New airline routes launched (20 May – 26 May 2014)
United Airlines’ Chicago O’Hare to Edinburgh
- United Airlines expanded its presence at Edinburgh (EDI) with a new seasonal service from Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) on 22 May. The 5,975-kilometre sector to the Scottish capital will be operated five times weekly until 5 October, utilising the Star Alliance member’s 169-seat 757-200s. The carrier’s second route to Edinburgh, as it already operates from New York Newark with twice-daily operations, will face no competition from other carriers and will see a frequency increase to daily from 13 June. Commenting on the route launch, Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport, said: “Today’s launch of United Airlines’ new direct service to Chicago O’Hare marks a significant step in achieving better connectivity between Edinburgh and North America. This new service will give Scottish passengers the opportunity to visit one of America’s most exciting and vibrant cities and take full advantage of the onward travel options to many other US destinations. We’re delighted to continue our good relationship with United and celebrate this new route’s inaugural flight.”
VietJetAir’s Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore
- VietJetAir on 23 May began its first service from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Singapore (SIN). The airline will operate the 1,090-kilometre route with daily A320 flights and faces intense competition. There are five carriers already serving the market; Tigerair Singapore (23 weekly flights), Jetstar Asia (21), Vietnam Airlines (21), Singapore Airlines (14), Lion Air (seven). This is the airline’s second international service from Ho Chi Minh City after starting daily flights to Bangkok in February 2013. The airline’s fleet currently comprises 12 A320s, with orders for over 60 of the type placed with Airbus.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- airBaltic, the flag carrier of Latvia, increased its seasonal offering with the launch of a new route from its Riga (RIX) hub to Bourgas (BOJ) on 25 May. The 1,625-kilometre sector to the second largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast will be operated twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) until 31 August, utilising the airline’s 142-seat 737-300s. No other carrier serves this airport pair.
- British Airways has started its only international route from Edinburgh (EDI) to Ibiza (IBZ) on 23 May. The UK flag carrier currently operates up to 26 times daily from the Scottish capital across the three London airports it serves — Heathrow, Gatwick and City. The twice-weekly service to the Spanish Mediterranean island is operated by BA’s 161-seat A320s, and will face direct competition from Jet2.com (twice-weekly) and Thomson Airways (weekly). From 13 June, the service will increase to thrice-weekly. This is currently BA’s only international route from a UK airport outside of London operated by its own aircraft, as the airline’s two routes from Manchester (to Billund and Gothenburg) are operated by SUN-AIR. Richard Tams, British Airways’ Head of UK and Ireland Sales and Marketing said: “Ibiza is one of the most popular destinations for Scottish holidaymakers, with tens of thousands of Scots travelling to the beautiful Balearic island every year.” Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport said: “We are delighted to support British Airways with this exciting new service. Our goal is to provide our passengers with as much choice as possible. By working closely with our partner airlines, we can achieve this. I know this service will be a success and my team and I are looking forward to continuing to work and grow with BA in the coming months and years.”
- Cape Air, the US independent regional carrier, commenced a new domestic seasonal route with the addition of 22 weekly flights from Block Island, RI (BID) to Providence, RI (PVD). The 64-kilometre sector was inaugurated on 22 May and will be served utilising the airline’s 9-seat Britten-Norman Islanders until 19 October. No other operator serves this link. Commenting on the route launch, Linda Markham, President, Cape Air, said: “After several years of collaboration with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, we are thrilled to be able to start seasonal, scheduled services to Block Island. Cape Air specialises in connecting passengers to some of the most desirable destinations in the US and Caribbean; Block Island fits our model perfectly.”
- Condor has improved its network offer at three of its bases this week, with Munich (MUC), Düsseldorf (DUS) and Stuttgart (STR) the beneficiaries of this growth. The former two airports have both received new weekly services (Wednesdays) to Kalamata (KLX) in Greece, with both new routes starting on 20 May and being operated by the airline’s 180-seat A320s. Both new routes will face the same level of competition as well, with Aegean Airlines offering twice-weekly operations on both airport pairs. Condor’s Stuttgart base added its sixth Greek destination, namely Preveza (PVK), on 24 May. The weekly services (Saturdays) are flown by the carrier’s A320s as well, and will face competition from airberlin, which also flies weekly between the two points.
- Ethiopian Airlines commenced operations to its fourth destination in Nigeria on 24 May, launching four weekly flights from Addis Ababa (ADD) to Kano (KAN), operated via Enugu. The 3,330-kilometre sector will be served utilising the Star Alliance member’s 171-seat 757-200s. There is no competition on the new airport pair.
- germanwings, after a period where much of its new route activity has been governed by the transfer of services from parent Lufthansa, a process which helped them to win two awards in the recent Euro ANNIEs, has started a new route in its own right, between Cologne Bonn (CGN) and Knock (NOC) in Ireland. The weekly services (Saturdays) which started on 24 May, will be operated by the airline’s 90-seat CRJ 900s. The 1,136-kilometre sector will face no direct competition and becomes the Irish airport’s only service to Germany, and the second Irish destination served from Cologne Bonn, adding to germanwings’ existing services to Dublin.
- Icelandair expanded its seasonal offering with new service from its Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) hub to Geneva (GVA) on 24 May. The 2,649-kilometre sector to the second most populous city in Switzerland will be operated twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) until 23 September, utilising the flag carrier’s 183-seat 757-200s. No other carrier serves this airport pair. This is Icelandair’s second route to the Swiss market as it already flies to Zurich with four weekly operations. See how Geneva Airport’s FTWA compares to other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
- Interjet has introduced two further destination from its main hub at Mexico City (MEX). On 22 May the airline began operating 12 weekly Sukhoi Superjet 100 flights on the 310-kilometre route to Leon/Guanajuato (BJX). Competition is provided by Aeromexico, who operates the route 41 times weekly. On the same day, Interjet also began 12 weekly A320 flights on the 365-kilometre route to San Luis Potosi (SLP). Competition on this route is provided by Aeromar (32 weekly flights) and Aeromexico (27 weekly flights). This summer Interjet will be serving 44 destinations non-stop from Mexico City, 36 in Mexico and eight spread across Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala and the US. See how Leon/Guanajuato airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.
- Jet2.com has had a busy week, launching seven new services from five of its UK bases, with both East Midlands (EMA) and Glasgow (GLA) benefitting the most with two launches each. On the LCC’s launch from Blackpool (BLK) to Menorca (MAH), Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com said: “It’s certainly a Spanish celebration at Blackpool Airport at the minute, with our first full flight to Menorca jetting off only a month after we revealed a new Spanish destination for local passengers for next summer — Reus.”
|Launch date||Origin||Destination||Aircraft (WF)||Competition (WF)|
|21 May||Blackpool (BLK)||Menorca (MAH)||B733 (1)|
|24 May||East Midlands (EMA)||Fuerteventura (FUE)||B738 (1)||Ryanair (2), Thomas Cook Airlines (1), Thomson
|Jersey (JER)||B733 (1)||Flybe (7)|
|25 May||Manchester (MAN)||Bergerac (EGC)||B733 (2)|
|Edinburgh (EDI)||Pula (PUY)||B733 (1)|
|26 May||Glasgow (GLA)||Funchal (FNC)||B738 (1)||Thomas Cook Airlines (1)|
|Reus (REU)||B738 (1)||Thomas Cook Airlines (2), Thomson Airways (2)|
|Sources: anna.aero New Route Database; Innovata Diio Mi; WF = weekly frequencies.|
- KLM expanded its European offering with two new routes on 26 May, both of which were launched from its Amsterdam (AMS) hub and operated by its 100-seat E190s. With the longest sector being the 1,154-kilometre service to Bilbao (BIO), and the shortest being inaugurated to Zagreb (ZAG) at 1,101 kilometres, both routes will be operated daily. While the service to Spain will face competition from Vueling’s thrice-weekly flights, the airport pair to Croatia is already served by Croatia Airlines with daily operations. The flights to Zagreb are scheduled to be operated until 25 October. Commenting on the route launch to Zagreb, Bruno Mazurkiewicz, President, MZLZ, said: “Welcoming a new airline is always a reason for celebration. We demonstrated it by a water salute upon arrival. KLM flew to Zagreb 52 years ago and it is our great honour to welcome this famous airline again in Croatia.” See how Zagreb Airport’s FTWA compares to the other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
- Qatar Airways has become the first of the MEB3 airlines (Emirates, Etihad Airways and itself) to serve Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), following on from its new route trail blazing of last week, when it became the first of the three Middle Eastern mega carriers to start operations to Hofuf in Saudi Arabia. Starting on 22 May, the service will operate from Doha (DOH), the world’s 66th largest airport, four times weekly using the oneworld airline’s 144-seat A320s. Direct competition comes in the form of Pegasus Airlines’ daily connection on the airport pair. However, across town, Turkish Airlines offers 12 weekly flights and Qatar Airways 10 weekly flights from Istanbul Atatürk. See how this airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world in anna.aero’s ‘Arch of Triumph’ competititon.
- US Airways added four European routes, all of which are seasonal, to its offering during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 7,014-kilometre service from Charlotte, NC (CLT) to Barcelona (BCN), launched on 22 May and operated daily until 27 September; as well as the shortest being inaugurated on 23 May from Philadelphia, PA (PHL) to Edinburgh (EDI) at 5,390 kilometres and served six times weekly until 30 September, the oneworld member will face no competition on any of the four new airport pairs. Commenting on the route launch to Manchester, Andrew Cowan, COO, Manchester Airports Group, said: “It is not only great news for Manchester Airport to welcome this important new route, but for the entire region. The introduction of the daily Charlotte link will further strengthen connections from Manchester to North America, with a wealth of onward connectivity. The route also sees another direct long haul service added to our ever increasing network of routes, which is testament to the success of our Fly Manchester campaign.” See how Edinburgh Airport’s FTWA compares to those sent in this week from around the world.
|Launch date||Origin||Destination||WF||A/C||Competition (WF)|
|22 May||Charlotte, NC (CLT)||Barcelona (BCN)||7||A332|
|23 May||Philadelphia, PA (PHL)||Edinburgh (EDI)||6|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 27 May 2014.|