New airline routes launched (1 – 7 April 2014)

Qatar Airways’ Philadelphia to Doha

Celebrating the arrival of Qatar Airways in Philadelphia on 2 April were (left to right): H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways; Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia; and Mark Gale, CEO, Philadelphia International Airport. At a special gala event in the evening, local music superstars Boyz II Men performed in front on an invited audience of some 300 people. 

  • Qatar Airways has made Philadelphia, PA (PHL) its fifth US destination, with the launch on 2 April of daily flights from Doha (DOH). The 10,940-kilometre service will be operated by the airline’s long-range 777s, and will not face any direct competition. Qatar Airways became the first new international carrier to serve Philadelphia in over a decade. Announcing the route last May, Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker noted that, “Philadelphia is one of the major hubs of the soon-to-be-merged American Airlines / US Airways and will provide Qatar Airways’ customers with onward connections to over 100 cities. With the implementation of code share agreements with American Airlines and Jet Blue, which offer numerous connections beyond our U.S. gateways, Qatar Airlines is making big strides to strengthen its presence in the United States to ultimately give our passengers greater travel options.”

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

Welcome on board! The crew of the first Adria Airways flight from Warsaw Chopin Airport to Ljubljana get ready to greet the route’s first customers on 1 April. The airline will operate the route thrice-weekly with CRJ 200s and faces no direct competition.

  • Adria Airways has launched two new routes in the last week. On 1 April it began thrice-weekly flights on the 810-kilometre route between Ljubljana (LJU) and Warsaw Chopin (WAW) using its CRJ 200s. The following day it started four times weekly flights on the 1,290-kilometre route between Tirana (TIA) in Albania and Frankfurt (FRA) using its A319s. Neither route is served by any other carrier. This summer Adria Airways will be operating non-stop to 20 destinations from Ljubljana. The Tirana-Frankfurt route was previously served by Albanian Airlines.

Aer Lingus returned to San Francisco on 2 April after an almost five year hiatus. Celebrating in Dublin at the launch were (left to right): Kevin Toland, Chief Executive, DAA; Christoph Mueller, CEO, Aer Lingus; and Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The route will be served five times weekly with the airline’s A330-200s, and will be Aer Lingus’ fifth US destination this summer.

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Hop to it! On 3 April Aer Lingus also resumed daily service between Shannon and Bristol, a route that it last operated as recently as September 2012. In Shannon the route was celebrated by the Easter bunny, while in Bristol the returning service was welcomed by: Shaun Browne, Aviation Director, Bristol Airport (centre); Shirley Knight, Business Development Executive, Bristol Airport (left); and the Aer Lingus Regional Cabin Crew, all of whom were enjoying some specially-baked scones.

  • Aer Lingus has used the start of the summer season to resume service on two city pairs that it has previously served. On 2 April the airline once more connected Dublin (DUB) with non-stop flights to San Francisco, CA (SFO), operating five times weekly with A330s. This 8,205-kilometre route was previously operated between 28 October 2007 and 23 October 2009. This brings to five the number of US destinations served non-stop from Dublin by Aer Lingus this summer, the others being Boston, Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK and Orlando. Closer to home, the airline has also resumed service on 3 April between Shannon (SNN) and Bristol (BRS). This 450-kilometre route will be operated daily by ATR 42s under the Aer Lingus Regional brand. The aircraft are provided by Aer Arann which recently announced that it will now be known as Stobart Air, after its biggest shareholder. This route was previously operated by Aer Lingus between 1 July 2010 and 30 September 2012. Prior to that, the market was served by Ryanair who operated the route from October 2005 until March 2010.

  • Aigle Azur, which used to operate mostly charter services, has increased its scheduled portfolio again with the addition of a weekly service between Paris CDG (CDG) and Faro (FAO) on 5 April. The 140-seat, A319 service operates on Saturdays on the 1,582-kilometre sector and faces no direct competition. The airline currently flies to Oran and Algiers in Algeria from Paris CDG.

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  • Air Algérie, the third largest airline in North Africa, increased its European offering with a new service from its Algiers (ALG) base to Vienna (VIE) on 2 April. The 1,672-kilometre sector that was last served in November 1987, will be operated twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays), utilising the carrier’s 128-seat 737-600s. Two days later, on 4 April, the carrier inaugurated the 322-kilometre domestic route from Hassi Messaoud (HME) to Hassi R’Mel (HRM) with weekly flights (Fridays), utilising its 42-seat ATR 42s. There is no competition on these new airport pairs. Commenting on the route launch to Vienna, Julian Jäger, Member of Management Board, Flughafen Wien AG, said: “We are pleased to add a new destination in an important economic area to our portfolio. Algeria is the largest country in North Africa, and this new direct connection by Air Algérie will strengthen Vienna Airport’s role as a gateway to this region.”


Celebrating the start of weekly services from Ajaccio as well as Bastia by Air Corsica to its first Belgian destination of Liege are (from left to right): Vincent Degives, Key Account Manager Passenger Division, Liege Airport; Michel Ponzevera, Director Commercial & Marketing, Air Corsica; Frédéric Reverchon, AHM, environment, Airport Infrastructure, Air Corsica; and Frédéric Heselmans, Business Development Manager, Liege Airport. 

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  • Air Corsica, the French Mediterranean island’s de facto flag carrier, has connected to its first destination in Belgium — Liege (LGG). Starting on 5 April, a weekly (Saturdays) A320-operated flight originates in Ajaccio (AJA), the capital of Corsica. The next day, the airline began a weekly rotation from Bastia (BIA) to Liege. Neither route has any direct competition, and both are expected to see their respective weekly frequency doubled between early July and early September.

The recent start-up Air Go Airlines Egypt launched its first operations last week with four new routes from Cairo Airport, using its A320s.

  • Air Go Airlines Egypt launched operations during the course of last week with four routes, all of which are flown from its Cairo (CAI) base to Saudi Arabian destinations, using its 151-seat A320s. With the longest route being the 1,324-kilometre service to Taif (TIF) served four times weekly, and the shortest being inaugurated to Tabuk (TUU) at 544-kilometre with thrice-weekly flights, the start-up carrier will face competition on all four new services.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
1 April Cairo (CAI) Yanbu (YNB) 7 A320 Nile Air (7), AlMasria Universal Airlines (3)
Tabuk (TUU) 3 Nile Air (3), AlMasria Universal Airlines (2)
2 April Gassim (ELQ) Nile Air (5), AlMasria Universal Airlines (4), EGYPTAIR (3)
Taif (TIF) 4 AlMasria Universal Airlines (5), Nile Air (4), Nesma Airlines (1)
Source: Innovata/Diio Mi w/c 8 April 2014.

Celebrating the launch of Air One’s new route from Palermo to Berlin Tegel were (from left to right): Fabio Buzzoni, Thamscanda Molepo and Alessandro Scipione Air One crew; Patrick Zeuner, Senior Consultant Airline Marketing, Berlin Brandenburg Airport; Massimiliano Aprino, Malisa dal Castello and Ferdinando Ascone Air One Crew; and Salvatore Stuppia from Barletta Café providing the ice-cream.

  • Air One began seven new international routes, predominantly from Catania (CTA) and Palermo (PMO), on the Italian island of Sicily. In terms of one of the competing services, germanwings’ thrice-weekly starts its own thrice-weekly operation from Düsseldorf (DUS) to Catania on 12 April. The seven routes started in the last week are summarised below.
Launch date Origin Destination Aircraft (WF) Competition
1 April Catania (CTA) Düsseldorf (DUS) A320 (2) airberlin (5), germanwings (3)
Vienna (VIE) Austrian Airlines (3)
Palermo (PMO) London Gatwick (LGW) A320 (3) easyJet (4)
Pisa (PSA) Berlin Tegel (TXL)
2 April Palermo (PMO) A320 (2)
4 April Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) A320 (1)
5 April Catania (CTA) Prague (PRG)
Source: New Route Database

Alitalia starts three routes in week two of S14

Slicing-up the cake for the re-start of services between Milan Linate and Prague (the route was previously served up until October 1998) on 1 April were: Zuzana Kostalova, Alitalia Sales Manager (left) and Marta Guthova, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prague Airport (right).

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  • Alitalia, having started just one route last week at the start of S14 season, chose this week to launch three new airport pairs. First up on 1 April was the Italian flag carrier’s new link between Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Tunis (TUN). The twice-weekly service (Tuesdays and Saturdays) was previously operated by the airline until May 2010. The 983-kilometre sector will be flown by a variety of equipment, and will operate in direct competition against Tunisair’s 11 times weekly service. Launched the same day from the city’s downtown airport of Milan Linate (LIN), the SkyTeam carrier began a thrice-weekly service to the Czech capital, Prague (PRG). The route will again be flown by several aircraft types, but will face no direct competition. However, both easyJet (double-daily) and Czech Airlines (12 times weekly) will compete indirectly on the Milan-Prague city pair, both operating from Milan Malpensa. The airport pair, a seasonal service which will operate until 25 October, was previously flown by Alitalia until October 1998. Finally, on 2 April, Alitalia improved its regional long-haul credentials by starting a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Saturdays) Venice Marco Polo (VCE) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) service. The 293-seat, 777-200-operated route will encounter no direct competition.

On 1 April, Edmonton Airport celebrated the resumption of American Airline’s services from Dallas/Fort Worth, last operated 18 years ago. Pulling the “coral door” to officially open the gate for boarding the flight are (left to right): George Rogers; Tom Ruth; Will Livsey; Mabrie Jackson; and John Whaley.

  • American Airlines expanded its route network with the addition of 11 new routes from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) and New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA), all of which were launched on 1 April. Notably, the average weekly frequency across the 11 new routes is almost 13. With the longest sector being the 2,623-kilometre daily services to Edmonton (YEG), last operated 18 years ago, and the shortest being inaugurated to Richmond, VA (RIC) at 470-kilometre, the oneworld member will face competition on eight of the newly launched routes from Delta Air Lines. Furthermore, all of American’s new domestic flights will be operated by American Eagle. Commenting on the route launch to Edmonton, Tom Ruth, CEO, Edmonton Airport, said: “This new, non-stop route is a major asset for travellers doing business in Dallas/Fort Worth, and it links us to American Airlines’ largest hub, with great access to Central and South America. Through American, Edmonton will now have access to oneworld’s global network of almost a thousand destinations in more than 150 countries.”
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
1 April Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) Edmonton (YEG) 7 A319
New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA) Charlottesvile, VA (CHO) ER4 Delta Air Lines (6)
Dayton, OH (DAY) 19 Delta Air Lines (6)
Greensboro, NC (GSO) Delta Air Lines (25)
Knoxville, TN (TYS) 6 Delta Air Lines (11)
Little Rock, AR (LIT) 7 CR7
Louisville, KY (SDF) 19 ER4 Delta Air Lines (17)
Norfolk, VA (ORF) Delta Air Lines (22)
Richmond, VA (RIC) 26 Delta Air Lines (31)
Roanoke, VA (ROA) 6
Wilmington, NC (ILM) Delta Air Lines (7)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 8 April 2014.

  • Arik Air expanded its African network with the addition of its third route to Cotonou (COO), this time from Lagos (LOS) on 7 April. The 108-kilometre sector to the largest city and economic centre of Benin will be operated daily, utilising a mixed fleet of the airline’s 85-seat CRJ 900s and 131-seat 737-700s. The services then continue to Dakar, an existing route. In addition, Arik Air also serves Cotonou from Douala in Cameroon with daily flights. There is no competition on the new airport pair.

  • Brussels Airlines is once again operating scheduled services between Brussels Zaventem (BRU) and Seville (SVQ). On 1 April the airline resumed thrice-weekly flights on the 1,710-kilometre service, which it last served on 15 April 2012. A319s will operate the route on which the airline faces no direct competition, though Ryanair does offer daily flights between Seville and Brussels Charleroi. This summer Brussels Airlines will serve six destinations in Spain, the others being Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Malaga.

  • China Airlines has added two more routes to its international network. On 2 April the airline launched twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) flights on the 315-kilometre route from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Ishigaki (ISG) in Japan, while the following day weekly (Thursday) flights on the 810-kilometre route between Kaohsiung (KHH) and Nanchang (KHN) in China commenced. Both routes will be operated by the airline’s 737-800s and the only competition is on the Ishigaki route which is also served by TransAsia Airways with twice-weekly flights.

  • China Express Airlines, which last week started three new routes, has added a further domestic route on 1 April between Hangzhou (HGH) and Fuyang (FUG). The thrice-weekly service on the 500-kilometre route will be operated once again by the airline’s CRJ 900s. China Express Airlines is the dominant carrier at Fuyang, accounting for 20 of the airport’s 35 weekly departures, across six domestic destinations.

  • Copa Airlines commenced a new international link from Bogota (BOG) to Punta Cana (PUJ) on 2 April. The 1,656-kilometre sector to the Dominican Republic will be served four times weekly, utilising its Colombian subsidiary’s 106-seat E190s. Copa’s second route to Punta Cana, as it already serves this destination from Panama City, will face competition from Avianca’s daily operations.

easyJet starts a 12-route expansion, including London Gatwick to Tel Aviv

Hugh Aitken easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager and Chris Hope the LCC’s Head of Gatwick shared the specially-made cake in the shape of Tel Aviv’s famous ‘Water and Fire’ monument at the inaugural of its new London Gatwick service to the Israeli city, which launched on 1 April.

Cutting the ribbon for the inaugural easyJet service from Basel to Reykjavik/Keflavik on 2 April along with the airline’s crew members was (right) Gudny Maria Jóhannsdóttir, Manager Business & Routes Development, Isavia. There was also new route cake to be had!

The passengers on the two new easyJet services launched from Basel this week — Larnaca and Reykjavik/Keflavik, adding to Brindisi and Montpelier last week — clearly enjoyed the FTWA-themed cake. The airport’s Airline Market Analyst Andrew Cullinan (far right of group shot) joined the celebrations.

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  • easyJet took the start of the S14 season as the opportunity to launch 12 new routes from eight of its bases. Half of the routes will encounter direct competition from at least one or two carriers, with the remainder facing no direct competition at all. One such competed route is between Hamburg (HAM) to Catania (CTA), with germanwings starting its own weekly operation just four days after easyJet. In a similar way, Aegean Airways starts its own Athens (ATH) to Hamburg thrice-weekly service on 27 May. The twelve routes started in the last week are summarised below.
Launch date Origin Destination Aircraft (WF) Competition
1 April Edinburgh (EDI) Heraklion (HER)

A320 (1)

Basel (BSL) Larnaca (LCA)

A320 (2)

Bordeaux (BOD) Marrakech (RAK)

A32S (3)

Royal Air Maroc (2), Jetairfly (1)
London Gatwick (LGW) Tel Aviv (TLV)

A320 (1)

Hamburg (HAM) Catania (CTA)

A319 (2)

germanwings (1)
Venice Marco Polo (VCE)

A319 (3)

germanwings (3)
Nice (NCE) Marrakech (RAK)

A32S (3)

Royal Air Maroc (2)
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Nantes (NTE)

A319 (3) France (2), Vueling (2)
2 April Thessaloniki (SKG)

A319 (2)

Alitalia (7)
Basel (BSL) Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF)

A320 (2)

Hamburg (HAM) Athens (ATH)

A319 (2)

5 April Glasgow (GLA) Kos (KGS)

A320 (2)

Source: New Route Database

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Etihad Airways furthers its Indian intentions with Jaipur service

Destination #10 for Etihad Airways in India was Jaipur – launched on 2 April from its Abu Dhabi hub.

  • Etihad Airways strengthened its Indian network intentions on 2 April when it started daily flights from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub to its tenth destination in India, Jaipur (JAI). Currently flown facing no direct competition, the 136-seat A320-operated service will also face no hub competition from the remaining two MEB3 carriers — Emirates and Qatar Airways — although Air India Express does link Dubai and Jaipur.

  • Etihad Regional continues to expand its operations from Swiss airports. After launching flights between Zurich and Leipzig on 30 March, the airline began linking Geneva (GVA) and Toulouse (TLS) on 1 April, initially with just two weekly flights, but increasing to four weekly flights by the beginning of May. The 470-kilometre route will be served by Darwin Airline’s Saab 2000s, and will face competition from easyJet’s six weekly flights.

eurolot adds second link to Belgian capital

The crew of the first eurolot flight between Wroclaw and Brussels pose with a commemorative banner at Brussels Airport. The thrice-weekly Q400 service is the airline’s second route to the airport, having recently begun flights from Gdansk.

  • eurolot continues to expand its offering from Poland’s regional airports with the launch on 1 April of a new thrice-weekly service between Wroclaw (WRO) and Brussels (BRU). The 870-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s 72-seat Q400s and will face no direct competition. This is the airline’s second route to Brussels having recently launched flights from Gdansk. Until the end of March Ryanair operated twice-weekly flights between Wroclaw and Brussels Charleroi.

  • flynas, the Saudi Arabian low-cost airline, has embarked upon its first long-haul service, with the start of thrice-weekly A330 operations between Jeddah (JED) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL). Beginning on 6 April, the new route will face competition from the three market incumbents — all of which offer more weekly frequencies. Saudi Arabian Airlines leads the way with eight weekly flights, with Malaysia Airlines providing a daily service, while fellow LCC AirAsia X offers a five times weekly operation.

  • Germania’s plethora of new 2014 routes grew one stronger this week, with the addition of a weekly service (Fridays) from Bremen (BRE) to Antalya (AYT) — its first scheduled Turkish route from the German airport, which was crowned as the overall winner of the Routes Europe Marketing Awards in Marseille. The A319-operated, 2,477-kilometre sector will face competition from Pegasus Airlines which currently flies the route with an identical frequency. By the end of May, Germania will have increased the frequency to four times weekly, ready for peak season operations.

  • germanwings, which last week launched over 20 new routes, added another four new routes to its expanding network this week, with the introduction of new flights to Bari (BRI), Rome Fiumicino (FCO), Split (SPU) and Thessaloniki (SKG). The routes are operated by a mix of the airline’s CRJ 900s, A319s and A320s.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
1 April Berlin (TXL) Split (SPU) 3 (A319) 1,028 km
5 April Düsseldorf (DUS) Bari (BRI) 1 (EQV) 1,365 km
4 April Hamburg (HAM) Rome (FCO) 4 (A319) 1,326 km easyJet (7)
3 April Thessaloniki (SKG) 2 (A319) 1,754 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

Iberia returned to Stockholm on 2 April, using its low-cost subsidiary Iberia Express to operate the route from Madrid twice-weekly. On hand to celebrate the resumption of services were (from left to right): Octavio Gonzalez, Tourism Manager; Paloma Utrera, Sales Manager, Iberia Express; Cristina Bjernudd, Airport Marketing; Spanish Ambassador Francisco Javier Jimenez Ugarte; Peter Rasmussen, Regional Commercial Manager, Iberia Express; and Lena Rökaa, Airport Manager.

  • Iberia has resumed flights between its Madrid (MAD) base and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). Up until the end of March 2013 Iberia served the route with daily flights, but since 2 April the airline has re-started service on the 2,605-kilometre route, using its low-cost subsidiary Iberia Express to operate the connection. The airline’s 180-seat A320s will operate the route twice-weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Competition on the route is provided by SAS with 10 weekly flights. Norwegian will also link these two capital city airports together starting in early June.

On 1 April, Kenya Airways’ latest low-cost subsidiary launched operations with three new domestic routes from Nairobi to Kisumu, Eldoret and Mombasa, utilising its 737-300s.

  • Jambojet, Kenya Airways’ low-cost subsidiary, launched first operations on 1 April, with three domestic routes from Nairobi (NBO), all of which are operated by its 142-seat 737-300s. The new start-up will fly to Kisumu (KIS) with twice-daily flights, to Eldoret (EDL) ten times weekly, as well as to Mombasa (MBA) with 38 weekly operations. While all three services are already served by its parent company, they will also face direct competition from: Five Forty Aviation (14) to Kisumu; Five Forty Aviation (7) to Eldoret; Five Forty Aviation (27) and East African Safari Air (2) to Mombasa. resumed service between Leeds Bradford and Budapest on 3 April, with a twice-weekly service. Celebrating the event in sunny Budapest were Nick Louden, Airports & Tourism Manager (left), Kam Jandu, Chief Commercial Officer of Budapest Airport (right), and the flight crew. Passengers on the first flight were treated to some cake by Sándor Saly, Airline Development Manager, Budapest Airport.

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At East Midlands Airport celebrated the launch of services to Paris CDG in time for Easter with Disney-themed headware. The airline’s four weekly flights will face no competition.

  • has expanded its route network in the last week with the addition of several new routes from its UK bases. Three of the five new routes are weekly service to Fuerteventura (FUE) in the Canary Islands.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
3 April East Midlands (EMA) Paris (CDG) 4 (B733) 505 km
4 April Glasgow (GLA) Fuerteventura (FUE) 1 (B738) 3,138 km Thomas Cook Airlines (2), Thomson Airways (1)
3 April Leeds Bradford (LBA) Budapest (BUD) 2 (B733) 1,633 km
4 April Fuerteventura (FUE) 1 (B733) 2,993 km Ryanair (3)
Manchester (MAN) 1 (B752) 2,924 km Thomas Cook Airlines (3), Thomson Airways (3), Monarch Airlines (2), Ryanair (2)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi.

Miami here we come! Cutting the ribbon to celebrate the launch of Jetairfly’s new twice-weekly service to Miami in Floirda were Erik Follet, Director of Network Planning and Revenue Management, Jetairfly (left), and Leon Verhallen, Head of Aviation Marketing, Brussels Airport (right). A special cake was also baked for the event with a beach theme.

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  • Jetairfly, the Belgian subsidiary of TUI Airlines, has begun a number of new routes from airports in Belgium and France. The four destinations cover a broad spectrum of countries; the Czech Republic, Israel, Spain and the United States. All routes will be served with between one and three weekly flights.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
2 April Brussels (CRL) Prague (PRG) 3 (B73S) 700 km
5 April Brussels (BRU) Miami, FL (MIA) 2 (B767) 7,472 km
3 April Tel Aviv (TLV) 3 (B73S) 3,254 km Brussels Airlines (13), El Al (9)
6 April Lille (LIL) Fuerteventura (FUE) 1 (B738) 2,840 km
Paris (CDG) 2,680 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

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  • Kuwait Airways has resumed flights between Kuwait City (KWI) and Lahore (LHE) in Pakistan. On 1 April the Kuwaiti flag-carrier initiated thrice-weekly services on the 2,545-kilometre route using its A320s. Competition is provided by Shaheen Air and Pakistan International Airlines, who both operate the route twice-weekly. Kuwait Airways already serves Islamabad in Pakistan with daily flights.

The wait is over! Lufthansa’s Munich to Mexico City service finally became reality on 3 April with the start of a five times weekly service operated by the airline’s A340-600s. Munich becomes just the sixth European airport to offer direct scheduled services to Mexico City this summer. Pictured preparing to cut the ribbon are (left to right): Mr. Helmut Wölfel (Deutsche Lufthansa), Her Excellency Patricia Espinosa Cantellano (Mexican ambassador in Germany), Mr. Vincente Salas Hesselbach (Director of the Mexican Tourist Office); Mrs. Ulrike Wolf (Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology); and Mr. Michael Kerkloh (CEO of Munich Airport).

  • Lufthansa, after several false starts, and not withstanding a pilot strike, finally launched services from Munich (MUC) to Mexico City (MEX) on 3 April. The 9,860-kilometre route was first scheduled to start as long ago as 2012, but now Lufthansa is operating the route five times weekly using its A340-600s. Munich thus becomes only the sixth European airport to have non-stop scheduled air services to Mexico City this summer after Amsterdam (KLM), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), London Heathrow (Aeromexico and British Airways), Madrid (Aeromexico and Iberia), Paris CDG (Aeromexico and Air France).

  • Malindo Air, the Malaysian off-shoot of Indonesia’s Lion Air, has commenced operations between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Ahmedabad (AMD) in India. Flights appear to have started on Monday 7 April and be operating twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays), at least initially. No other carrier currently serves this 3,860-kilometre route. Ahmedabad becomes Malindo Air’s fourth route to India after Delhi, Mumbai and Trichy.

Norwegian bolsters its Barcelona and London Gatwick bases

Started on 3 April, Norwegian began a new four times weekly operation between its new base in Barcelona and Hamburg. The route will face competition from Vueling and germanwings.

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  • Norwegian started eight new routes from three different bases over three days in early April, the majority of which face some level of competition. Of those new routes, the most competitive city pair is between London Gatwick (LGW) and Larnaca (LCA), which will see the LCC take on five incumbent airlines. Norwegian will also face some significant indirect competition on some of the city pairs — airberlin (daily), Lufthansa (daily) and Vueling (eight times weekly) all operate from Berlin Tegel to Barcelona (BCN), in competition with its new link to the Spanish city from Berlin Schönefeld (SXF). While there is no direct competition from Barcelona to Oslo Torp (TRF), Norwegian itself flies from Oslo Gardermoen to Barcelona (11 times weekly), SAS (six times weekly), while Vueling will re-start its own seasonal thrice-weekly operation on 11 April. In addition, Ryanair flies from Barcelona to Oslo Rygge (five times weekly). The eight routes started in the last week are summarised below.
Launch date Origin Destination Aircraft (WF) Competition
2 April Barcelona (BCN) Berlin (SXF)

B738 (3)

easyJet (17)
3 April Bergen (BGO) Prague (PRG)

B738 (2)

Barcelona (BCN) Hamburg (HAM)

B738 (4)

Vueling (7), germanwings (6)
Oslo Torp (TRF)

B738 (2)

Warsaw (WAW)

B738 (3)

LOT Polish Airlines (7), Wizz Air (2)
5 April London Gatwick (LGW) Santorini (JTR)

B738 (1)

Catania (CTA)

B738 (1)

British Airways (7), easyJet (5), Air One (3)
Larnaca (LCA)

B738 (1)

easyJet (7), British Airways (5), Monarch Airlines (2), Thomson Airways (2), Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Source: New Route Database

Ryanair adds 61 new routes in first week of April

Ryanair launched its new Athens base with six new routes on 1 April, including daily flights to Milan Bergamo. The event was celebrated at the Italian airport with a massive cake in the colours of the Greek flag. Sharing in the moment were: Giacomo Cattaneo, Aviation Manager, SACBO BGY Airport (centre); and Giuseppe Belladone, Sales & Marketing Executive Italy, Greece, Croatia & Romania for Ryanair (centre-right).

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Ryanair adds 61 new routes in first week of April

At Bristol Airport a new twice-weekly Ryanair service to Bologna was celebrated on 1 April by Shaun Browne, Bristol Airport, with Bologna passengers Sophie Hannah Brady and Zachary (nearly 4 years) Brady, and Davide Vaccarino, Ryanair. Commenting on the new service Shaun Browne said: “The growth in services between Bristol Airport and Italy demonstrates the strength of the cultural and business links the country has with the South West and Wales. Bologna has one of Italy’s greatest medieval cityscapes and offers a wonderful alternative to the north’s more famous cities. During check in for the first flight, passengers were offered Bellinis and Biscotti biscuits, to celebrate with a little taste of Italy at Bristol Airport.”

Ryanair adds 61 new routes in first week of April

In Memmingen the airport was happy to welcome the start of Ryanair’s thrice-weekly flights to Shannon, which launched on Tuesday 1 April. Sharing in the excitement were Markus Leopold, Sales and Marketing Executive, Ryanair (second from left), and Marcel Schütz, Allgäu Airport Memmingen (second from right), along with the flight and cabin crew of the first flight and a couple of Irish “sheep”.

Ryanair adds 61 new routes in first week of April

In Lisbon the airport was celebrating the launch of six new services with Ryanair, including four times weekly flights to Manchester and daily flights to Dublin.

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Ryanair adds 61 new routes in first week of April

In Manchester the airport was celebrating Ryanair’s six new routes this summer, four of which launched during the first week of April. Flights to Barcelona and Gran Canaria started at the end of March. Ken O’Toole, Chief Commercial Officer for Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “We’re delighted that Ryanair have officially launched 6 new routes from Manchester Airport today, as well as revealing the great news that five of their existing popular routes will now have extra flights to accommodate even more passengers. Ryanair passengers travelling through Manchester Airport can also take advantage of relaxed rules for airport shopping and can now take one shopping bag on board in addition to their hand luggage. We look forward to welcoming Ryanair’s passengers to Manchester Airport flying to one of Ryanair’s 36 summer routes.”

The Joker, Cathal Costello, was on hand to help Shannon Airport celebrate the launch of nine new Ryanair routes in the last week. Also helping to promote the new routes across Europe were Zanna Wisnieska (Poland), Natalia Rimpo (France) and Alba Perez (Spain).

Ryanair adds 61 new routes in first week of April

London Stansted was celebrating the addition of 13 new Ryanair routes this summer, eight of which started during the last week. The remaining five (Bordeaux, Comiso, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat) are all operating for the first time this summer but were all launched between September 2013 and February 2014. Promoting the good news were Ryanair’s UK & Ireland Sales & Marketing Executive Lisa Cashin and a troupe of Greek dancers, highlighting the airline’s new route to Athens.

Warsaw Modlin Airport celebrated the launch of daily domestic flights with Ryanair to Gdansk and Wroclaw on 2 April. There was also an impressive suitcase-shaped cake for passengers to enjoy before the first flights. The airport also welcomed new Ryanair services to Alicante, Shannon and Thessaloniki during the last week.

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Ryanair adds 61 new routes in first week of April

Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport welcomed Ryanair services for the first time on 1 April with the introduction of daily flights to London Stansted, followed on 2 April by the start of a four times weekly service to Dublin.

  • Ryanair launched the small matter of 61 new routes in the first week of April. In terms of leading country markets Ireland with 19 just beats Italy (18), Greece and the UK (15 each). In total 54 airports spread across 20 countries welcomed new Ryanair services last week. Leading airports for new routes were Shannon (SNN) with nine, followed by Dublin (DUB) and London Stansted (STN) each with eight. Athens (ATH) and Lisbon (LIS) were the only other airports to celebrate at least six new Ryanair services in the first seven days of April. Individual route highlights include the launch of 36 weekly flights between Athens and Thessaloniki (SKG), and double daily flights from Athens to Chania (CHQ). In Poland Ryanair has introduced daily domestic flights from Warsaw Modlin (WMI) to both Gdansk (GDN) and Wroclaw (WRO). The average weekly frequency across all 61 new routes is 3.9, which by Ryanair standards for new routes is above average. A full 13 of the new routes will launch with at least daily flights. In terms of competition, Ryanair faces direct competition on just 11 routes, with Aegean Airlines (three), Aer Lingus (three) and TAP Portugal (two) facing the most new threats. For a full list of the airline’s new routes click on the link below.

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Download Ryanair’s new routes this week

The first passengers (Declan Keane and Robert Costello) to check in for Saudi’s resumed service between Manchester and Jeddah, received a free upgrade to first class from Robert Smith (MAG), supported by Philip Griffin and Antonette Dakin from Saudia. There was also a splendid cake which was cut by the crew. 

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  • Saudi Arabian Airlines has commenced three new international services at the beginning of April, one each from the country’s three main airports. The Jeddah (JED) to Manchester (MAN) service, which resumed after a five year hiatus, will operate thrice-weekly using 777-200s. Charlie Cornish, MAG CEO, said: “It is not only great news for Manchester Airport to welcome Saudia back, but for the entire region. The introduction of their new three weekly Jeddah route will further strengthen connections from Manchester to the Middle East and sees another direct long haul service added to our ever increasing network of routes. This new route, which hasn’t been served for over five years, is testament to the strength of Manchester Airport’s catchment area, which includes over 24 million people. We look forward to this direct service supporting the strong commercial, ethnic and educational relationships that exist between Saudi Arabia and the North West.”
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
2 April Dammam (DMM) Istanbul (IST) 3 (A320) 2,511 km Turkish Airlines (14)
1 April Jeddah (JED) Manchester (MAN) 3 (B772) 4,978 km
Riyadh (RUH) Casablanca (CMN) 3 (B777) 5,304 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • Skymark Airlines launched four new domestic routes on Tuesday 1 April, all operated either daily, or twice-daily. Yonago Airport was the biggest beneficiary with three new routes, only one of which, to Tokyo Haneda, faces direct competition. All routes will be flown by the airline’s 737-800s. Yonago became Skymark’s 16th destination last December.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
1 April Kobe (UKB) Sendai (SDJ) 14 (B738) 642 km
Yonago (YGJ) Okinawa (OKA) 7 (B738) 1,160 km
Sapporo Chitose (CTS) 1,090 km
Tokyo Haneda (HND) 14 (B738) 592 km All Nippon Airways (42)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • SWISS has introduced flights from Geneva (GVA) to Pristina (PRN) in Kosovo. The airline’s first flight was on 2 April, and the twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) service will be flown by the airline’s A320s. The 1,255-kilometre route is also served by easyJet with thrice-weekly flights. Last year passenger numbers at Pristina Airport grew by almost 7% to 1.63 million.

 t’way air launches first Chinese route from Seoul Incheon

Say it with flowers. t’way air’s inaugural flight on 3 April from Seoul Incheon to Jinan in China was celebrated with flowers for the flight and cabin crew. The airline’s twice-weekly flights will compete with those of Korean Air (daily) and Shandong Airlines (thrice-weekly).

  • t’way air became the third carrier to offer non-stop flights between Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Jinan (TNA) in China, when it began twice-weekly flights (Mondays and Thursdays) on the 875-kilometre route on 3 April, using its 737-800s. Competition is provided by Korean Air (daily flights) and Shandong Airlines (thrice-weekly). This becomes t’way air’s fifth route from Seoul Incheon, complementing three routes to Japan (Chengdu, Fukuoka and Saga) and one to Thailand (Bangkok).

Iasi Airport celebrated on 7 April with a fantastic cake TAROM’s second route to Tel Aviv. Cutting the celebratory cake’s first slice are (left to right): Marius Bodea, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Iasi Airport; Cristian Adomnitei, President, Iasi County; Iulian Necula, Priest, Metropolis of Moldova and Bucovina; and Abraham Ghiltman, President, Iasi Jewish Community.

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  • TAROM, the flag carrier of Romania that in the previous week resumed Bucharest-Moscow Sheremetyevo service, continued to expand its international network with a new service from Iasi (IAS) to Tel Aviv (TLV) on 7 April. The 1,794-kilometre sector will be served twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays), utilising its 134-seat 737-300s. TAROM’s second route to Israel, as it already operates with 10 weekly flights from Bucharest, will face no competition from other carriers.

Tigerair Australia touched down at Whitsunday Coast Airport on Tuesday 1 April, with its new thrice-weekly service from Sydney. Enjoying the Queensland sunshine were: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan; Whitsunday Mayor Jennifer Whitney; Tigerair Head of Communications Vanessa Regan; cabin crew Jessica Kerney, Nynia Sebastian, Jacqueline Weir and Yoshie Swale with Captain Peter Larsen, First Officer Julian Dauncey; and other tourism and airport partners. On board the first flight from Sydney to Whitsunday Coast was Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney (and furry friend) with husband Shane Whitney. 

  • Tigerair Australia on 1 April launched a new service between Sydney (SYD) and Proserpine (PPP), better known as Whitsunday Coast Airport. The thrice-weekly service on the 1,510-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s A320s, and faces no competition. For Proserpine this becomes the airport’s second destination, after Brisbane, which is served by both Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia. Tigerair Australia CEO Rob Sharp, said: “We have witnessed overwhelming demand from both leisure and budget travellers wanting to gain easy access to Airlie Beach and surrounding areas and today’s Sydney – Whitsunday Coast route launch is in direct response to consumer demand. As the only direct air service between Sydney and Whitsunday Coast, this is a coup for leisure and budget travellers and the all-important backpacker market. Our fares have been proven to stimulate markets and we look forward to working with the Whitsundays regional council and community to provide a much needed boost to local tourism. We’re confident local residents will welcome the direct flights to Sydney as well.”

On 1 April, Atlantic City Airport marked with a special event the arrival of United Airlines’ daily services from Chicago O’Hare and Houston Intercontinental. Cutting the celebratory cake were (left to right): James McCullough, Mayor of Egg Harbor Township; Frank Frankowski, Acting Executive Director of the South Jersey Transportation Authority; Don Wright, Regional Vice President of United Airlines; Deb Gramiccioni, Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; John Palmieri, Executive Director of the Atlantic City Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

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  • United Airlines, which in the previous week resumed Taipei Taoyuan flights from San Francisco, continued to expand its domestic network with the addition of six new routes during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 6,733-kilometre service from Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) to Kahului, HI (OGG) operated weekly (Saturdays), and the shortest being inaugurated from Denver, CO (DEN) to Pueblo, CO (PUB) with 12 times weekly flights at 174-kilometre, the Star Alliance member will face competition on two of the new airport pairs.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
1 April Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) 14 CR7 Delta Air Lines (45), Spirit Airlines (7), Sun Country Airlines (7)
San Francisco, CA (SFO) Atlanta, GA (ATL) 738 Delta Air Lines (42), AirTran Airways (7), Southwest Airlines (7)
Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Atlantic City, NJ (ACY) 7 ERJ
Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH)
Denver, CO (DEN) Pueblo, CO (PUB) 12 EM2
6 April Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Kahului, HI (OGG) 1 777
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 8 April 2014.

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  • Ural Airlines now flies weekly (Sundays) between Krasnodar (KRR) and Budapest (BUD). The airline started the service on the 1,555-kilometre route on 6 April, using an A320. No other carrier operates the route. This brings to eight the number of destinations Ural Airlines serves non-stop from Krasnodar.

Uzbekistan Airways’ inaugural flight to Singapore Changi arrived on 3 April. Posing for the commemorative picture are (from left): Senior Advisor of Changi Airport Advisory Group, Mr. Wong Woon Liong; Chairman of the Association of Private Touristic Organizations of Uzbekistan, Mr. Nabidjon Kasimov; Chief Executive Officer of Changi Airport Group, Mr. Lee Seow Hiang; First Deputy General Director of Uzbekistan Airways, Mr. Akmal Akbarov; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Alisher Kurmanov; Executive Vice President of Changi Airport Group (Air Hub & Development), Mr. Yam Kum Weng; Executive Vice President of SATS, Mr. Yacoob Piperdi; Executive Vice President of SATS (Food Solutions), Mr. Wong Hong; Uzbekistan Airways General Manager (Singapore), Mr. Utkur Alimov. The Uzbekistan dance troupe ‘SHOLIQ’, performed at the inaugural dinner reception. (Source: Changi Airport)

  • Uzbekistan Airways has launched three new international routes during the last week, two of which are to destinations in Russia. All three routes will be served with just a single weekly flight. None of the three routes are currently served by any other carrier. According to Innovata / Diio Mi schedule data the airline operates some 180 weekly departures from Tashkent Airport across a network of 52 non-stop destinations.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
3 April Tashkent (TAS) Singapore (SIN) 1 (B764) 5,625 km
5 April Vladivostok (VVO) 1 (B752) 5,021 km
4 April Urgench (UGC) Volgograd (VOG) 1 (A320) 1,393 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • Volotea has commenced a thrice-weekly Italian domestic service on 1 April between Naples (NAP) and Genoa (GOA). The 595-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s 125-seat 717s, though service will be suspended between 17 July and 9 September. Volotea operates a total of eight routes from Naples and five routes from Genoa. No other carrier currently serves the airport pair, though Alitalia served the market with 12 weekly flights up until the end of last October.

  • Vueling has commenced three new routes in the past week, one in the Spanish domestic market and two further international routes from its home country too. None of the routes faces any direct competition. The two routes launched from Asturias (OVD) are services #7 and #8 for the LCC at the airport. The three routes started in the last week are summarised below.
Launch date Origin Destination Aircraft (WF) Competition
2 April Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Alicante (ALC)

A320 (3)

4 April Asturias (OVD) Paris CDG (CDG)

A320 (2)

Malaga (AGP)

A320 (3)

Source: New Route Database

Wizz Air crew joined in the celebrations of the airline’s new route from Skopje Alexander The Great Airport to Brussels Charleroi in 2 April 2014. The twice-weekly service will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays using the airline’s 180-seat A320s. Om hand to cut the celebratory cake were: Zoran Krstevski, TAV Macedonia General Manager; Nejat Kurt, Skopje Airport Manager; joined by Ferenc Toth, Chief Pilot, Wizz Air at Skopje Base.

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Direct flights between Skopje Alexander the Great Airport in Macedonia and Paris Beauvais Airport were launched on 4 April 2014. Wizz Air will operate the route twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays. Preparing to cut the cake were: Zoran Krstevski, TAV Macedonia General Manager; Tamara Mshvenieradze, Wizz Air Communications Manager; Laurence Auer, the Ambassador of France to Macedonia; Mile Janakievski, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Macedonia; and Nejat Kurt, Skopje Airport Manager.

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Wizz Air launched its fourth route in as many days from Skopje Alexander the Great Airport on 4 April, with the introduction of twice-weekly flights to Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany. On hand to cut the celebratory cake were: Tamara Mshvenieradze, Wizz Air Communications Manager; Nejat Kurt, Skopje Airport Manager; Zoran Krstevski, TAV Macedonia General Manager; and Wizz Air cabin crew.

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  • Wizz Air has launched four new routes from its Skopje (SKP) base in Macedonia, bringing its total network at the airport to 14. The airline now operates six departures per day, every day of the week, from the airport that saw its passenger numbers increase by 18% last year to almost one million passengers.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
2 April Skopje (SKP) Brussels Charleroi (CRL) 2 (A320) 1,621 km
4 April Cologne Bonn (CGN) 1,485 km
1 April Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) 1,419 km
4 April Paris Beauvais (BVA) 1,725 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi.


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