New airline routes launched (27 May – 02 June 2014)

Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

A fantastic cake, featuring iconic religious buildings in the two cities, was baked in Zurich to celebrate the launch of daily flights to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways on 1 June.

Etihad Airways’ new longest non-stop service is now to Los Angeles International Airport. Daily A340-500 flights started on 1 June, making the Californian city the airline’s fourth US destination after Chicago, New York and Washington. (Photos: Lester Cohen/Wire Images)

  • Etihad Airways added not one, but two new destinations to its network this week, with the launch on 1 June of daily flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Los Angeles (LAX) and Zurich (ZRH). Neither route is served by any other carrier. The shorter 4,780-kilometre route to Zurich will be served by the airline’s A330-300s, while the longer 13,490-kilometre sector to Los Angeles will be flown by the airline’s A340-500s. This becomes the airline’s new longest sector, beating the 12,120-kilometre route to Sao Paulo. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and CEO, said: “Los Angeles is an iconic city and one of the world’s premier travel destinations and we are delighted that today it becomes part of the Etihad Airways global network. The greater Los Angeles area has a diverse population of more than 18 million people, the second largest in the US, who can now access direct flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond into the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent.” Gina Marie Lindsey, Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports, said: “We are thrilled Etihad Airways chose LAX, gateway to the world, for this new, historic service and warmly congratulate them on their inauguration. Etihad Airways joins an impressive list of international air carriers that are now able to offer passengers an improved and exceptional level of customer service with the opening of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal.” 

Norwegian’s Oslo Gardermoen to Oakland

On 29 May, Oakland Airport celebrated with a special event in the terminal the arrival of Norwegian’s thrice-weekly flights from Oslo Gardermoen, a route that was launched the previous day from the Norwegian gateway. Cutting the celebratory cake’s first slice are (left to right): Hilde Janne Skorpen, Consul General, Norwegian; and Deborah Ale Flint, Director of Aviation, Port of Oakland. 

Norwegian adds four new routes in four days

The same day, Norwegian’s twice-weekly flights from Oslo Gardermoen were welcomed with an impressive suitcase-shaped cake at Orlando Airport.

  • Norwegian added four new routes, of which three are transatlantic services, to its offering during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 8,600-kilometre service from Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX) launched on 1 June, and the shortest being inaugurated on 2 June from Madrid (MAD) to London Gatwick (LGW) at 1,215 kilometres, the LCC will face competition only on the route to the UK from easyJet and Air Europa.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
02 June Madrid (MAD) London Gatwick (LGW) 7 B738 easyJet (32), Air Europa (14)
01 June Oslo Gardermoen  (OSL) Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 1 B788
28 May Oakland, CA (OAK) 3
29 May Orlando, FL (MCO) 2
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 3 June 2014.

See how Orlando Airport’s FTWA compares to other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

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

Download all of this week’s new routes as a spreadsheet

On 28 May, Athens Airport celebrated with this special cake the inaugural flight of Aegean Airlines to Abu Dhabi. The new airport pair will be served four times weekly, using the carrier’s 168-seat A320s.

Furthermore, Hamburg Airport greeted with this cake, Aegean Airlines’ thrice-weekly flights from Athens on 27 May. The German gateway also invited a priest to bless this airport pair, which was last served ten years ago.

Celebrations continued at Brussels Airport on 2 June, this time for Aegean Airlines’ inaugural flight to Thessaloniki, which is operated twice-weekly utilising the Star Alliance member’s A319s.

  • Aegean Airlines expanded its European network with the addition of 13 new routes during the course of last week, all of which will be operated by its 168-seat A320s and 144-seat A319s. Notably, the average weekly frequency across the 13 new services is slightly over 1.9. With the longest sector being the 3,265-kilometre route from Athens (ATH) to Abu Dhabi (AUH), and the shortest being inaugurated from Corfu (CFU) to Munich (MUC) at 1,168 kilometres, the Star Alliance member will face competition on 12 of the new airport pairs.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
28 May Athens (ATH) Abu Dhabi (AUH) 4 A320 Etihad Airways (7)
27 May Athens (ATH) Hamburg (HAM) 3 easyJet (2)
31 May Athens (ATH) Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) 2 SAS (3), Norwegian (2)
29 May Corfu (CFU) Frankfurt (FRA) 1 Condor (2), TUIfly (2), airberlin
31 May Corfu (CFU) Munich (MUC) Condor (2), TUIfly (2), airberlin
29 May Heraklion (HER) Hamburg (HAM) 2 Condor (4), TUIfly (4), easyJet (2), airberlin (1)
01 June Heraklion (HER) Lyon (LYS) France (3)
28 May Heraklion (HER) Zurich (ZRH) airberlin (4), Edelweiss Air (3), Helvetic Airways (1)
29 May Rhodes (RHO) Düsseldorf (DUS) TUIfly (3), Condor (2), airberlin (1), Germania (1)
30 May Rhodes (RHO) Frankfurt (FRA) TUIfly (3), Condor (2), Germania (1)
29 May Rhodes (RHO) Munich (MUC) TUIfly (3), Condor (2), airberlin (1)
31 May Rhodes (RHO) Zurich (ZRH) 1 airberlin (2), Edelweiss Air (2), Helvetic Airways (1)
02 June Thessaloniki (SKG) Brussels (BRU) A319
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 3 June 2014.

Air Dolomiti began twice-daily flights (daily at weekends) from Milan/Bergamo to Munich on 2 June. 

  • Air Dolomiti, a Partner of Lufthansa airline, on 2 June launched 12 weekly flights between Milan/Bergamo (BGY) and Munich (MUC). The 338-kilometre route will be flown by the airline’s E195s and faces no direct competition, although Lufthansa operates up to seven daily flights between Milan Malpensa and Munich. This brings to just six the number of routes Air Dolomiti operates; it also serves Munich from Bari, Florence, Venice and Verona, and also connects Verona with Frankfurt. See how this airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

On 29 May, Air Serbia landed once again at Warsaw Chopin, following a 15-year hiatus. The new route will be operated daily from its Belgrade hub, utilising the flag carrier’s A319s.

  • Air Serbia, the former JAT Airways, continued to expand its European network with two new routes during the course of last week, both of which were launched from its Belgrade (BEG) hub using its 128-seat A319s. With the longest sector being the 1,785-kilometre route to Beirut (BEY) launched on 1 June and operated five times weekly; as well as the shortest being inaugurated with daily flights to Warsaw Chopin (WAW) on 29 May at 819 kilometres, both airport pairs are service resumptions. While the link to Lebanon was last served in October 2007, the route to Poland was last operated in April 1999. The flag carrier will face competition only on the Polish airport pair from LOT Polish Airlines’ daily flights. Commenting on the route launch to Poland, Dane Kondić, CEO, Air Serbia said: “I am pleased to announce the reintroduction of flights between Belgrade and Warsaw after 15 years. This route between the two historic cities will be, without doubt, beneficial for both business and leisure passengers and further improve cultural, tourism and economic cooperation between Serbia and Poland. This launch is in line with Air Serbia’s network expansion strategy that will expand the network to 38 destinations by the end of this year. The service will provide connectivity beyond Belgrade to other destinations on the Air Serbia and Etihad Airways network.”

On 1 June, Riga Airport celebrated the launch of airBaltic’s weekly flights to Palma de Mallorca, with a cake ceremony. On hand to cut the celebratory cake’s first slice are (left to right): Janis Vanags, VP Corporate Communications, airBaltic; Konstantins Palgovs, GM in the Baltics, Tez Tour; and Arturs Kokars, Director of Aviation Services Department, Riga Airport.

  • airBaltic, the flag carrier of Latvia that in the previous week added a seasonal route to Bourgas, continued to expand its seasonal offering from Riga (RIX), this time with the launch of a new link to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) on 1 June. The 2,483-kilometre sector will be served weekly (Sundays) until 28 September, utilising the carrier’s 120-seat 737-300s. There is no competition on airBaltic’s second route to Spain, as it already operates to Barcelona with daily flights.

On 2 June, Vienna Airport welcomed the inaugural flight of Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa with a special ceremony, including a cake and the traditional ribbon cutting. This airport pair will be operated four times weekly, utilising a mixed fleet of the carrier’s 767-300s and 757-200s.

  • Ethiopian Airlines, which in the previous week added its fourth destination in Nigeria, continued to expand its international network with the addition of a new service from its Addis Ababa (ADD) hub to Vienna (VIE) on 2 June. The 4,815-kilometre sector to the Austrian capital will be served four times weekly, utilising a mixed fleet of the Star Alliance member’s 235-seat 767-300s and 171-seat 757-200s. The services continue onto Stockholm Arlanda. There is no competition on the new airport pair, which marks the carrier’s ninth destination in Europe. Commenting on the route launch, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO, Ethiopian, said: “We are very happy to spread our wings to Vienna, which is one of the most popular convention and conference centres in Europe. In addition to serving the growing travel needs between Vienna and Africa, we will be able to offer efficient connections between Africa and Central, Eastern Europe in cooperation with our Star Alliance partner, Austrian Airlines. Europe, which is still the largest trading partner of Africa, is an important region for us.” See how Vienna Airport’s FTWA compares to other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

Seen here on departure from Delhi, flydubai has started two new routes this week to India, with Kochi also added to its network from Dubai. Pictured at the inaugural Delhi flight were (left to right): Pran Dasan, Commercial Manager – India, Nepal, Sri Lanka & Afghanistan, flydubai; Sudhir Sreedharan, SVP Commercial – GCC, Subcontinent, Africa, flybubai; and Kiran Jain, Head Network Planning, Delhi Airport.

  • flydubai, despite the on-going runway restrictions at Dubai (DXB), has still managed to launch two new routes to India during the last week. On Monday 1 June it began four times weekly flights to Delhi (DEL), followed on Tuesday 2 June by thrice weekly flights to Kochi (COK). Both routes will be served by the airline’s expanding fleet of 737-800s, and both face intense competition, not only from Emirates, but also a variety of Indian carriers.
Launched From To WF (Aircraft) Distance Competition (WF)
1 June Dubai (DXB) Delhi (DEL) 4 (B738) 2187 km Emirates (21), Air India (7), IndiGo (7), Jet Airways (7),
SpiceJet (7)
2 June Dubai (DXB) Kochi (COK) 3 (B738) 2784 km Emirates (14), Air India Express (7), SpiceJet (6),
IndiGo (5)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 2 June 2014.

Over 100 VIP guests including high ranking officials from the Armenian Civil Aviation, Yerevan Airport and travel trade professionals were on hand to celebrate the opening of Mahan Air’s new route between Tehran and Yerevan. The first inbound flight operated with a 100% load factor.

  • Mahan Air has started thrice-weekly flights between Tehran (IKA) and Yerevan (EVN) on 1 June. Operated by the airline’s 185-seat A310s, the 793-kilometre sector will see Mahan Air face competition from incumbent Iran Aseman Airlines, with its four times weekly operation. “We strongly believe that the convenience of our non-stop flights from Tehran together with the connectivity options to the Middle East and Far East destinations will further facilitate a great boost for business and leisure visitors between our two countries of Iran and Armenia,” said Hossein Hosseini, Director of Marketing and Route Development at Mahan Air.

Pegasus Airlines starts services to Mineralnye Vody

The 1,188-kilometre sector between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Mineralnye Vody, becomes Pegasus Airlines’ third route into Russia.

Qatar Airways arrives in Scotland. On 28 May, the Doha-based carrier began five times weekly flight to Edinburgh. Celebrating the event are Marwan Koleilat, CCO, Qatar Airways (left) and Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport (right). The sound of bagpipes were heard on the apron as the 787 taxied across the apron to the airport terminal for the first time.

  • Qatar Airways, now operating all flights from Hamad International Airport, began operating a new route to the UK on 28 May. Edinburgh (EDI) became the airline’s third destination in the UK (after London Heathrow and Manchester), with five weekly 787 flights on the 5,550-kilometre route from Doha (DOH). The airline faces no direct competition on the route, and neither Emirates nor Etihad Airways serves the Scottish capital as yet. Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport, said: “This truly is a historic day, not just for our airport, but for the city of Edinburgh and for Scotland. Today’s inaugural flight to Doha marks the first direct link from Edinburgh to the Middle East and means Scotland’s capital is finally connected with Asia, Australia and China. We’re absolutely delighted to celebrate this occasion with our city partners and the Scottish Government, whose hard work has helped us reach this milestone. A direct link to Doha will not only enhance trade and culture links but will truly reaffirm Edinburgh Airport as where Scotland meets the world.” Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said: “Scotland and Qatar are both strong oil and gas producing countries and the relationship between our two countries has continued to strengthen over recent years. This service will help build on this important link and promote Scotland as a great place to do business. By removing the need for extra connecting flights, it will also make Scotland a more attractive destination for tourists. We want to improve Scotland’s international connectivity and we could attract more direct flights like this by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD), something that we don’t currently have the power to do but which has wide support in the aviation industry. 2014 is an exciting time for Scotland and we look forward to welcoming friends from around the world for our exciting programme of events that includes the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and a second Year of Homecoming.” See how this airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

Ryanair starts new routes to Ireland and Corsica

Ryanair began a new thrice-weekly service between its base at Glasgow Prestwick and Ireland West Airport Knock on 1 June. Pictured at the launch of the new service were Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport Knock (left) and Maria Macken, Marketing Manager, UK & Ireland, Ryanair (right).

  • Ryanair has added two new routes to its network in the last week. On 1 June, the ULCC launched thrice-weekly flights on the 325-kilometre sector between its Glasgow Prestwick (PIK) base and Knock (NOC) in Ireland, utilising its 189-seat 737-800s. Welcoming the new service, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport Knock said, “We are delighted that there is now a direct, quick and convenient jet flight service with Ryanair to Scotland’s largest city, direct from Ireland West Airport Knock. This service will connect Glasgow and its surrounding regions including the Western Highlands, the Clyde Valley and the South of Scotland to the West and North West of Ireland; which share similar cultural and social heritage through the many Irish ex-patriots that have emigrated to the Scottish Isles in the past. This new service will be welcome news to all those visiting friends and family, but will also have a positive impact on the region as a whole as we expect to welcome thousands of Scottish visitors on the new service as well as providing the opportunity to develop business links between the regions.” No other carrier operates this route. The following day, on 2 June, Ryanair began a four times weekly service from Paris Beauvais (BVA) to Figari (FSC) on the island of Corsica. Frequency on the 1,040-kilometre route will increase to six times weekly during the peak August period. No other carrier operates on this airport pair either, though Air France and XL Airways France offer flights from Paris CDG, while Air Corsica offers multiple daily flights from Paris Orly. Ryanair’s only other service to Figari, from Brussels Charleroi, launched in July 2009.

After at 13-year hiatus, TAROM resumed services to Stockholm Arlanda from its Bucharest hub on 2 June. The Romanian flag carrier was greeted at the Swedish capital with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

  • TAROM, the flag carrier of Romania, re-entered the Swedish market on 2 June, launching services from its Bucharest (OTP) hub to Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). The 1,767-kilometre sector, which was last operated 13 years ago, will be served thrice-weekly, utilising the SkyTeam member’s 124-seat 737-300s. There is no competition on this airport pair.


Varna Airport became Turkish Airlines’ second Bulgarian destination on 30 May with the launch of direct services on the short 264-kilometre route from Istanbul Atatürk. The celebrations featured a gift exchange, ribbon-cutting and a cake, as well as snack and gifts for passengers and crew. Prominent figures at the event included Aletta von Massenbach, CEO, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD; Anton Ginev, Deputy Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications; Branimir Botev, Deputy Minister of Tourism; Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization; Ivan Portnih, Mayor of Varna; and Ahmet Bolat, Director of Investment and Technologies; Turkish Airlines.

  • Turkish Airlines continues to expand the number of destinations served non-stop from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub. On 30 May the airline began serving the 264-kilometre route to Varna (VAR), the Black Sea coastal resort in Bulgaria, with twice-weekly non-stop flights. In addition it will serve Varna with an additional two weekly flights via Constanta in Romania. A mix of the airline’s narrowbody fleet will be used to serve the route, the airline’s second in Bulgaria after Sofia. No other carrier serves the airport pair at this time. See how Varna Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

TWIN JET starts new international route from Lyon

Stuttgart Airport welcomed the first flight by TWIN JET from Lyon on 2 June. Jörg Im Wolde, Stuttgart Airport’s Head of Marketing (second from left) was joined by the crew of the first return service. This route was previously served by HOP! until last November.

  • TWIN JET has started operating between Lyon (LYS) and Stuttgart (STR), a route that identified recently as one of the big ‘lost 40’ of Europe. The French regional carrier (not to be confused with Twin Twin, the act that represented France in the recent Eurovision Song Contest – and came last) replaces HOP!, who abandoned the route last November. TWIN JET, which began serving the market on 2 June, will operate the 450-kilometre route five times weekly using its 19-seat Beech 1900Ds. TWIN JET already serves Le Havre from Lyon, and will begin thrice-weekly flights to Toulon on 6 June.

VietJetAir adds another domestic link from Hanoi

Passengers get ready to board the first VietJetAir flight from Hanoi to Phu Quoc on 28 May. The airline’s daily A320 flights will compete with Vietnam Airlines’ 13 weekly flights.

  • VietJetAir, which won last week’s Cake of the Week prize for its new service from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore, on 28 May began daily flights from Hanoi (HAN) to Phu Quoc (PQC). The 1,210-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s A320s and faces competition from Vietnam Airlines who operate the route 13 times weekly. Phu Quoc International Airport serves Phu Quoc Island, located to the west of the southern tip of Vietnam. VietJetAir already serves Phu Quoc with thrice daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City.

Download all of this week’s new routes as a spreadsheet


  1. Chris says:

    No coverage of DL’s SEA-ICN?

    • Marc Watkins says:

      Hi Chris – during these busy weeks of route launches we are now doing what we are calling a ‘lite’ version of coverage for all new routes starting. In these weeks, we will only cover the routes that we have pictures from (we never received anything from DL). However, all routes starting this week, according to our New Route Database, are still available in our downloadable spreadsheet, which contains all of the information you would normally find in our new route coverage. Hope this explains?

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