New airline routes launched (22 July – 28 July 2014)

Wizz Air’s Romanian base #5 at Craiova

On 23 July, Wizz Air celebrated the opening of its fifth Romanian base (#18 overall) at Craiova Airport, with the launch of services to Bologna, Rome Ciampino, Dortmund and Barcelona. Marking the achievement are: Daniel de Carvalho, Corporate Communications Manager, Wizz Air; Lia Olguta Vasilescu, Mayor of Craiova; and Ion Prioteasa, President, Dolj County Council.

In addition, on 25 July, Cluj-Napoca Airport celebrated the addition of Wizz Air’s 16th destination from the Romanian facility. The service to the third most populous city in Switzerland will be served twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays).

  • Wizz Air opened its fifth Romanian base in Craiova (CRA) (deploying one A320), with four new routes launched to Barcelona (BCN), Bologna (BLQ), Dortmund (DTM) and Rome Ciampino (CIA) during the course of last week. The Hungarian ULCC is also operating bases in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Targu Mures and Timisoara within the Romanian market. Besides this, Wizz Air commenced its 16th route from Cluj-Napoca (CLJ), with the addition of twice-weekly flights (Mondays and Fridays) on the 1,225-kilometre sector to Basel (BSL). There is no competition on any of the new airport pairs. Commenting on the opening of the new base, Daniel de Carvalho, Corporate Communications Manager, Wizz Air, said: “The opening of our fifth base in Romania and 18th base overall is truly delightful news. This is an important milestone for our presence in the Dolj County and indicates our commitment to offer Romanian consumers and their visitors affordable fares from just RON 69, coupled with an excellent travel experience. Our brand new based A320 will further enhance the travel opportunities on the Romanian market and we look forward to many satisfied passengers and a fruitful partnership with Craiova Airport.” See how Craiova and Dortmund airports’ FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
25 Jul Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) Basel (BSL) A320 (2)
Craiova (CRA) Barcelona (BCN)
23 Jul Bologna (BLQ)
24 Jul Dortmund (DTM) A320 (3)
23 Jul Rome Ciampino (CIA) A320 (2)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 29 July 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

•	AirAsia has started flying between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Cebu (CEB) in the Philippines

  • AirAsia has started flying between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Cebu (CEB) in the Philippines. The 2,593-kilometre route was operated by Cebu Pacific Air until the end of August 2013. Then AirAsia Zest served the market from 1 December 2013 until 18 May 2014. On 24 July AirAsia started thrice-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursday, Saturdays) flights using A320s. No other carrier serves the market at present.

  • Alitalia commenced a thrice-weekly service on the 1,334-kilometre sector between its home hub of Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and the Greek holiday destination of Heraklion (HER) on 26 July. As expected with this type of route, it is a seasonal operation, flying up until 31 August only. The service, flown by a variety of equipment, will be up against four incumbents – easyJet (flying five times weekly), Blue Panorama Airlines (four times weekly), Vueling (twice-weekly) and Meridiana (weekly).

On 28 July, Arik Air — the largest carrier in Nigeria — celebrated the launch of five weekly flights from Lagos to Dubai via Abuja. Addressing to the audience shortly before the airline’s first departure to its 12th international destination is Sally Mbanefo, General Director, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation.

  • Arik Air expanded its long-haul network with the addition of two new routes to the most populous city in UAE during the course of last week, both of which are operated five times weekly using its 251-seat A330-200s. On 28 July at 22:15, the Nigerian carrier launched operations from Lagos (LOS) to Dubai (DXB), a route which is operated via Abuja (ABV). Furthermore, on 29 July at 01:00, the airline commenced operations on the 5,390-kilometre sector from Abuja (ABV), a route which is already flown by Emirates (daily). Nevertheless, the 5,900-kilometre airport pair from Lagos (LOS) will face competition from Emirates’ twice-daily flights. Commenting on the addition of Dubai to its network, Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, CEO, Arik Air, said: “This is another exciting moment for us all at Arik Air, not only launching a new international destination, but becoming the first airline to link the capital Abuja to Dubai. The importance of Dubai as the Middle East’s commercial capital makes it imperative for Arik Air to connect the city with Lagos which is a Nigeria’s commercial capital.” Arik Air is analysed in more detail in this week’s airline profile.

  • Far Eastern Air Transport has launched weekly (Tuesdays) flights from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Harbin (HRB). The 2,370-kilometre route was started on 22 July and will be flown by the airline’s MD-83s. China Southern Airlines already serves the market with daily flights, while EVA Air offers five weekly flights. Harbin, China’s 23rd busiest airport in 2013 with 10.26 million passengers (+12.2%), becomes the airline’s fifth Chinese destination to be served from Taipei Taoyuan after Guiyang, Hefei, Shijiazhuang and Yinchuan.

On 25 July, Nizhny Novgorod celebrated the arrival of Finnair’s thrice-weekly flights from Helsinki with a special ceremony that included a ribbon cutting next to the aircraft. The airline’s fourth destination in Russia will be operated by its E190s.

  • Finnair, the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, commenced operations to its fourth destination in Russia on 25 July, launching thrice-weekly flights from its Helsinki (HEL) base to Nizhny Novgorod (GOJ). The 1,196-kilometre sector will be operated utilising the oneworld member’s 100-seat E190s. There is no competition on the new airport pair. In addition, Finnair is also serving the Russian market with twice-daily flights to St Petersburg, nine weekly operations to Moscow Sheremetyevo and four weekly services to Ekaterinburg. See how Nizhny Novgorod Airport’s FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.

  • Fly Africa, the latest African low-cost start-up, launched first operations on 23 July from Johannesburg (JNB) to Victoria Falls (VFA) in Zimbabwe. The 925-kilometre route to the city located on the southern bank of the Zambezi River will be operated thrice-weekly, utilising the carrier’s 113-seat 737-500s. Competition on the new airport pair is provided by British Airways (10 weekly flights), South African Airways (daily flights) and Air Zimbabwe (thrice-weekly flights).

  • flydubai has added Kandahar (KDH) to its Afghan network portfolio, with the start of twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) services on 25 July. The 1,239-kilometre sector joins the LCC’s existing thrice-daily flights to Kabul. Operating from its Dubai (DXB) base, the 737-800-operated route will face direct competition from Ariana Afghan Airlines, which flies the city pair twice-weekly too.

  • flynas started its third long-haul service into the UK this summer, with the launch of twice-weekly services between Riyadh (RUH) and London Gatwick (LGW) on 27 July. The twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) route, joins the Saudi Arabian LCC’s existing thrice-weekly operation to Jeddah from the London airport. Flown by its 331-seat A330-200s, the airport pair will encounter no direct competition, however both British Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines fly the city pair daily, but between London Heathrow and Riyadh.

  • Iberia has begun its third service to the Canary Islands from Asturias (OVD) this week, with a weekly (Tuesdays) service to Lanzarote (ACE). Joining its existing flights to Las Palmas and Tenerife North, the 90-seat CRJ 900-operated seasonal route (until 26 August) is flown on Air Nostrum metal. The 1,751-kilometre sector, started on 22 July, will be up against the incumbent Air Europa’s twice-weekly operation.


  • Malindo Air, the Malaysian subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air, has added two more routes to its rapidly expanding domestic network. On 23 July the airline began daily flights on the 552-kilometre sector between Johor Bahru (JHB) and Penang (PEN), competing with AirAsia’s daily flights. On the same day the carrier began operating five weekly flights between Kuala Lumpur Subang (SZB) and Kuantan (KUA). There is no competition on this route. Both routes will be served by the airline’s ATR 72-600s.

  • Meridiana used the last week to launch a trio of new routes, two domestic and one international. Commenced on 25 July, the airline started a twice-weekly service (Mondays and Fridays) between Cagliari (CAG) and Trieste (TRS), flown by its 165-seat MD-80s. Also on 25 July, it linked Olbia (OLB) with the same city in north-east Italy, with the same frequency on the same days with the same aircraft. The following day, Meridiana launched a weekly (Saturdays) service between Naples (NAP) and Rhodes (RHO), which will utilise a variety of equipment. All routes will face no direct competition and will cease seasonal operations by 6 September.

Royal Air Maroc expands European offering from Casablanca

On 26 July, Royal Air Maroc landed at Montpellier Airport from Casablanca. The new airport pair will be operated thrice-weekly.

Royal Brunei Airlines returns to Bali

Royal Brunei Airlines launched its first ‘new’ route in four years on 26 July, with the resumption of flights to Bali. The service will be operated four times weekly with the airline’s A319s and A320s.

  • Royal Brunei Airlines resumed serving Denpasar (DPS) on the island of Bali, Indonesia on 26 July. The four times weekly flights on the 1,510-kilometre route from Bandar Seri Begawan (BWN) will be operated by the airline’s A319s and A320s and faces no competition. The airline previously served the route between 1993 and 2008. The airline’s Deputy Chairman, Dermot Mannion said, “The Commercial team does regular route studies for ways to develop and increase connectivity for our markets. In their latest studies, Bali has emerged a frontrunner in providing connections for key markets in London and Dubai and also for regional destinations like Hong Kong and Shanghai. We are delighted to include Bali, an exciting holiday destination, into our network.” This brings the airline’s network to 12 non-stop destinations, with Dubai and Melbourne the only sectors of over 3,000 kilometres. These are operated by a fleet comprising four 787-8s, four A320s and two A319s. In October the airline will also resume flights to Ho Chi Minh City.

  • SunExpress Germany, the German-based off-shoot of Turkish carrier SunExpress, has added two new routes from Nuremburg (NUE) this week, with seasonal services beginning to Adana (ADA) and Ankara (ESB). Starting on 24 July, the 2,390-kilometre sector to Adana will be flown weekly (Thursdays). The following day, the 2,012-kilometre sector to Ankara was launched and will be operated twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Fridays). Both services will have terminated by 26 September and are operated by the carrier’s 183-seat 737-800s and will face no direct competition.

Turkish Minister of European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, along with representatives from the local authorities, Turkish Airlines and TAV-operated Gazipaşa Airport welcomed the Star Alliance carrier’s new double-daily route from Istanbul Atatürk on 25 July.

Now that’s what we call a ribbon cutting! VietJetAir launched a new domestic route on 22 July between Da Nang and Can Tho, a route that no other carrier operates. Dragons, singers, dancers and speeches were part of the route celebrations.

VietJetAir has made Seoul Incheon its second international destination from Hanoi with the launch on 24 July of daily flights. Asiana Airlines, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines all serve the market with between one and two daily flights.

  • VietJetAir on 22 July commenced a new domestic route from Da Nang (DAD) to Can Tho (VCA). The 715-kilometre route will be served thrice-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays) using the airline’s A320s and faces no competition. On 24 July VietJetAir also launched a new international route from Hanoi (HAN) to Seoul Incheon (ICN). The 2,720-kilometre route will be served daily and faces competition from Asiana Airlines (twice-daily flights), Vietnam Airlines (twice-daily) and Korean Air (11).

  • Vueling has begun two new seasonal Spanish routes from Catania (CTA), by offering weekly flights (Tuesdays) to Ibiza (IBZ) and weekly flights (Wednesdays) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI). The former route started on 22 July and the latter on 23 July. Both routes will be flown by the LCC’s 180-seat A320s and will experience no competition on the respective airport pairs.

  • Xiamen Airlines has launched two new routes from Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA). On 22 July the airline commenced daily flights to both Beijing (PEK) and Shenzhen (SZX) using its 737-800s. Competition on the two routes is incredibly intense, as the table below shows. The Beijing routes is already served by 40 daily flights, and Shenzhen with up to 31 daily flights. These are the airline’s fourth and fifth routes from Shanghai Hongqiao as it already serves Xiamen (10 daily flights), Fuzhou (eight daily flights) and Quanzhou (twice-daily flights). Incidentally, on 25 July Xiamen Airlines celebrated its 30th anniversary. The carrier, which is 51% owned by China Southern Airlines, operates a fleet of over 100 aircraft, all of which are Boeings. It expects to receive its first 787 Dreamliner in August.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
22 July Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) Beijing (PEK) B738 (7) China Eastern Airlines (135), Air China (83), Hainan Airlines (26), Shanghai Airlines (14), China Southern Airlines (14), Juneyao Airlines (7)
Shenzhen (SZX) B738 (7) China Eastern Airlines (79), China Southern Airlines (49), Spring Airlines (28), Shenzhen Airlines (25), Juneyao Airlines (21), Shanghai Airlines (11)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 29 July 2014.
WF = Weekly frequencies


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