New airline routes launched (22 – 28 April 2014)
Iraqi Airways’ Baghdad, Erbil and Najaf to Vienna
- Iraqi Airways has inaugurated services to Vienna (VIE) on 25 April, launching services from Baghdad (BGW) and Erbil (EBL), as well as a new route to Najaf (NJF) on 27 April, following a 24-year cessation in operations to the Austrian capital. Twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) the airline will fly Baghdad-Erbil-Vienna-Erbil-Baghdad, and it will also operate a Najaf-Baghdad-Vienna-Baghdad-Najaf on a weekly basis (Sundays). Services will be flown by either 737-800s or A320s, depending on operational requirements. Austrian Airlines is the only incumbent airline, providing daily services to Erbil and thrice-weekly flights to Baghdad.
Syphax Airlines’ Montreal to Tunis
- Syphax Airlines, the private hybrid Tunisian carrier, grew its international offering last week with the addition of a new route from Tunis (TUN) to Montreal (YUL) on 24 April. The 6,788-kilometre sector to the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec will be operated weekly (Fridays), utilising the carrier’s 278-seat A330-200s. The airline’s third route from Tunis, as it already flies to Paris CDG (daily) and Tripoli (five times weekly), will face no competition from other carriers. See how Montreal Airport’s FTWA compares to the other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- Air Méditerranée continues its busy start to the summer season, starting a trio of Spanish routes this week, adding to the five routes it launched last week. First up was its Lyon (LYS) to Malaga (AGP) route, a weekly (Fridays), A321-operated service started on 25 April, which will be flown until 31 October and will face competition from Vueling, with the LCC operating the 1,286-kilometre sector thrice-weekly. The following day, Air Méditerranée started another route from the French city, this time to Ibiza (IBZ). Again this is a weekly (Saturdays) service, but this time the route will be flown by the carrier’s 737-500 equipment and against no direct competition. This seasonal service will operate until 4 October. Also launched on 26 April, but this time from Paris CDG (CDG), was another new seasonal weekly (Saturdays) route to Menorca (MAH). The 737-500-operated service will face direct competition from a weekly Jetairfly service on the airport pair and is planned to terminate on 13 September.
- AirAsia has added another route to Singapore (SIN) this time from Kuala Terengganu (TGG). Thrice-weekly flights on the 455-kilometre route commenced on 22 April using the airline’s 180-seat A320s, and the carrier will not face any direct competition. This is only the airline’s third route from Kuala Terengganu, which is known locally as Sultan Mahmud Airport, and which in recent years has handled around 500,000 passengers annually. AirAsia launched flights to the airport from Kuala Lumpur in November 2002, but the second route, to Miri, was launched only last month.
- Azul Airlines, the third largest operator in Brazil according to weekly seat capacity, expanded its domestic network with five new routes on 26 April, all of which are operated weekly (Sundays), using its 118-seat E195s. With the longest route being the 1,994-kilometre sector from Ribeirao Preto (RAO) to Recife (REC), and the shortest being inaugurated from Ribeirao Preto (RAO) to Sao Jose do Rio Preto (SJP), the low-cost carrier will face competition only on the service to Sao Jose do Rio Preto from Passaredo Airlines’ six weekly flights. Azul is examined in more detail in this week’s anna.aero airline analysis.
|Launch date||Origin||Destination||WF||A/C||Competition (WF)|
|26-Apr-14||Ribeirao Preto (RAO)||Porto Seguro (BPS)||1||E195|
|Presidente Prudente (PPB)|
|Sao Jose do Rio Preto (SJP)||Passaredo Airlines (6)|
|Recife (REC)||Londrina (LDB)|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 29 April 2014.|
- Belavia, the state owned Belarusian flag carrier, increased its presence in France with the addition of a new seasonal service from its Minsk (MSQ) base on 28 April. The airline inaugurated the 1,864-kilometre sector to Nice (NCE), which will be operated thrice-weekly until 25 October, utilising its 76-seat E175s. This is Belavia’s second route to the French market as it already flies to Paris CDG with eight weekly operations. There is no competition on the new airport pair. For more about the latest trends in international services from French regional airports read this week’s trendwatch feature.
- Carpatair has become the fourth scheduled airline to start flying from Polish airport Lublin (LUZ), joining eurolot, Ryanair and Wizz Air. The twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) will be operated by the airline’s 100-seat Fokker 100s, becoming destination #5 at the airport, adding to existing services to London (Luton and Stansted), Milan Malpensa, Gdansk and Oslo Torp. Started on 25 April, the 1,320-kilometre sector will face no direct competition. See how Lublin’s fire truck water arch measured up against its global peers.
- Dniproavia, expanded its Dnepropetrovsk (DNK) offering with the addition of three new links launched during the course of last week, all of which will be operated by the carrier’s 49-seat ERJ 145s. On 27 April, the carrier inaugurated services to Tbilisi (TBS) and Batumi (BUS) in Georgia that will be operated weekly until 19 October and 22 October respectively. One day later, on 28 April it commenced thrice-weekly operations (Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays) on the 962-kilometre sector to Istanbul Atatürk (IST) that will be served until 23 October. Dniproavia will face direct competition only on the service to Turkey from Turkish Airlines’ five weekly operations.
- Dragonair has joined its sister airline Cathay Pacific Airways in linking Hong Kong (HKG) with Denpasar (DPS) in Bali, Indonesia. On 27 April the airline began twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) flights using its A330-300s on the 3,440-kilometre route. Apart from Cathay Pacific which operates daily flights, passengers are also served by Hong Kong Airlines (21 weekly flights), as well as Garuda Indonesia and Tigerair Mandala, who both operate daily flights. Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung said at the launch of the route in March: “We are very excited about launching flights to Denpasar and being able to further expand our presence in Asia. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board to experience our award-winning service and products. This new service will provide customers with greater choice and convenience at the same time as bolstering Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs.”
- Finnair, the flag carrier of Finland, commenced seasonal operations to its second Turkish destination on 26 April, launching weekly flights (Saturdays) from its Helsinki (HEL) hub to Gazipasa (GZP). The 2,723-kilometre sector will be operated until 25 October, utilising the oneworld member’s 138-seat A319s. There is no competition on this new airport pair. In addition, Finnair also serves the Turkish market with twice-weekly flights to Antalya. See how Gazipasa Airport’s FTWA compares to the other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
- germanwings has used the last week to start two new routes from its Hamburg (HAM) base: the first to Bergen (BGO) is replacing a former Lufthansa service, and becomes the airline’s second Norwegian destination; the second is a new service to Rijeka (RJK), the LCC’s third destination in Croatia served from Hamburg. Both services started on 27 April, are flown weekly (Sundays) and are uncompeted routes. The Bergen service will be operated by germanwings’ 90-seat CRJ 900s, whereas the Rijeka route will utilise the airline’s 150-seat A319s. Additionally, the Croatian service will be increased to twice-weekly during the peak months of July and August.
- Jetairfly, has begun four new routes during the last week from three different airports in France to four different holiday destinations in Spain and Italy. As a result of these inaugural flights the airline now operates four scheduled routes at Deauville (DOL), five at Metz-Nancy (ETZ) and eight at Paris CDG (CDG). All services are operated on a weekly basis, with the longest sector being the Deauville to Malaga (AGP) route — at 1,460 kilometres — and with the shortest being the Metz-Nancy service to Olbia (OLB) — at 935 kilometres. For a more in-depth analysis of Jetairfly, check out this week’s airline profile.
|Launch Date||Origin||Destination||Aircraft Type (WF)||Competition|
|23 April||Deauville (DOL)||Malaga (AGP)||B738 (1)|
|24 April||Metz-Nancy (ETZ)||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||B73W (1)|
|Paris CDG (CDG)||Menorca (MAH)||B738 (1)||Air Méditerranée (1)|
|25 April||Metz-Nancy (ETZ)||Olbia (OLB)|
|Source: Innovata/Diio Mi w/c 29 April. WF= weekly frequency.|
- Malindo Air continues to put pressure on AirAsia’s main base at Kuala Lumpur (KUL) with the addition of two new routes in the last week. On 24 April it began daily flights to Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK), while four days later it started daily flights to Kochi (COK) in India, which becomes the airline’s fifth destination in that country.
|Launch date||From||To||WF (Aircraft)||Distance||Competition (WF)|
|24 April||Kuala Lumpur (KUL)||Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK)||7 (B739)||1,241 km||AirAsia (49), Thai AirAsia
(28), Thai Lion Air (4)
|28 April||Kochi (COK)||7 (B739)||2,923 km||AirAsia (10), Malaysia
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 29 April 2014|
- Moskovia has begun its first domestic operations from the city of Astrakhan (ASF), the Russian city which sits astride of the mouth of the Volga River on the Caspian Sea. On 22 April the airline began thrice-weekly services to Moscow Domodedovo (DME), utilising its 95-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100s. The 1,233-kilometre sector will face direct competition from S7 Airlines’ existing daily operation. Using the same aircraft, Moskovia commenced twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) services to St. Petersburg (LED) on 24 April. However this route will encounter no competition on the city pair.
- Onur Air has doubled its presence in Russia from its Antalya (AYT) base, beginning on 23 April operations to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO), and joining the airline’s existing flights to Kazan. Initially being operated five times weekly with the airline’s 182-seat A321s, the service will be quickly increased to daily from mid-May. Aeroflot will provide some intense competition, offering double-daily connections on the airport pair. In addition, Turkish Airlines and Transaero Airlines will provide indirect competition, with their respective services from the Turkish holiday destination to Moscow Vnukovo.
- Qingdao Airlines, a new Chinese carrier, launched its first route on 26 April between Qingdao (TAO) and Chengdu (CTU), operating daily with leased A320s. The 1,640-kilometre route is already served on a daily basis by four other carriers: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Shandong Airlines and Sichuan Airlines. Last September the airline signed a deal with Airbus for five A320CEOs and 18 A320NEOs. Qingdao Liuting International Airport ranked as China’s 17th busiest airport in 2012, handling 12.6 million passengers.
- Ryanair introduced a new seasonal service to the Greek market on 28 April with twice-weekly flights (Mondays and Thursdays) from Oslo Rygge (RYG) to Rhodes (RHO). The 2,847-kilometre sector to the largest of the Dodecanese islands will be served until 28 August, using the ULCC’s 189-seat 737-800s. No other airline serves this airport pair.
- S7 Airlines, the oneworld carrier, has further strengthened its ties within the alliance, following the start of daily services between Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and Helsinki (HEL) on 26 April. The A319-operated route will face no direct competition, though alliance partner Finnair operates (nine times weekly) from the Finnish capital into Moscow Sheremetyevo, with Aeroflot additionally linking the same airport pair on a daily basis. S7 also commenced two new routes to Cyprus from Domodedovo, beginning daily services to Larnaca (LCA) on 25 April and thrice-weekly services to Paphos (PFO) on 26 April. While both services will be flown by the airline’s 166-seat 737-800s, only the 2,335-kilometre sector to Paphos will endure direct competition, provided by Transaero Airlines, with its own six times weekly operations.
- SAS expanded its European network with two new services during the course of last week. On 22 April, the carrier inaugurated its second route to Hamburg (HAM), namely the 829-kilometre sector from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) that will be served 11 times weekly, utilising a mixed fleet of its 115-seat 717-200s, 141-seat 737-700s and 186-seat 737-800s. Two days later, on 24 April, the Star Alliance member commenced its third route to Edinburgh (EDI) with twice-weekly flights (Thursdays and Sundays) from Stavanger (SVG) in Norway, which will be operated using a mixed fleet of the airline’s 141-seat 737-700s and 186-seat 737-800s until 5 October. SAS is already flying to Edinburgh with four weekly flights from Stockholm Arlanda and twice-weekly operations from Oslo Gardermoen, with the latter having been launched on 10 April. Only the service to Germany will face competition from germanwings’ 15 weekly flights. See how Hamburg Airport’s FTWA compares to the other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
- SATA International commenced its 10th route from its Ponta Delgada (PDL) base in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, this time to Paris Orly (ORY) on 25 April. The 2,564-kilometre sector to Paris’ second gateway will be operated weekly (Fridays) until 3 October, utilising the airline’s 165-seat A320s. The new airport pair will face no direct competition from other carriers.
- Spring Airlines on Friday 25 April, began two new international routes. From Shanghai Pudong (PVG) it began daily flights on the 3,795-kilometre sector to Singapore (SIN), while also launching lower frequency flights between Shijiazhuang (SJW) and Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) in Taiwan. Both routes will be operated by the airline’s A320s. On the Singapore route, competition comes from Singapore Airlines (35 weekly flights) and China Eastern Airlines (26), while on the 1,570-kilometre route to Taipei, China Eastern and Far Eastern Air Transport both operate thrice-weekly.
- SUN-AIR, the regional scheduled airline operating a franchise service in British Airways colours, expanded its Billund (BLL) offering with the addition of five weekly flights to Zurich (ZRH). The airline inaugurated on 28 April the 922-kilometre sector to the largest city of Switzerland that will be operated using its Dornier 328 jets. There is no competition on this airport pair. Commenting on the route launch, Niels Sundberg, CEO, SUN-AIR, said: “Our strategy is to offer direct routes in close cooperation with the regional business sector, and we pursue this policy with the opening of the Zurich-Billund route. We are very pleased with our cooperation with the business sector and are already experiencing great interest from several companies in both countries.”
- SunExpress has begun serving its fourth destination in France (joining Lyon, Paris CDG and Strasbourg) and its 34th from its Izmir (ADB) hub on 27 April — a weekly (Sundays) service to Nantes (NTE). Flown by the airline’s 189-seat 737-800s, the 2,535-kilometre sector will face no direct competition.
- transavia.com France, has begun four new routes during the last week from two different airports in France to three different destinations in Greece, Malta and Portugal. As a result of these inaugural flights the airline now operates eight scheduled routes from Lyon and 12 from Nantes. Of the four new routes, the longest sector is the Nantes (NTE) to Athens (ATH) route — at 2,321 kilometres — with the shortest being the Lyon (LYS) service to Porto (OPO) — at 1,217 kilometres.
|Launch Date||Origin||Destination||Aircraft Type (WF)||Competition|
|22 April||Nantes (NTE)||Malta (MLA)||B738 (1)|
|26 April||Lyon (LYS)||Athens (ATH)||B738 (2)||Aegean Airlines (2)|
|Nantes (NTE)||Aegean Airlines (1)|
|27 April||Lyon (LYS)||Porto (OPO)||easyJet (6)|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 29 April 2014. WF = weekly frequency.|
- Turkish Airlines has commenced its second Russian route from its growing secondary hub at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), adding thrice-weekly operations to Stavropol (STW), complementing its existing route to Astrakhan. Started on 22 April, the route is flown by the airline’s A320 fleet under no direct competition. Incidentally, the route is also currently unserved by the Star Alliance carrier from its main hub at Istanbul Atatürk.
- Ukraine International Airlines introduced a new transatlantic route during the course of last week with the addition of twice-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Fridays) from Kiev Boryspil (KBP) to New York JFK, NY (JFK) on 25 April. The 7,564-kilometre sector will be operated using the carrier’s 261-seat 767-300s and will face no competition from other carriers. This new airport pair will see a frequency increase to four times weekly from 14 May, six times weekly from 12 June as well as daily between 23 June and 30 September, while from 1 October it will decrease to five times weekly.
- United Airlines expanded its presence at Munich (MUC), with the addition of its fourth route, this time from Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH) on 24 April. The 8,718-kilometre sector to the capital of the German state of Bavaria will be served daily, utilising the Star Alliance member’s 242-seat 767-400s and will face no direct competition from other operators. United is already flying to Munich from New York Newark, Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare, all of which are served with daily flights. Commenting on the route launch, Stephanie Buchanan, VP of Houston hub, United Airlines, said: “We are pleased to give Houston Intercontinental business and leisure travelers direct access to Munich and convenient connections on our partner Lufthansa and its affiliate airlines to 71 cities beyond. United’s new service to Munich underscores Houston’s role as a top travel destination and a premier international gateway.” See how Munich Airport got on in this week’s Arch of Triumph.
- Ural Airlines has begun its second service into Munich (MUC) from Russia, adding a weekly (Saturdays) service from Krasnodar (KRR) on 26 April to its existing operations into the German airport from Ekaterinburg. The airline will encounter no direct competition on the route, which will be operated by its 159-seat A320s.
- UTair has added a service from Tyumen (TJM) in Siberia to its existing offering from Dresden (DRS), complementing its twice-weekly operation from Moscow Vnukovo into the German airport. The weekly service (Sundays) will be flown by the Russian airline’s 113-seat 737-500s. The 3,364-kilometre sector, which began on 27 April, will be uncontested.
- Volotea began four new routes during the last week from two different airports in France to four different destinations in France and Italy. As a result of these inaugural flights the airline now operates 18 scheduled routes (11 international and seven domestic) at Nantes (NTE) and eight at Ajaccio (AJA), all of which are domestic flights. The longest sector of the four new routes is the Nantes to Naples (NAP) service — at 1,448 kilometres — with the shortest being the Nantes service to Calvi (CLY) — at 969 kilometres.
|Launch Date||Origin||Destination||Aircraft Type (WF)||Competition|
|25 April||Nantes (NTE)||Naples (NAP)||B717 (2)|
|26 April||Ajaccio (AJA)||Caen (CFR)|
|Nantes (NTE)||Figari (FSC)||B717 (3)||HOP! (1)|
|Calvi (CLY)||B717 (2)|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 29 April. WF = weekly frequency|
- Vueling has launched its second route into France’s second city of Marseille (MRS), starting twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) flights from Palma de Mallorca (PMI) alongside its present Barcelona operation. The A320-operated new route, started on 26 April, will be its 14th from the Balearic Island, and will see the LCC take on Ryanair head-to-head. The Irish LCC currently offers a similar frequency on the city pair.
- WestJet, the Canadian low-cost carrier, expanded its seasonal offering with two new services from Calgary (YYC), both launched on 27 April and operated by the airline’s 119-seat 737-600s. With the longest sector being the 3,285-kilometre service to New York JFK, NY (JFK), and the shortest being inaugurated to Prince George (YXS) at 663-kilometre, both seasonal services are operated daily until 25 October. WestJet will face direct competition only on the domestic link to Prince George from Central Mountain Air’s six weekly operations. Furthermore, the service to the USA was switched from New York Newark. Commenting on the route launches, John Weatherill, Director Network and Schedule Planning, WestJet, said: “John F. Kennedy International Airport is the busiest international passenger gateway in the United States and a hub for our US partners, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. With our WestJet code on some 17 flights from JFK, this new daily non-stop service from Calgary offers Canadians low fares and our remarkable guest experience to even more destinations around the world.” In addition, he also added: “Prince George is one of WestJet’s early destinations and we are very grateful for the strong support of northern British Columbians over the past 15 years. Residents have asked for additional service and starting today, our guests will have the opportunity to take an early morning, 90 minute flight to Calgary and connect to 27 destinations throughout the WestJet world. Whether heading south for a business meeting or a week-long vacation, we’re very pleased to offer our Prince George guests more connectivity than ever before.”
- YANAIR, the Ukrainian regional airline that operates a fleet of two Saab 340s and a single A320, expanded its domestic network with a new service from Odessa (ODS) to Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) on 22 April. The 442-kilometre sector to Kiev’s second gateway will be operated six times weekly, utilising the carrier’s 33-seat Saab 340s. The route, which was previously operated by UTair Ukraine, will see a frequency increase to 12 times weekly from 18 May. There is no competition on this airport pair.