LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Tokyo Narita
LOT Polish Airlines launched thrice-weekly services from Warsaw Chopin to Tokyo Narita on 13 January. According to the airline, a 10-hour flight from Warsaw to Tokyo is the most convenient and efficient way of travelling to the Japanese city from Poland and other CEE-countries.
Over in Japan there were also celebrations for the new route too. Cutting the ribbon at Tokyo Narita were: Atsushi Shidara, GM LOT Polish Airlines Japan; Masaki Saida, SEVP Narita Airport; Shigeo Kimura, Administrator Narita Airport, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Radosław Domagalski-Łabędzki, Undersecretary of State Ministry of Development Poland; Cyryl Kozaczewski, Polish Ambassador to Japan; Waldemar Machałowski, Senior Sales Coordinator-Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Off-line Markets LOT Polish Airlines; and Shigeki Maeda, VP Japan External Trade Organization.
- LOT Polish Airlines launched direct flights on 13 January on the 8,610-kilometre sector from Warsaw Chopin (WAW) to Tokyo Narita (NRT). The Japanese capital is the first long-haul connection the airline has launched since the formal completion of the restructuring process within LOT, which concluded at the end of 2015. It is also the Star Alliance carrier’s second Asian route, after Beijing, and its fifth long-haul destination in total, as the Polish carrier flies also to Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK and Toronto Pearson. “We are very pleased that LOT ‒ after two years of sacrifices ‒ begins to restore its strong position at Warsaw Chopin Airport and on the international markets. It is in our mutual interest. The expansion of our national carrier increases the passenger numbers handled at the largest airport in Poland and thus, our importance in the whole region of the Central and Eastern Europe. And that’s exactly what we want,” said the Warsaw Chopin CEO Michał Kaczmarzyk. “The travel time from Warsaw to Tokyo is two hours shorter compared to the travel time of starting in Paris or London. For all transfer passengers in Warsaw we offer an extremely short transfer time, often lasting less than one hour! It all means that passengers are already choosing LOT and the connection to Tokyo is a big success,” said Marcin Celejewski, LOT acting CEO. “The opening of the connection to Tokyo is particularly important for us. It symbolically inaugurates the implementation of our strategy and the fight for market share and passengers. We develop our offer of the airport hub,” added Celejewski. The thrice-weekly 787-8-operated service flies with no direct competition on the city pair. With this new Polish service Tokyo Narita is now connected to 16 airports in 13 European countries with non-stop flights.
JetBlue Airways New York JFK to Palm Springs
JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes welcomed passengers on the carrier’s first flight to Fort Lauderdale from Syracuse on 13 January. The daily service will face competition from Allegiant Air.
“As a small hub airport handling nearly two million annual passengers, adding PSP to the JetBlue network for the direct New York service is a great compliment for this growing world renowned tourist destination,” said Thomas Nolan, Executive Director at Palm Springs Airport. JetBlue Airways started its five times weekly New York JFK service on 14 January.
- JetBlue Airways added two new seasonal routes (both routes will be suspended on 1 May) over the last seven days, with new sector each from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and New York JFK (JFK). The airline’s Floridian base, its third largest in terms of weekly seats, is now linked to Syracuse (SYR) in New York State with a daily E190 operation, while its biggest base at JFK (when measured by weekly capacity) is now connected to Palm Springs (PSP) in California on a five times weekly basis, utilising the airline’s A320 fleet. Launched on 13 January, the former route will face twice-weekly competition from Allegiant Air, while the latter city pair, which commenced on 14 January, will encounter resistance from the weekly service flown by incumbent Virgin America. Find out how this route’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
Air India’s Chief Managing Director Ashwani Lohani cuts a ribbon at Delhi Airport on Friday 15 January to mark the start of the airline’s new six times weekly service to Gorakhpur. The service will be operated by subsidiary Alliance Air’s ATR 72s.
- Air India has expanded its domestic network from its main base at Delhi (DEL) with the introduction on 15 January of a new six times weekly service (daily except for Sunday) to Gorakhpur (GOP) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The 656-kilometre route will be flown on Air India’s behalf by subsidiary Alliance Air, with its ATR 72s. According to local news reports there were 42 passengers on the inaugural flight. Air India’s Chief Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, said: “With the commencement of this service, flyers from Gorakhpur will get air connectivity to several domestic and international destinations, through Delhi. Similarly, passengers arriving at Delhi from the Gulf and other international and domestic destinations will also be able to fly to Gorakhpur. Air India is the only airline to operate to Gorakhpur.”
- Beijing Capital Airlines has expanded its operations in Thailand with the addition of Koh Samui (USM) to its network. On 15 January the Chinese carrier began thrice-weekly A319 flights on the 2,343-kilometre route from Chongqing (CKG) to the Thai island renowned for its tourism. Beijing Capital Airlines now operates six routes from six different Chinese airports to Thailand. Koh Samui Airport was built by Bangkok Airways and according to ACI data handled just under two million passengers in 2014. The only other Chinese airline to serve the airport is Lucky Air, which operates a thrice-weekly service from Kunming.
Touchdown in Brisbane. On Sunday 17 January China Eastern Airlines’ inaugural flight from Shanghai landed in Brisbane, having departed the Chinese metropolis the previous evening. Flights will operate thrice-weekly for at least the next couple of months. (Pictures courtesy of Beau Chenery – PlaneImages.net)
- China Eastern Airlines has expanded its Australian network with the launch on 16 January of a thrice-weekly service from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to Brisbane (BNE). The 7,302-kilometre route will be operated by the SkyTeam member using its A330-200s. Initially the service will operate for a couple of months before operating year-round starting later in the year. No other carrier operates this city pair. China Eastern already served Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney with non-stop flights from Shanghai. Julieanne Alroe, CEO and MD, Brisbane Airport Corporation, said: “We warmly welcome China Eastern Airlines to Brisbane and look forward to building a strong alliance that will continue to grow in the future. We also look forward to welcoming more China Eastern travellers to celebrate Chinese New Year and enjoy our city and state’s enviable weather and natural wonders. I commend the management of China Eastern Airlines for committing important resources to this route and providing essential direct flight connections between Shanghai and Brisbane.” Find out how this route’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
Dubai Airport celebrated the arrival of China Southern Airlines’ new service from Wuhan and Shenzhen on 12 January with a cake-cutting ceremony. The SkyTeam carrier already serves the UAE mega-hub from Guangzhou and Urumqi.
- China Southern Airlines has grown its presence in Dubai (DXB) with the introduction on 12 January of a thrice-weekly service from Shenzhen (SZX) via Wuhan (WUH). The route will be flown by the SkyTeam carrier’s A330-300s. No other carrier serves either Chinese destination from Dubai. China Southern already serves Dubai from Guangzhou (daily) and Urumqi (with five weekly flights). Other direct flights to China from Dubai include: Air China’s five times weekly flights to Beijing; China Eastern Airlines’ thrice-weekly flights to Kunming; Emirates’ daily flights to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai; and Sichuan Airlines’ twice-weekly service to Yinchuan. According to the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), Chinese tourists to Dubai grew by 25% in the first half of 2015 to 241,000. Find out how this route’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
Morocco’s Minister of Tourism Lahcen Haddad, UAE Ambassador to Morocco Al-Asri Saeed Al-Dhaheri and senior Etihad Airways officials gathered at Rabat Airport to celebrate the start of the carrier’s twice-weekly services from Abu Dhabi on 15 January.
- Etihad Airways has launched flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to its second Moroccan destination, with operations to Rabat (RBA) beginning on 15 January. The twice-weekly service (Wednesdays and Fridays), flown by the carrier’s three-class, 240-seat A340-500s, is the only direct link between the two capital cities. With existing daily services on the Abu Dhabi – Casablanca route (launched in June 2006), Etihad has boosted its Morocco frequency to nine weekly flights. The carrier also operates scheduled services to eight other destinations in Africa, including: Cairo, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Lagos, Nairobi and Mahé in the Seychelles. James Hogan, Etihad’s President and CEO said: “This new direct air link demonstrates Etihad Airways’ commitment to build sustainable ties in the North African region and to deepening the strong relationship between Morocco and the UAE.” Find out how this route’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
- Garuda Indonesia on 12 January began operating a new thrice-weekly service on the 4,485-kilometre route from Denpasar (DPS) on the island of Bali to Shanghai Pudong (PVG). The service will be flown by the SkyTeam carrier’s A330s. Competition comes from fellow SkyTeam member China Eastern Airlines, which operates the route on a daily basis. Garuda now operates six routes and 26 weekly flights between Indonesia and China, connecting Bali and Jakarta with Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Bali is a popular tourist destination, with the region welcoming more visitors from China than any other country except Australia.
Each passenger on the inaugural National Airlines service from Orlando Sanford to St. John’s received a certificate (above) and a Canadian/American lapel pin on 18 January when the twice-weekly operation started.
- National Airlines added a third service from Orlando Sanford (SFB) and its second to Canada this week, starting a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) route to St John’s (YYT) on 18 January. The 3,219-kilometre sector joins the carrier’s existing operations to San Juan and Windsor from the Floridian airport. Flown by the airline’s 219-seat 757-200s, the route will face no direct competition, although WestJet offers a twice-weekly service from the Canadian city to Orlando International.
There were celebrations in the terminal at both ends of NokScoot’s newest route between Bangkok Don Mueang and Tianjin which launched on 15 January. The carrier now serves a total of just four destinations, three in China and one in Taiwan.
- NokScoot has expanded its presence in China from its base at Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK). On 15 January the carrier (a joint venture between Thailand’s Nok Air and Singapore’s Scoot) began a four times weekly service on the 3,246-kilometre route to Tianjin (TSN) using its 777-200s. No other carrier serves this airport pair, though four airlines (Air China, Okay Airways, Spring Airlines and Tianjin Airlines) operate a total of 21 weekly flights between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Tianjin. NokScoot’s other destinations from Bangkok are to Nanjing, Qingdao and Taipei.
- Okay Airways has started its second scheduled service to Japan with the launch on 15 January of weekly (Friday) flights from Tianjin (TSN) to Osaka Kansai (KIX). The 1,674-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s 737-800s, with the frequency set to increase to twice-weekly from the end of the month with the addition of a Tuesday service. Competition is provided by Tianjin Airlines (daily flights) and Spring Airlines (four weekly flights). Okay Airways now operates a total of 12 international routes of which five are from Tianjin. The other international routes from Tianjin are to Bangkok and Krabi in Thailand, Jeju in South Korea and Tokyo Haneda in Japan, which itself only launched on the penultimate day of 2015.
Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) inaugural flight to Kuwait marked the start of the flag carrier’s route network expansion for 2016. Witnessing the ribbon-cutting in Manila on Sunday 17 January were: PAL SAVP – International Sales, Bong Velasquez; PAL SAVP – Philippine Sales, Harry Inoferio; PAL AVP – Airport Services, Audie Villanueva; and PAL VP – Security, Cesar Ronnie Ordoyo.
- Philippine Airlines has launched its first new route of 2016 with the introduction of four times weekly flights from Manila (MNL) to Kuwait City (KWI), via Dubai (DXB). The inaugural flight on the 7,597-kilometre route was on Sunday 17 January. The carrier will operate the route with its A330-300s. No other carrier operates the route. During welcome speeches in Kuwait, Ryan Uy, VP Sales for Philippine Airlines, said: “With 200,000 Filipinos in Kuwait, it is high time that their flag carrier, the airline they trust, flies to their workplace to serve their travel needs. Of course PAL being an international carrier, we serve all nationalities. Our Kuwaiti friends and foreign expatriates based in Kuwait are most welcome as our guests, and indeed there are many reasons why PAL chose to fly to Kuwait. One and most important is the strong and enthusiastic support from various sectors.” Apart from Dubai and Kuwait City, Philippine Airlines also flies to Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dammam in the Middle East.
Marking the start of a new feature on anna.aero ‒ Winner, Sinner or Binner ‒ we are looking at one new service in detail this week to try and understand whether this route is destined for success (Winnner), will need a bit more clever revenue management (Sinner) or is doomed to hit the new route rubbish heap (Binner) in a matter of months. Using fare data from the airline’s website, as well as robust airport and airline costs data, the new route performance analysis on Ryanair’s new route from Brussels to Larnaca clearly still needs some work according to our investigation, as its profit per seat is only estimated at five euros at this stage. Thanks to our data partners Aviation Analytics for this performance analysis. Click infographic to enlarge.
Route celebrations were held at each end of Ryanair’s new twice-weekly route between Brussels and Larnaca on 18 January. Cupcakes and a blue and yellow balloon arch featured at the Belgian end of the route…
…with a more significant baked creation the centrepiece of the festivities in Cyprus. On hand with the cutting implement were Chiara Ravara, Sales and Marketing Manager, Ryanair and Wes Porter, CEO, Hermes Airports.
- Ryanair launched on 18 January its latest route, linking Brussels (BRU) with Larnaca (LCA) with a twice-weekly service (Mondays and Fridays), with the 737-800-operated sector facing no direct competition. To make room for this new service Ryanair has reduced by one the weekly frequency on both its Alicante and Malaga routes from Brussels. This new route is currently the ULCC’s only route to Larnaca and the 13th from Brussels, though in the past the airline has flown to the Cypriot destination from Bologna, Brussels Charleroi, Girona and Weeze. On that point, Hermes Airports’ CEO Wes Porter added: “We are delighted to see Ryanair returning to Larnaca Airport and strengthening its presence in Cyprus. We believe there is excellent potential for the new route. Through strategic planning and branding the Larnaca-Brussels route could become one of the favourite routes for business and leisure purposes for thousands of travellers, both Cypriots and Central Europeans.”
- Scoot, part of the Singapore Airlines Group of airlines, on 16 January began daily flights on the 2,646-kilometre route between Singapore (SIN) and Guangzhou (CAN). The route will be served by one of the airline’s 787-8s and becomes the carrier’s sixth destination in China after Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Qingdao and Tianjin. The route is already served by China Southern Airlines (thrice-daily flights), Singapore Airlines (double-daily flights) and Tigerair Singapore, which has cut its frequency on the route from double-daily to daily to make way for Scoot. The airline’s CEO, Campbell Wilson, said: “Guangzhou will be Scoot’s sixth destination in China and second in the Pearl River Delta area after Hong Kong. Complementing Tigerair’s existing services, which also include Shenzhen and Macau, travellers to and from this region now have more choice, more connections and the opportunity to travel on our brand-new 787 Dreamliners – featuring inflight connectivity, in-seat power, revamped ScooTV, a wide range of customisation options and, of course, service with Scootitude.”
- Sichuan Airlines has joined Air China and All Nippon Airways in operating non-stop flights between Chengdu (CTU) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). The 3,420-kilometre route is flown four times weekly by all three carriers. Sichuan Airlines’ inaugural flight took place on 18 January. Its flights will be operated using A330-200s. This is the airline’s first route to Japan with a second, to Osaka Kansai, starting on 19 January. Flights depart Chengdu at 13:20 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving in Tokyo at 19:00. The return flight departs from Tokyo at 20:30 arriving back in Chengdu at 00:50 the following morning.
- Vietnam Airlines on 15 January began thrice-weekly flights between Nha Trang (CXR) and Beijing (PEK). The 3,203-kilometre route will be flown by the carrier’s A321s and faces no direct competition. Flights arrive in Beijing at 23:05, with the return service departing the Chinese capital at 00:05. This brings to 20 the number of Chinese routes flown by the SkyTeam member. According to OAG Schedules data the Vietnamese flag-carrier already flies from Nha Trang to five Chinese destinations; Chengdu, Chongqing, Jinan, Ningbo and Shanghai with a total of 20 weekly flights.