Regent Airways’ Dhaka to Bangkok
Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the launch of Regent Airways' first flight from Dhaka to Bangkok were; Civil Aviation & Tourism Minister Lt. Col. (Rtd) Muhammad Faruk Khan MP; Civil Aviation Chairman Vice Marshal Mahmud Hussain; Regent Airways Managing Director Mr. Mashruf Habib; Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdul Momen; and other senior officials of the airline.
- Regent Airways started its second international route from Dhaka (DAC) in Bangladesh to Bangkok (BKK) in Thailand on 9 October. Flights will operate four times weekly using one of the airline’s newly acquired 737-700s, fitted with 114 economy seats and 12 business class seats. This is the airline’s second international route after launching flights to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in July. Competition on the new Bangkok route is provided by Bangkok Airways (daily flights), Thai Airways (also daily flights), Biman Bangladesh (four weekly flights), United Airways (three weekly flights) and Druk Air (two weekly flights). anna.aero scrutinizes Regent Airways’ operation >in this week’s airline future<. Please link to the airline story
transavia.com’s Turin to Amsterdam
Celebrating the launch of the 820-kilometre, non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Turin (left to right); Elisa Del Medico, Marketing Manager SAGAT Turin Airport; Maureen Sluiter, Communication Manager transavia.com and; Monica Cochi, Aviation Development SAGAT Turin Airport.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- Aeromexico has launched twice-daily flights between Culiacan (CUL) and Tijuana (TIJ), close to the border with California. The 1,265-kilometre route is already served by Volaris (with four daily flights) and VivaAerobus (with five weekly flights). Aeromexico will use 737-800s on the new route, which is its seventh from Culiacan, and its ninth from Tijuana. Last year Tijuana International Airport handled 3.7 million passengers, making it the fifth busiest airport in Mexico. In the first eight months of 2013, passenger numbers are up 11.6% to 2.8 million. Volaris is the biggest carrier at the airport with 260 weekly departures, compared with 101 for Aeromexico, 42 for Interjet, and just five for VivaAerobus.
Air Onix has become the fourth carrier to enter the Kiev-Donetsk market, joining Dniproavia, Ukraine International Airlines and UTair Ukraine. Daily flights started on 1 October and are operated with 737-500s.
- Air Onix, has launched daily flights from Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) to Donetsk (DOK) using 737-500s. Direct competition is provided by UTair Ukraine which offers up to four daily flights with ATR 72s. There is also indirect competition from Ukraine International Airlines and Dniproavia, who both operate twice-daily flights between Kiev Borispol Airport and Donetsk.
- Atlasjet, the Turkish carrier which operates mainly from its base at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, commenced a new route connecting Istanbul (IST) with Tbilisi (TBS) in Georgia on 11 October. The 1,350-kilometre sector is operated thrice-weekly (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) using A320s and competes directly with Turkish Airlines’ thrice-daily flights on the airport pair. Atlasjet will also compete indirectly with that airline’s daily operation to Tbilisi from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, as well as daily operations from Pegasus Airlines.
14 October: Gran Canaria Airport processed passenger number 300 million since the inauguration of the first commercial flight in 1933. The passenger (centre), whose name is Niang Ibrahima, was received at the airport by Mario Otero, Canary Islands Airports Group Director (left); José Luis Reina, Director of Institutional Relationships and Communication (right). Mr Ibrahima was a passenger on the first flight to Dakar operated by BinterCanarias, a weekly CRJ 200 service.
- BinterCanarias added Gran Canaria (LPA) to Dakar (DKR) to its route network on 14 October. The 1,476-kilometre route is operated by Air Nostrum on behalf of BinterCanarias using CRJ 200s on a weekly basis (Mondays). The carrier competes with Iberia which offers twice-weekly A321 services between the two airports.
Cebu Pacific Air launches its first long-haul flight from Manila to Dubai. It is the first Philippine carrier to land in Dubai in 15 years. Celebrating the event are (left to right); Porvenir Porciuncula, Deputy Executive Director, Civil Aeronautics Board; Mohamed Anaqbi, Second Secretary and Consul, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates; Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific Air President and CEO; Honorable Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, USEC of Legal, Department of Transportation and Communication; Captain Beda Badiola, Deputy Director General II, CAAP; and Jose Angel Honrado, General Manager, MIAA.
- Cebu Pacific Air, has launched daily flights from Manila (MNL), the capital of the Philippines, to Dubai (DXB). This is a route that Emirates already serves with three daily flights. This is the airline’s first true long-haul service, operated by its recently delivered A330s. Airline President and CEO Lance Gokongwei said during the flight launch ceremony, “When you, dear guests, land in Dubai later tonight, it will be aboard the first Philippine carrier to land in Dubai in 15 years. We proudly carry the Philippine flag in this historic moment. When we say we fly to where Filipinos are, we mean it. This was our mindset when we launched our first international flight to Hong Kong in 2001. This remains our mindset as we launch our 22nd international destination now.” Cebu Pacific’s 47-strong fleet is comprised of 10 A319s, 27 A320s, two A330s and eight ATR 72-500 aircraft. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 15 more brand-new A320s, 30 A321neos, and four A330 aircraft.
Emirates added two new routes to its schedule on 1 October. The first being a daily service between Milan Malpensa and New York JFK. The second is from Dubai to Clark International in the Philippines, which was celebrated by (left to right): Victor Jose I. Luciano, President and CEO Clark International Airport Corporation; Mohammed Mattar, Divisional Senior Vice President for Airport Services, Emirates and; Gigie Baroa, Emirates’ Philippines Country Manager.
- Emirates has begun operating two new services on 1 October. The first inauguration was for its new 6,430-kilometre transatlantic daily service between Milan Malpensa (MXP) and New York JFK (JFK). The route, flown daily using 777-300ERs, will see Emirates offer thrice-daily connections to the US destination, alongside two direct services from Dubai. The MEB3 carrier competes directly with daily services operated by Alitalia, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. The airline will also compete indirectly with United Airlines, which serves the city pair, but from nearby New York Newark. The second launch is a 6,840-kilometre operation between Dubai (DXB) and Clark (CRK) in the Philippines. The service to Clark is also operated daily, predominantly using 777-200LRs to fly the route (the carrier will occasionally schedule 777-300ERs to operate the sector) and currently flown without competition. Competing MEB3 carriers Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways do not presently offer an alternative from their respective hubs, although this will change on 27 October, when the former launches daily A330-300 services. See how Clark International’s fire truck water arch (FTWA) performed in this week’s anna.aero FTWA competition.
Celebrating Etihad Airways' new service to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are (left to right): Etihad Airways’ cabin crew member, Carmen Potecka; Senior Vice President Government and Aeropolitical Affairs, Khaled Almehairbi; Chief of Immigration in Ho Chi Minh City, Pham Quoc Hung; UAE Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Ali Al Mualla; Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner; Vietnamese Ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Tran Ngoc Thach; Chief of Ground Handling Agent for Etihad Airways in Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Quang Son; Chief of Customs in Ho Chi Minh City, Tong Le Dan; Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Executive Affairs, Hasan Al Hammadi and Etihad Airways’ cabin crew member, Koyuki Tsunoda.
- Etihad Airways has become the last of the MEB3 carriers to launch services to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) in Vietnam. Qatar Airways has been operating flights from Doha since 2007, while Emirates began its service from Dubai in June 2012. On 1 October Etihad introduced its own daily flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) using its two-class A330-200s on the 5,690-kilometre sector, becoming the first ever commercial passenger service between the two cities. The airline’s CEO James Hogan said, “Vietnam is not only the 13th most populous nation, it is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Its commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City, is a gateway for millions of Vietnamese international travellers and a busy trading hub. Our daily services will inject approximately 3,700 new seats a week into the route. This will intensify competition among airlines for business, leisure and VFR travel from Vietnam to Europe and help boost visitor traffic to the UAE and GCC. From an inbound perspective, we are now well-positioned to offer travellers from Middle East and Europe the convenience of non-stop or one-stop flights to Vietnam, which is becoming one of the world’s most popular holiday travel destinations. We look forward to working with our stakeholders in Vietnam and abroad to bring more international visitors to Vietnam to experience its history, culture and unique character.”
- flydubai has further enhanced its Russian network by adding twice-weekly (Tuesday, Friday) services from Dubai (DXB) to Rostov-on-Don (ROV) on 11 October. This brings to eight the number of destinations served by the carrier in Russia. Commenting on the launch, flydubai’s Chief Executive Officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “Rostov-on-Don is an economically active city becoming one of the business hubs in south Russia. The launch underlines our commitment to serve the Russian market and we are delighted to be the first UAE-based carrier to establish this new route.” Indirect competition comes from Air Arabia which has been operating from Rostov-on-Don to Sharjah since last November, and also operates twice-weekly flights. Last year Rostov-on-Don Airport handled 1.87 million passengers, an increase of 9.2% on 2011. See how the water cannon salute in Rostov-on-Don compares with others.
- Nok Air, the Thai LCC, has introduced daily flights between Mae Sot (MAQ) and Yangon (RGN) in Myanmar. This is the airline’s second route to Myanmar from Mae Sot, having started services to Mawlamyine on 1 September. This new 300-kilometre route is also operated by the airline’s Saab 340s and faces no competition.
PASCAN's inaugural service from Greater Moncton arrives in St. John's on 11 October. The route will be flown Monday through Friday with the airline's newest aircraft, an ATR 42.
- PASCAN, a Canadian regional carrier has started a five times weekly service between Greater Moncton (YQM) and St. John’s (YYT), which operates Monday through Friday using an ATR 42. The route was last served non-stop in 2006. The airline is also operating a weekly service from Greater Moncton to Quebec City (YQB) which departs on Friday evening, and returns on Sunday afternoon. Rob Robichaud, President & CEO, of the Greater Moncton International Airport, said: “We are absolutely delighted that PASCAN has selected the Greater Moncton International Airport to serve the much anticipated route to St. John’s, in Newfoundland. This is another great example of how our communities, strategic partners and local government have worked and pulled together as a team to attract a new air service that will undeniably benefit this region.”
- Pegasus Airlines has launched two new routes in one week with the addition of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) to Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and Trabzon (TZX) to Adler/Sochi (AER). The first route, started on 8 October, is a 1,731-kilometre sector and is operated thrice-weekly by 737-800s without competition (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays); the second, begun on 10 October, is a twice-weekly 737-800 service (Tuesdays and Fridays) on the short 270-kilometre sector, again without competition.
- Philippine Airlines resumed flights to Abu Dhabi (AUH) from Manila (MNL) after a 15-year gap. The airline will operate the route five times weekly using A330-300s, configured with 414 seats across two classes, though the inaugural flight appears to have been operated using an A340. Ramon S. Ang, President and COO of Philippines Airlines, said: “We have returned to Abu Dhabi after an absence of more than 15 years to serve the large Filipino community in the United Arab Emirates. Our new airplanes will complement the warm and gracious in-flight service that will hopefully earn the support and patronage of travellers to and from Abu Dhabi.” Competition is provided by Etihad Airways who already operate flights on the route twice-daily.
Cutting the celebratory cake are (front row from left); Fathi Al Shaheh- Qatar Airways SVP of GCCLI & ISC; Abdulbaset M. Al-Salafi, Acting Director of Domestic Airport Operations; and Abdul Rhman M. Al Mathi, General Director, Taif Regional Airport. Abdulbaset M Al-Salafi presents Fathi Al Shehab with a gift welcoming Qatar Airways' inaugural flight to Ta'if. Ta'if is now the sixth destination in Saudi Arabia that Qatar Airways serves non-stop from Doha.
- Qatar Airways now serves six destinations in Saudi Arabia with the addition on 2 October of Ta’if (TIF). The route from Doha (DOH) will be served four times weekly using the airline’s narrowbody A320s. Fathi Al Shehab, Qatar Airways’ Senior Vice President GCC, said: “Ta’if is a vital tourist and cultural centre. It is a market rich with business opportunities, heritage and historic sites. I am confident that this city will succeed in attracting tourists and business men alike and I hope our new flights will help them take advantage of the opportunities this city has to offer.” With this new service Qatar Airways now operates 69 flights a week to Saudi Arabia. Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker said the airline was pleased to open this new gateway to Saudi Arabia: “During the past few months we succeeded in launching two new destinations in Saudi Arabia – Al Gassim and now Ta’if, which reflects our commitment to reinforcing relations between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom.”
Safi Airways' first flight to Islamabad is welcomed on arrival in Pakistan. The route becomes the airline's fourth from Kabul. It already flies internationally to Delhi and Dubai, and domestically to Herat.
- Safi Airways, the self-styled ‘International Airline of Afghanistan’, has started operating from its base in Kabul (KBL) to Islamabad (ISB) in Pakistan. The service, which launched on 1 October, will fly thrice-weekly using one of the airline’s 120-seat A319s. Competition on the route comes from Pakistan International Airlines who operate the route with five weekly flights. Safi Airways’ network now comprises a total of four routes; Delhi (India), Dubai (UAE), Herat (Afghanistan) and now, Islamabad.
A typically serious Asian route-launch ribbon-cutting ceremony is accompanied by, well, we're not sure what to be honest. If someone can explain the significance of the character in the red-and-white striped outfit, do please let us know. The new route being celebrated is StarFlyer's new four times daily service between Osaka Kansai and Fukuoka, which is already served by three other carriers operating a total of six daily flights.
- StarFlyer has boldly entered a highly competitive domestic route in Japan by launch four daily flights between Osaka Kansai (KIX) and Fukuoka (FUK). This is a 450-kilometre route where the airline will face not just competition from Peach (four daily flights), ANA and Jetstar Japan (both daily flights), but also high-speed rail. The airline will use its A320s on the route.
- Tashi Air, also known as Bhutan Airways, has commenced its first international service from Paro (PBH) to Bangkok (BKK), via Kolkata (CCU). Flights operate daily using a 150-seat A320 that has been leased from Lithuania’s Small Planet Airlines, and will be based in Bangkok. Tashi Air originally launched domestic flights in Bhutan in late 2011, but these proved unprofitable so the airline asked the government if it could start international services instead. This was agreed on the understanding that domestic flights would resume one year after the start of international flights.
- Thai AirAsia has added a new destination from its Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) base. Since 1 October the airline has been operating daily to Siem Reap (REP) in Cambodia using its A320s. The two airports are just 350 kilometres apart. This is the airline’s second route to Cambodia as it has been operating daily flights to Phnom Penh since November 2005. While there is no direct competition on the route, Bangkok Airways operates five daily flights from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Siem Reap, and Cambodia Angkor Air serves the same route with three daily flights.
- Tigerair Mandala has added a new Indonesian domestic route to its growing network. From 1 October the airline is operating daily flights between Yogyakarta (JOG) and Palembang (PLM), a sector length of some 830 kilometres. No other carrier operates on this city-pair. The airline’s fleet of A320s has now reached nine according to Airbus data.
Tigerair Singapore launched its first route to Myanmar on 1 October with the introduction of daily flights to Yangon. The airline will become the sixth carrier to link Singapore and Yangon. Taking part in the route launch celebrations were; Daniel Soh, Head Of Ground & Cargo Services, Tigerair Singapore; Kaneswaran Avili, Commercial Director, Tigerair Singapore; U Aung Khin, Minister of Transportation and Communication for Yangon Region; U Win Shwe Tun, Acting Director General of Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation; and U Win Ko, General Manager of Yangon International Airport (Source: Tigerair)
- Tigerair Singapore has started serving Myanmar with the introduction on 1 October of a daily service between Singapore (SIN) and Yangon (RGN). The 1,920-kilometre route is already served by five other airlines; Myanmar Airlines (10 weekly flights), SilkAir (nine), Golden Myanmar Airlines, Jetstar Asia and Singapore Airlines (each with seven). This is Tigerair Singapore’s fourth new route of 2013. The previous three have all been to destinations in Indonesia.
Passengers on the inaugural Wizz Air Warsaw to Kharkiv launch were treated to a traditional Ukrainian welcome and a splendid route launch cake. Images courtesy of Vitaly Slyusarenko.
- Wizz Air launched operations from Warsaw (WAW) to Kharkiv (HRK) on 1 October. The twice-weekly A320 service (Tuesdays and Saturdays) has no direct competition on the 1,100-kilometre sector. The route is the ULCC’s first from Warsaw into the Ukraine.
Celebrating at the launch ceremony of Wizz Air Ukraine’s new Ukrainian base and four new services is: Akos Bus, Director General of Wizz Air Ukraine; Diederik Pen, Chief Operating Officer Wizz Air; and Oleksiy Dubrevskyy, Chief Commercial Officer Donetsk International Airport.
||Milan Bergamo (BGY)
||3 – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
||London Luton (LTN)
||2 – Wednesdays and Sundays
||2 – Wednesdays and Sundays
||Rome Fiumicino (FCO)
||2 – Mondays and Fridays
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 15 October 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.
Zagrosjet's first flight from Erbil to Stockholm Arlanda landed in the Swedish capital on 11 October. The route will be served twice-weekly, on Mondays and Fridays using the airline's only aircraft, an A321.
- Zagrosjet, a new carrier based at Erbil (EBL) in Iraq, has begun operating. Initially the airline will serve Adana (ADA) and Ankara (ESB) in Turkey, Beirut (BEY) in Lebanon, and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) in Sweden. For more details about the airline’s operations, see our profile of the airline.