New airline routes launched (13 May – 19 May 2014)
Fly Romania’s Bucharest to Verona
- Fly Romania, which is analysed in more detail in this week’s Take-Offs & Landings analysis, launched commercial service on 15 May, using MD-83s operated by Ten Airways. Four of the airline’s first five routes are between Romania and Italy, with only one (Bucharest-Verona) served already.
|Launch date||From||To||WF (Aircraft)||Competition (WF)|
|15 May||Bucharest (OTP)||Verona (VRN)||3 (MD83)||Wizz Air (2)|
|15 May||Timisoara (TSR)||Verona (VRN)||3 (MD83)|
|16 May||Bucharest (OTP)||Tulcea (TCE)||3 (MD83)|
|16 May||Tulcea (TCE)||Milan Bergamo (BGY)||2 (MD83)|
|17 May||Bucharest (OTP)||Genoa (GOA)||3 (MD83)|
|Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database, Fly Romania website.|
Icelandair’s Reykjavik/Keflavik to Vancouver
- Icelandair on 13 May launched its latest route to North America, with the introduction of twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Sundays) flights from Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) to Vancouver (YVR). The 5,700-kilometre sector will be flown by the airline’s 757s until 12 October and faces no direct competition. This becomes Icelandair’s fourth destination in Canada as it already serves Edmonton, Halifax and Toronto. In addition the airline also flies to eight destinations in the US. For more about Icelandair’s network and future plans see this week’s airline profile. Also see how Vancouver Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- Allegiant Air has added four more domestic routes to its network including two from its Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) base. One of the other new services is the airline’s first route to West Palm Beach, FL (PBI), served from Asheville, NC (AV), twice-weekly with the airline’s A320s. Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President and COO, said: “We are thrilled to expand our low-cost, convenient travel service to Palm Beach. The Asheville community has embraced our service to four other sunny destinations, and we are confident that they will appreciate our new low-cost flights to Palm Beach.” See how Asheville Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.
|Launch date||From||To||WF (Aircraft)||Distance||Competition (WF)|
|15 May||Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA)||Colorado Springs, CO (COS)||2 (MD-80)||874 km|
|15 May||Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA)||Stockton, CA (SCK)||2 (MD-80)||1,006 km|
|15 May||St.Pete-Clearwater, FL (PIE)||Cincinnati, OH (CVG)||2 (MD-80)||1,247 km|
|15 May||West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)||Asheville, NC (AVL)||2 (A320)||998 km|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 20 May 2014.|
- Etihad Regional started weekly (Saturdays) operations from Verona (VRN) to Cambridge (CBG) on 17 May. Flown by the carrier’s 51-seat Saab 2000s, the seasonal 1,086-kilometre sector will operate until 25 October and the airline will face no direct competition on the route. Geneva and Zurich services from the Italian airport are planned to start on 1 June. See how this airport’s FTWA compares to those sent in this week from around the world.
- Flybe has had a busy week, starting five routes, including four from its growing again Birmingham (BHX) base, which will take the carrier’s network offering there up to 26 routes. Additionally, Flybe will ramp-up its domestic presence at Newquay (NQY) which from this week will see it fly to four domestic points – namely London Gatwick (LGW), Manchester (MAN), London Southend (SEN) and Birmingham.
|14 May||Birmingham (BHX)||Bordeaux (BOD)||
|Monarch Airlines (1)|
|13 May||Palma de Mallorca (PMI)||
|Monarch Airlines (8), Ryanair (5), Thomas Cook
Airlines (5), Thomson Airways (4), TUIfly (1)
|13 May||Toulouse (TLS)||
|16 May||Newquay (NQY)||Birmingham (BHX)||
|17 May||London Southend (SEN)||
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 20 May 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.|
- Frontier Airlines, which last week announced 14 new routes from Washington Dulles, has added another spoke from its main hub at Denver, CO (DEN). On 16 May it began thrice-weekly flights on the 1,360-kilometre route to Bakersfield, CA (BFL) using its A319s. The route is already served by United Airlines who fly twice-daily using 50-seat CRJs operated by SkyWest Airlines. Frontier becomes only the third scheduled carrier at the Californian airport (known locally as Meadows Field Airport) which is dominated by United Airlines with 53 weekly departures spread across four routes. In addition, US Airways operates 23 weekly flights to its Phoenix hub. Announcing the route back in February, Richard Strickland, Director of Airports for Kern County, said: “The new air service offered by Frontier Airlines is a fantastic opportunity for the residents of Kern County to fly from Meadows Field to Denver. We are very excited that our hard work to attract new service has produced this ultra-low fare option for our travelling public to embrace.” See how this Bakersfield Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.
- Jet Airways has introduced daily flights to Paris CDG (CDG) from its main base at Mumbai (BOM). The 7,000-kilometre route was launched on 14 May, initially operating four times weekly, though this will increase to daily from 26 June. Paris joins Brussels and London Heathrow as the only European destinations served by Jet Airways. The airline will utilise its A330-200s on the route, on which it will face competition from Air France, who also operate daily flights between the two airports. However, Jet Airways recently announced that it had expanded its code-share partnership with Air France, thus offering enhanced connectivity between Europe and India via Paris. As per the expanded code-share, both carriers will place their marketing codes on each other’s flights on the Mumbai-Paris trunk route. This will offer guests a choice of dual frequency as an additional schedule option, providing a morning and evening departure and arrival at both destinations. In addition to the code-share on the trunk route, the expanded arrangement will offer guests connectivity via Air France’s hub in Paris to over 23 major cities across Europe, including points across Scandinavia and the Czech Republic. Domestic connectivity within France would also be enhanced to include cities like Nice, Lyon, Marseille, and Toulouse. Gaurang Shetty, Senior Vice President Commercial, Jet Airways, said: “With the new direct flight and our recently expanded code-share partnership, Jet Airways will now be able to offer its guests unmatched connectivity and seamless travel from India to Europe via Paris. Our code-share agreement with Air France is another distinctive travel solution, as it will offer guests access to over 23 major cities across Europe. This is important, as Europe has been a popular destination both in terms of tourism and business for the Indian market.” See how this airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.
- Jet2.com has begun another new route from Leeds Bradford (LBA), its 40th from the Yorkshire airport and its fifth into Italy, a weekly (Wednesdays) service to Verona (VRN). Started on 14 May and operated by the LCC’s 148-seat 737-300s, the 1,300-kilometre sector will face no direct competition. The seasonal service is currently planned to operate until 1 October. A weekly service from Edinburgh (EDI) to Verona started the same day, for the same period, using the same aircraft type and also without competition. However, the Scottish service is 235 kilometres longer. This is the first time that Jet2.com has served Verona.
- Qantas began twice-weekly (Saturdays and Sundays) operations between Sydney (SYD) and Hervey Bay (HVB) in Queensland, Australia on 17 May. Flown by the carrier’s 110-seat 717s, the 970-kilometre sector will face daily competition from Virgin Australia Airlines’ existing operation. Speaking at the launch, Qantas’ regional general manager Peter Collyns said the priority at this early stage was filling the 10,000 extra seats the flights would add to the Fraser Coast to Sydney route each year. “With every market we go into, at first we want to make sure the market is sustainable and for the long-term,” he said. “So our first intention is to fill the flights on weekends and wherever the opportunity is we’ll look to grow that as well. We hope the success of the weekend flights will lead to further opportunities to expand”.
- Qatar Airways has become only the fourth serving scheduled airline at Hofuf (HOF) (following flydubai, Air Arabia and Saudi Arabian Airlines), and the first of the MEB3 to link the Saudi Arabian airport to its respective global network. Four times weekly flights from Doha (DOH) began on 15 May and will face no direct competition. Services will be operated by the oneworld airline’s A320/A321 fleet and Hofuf is Qatar Airways’ seventh destination in Saudi Arabia, joining Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Taif and Gassim. See how this airport’s FTWA compares to those sent in this week from around the world.
- Ruili Airlines, the latest Chinese airline to launch services, began operations on 18 May with its first route from Kunming (KMG) to Mangshi (LUX). The 450-kilometre route will be served twice-daily by the airline’s 737-800, and will face intense competition from China Eastern Airlines (52 weekly departures), Lucky Air (31), Beijing Capital Airlines (seven), Sichuan Airlines (seven) and Kunming Airlines (seven). Ruili Airlines is 100% owned by Yunnan Jingcheng Group and last August it ordered 18 Boeing 737 series aircraft, of which three have been delivered so far, two -700s and one -800.
- Tigerair Singapore has added a further Chinese destination to its Singapore (SIN) network. On 15 May the LCC began operating thrice-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays) flights on the 3,690-kilometre route to Xi’an (XIY) using its A320s. No other carrier serves this airport pair. Home to the world-famous terracotta warrior army, Xi’an is the ninth Chinese destination under Tigerair Singapore’s steadily expanding regional network. Ho Yuen Sang, MD and COO of Tigerair, commented: “Xi’an is a destination we’ve been looking forward to add to our network and we are delighted to be launching this new route. Increasingly popular with travellers for its more than 3,000 years of historical heritage, the central-northwestern Chinese City is also an important cultural, industrial and educational hub for that region. There is certainly no better time to introduce this route to our regional network.”
- Wizz Air, which this week celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first flight, added two more routes from its Bulgarian base in Sofia (SOF). On 14 May, it began thrice-weekly flights on the 1,560-kilometre route to Tel Aviv (TLV) in Israel, followed on 16 May by twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) flights on the 1,600-kilometre route to Malmö (MMX) in Sweden. Competition is only provided on the Tel Aviv route which is already served by El Al (thrice-weekly) and Bulgaria Air (twice-weekly). Wizz Air’s Sofia base opened in July 2008 and this summer there will be four A320s based at the airport operating 65 weekly departures to a total of 17 destinations. This summer Wizz Air will serve Malmö from nine of its airports in Central and Eastern Europe, while Tel Aviv will be served from eight airports. All of the Tel Aviv routes have been started in the last two years.