New airline routes launched (15 – 21 April 2014)

interCaribbean Airways’ Montego Bay to Kingston

Cutting the ribbon on 16 April in Kingston to celebrate the launch of multiple-daily flights to Montego Bay were (from left): Mr Joseph A Matalon, Chairman NMIA Airports Ltd; Mr Lyndon Gardiner, Founder and Chairman of interCaribbean Airways; Hon MP Richard Azan; John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism; Kerri Bayliss, Ms Jamaica Universe; Mr Trevor Sadler, CEO interCaribbean Airways; and Mr Alfred McDonald, Senior Director, Commercial Development & Planning, NMIA. While the airline will operate the 140-kilometre route with 30-seat Embraer Brasilias, Caribbean Airlines offers daily flights using much larger 737-800s.

  • interCaribbean Airways has started domestic flights on the island of Jamaica. On 16 April, the airline commenced flying 16 times weekly between Montego Bay (MBJ) and Kingston (KIN), a distance of just 140 kilometres. The airline will operate the route with 30-seat Embraer EMB 120 Brasilias. Competition on the route is provided by Caribbean Airlines, which operates daily with a much larger 737-800. This is a significant step for the Turks & Caicos-based airline, as it is the first time that the Jamaican government has allowed a foreign carrier to operate domestic services. See how the water arch salute in Kingston compared with others in this week’s Arch of Triumph.’s Eindhoven to Athens

Eindhoven Airport celebrated’s inaugural flight to Athens on 18 April with an aircraft-shaped cake as well as cookies for passengers.

Bari Airport celebrated with a cake and a press conference its newest link to Amsterdam, courtesy of’s thrice-weekly flights launched on 17 April. new route - Thessaloniki

Another of’s new routes, the service to Thessaloniki was greeted with the traditional water arch salute at the Greek gateway on 17 April.

  •, the Dutch-based low-cost carrier, added three European links to its offering during the course of last week, all of which are operated thrice-weekly. On 17 April, the airline commenced services on the 1,907-kilometre sector from Amsterdam (AMS) to Thessaloniki (SKG) using its 189-seat 737-800s. On the same day, the LCC inaugurated the 1,540-kilometre airport pair between Amsterdam (AMS) and Bari (BRI), while the next day, on 18 April, it launched operations from Eindhoven (EIN) to Athens (ATH), both routes being served by a mixed fleet of the airline’s 149-seat 737-700s and 189-seat 737-800s. There is no competition on these airport pairs. See how these new routes’ FTWAs compare to the others in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

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

  • Aegean Airlines, which in the previous week added six new European routes, continued to expand its offering with the addition of a new link from Rhodes (RHO) to Paris CDG (CDG) on 15 April. The 2,503-kilometre sector to the French capital will be served twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) until 24 October, utilising its 168-seat A320s. Aegean’s fourth route to CDG (as it already flies from Athens, Heraklion and Thessaloniki) will face no competition from other carriers.

On 19 April, Pula Airport celebrated the arrival of Aer Lingus’ weekly services from Dublin with a special ceremony including a ribbon cutting, cake and Irish wedding dances in the terminal. On hand to cut the celebratory ribbon is Darko Lorencin, Ministry of Tourism, Croatia. Passengers were served with drinks as well as traditional Istrian cakes and pastry in the main hall of the terminal.

  • Air Armenia, which has taken over as the leading local airline in Armenia following the demise of Armavia in March 2013, has added another route to its network from the capital Yerevan (EVN). Using its single 737-500 it began weekly (Tuesday) flights on the 2,195-kilometre route to Ekaterinburg (SVX) in Russia on 15 April. Competition will be provided by Ural Airlines’ weekly service. Air Armenia is analysed in more detail in this week’s airline profile.

  • Air Corsica has added another new route to its growing S14 portfolio with the start of twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) operations from one of its bases at Bastia (BIA) to Lyon (LYS). Flown by the carrier’s 149-seat A320s, the 499-kilometre route, which began on 18 April, will face head-to-head competition against the existing thrice-weekly service offered by incumbent easyJet. It joins Air Corsica’s flights from Ajaccio to Lyon.

  • Air Europa started its first new long-haul service of 2014 with the extension of its existing service to Salvador in Brazil onto Santiago (SCL), the capital of Chile. The thrice-weekly route, which originates at the airline’s main hub in Madrid (MAD) and began on 15 April, will be operated by the SkyTeam carrier’s A330-200 fleet. The 10,697-kilometre sector will encounter competition from Iberia and LAN Airlines, both of which offer daily services.

  • Air Méditerranée has further expanded its network of leisure destinations from French airports with the launch of two new routes from Marseille (MRS) and three new routes from Paris CDG (CDG). All five routes will be operated with just a single weekly frequency using a mix of the airline’s 737-500s, A320s and A321s. Four of the five routes will face direct competition.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
18 April Marseille (MRS) Malaga (AGP) 1 (B735) 1,117 km Ryanair (4)
19 April Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 1 (A321) 478 km Ryanair (2), Vueling (1)
17 April Paris (CDG) Agadir (AGA) 1 (A321) 2,308 km easyJet (3)
19 April Ibiza (IBZ) 1 (B735) 1,132 km
Split (SPU) 1 (A32S) 1,220 km Croatia Airlines (3)
Source: Airline website and Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 28 April 2014

  • Air One has added its ninth international route from Catania (CTA), on the Italian island of Sicily, launching twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) to the French city of Lyon (LYS) on 18 April. Operated by the airline’s 180-seat A320s, the 1,234-kilometre sector will face no direct competition.

AirAsia launches three new routes in Malaysia

Passengers on AirAsia’s first flight from Kota Bharu in Malaysia to Singapore, celebrate on arrival in Singapore on 21 April. The route will be served four times weekly and faces no competition from any other carrier.

  • AirAsia has enhanced its network of routes in Malaysia by starting three new routes, one domestic and two international. All of the routes will be served four times weekly using the airline’s 180-seat A320s, and none of the airport pairs are operated by any other carrier.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
18 April Johor Bahru (JHB) Tawau (TWU) 4 (A320) 1,606 km
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) Kalibo (KLO) 2,485 km
21 April Kota Bharu (KBR) Singapore (SIN) 563 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 28 April 2014

China Eastern Airlines adds two more routes to network

On 20 April China Eastern Airlines began its second cross-strait service from Nanchang, with the introduction of weekly flights to Kaohsiung. Frequency will increase to twice-weekly in June. China Eastern already connects Nanchang with Taipei, with thrice-weekly flights.

  • China Eastern Airlines on 21 April began daily flights between Lijiang (LJG) and Hangzhou (HGH). This is the airline’s 10th destination from Lijiang and 19th from Hangzhou. The 1,990-kilometre route will be served by the airline’s 737s and faces direct competition from Air China and Beijing Capital Airlines, who both operate daily flights as well. In addition, China Eastern on 20 April has also introduced a new weekly (Sunday) service between Nanchang (KHN) and Kaohsiung (KHH) in Taiwan. This 810-kilometre route will be flown by the airline’s A320 fleet, and will face competition from China Airlines’ weekly service. See how the water arch salute in Kaohsiung compared with others in this week’s Arch of Triumph.

  • Far Eastern Air Transport has introduced two new cross-strait routes from Taichung (RMQ) in Taiwan. On 17 April it began twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) flights on the 1,650-kilometre route to Shijiazhuang (SJW), followed on 18 April by twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) flights on the 1,700-kilometre sector to Taiyuan (TYN). Neither route is served by any other carrier. The airline will use its classic MD-80s to serve these markets.

germanwings commences two new routes to Verona

Marking the start of the new thrice-weekly germanwings route from Berlin Tegel to Verona were (from left to right): Norman Keller, Steward, germanwings; Niels Fuenning, First Officer, germanwings; Patrick Zeuner, Senior Consultant Airline Marketing, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg; Swantje Bern, Purser, germanwings; Elmar Burkhardt, Captain, germanwings; Svenja Thiel, Stewardess, germanwings.

  • germanwings, after a plethora of routes launched recently to replace its parent Lufthansa, has begun two new routes in its own right, starting flights from Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Hamburg (HAM) to Verona (VRN) — joining its existing flights to this Italian destination from Cologne Bonn. The former, will be flown by the airline’s A319s thrice-weekly, while the latter will be operated by its 90-seat CRJ 900s twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays). Both routes started on 15 April, and neither will have to tolerate any direct competition.

On 16 April, Honolulu Airport said “a hui hoi” as Hawaiian Airlines’ first flight to China left the international gateway. The new airport pair will be operated thrice-weekly, utilising the airline’s A330-200s.

Celebrations continued at Beijing Airport, which welcomed Hawaiian Airlines’ first flight with dance performers and a blessing ceremony.

  • Hawaiian Airlines commenced its first service to China with the addition of thrice-weekly flights from Honolulu, HI (HNL) to Beijing (PEK). The 8,145-kilometre sector was inaugurated on 16 April and will be flown utilising the airline’s 294-seat A330-200s. Competition on the new airport pair is provided by Air China with thrice-weekly operations. Honolulu was recently profiled in last month’s airport feature.

  • Jetairfly continues its expansion in the French market with the launch of several new routes during the course of last week. All routes will be served just once weekly during the summer season, with the shortest being the 1,109-kilometre route between Deauville (DOL) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI), and the longest being the 2,448-kilometre sector between Lille (LIL) and Kos (KGS). None of the routes face competition, and all will be served by a mix of the airline’s 737-700s and -800s.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
15 April Deauville (DOL) Olbia (OLB) 1 (B738) 1,193 km
17 April Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 1,109 km
19 April Lille (LIL) Kos (KGS) 1 (B73G) 2,448 km
15 April Paris CDG (CDG) Corfu (CFU) 1 (B738) 1,728 km
19 April Kos (KGS) 2,403 km
16 April Strasbourg (SXB) Malaga (AGP) 1 (B73G) 1,646 km
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 28 April 2014

  • Jetstar Airways has made Brisbane (BNE) its sixth Australian city, after Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Adelaide, to receive a link to Denpasar (DPS) in Bali, Indonesia. The four times weekly, 787-8-operated service was launched on 16 April. The 4,488-kilometre sector will face competition from Virgin Australia Airlines (10 weekly) and Garuda Indonesia (seven).

  • Juneyao Airlines has bravely decided to join six other carriers in linking Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Osaka Kansai (KIX). On 15 April, the Chinese carrier launched daily flights on the 1,310-kilometre route using its fleet of over 30 A320s, joining China Eastern Airlines (24 weekly flights), Air China (14), Japan Airlines (14), All Nippon Airways (14), Shanghai Airlines (seven) and Spring Airlines (seven). Juneyao Airlines now serves some 34 destinations from Shanghai Pudong of which 11 are outside China. This is the airline’s second route to Japan as it already serves Okinawa.

  • Meridiana has started services on its sixth domestic route from Cagliari (CAG), linking the Sardinian capital with Milan Malpensa (MXP), initially on a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) basis. The route is clearly highly seasonal, as it takes a ‘break’ after the initial two weekly flights until 16 May, when it re-starts, and gradually builds to twice-daily (from 1 July), before closing on 29 September. The operation began on 18 April and will be flown by a variety of the airline’s equipment. easyJet is currently flying the route with an eight times weekly service on the 710-kilometre sector.

  • Montenegro Airlines expanded its seasonal offering with a new route from Podgorica (TGD) to Düsseldorf (DUS) on 19 April. The 1,373-kilometre sector to the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia will be served weekly (Saturdays) until 13 September, utilising the airline’s 116-seat E195s. However, this service will see a frequency increase to twice-weekly from 10 June. There is no competition on this airport pair.

  • Okay Airways has commenced its second route to the Korean island of Jeju (CJU). On 16 April the airline began thrice-weekly flights on the 1,420-kilometre route from Changsha (CSX) using its 737-800s. According to Innovata / Diio Mi, the flights are currently scheduled to terminate at the end of May, and are the airline’s first international services from Changsha. Okay Airways already serves Jeju from Tianjin. Competition on the Changsha route is provided by China Southern Airlines’ twice-weekly flights. Last year Jeju International Airport handled just over 20 million passengers, around the same as Salt Lake City in the US or Dublin in Ireland.

Royal Air Maroc provides link to Gibraltar

  • Royal Air Maroc has commenced flights between Marrakech (RAK) and Gibraltar (GIB). The new service, which began on 17 April, operates every Sunday and alternating Thursdays, using the airline’s new 70-seat ATR 72-600s. Royal Air Maroc becomes the only non-UK airline to currently serve Gibraltar. The service is operated as a charter service in association with Your Flight, a Gibraltar-based company. Paul Lopez, Director of Your Flight, said: “We are confident that these new flights to Marrakech will be a success and an added boost for Gibraltar’s tourism product, trade and businesses.”

Skymark Airlines starts two new routes from Ibaraki

Skymark Airlines began daily flights on 18 April from Ibaraki Airport to Nagoya Chubu. Yachie Yamaguchi, Vice Governor of Ibaraki Prefecture, is seen welcoming Ambassadress from Nagoya surrounded by Ibaraki companions.

Skymark Airlines also began twice-daily flights on 18 April from Ibaraki Airport to Fukuoka. Mikito Kusuda, Vice Governor of Ibaraki Prefecture, welcomed Masahiro Akiyama, Executive of Fukuoka Sightseeing Federation, and Ambassadress from Fukuoka. Ibaraki Airport Ambassadress and Mikito Kusuda also presented bouquets of flowers to Masahiro Akiyama and Fukuoka Ambassadress.

  • Skymark Airlines, which will receive its first A380 later this summer, has launched two more domestic routes from its base at Ibaraki (IBR) near Tokyo. On 18 April it launched daily flights on the 360-kilometre route to Nagoya Chubu (NGO), and twice-daily flights on the 950-kilometre route to Fukuoka (FUK). Both routes will be operated by the airline’s 177-seat 737-800s. Neither route faces direct competition. Skymark already operates non-stop flights to Sapporo Chitose and Kobe from Ibaraki.

  • Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium has begun operations at Lille (LIL), beginning flights to Heraklion (HER), Ajaccio (AJA) and Fuerteventura (FUE) all on 19 April. Somewhat uniquely, every three weeks the weekly (Saturdays) Fuerteventura flights are operated via Tenerife, whereas both Heraklion (twice-weekly, Mondays and Saturdays) and Ajaccio (weekly, Saturdays) are both flown direct. The airline is also offering some additional services to Agadir and Rhodes starting this week, but do not operate on a regular scheduled basis. Jetairfly provides the competition on the flights to Fuerteventura and Heraklion, which it operates weekly, whereas Volotea operates thrice-weekly on the 1,056-kilometre sector to Ajaccio. All flights are operated by the carrier’s 180-seat A320s.

Tigerair Australia continues the build-up of Brisbane base

Pictured with Tigerair Australia cabin crew on the inaugural flights from Brisabane to Cairns were from (left to right): Cairns Airport CEO Kevin Brown; Local member for Cairns and Assistant Minister for Tourism, Gavin King; Janice Aniston, GM Aviation and Marketing, Cairns Airport; Rob Sharp, Tigerair CEO; and Mayor of Cairns Bob Manning.

  • Tigerair Australia, which opened its Brisbane (BNE) base last month, has added two further cities this week to the growing operation, beginning daily services to both Cairns (CNS) and Darwin (DRW) on 15 April. Both services will be flown by the LCC’s 180-seat A320s and both will face some stiff competition from incumbents on the routes. The Cairns route is the tougher of the two, with Virgin Australia Airlines (29 weekly), Jetstar Airways (28) Qantas (28) and Cathay Pacific Airways (four) providing competition on the 1,389-kilometre sector. To Darwin there are fewer competing frequencies and airlines, with Qantas (11), Virgin Australia (seven) and Jetstar (seven) fighting for dominance in this market. NT Airports CEO Ian Kew said it was exciting to see Tigerair expanding its route coverage. “Tigerair’s new Brisbane service is great news for tourism, with the airline’s low cost structure providing more options to travellers from such an important market,” he said. Mayor of Cairns, Bob Manning said the introduction of new flights demonstrated confidence in the Far North Queensland tourism industry. “We welcome Tigerair’s entry into the Brisbane to Cairns market and, of course, the people it will bring to our region”.

  • France, which in the previous week expanded its Paris Orly base with seven routes, commenced a further two links, both of which are operated twice-weekly using its 189-seat 737-800s. With the longest route being the 2,297-kilometre sector launched (Mondays and Fridays) from Strasbourg (SXB) to Marrakech (RAK) on 21 April, and the shortest being inaugurated  from Paris Orly (ORY) to Budapest (BUD) on 15 April, the French-based low-cost carrier will face no competition on the new airport pairs. The new service to the Hungarian capital will see a frequency increase to thrice-weekly from 13 May. The airline already serves Marrakech from Lille (twice-weekly), Lyon (twice-weekly), Nantes (four times weekly) and Paris Orly (15 times weekly).

  • UTair introduced its fifth route to Yerevan (EVN), with the addition of daily flights from its Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) base on 21 April. The 1,794-kilometre sector to the capital and largest city of Armenia will be flown utilising the airline’s 113-seat 737-500s and will face competition from Air Armenia’s twice-daily operations and Transaero Airlines’ daily flights. UTair is already flying to Yerevan from Adler/Sochi (3), Krasnodar (4), Mineralnye Vody (3) and Rostov-on-Don (4).

  • Volotea, which in the previous week commenced three routes from its Bordeaux base, launched its seventh route to Strasbourg (SXB), this time with twice-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Fridays) from Palermo (PMO) on 18 April. The 1,233-kilometre sector will be flown utilising the LCC’s 125-seat 717s until 3 October, and will face no competition from other carriers.

Vueling grows in Belgium, France, Italy, Poland and Spain

Vueling’s new daily service between Brussels and Rome launched on 17 April. The carrier faces competition from Alitalia, Brussels Airlines and Ryanair on the 1,200-kilometre route. Among the passengers departing the Belgian capital was a junior football team participating in an international football tournament in Italy.

Vueling’s new service between Barcelona and Warsaw launched on 17 April and will operate thrice-weekly in competition with LOT Polish Airlines (daily flights), Norwegian (thrice-weekly flights) and easyJet (twice-weekly).

  • Vueling continues to grow its network across Europe with the launch of five new routes during the course of last week, involving eight airports in five countries. Four of the routes face some kind of competition with the toughest market being that between Brussels (BRU) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO). Here Vueling faces competition from not only both of the national flag-carriers of Belgium and Italy, but also Ryanair.
Launch date From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
17 April Barcelona (BCN) Warsaw (WAW) 3 (A32S) 1,873 km LOT Polish Airlines (7), Norwegian (3), Wizz Air (2)
Brussels (BRU) Rome (FCO) 7 (A320) 1,173 km Brussels Airlines (25), Alitalia (20), Ryanair (14)
19 April Malaga (AGP) Lyon (LYS) 2 (A320) 1,286 km
Seville  (SVQ) 1,297 km France (1)
Nantes (NTE) 1,138 km France (1)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 28 April 2014

  • Xiamen Airlines has introduced a new service to the Korean island of Jeju (CJU). On 15 April it began thrice-weekly flights from its home base of Xiamen (XMN) using its 737-800s on the 1,290-kilometre route. No other carrier serves this airport pair. Xiamen Airlines already serves Jeju from Fuzhou, a route it started last August.


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