New airline routes launched (7 – 13 May 2013)


American Airlines’ Dallas/Fort Worth to Seoul Incheon

Bibimbap, the signature Korean dish, was prepared during a special stirring ceremony performed by American Airlines’ VP DFW, Art Pappas; Consul General of the Republic of Korea, Dong Chan Kim; American Airlines’ VP Global Sales, Derek DeCross; DFW’s CEO Jeff Fegan, and Captain John Hale. Fegan commented: "The new service to Seoul continues DFW’s unprecedented momentum in adding new international service. Since December of 2010, DFW has seen the addition of 13 new international destinations and seven new air carriers, the most prolific period of air service expansion in the airport’s history."

  • American Airlines became the second carrier to offer services on the route from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) to Seoul Incheon (ICN), when it launched daily flights on the 11,000-kilometre route on 9 May, utilising 247-seat 777-200s. oneworld member American Airlines faces competition on the routes from SkyTeam member Korean Air, which also operates daily flights. Seoul Incheon is not the first long-haul destination launched by the US carrier from Dallas/Fort Worth this year – in early April, the airline resumed services to Lima.

bmi regional’s Birmingham to Toulouse

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s CEO; Cathal O’Connell, bmi regional’s CEO; Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor John Lines; Lady Mayoress, Kathleen Lines, and members of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra celebrated the launch of bmi regional at the airport. O’Connel said: “With increasing congestion in some London airports, Birmingham Airport is a great alternative to those who recognise the benefits of less crowded airports, speedy boarding, good shopping and eating facilities.”

Bristol Airport’s Jason Wescott, Head of Sales and Marketing; and Ian Woodley, bmi regional’ Chairman, celebrated the airline’s launch of services to Hanover, Milan Malpensa and Munich.

Bristol Airport’s Jason Wescott, Head of Sales and Marketing; and Ian Woodley, bmi regional’ Chairman, celebrated the airline’s launch of services to Hanover, Milan Malpensa and Munich, all of which are geared at business traveller. Mark Stewart, GM and HR Director at the nearby Airbus plant, said: “These new services are welcomed by our employees, especially the direct route to Munich which gives us much better access to our colleagues in EADS. Coming on top of the new route from Bristol to Hamburg, it will certainly increase business efficiency, whilst continuing to support our local airport.”

Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
13-May-13 Birmingham (BHX) Gothenburg (GOT) 6 ER4
Lyon (LYS) 3 ER4 flybe (6)
Toulouse (TLS) 6 ER4
Bristol (BRS) Hanover (HAJ) 6 ER3
Milan Malpensa (MXP) 6 ER3
Munich (MUC) 6 ER4
Source: Innovata w/c 20 May 2013.  *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)


  • Aegean Airlines continued to increase its summer offering last week, as it launched services on the 970-kilometre route from Heraklion (HER) to Tel Aviv (TLV) on 12 May. The Greek carrier, which already serves the Israeli city from Athens (daily flights) and Thessaloniki (thrice-weekly), now offers a twice-weekly schedule from Crete until 6 October, operated using A320s.

Cutting the cake during the launch ceremony of Geneva’s first route to Asia were Robert Deillon, Geneva Airport’s Director; Feng Rune, Air China’s VP; and Isabel Rochat, State Councillor and the airport’s President of the Board. Pictures credit: Lumière Noire photographic studio (Stéphane Gros).

  • Air China, the largest Chinese carrier offering flights to Europe, inaugurated services to the 12th destination it serves in the old continent on 7 May, and now offers a four-times weekly schedule on the 8,200-kilometre route from Beijing (PEK) to Geneva (GVA) using A330-200s. Fan Cheng, general secretary of Air China’s Party committee, said: “The new route will further promote economic and cultural exchanges between the two cities. It will also provide more convenience for transit passengers from Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Manila.” The route is also Geneva’s first direct link to Asia.

Riga Airport’s Chairman of the Board, Aldis Murnieks; and airBaltic’s VP Network Planning and Development, Manuel Esu performed the cake-cutting ceremony.

Riga Airport’s Chairman of the Board, Aldis Murnieks; and airBaltic’s VP Network Planning and Development, Manuel Esu performed the cake-cutting ceremony prior to the airline’s maiden departure for Malta.

  • airBaltic further expanded its offering from its Riga (RIX) hub on 12 May, when it inaugurated operations on the 2,500-kilometre route to Malta (MLA). The carrier, which offers weekly (Sunday) departures on the route until 20 October, is the lone carrier operating in the market from the Latvian capital to the Mediterranean island. All flights are operated using 737-300s and 737-500s.

  • Austrian Airlines commenced seasonal flights on the 1,700-kilometre route from Linz (LNZ) in the north centre of Austria to Kos (KGS) in Greece on 13 April. The carrier, which will launch another seasonal service to Chania later this month, offers weekly (Monday) frequencies to the Greek island of Kos until the end of September using Q400s. From 22 May until 25 September competition will be provided by airberlin subsidiary NIKI, which will offer weekly (Wednesday) services using a much larger 180-seat A320.

  • Condor, the German leisure airline, increased its offering from the north-western German Paderborn (PAD) on 7 May, when it inaugurated services on the 2,100-kilometre summer route to Lanzarote (ACE) in the Spanish Canary Islands, making it the fifth destination it offers in the country from the German city. Weekly (Tuesday) flights are offered on the route and operated using A320s.

  • Croatia Airlines commenced services on the 1,000-kilometre route from Split (SPU) to Kassel (KSF) on 9 May, making the German city its fifth destination in the country this summer. Weekly (Thursday) departures are offered on the route and operated using Q400s.

Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c
07-May-13 Bremen (BRE) Moscow Domodedovo (DME) 3 A319
08-May-13 Heraklion (HER) 1
09-May-13 Mahon (MAH) 1
11-May-13 Enfidha (NBE) 1
Source: Innovata w/c 20 May 2013.  *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Golden Myanmar Airlines expanded its offering from Yangon (RNG) on 10 May. The carrier, which was officially launched earlier this year, now offers daily flights on the 600-kilometre route to Bangkok (BKK) using A320s. Competition in the market connecting the Burmese and Thai capitals comes from thrice-daily flights each from Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways, as well as twice-daily services offered by Myanmar Airways International.

Iraqi Airways lands in Düsseldorf

Warm welcome for Iraqi Airways was prepared in Düsseldorf, the airline’s second European destination.

  • Iraqi Airways added a second non-stop European destination to its network last week, as it launched weekly services on the 3,500-kilometre route from Sulamaniyah (ISU) to Düsseldorf (DUS) on 7 May. The airline, which already offers single weekly frequencies from the northern Iraqi city to Malmö, operates the newly launched service using A320s. In addition, Iraqi Airways also operates to London Gatwick, as an extension of its Malmö service.

Passengers on Jet2.com’s inaugural service from Manchester to Menorca were received by the airport’s Head of Cabinet, Abelardo Olives; the head of Tourism at Consell Insular de Menorca, Salomé Cabrera; and the director of Viajes Magón, Gabriel Pons. Passengers were then treated to the inaugural cake and some of the island’s traditional products.

  • Jet2.com commenced operations on the 1,600-kilometre route from Manchester (MAN) to Menorca (MAH) in the Spanish Balearic Islands. Thrice-weekly services are offered on the route and operated using 737-300s. The airline faces competition from Thomson Airways (6 weekly frequencies), Monarch Airlines (5) and Thomas Cook Airlines (4).

  • Juneyao Airlines started operating services on the 500-kilometre route across the East China Sea connecting Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Jeju (CJU) in South Korea. Beginning on 10 May, the carrier offers a four-weekly schedule between the two cities, in competition with China Eastern Airlines twice-daily and Jin Air’s daily frequencies. A320s are deployed to operate the newly launched service.

  • Mauritania Airlines International inaugurated thrice-weekly services on the route from Nouakchott (NKC) to Gran Canaria (LPA) on 8 May, marking the end of a three-year ban from the European skies. Twice-weekly frequencies are operated via Nouadhibou (NDB), Mauritania’s second largest city located on the Atlantic coast near the country’s border to Western Sahara. Mauritania Airlines International operates the service using 737-500s in competition with Iberia’s twice-weekly departures. The Mauritanian carrier is considering further expansion in Europe, with France being the most likely next country market it enters.

Crew and passengers arriving on Monarch Airlines’ inaugural flight to Malta were greeted with flowers and a special launch cake.

  • Monarch Airlines commenced services on its first ever scheduled route to Malta (MLA) on 7 May, as it connected the Mediterranean destination with its East Midlands (EMA) base. Twice-weekly frequencies are offered on the 2,300-kilometre route, which the airline operates using A320s. In addition, Monarch also serves Alicante, Faro, Ibiza, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca from the base it opened last August, following the demise of bmibaby at East Midlands.

  • NIKI added a new Greek route to its summer offering from Vienna (VIE) on 7 May, bringing up the total of destinations it offers in the country to 19. Following last week’s launch, the carrier offers thrice-weekly frequencies on the 1,000-kilometre route to Thessaloniki (SKG), which it operates using E190s. Austrian Airlines provides competition, serving Thessaloniki from the Austrian capital with daily flights.

Menorca became the second (after Palma de Mallorca) Balearic destination offered by SAS from Stockholm Arlanda. The inaugural service was welcomed with the traditional watercannon salute.

  • SAS started flying on the route from Oslo (OSL) to Santorini (JTR) on 12 May, making the Greek island the only destination in the country it serves from the Norwegian capital. The 2,800-kilometre route to Santorini, which is also the airline’s only Greek destination apart from Athens (served from Copenhagen – 2 weekly flights; Stockholm Arlanda – 2; and Helsinki – 1) operates with weekly frequencies until 22 September. Initially, there is no competition on the route, but Norwegian plans to begin a thrice-weekly service on 23 June. On the same day, SAS also inaugurated services from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Menorca (MAH), which it now operates with weekly frequencies. 737-800s are deployed on the route, which marks SAS’ return to Mahon following six years of absence.

  • SkyWork Airlines, which last week inaugurated services from its Berne (BRN) base to Munich, added yet another destination to its offering from the Swiss capital. Beginning on 7 May, the carrier commenced weekly (Tuesday) services to Djerba (DJE), located off the coast of Tunisia. Q400s are used to operate the route until 23 October.

  • Sriwijaya Air increased its offering from Denpasar (DPS) on 10 May, when it launched daily flights on the 1,100-kilometre route to Dili (DIL) in East Timor. Batavia Air operated the service prior to its own demise, but Sriwijaya Air faces competition from Merpati Nusantara Airlines, which operates also daily flights.

The latest sight in Singapore: SWISS returns to the Asian metropolis after four years. Cutting the red ribbon in Zürich were Thomas Kern, Zürich Airport’s CEO; the airline’s CEO, Harry Hohmeister; and Thomas Kupfer, Switzerland’s ambassador.

Upon arrival in Singapore, Changi Airport Group’s CEO, Lee Seow Hiang; and Harry Hohmeister, CEO of SWISS, contributed to the evening’s entertainment with an improvised musical performance using the traditional Swiss cowbells.

  • SWISS resumed services on the 10,300-kilometre route from Zürich (ZRH) to Singapore (SIN), which it last served four years ago. Beginning on 12 May, the carrier operates daily flights in competition with fellow Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines’ services of the same frequency. The airline’s 219-seat A330-400 wide-body aircraft, in three-class configuration, is deployed to serve the route. Lee Seow Hiang, CAG’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “SWISS has been fondly missed by the Changi Airport community as well as many of its loyal customers since its last flight to Changi in April 2009. Europe is an important market for Changi Airport. For the 12 months ending February 2013, some 2.6 million passengers travelled between Singapore and Europe, up 8% year-on-year. With the return of SWISS, travellers now have greater access into the heart of Europe from Changi.” In addition, the carrier launched two seasonal routes from Geneva (GVA), on 8 and 9 May respectively. Catania (CTA) is now served with thrice-weekly services, while twice-weekly flights depart for Olbia (OLB). Competition on the two Italian routes comes from easyJet, which offers four and single weekly frequencies respectively.

  • Transaero added St. Petersburg (LED) as the second Russian city it connects with Kaliningrad (KGD) on 13 May. The airline, which already offers thrice-weekly frequencies from Moscow Domodedovo, added a twice-weekly schedule from St. Petersburg, which it operates using 737-500s. Competition on the 800-kilometre route comes from Rossiya Airlines, which connects the two Russian cities with 40 weekly services.

  • Vladivostok Air inaugurated services on the 3,700-kilometre route from Vladivostok (VVO) to Novosibirsk (OVB), which it last operated in March 2012. Beginning on 10 May, the carrier offers daily frequencies on the route, which it operates using Tu-204-100 in a code-share with Aeroflot. Competition in the market comes from S7 and Ural Airlines, which offer thrice- and single weekly flights from Vladivostok to Novosibirsk.

  • Wizz Air considerably grew its offering in Romania last week, as it launched a total of nine new routes from the country’s airports, including that from the carrier’s newest airport in Craiova (CRA). Wizz Air, which has been consistently shifting its focus towards south-eastern Europe in recent years, now has four operational bases in Romania. In addition, on 7 May, the carrier added new twice-weekly service from Gdańsk (GDN) to Rome Ciampino (CIA). All newly launched routes are operated with maximum thrice-weekly frequencies using 180-seat A320s. The four new routes to Rome Ciampino were, until last week, all operated to Rome’s other airport at Fiumicino.
Launch date Origin Destination WF*
07-May-13 Cluj Napoca (CLJ) Rome Ciampino (CIA) 3
11-May-13 Bari (BRI) 2
12-May-13 Eindhoven (EIN) 2
13-May-13 Brussels Charleroi (CRL) 2
13-May-13 Craiova (CRA) Milan Bergamo (BGY) 2
07-May-13 Gdańsk (GDN) Rome Ciampino (CIA) 2
07-May-13 Timisoara (TSR) 3
07-May-13 Targu Mures (TGM) 2
11-May-13 Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) 2
13-May-13 Bologna (BLQ) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 20 May 2013.  *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Zest Air, the sister airline of AirAsia Philippines, increased its offering from Manila (MNL) on 10 May, when it launched a total of three new routes, including one domestic and two international. All flights are operated using A320s.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
10-May-13 Manila (MNL) Bacolod (BCD) 21 Cebu Pacific (44)
Philippine Airlines (35)
SEAir (7)
Kota Kinabalu (BKI) 4 Cebu Pacific (3)
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 7 Malaysia Airlines (21)
Cebu Pacific (14)
Philippine Airlines (4)
PAL Express (3)
Source: Innovata w/c 20 May 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

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