AirAsia X’s Kuala Lumpur to Shanghai Pudong
- AirAsia X, which in the previous week inaugurated flights on the route from the Malaysian capital to Jeddah, commenced operations on the route from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) on 19 February. Six-weekly services on the 3,800-kilometre route are operated until 1 May, when the frequency increases to daily. Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X, said: “We believe our presence in Shanghai would further solidify AirAsia Group’s position in China, offering guests a more affordable travel option and greater flight connections and flexibility between ASEAN and China.” Shanghai Pudong, which is the 14th Chinese destination of the AirAsia Group, is already served from Kuala Lumpur with twice-daily services each by China Eastern and Malaysia Airlines.
easyJet’s Geneva to Seville
- easyJet added the southern Spanish city of Seville (SVQ) to its offering from Geneva (GVA) on 21 February. The airline, which already serves the Andalucian destination with four-weekly flights from London Gatwick, now operates thrice-weekly frequencies from the Swiss city. You can read more on the market from London to Barcelona in this week’s anna.aero analysis.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- AeroMéxico returned to the Mexican city of Toluca (TLC) on 25 February with three domestic routes operated by AeroMéxico Connect. The airline now operates services to Cancún (CUN), Guadalajara (GDL) and Monterrey (MTY), with daily, twice-daily and thrice-daily frequencies respectively. Cancún is already served by Interjet (twice-daily) and Volaris (daily). The latter also offers daily flights to Guadalajara, while Interjet markets 13 weekly frequencies from Toluca to Monterrey. You can read more on Mexico’s domestic market in anna.aero’s recent market trends analysis.
- airberlin, which recently saw the arrival of new CEO, added services from its Berlin Tegel (TXL) hub to Madrid (MAD) on 25 February, in anticipation of Iberia’s withdrawal from the market at the end of March. airberlin, which now operates to a total of ten airports in the Spanish mainland and islands, provides daily flights on the 1,900-kilometre route, half the frequencies offered by the Spanish carrier. All services are carried out using 737-800s.
- Allegiant Air inaugurated low-frequency services on the 2,100-kilometre route from Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) to Plattsburgh, NY (PBG) on 23 February. Twice-weekly flights are operated on the route using the airline’s fleet of MD80s. Allegiant Air now operates to a total of 11 destinations from the Florida airport, up from only three in March 2012.
- British Airways inaugurated services to Barcelona (BCN) in the Spanish region of Catalonia, from London Gatwick (LGW) on 23 February. The airline, which already offers 47 weekly flights to the Mediterranean city from London Heathrow as well as further thrice-weekly flights from London City (operated by BA CityFlyer), now provides additional thrice-daily flights from London’s second largest airport. Direct competition on the route comes from easyJet’s 39 and Monarch Airlines’ seven weekly flights with further twice-daily flights offered each by easyJet from London Luton and Ryanair from London Stansted. In addition, the Barcelona-based Vueling will launch twice-daily flights on the route on 22 March. This week, anna.aero provides a full analysis of the busy London to Barcelona market.
- Motor-Sich, Ukraine’s regional airline inaugurated flights on the 600-kilometre domestic route from the capital’s secondary airport, Kiev Zhulyany (IEV), to Uzhgorod (UDJ), located close to the Ukraine’s border with Slovakia. Commencing on 25 February, the airline operates five weekly frequencies using a 140-seat AN-140, thus bringing back to life Uzhgorod Airport, which had been left unserved since January, when Business Aviation Centre withdrew its operations from there.
- Qatar Airways commenced operations on the route from its Doha (DOH) base to Phnom Penh (PNH) on 20 February, becoming the first MEB3 carrier to serve Cambodia. Daily services are now operated via Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) using A330-200s. The latter airport, which was recently analysed by anna.aero, is not the first destination it serves in Vietnam – daily flights to Hanoi are offered via Bangkok. Commenting on the launch was Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker: “Though Cambodia is one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia, it has an air travel market that is highly underserved. Qatar Airways is here to fill this void.” Cambodia is an increasingly attractive destination for tourism, with the international tourist arrivals climbing an astonishing 24% up to 3.6 million in 2012.” Notably, the Middle Eastern airlines will benefit from the historic connection Cambodia has to France, as it offers onward flights to both France and Canada. Emirates Airline provides indirect competition on the first leg serving Ho Chi Minh City from its Dubai hub with also daily frequencies.
- Royal Jordan became the second carrier to operate on the 3,000-kilometre route from Amman (AMM) to the capital of Algeria, Algiers (ALG), on 25 February. Twice-weekly departures operated with a 110-seater A319 will be boosted to thrice-weekly from April, competing with Air Algerie, which already serves the route offering twice-weekly flights. The addition of the new service brings the total of destinations served by Royal Jordanian in North Africa up to eight, as the carrier already offered three points each in Egypt and Libya, and one in Tunisia.
- Ukraine International Airlines stepped up its presence in the market from Kiev to Moscow last week, as it launched four-daily services on the 800-kilometre ex-AeroSvit route from Kiev Borispol (KBP) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on 22 February. In addition to the new route, on which Ukraine International Airlines competes with Aeroflot’s thrice-daily service, the airline also added a third daily frequency on its existing route from the Kiev airport to Moscow Domodedovo.
- Ural Airlines expanded its international network with a new route from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek (FRU) on 23 February. The airline, which already serves Bishkek from its main Yekaterinburg base, now connects the two capitals offering weekly flights operated with 159-seater A320. Competition on the route comes from Kyrgyzstan Air Company (6 weekly frequencies), Air Bishkek (4) and Avia Traffic (3).