New airline routes launched (25 – 31 March 2014)


All Nippon Airways’ Tokyo Narita to Düsseldorf

All Nippon Airways expands long-haul network from Haneda

Düsseldorf Airport welcomed its first ever 787 flight when All Nippon Airways’ inaugural flight from Tokyo Narita arrived on 30 March. Holding the celebratory banner are (from right to left); Mr. Lutz Honerla, DUS Airport, Vice President Marketing and Strategy; Mr. Shigeru Hattori, All Nippon Airways, Vice President & General Manager Germany & Central Europe; Mr. Yutaka Ito, All Nippon Airways, Senior Vice President, EMEA General Manager; Mr. Ulrich Topp, DUS Airport, Director Aviation Marketing; Mrs. Maria Petalidou, All Nippon Airways, Sales & Marketing Manager, Germany, Austria & Eastern Europe; and Mrs. Naheel Wafa Dajany, All Nippon Airways, Deputy Station Manager.

All Nippon Airways expands long-haul network from Haneda

Cutting the celebratory cake on 30 March in Düsseldorf were (left to right); Yutaka Ito, Senior Vice President, EMEA General Manager, ANA; Dirk Elbers, Lord Mayor City of Düsseldorf; Kaoru Shimazaki, General Consul, ANA; and Thomas Schnalke, Managing Director of Düsseldorf Airport.

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  • All Nippon Airways has taken advantage of the additional slots it was awarded at Tokyo Haneda (HND) to launch seven new international routes, all of which will be served daily. Three of the new routes are to Europe, three to Asia and one (Vancouver) in North America. Four of the routes are already served by other carriers. Two of the routes will be served by the airline’s 787-8s with two others (Hanoi and Manila) migrating to that aircraft type during the summer. In addition ANA has also started a daily direct service from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Düsseldorf (DUS).
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
30 March Tokyo Haneda (HND) Hanoi (HAN) 7 (B763) 3,670 km
Jakarta (CGK) 7 (B788) 5,770 km
London (LHR) 7 (B777) 9,610 km JAL (7), British Airways (6)
Manila (MNL) 7 (B763) 2,990 km Philippine Airlines (14)
Munich (MUC) 7 (B788) 9,380 km Lufthansa (7)
Paris (CDG) 7 (B777) 9,730 km Air France (10), JAL (7)
Vancouver (YVR) 7 (B763) 7,580 km
Tokyo Narita (NRT) Düsseldorf (DUS) 7 (B788) 9,360 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

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


Adria Airways’ first flight from Lodz to Munich was celebrated by the airline’s crew and representatives on 30 March. The service will be operated six times weekly, utilising the Star Alliance member’s CRJ 900s.

Adria Airways adds two more European links

Upon arrival in Munich, the airline’s crew was greeted with chocolate hearts and mugs of beer.

In addition, the Slovenian flag carrier launched another service, from Ljubljana to Prague on 31 March, which was resumed after last operated in August 1996.

  • Adria Airways, the Slovenian national carrier, expanded its European network with two new links during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 713-kilometre service from Munich (MUC) to Lodz (LCJ) in Poland, launched on 30 March and operated six times weekly utilising its 81-seat CRJ 900s; and the shortest being inaugurated from Ljubljana (LJU) to Prague (PRG) on 31 March and served four times weekly by Adria’s 48-seat CRJ 200s, the Star Alliance member doesn’t face competition on any of the new services. Furthermore, the new link to Prague was resumed after last operated in August 1996.

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  • Aegean Airlines increased its domestic offering with the addition of a new service from Rhodes (RHO) to Heraklion (HER) on 30 March. The 290-kilometre sector will be operated twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays), utilising the airline’s 168-seat A320s. The Star Alliance member’s new link to the largest city of the island of Crete will face direct competition from Sky Express Airlines’ 11 weekly flights and Minoan Air’s six weekly services.

On 28 March, Cork Airport celebrated with an aircraft cake, Aer Lingus’ four times weekly services to Newcastle. The new route will be operated by Aer Arann’s ATR 72-500s.

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Aer Lingus adds three new European routes from Ireland

In addition on 30 March, the Irish flag carrier inaugurated the 1,075-kilometre route from Hannover to Dublin, operated four times weekly.

  • Aer Lingus expanded its European offering with three new links during the course of last week. On 28 March, the Irish flag carrier launched operations on the 575-kilometre sector between Cork (ORK) and Newcastle (NCL), which will be served four times weekly by Aer Arann’s 77-seat ATR 72-500s. Two days later, on 30 March, the airline inaugurated the 1,075-kilometre airport pair from Dublin (DUB) to Hannover (HAJ), with the addition of four weekly flights using its 174-seat A320s. Lastly, on 30 March, Aer Lingus launched a new European service, this time from Shannon (SNN) to Malaga (AGP) with twice-weekly services (Wednesdays and Sundays), utilising its 174-seat A320s. Competition is provided only on the 1,814-kilometre service to Malaga, by Ryanair’s twice-weekly flights. Commenting on the link to Newcastle, Simon Fagan, CCO, Aer Lingus, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Cork-Newcastle route. It made sense to facilitate a link between these two vibrant cities. The route has enormous potential in terms of boosting tourist numbers and enhancing business connections between the two cities. This route will exploit the potential connections between the two regionals, particularly in the area of wind and tidal energy projects in the North East of England.”

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  • Aeroflot, the Russian flag carrier that was recently named Europe’s second fastest-growing operator by Airline Business magazine, added a new domestic link from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to Novy Urengoy (NUX) on 30 March. The 1,331-kilometre sector was resumed after last being served in December 1995 and will be operated daily by the airline’s 140-seat A320s. The SkyTeam member’s new service will face direct competition from Ak Bars Aero’s twice-weekly flights and RusLine’s weekly services.

  • Air Algerie, the national carrier of Algeria, commenced its seventh route from Annaba (AAE), this time to Paris CDG (CDG) on 31 March. The 1,419-kilometre sector from the fourth largest city of Algeria that was last served in September 2006 will be operated weekly, on Mondays, utilising its 180-seat 737-800s. There is no competition on this airport pair.

  • Air China added a new daily service between Chengdu (CTU) and Yangon (RGN) in Myanmar on 30 March. The 1,710-kilometre route is served by the airline’s A319s with an intermediate stop in Kunming. No other carrier connects the two airports. Air China already serves Yangon with thrice-weekly 737-800 flights from Beijing.

  • Air Corsica expanded its French domestic network with the addition of its fifth route from Bastia (BIA) to Nantes (NTE) on 31 March. The 1,014-kilometre sector will be operated twice-weekly (Mondays and Saturdays), utilising the airline’s 149-seat A320s. Air Corsica’s new link to the sixth largest city of France will face competition from Volotea’s twice-weekly flights.

On 31 March, Air Europa’s new service from Madrid to Frankfurt was greeted with a ribbon cutting ceremony on its arrival at the German airport.

  • Air Europa started a new service between Madrid (MAD) and Frankfurt (FRA) on 31 March. Operated twice-daily using its 120-seat E190s, the 1,424-kilometre sector was launched on 31 March. The SkyTeam member’s new service will face extensive competition from Lufthansa (28), Iberia (21) and LAN Airlines (7).

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  • Air France expanded its international network with three new services during the course of last week, all of which were launched from its Paris CDG (CDG) base. On 30 March, the SkyTeam member launched 10 weekly flights on the 9,703-kilometre sector to Tokyo Haneda (HND), utilising a mixed fleet of the airline’s 300-seat 777-300s and 309-seat 777-200s.This link that was last operated in 1978 will see a frequency increase to 12 weekly flights from 13 May and to twice-daily from 16 June respectively. Furthermore, on 31 March, the flag carrier inaugurated thrice-weekly flights on the 8,736-kilometre sector to Brasilia (BSB), utilising its 309-seat 777-200s. Lastly, on 31 March, Air France commenced twice-daily services on the 1,117-kilometre airport pair to Stavanger (SVG) in Norway, utilising HOP!’s 76-seat E170s. Only the new service to Japan is already served by other carriers, namely by All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, both with daily flights.

  • Air Malta began flights from Malta (MLA) base to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) on 31 March due to moving its services from Istanbul Atatürk. The 1,405-kilometre sector will be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays), utilising the carrier’s 160-seat A320s. There is no direct competition on this airport pair, but Turkish Airlines provides indirect competition by flying from Atatürk with five weekly services.

  • Air One has considerably expanded its route network from Sicily at the start of the summer season. The airline is adding six new routes from Catania (CTA) and four new routes from Palermo (PMO), plus an additional domestic link between Turin (TRN) and Lamezia Terme (SUF). A total of eight different airlines will be providing competition on these routes from the start, with transavia.com operating on the Catania-Amsterdam route from Easter. On the Turin-Lamezia Terme route and on the Catania-Bologna route, Air One replaces the operations of its parent company, Alitalia.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Competition (WF)
30 March Catania (CTA) Amsterdam (AMS) 2 (A320)
Berlin Tegel (TXL) 3 (A320) airberlin (5), germanwings (2)
Bologna (BLQ) 12 (A320) Meridiana (7), Ryanair (7)
31 March London Gatwick (LGW) 3 (A320) British Airways (7), easyJet (5), Norwegian (1)
30 March Paris CDG (CDG) 3 (A320) easyJet (6)
Stuttgart (STR) 2 (A320) airberlin (4), germanwings (2)
Palermo (PMO) Amsterdam (AMS) 2 (A320)
Paris CDG (CDG) 3 (A320) Meridiana (7)
Turin (TRN) 7 (A320) Volotea (3)
Verona (VRN) 7 (A320) Volotea (4)
Turin (TRN) Lamezia Terme (SUF) 7 (A320)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

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On 30 March, Belgrade Airport celebrated Air Serbia’s resumption of services to Sofia, which was last served in June 2002.

Furthermore, the Serbian flag carrier launched another route from Belgrade, this time to Budapest in Hungary. Dane Kondić, CEO, Air Serbia, said: “The new service also provides two way connectivity over Belgrade between Hungary, mainland Europe and key global destinations.”

Celebrations continued at Budapest Airport, which welcomed Air Serbia’s daily services from Belgrade with a special ceremony, including a cake. On hand to cut the celebratory ribbon were (left to right): Jost Lammers, CEO, Budapest Airport; Slobodan Stamenkovic, Executive Director Sales and Marketing, Air Serbia; Oszkár Nikowitz, Ambassador of Hungary to Serbia; and Rade Drobac, Ambassador of Serbia to Hungary.

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  • Air Serbia, formerly known as JAT Airways, increased its European offering with two new daily services from its Belgrade (BEG) base, both launched on 30 March. With the longest sector being the 343-kilometre service to Sofia (SOF) ─ last served in June 2002 ─ operated utilising its 62-seat ATR 72-200s, and the shortest being inaugurated to Budapest (BUD) at 303-kilometre using a mixed fleet of the airline’s 125-seat A319s and 62-seat ATR 72-200s after it was last flown in July 1992, only the link to Hungary will face competition from Belavia’s twice-weekly flights. Commenting on the route launch to Sofia, Dane Kondić, CEO, Air Serbia, said: “Re-introduction of flights to Sofia will majorly contribute to regional integration, which the entire region will benefit from, while holidaymakers and business professionals alike can now take advantage of convenient daily flights. Bulgarians have given very positive feedback on Air Serbia and its services being brought back to them after such a long period of time.”

Riga Airport celebrated the launch of airBaltic’s four weekly flights to Aberdeen on 30 March with a fantastic cake, served to passengers on the inaugural flight.

airBaltic adds Aberdeen to its Riga offering

The celebrations continued at the Scottish airport with another special cake ceremony, marked by (left to right): Inese Moiseja, Cabin Crew, airBaltic; Carol Benzie, MD, Aberdeen Airport; and Irina Ohota, Cabin Crew, airBaltic.

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  • airBaltic, the flag carrier of Latvia, commenced another European service, from Riga (RIX) to Aberdeen(ABZ) on 30 March. The 1,580-kilometre sector to the third largest city of Scotland will be operated four times weekly, utilising the carrier’s 120-seat 737-500s. There is no competition on this airport pair. Commenting on the route launch, Aldis Mūrnieks, Chairman of the Board, Riga Airport, said: “We are gratified that the national airline keeps offering flights to new destinations. I am convinced that the new route will provide additional possibilities to the enterprises of both countries, as well as promoting tourism development by allowing travellers to get acquainted with the exciting nature and history of Latvia and Riga, as well as Scotland.”

  • airberlin now offers direct flights from its Düsseldorf (DUS) hub to Madrid (MAD), home of oneworld partner airline Iberia. Operations began on 31 March on the 1,440-kilometre sector with Germany’s second biggest airline offering six weekly flights (daily except Saturday) using 737-800s. During the peak summer season there is some variation in equipment flown. Competition on the route is provided by Iberia (19 weekly flights), and germanwings (12 weekly flights). airberlin also serves Madrid from Berlin Tegel, a service it resumed last February.

  • Alitalia has resumed service between Milan Linate (LIN) and Warsaw Chopin (WAW), a route the Italian flag-carrier last operated on 20 September 2009. On 30 March the airline began flying the 1,140-kilometre route once more, with four weekly flights, operated with a mix of aircraft. No other carrier operates this airport pair but LOT Polish Airlines offers thrice-daily flights between Milan Malpensa and Warsaw Chopin, Wizz Air flies twice-weekly between Milan Bergamo and Warsaw Chopin, and Ryanair operates four time weekly between Milan Bergamo and Warsaw Modlin. Alitalia already serves the Polish capital from Rome Fiumicino with daily flights.

Bangkok Airways makes Chiang Rai its newest route

On 29 March Bangkok Airways began twice-daily flights from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Chiang Rai. The route is already served by Thai Airways with thrice-daily flights. Posing for a commemorative shot are Captain Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President, M.L. Nandhika Varavarn Varavarn, Vice President – Corporate Communications, and Mr. Damrong Klongakara, General Manager of Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport.

  • Bangkok Airways has made Chiang Rai (CEI), the northernmost large city in Thailand, the latest destination to be served from the airline’s base at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK). On 28 March the airline launched twice-daily flights on the 670-kilometre route using its 162-seat A320s. Competition will be provided by Thai Airways’ thrice-daily service. Mr Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, Bangkok Airways’ President said, “We see Chiang Rai as another potential, yet competitive market in Thailand. The city has emerged as a popular northern Thailand alternative tourist base to larger Chiang Mai. Chiang Rai is a strategic gateway to neighbouring countries such as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic as well as the southernmost part of China. As Bangkok Airways is focusing on leisure destinations, we therefore see high demand from international connecting passengers to this part of South East Asia. We look to cement our position in the increasingly competitive Thai market. We are confident that with our strong reputation of offering a boutique flying experience for our passengers, Bangkok Airways will become a leading player in this market.”

Biman Bangladesh Airlines launched twice-weekly non-stop flights from Dhaka to Frankfurt on 31 March. Guest of honour at the launch celebrations was Dr Ferdinand Von Weyhe, Deputy Head of the Mission at the German Embassy in Dhaka.

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British Airways expands from three London airports

Cutting the cake to celebrate the arrival of British Airways’ new London Heathrow service at Porto Airport were Álvaro Leite (Porto Airport Marketing Manager), Graham Waller (British Airways Customer Service Manager Portugal) and Luis Quintino (British Airways Airport Manager).

British Airways expands from three London airports

Meanwhile in Faro, the airport was handing out goodies at the baggage carousel as the first British Airways flight from London Heathrow arrived.

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  • British Airways celebrated the launch of the summer 2014 season by commencing service on six new routes; two from London City (LCY), one from London Gatwick (LGW) and three from London Heathrow (LHR). The service to Malaga (AGP) is a resumption, as BA last served this airport pair back in March 2011.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
30 March London City (LCY) Florence (FLR) 4 (EQV) 1,200 km CityJet (12)
Rotterdam (RTM) 25 (S20) 315 km CityJet (28)
London Gatwick (LGW) Malta (MLA) 7 (B734) 2,070 km easyJet (10), Air Malta (7), Thomson Airways (1)
London Heathrow (LHR) Faro (FAO) 2 (A319) 1,710 km
Malaga (AGP) 2 (A319) 1,675 km
Porto (OPO) 2 (A319) 1,300 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

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On hand to cut Cathay Pacific Airways’ celebratory ribbon at Doha Airport were (left to right): Nick Brooks, Manager Qatar, Cathay Pacific; Patrick Muller, EVP, Doha Airport; Brian Yuen, Country Manager Qatar & UAE, Cathay Pacific; and Rajesh Menon, Project Manager Doha, Cathay Pacific.

  • Cathay Pacific Airways expanded its international offering with a new service from its Hong Kong (HKG) base to Doha (DOH) on 30 March. The 6,334-kilometre sector will be operated daily, utilising the airline’s 260-seat A330-300s. This route comes with the announcement of a new reciprocal codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways, which is already serving the airport pair with daily services. Except the two mentioned, no other carrier operates this route. Commenting on the route launch, Abdulaziz al-Mass, Aenior Manager Public Relations and Communications, Doha Airport, said: “We celebrated Cathay Pacific’s debut in Qatar with a water cannon salute and look forward to welcoming its passengers at Doha Airport. The start of Cathay Pacific’s services to Doha underlines Qatar’s ever-growing importance as an international transport hub and opens onward travel options for passengers to Asia and beyond. As we continue to announce year-on-year growth at the airport, this partnership is testament to our commitment to delivering a variety of travel options for all our passengers, as well as a seamless and hassle-free experience.”

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  • Cebu Pacific Air has increased its presence in the Japanese market by launching flights from Manila (MNL) to both Nagoya Chubu (NGO) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) using its A320s. The airline already serves Osaka Kansai. Candice Iyog, VP Marketing & Distribution said, “With Cebu Pacific’s trademark lowest fares, travellers from Japan now have Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka as jump-off points when exploring the Philippines’ world-renowned beach and diving destinations. This is very much in line with the government’s tourism agenda, and the airline’s commitment to boost Philippine tourism. With more flights to the Philippines, we believe Japan has the potential to be as big as South Korea when it comes to foreign tourist arrivals.”
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
30 March Manila (MNL) Nagoya Chubu (NGO) 4 (A320) 2,755 km Delta Air Lines (7), Philippine Airlines (7)
Tokyo Narita (NRT) 7 (A320) 3,046km Philippine Airlines (21), Japan Airlines (14), All Nippon Airways (7), Delta Air Lines (7)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • China Eastern Airlines has expanded its domestic network from Lijiang (LJG) with the addition of 11 weekly flights to Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA). The 2,120-kilometre route, which launched on 30 March, is not served by any other carrier. China Eastern will serve the market using its 737s. In addition, the carrier has also added a weekly non-stop service between Nanning (NNG) and Hanoi (HAN) in Vietnam, a sector length of just 320 kilometres.

  • China Express Airlines, a private regional airline which operates a fleet of four CRJ 200s and eight CRJ 900s, has launched two new routes from Liuzhou (LZH). Flights on the 650-kilometre route to Chongqing (CKG) will operate daily, as will the airline’s new service on the 460-kilometre routes to Zhuhai (ZUH). Both services commenced on 30 March, and neither faces any competition. A third new route between Huai’an (HIA) and Dalian (DLC) also commenced the same day, and will operate four times weekly until the end of June. All of these new routes will be operated by the airline’s CRJ 900s.

  • China Southern Airlines on 31 March launched its 12th route to Seoul Incheon (ICN) in South Korea. The airline added a thrice-weekly, non-stop service on the 1,390-kilometre route from Wuhan (WUH), using its 737-800s. No other carrier operates this airport pair.

Citywing restores Glasgow link to Isle Of Man

On the apron at a damp looking Glasgow Airport, celebrating the return of non-stop scheduled air services between Glasgow and the Isle Of Man are David Buck (MD Citywing), Alex Salmond (Scottish First Minister), Allan Bell (Chief Minister of the Isle Of Man) and Amanda McMillan (MD Glasgow Airport). A Jetstream 31 will be used to operate 10 weekly return flights which started on 31 March.

  • Citywing, the Isle Of Man based operator, has restored links between Glasgow (GLA) and the Isle Of Man (IOM) by launching 10 weekly flights on 31 March using a 19-seat Jetstream 31 on the 200-kilometre route. The market was previously served by Flybe who terminated the route at the end of last June. Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, said: “We have been working hard to reinstate flights to the Isle of Man following the withdrawal in June of the previous service. It has always been a popular route and we are delighted that Glasgow Airport will be able to offer Scotland’s only direct service to the island. Citywing’s flights will safeguard Scotland’s important links with the Manx economy and perhaps more importantly, they will be operational in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games when the Isle of Man will be one of the 70 competing countries.” Citywing Managing Director, David Buck, said: “I am delighted we have been able to restore this vital link between the two communities of the Isle of Man and Scotland. There is a long history of business, social and cultural links between the two. It is a pleasure to introduce the direct flights from the 31st of March 2014. It is particularly pleasing to restore this link in time for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, benefitting both athletes and fans from the Island. The Isle of Man, like Scotland, promises a warm and friendly welcome. We very much hope that passengers will take advantage of our new direct service and discover what our lovely island has to offer. Similarly, we hope business passengers will find the service beneficial.”

 Delta Air Lines introduces two new routes from Seattle-Tacoma

Seattle-Tacoma Airport celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony the beginning of a new international service on 29 March, namely Delta Air Lines’ daily flights to London Heathrow.

  • Delta Air Lines, the oldest airline still operating in the US, recently added two more services from Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA). On 28 March, it launched 41 weekly flights on the 1,093-kilometre sector to San Francisco, CA (SFO), utilising Compass Airlines’ 76-seat E175. The route will see a frequency increase to seven daily operations from 4 June and will face direct competition from United Airlines (71), Alaska Airlines (59) and Virgin America (25). Furthermore, on 29 March, Delta inaugurated the 7,726-kilometre sector to London Heathrow (LHR) with daily flights, utilising its 211-seat 767-300s. Competition on this airport pair is provided by British Airways’ 11 weekly flights. Commenting on the route launch to Heathrow, Mark Reis, MD, Seattle-Tacoma, said: “These international connections promote trade and business development to generate good jobs throughout the Pacific Northwest and additional tourism connections. Delta is building Seattle as their premiere West Coast gateway. This new Heathrow flight underscores Seattle-Tacoma’s status as the fastest growing intercontinental airport on the West Coast.”

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  • Dragonair has replaced Cathay Pacific Airways in serving the Hong Kong (HKG) to Penang (PEN) market. On 30 March it began operating 10 times weekly flights on the 2,410-kilometre route to Malaysian island, using A330-300s. Competition is provided by HK Express which operates daily on the route with A320s. Penang’s capital, Georgetown, is steeped in history and has achieved World Heritage Site status for its distinctive architecture. Next month will see Dragonair also launch flights to the island of Bali.

easyJet expands in France, Germany, Italy and UK

We’re not sure why France has suddenly been moved to the west of the United Kingdom, but this elaborate cake was baked to welcome the first ever easyJet flight to Strasbourg Airport. One of 21 new routes launched by the airline in the last week, is this new service to London Gatwick will operate four times weekly.

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Brussels Airport welcomed three new easyJet routes in the space of just two days, from London Gatwick, Bordeaux and Naples. Commemorative banners were produced for all three routes and easyJet crew were photographed with them..

  • easyJet celebrated the start of the summer season with a raft of new route launches across its pan-European network. A total of 21 new routes involving 25 airports started before the end of March, with more to follow next week. London Gatwick (LGW) and Hamburg (HAM) gain the most new services (five each), while Brussels (BRU), Catania (CTA) and Naples (NAP) each receive three new easyJet routes. Of particular note is the Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Prague (PRG) route, where passengers will now have a choice of five airlines; three LCCs and two flag-carriers. The three new Naples routes coincide with the start of easyJet basing aircraft at the airport, and a planned increase in flights of over 25% at the airport, as the airline’s network there grows from 14 routes last summer to 21 this summer. Hamburg also becomes a designated base with easyJet doubling the number of departures there this summer from five per day to 10 per day, and increasing the number of destinations served from six last summer to 17 this summer.
Launch date From To WF Distance Competition (WF)
30 March Basel (BSL) Brindisi (BDS) 2 (A320) 1,133 km
Montpellier (MPL) 3 (A319) 525 km
Bordeaux (BOD) Amsterdam (AMS) 4 (A319) 925 km KLM (21)
Brussels (BRU) 4 (A320) 780 km
31 March Edinburgh (EDI) Bodrum (BJV) 2 (A320) 3,110 km
31 March Hamburg (HAM) Copenhagen (CPH) 7 (A319) 280 km SAS (32)
Milan Malpensa (MXP) 7 (A319) 895 km germanwings (12)
Nice (NCE) 3 (A319) 1,130 km germanwings (4)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 5 (A319) 1,660 km airberlin (23), germanwings (9), TUIfly (2)
30 March London Gatwick (LGW) Brussels (BRU) 12 (A319) 330 km
Jersey (JER) 21 (A319) 260 km British Airways (38)
Newcastle (NCL) 12 (A319) 440 km
Paris CDG (CDG) 14 (A319) 310 km
Strasbourg (SXB) 4 (A319) 630 km
30 March London Luton (LTN) Catania (CTA) 3 (A32S) 2,005 km
31 March Manchester (MAN) Catania (CTA) 2 (A319) 2,214 km
31 March Naples (NAP) Brussels (BRU) 4 (A319) 1,345 km Brussels Airlines (5)
30 March Catania (CTA) 7 (A319) 390 km Alitalia (12), Meridiana (12)
Hamburg (HAM) 3 (A319) 1,450 km germanwings (1)
31 March Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Belgrade (BEG) 3 (A319) 735 km Alitalia (10), Air Serbia (7)
Prague (PRG) 7 (A319) 935 km Smartwings (9), Czech Airlines (7), Alitalia (3), Wizz Air (3)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

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EC Air commences Dubai services from its Brazzaville hub

  • EC Air, also known as Equatorial Congo Airlines, entered the UAE market with a new service from its Brazzaville (BZV) base to Dubai (DXB) on 31 March. The 5,438-kilometre sector will be operated thrice-weekly, utilising the airline’s 148-seat 757-200s and will face no competition from other carriers.

Ethiopian Airlines celebrated with a cake the launch of its Addis Ababa to Shanghai Pudong service on 29 March. This is the carrier’s third route to China, as it already flies to Beijing and Guangzhou Baiyun.

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  • Ethiopian Airlines expanded its long-haul network with the addition of a new service from Addis Ababa (ADD) to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) on 29 March. The 8,839-kilometre sector will be served daily, utilising the carrier’s 269-seat 787-8s. Ethiopian’s third route to China, as it already serves Beijing and Guangzhou Baiyun, will face no competition from other carriers.

Etihad Regional, which is operated by Darwin Airline, launched daily flights from Zurich to Leipzig on 30 March, utilising its Saab 2000s.

  • Etihad Regional, which was launched on 16 January in Zurich and is operated by Darwin Airline, commenced its third route to Leipzig (LEJ), this time with daily services from Zurich (ZRH) on 30 March. The 520-kilometre sector will be flown utilising the carrier’s 51-seat Saab 2000s and will face no competition from other airlines. Etihad Regional is already serving Leipzig from Amsterdam and Paris CDG.

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Celebrating Flybe’s new route between Dundee in Scotland and London Stansted were TV personality Lorraine Kelly, and The Beano’s Dennis the Menace. Joining them from the world of aviation, for a slice of Dundee Cake, were Loganair’s COO Phil Preston and London Stansted Airport’s Head of Terminal Neil Banks.

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  • Flybe has stepped in to help maintain direct air services between Dundee (DND) in Scotland and London, by launching an 11 times weekly service to London Stansted (STN) on 30 March. The 550-kilometre route will be operated by Flybe franchise partner Loganair’s 31-seat Dornier 328s. The service effectively replaces CityJet’s flights to London City which ended the previous day. Loganair’s COO Phil Preston commented, “We are extremely honoured to have helped establish this service today between London Stansted and Dundee, and I’m happy to be joined by both Lorraine and Dennis for the inaugural flight. The commencement of the service is another milestone for Loganair as it will be the first time the airline has operated to and from London Stansted – one of the UK’s busiest international transport hubs. The Stansted service continues to provide passengers from Dundee and the greater region with a convenient, direct route to one of the world’s most desirable cities and access to vital business and tourism links. Equally, the route can help showcase the best Dundee has to offer to potential visitors from the south east of England. Make no mistake, Dundee is a city on the up and we hope this new service will encourage many visitors to discover this for themselves.” Welcoming the new service was London Stansted Airport’s Head of Terminal Neil Banks who commented, “This new connection is a great boost to our growing route network and I’m delighted to welcome Flybe and franchise partner Loganair to Stansted. This is an important service for the City of Dundee as a direct link to London and will be equally as popular for business and leisure passengers departing Stansted, especially keen golfers with championship courses St Andrews, Gleneagles and Carnoustie on the doorstep of Dundee. This is the first of many new routes to join our growing route network this week and I’d like to wish Flybe and franchise partner Loganair every success with this new service.” Derrick Lang, Manager of Dundee Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome the return of Loganair’s scheduled services from Dundee Airport. Loganair has a long and proud association with Dundee and we wish the airline every success with the launch of their new service to Stansted. This is an important new route for Dundee and offers an affordable and convenient service to one of the UK’s biggest and best connected airports. With over 150 destinations worldwide, the new Stansted link will ensure that leisure travellers are now better connected. The new route also offers easy access to the heart of London’s financial centre and will enable business travellers from Dundee to reach London in time for the working day. With competitively priced fares and convenient departure times, we hope this new service will prove popular with business and leisure passengers.”

  • Fuji Dream Airlines has made Yamagata (GAJ) its sixth destination from Nagoya Komaki (NKM). On 30 March the regional carrier began daily flights on the 465-kilometre route using its Embraer 170s. Fuji Dream Airlines is the only carrier operating from Nagoya Komaki, which used to be the main airport serving Nagoya until the opening of the Nagoya Chubu airport in early 2005. The airline operates 11 departures per day, and serves all six of its destinations with at least daily flights.

  • Garuda Indonesia has added two new domestic routes to its network, both of which started on 30 March using the airline’s ATR 72s. Daily flights have been introduced on the 480-kilometre sector between Denpasar (DPS) and Tambolaka (TMC), as well as on the 265-kilometre sector between Ende (ENE) and Kupang (KOE). Competition on both routes is provided by Wings Air with daily flights, and TransNusa which operates four weekly flights and three weekly flights on the two routes respectively.

  • germanwings continues to inherit more of Lufthansa’s unwanted German regional airport network. The start of the summer 2014 season marked a major handover of the airline’s routes from Düsseldorf (DUS). Several more routes will be handed over during the course of the summer season. Apart from the Düsseldorf routes the lower-cost Lufthansa subsidiary has also started new routes from Berlin Tegel (TXL), Cologne Bonn (CGN) and Hamburg (HAM).
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
30 March Berlin Tegel (TXL) Nice (NCE) 4 (A319) 1,086 km
Cologne Bonn (CGN) Warsaw (WAW) 6 (CR9) 969 km
Düsseldorf (DUS) Barcelona (BCN) 12 (A319) 1,167 km Vueling (8), airberlin (7)
Basel (BSL) 12 (A319) 414 km
Bilbao (BIO) 7 (CR9) 1,147 km
Dresden (DRS) 19 (eqv) 491 km airberlin (18)
Dublin (DUB) 4 (CR9) 916 km Aer Lingus (14)
Geneva (GVA) 17 (CR9) 563 km
Heraklion (HER) 2 (A319) 2,305 km
31 March Katowice (KTW) 5 (CR9) 871 km
30 March Leipzig (LEJ) 16 (CR9) 394 km
Madrid (MAD) 12 (CR9) 1,440 km Iberia (19), airberlin (6)
Milan (MXP) 23 (eqv) 645 km airberlin (18)
Nuremberg (NUE) 16 (CR9) 365 km airberlin (25)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 15 (A320) 1,341 km airberlin (18), TUIfly (5)
Prague (PRG) 18 (CR9) 547 km
Stockholm (ARN) 12 (CR9) 1,167 km SAS (10)
Thessaloniki (SKG) 4 (A32S) 1,728 km Aegean Airlines (7)
Venice (VCE) 7 (A320) 764 km airberlin (4)
Warsaw (WAW) 17 (CR9) 985 km LOT Polish Airlines (12)
Hamburg (HAM) Karlsruhe Baden (FKB) 17 (CR9) 557 km
Prague (PRG) 5 (CR9) 491 km Czech Airlines (12)
Toulouse (TLS) 4 (CR9) 1,279 km Air France (3)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • HK Express has boldly entered one of the world’s most competitive air routes by launching daily flights on 30 March between Hong Kong (HKG) and Seoul Incheon (ICN) in South Korea. The 2,075-kilometre route is already served by Cathay Pacific Airways (35 weekly flights), Asiana Airlines (28), Korean Air (28), Jeju Air, Jin Air and Thai Airways (each with daily flights), and Ethiopian Airlines and Air India, each with four weekly flights. HK Express (previously known as Hong Kong Express Airways) will increase frequency on the Seoul route to twice-daily from 11 April.

Hong Kong Airlines launched two new routes on successive days; first to Kagoshima in Japan on 30 March, and then to Tianjin in China on 31 March. We love the Japanese tradition of using mascots to celebrate these event, but we confess we have no idea who the two “green” mascots are, and who or what they represent.

  • Hong Kong Airlines has added two new routes from its Hong Kong (HKG) base. On 30 March it launched twice-weekly flights (Thursdays and Sundays) on the 1,940-kilometre route to Kagoshima (KOJ), followed on 31 March by thrice-weekly flights on the 1,885-kilometre route to Tianjin (TSN). Tianjin becomes the airline’s 17th destination in China. Frequency will be increased in mid-May to four weekly flights, to better compete with Air China’s 13 weekly flights.

  • Japan Airlines has added two more international destinations from Tokyo Haneda (HND), Japan’s busiest airport. The addition of daily flights to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and London Heathrow (LHR) on 30 March brings to 12 the number of international destinations now served non-stop by the oneworld carrier from the airport. There is no direct competition on the 4,320-kilometre route to Ho Chi Minh City, which is operated by a 767-300, though All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Vietnam Airlines all operate daily flights from Tokyo Narita. On the 9,615-kilometre Heathrow route, operated by the airline’s 777-300s, there is direct competition from British Airways (six weekly flights) and All Nippon Airways (daily flights), with additional indirect competition coming from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic’s daily flights between Tokyo Narita and London Heathrow.

  • Jetstar Airways on 30 March introduced service between Melbourne (MEL) and Osaka Kansai (KIX) via Cairns. The 8,040-kilometre route will be served with between one and two weekly flights using an A330. No other carrier serves this route. Jetstar Airways also serves Osaka Kansai from Gold Coast, though this service is set to cease on 7 May.

  • Jetstar Asia has taken over responsibility for operating daily A320 flights on the Singapore (SIN) to Darwin (DRW) route, previously operated by sister airline Jetstar Airways. The airline will face competition on the 3,340-kilometre route from SilkAir, which operates four weekly flights. This new service, launched on 30 March, is Jetstar Asia’s first new non-stop route in almost two years. Its last new destination was Nanning in China (in April 2012), but the operation lasted less than a year.

Jetstar Pacific Airlines makes Macau its first international route

Assorted dignitaries were on hand to celebrate Jetstar Pacific Airlines’ first international services, to Macau. Da Nang flights will operate twice-daily while Hanoi flights will be daily, both using the airline’s A320s, and facing competition on both routes from local carrier Air Macau.

  • Jetstar Pacific Airlines, in which Vietnam Airlines is a major shareholder, launched its first international flights on 28 March with the introduction of daily flights between Hanoi (HAN) and Macau (MFM), and twice-daily flights from Da Nang (DAD) to Macau (MFM), both routes being flown by the airline’s A320s. Competition on the 810-kilometre Hanoi route is provided by Air Macau’s four weekly flights, while the same carrier operates five weekly flights on the 890-kilometre Da Nang route.

Lufthansa shifts Tokyo flights to Haneda, adds Valencia

Passengers and crew on Lufthansa’s first flight between Frankfurt and Valencia were welcomed on arrival by Valencia Airport Director, Mariano Menor Muñoz, and Thomas Bussmann, Process & Quality Manager, Spain and Portugal, Lufthansa. Cocktails and cake were provided and entertainment comprised “falleras” dressed in the traditional regional costume who performed the traditional Valencia dance.

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  • Lufthansa has transferred its two Tokyo routes from Tokyo Narita to Tokyo Haneda (HND) on 30 March. The airline’s daily 747-400 service from Frankfurt (FRA), and daily A340-600 service from Munich (MUC), have both moved. Star Alliance partner All Nippon Airways already operates its twice-daily Tokyo-Frankfurt service from Haneda, as well as its daily Tokyo-Munich route. Both of these routes clock in at 9,380-kilometres. Japan Airlines continues to operate its Tokyo-Frankfurt route from Narita airport. In addition, on 30 March, Lufthansa started a new daily service from Frankfurt to Valencia (VLC). The 1,370-kilometre route will be served with the airline’s A320s and faces no direct competition.

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A pre-launch event was held at Luxebourg Airport to celebrate the inaugural flight of Luxair’s four weekly flights to Dublin on 30 March. The achievement was marked with a special cake by government ministers from both Ireland and Luxembourg and the CEOs of Luxair and Luxembourg Airport.

On 31 March, Lisbon Airport celebrated the inaugural flight of Luxair to Luxembourg with an aircraft-shaped cake. The service that was last operated in June 2004 will be served thrice-weekly.

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  • Luxair added three new European links to its offering during the course of last week, all of which are service resumptions and were launched from its Luxembourg (LUX) base. On 30 March, the flag carrier of Luxembourg resumed services on the 961-kilometre sector to Dublin (DUB) that was last operated in January 2012. This airport pair will be served four times weekly, utilising the airline’s 71-seat Q400s. In addition, on the same day, Luxair inaugurated the 1,345-kilometre sector to Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) after it was last served in June 2004. The service to the Swedish capital will be flown four times weekly, using its 49-seat ERJ 145s. Lastly, on 31 March, it launched thrice-weekly flights to Lisbon (LIS), which will be flown by a mixed fleet of the carrier’s 141-seat 737-700s and 186-seat 737-800s. Only the new link to Portugal, last operated in June 2004, will face direct competition from TAP Portugal’s daily flights and easyJet’s thrice-weekly services.

  • Meridiana has chosen Naples (NAP) as the third airport in its network to be connected with London Gatwick (LGW). On 30 March the airline began thrice-weekly flights on the 1,595-kilometre route, using Air Italy’s 737s. Frequency will rise to five weekly flights in the peak summer period. Competition on the airport pair is provided by British Airways (17 weekly flights) and easyJet (10 weekly flights). Meridiana already serves London’s second busiest airport during the peak summer season from Cagliari and Olbia.

  • Middle East Airlines, the flag carrier of Lebanon, strengthened its presence in Iraq with the addition of a new service from Beirut (BEY) to Basra (BSR) on 30 March. The 1,213-kilometre sector to Iraq’s main port will be operated twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays), utilising the airline’s 126-seat A320s. The carrier’s fourth route to Iraq, as it already serves Baghdad, Erbil and Al Najaf, will face direct competition from Iraqi Airways’ thrice-weekly flights.

On 30 March, Malta Airport celebrated the launch of NIKI’s thrice-weekly flights to Vienna with a special cake. Marking the event were (left to right): Alan Borg, CCO, Malta Airport; Helmut Öhler, Captain, NIKI; Katharina Gross, Senior Flight Attendant, NIKI; Marc Neubauer, Co-Pilot, NIKI; and Petra Schneebauer, Austrian Ambassador in Malta. See below a full video-coverage of the fantastic cake.

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  • NIKI, the Austrian based subsidiary of airberlin, added a new link to its European offering during the course of last week. On 30 March, the carrier inaugurated thrice-weekly flights on the 1,373-kilometre sector from Vienna (VIE) to Malta (MLA), which will be operated utilising its 112-seat E190s. Competition on this airport pair is provided by Air Malta with daily flights. Commenting on the route launch, Markus Klaushofer, CEO, Malta Airport, said: “Traffic between Malta and Austria is constantly on the rise, with a 12.5% growth in this market registered last year. We are very happy to welcome NIKI, which was previously owned by the three times F1 World Champion Niki Lauda, to our ever growing family of airlines which will enable us to further develop our route network and secure better connectivity for the Maltese islands.”

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The launch of Norwegian’s twice-weekly flights from Bergen to Reykjavik/Keflavik was marked with a cake ceremony at the airport’s gate on 31 March.

Moreover, Reykjavik/Keflavik Airport celebrated with a special event the arrival of Norwegian’s first flight from Bergen. Cutting the ribbon were (left to right): Gudny Maria Johannsdottir, Manager Business and Route Development, Reykjavik/Keflavik; and Bjorn Oli Hauksson, Managing Director, Isavia.

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  • Norwegian, which won the “Biggest new airline in the US market” award at the fourth US ANNIEs, continued to expand its European network with two new services during the course of last week, both of which are operated using its 186-seat 737-800s. The LLC inaugurated on 30 March the 1,468-kilometre sector from London Gatwick (LGW) to Budapest (BUD) with thrice-weekly flights. Next day, on 31 March, the carrier began twice-weekly services (Mondays and Fridays) on the 1,495-kilometre route from Bergen (BGO) to Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF). Norwegian’s fifth route to Budapest is already operated by easyJet’s daily services, while its second route to Reykjavik/Keflavik, as it already serves the Icelandic capital from Oslo Gardermoen, will face no competition.

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Pegasus Airlines’ first flight to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen was celebrated at Brussels Charleroi Airport on 30 March. The new route that was moved from Brussels’ main airport will be operated daily, utilising the carrier’s 737-800s.

  • Pegasus Airlines, which in the previous week linked Frankfurt and Madrid to its hub, continued to expand its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) offering with two new services, both of which are operated utilising its 189-seat 737-800s. With the longest sector being the 2,194-kilometre service to Brussels Charleroi (CRL), moved from Brussels’ main airport on 30 March as well as operated daily, and the shortest being inaugurated to Kuwait City (KWI) on 26 March with four weekly flights at 2,131-kilometre, the LCC will face competition only on the new link to the capital of Kuwait from Turkish Airlines’ daily operations and Jazeera Airways’ thrice-weekly flights. In addition, the new airport pair to Kuwait will see a frequency increase to daily from 9 May.

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Philippine Airlines increases service to Tokyo

  • Philippine Airlines has increased its offering between Manila (MNL) and Tokyo, by launching twice-daily flights to Tokyo Haneda (HND) on 30 March. The 2,990-kilometre route will be served by a mix of the airline’s narrowbody and widebody fleet. Philippine Airlines also connects Manila and Tokyo Narita with three daily flights. The Manila-Haneda airport pair is already served by All Nippon Airways with daily flights.

REX - Regional Express adds 17th destination from Sydney

REX – Regional Express made Armidale its 17th destination from Sydney when it launched 18 weekly Saab 340 flights on 28 March, competing with Qantas’ 31 weekly flights.

  • REX – Regional Express added its 17th route from Sydney (SYD) with the addition of 18 weekly flights to Armidale (ARM) on 28 March. The 381-kilometre sector to the administrative centre for the Northern Tablelands region will be operated utilising the airline’s 34-seat Saab 340s and will face direct competition from Qantas’ 31 weekly operations. Commenting on the route launch, John Sharp, Deputy Chairman, REX, said: “As Australia’s most on-time regional airline we are delighted to be bringing to Armidale a reliable and competitive air service that the entire New England region can count on. Rex looks forward to building a strong partnership with the Armidale community to ensure we can continue to provide a sustainable air service for the long-term benefit of the Armidale region.”

  • Royal Air Maroc began its second route to Milan Malpensa (MXP) with the addition of twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) flights from Marrakech (RAK) on 31 March, adding to its existing eight weekly operations from Casablanca. The 2,126-kilometre sector to the fourth largest city in Morocco will be flown utilising the carrier’s 171-seat 737-800s. The airline will face direct competition from easyJet’s nine weekly services.

Ryanair launches a route with thrice-daily flights

Ryanair celebrated the launch of several new international routes from Barcelona this year with a cake. Brandishing the knife last weekend were Sandra Rubio, Sales & Marketing Executive Spain & Portugal, Ryanair (left) and Vanessa Requena, Head of Airport Management Centre (CGA) and Airport Marketing (right). Of the routes listed on the cake only the Rome Fiumicino services started this weekend.

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  • Ryanair has started the summer season slowly, launching just two new routes before the end of March. However, both routes face unusually intense competition. On 30 March the ULCC began thrice-daily flights on the 850-kilometre route between Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Barcelona (BCN), an airport pair that is also served by Alitalia (21 weekly flights) and Vueling (30 weekly flights. The airline’s other new route is from Manchester (MAN) to Gran Canaria (LPA). This 3,020-kilometre route will be served twice-weekly, but will face competition from Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways (both operating thrice-weekly), as well as Jet2.com and Monarch Airlines (both operating twice-weekly). Both Ryanair routes are, of course, operated by its extensive fleet of 189-seat 737-800s.

SAS strengthens its European network with five new routes

On 31 March, Leeds Bradford Airport celebrated the inaugural flight of SAS to Copenhagen, which will be operated twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays. Marking the achievement were (left to right): Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development and Marketing Director, Leeds Bradford; and Christian Wild, Key Account Manager, SAS.

SAS strengthens its European network with five new routes

On 30 March, SAS commenced its first service from Aberdeen to Oslo Gardermoen, which was celebrated by (left to right): Tom Syme, Commercial Director, Aberdeen Airport; and Jane Montgomerie, Key Account Manager Scotland and north east England, SAS.

Furthermore, Stockholm Arlanda Airport celebrated on 29 March SAS’ inaugural flight to Visby with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the aircraft.

  • SAS increased its European offering with the launch of five new services during the course of last week. With the longest route being the 938-kilometre service from Copenhagen (CPH) to Leeds Bradford (LBA) served twice-weekly (Fridays and Mondays), and the shortest being inaugurated from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Visby (VBY) in Sweden at 224-kilometre with 30 weekly flights operated by JetTime, SAS will face competition on three of the new services.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
29 March Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Visby (VBY) 30 AT7 NextJet (14)
30 March Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) Aalborg (AAL) 3 EQV British Airways (11), North Flying (3)
Copenhagen (CPH) Linkoping (LPI) 14 AT7
Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) Aberdeen (ABZ) 6 EQV bmi regional (10)
31 March Copenhagen (CPH) Leeds Bradford (LBA) 2 CR9
Source: Innovata/Diio Mi w/c 1 April 2014.

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Saudi Arabian Airlines inaugurates new services to Los Angeles

Saudi Arabian Airlines arrived in Los Angeles on 31 March, with thrice-weekly flights from Jeddah and Riyadh. The new route will be operated utilising the airline’s 777-300s.

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines introduced two new services to the US during the course of last week, both of which were launched on 31 March and operated with thrice-weekly flights by its 305-seat 777-300s to Los Angeles, CA (LAX). The carrier inaugurated from Jeddah (JED) one of the world’s longest 777 sectors, at over 16 hours. In addition, Saudia launched a second service, this time from the capital Riyadh (RUH), which is operated via Jeddah (JED). There is no competition on the new airport pairs.

Sky Airline adds Sao Paulo Guarulhos to its Santiago offering

Operating in competition with TAM Airlines and LAN Airlines, Sky Airline commenced service on the Santiago-Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport pair on 30 March.

  • Sky Airline added another international route to its network with the addition of daily flights from its Santiago (SCL) base in Chile to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU). The carrier’s operations on the 2,617-kilometre sector began on 30 March using its 144-seat A319s. This airport pair is already served by TAM Airlines’ four daily flights and LAN Airlines’ 17 weekly services.

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  • Spring Airlines has added two more international destinations to its Shanghai Pudong (PVG) network. On 30 March it began flying four times weekly on the 2,670-kilometre route to Chiang Mai (CNX) in Thailand, while on the following day twice-weekly flights (Mondays and Fridays) were launched on the 2,179-kilometre route to Da Nang (DAD) in Vietnam. Both routes will be operated by the airline’s A321s. Competition on the former route comes from Juneyao Airlines (four weekly flights) and China Eastern Airlines (twice-weekly flights), while Vietnam Airlines offers twice-weekly flights on the Da Nang route.

 


  • TAM Airlines commenced operations on its second route to Asuncion (ASU) in Paraguay on 30 March, launching daily flights from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE). The 1,067-kilometre sector to the capital and largest city of Paraguay will be operated utilising the airline’s 156-seat A320s and will face direct competition from TAM Airlines (Paraguay), its Paraguayan arm’s twice-daily flights and Aerolineas Argentinas’ daily services. TAM already serves Asuncion from Sao Paulo Guarulhos with daily operations.

TAROM resumed on 30 March its services from Bucharest to Moscow Sheremetyevo, which was last operated in October 2002. The Romanian flag carrier will operate to Sheremetyevo’s relatively new terminal E, integrated with a railway link.

  • TAROM, the flag carrier of Romania, resumed services from Bucharest (OTP) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on 30 March, which was last operated in October 2002. The 1,500-kilometre sector will be served thrice-weekly, utilising a mixed fleet of the airline’s 113-seat 737-700s and 113-seat 737-300s. The SkyTeam member’s new service will face direct competition from fellow SkyTeam member Aeroflot’s four weekly flights.

  • Turkish Airlines expanded its presence in Russia with the launch of a new service from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) to Astrakhan (ASF) on 30 March. The 1,624-kilometre sector to the administrative centre of Astrakhan Oblast will be operated thrice-weekly by the Star Alliance member’s 159-seat 737-800s. The carrier’s 11th route to Russia will face no competition from other airlines.

t’way air’s first flights between Daegu and Jeju took place in rainy weather on 30 March. The Korean LCC will serve the market with four daily flights, the same as Asiana Airlines and Korean Air..

  • t’way air began operating four daily flights between Jeju (CJU) and Daegu (TAE) on 30 March, using the airline’s 737-800s. The Korean LCC becomes the third carrier to operate the short 330-kilometre route, as Korean Air and Asiana Airlines already serve the market, also with four daily flights each. This instantly becomes the airline’s second most flown route beaten only by its 79 weekly flights between Jeju and Seoul Gimpo.

On 29 March, San Francisco Airport celebrated United Airlines’ resumption of services to Taipei Taoyuan, last served in August 2008, with a ribbon cutting ceremony as well as Taiwanese performers.

On the other end of the San Francisco route, United’s inaugural flight was celebrated with Taiwanese dancers and a ribbon cutting ceremony at Taipei Taoyuan Airport. 

  • United Airlines expanded its long-haul network with a new service from San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) on 29 March. The Star Alliance member resumed operations on the 10,411-kilometre sector to Taipei’s main airport, after it was last served in August 2008, with daily flights, utilising its 269-seat 777-200s. United’s new route will face direct competition from EVA Air’s 12 weekly flights and China Airlines’ daily operations. Commenting on the route launch, Jim Compton, Vice Chairman, United, said: “With the most extensive route network, the broadest alliances and hubs in the largest US cities, United offers travellers more choices to more of the world than any other U.S. airline.”


  • Vietnam Airlines has introduced two new low-frequency routes to China. From 30 March the airline launched twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) flights on the 2,170-kilometre route between Da Nang (DAD) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG), and the following day it launched twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) flights on the 2,150-kilometre route between Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Fuzhou (FOC). Both routes will be served by the airline’s A321s.

  • Volaris launched a new base at Monterrey (MTY) on 28 March. The Mexican LCC started eight new domestic routes over a period of three days, adding to the three routes it already operated from the airport. All eight routes will initially be served with just two or three weekly flights, using the airline’s 174-seat A320s. All eight routes are already served by local LCC rival VivaAerobus, while Aeromexico and Interjet provide additional competition.
Launch date From To WF Distance Competition (WF)
29 March Monterrey (MTY) Cancun (CUN) 2 (A320) 1,470 km VivaAerobus (9), Interjet (7)
Chihuahua (CUU) 660 km Aeromexico (27), VivaAerobus (5)
Ciudad Juaréz (CJS) 880 km Aeromexico (17), VivaAerobus (4)
28 March Culiacan (CUL) 3 (A320) 740 km Aeromexico (13), VivaAerobus (7)
Merida (MID) 1,210 km VivaAerobus (6)
30 March Puerto Vallarta (PVR) 2 (A320) 770 km VivaAerobus (2)
San Jose del Cabo (SJD) 1,010 km VivaAerobus (2)
28 March Veracruz (VER) 3 (A320) 850 km VivaAerobus (7), Aeromexico (6)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • Vueling increased its European offering with the launch of two new routes during the course of last week. On 28 March, the LCC inaugurated its fourth route to Paris CDG (CDG), this time from Barcelona (BCN), with twice-daily flights, utilising its 180-seat A320s. Two days later, on 30 March, the Spanish carrier launched operations on the 1,181-kilometre sector from Florence (FLR) to London Gatwick (LGW), after it was moved from London Heathrow. This service will be served daily, utilising its 125-seat A319s. There is no direct competition on Vueling’s seventh route from Florence, however, the Barcelona-Paris CDG airport pair will face extensive competition from Air France’s 46 weekly flights and easyJet’s twice-daily operations.

Widerøe’s 15th Norwegian domestic route, from Alesund to Bergen, was celebrated with a special cake on 30 March. The regional airline will compete with SAS’s 17 weekly flights on the new airport pair.

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  • Widerøe, the Norwegian regional airline, added another destination to its domestic network with the addition of daily flights from Bergen (BGO) to Alesund (AES). The carrier’s operations on the 257-kilometre route began on 30 March, utilising a mixed fleet of its 50-seat Q300s and 78-seat Q400s. Widerøe’s 15th Norwegian route from Bergen will face direct competition from SAS’ 17 weekly flights.

Wizz Air celebrated the launch of its seventh route to Tel Aviv, with the addition of thrice-weekly flights from Prague on 31 March. Marking the achievement is Prague Airport’s Aviation Business Development Team (left to right): Martin Randus; Martin Tatek; Jiri Vyskoc; and Jaroslav Filip.

  • Wizz Air added three new European links to its offering during the course of last week, all of which are operated by its 180-seat A320s. The Hungarian LCC launched on 30 March its fourth route to Larnaca (LCA), this time from Belgrade (BEG) with twice-weekly flights (Wednesdays and Sundays). Furthermore, the airline commenced operations on the 1,876-kilometre sector between Vilnius (VNO) and Kutaisi (KUT) on 31 March. Its third route to Kutaisi will be operated twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays). On the same day, Wizz Air began thrice-weekly flights from Prague (PRG) to Tel Aviv (TLV). While the service to Kutaisi in Georgia is not served by any other carrier, the new route to Larnaca will face competition from Air Serbia’s daily flights, and its seventh route to Tel Aviv is already operated by El Al (7) and Czech Airlines (3)

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