New airline routes launched (25 February – 3 March 2014)
British Airways’ London Heathrow to Austin
- British Airways, the flag carrier of the UK, expanded its international network with a new service from its London Heathrow (LHR) base to Austin, TX (AUS) on 3 March. The 7,910-kilometre sector to the capital of Texas will be served five times weekly, utilising the airline’s 214-seat 787-8s. There is no direct competition on this service, which will see a frequency increase to daily from 5 May.
bmi regional’s Brussels to Newcastle
- bmi regional, the former subsidiary of bmi, expanded its European network with a new service from Newcastle (NCL) to Brussels (BRU) on 3 March. The 620-kilometre sector to capital of the European Union will be served 11 times weekly, utilising the carrier’s 49-seat ERJ 145s. There is no competition on this airport pair, which was operated by Brussels Airlines until March 2013. See how both Newcastle Airport and Brussels Airport got on in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- Aegean Airlines, the largest Greek carrier by total number of passengers carried and by fleet size, expanded its seasonal offering with a new service from Kalamata (KLX) to Düsseldorf (DUS) on 3 March. The 1,988-kilometre sector from the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, will be served weekly (Mondays) until 4 October, utilising the carrier’s 168-seat A320s. The Star Alliance member’s third route from Kalamata will see a frequency increase to twice-weekly from 28 May and will face no competition from other carriers.
- Aeroflot, the flag carrier and largest airline of Russia, expanded its domestic network with the addition of a new route from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to Rostov-on-Don (ROV) on 1 March. The 985-kilometre sector will be operated daily, utilising the airline’s 116-seat A319s. The link to the administration centre of the Rostov Oblast is already operated by Aeroflot’s subsidiary, Donavia, with 48 weekly flights. There is no direct competition on this airport pair, but S7 Airlines (24), Ural Airlines (14) and Transaero Airlines (11) provide indirect competition by flying between Rostov-on-Don and Moscow Domodedovo.
- Aerolineas Argentinas, the country’s flag carrier, expanded its international presence with two new services during the course of last week. On 1 March, the carrier launched five weekly flights on the 1,339-kilometre sector between Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Curitiba (CWB), utilising its 96-seat E190s. One day later, on 2 March, the largest carrier of Argentina inaugurated its first service to Mexico, with the addition of weekly flights (Sundays) on the 6,869-kilometre sector from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Cancun (CUN), using its 290-seat A340s. However, the new link to Mexico will see a frequency increase to thrice-weekly from 4 July. No other airline serves these two airport pairs.
- Air Arabia, the low-cost carrier that turned 10 in October, expanded its presence in Egypt with a new service from its Sharjah (SHJ) base to Cairo (CAI) on 27 February. The 2,419-kilometre sector to the capital of Egypt will be served thrice-weekly, utilising the airline’s 162-seat A320s. The LCC’s fourth route to Egypt will face competition from Egyptair’s four weekly flights. Commenting on the launch, Adel Ali, CEO, Air Arabia, said: “We are very proud to have launched our inaugural flight to Cairo, marking our fourth destination in Egypt and 90th worldwide. This first flight marks the start of three weekly flights to the Egyptian capital, which is a significant destination for us in terms of strengthening our connectivity with the country and enhancing bilateral ties between Egypt and the UAE. The addition of Cairo as our latest destination will benefit tourists wishing to explore the historic city, and the rest of the country, as well as providing convenient and affordable flights for Egyptians living in the UAE wishing to travel home.”
- Air China, the flag carrier and one of the largest airlines in China, strengthened its network with two new services from Tianjin (TSN) on 1 March, both operated thrice-weekly by the carrier’s 167-seat 737-800s. With the shortest sector being the 373-kilometre service to Dalian (DLC), and the longest being inaugurated to Osaka Kansai (KIX) at 1,677-kilometre operated via Dalian (DLC), only the former will face competition, from China Southern Airlines (11), TianJin Airlines (36) and Xiamen Airlines (five).
- Cathay Pacific Airways, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, expanded its presence in the US, with a new service from its Hong Kong (HKG) base to New York Newark (EWR) on 1 March. The 12,971-kilometre sector will be served daily, utilising the airline’s 340-seat 777-300s. The oneworld member’s new service will face direct competition from United Airlines’ daily flights. Cathay Pacific is also serving New York JFK with thrice-daily flights from Hong Kong since 1996.
- Delta Air Lines, the oldest airline still operating in the US, increased its domestic offering with the launch of four new services during the course of last week. With the longest route being the 3,281-kilometre sector from Orlando, FL (MCO) to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) operated with thrice-weekly flights, and the shortest being inaugurated from Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) to Moab, UT (CNY) at 295-kilometre served 12 times weekly, Delta faces direct competition on three out of the four new links, from Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and US Airways.
|Launch date||Origin||Destination||WF||A/C||Competition (WF)|
|2 March||Orlando, FL (MCO)||Las Vegas, NV (LAS)||3||B738||Southwest Airlines (14)|
|Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)||Moab, UT (CNY)||12||EM2|
|3 March||Boston, MA (BOS)||Jacksonville, FL (JAX)||7||CR9||JetBlue Airways (14)|
|Richmond, VA (RIC)||14||JetBlue Airways (20), US Airways (17)|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 4 March 2014.|
- eurolot, the Polish regional operator, expanded its European presence with a new service from its Gdańsk (GDN) base in Poland to Brussels (BRU) on 3 March. The 1,032-kilometre sector to the capital and largest city of Belgium will be served four times weekly, utilising the carrier’s 72-seat Q400s. eurolot’s seventh service from Gdańsk will face no competition from other carriers.
- Evelop Airlines, the Spanish carrier that operates a selection of short and long-haul flights on behalf of tour operators, expanded its network with three new services, all of which are operated weekly from Madrid (MAD) utilising its 288-seat A330-300s. On 1 March, the carrier inaugurated the 6,581-kilometre airport pair to Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic (Saturdays), that will face direct competition from Pullmantur Air and Air Europa’s respective weekly flights. The next day, on 2 March, the airline launched services (Sundays) on the 7,475-kilometre sector to Havana (HAV) in Cuba, flying in competition with Air Europa’s daily services and Cubana’s weekly flight. Lastly, on 3 March, Evelop inaugurated its third weekly service (Mondays) to Cancún (CUN) in Mexico, against Air Europa’s thrice-weekly services and Pullmantur Air’s twice-weekly flights.
- Garuda Indonesia has commenced two new domestic routes this week, following the introduction of flights between Jakarta (CGK) and Jayapura (DJJ) and Merauke (MKQ). Starting 25 February, flights to the latter operate via the former on a daily basis using the carrier’s 162-seat 737-800s. To Jayapura, competition comes in the form of Batik Air (daily) and Lion Air (daily), with the latter also continuing its services onto Merauke. Merpati Nusantara Airlines also flies to Merauke, four times weekly, but via Makassar.
- Germania, following the launch of services earlier in February from Erfurt, has linked Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) with Funchal (FNC) on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Staring 25 February, the weekly service (Tuesdays) will be flown by the carrier’s 737-700s and will face no direct competition.
- Gulf Air has continued the re-building of its network from Bahrain (BAH), with the re-launch of flights to Tehran (IKA), following a 17-month break in operations. The 1,014-kilometre route will be flown by the airline’s 136-seat A320s four times weekly. Starting 3 March, it will face no direct competition on the service.
- Jet Airways, the second of India’s two major airlines expanded its presence at Abu Dhabi (AUH) with two new services on 1 March, both of which are operated daily, utilising the carrier’s 168-seat 737-800s. With the longest sector being the 2,723-kilometre service from Bangalore (BLR), and the shortest being inaugurated from Hyderabad (HYD) at 2,592 kilometres, both routes will face direct competition from Etihad Airways’ daily services. Commenting on the route launches, Gaurang Shetty, SVP Commercial, Jet Airways, said: “Jet Airways is delighted to introduce its maiden international flight from Bengaluru to Abu Dhabi. Guests travelling to Abu Dhabi will now have multiple options to travel to destinations of their choice in the Gulf, North America, Europe and Africa in a seamless manner with our Strategic Partner Etihad Airways and other interline partners. Jet Airways, as a preferred brand on this highly competitive Indo-Gulf market and has won acclaim on account of its excellent service and quality of its in-flight product. We are confident that our airline will soon emerge as an automatic first choice amongst carriers on this popular route, given our unparalleled domestic network and an ever expanding international footprint.”
- NextJet, which is gradually expanding beyond the Swedish domestic market, increased its presence in Scandinavia with a new service from Växjö (VXO) in Sweden to Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) on 3 March. The 452-kilometre sector will be served five times weekly, utilising the carrier’s 32-seat Saab 340s. The airline’s second service to Norway will face no direct competition from other carriers.
- Norwegian, the third largest LCC in Europe, which in the previous week linked Málaga with Warsaw Chopin, expanded its presence in the US with three new services during the course of last week, all of which are operated using its 291-seat 787-800s. On 28 February, the carrier launched twice-weekly flights (Mondays and Fridays) on the 6,204-kilometre sector from Copenhagen (CPH) to New York JFK (JFK), which will increase to four times weekly from 28 April. Furthermore, on 1 March, the LCC inaugurated twice-weekly flights (Saturdays and Tuesdays) on the 9,051-kilometre sector from the Danish capital to Los Angeles (LAX), which increase to thrice-weekly services from 1 May. Lastly, on 2 March, Norwegian launched a new route to Los Angeles (LAX), this time from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), with twice-weekly flights (Wednesdays and Sundays), which will see an increase in frequency as well, to thrice-weekly flights from 30 April. No other carrier serves these three airport pairs.
- Pakistan International Airlines, the national flag carrier and a state-owned enterprise of the Government of Pakistan, launched its first service to Iran with the addition of the 1,460-kilometre sector between Lahore (LHE) and Mashhad (MHD) on 25 February. The new service will be operated twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Sundays) via Quetta, utilising the airline’s 118-seat 737-700s and will face direct competition from Shaheen Air’s weekly flight.
- Qatar Airways, the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar, increased its offering to the UAE with two new services from its Doha (DOH) base on 1 March, both of which will be operated utilising a mixed fleet of the carrier’s 144-seat A320s and 182-seat A321s. With the longest sector being the 386-kilometre service to Sharjah (SHJ) operated thrice-daily and the shortest being to Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) at 365 kilometres and served twice-daily, only the former will face direct competition from Air Arabia’s twice-daily services. Commenting on the route launches, Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways, said: “Over the years, we have focused upon the expansion of our route network, and today’s launches to Sharjah and Dubai Al Maktoum demonstrate our commitment to the UAE. As one of our closest neighbours in the Gulf, it is of key importance to offer excellent and frequent air travel connections to the UAE, and the location of both airports relative to our network will afford travellers an even wider variety of options when they are looking to reach their final destinations”. See how both Dubai Al Maktoum Airport and Sharjah Airport got on in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
- Ryanair began its network re-invention with Brussels (BRU) base, launching nine new services to just three countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy) during the course of last week, using its 189-seat 737-800s. Notably, the average weekly frequency across the nine new routes is 8.5. With the longest sector being the 1,719-kilometre service to Lisbon (LIS), and the shortest being inaugurated to Venice Treviso (TSF) at 808 kilometres, the Irish low-cost carrier will face direct competition on eight of the nine routes, with five of them seeing competition from at least two airlines. Find out how Brussels Airport got on in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
|Launch date||Origin||Destination||WF||A/C||Competition (WF)|
|27 February||Brussels (BRU)||Barcelona (BCN)||21||B738||Brussels Airlines (20), Vueling (16)|
|Lisbon (LIS)||14||TAP Portugal (21), Brussels Airlines (7)|
|Málaga (AGP)||3||Jetairfly (8), Brussels Airlines (7), Vueling (3)|
|Porto (OPO)||7||TAP Portugal (7)|
|Rome Fiumicino (FCO)||14||Brussels Airlines (23), Alitalia (19)|
|Valencia (VLC)||3||Vueling (4)|
|Venice Treviso (TSF)||7|
|28 February||Alicante (ALC)||4||Jetairfly (8), Vueling (3), Brussels Airlines (2)|
|Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||Thomas Cook Airlines (2)|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 4 March 2014.|
- Tropic Air, the second largest carrier in Belize according to weekly seat capacity for this March, increased its international offering with a new service from its Belize City (BZE) base to Merida (MID) in Mexico on 3 March. The airline’s 12th route from Belize City will be operated thrice-weekly, utilising its 10-seat Cessna Caravans. There is no other carrier that operates the 402-kilometre sector to the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán.
- VIM Airlines, also known as VIM Avia which was established in 2000, launched a new domestic operation from its Moscow Domodedovo (DME) base to Magadan (GDX) on the Sea of Okhotsk in Nagayevo Bay on 2 March. The 5,914-kilometre sector will be operated thrice-weekly, utilising the carrier’s 206-seat 757-200s. Competition on the route is provided by Transaero Airlines’ five times weekly flights.