TWIN JET’s Toulouse to Malpensa
French regional airline TWIN JET inaugurated 16 weekly Beech 1900-operated flights from Toulouse to Milan Malpensa on 9 September. Pictured (right to left) are: Vincent Courtois, Sales Manager TWIN JET; Alice Boubetra, Marketing and Communication Manager, TWIN JET; Yvan Hervé, Deputy Managing Director, TWIN JET and the first flight crew. A celebration at Milan Malpensa was also held prior to launch on 4 September, where David Crognaletti, Director of Aviation Business Development for SEA Milan Airports joined the TWIN JET team and crew.
- TWIN JET, the French regional airline based in Aix en Provence, started 16 weekly flights between Toulouse (TLS) and Milan Malpensa (MXP) on 9 September. Operated by the carrier’s 19-seat Beech 1900 aircraft, the service will operate thrice daily Monday to Friday, with a single rotation on Sundays. Currently, easyJet operates the same route twice-weekly, but is scheduled to cancel its operations from 2 October. The Milan Malpensa service joins TWIN JET’s existing operations from Toulouse to Mulhouse (nine flights weekly) and Metz-Nancy (also nine weekly flights), both again with the Beech 1900s.
Emirates’ Dubai to Stockholm Arlanda
Emirates arrived in Sweden to be greeted by a rainbow-enhanced fire truck water arch. The UAE carrier will operate daily flights using mostly 777-200LRs, and will provide Qatar Airways with competition on long-haul traffic connecting via the Middle East. Celebrating the first Emirates departure from Stockholm with a cake were Ewa Björling, Swedish Minister of Trade; H.E., Sheikha Najla M. Al Qassimi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Sweden; Hubert Frach, Emirates Senior Vice President Commercial Operations; and Torborg Chetkovich, President and Group CEO Swedavia.
- Emirates became the second of the MEB3 carriers (after Qatar Airways) to serve the Swedish capital when it began daily flights on Wednesday 4 September from Dubai (DXB) to Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) using primarily its 777-200LRs. This new route is one of several that anna.aero ‘leaked’ back in January. Competition for media attention at Stockholm Arlanda Airport on Wednesday, came from the arrival of US President Barack Obama, arriving in Air Force One on his way to the G20 summit in Russia. We doubt that Air Force One was given a fire truck water arch salute, but to see how the one in Stockholm compared with others this week.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
Red Deer Airport in Alberta became Air Canada's latest destination on 3 September, with the launch of multiple daily flights to nearby Calgary. The route is served by 18-seat Beechcraft 1900Ds operated by Air Georgian under the Air Canada Express brand.
- Air Canada Express has begun flying between Calgary (YYC) and Red Deer (YQF), a sector of just 120 kilometres, within Alberta. The service, which began on Tuesday 3 September, is operated by Air Canada partner airline Air Georgian, using its 18-seat Beechcraft 1900D aircraft. The route is flown three times per day, except on Saturdays, when there are two return flights. Red Deer’s only other commercial services are operated by Northwestern Air to Fort McMurray and Kelowna. RJ Steenstra, CEO, Red Deer Airport Authority said, “We’re pleased to welcome Air Canada to Red Deer Airport and congratulate them for embracing the opportunity to provide convenient air travel to and from Central Alberta. Our businesses and citizens are now connected to the rest of Canada and the world, and that has broad economic opportunity and impact for the region.”
Delta Air Lines resumed services between Los Angeles and Portland on 3 September. Teams from Portland International Airport and Delta Air Lines cut the ribbon celebrating the launch. The four daily, 1,342-kilometre, route is operated by SkyWest Airlines on behalf of Delta and competes with Alaska Airlines (35 weekly) and United Airlines (19 weekly). Delta also launched a new 541-kilometre route between Philadelphia and Raleigh Durham on 4 September, operated by Endeavour Air, 23 times weekly. Delta competes with US Airways (47 weekly).
- Delta Air Lines has commenced two new domestic services in as many days in the US. The first of two inaugural flights was a service relaunch. The revisited, 1,342-kilometre, sector from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Portland, OR (PDX) is being offered four times daily by the SkyTeam member and faces competition from Alaska Airlines (five times daily) and United Airlines (thrice-daily on weekdays and twice-daily weekends). The service is scheduled to be operated by SkyWest Airlines from 3 September and will be flown using CRJ900s. The second inaugural service is a 541-kilometre sector from Philadelphia, PA (PHL) to Raleigh Durham, NC (RDU). The new route is being operated by Endeavour Air, a subsidiary of Delta. The operation which was launched on 4 September is offered using CRJ200s, four times daily on weekdays, thrice-daily on Sundays and does not operate on Saturdays. The new service competes with US Airways which offers 47 flights weekly.
eurolot’s crew; Wojciech Marek Rys, Joanna Wilkowiecko, Constance Waller and Peter Wiliński, are photographed at a very foggy Paris Beauvais on 3 September, after the inaugural flight from Rzeszów in Poland. The new 1,430-kilometre sector is one of two, twice-weekly, services launched by eurolot on that day. The carrier also offers flights from Rzeszów to Rome Fiumicino, a 1,194-kilometre service. Both operations are flown without competition, using Bombardier Q400s and received a celebratory fire truck water arch (FTWA) at Rzeszów between the two new sectors.
- eurolot has inaugurated two operations on 3 September. The first network addition is between Rzeszów (RZE) in Poland and Paris Beauvais (BVA) in France. The new 1,430-kilometre sector is being offered twice-weekly by the airline partnered with LOT Polish Airlines and uses Bombardier Q400s to serve its only French destination. The second introduction is being offered to Rome Fiumicino (FCO), the carrier’s only Italian destination. The new route is also offered twice-weekly using Bombardier Q400s and has a 1,194-kilometre sector length. Both new services marketed by the Polish carrier have no competition and are the airline’s only flights from Rzeszów. Paris Beauvais cancelled its plans for a route launch celebratory water arch, however Rzeszów saved the day with a double arch to salute the two operations launched by eurolot that day. To see more route launch water arches and to find out how Rzeszów’s effort compares in this week’s fire truck water arch (FTWA) competition, be sure to read our story, the Arch of Triumph.
Hainan Airlines' first flight from Beijing arrived at Chicago O'Hare Airport on 3 September. Celebrating the launch of the route in the airport were Andrew Spinelli, Associate Director Mayor's Office of International Relations and Protocol; Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st Ward); Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner, CDA; Wei Hou, VP, Hainan Airlines; Weiping Zhao, Chinese Consul General in Chicago; Jenny Cizner, Director, Mayor's Office of International Relations and Protocol and Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd Ward).
- Hainan Airlines has taken the bold step of entering the Beijing (PEK) to Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) market, by launching twice-weekly flights on 3 September using its relatively fuel-hungry A340-600s, although schedule data indicates that the airline plans to use its new 787s on the route from 10 November. Frequency increases to four flights per week in December, with service becoming daily from 31 May 2014. This is only Hainan Airlines’ second US route from Beijing, following in the footsteps of the airline’s daily Seattle-Tacoma service, which is served with A330s. Competition on the route is considerable with both oneworld carrier American Airlines, and Star Alliance member United Airlines, operating daily flights on the 10,600-kilometre sector, with both carriers utilising 777s on the route.
- Mahan Air has begun twice-weekly flights between Mashhad (MHD) in Iran and Dubai (DXB). The flights will be operated by the airline’s trusty A310s, and competition is provided by Iran Aseman Airlines, who operate the route four-times weekly with Fokker 100s. This is the second new route from Mashhad to a Middle Eastern hub following the recent launch of Air Arabia flights from Sharjah. You can also read this week’s airport analysis on Mashhad International Airport from anna.aero.
One of two new routes launches by Norwegian was its new four times weekly connection from its London Gatwick base to Tenerife Sur on 5 September. Rome Fiumicino was launched on 6 September, again at four times weekly. See how this fire truck water arch (FTWA) measures up against other new routes being celebrated this week.
- Norwegian has continued to grow its presence at its London Gatwick (LGW) hub, with the addition of services to Tenerife Sur (TFS) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO), becoming destinations 24 and 25 since it began its new hub there earlier this year. The four times weekly 737-800 operation to the Canary Islands hot-spot was started on 5 September, with the link to the Eternal City inaugurated the following day, at the same weekly frequency. Competition will be intense on the Tenerife Sue route, with a total of 29 weekly flights already being flown by five airlines — namely British Airways (five per week), easyJet (eight), Monarch Airlines (seven), Thomas Cook Airlines (three) and Thomson Airways (six). The battle for market share to the Italian capital will be even fiercer, with incumbents British Airways (14) and easyJet (26) offering multiple daily services by comparison to the pan-Scandinavian LCC.
Celebrating the arrival of Qatar Airways in Chengdu were Liu Shou Cheng, Vice Mayor of Chengdu; Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways; and Jared Lee, Country Manager for Qatar Airways in China. Qatar Airways becomes the second MEB3 carrier after Etihad Airways to launch flights to Chengdu, which becomes the airline's sixth Chinese destination.
- Qatar Airways has launched its latest route to China with the introduction of thrice-weekly flights from Doha (DOH) to Chengdu (CTU) on 3 September. It therefore becomes the second MEB3 carrier (after Etihad Airways) to serve China’s fifth busiest airport. Flights are operated by the airline’s two-class, 284-seat A330-200s. Chengdu becomes the airline’s sixth destination in China after Beijing, Chongqing (November 2011), Guangzhou (March 2008), Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said, “Qatar Airways saw an immense potential to operate in Chengdu, which is set to play a critical role in the next wave of economic development in Western China. It is hardly a surprise, therefore, that nearly half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have opened offices in the city, and that Chengdu is aiming to become China’s fastest growing aviation hub.” Last year Chengdu Airport saw traffic growth of 8.7% to 31.6 million passengers. The arrival in Chengdu was greeted by a fire truck water arch (FTWA). See how it compared with these week’s other FTWAs.
- RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda, has begun a new route from its Kigali (KGL) base to Juba (JUB) in South Sudan. Operated thrice-weekly (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) with a 50-seat CRJ 200, the airline will face no competition on the route. The service is the carrier’s only service to the South Sudan capital.
- TAM Airlines has started a new domestic route between Brazil’s busiest airport São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Joinville (JOI). The new 390-kilometre service, which began on 3 September, will be operated five-times weekly using the airline’s 144-seat A319s, rising to six-times weekly in October. TAM already serves Joinville with double-daily flights from São Paulo Congonhas Airport. GOL and Azul also operate domestic flights from Joinville Airport, which handled 423,000 passengers in 2012. Joinville is known for its German influence. A significant part of the population is descended from German and Swiss immigrants. Coincidentally, or maybe not, BMW has announced plans to build its first plant in Latin America in the nearby town of Araquari.
- Tigerair Philippines (until recently known as SEAIR) has introduced twice-weekly flights between Manila (MNL) and Phuket (HKT) in Thailand, using its A320s. The outbound flights on the 2,600-kilometre route from Manila operate late on Tuesdays and Saturdays, while return flights are operated very early on Wednesdays and Sundays. Competition on the route is provided by Cebu Pacific Air who operate three weekly flights. This new route is Tigerair Philippines’ seventh route from Manila, and its first international route from the country’s busiest airport. It does also serve Bangkok, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Singapore from other airports in the Philippines.
Volaris' first flight from Guadalajara to Merida was welcomed on its arrival in Merida with a fire truck water arch last week. The new service will operate twice-weekly. Volaris already serves Merida twice-daily from Mexico City.
- Volaris, the Mexican LCC, has added three more destinations to its expanding base in Guadalajara (GDL). Last week saw the introduction of twice-weekly flights to Mazatlan (MZT), Merida (MID) and Tuxtla Gutierrez (TGZ) using its A319s. All three of these routes are already served by other carriers; Aeromexico flies daily on the Mazatlan route, while low-cost rival VivaAerobus operates three-times weekly on the other two routes. Volaris now operates to 24 destinations from Guadalajara (an airport anna.aero recently analysed in detail), including seven in the US; five in California, plus Chicago and Las Vegas.
- WestJet Encore has launched a new route between Calgary (YYC) in Alberta, and Brandon (YBR) in Manitoba. Flights operate daily using the airline’s 78-seat Bombardier Q400s. Until now, Brandon’s scheduled services were limited to weekday flights to Dauphin and Winnipeg, operated by Perimeter Aviation with much smaller Fairchild Swearingen Metro turboprop aircraft. WestJet Encore’s service will increase the weekly scheduled seat capacity at the airport six-fold. Although Brandon is Manitoba’s second biggest city, it is only around 200 kilometres from Winnipeg.