fastjet’s Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg
fastjet finally launched its first international route from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg on Friday 18 October. The route will be served thrice-weekly using A319s, in competition with South African Airways' 12 weekly flights.
- fastjet finally launched its first international service on Friday 18 October from Dar es Salaam (DAR) in Tanzania to Johannesburg (JNB) in South Africa. The 2,430-kilometre sector will initially be served with thrice-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) flights using one of the airline’s three A319s. Competition comes from South African Airways, who operate the route 12 times weekly also using A319s. Read more about the airline in this week’s 30-second-interview with Ed Winter, CEO and acting Chairman of the airline.
easyJet’s London Gatwick to Bucharest Otopeni
A cake in the shape of the famous Romanian landmark, the Athenaeum concert hall, was created to mark the launch of easyJet’s inaugural four times weekly route to Bucharest Otopeni from London Gatwick. Guy Stephenson, Commercial Director at London Gatwick Airport (second left) and Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager (second right) send off the flight with Romanian musicians.
- easyJet recommenced services to the Romanian capital on 17 October, this time to Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) from London Gatwick (LGW), having originally linked the London airport to Bucharest Baneasa (BBU) from October 2007, before switching to Otopeni and then ending the service on 1 June 2008. The four times weekly service on the 2,086-kilometre route is flown by a mix of A319s and A320s. There is no direct competition on this airport pair, however British Airways (double daily) and TAROM (10 weekly) fly from London Heathrow to Otopeni, with Wizz Air (double daily) and Blue Air (four weekly) providing further competition from London Luton. For the latest market update between UK and Romania, anna.aero has undertaken a trendwatch this week.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
Aeromar Executive Vice President Fabricio Cojuc with Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, celebrating the announcement of the route back in June. The first CRJ flight arrived in Austin from Mexico City on Monday 21 October.
- Aeromar has become the first airline to connect Mexico City (MEX) with Austin, TX (AUS) since Aeromexico dropped the route in June 2008. Flights began on Monday 21 October and will operate five times weekly (daily except Tuesday and Saturday) using the airline’s 50-seat CRJ 200LRs. Announcing the service back in August, Fabricio Cojuc, Aeromar’s Executive Vice President, Chief Planning and Commercial Officer, said: “Aeromar is very pleased to expand its presence in the great state of Texas with the addition of Austin to our growing route network. We are convinced that the convenience of our Mexico City nonstop service will be instrumental in further deepening the important and close relationship that exists between the capital city of Texas and Mexico in economic, demographic and cultural terms.” The route will also be a big boost for Mexican Grand Prix fans, who will now have a non-stop flight to see their local heroes Sergio Perez (McLaren) and Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber), compete in the US F1 Grand Prix in Austin, at the Circuit of the Americas, on the weekend of 16-17 November. Aeromar’s fleet currently comprises 18 aircraft; 14 ATR 42s, two ATR 72-600ss and two CRJ 200LRs. In 2012, the airline carried 560,000 passengers in the Mexican domestic market, claiming a market share of around 2%. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is profiled in more in this week’s airport analysis.
To celebrate the start of operations from Bangalore Airport there was a cake cutting ceremony with Lokesh Matta, Interim Head of Airline Marketing & Aviation Business, Bangalore Airport; Daniel Bircher, Director of Operations, Bangalore Airport; and some passengers.
- Air Costa, a new Indian regional carrier profiled this week by anna.aero, launched its first ever flights on 15 October using two Embraer E170s. The airline’s first three routes link Vijayawada (VGA) and Bangalore (BLR), Bangalore (BLR) and Jaipur (JAI), and Jaipur (JAI) and Chennai (MAA). All routes are operated daily. According to schedule data from Innovata / Diio Mi, the airline will face competition from Jet Airways and SpiceJet on the first route, and from IndiGo and SpiceJet (from 29 October) on the second route. The airline hopes to be operating seven aircraft by the end of the year. Check here to see how Bangalore’s welcoming water cannon salute performed in our weekly competition.
- China Eastern Airlines launched daily service on 18 October on the 1,844-kilometre route between Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Manila (MNL) using A320s. The route is already served by three Philippine-based carriers, all operating daily flights: AirAsia Zest (formerly known as Zest Air), Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines. China Eastern now operates around 150 daily departures from Shanghai’s international airport, to some 90 destinations worldwide, including three in the US (Los Angeles, New York JFK and San Francisco), and several in Europe, including Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome.
- Transaero Airlines launched a new service from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Krasnojarsk (KJA) in the centre of Russia. The weekly 737-300 service (Saturdays) from the country’s largest airport began on 19 October. The 3,335-kilometre sector is set to increase frequency to thrice-weekly from 27 October. Competition is fierce on this particular airport pair, with S7 Airlines (12 weekly), Yamal Airlines (daily) and NordStar Airlines (daily) operating directly against Transaero. There is more competition from Moscow’s other airports, with Aeroflot also flying to Krasnojarsk from Sheremetyevo (double daily), while UTair operates (daily) from Vnukovo, along with Red Wings Airlines (five weekly) in addition to Transaero’s own six times weekly operation.
- Ural Airlines added its fourth route to Harbin (HRB) on 21 October. Already serving the Chinese airport from Novosibirsk (once-weekly), Ekaterinburg (2) and Krasnojarsk (1), the airline has begun a weekly service (Mondays) from Irkutsk (IKT) using A320s. The 1,753-kilometre sector is flown in competition with IrAero Airlines, which operates the route twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) with CRJ 200 equipment.
- VietJetAir, the ambitious Vietnamese LCC that recently announced an order for over 60 Airbus narrowbody aircraft (14 A320s, 42 A320neos and six A321s), has broadened its domestic network by launching daily flights on Tuesday 15 October from Hanoi (HAN) to both Hue (HUI) and Buon Me Thuot (BMV) using its growing fleet of A320s. Competition on both routes will be provided by Vietnam Airlines, who offer 18 weekly flights on the 550-kilometre Hue route, and daily flights on the 970-kilometre Buon Me Thuot route. VietJetAir currently has just over 20% of the Vietnamese domestic market behind Vietnam Airlines (67%), but ahead of Jetstar Pacific Airlines (12%).
Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena was on hand at both ends of the route to celebrate the launch of the airline's first ever flights to Phoenix in Arizona on 19 October. The thrice-weekly service from Guadalajara will compete with US Airways' thrice-daily service. Service to Mexico City will follow from 4 December.
- Volaris continues to add new routes to the US. Its latest venture is to link Guadalajara (GDL) with Phoenix, AZ (PHX) with thrice-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) A320 flights. The 1,670-kilometre route is already served by US Airways with thrice-daily flights. Phoenix becomes the eighth US destination to be served by Volaris from Guadalajara, and the first in Arizona. Of the other seven, five are in California, one in Nevada (Las Vegas) and one in Illinois (Chicago Midway). On arrival in Phoenix on 19 October, Enrique Beltranena, CEO of Volaris, said, “For nearly 1.7 million residents of Mexican origin living in Phoenix and for all of Arizona, this is a great day as we offer an outstanding way to travel at the best fares. We are helping to bring together families and friends on both sides of the border.” Also during the last week, respectively on 15 and 18 October, Volaris started two more domestic routes from Tijuana (TIJ) to Chihuahua (CUU) and Ciudad Juarez (CJS). Both of these routes will be flown twice-weekly with A319s, with Aeromexico providing competition on the Ciudad Juarez route.