New airline routes launched (08 July – 14 July 2014)


Volaris’ Chihuahua to Denver

Following last week’s celebrations to Guadalajara, Denver Airport celebrated again on 12 July, the inaugural flight of Volaris to Chihuahua. Cutting the ribbon are: Victor Leopoldo Silva Ávila, Director Economic Development, Chihuahua; Yaritza Castillo, Miss Chihuahua 2014; Rogelio Gray Avitia, Director, Chihuahua’s Tourism Board; Jose Luis Suarez, Director Airports and Customer Service, Volaris; and Laura Jackson, Senior Director Air Service Development, Denver.

  • Volaris, which in the previous week added weekly flights to Denver, continued to expand its presence at Denver, CO (DEN), this time from Chihuahua (CUU) on 12 July. The 1,250-kilometre sector will be operated weekly (Mondays), utilising the carrier’s 174-seat A320s. There is no competition on Volaris’ third route to Denver. Besides the service from Guadalajara launched last week, the Mexican low-cost airline is also flying to Denver with thrice-weekly flights from Mexico City.

Flybe’s London Southend to Maastricht Aachen

Flybe finishes its recent flurry of Southend routes with Maastricht

A bit like the Netherlands national football team, almost all there, but not quite. This 95% complete cake was presented to the passengers on Flybe’s first flight to Maastricht Aachen from London Southend, which will be flown six times weekly by Stobart Air ATR 72s.

Does that cabbie have his airside driver’s permit? Celebrating the start-up of flights from Maastricht Aachen to London Southend are: Flybe inaugural pilot, Captain Molenaar; Simon Fagan, CCO Stobart Air; Representative from Province of Limburg, Twan Beurskens; and Sander Heijmans, CEO Maastricht Aachen Airport.

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


  • Aegean Airlines expanded its seasonal offering with the addition of four new routes during the course of last week, all of which are served twice-weekly utilising its 78-seat Q400s. Therefore, the Star Alliance member has expanded its presence at Mykonos (JMK) and Santorini (JTR) with services to Heraklion (HER) and Rhodes (RHO). Only the 121-kilometre sector from Santorini to Heraklion will face direct competition from Minoan Air (thrice-weekly) and Jetairfly (weekly).
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
10 Jul Mykonos (JMK) Heraklion (HER) DH4 (2)
Rhodes (RHO)
11 Jul Santorini (JTR) Heraklion (HER) Minoan Air (3), Jetairfly (1)
10 Jul Rhodes (RHO)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 15 July 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.

  • Air France made a return to Jakarta (CGK) this week, having stopped services to the Indonesian capital in October 2004. The 11,549-kilometre sector, which originates at the airline’s Paris CDG (CDG) hub has an intermediate stop in Singapore. Started on 9 July and flown by the SkyTeam carrier’s 300-seat 777-300s, the daily route will face no direct competition.

  • AirAsia expanded its presence at Johor Bahru (JHB) with the addition of three new routes during the course of last week, all of which are operated by its 180-seat A320s. On 11 July, the low-cost carrier inaugurated four times weekly flights on the 1,067-kilometre sector to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) in Vietnam, as well as on the 1,284-kilometre route to Yogyakarta (JOG) in Indonesia. One day later, on 12 July, AirAsia launched thrice-weekly flights to Lombok (LOP) in Indonesia. There is no competition on any of the three airport pairs.

  • Alitalia has commenced its only route to Greece from Milan Malpensa (MXP) on 13 July, launching twice-weekly (Saturdays and Sundays) operations to Rhodes (RHO). Flown by the SkyTeam carrier’s 148-seat A320s, the seasonal service, which operates until 31 August, will face direct competition from easyJet (four times weekly) and Meridiana (weekly).

On 10 July, Bogota Airport celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony the inaugural flight of Avianca’s twice-daily operations to Villavicencio. The 95-kilometre sector will be operated by the Star Alliance member’s ATR 72s.


Azerbaijan Airlines enters Switzerland with Geneva service

On 11 July, Azerbaijan Airlines’ 727 landed at Geneva Airport from Baku. The new airport pair will be operated twice-weekly, on Fridays and Sundays.

  • Azerbaijan Airlines added a new European route with the launch of twice-weekly flights (Fridays and Sundays) from its Baku (GYD) hub to Geneva (GVA). The flag carrier, also known as AZAL, launched operations on the 3,598-kilometre sector to the second most populous city in Switzerland on 11 July, using a specially configured 65-seat 727. There is no competition on this airport pair.

  • China Airlines, the flag carrier of Taiwan, expanded its cross-strait offering with a new service from its Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) hub to Xuzhou (XUZ) on 14 July. The 1,090-kilometre sector to the fourth largest city in the Jiangsu province will be served thrice-weekly, using the SkyTeam member’s 158-seat 737-800s. Competition on the new airport pair is provided by TransAsia Airways’ thrice-weekly flights and China Eastern Airlines’ twice-weekly operations.

  • China Eastern Airlines introduced its 16th destination in Japan with the addition of twice-weekly flights (Thursdays and Sundays) from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to Asahikawa (AKJ) on 10 July. The 2,287-kilometre sector will be operated until 10 October, utilising the SkyTeam member’s 158-seat A320s. There is no competition on China Eastern’s new route.

  • China Southern Airlines has added its second service into Korea, with a thrice-weekly route into Busan (PUS) from its Guangzhou (CAN) hub – the world’s 16th busiest airport. Adding to the airline’s existing double-daily operations into Seoul Incheon from Guangzhou, the new route will be flown by the SkyTeam carrier’s 151-seat A320s. Started on 11 July, the service will face direct competition from Asiana Airlines which flies the city pair four times weekly.

Copa Airlines flies to Fort Lauderdale and Georgetown from Panama City

On 11 July, Fort Lauderdale Airport celebrated the inaugural flight of Copa Airlines to Panama City with traditional Panamanian dances in the terminal and refreshments served to passengers.

  • Copa Airlines, the flag carrier of Panama, increased its Panama City (PTY) offering with the launch of two new routes on 11 July. Firstly, it added its 11th US destination with the launch of four weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL), using a mixed fleet of its 124-seat 737-700s and 160-seat 737-800s. Secondly it inaugurated twice-weekly operations (Tuesdays and Fridays) to Georgetown (GEO) in Guyana, using the Star Alliance member’s 124-seat 737-700s. The carrier will face competition only on the service to the US from Spirit Airlines’ thrice-weekly flights. Commenting on the route launches, Joe Mohan, SVP Commercial and Planning, Copa, said: “We start with four days a week and look forward to going daily very soon. It’s not just Panama that we’re starting service to today. We fly to nine cities in Colombia, seven cities in Brazil, and what we saw there, was a tremendous amount of demand for this particular airport. Fort Lauderdale has done very well from many key countries for us.”

easyJet starts flights from London Gatwick Airport in UK to Brest Airpor

On duty to welcome the first easyJet flight from London Gatwick and its crew were Jacques Hennebelle, Head of Ramp Department, Brest Airport and Christophe Poupart, Duty Officer, Brest Airport. The seasonal service will operate thrice weekly until 6 Septmeber.

  • easyJet started a new route to France this week – a thrice-weekly operation to Brest (BES). The seasonal service, which operates until 6 September, has become the airline’s 103rd destination from its biggest base at London Gatwick (LGW), and its 14th in France. Begun on 12 July, the 428-kilometre sector will be operated by the LCC’s fleet mainstay – its 156-seat A319s – and will encounter no direct competition.

  • germanwings instigated three new seasonal services this week, all of which will have terminated by 19 August. On 8 July, the airline began twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) operations between Düsseldorf (DUS) and Rijeka (RJK). Two days later it started twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) operations between Hamburg (HAM) and Zagreb (ZAG), followed the next day by twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) flights to Zadar (ZAD). All flights have no direct competition and are all operated by eurowings’ 90-seat CRJ 900s. germanwings currently flies from three German airports to Zagreb (Cologne Bonn, Stuttgart and Berlin Tegel) and from four to Rijeka and Zadar (both served from Cologne Bonn, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Berlin Tegel).

  • Hainan Airlines commenced its fourth route to Yinchuan (INC), with the addition of six weekly flights from Nanjing (NKG) on 14 July. The 1,334-kilometre sector to the capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region will be operated by the airline’s 163-seat 737-800s. Competition on the new airport pair is provided by China Southern Airlines’ daily operations and China Eastern Airlines’ five weekly flights. Hainan already serves Yinchuan from Dalian (six times weekly), Hangzhou (daily) and Xi’an (daily).

Iraqi Airways adds London Gatwick and Berlin Tegel links to Erbil

Along with the crew from the first Iraqi Airways flight from Erbil on the apron at Berlin Tegel are: Azita Baseem, Station Manager, Iraqi Airways, (fifth from left); Karim Andesha (Station Manager Iraqi Airways, (sixth from left), Andreas Ley, Senior Consultant Airline Marketing, Berlin Brandenburg Airport (seventh from left).

  • Iraqi Airways began its third destination into London Gatwick (LGW) on 12 July, with the start of weekly (Saturdays) flights from Erbil (EBL). Like the carrier’s existing operations into the world’s 37th biggest airport, from Baghdad and Sulaymaniyah, the inbound flights operate via Vienna, whereas the outbound flights are direct. These three routes are currently the only routes from Iraq which operate into the UK. On the previous day, the airline started weekly flights (Fridays) again from Erbil, but this time to Berlin Tegel (TXL). Its joins the airline’s existing Erbil flights to Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, Baghdad to Frankfurt and Sulaymaniyah to Düsseldorf. Both new services face no direct competition, and are flown by the airline’s 169-seat 737-800s.

  • Shandong Airlines started its second link to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) on 12 July, with the launch of seasonal flights from Jinan (TNA). The operation, which is expected to terminate on 30 September, will join the carrier’s existing Bangkok flights from Qingdao. The 3,008-kilometre sector will be flown thrice-weekly by Shandong’s 152-seat 737-800s under no direct competition.

  • ‘Ohana, Hawaiian Airlines’ newest subsidiary, continued to expand its inter-island network with the addition of two new routes from Kahului, HI (OGG) on 8 July, using its 48-seat ATR 42-500s. The carrier launched twice-daily flights to Kona, HI (KOA), a sector that is already served by Mokulele Airlines with 126 weekly operations. In addition, it inaugurated daily operations to Molokai, HI (MKK). While the route to Molokai is also flown by Mokulele (48), the sector to Kona is operated by its parent company — Hawaiian with thrice-daily flights. Commenting on the route launches, Hadden Watt, Managing Director, ‘Ohana, said: “Since launching ‘Ohana earlier this year, we’ve received overwhelmingly positive response and robust demand for more service between the islands to connect our communities. We are excited to answer the call for more service from our customers, offering them more convenience and flexibility when planning their neighbour island travel.”

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