New airline routes launched (24 June – 30 June 2014)

China Eastern Airlines’ Shanghai Pudong to Toronto

China Eastern Airlines’ inaugural flight from Shanghai Pudong to Toronto Pearson was celebrated in Toronto with an impressive cake which was cut by: Li Lang, Consul General of People’s Republic of China in Toronto; Senator Victor Oh; Liuwen Tian, EVP, China Eastern Airlines; Howard Eng, President and CEO, Toronto Pearson International Airport; Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade; and Han Dong MPP. A ceremonial ribbon was also cut and gifts were exchanged.


  • China Eastern Airlines has enhanced its presence in North America with the introduction of service to a second Canadian city. On 25 June the airline introduced thrice-weekly flights on the 11,440-kilometre sector between Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ) using its A340-600s. The route is already operated daily by Air Canada. China Eastern’s other Canadian route is a double-daily service from Shanghai to Vancouver. In addition, it operates non-stop flights from Shanghai to Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York JFK and San Francisco. See how Toronto Pearson Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium’s Brussels to Split

Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium’s inaugural flight to Split was celebrated at Brussels Airport with this fantastic two-side cake. The service is operated twice-weekly using its A320s.

  • Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium expanded its Brussels (BRU) offering with the addition of three new routes. On 28 June, the airline added weekly operations (Saturdays) on the 1,051-kilometre sector to Ajaccio (AJA) in France, a route which is already flown by Jetairfly (twice-weekly) and Brussels Airlines (weekly). The same day, it also inaugurated weekly flights (Saturdays) to Bastia (BIA), competing with Brussels Airlines (weekly flights) and Jetairfly (also weekly flights). Both of the French airport pairs are served using its 144-seat A319s. Lastly, on 29 June, the leisure carrier started serving the 1,210-kilometre sector to Split (SPU) with twice-weekly flights (Wednesdays and Sundays), using its 180-seat A320s. There is no competition on the Croatian route.


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

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

Manchester Airport welcomed the inaugural flight of Air Canada rouge from Toronto Pearson. The arrival of the new venture leisure airline from Air Canada was celebrated with a special ceremony, including a ribbon cutting and Canadian flags.

Air Madagascar starts new weekly services from Marseille

Air Madagascar CEO Hugues Ratsiferana was in Marseille on 24 June to promote the carrier’s new routes into the southern French airport. The carrier will add weekly flights to Nosy Be in Madagascar and Moroni in the Comoros.

  • Air Madagascar will add to its existing Antananarivo operations in Marseille (MRS), by offering services to Moroni (HAH) in Comoros and Nosy Be (NOS) in Madagascar. Weekly (Thursdays) flights to Moroni began on 26 June, whereas weekly (Sundays) operations to Nosy Be started on 29 June. The flights, which both face no competition, will actually originate in Marseille, as they will utilise a 227-seat EuroAtlantic Airways 767-300 which is based at the French airport for both flights.

Riga Airport celebrated with a cake ceremony the inaugural flight of airBaltic’s new seasonal route to Varna in Bulgaria on 24 June. Cutting the cake are: Janis Vanags, VP Corporate Communications, airBaltic; Yurij Batkilin, Deputy Director, Tez Tour; Andis Damlics, Member of the Board, Riga Airport; Artūrs Kokars, Director of Aviation Services Department, Riga Airport.

  • airBaltic, the flag carrier of Latvia, expanded its seasonal offering with the launch of services from its Riga (RIX) base to Varna (VAR) in Bulgaria on 24 June. The 1,556-kilometre sector to the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast will be operated twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) until 5 September, utilising the carrier’s 76-seat Q400s. No other carrier serves this airport pair. The Latvian flag carrier is also serving the Bulgarian market with twice-weekly flights to Bourgas as of 28 May. Furthermore, Riga Airport is analysed in more detail in this week’s airport profile.

On 27 June, Krakow Airport celebrated the arrival of Brussels Airlines’ thrice-weekly operations from the European capital. Cutting the cake and the celebratory ribbon are: Andrea Valentova, Regional Station Manager Central Europe, Brussels Airlines; and Artur Staniszewski, Airlines Cooperation Specialist, Krakow Airport.

Brussels Airport commemorated on 27 June the inaugural flight of Brussels Airlines’ thrice-weekly flights to Krakow in Poland. 

  • Brussels Airlines, which in the previous week resumed services to Malta and Cagliari, continued to expand its European network with the addition of three new routes, all of which were launched from its Brussels (BRU) hub being operated with thrice-weekly flights. On 24 June, the flag carrier inaugurated the 1,440-kilometre sector until 13 September to Bari (BRI), using its 132-seat A319s. This route was last served in November 2007. The same day, it also launched operations to Montpellier (MPL) until 13 September using its 132-seat A319s. Lastly, on 27 June, the Star Alliance member commenced flights on the 1,088-kilometre sector to Krakow (KRK), utilising a mixed fleet of its 132-seat A319s and 97-seat Avro RJ100s. The Polish airport pair was last operated in January 2013 and will see a frequency increase to four times weekly from 1 September. There is no competition on any of the three new airport pairs.

•Cebu Pacific Air has added another domestic route in the Philippines

Preparing to cut the ribbon to celebrate the launch of Cebu Pacific Air’s thrice-weekly service starting 30 June between Cebu and Tandag are: Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Officer Hembler Mendoza; Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete; CEB VP for Corporate Affairs Jorenz Tanada; CAAP Chief Finance Officer Rodante Joya; and Lapu-Lapu City Commissioner Quennie Amman.

  • Cebu Pacific Air has added another domestic route in the Philippines. On 30 June the carrier introduced thrice-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays) flights utilising its 72-seat ATR aircraft on the 285-kilometre route between Cebu (CEB) and Tandag (TDG), the capital city of the province of Surigao del Sur. Speaking at the launch flight event, Jorenz Tanada, VP for Corporate Affairs said: “The addition of this thrice-weekly Cebu-Tandag service to our network reinforces our commitment to make it easy to travel around the Philippines. Before, the closest airport with commercial flights was Butuan, which is approximately five hours away from Tandag by land. Now, Tandag is just a 65-minute flight from Cebu.” Tandag in Surigao del Sur is the gateway to the Enchanted River, the Britania Group of Islands, Cagwait Beach, Tinuy-an Falls and the surfing spot of Lanuza.

The arrival of China Southern Airlines’ inaugural service to Frankfurt from Guangzhou via Changsha was celebrated at the German airport by the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. Preparing for the big snip are: Michael Müller, Executive Board Member, Fraport; Dr. Stefan Schulte, CEO, Fraport; Mr. Tan, CEO, China Southern Airlines; Mr. Zhang, Vice Governor Hunan Province; Mr. Liang, Consol General, PR China.

  • China Southern Airlines on 24 June began a new thrice-weekly service from Guangzhou (CAN) to Frankfurt (FRA) via Changsha (CSX). The route will be served by the SkyTeam carrier’s A330-200s and will face no direct competition. Frankfurt becomes the airline’s sixth destination in Europe after Amsterdam, Istanbul, London, Moscow and Paris. Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte commented about the latest arrival, “Today’s arrival of China Southern Airlines means Frankfurt Airport is also being served by China’s largest carrier now. The new connection underscores the attractiveness and importance of the Frankfurt hub – thus confirming the demand for our forward-looking capacity expansion implemented at Germany’s largest airport. With the addition of Guangzhou and Changsha in its global route network, Frankfurt Airport can offer passengers a choice of two new passenger destinations via Germany. We wish China Southern Airlines ‘always Happy Landings!’” For more details on the airline’s meteoric rise see this week’s airline profile. See how Frankfurt Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

A typical American party was held at the gate for the first Condor flight from Frankfurt to Minneapolis-St. Paul, with colourful balloons, hot dog stand, a traditional jazz band and a cheerleader group helping to create the Midwest mood that passengers will find at their destination. Cutting the giant cupcake were: Uwe Balser, MD of Condor; Kevin C. Milas, Consul General of the United States of America in Frankfurt; and Anke Giesen of the executive board of Ground Handling Fraport.

The festivities continued at the other end of the route, where the aircraft’s crew were getting into the party mood in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and one of them clearly was sampling the fabulous tiered new route cake before the passengers arrived!

  • Condor started another long-haul route this week from Frankfurt (FRA), following its Cake of the Week, award-winning service to Fortaleza in Brazil last week. On 26 June it was the turn of Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (MSP), which will be connected to the German hub with a twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays), 259-seat 767-300 service. The seasonal route, which will operate until 11 September, will face no direct competition on the city pair. Minneapolis-St. Paul is one of 12 North American destinations in the airline’s S14 schedule, and complements the current programme of Baltimore/Washington, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Seattle-Tacoma, Anchorage, Calgary, Fairbanks, Halifax, Toronto Pearson, Vancouver and Whitehorse. “A new flight is always a special event for an airline, and that’s why we like to celebrate it with our passengers,” said Uwe Balser, MD of Condor. “The new connection not only offers our customers in Europe an easy route to the heart of the USA, but it is also an opportunity for our American guests to fly easily and non-stop to Europe.” Anke Giesen of the executive board of Ground Handling Fraport added: “With Minneapolis-St. Paul, we offer almost 300 destinations that can be reached non-stop from Frankfurt. This emphasizes the outstanding quality of the connections of our airport and shows that we are one of the most international hubs in Europe.”

Cutting the new route cake for easyJet’s Geneva to La Rochelle

Cutting the new route cake for easyJet’s Geneva to La Rochelle twice-weekly service are: Yves-Daniel Viredaz, Head of Marketing-Communication, Geneva Airport; Catherine Senand, Director Tourist Office Île de Ré; Céline Saunier, Marketing, easyjet; and Sylvain Morin, Hotel Île de Ré.

  • easyJet is continuing to launch a plethora of seasonal services from its European bases, with three of them benefitting this week – namely those at Belfast International (BFS), Geneva (GVA) and Hamburg (HAM). Only two of the routes faces any sort of competition, both from Hamburg, which will see the UK LCC up against airberlin (thrice-weekly) on Ibiza (IBZ) and germanwings (twice-weekly) to Split (SPU). The longest of the five new routes is the 1,767-kilometre sector from Hamburg to Ibiza, while the shortest is the 563-kilometre hop from Geneva to La Rochelle (LRH).
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
28 June Belfast International (BFS) Bordeaux (BOD) A319 (1)
28 June Jersey (JER) A319 (2)
25 June Geneva (GVA) La Rochelle (LRH)
24 June Hamburg (HAM) Ibiza (IBZ) airberlin (3)
24 June Split (SPU) germanwings (3)
Source:’s New Route Database; Innovata Diio Mi w/c 1 July 2014; WF = Weekly Frequencies.

On 24 June, Finnair’s A319 arrived for the first time at Biarritz Airport from Helsinki. This route is operated twice-weekly until 9 August.

  • Finnair, the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, commenced operations to its third French destination on 24 June, launching twice-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Saturdays) from its Helsinki (HEL) hub to Biarritz (BIQ). The 2,581-kilometre sector will be operated by the carrier’s 138-seat A319s until 9 August and will face no competition from other airlines. Finnair already flies to Paris CDG with 37 weekly flights and to Nice four times weekly from Helsinki.

The aircraft on the right (on stand 4) was the inaugural thrice-weekly ‘twilight’ flight from Birmingham to Reykjavik/Keflavik for Flybe, while the aircraft behind and to the left (on stand 8R) performed the first thrice-weekly flight to Ibiza. A cake featuring a Jökulsárlón tour boat — a large glacial lake in south-east Iceland — was waiting for the arriving flight in Iceland, which was supported by the flag-waving Stuart Gill, UK Ambassador in Iceland, and Fred Kochak from Flybe. Aircraft photo: Gordon Stretch.

  • Flybe added two more destinations from its biggest UK hub at Birmingham (BHX), which offers over 350 weekly flights, thanks to the addition of thrice-weekly services to Ibiza (IBZ) and Rekyjavik/Keflavik (KEF). While the 1,759-kilometre sector to the Icelandic capital will face no direct competition (until Icelandair launches in February 2015), the Ibiza service will have to face the four incumbents on the route – Monarch Airlines (six times weekly), Thomson Airways (four times weekly), Ryanair (thrice-weekly) and Thomas Cook Airlines (weekly). Both flights started on 29 June and both are operated by the carrier’s 88-seat E175s. See how Reykjavik/Keflavik Airport’s FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.

Slicing up the new route cake are Sergio Millanes, Fuerteventura Airport Director; station manager; and Moisés Jorge Naranjo, Fuerteventura Tourist Board MD. Including Newcastle, the LCC has started new services from five UK airports this summer to the Canary Island.

  • has started its fifth new S14 route from UK airports (joining East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Manchester) to Fuerteventura (FUE) this week, with the commencing of weekly (Tuesdays) flights from Newcastle (NCL). The 3,112-kilometre seasonal sector, which began on 24 June and will operate until 21 October, will face competition from Thomas Cook Airlines, which operates twice-weekly services. On 30 June, also began weekly (Mondays) operations from Edinburgh (EDI) to Reus (REU). The 1,679-kilometre seasonal route will face no direct competition and will be flown until 22 September. Both services are operated by 148-seat 737-300s.

Jetstar Airways launched two routes in the last week, including the daily Gold Coast to Mackay service which was celebrated by: Jason Costigan, MP for Whitsundays; Rob Porter, GM, Mackay Airport; Stephen Schewer, GM for Mackay Tourism.

  • Jetstar Airways has started two domestic routes this week, with Melbourne (MEL) and Gold Coast (OOL) benefitting from new connections. Starting on 28 June, the latter is now linked to Mackay (MKY) in North Queensland with a daily service, and becomes Jetstar’s ninth destination from the airport. From Melbourne, the airline will offer Ayers Rock (AYQ) four times weekly from 29 June. Both services face no direct competition and are operated by the LCCs 180-seat A320s. Mackay Airport GM, Rob Porter, congratulated Jetstar for acting on the public demand for this service. “Our passengers expressed a strong interest in a direct link with the Gold Coast through our passenger surveys and we are really pleased to see Jetstar has made it a reality. This daily connection means it’s even easier for people in Mackay to get to this popular holiday destination and it provides a convenient option for FIFO passengers travelling from the Gold Coast to Mackay for work.”

Jetstar Asia has started flights to Fukuoka by extending its Singapore-Bangkok service to the Japanese city. This becomes the Singapore-based carrier’s first destination in Japan. The service will operate daily and the Bangkok-Fukuoka sector will face competition from Thai Airways’ daily flights.


  • Jetstar Asia on 26 June extended its existing Singapore to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) service to Fukuoka (FUK) in Japan. This new 3,720-kilometre sector will operate daily utilising the airline’s A320s and will face direct competition from Thai Airways’ daily service. This is Jetstar Asia’s first foray into the Japanese market. Having launched operations in December 2004, it currently serves 16 destinations non-stop from its base at Singapore Changi Airport.

Russian national treats and a marching band were arranged for passengers on the inaugural ORENAIR flight from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Xi’an. Pictured with the band are: Yury Ilyinsky, Head of Moscow Office of ORENAIR; Marina Sidorova from Tary Tour; Daria Street, Head of Aviation Marketing Department, Moscow Sheremetyevo;  and Young Way from Tary Tour. 

On 30 June, PEOPLExpress commenced operations with three new routes from Newport News Airport to Boston, New York Newark and Pittsburgh. All of the new services are operated by the  737-400s.

  • PEOPLExpress, which is featured in this week’s take-offs and landings, has been reinvigorated on 30 June with the launch of three routes from Newport News, VA (PHF), all of which are operated using 150-seat 737-400s. Firstly, the start-up carrier, which is using an old brand name, launched six weekly flights to Boston, MA (BOS). Secondly, it inaugurated 11 weekly services to New York Newark, NJ (EWR). The last route was launched to Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) with daily flights. There is no competition on any of the three new airport pairs.

On 28 June, Montpellier Airport celebrated the inaugural flight of SAS to Copenhagen. The service will be operated twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays), using a mix of the airline’s A321s and, as seen here, CRJ 900s.

On 30 June, Bristol Airport welcomed SAS’ twice-weekly flights from Stockholm Arlanda. The route will be operated by its 737-600s until 15 August.

  • SAS expanded its seasonal European offering with the launch of 12 new services during the course of last week, With the longest route being the 2,720-kilometre service from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Chania (CHQ) in Greece served twice-weekly, and the shortest being inaugurated from Bergen (BGO) to Billund (BLL) at 558 kilometres with thrice-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Thursdays), SAS will face competition on eight of the new services from SUN-AIR, Norwegian, TUIfly Nordic, Primera Air and airberlin. See how Montpellier Airport’s FTWA compares to others sent in this week from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
28 Jun Bergen (BGO) Billund (BLL) EQV (3) SUN-AIR (4)
30 Jun Copenhagen (CPH) Chania (CHQ) A321 (2) Norwegian (4), TUIfly Nordic (2)
28 Jun Montpellier (MPL) EQV (2) Norwegian (2)
Pisa (PSA) Norwegian (3)
30 Jun Gothenburg (GOT) Alicante (ALC) B738 (1) Norwegian (2)
Berlin Tegel (TXL) B73W (2) airberlin (20)
28 Jun Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) Pisa (PSA) B738 (2) Norwegian (3)
26 Jun Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Bastia (BIA) B717 (1)
24 Jun Biarritz (BIQ) EQV (2)
29 Jun Bodö (BOO) B717 (2)
30 Jun Bristol (BRS) B736 (2)
24 Jun Chania (CHQ) EQV (2) Norwegian (4), TUIfly Nordic (2), Primera Air (1)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 1 July 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Celebrations for the start of SilkAir’s eighth route to China included a ribbon-cutting and dancing dragons. SilkAir has been serving China since 1993 and the new route to Hangzhou joins Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Xiamen on SilkAir’s network.

  • SilkAir has made Hangzhou (HGH) its eighth destination in China with the introduction on 27 June of four times weekly flights from Singapore (SIN). The 3,630-kilometre route will be served by the airline’s A320s and will face competition from Jetstar Asia who operate the route with five weekly flights. Leslie Thng, CEO of SilkAir said: “The launch of services to Hangzhou, reaffirms SilkAir’s commitment to continue to grow our network in China, which is one of our key markets. Hangzhou is a city that attracts both the leisure and business traveller and we believe that our new service will certainly benefit them.” SilkAir first began serving China in 1993, and also operates flights to Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Xiamen.

Cutting the new service ribbon for Turkish Airlines’ four times weekly Pisa operation were: Gina Giani, Pisa Airport CEO; along with Hüsetin Çepni, GM Pisa; Serhat Gök, GM Bologna; Kerem Sarp, VP marketing; and Ahmet Olmuştur, all from Turkish Airlines. On some days of the week the airline now offers 17 daily flights to Italy from its Istanbul Atatürk hub.

  • Turkish Airlines further strengthened its operations into Italy, a country market which on some days sees the Star Alliance carrier offer up to 17 daily flights, with the addition of four times weekly services to Pisa (PSA). Started on 26 June, the 1,545-kilometre sector from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub, will be flown by a mix of equipment. The airline will face no direct competition on the airport or city pair.

With the first Vueling flight from Barcelona touching down in Cluj-Napoca at 0300, unsurprisingly there was little appetite for celebrations at the Romanian regional airport. That said, despite the early start, the first flight’s crew were on form and without a hint of red-eye.

  • Vueling is launching 13 predominantly seasonal services across four of its bases this week, with its Barcelona (BCN) Paris Orly (ORY), Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Seville (SVQ) operations all benefitting, along with Rennes. Unlike last week, when only one-third of the new routes launched by the airline faced any direct competition, this week over three-quarters of its new routes will have competition. Again, when comparing to last week’s offering by the LCC, where 16 of its 24 new routes started with two weekly flights or less, this time out just over half began operations at that level of frequency. The 13 city pairs link airports in 10 countries. This week marked the airline’s tenth anniversary of its launch.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
27 June Barcelona (BCN) Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) A320 (2) Wizz Air (4)
28 June Geneva (GVA) A32S (1) easyJet (20), SWISS (14)
27 June Larnaca (LCA) A320 (2) Cyprus Airways (1)
26 June Paris Orly (ORY) Catania (CTA) A320 (3) France (2)
27 June Palermo (PMO) A320 (3) easyJet (4), France (4)
28 June Rennes (RNS) Bastia (BIA) A320 (1)
25 June Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Amsterdam (AMS) A320 (6) KLM (35), Alitalia (21), easyJet (8)
Bari (BRI) A320 (13) Alitalia (46)
Corfu (CFU) A320 (2) easyJet (5), Blue Panorama Airlines (2)
Lamezia Terme (SUF) A320 (6) Alitalia (49), Ryanair (14)
24 June Malta (MLA) A320 (3) Air Malta (10), Alitalia (7), easyJet (5)
26 June Zagreb (ZAG) A320 (2)
27 June Seville (SVQ) Malta (MLA) A320 (1)
Source:’s New Route Database; Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 1 July 2014; WF = Weekly Frequencies.

On 24 June, Las Vegas Airport celebrated WestJet’s new service to Fort McMurray with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the gate. Shame the first departure looks like it was delayed a bit.

  • WestJet, the Canadian low-cost carrier, expanded its seasonal offering with the launch of a new route from Fort McMurray (YMM) to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) on 24 June. The carrier launched twice-weekly services (Tuesdays and Saturdays) on the 2,306-kilometre sector until 25 October, which is served utilising its 174-seat 737-800s. There is no competition on WestJet’s new airport pair.

Arriving passengers on the first Zagrosjet flight between Erbil and Amsterdam were given a traditional Dutch gift of tulips. Bert Stroboer, Account Manager Aviation Amsterdam Airport also had the opportunity to give some to Zagrosjet Commercial Director Kraker Gardi.

  • Zagrosjet launched its eighth and ninth routes (and sixth and seventh into Europe) from Erbil (EBL) this week, with services to Amsterdam (AMS) and Munich (MUC) started. The former commenced on 26 June, will operate weekly (Thursdays), and will face direct competition from, which offers the same weekly frequency. The latter was launched on 28 June, will operate weekly (Saturdays), and will face direct competition from Germania, which again offers the same weekly frequency. Both flights are operated by Zagrosjet’s 182-seat A320s.

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


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