New airline routes launched (4 – 10 March 2014)


Emirates’ Dubai to Boston

Emirates arrives in New England. The first flight operated by a 777-200LR arrived in Boston from Dubai on 10 March. On arrival at the gate the crew unfurled the Massachusetts state flag. At a welcome reception Emirates cabin crew posed with (from left to right): Dave Barger, CEO, JetBlue; Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts; Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates; Thomas P. Glynn, CEO, Massport; Ed Freni, Director of Aviation, Massport; and Richard Davey, Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation. Boston becomes Emirates’ eighth destination in the US. (Photos courtesy of Massport)

  • Emirates has made Boston (BOS) its latest US destination, with the commencement of daily flights from Dubai (DXB) on 10 March. This becomes the airline’s eighth route into the United States, ninth into North America and 12th into the wider Americas. A 777-200LR will operate the 10,720-kilometre service which faces no direct competition. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group said: “Our Boston service will further develop this exciting gateway into the north-eastern United States. Based on passenger demand, we believe the time is right to further boost our US operations, while stimulating channels of trade and tourism to and from the state of Massachusetts and the wider New England region.” Thomas P. Glynn, Massport’s CEO, added: “Our new partnership with Emirates helps expand the global reach of Boston and Logan by connecting New England with new markets. Emirates offers seamless connections from Dubai to dozens of destinations in the Middle East, India, East Africa and Southeast Asia – a combined market from Boston that in 2012 saw more than 331,000 passengers spend more than $295 million in tickets.’’ See how Boston Logan’s fire truck welcome arch compares with its rivals this week.

Icelandair’s Edmonton to Reykjavik/Keflavik

Celebrating the launch of Icelandair’s newest destination to Edmonton in Canada on 5 March were (left to right) James Rajotte, Member of Parliament for Edmonton; Don Iveson, Edmonton Mayor; Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland; the Prime Minister’s wife Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir; Dave Hancock, Deputy Premier; and Birkir Holm Guðnason, CEO, Icelandair. An impressive cake, featuring Edmonton Airport’s distinctive control tower, was also baked to celebrate the new four times weekly service.

  • Icelandair has added Edmonton (YEG) to its expanding North American network, with the launch on 5 March of a new four times weekly service from Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF). The 4,940-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s 183-seat 757s and will face no direct competition. Edmonton becomes the airline’s fourth destination in Canada to be served non-stop, joining Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver. Birkir Hólm Guðnason, Icelandair CEO, said: “Our service from Edmonton International Airport will be Icelandair’s first link into western Canada. We see this as an amazing opportunity to open the skies between Edmonton and Reykjavik and further build on our respective networks. We have seen the incredible potential of this market and have already increased our service to meet demands and expectations. Icelandair provides a refreshing alternative for passengers travelling both to and from Europe and we look forward to welcoming you aboard.” Tom Ruth, EIA President and CEO, added: “I want to thank the teams at Icelandair and EIA who have worked so hard, along with our respective communities, to secure this new route and to ensure that it is kicked off appropriately with celebrations in both communities. EIA’s vision of more flights to more places is absolutely community-driven, underlined by a strong effort to build fast, efficient and direct links between our people and products and the world. As our trade routes with the European Union grow through expanded free trade, the need for these links will be more important than ever, not just for Edmonton and Reykjavik as host communities, but for the extended networks and regions we serve.”

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


  • Aeroflot has introduced a new daily service from its Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) base to Karagandy (KGF) in Kazakhstan. The 2,470-kilometre route was launched on Monday 10 March, and will be flown by the airline’s A319s. No other airline operates this airport pair but Transaero Airlines offers thrice-weekly flights from Moscow Domodedovo to Karagandy using 737-400s. Surprisingly maybe, this appears to be the only link operated by Aeroflot between Moscow and any airport in Kazakhstan.

On 5 March, Parana Airport celebrated the arrival of Aerolineas Argentinas’ first flight from Buenos Aires Aeroparque, which is operated by Austral Airlines’ E190s. Passengers on the first flight were welcomed with a special fanfare ceremony and gift bags by the airport.


  • AirTran Airways, the subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, commenced its second route to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) on 8 March, this time from Tampa, FL (TPA), joining its existing four times daily flights from Atlanta, GA. The 2,103-kilometre sector will be served weekly (Saturdays) until 5 April, utilising the airline’s 117-seat 717-200s and faces extensive competition from Delta Air Lines’ four daily flights, Spirit Airlines’ daily services and Sun Country Airlines’ six weekly operations.

  • Arik Air has expanded its African network with the introduction on 10 March of a new twice-daily service from Abuja (ABV) in Nigeria to Dakar (DKR) in Senegal, via Accra in Ghana. The 2,770-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s CRJ 900s and faces no competition. In addition to this international route, Arik Air operates non-stop flights from Abuja to 15 other airports in Nigeria, with multiple-daily flights to Benin City, Lagos and Port Harcourt.

  • Delta Air Lines, which in the previous week added four domestic routes, expanded its international network with a new service from Boston, MA (BOS) to Providenciales (PLS) in the Turks and Caicos Islands on 8 March. The 2,287-kilometre sector will be served weekly (Saturdays), utilising the airline’s 126-seat A319s. This is Delta’s third route to Providenciales, as it already flies from Atlanta and New York JFK, and will face competition from JetBlue Airways’ twice-weekly flights and US Airways’ weekly services.

  • easyJet has introduced its seventh route to Tel Aviv (TLV) in Israel, with the launch on 6 March of thrice-weekly A320 flights from its major base at Milan Malpensa (MXP). Competition on the 2,710-kilometre route is provided by El Al (currently with 10 weekly flights) and Meridiana (twice-weekly flights). easyJet already serves Tel Aviv from two UK airports (London Luton and Manchester), two Swiss airports (Basel and Geneva), Berlin and Rome. This summer, easyJet will be operating over 460 weekly departures from Milan Malpensa to almost 50 destinations.

Memphis Airport celebrated the arrival of Frontier Airlines’ first service from Denver on 7 March. Passengers were welcomed with celebratory Elvis sunglasses and a speech by (left to right): Scott Brockman, President, Memphis Airport Authority; and Andrea Blankenship, Director of Sales, Frontier Airlines.

  • Frontier Airlines, which turned 20 last month, expanded its presence in the US domestic market with a new route from Denver, CO (DEN) to Memphis, TN (MEM) on 7 March. The 1,403-kilometre sector will be served four times weekly, utilising the carrier’s 138-seat A319s, but will see a frequency increase to daily from 14 June. Frontier’s new airport pair will face competition from United Airlines’ daily operations and Delta Air Lines’ six weekly flights. Commenting on the route launch, Scott Brockman, President, Memphis Airport Authority, said: “We are reinventing ourselves as an origination and departure airport, and Frontier offers a tremendous product.”

  • JetBlue Airways added its 52nd destination from its Boston, MA (BOS) base, with the addition of new services to Detroit, MI (DTW) on 10 March. The 1,017-kilometre sector to Detroit will be operated thrice-daily, utilising the carrier’s 100-seat E190s. The airline’s new route will face direct competition from Delta Air Lines’ 52 flights. Commenting on the route launch, Dave Barger, CEO, JetBlue Airways, said: “Today we strengthen our offering from Boston, while also bringing our low fares and award-winning service to Detroit and one of the most overpriced markets in the US. Detroit is also home to the largest Arab community in America and we are excited that our code-share partner Emirates today launches its Boston-Dubai service, which will provide our customers with seamless connections to and from Detroit. This route will also connect well with Turkish Airlines, when their Boston-Istanbul service begins on May 12.”

Christian Lesjak, NIKI’s Managing Director, was on hand in sunny Vienna to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new service.

Capital connection. Christian Lesjak, NIKI’s Managing Director (fourth from left) was on hand in sunny Vienna on Monday 10 March to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new four times weekly service to Madrid. In May, frequencies will increase to five per week. Competition comes from Iberia’s 13 weekly flights, linking the capitals of Austria and Spain.

  • NIKI, the wholly-owned Austrian-based subsidiary of airberlin, has launched flights on Monday 10 March from its Vienna (VIE) base to Madrid (MAD), the capital of Spain. The 1,810-kilometre route is already served by Iberia with 13 weekly flights. NIKI will initially operate the route with four weekly flights (a mix of E190s and Airbus aircraft), but from May will increase frequency to five weekly Airbus flights. The airline previously operated the route during the summer of 2011. This summer NIKI will be operating non-stop flights from Vienna to over 40 destinations across Europe. NIKI’s most recent route launch was to Larnaca in January, while Malta will be added to the network starting at the end of March.

After a two year hiatus scheduled flights are once again available between Mannheim and Berlin. Rhein-Neckar Air will operate twice-daily on weekdays using a leased Dornier 328.

  • Rhein-Neckar Air, a new German regional airline, began flights on 10 March between Mannheim (MHG) and Berlin Tegel (TXL). The 480-kilometre route will be operated twice-daily (on weekdays) by Dornier 328s leased from MHS Aviation. Funding for the virtual airline has apparently come from local businesses, keen to see direct flights to Berlin restored, after the collapse in early 2012 of Cirrus Airways, a Lufthansa partner airline, which had operated a number of scheduled services from the airport, which only has a 1,050-metre runway. Mannheim City Airport is located around 60 kilometres south of Frankfurt’s main airport.

  • Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest LCC, increased its domestic offering with the launch of four new services during the course of last week, all of which are operated weekly (Saturdays). With the longest route being the 2,585-kilometre service from Fort Myers, FL (RSW) to Denver, CO (DEN), and the shortest being inaugurated from Fort Myers, FL (RSW) to Kansas City, MO (MCI) at 1,860 kilometres. The airline will face competition only on the Fort Myers to Denver route, from United Airlines’ daily flights and Frontier Airlines’ four weekly operations.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
8 March Fort Myers, FL (RSW) Albany, NY (ALB) 1 737
Denver, CO (DEN) 737 United Airlines (7), Frontier Airlines (4)
Kansas City, MO (MCI) 733
Orlando, FL (MCO) Portland, ME (PWM) 737
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 11 March 2014.

A ribbon for Rotterdam. Ready with the scissors for Turkish Airlines’ first flight to Rotterdam on 4 March were (left to right): Mr Ferhat Yerli, General Manager for Turkish Airlines in Rotterdam; Mr Temel Kotil, CEO for Turkish Airlines; Mr Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam; Mr Arslan, Turkish Ambassador in The Netherlands; and Mr Roland Wondolleck, Director of Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Also posing for a commemorative photo were the flight crew of the first flight.

  • Turkish Airlines continues to add new spokes to its world-beating hub at Istanbul Atatürk (IST). The latest airport to join the network is Rotterdam (RTM), the airline’s second destination in the Netherlands after Amsterdam, which welcomed its first flight on 4 March. The 2,220-kilometre route will be served four times weekly, normally using 737-800s, although the inaugural flight was performed by one of the airline’s slightly larger A321s. Find out how Rotterdam’s FTWA measured up against its global peers.

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