New airline routes launched (5 August – 11 August 2014)

Emirates’ Dubai to Chicago O’Hare

After touch down at its newest US destination (its ninth) — Chicago O’Hare — the Emirates co-pilot displays the flag of the city.  Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, Emirates EVP and COO Adel Al Redha and Choose Chicago CEO Don Welsh celebrate the inaugural daily 777-200LR-operated flight.

  • Emirates, which began daily flights to Abuja in Nigeria last week, has started another route this week, this time to the US. On 5 August, the MEB3 carrier started daily flights to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) from its Dubai (DXB) hub, its second US destination in 2014 (following Boston in March) and its ninth US destination overall (other US destinations are: Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington Dulles, Houston Intercontinental, New York JFK, Los Angeles, Seattle-Tacoma and San Francisco). Emirates began passenger services to the US in 2004 with services to New York. While there is no direct competition on the city pair, the airline will no doubt face inter Middle Eastern hub competition from Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, which both fly to the US city daily from their respective hubs. Emirates will utilise its 266-seat 777-200LRs on the 11,661-kilometre sector. “The Chicago route extends our passenger network to America’s third-largest city and complements our existing dedicated freighter service that operates to O’Hare,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates EVP and COO. “The launch of this route, will allow us to offer Emirates’ unique product and award-winning service to passengers flying to and from the Midwest to our home in Dubai or onwards to more than 140 global destinations including the Far East, Africa and India.” Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino also commented on the launch: “This connection will deepen the ties between two of the world’s busiest airports in terms of commercial travel, with a combined traffic flow approximately 133 million passengers in 2013. We look forward to building on O’Hare’s successful relationship with Emirates and know that many international travellers will take advantage of this new route.”  See how Chicago O’Hare Airport’s FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.

Spirit Airlines’ five new routes to Kansas City

The arrival of Spirit Airlines at Kansas City Airport was celebrated on 7 August with a ribbon cutting and a cake ceremony, which were held in Terminal C. Cutting the ribbon are: Mark Kopczak, VP Network Planning, Spirit; Mark VanLoh, Director of Aviation, Kansas City Aviation Department; and Justin Meyer, Deputy Director of Aviation Marketing and Air Service Development, Kansas City Aviation Department.

Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
07 Aug Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Kansas City, MO (MCI) A319 (7) United Airlines (60),
American Airlines (55)
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) American Airlines (53)
08 Aug Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH) United Airlines (52)
07 Aug Detroit, MI (DTW) Delta Air Lines (26)
08 Aug Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Southwest Airlines (26)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 12 August 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

  • Air Algerie, the national carrier of Algeria, expanded its seasonal offering with the addition of weekly (Thursdays) operations from Algiers (ALG) to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) on 7 August. The carrier’s new route to Istanbul’s second gateway will be operated until 18 September by its 253-seat 767-300s and will face no competition from any other carrier. Furthermore, Air Algerie is already flying to Istanbul Atatürk from Algiers with daily flights.

  • Air Malta expanded its seasonal offering with the launch of a new route from its Malta (MLA) hub to Djerba (DJE) in Tunisia on 7 August. The 407-kilometre sector to the largest island of North Africa, located in the Gulf of Gabes, will face no competition and will be operated twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) until 23 October, using the carrier’s 152-seat A320s.

  • Azul Airlines, the third largest operator in Brazil according to Innovata schedule data, expanded its domestic network from Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP), commencing operations on the 484-kilometre sector to Patos de Mina (POJ) on 8 August. The link to the city located in the state of Minas Gerais will be operated thrice-weekly, utilising the low-cost carrier’s 47-seat ATR 42s. No other airline serves this airport pair.

The launch of China Southern Airlines’ new record-breaking non-stop service between Guangzhou and New York was celebrated on 6 August by a giant cake ceremony in New York, at which Si Xianmin (second from left), Chairman of China Southern Airlines was in attendance. There was also live music to celebrate the first non-stop flight between the two cities. In Guangzhou the new route, which departs the airport at 01:40 in the morning, was also celebrated. The almost 13,000-kilometre long route is China Southern’s second to the US as it has been serving Los Angeles since 1997.

On 5 August, Harare Airport welcomed the inaugural flight of fastjet’s twice-weekly services from Dar es Salaam with a special ceremony, including traditional dances on the tarmac, a press conference and a cake cutting. Cutting the celebratory cake’s first slice is Ed Winter, CEO, fastjet. 

  • fastjet, the low-cost operator providing pan-African services, commenced its sixth route from Dar es Salaam (DAR) with twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) flights to Harare (HRE) on 5 August. The 1,505-kilometre sector to Zimbabwe’s capital will be operated using the carrier’s 125-seat A319s. There is no competition on fastjet’s new airport pair. Commenting on the route launch, Ed Winter, CEO, fastjet, said: “fastjet has responded to requests from Zimbabweans and Tanzanians asking for a direct route connecting these two cities with affordable, reliable flights. Until now, travellers had to depend on lengthy road transportation or have been excluded from air travel by the significant costs of flying an indirect route through Nairobi or Johannesburg.” See how Harare Airport’s FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.

Finnair ventures to Russia

On 7 August, Finnair arrived for the first time at Samara Airport from Helsinki, where it was greeted with the traditional water arch salute. The new airport pair will be operated thrice-weekly, using Flybe Finland’s 100-seat E190s.

flydubai is promoting its new services to Iran

flydubai is promoting its new services to Iran heavily on its website – the new routes to Tehran and Mashhad, which were only announced on 3 August, will start on 11 August and 10 August respectively.

  • flydubai, which began twice-weekly flights to Aden in Yemen last week, has started two more routes this week, this time in Iran. Starting on 10 August it linked its Dubai (DXB) base to Mashhad (MHD), with twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) services. The 1,284-kilometre sector will be in competition with Iran Aseman Airlines, which operates the city pair four times weekly. On the following day, the LCC began twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) operations to Tehran (IKA). The 1,196-kilometre route will be flown against the incumbents Emirates (thrice-daily), Mahan Air (18 times weekly), Iran Air (daily) and Iran Aseman Airlines (thrice-weekly). Both routes will be flown by flydubai’s 737-800 fleet.

Passengers on HK Express’ new service from Hong Kong to Busan, which launched on 7 August, received free gifts and a chance to pose for the cameras. Busan is the airline’s 12th destination from Hong Kong and second in South Korea after Seoul Incheon. The airline recently revealed its new paint scheme for its aircraft with the finishing touches being applied by the airline’s Deputy CEO Andrew Cowen.

  • HK Express followed the launch of new services to Ningbo last week with the addition of Busan (PUS) in South Korea to its route network. Flights on the 2,034-kilometre route from its base at Hong Kong (HKG) began on 7 August. The route will be served up to six times weekly using the airline’s A320s. Competition comes from Air Busan, Dragonair and Korean Air who all serve the route with daily flights. Busan is HK Express’ 12th route from Hong Kong and second to South Korea, as it already serves Seoul Incheon. Commenting back in May when the route was announced, Andrew Cowen, Deputy CEO of HK Express said, “We are committed to connecting the people of Hong Kong to major travel destinations in Asia. Busan is a part of Korea that keeps its traditional charm and unspoilt local atmosphere. We are pleased to be the only local airline operating day time flights to Busan, offering Hongkongers and travellers alike the chance to fully explore Korea’s home of arts, culture, traditional cuisine and beautiful beaches.”

  • Skymark Airlines has introduced daily flights on the Japanese domestic route between Sendai (SDJ) and Okinawa (OKA). Service on the 1,819-kilometre route commenced on 9 August using the airline’s 737-800s. The route is already served by All Nippon Airways who also serve the route daily. This is Skymark Airlines’ fourth route from Sendai (it also serves Fukuoka, Kobe and Sapporo-Chitose). The airline now operates 26 daily flights to Okinawa from across nine airports in Japan. Of the 30 airport pairs that the airline now operates, this new route is the longest, surpassing the 1,613-kilometre service between Tokyo Narita and Okinawa.

  • Southwest Airlines, which was recently featured on, expanded its network with the addition of five new routes, all of which were launched on 10 August using the low-cost carrier’s 143-seat 737-700s. With the longest sector being the 2,235-kilometre airport pair from Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) to Cancun (CUN) in Mexico, the airline will face competition on just three of the five new additions from Delta Air Lines and US Airways. In fact, the two links to Mexico are replacing the former AirTran Airways’ operations. Also noteworthy is the fact that the carrier expanded its presence at Washington Reagan, VA (DCA) with three routes, served by an average weekly frequency of almost 26. Southwest is also planning to increase its frequency on the 967-kilometre route to Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) to nine times daily starting from 30 September.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
10 Aug Atlanta, GA (ATL) Cancun (CUN) B73W (8) Delta Air Lines (41)
Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) B73W (9)
Washington Reagan, VA (DCA) Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) B73W (42)
Nashville, TN (BNA) B73W (21) US Airways (34)
New Orleans, LA (MSY) B73W (14) US Airways (33)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 12 August 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.


  1. slim Essouss says:

    The new Air Malta flight to DJE comes more as a replacement of flights to TIP due to the situation in the area.

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