’s subsidiary, Blue1, using 717s. 

R S Meena, Member of Parliament from Udaipur, and a representative of SpiceJet cut the cake for the airline’s inaugural arrival from Delhi.

  • SpiceJet commenced flights on the domestic Indian route from Delhi (DEL) to Udaipur (UDR) in Rajasthan in the north-west of the country. Daily flights are now operated between the two cities in competition with Jet Airways’ twice-daily and Air India’s daily departures. The latter only started operating the route in November, following the withdrawal of Kingfisher from the market earlier in the year.

Spring Airline's inaugural cake

Wang Zhenghua, Spring Airlines’ Chainrman, cut the inaugural cake assisted by one of the airline’s Facebook fans, Feng Bojian, who was chosen at random.

  • Spring Airlines inaugurated services on four routes to China from its base in Hong Kong (HKG). Wang Zenghua, Chairman of the airline, commented: “We are committed to providing business and leisure travellers in Hong Kong with greater choice, whether it is getting to that important business meeting, a family holiday or a weekend getaway with friends.” The airline, which was founded in 2005 by Spring Travel, now operates more than 60 routes in China and the region and boasts a fleet of 33 A320s.
Destination WF* A/c Competition
Chongqing (CKG) 3 A320 Air China (7), Dragonair (7), Hong Kong Airlines (5)
Hangzhou (HGH) 7 A320 Dragonair (28), China Eastern (7), Hong Kong Airlines (7)
Nanjing (NKG) 4 A320 Dragonair (14), China Eastern (7), Hong Kong Airlines (7)
Xiamen (XMN) 7 A320 Dragonair (28), Xiamen Airlines (14)
Source: Innovata w/c 7 January 2013.
*WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Carly Brear, Tiger Airways’ Commercial Director; and Rob Porter, Mackay Airport’s GM, cut the cake for Tiger Airways Australia’s combo route launch in Mackay in Queensland.

  • Tiger Airways Australia commenced flights on two domestic routes to Mackay (MKY) on the eastern Australian coast last weekend, and links the city to both Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD). Four- and five weekly A320-operated flights respectively are offered on the routes. Competition comes from Virgin Australia’s six-weekly departures in the market from Sydney.

Sezgin Saglam, Turkish Airline’s VP Sales and Marketing; Carlos Enrique Meyer, Argentina’s Minister of Tourism; Taner Akyamas, Turkish Ambassador to Argentina; acnd Mustafa Dogan, the airline’s GM in Argentina, helped launch the airline’s inaugural service from São Paulo to Buenos Aires. Traditional Turkish Doner kebab was then served to the meet-loving Argentinians.

  • Turkish Airlines inaugurated flights on two routes from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub last week. On 13 December, the airline launched Sebha (SEB) as its fourth destination in Libya, which was followed two days later by services to Ouagadougou (OUA) in Burkina Faso, which will be offered via Niamey (NIM) in Niger. While both destinations are served with thrice-weekly frequencies, A320s are deployed on the route to Libya, while 737-900s operate to Burkina Faso. In addition, on 11 December, Turkish Airlines extended its existing route from Istanbul to São Paulo Guarulhos (GUR), with flights to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE). These 777-300ER-operated services are now offered with four weekly frequencies in competition with TAM (14 weekly flights), LAN (14), Mercosur (14), GOL (13), Aerolineas Argentinas (7) and Qatar Airways (7).

  • UTair inaugurated services on the 270-kilometre route across the Black Sea from Adler/Sochi (AER) to Trabzon (TZX) in Turkey on 17 December. The Russian carrier now offers twice-weekly frequencies on the route, both of which are operated using 737-500. On the same day, UTair also commenced domestic flights from Arkhangelsk (ARH) to Naryan-Mar (NNM), located north of the Arctic Circle. 48-seater Antonov 24s operate the route with thrice-weekly frequencies. Competition comes from Nordavia’s 13 weekly departures.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, VietJet Air’s Vice Chairman gifted the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung with a model airplane in celebration of the airline’s arrival to Phu Quoc.

  • VietJet Air inaugurated services on the domestic route from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Phu Quoc (PQC), serving Vietnam’s largest island in the Gulf of Thailand. The carrier will operate twice-daily frequencies on the route using A320s. Competition on the route comes from Vietnam Airline’s 42 and Air Mekong’s 12 weekly flights.

  • WestJet further expanded its winter offering to sun-starved Canadians, as it launched two new seasonal routes from Montreal (YUL). On 14 December, the airline started services to Providenciales (PLS) in the Turks and Caicos Islands, while on 17 December, flights to St. Maarten (SXM) in the Dutch Antilles commenced. Both routes are offered on a weekly basis and operated with 737-700s until late April 2013. Air Canada provides competition on the route to Turks and Caicos, as it operates also weekly services.

  • XL Airways expanded its winter offering from France to the French overseas outposts in both the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. On 13 December, the carrier launched flights on the 8,800-kilometre route from Marseille (MRS) in southern France, to St. Denis de la Reunión (RUN) in the Indian Ocean. Weekly A330-200-operated services compete with Air Austral’s twice-weekly frequencies. On 17 December, the airline also commenced serving Fort-de-France (FDF) on the Caribbean Island of Martinique, also a French overseas department. Thrice-weekly flights from Paris CDG (CDG) are operated using A330-300 in competition with Air France’s weekly departures.   

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