New airline routes launched (19 January 2016 – 25 January 2016)


SprintAir’s Olsztyn-Mazury to Krakow

Polish and German guests from politics, business and the media helped to mark the start of services from Olsztyn-Mazury to Berlin Tegel, which began on 21 January, including: Alex Lubawinski, a member of the Berlin House of Representatives; Zbigniew Pietrzak, Marcin Kuchciński and Wioletta Śląska-zysk, all representatives of Warmia and Mazury; Rainer Bretschneider, State and airport coordinator Landes Brandenburg; Elmar Kleinert, Head of Operations Berlin Brandenburg Airport; and Krzysztof Pawlowski, Head of Commercial Olsztyn-Mazury Airport.

Polish and German guests from politics, business and the media helped to mark the start of SprintAir services from Olsztyn-Mazury to Berlin Tegel, which began on 21 January, including: Alex Lubawinski, a member of the Berlin House of Representatives; Zbigniew Pietrzak, Marcin Kuchciński and Wioletta Śląska-zysk, all representatives of Warmia and Mazury; Rainer Bretschneider, State and airport coordinator Landes Brandenburg; Elmar Kleinert, Head of Operations Berlin Brandenburg Airport; and Krzysztof Pawlowski, Head of Commercial Olsztyn-Mazury Airport.

All arriving and departing passengers on the SprintAir inaugural flights between Olsztyn-Mazury and Krakow on 22 January were given a set of gifts from both airports. The domestic route is flown thrice-weekly by the regional airline’s 34-seat Saab 340s.

  • SprintAir, the Polish regional airline, began flights on 21 January from Olsztyn-Mazury (SZY) in northern Poland to Berlin Tegel (TXL), and then on the following day on the domestic connection to Krakow (KRK). Olsztyn-Mazury Airport serves the nearby city of Szczytno and these services represent the first scheduled flights at the airport according to OAG data. Both routes are currently uncontested, flown thrice-weekly and operated by SprintAir’s 34-seat Saab 340s.

Sichuan Airlines Chengdu to Osaka Kansai

On 19 January Osaka Kansai Airport celebrated the launch of thrice-weekly flights to Chengdu operated by Sichuan Airlines. The route is already served by Air China and Spring Airlines.

Sichuan Airlines’ inaugural service to Singapore launched on 25 January. The daily A320 service will face competition from SilkAir’s 10 weekly flights and Air China’s daily flights.

Sichuan Airlines’ inaugural service to Singapore launched on 25 January. The daily A320 service will face competition from SilkAir’s 10 weekly flights and Air China’s daily flights.

  • Sichuan Airlines has further expanded its international network from Chengdu (CTU). Following the launch last week of flights to Tokyo, this week has seen the addition of Osaka Kansai (KIX) and Singapore (SIN) to the airline’s route map. On 19 January a thrice-weekly operation on the 2,953-kilometre sector to Osaka was introduced, going head-to-head with Spring Airlines (four weekly flights) and Air China (thrice-weekly flights). On 25 January, it added daily flights on the 3,246-kilometre link to Singapore, a route already flown by SilkAir (10 weekly flights) and Air China (daily flights). Both of these new routes will be operated by the airline’s A320s. This brings to 13 the number of international destinations served non-stop by Sichuan Airlines from Chengdu, spread across nine countries. Apart from Japan and Singapore, the airline also serves destinations in Australia, Hong Kong, Maldives, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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


  • Air China now serves Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) from Yangzhou (YTY). On 25 January, the Star Alliance carrier began thrice-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) flights on the 843-kilometre route using its 737-800s. Competition on the route is provided by Taiwan’s China Airlines which operates a weekly service using its 737-800s. As a result Air China now serves Taipei from nine different airports in China. In 2014, Yangzhou Taizhou Airport handled just over 700,000 passengers, making it the 76th busiest airport in China. Apart from Taipei, the airport’s only other international route is to Bangkok with Spring Airlines.

Airline CEO Tony Fernandes was among the VIPs celebrating the launch of AirAsia’s new service from Langkawi to Guangzhou on 24 January.

Airline CEO Tony Fernandes was among the VIPs celebrating the launch of AirAsia’s new service from Langkawi to Guangzhou on 24 January.

  • AirAsia has added three new international routes during the last week from three different airports in Malaysia. None of the routes face direct competition. Wuhan (WUH) in China is a new destination for the carrier, while Guangzhou (CAN) in China and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) in Vietnam are now served from three different airports on the LCC’s network. Wuhan becomes AirAsia’s 75th and newest destination (though it is already served by Thai AirAsia). It is also the LCC’s ninth destination in China, joining Changsha, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Kunming, Nanning and Shenzhen. AirAsia now serves 16 destinations from Kota Kinabalu (BKI), nine from Penang (PEN) and four from Langkawi (LGK). See how Langkawi Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
22 January Kota Kinabalu (BKI) Wuhan (WUH) A320 (7)
24 January Langkawi (LGK) Guangzhou (CAN) A320 (4)
25 January Penang (PEN) Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)
Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 26 January 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Passengers on board the inaugural Chalair flight from Bordeaux to Montpellier on 25 January were given gifts bags from the departing French airport. Bordeaux now offers three route from the French regional airline.

Passengers on board the inaugural Chalair flight from Bordeaux to Montpellier on 25 January were given gifts bags from the departing French airport. Bordeaux now offers three route from the French regional airline.

  • Chalair began its third domestic service from Bordeaux (BOD) on 25 January, adding flights to Montpellier (MPL) to its existing services to Rennes and Brest. By contrast, this is the only Chalair service operating to Montpellier, according to OAG schedule data. The 394-kilometre sector is operated by the French regional airline’s 19-seat Beech 1900s on a nine times weekly basis. No other operators offers this city pair. See how Montpellier Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Raffaele Pasquini, Head of Airport Marketing & Development, Aeroporti di Roma and Mr Chen Xiao, GM, China Eastern Airlines cut the celebratory ribbon at Rome Fiumicino Airport to celebrate the launch of the Chinese carrier’s new twice-weekly service from Wenzhou. There was also a cake to cut to mark the event.

  • China Eastern Airlines has launched two new international routes this week. On 22 January the carrier began daily 737-800 flights between Beijing (PEK) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK). The 3,314-kilometre route is already served by Air China (four daily flights), Thai Airways (16 weekly flights), Ural Airlines (six weekly flights) and Hainan Airlines (four weekly flights). The other new route is between Wenzhou (WNZ) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO). On 23 January, the SkyTeam carrier introduced twice-weekly A330-200 flights on the 9,353-kilometre route, which the airline operated for a brief period in early 2014 around the time of Chinese New Year. No other carrier operates this route which is currently Wenzhou’s only direct service to Europe. In 2014 Wenzhou Yongqiang Airport handled 6.8 million passengers making it the 28th busiest in China.

Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
21 January Lanzhou (LHW) Bangkok (BKK) B738 (3) China Eastern Airlines (4), Spring Airlines (1)
Urumqi (URC) Bangkok (BKK) via LHW
22 January Shanghai (PVG) Utapao (UTP) A320 (7)
Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 26 January 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

On 16 January Hainan Airlines held an inaugural flight press event in Los Angeles at which Lang Lang, a famous Chinese pianist, was made an ambassador for the airline.

On 16 January Hainan Airlines held an inaugural flight press event in Los Angeles at which Lang Lang, a famous Chinese pianist, was made an ambassador for the airline.

  • Hainan Airlines on 21 January launched its seventh route to the US, linking Changsha (CSX) and Los Angeles (LAX). The 11,222-kilometre route will be operated twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) and will be flown by the airline’s 787-8s and faces no direct competition. “Hainan is proud to bring our award-winning service and elite experience to Los Angeles,” said Hou Wei, VP of Hainan. “Since we began our Beijing-Seattle route in June 2008, hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed the premier quality Hainan Airlines provides our travellers. With expanding trade, stronger bilateral ties, and now reciprocal ten-year visas between China and the US, this market is continuing to grow, and Hainan is making a long-term commitment to our customers in China and the US.” Hainan Airlines already flies to Boston and Seattle-Tacoma from both Beijing and Shanghai, as well as from Beijing to Chicago and San Jose. For Changsha Airport, which handled just over 18 million passengers in 2014 (making it China’s 12th busiest airport), this is its first non-stop service to the US.

  • Juneyao Airlines has started its 15th international route and sixth to Japan with the introduction on 19 January of a thrice-weekly service between Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Obihiro (OBO). The 2,287-kilometre route will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays with the airline’s A320s. Juneyao Airlines already serves five other airports in Japan from Shanghai; Fukuoka, Nagoya, Okinawa, Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Haneda. Tokachi-Obihiro Airport, located on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, appears to have only catered to domestic traffic in the past, with flights to Osaka, Sapporo and Tokyo. Apart from Japan, Juneyao Airlines also operates international flights from Shanghai to Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

  • Korean Air has become the fifth carrier to offer flights between Busan (PUS) and Taipei Taoyuan (TPE). On 25 January, the SkyTeam member began daily flights on the 1,344-kilometre route using its 737-800s. Competition on the route is considerable with China Airlines (14 weekly flights), Air Busan (10 weekly flights), Jeju Air (daily flights) and V Air (four weekly flights) already offering the equivalent of five daily flights between the two airports. Korean Air already serves Taipei with double-daily flights from Seoul Incheon using its wide-body fleet.

On 23 January, LOT Polish Airlines commenced a four times weekly service between its Warsaw Chopin Airport hub and Venice, marking the end of a near eight-year hiatus for the carrier on the route. The first departure was operated by E175 registered SP-LIB according to flightradar24.com. The 969-kilometre sector will be operated by the Star Alliance member’s E175 fleet.

On 23 January, LOT Polish Airlines commenced a four times weekly service between its Warsaw Chopin hub and Venice Marco Polo, marking the end of a near eight-year hiatus for the carrier on the route. The first departure was operated by E175 registered SP-LIB according to Flightradar24.com. The 969-kilometre sector will be flown by the Star Alliance member’s E175 fleet.

  • LOT Polish Airlines commenced services on the 969-kilometre sector between Warsaw Chopin (WAW) and Venice Marco Polo (VCE) on 23 January, ending a near eight-year hiatus on the route for the Star Alliance member. Flights between the two cities will operate four times weekly with the carrier utilising its E175 fleet on the route. Departures (LO309) from the Polish capital are scheduled to depart at 08:50, arriving into the Italian city at 10:55. Return flights (LO310) leave Marco Polo at 11:40, arriving back into Chopin at 13:45. The city pair was last served in 2013 when Air One operated a thrice-weekly service with its A320s until 19 October of that year according to OAG Schedules Analyser. LOT Polish Airlines last served this city pair on 24 March 2008, when it operated a four times weekly rotation using its then fleet of ERJ 145s, which were retired from the Polish national airline during 2011.

Mahan Air

  • Mahan Air restarted services to the Russian capital on 21 January, launching flights to Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) from its international hub at Tehran Imam Khomeini (IKA). The 2,481-kilometre sector, which was originally planned to start a week earlier on 14 January, will be operated on a four times weekly basis with the airline’s A310 fleet. Mahan Air faces no direct competition, however Iran Air flies weekly and Aeroflot four times weekly between the two capitals, with both utilising Moscow Sheremetyevo.

On 19 January Philippine Airlines (PAL) launched its second new route of 2016 to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Shown leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Manila Airport’s Terminal 2 are: PAL VP Marketing, Ria Domingo; PAL SVP Airline Operations, Ismael Augusto Gozon; Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bussairy; PAL President and Chief Operating Officer, Jaime J.Bautista; Manila Airport Terminal 2 Manager, Engineer Enrico Gonzalez; and PAL SVP Commercial Group, David Lim. Standing behind are: PAL VP Security, Ceasar Ronnie Ordoyo; SAVP Philippine Sales, Harry Inoferio; PAL SAVP Airport Services, Meliton Pascual; PAL AVP Airport Services, Audie Villanueva; and Manila Airport Terminal 2 Assistant Manager, Ramon Sales.

On 19 January Philippine Airlines (PAL) launched its second new route of 2016 to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Shown leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Manila Airport’s Terminal 2 are: PAL VP Marketing, Ria Domingo; PAL SVP Airline Operations, Ismael Augusto Gozon; Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bussairy; PAL President and COO, Jaime J. Bautista; Manila Airport Terminal 2 Manager, Engineer Enrico Gonzalez; and PAL SVP Commercial Group, David Lim. Standing behind are: PAL VP Security, Ceasar Ronnie Ordoyo; SAVP Philippine Sales, Harry Inoferio; PAL SAVP Airport Services, Meliton Pascual; PAL AVP Airport Services, Audie Villanueva; and Manila Airport Terminal 2 Assistant Manager, Ramon Sales.

  • Philippine Airlines has launched its second new route of 2016 with the introduction of thrice-weekly flights from Manila (MNL) to Jeddah (JED), via Dubai (DXB). The inaugural flight on the 8,591-kilometre route was on Tuesday 19 January. The carrier will operate the route with its A330-300s. Saudi Arabian Airlines already serves the market with four weekly flights. These new flights will serve the needs of an estimated 300,000 overseas Filipinos based in Jeddah as well as travellers taking part in the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages.

On 19 January, TAM Airlines inaugurated a 4,331-kilometre sector between Sao Paulo Guarulhos and Bogota. Flights will operate four times weekly with the oneworld member using its 767-300s on the city link. The first flight was operated by registered aircraft PT-MOC according to Flightradar24.com, which sports the oneworld livery.

On 19 January, TAM Airlines inaugurated the 4,331-kilometre sector between Sao Paulo Guarulhos and Bogota. Flights will operate four times weekly with the oneworld member using its 767-300s on the city link. The first flight was operated by PT-MOC according to Flightradar24.com, which sports the oneworld livery.

  • TAM Airlines commenced services on the 4,331-kilometre sector between Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Bogota (BOG) on 19 January. The oneworld member will utilise its 767-300s on the city pair, and will join fellow LATAM Group member LAN Airlines on the sector, which itself operates a daily service. Both of the carriers will also face Star Alliance member Avianca on the route, which operates a double-daily schedule. Flights leave the Brazilian city at 06:05, arriving in the Colombian capital at 09:35. The return sector leaves Bogota at 11:45, landing back in Sao Paulo at 21:05 the same day. TAM Airlines last served this city pair in 2012, when it ended a daily A320 service on 9 September of that year.

There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fukuoka Airport on 25 January to celebrate the launch of V Air’s new daily service to Taipei. Four other carriers already serve the market.

But that’s nothing compared with the nine incumbent airlines operating between Taipei and Osaka Kansai, another new route that V Air launched this week.

But that’s nothing compared with the nine incumbent airlines operating between Taipei and Osaka Kansai, another new route that V Air launched this week.

  • V Air, the low-cost subsidiary of Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways, has launched two new routes to Japan from its Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) base. On 23 January it began daily flights on the 1,703-kilometre route to Osaka Kansai (KIX), an airport pair that is already served by nine (yes nine!) other carriers; China Airlines and EVA Air (four daily flights each), Peach Aviation (three daily flights), Japan Airlines and TransAsia Airways (each with two daily flights), Jetstar Asia (nine weekly flights), Tigerair Taiwan (eight weekly flights), and Cathay Pacific Airways and Jetstar Japan (each with daily flights). Then, on 25 January V Air began daily flights on the 1,300-kilometre route to Fukuoka (FUK). This is a much less competitive route, with only four carriers already serving this market; China Airlines (double-daily flights), Cathay Pacific Airways and EVA Air (daily flights), and Tigerair Taiwan (four times weekly flights). Both routes will be operated by V Air’s small fleet of A320-series aircraft.

  • Vietnam Airlines has added another international route from Nha Trang (CXR). On 24 January the SkyTeam carrier introduced thrice-weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays) on the 2,332-kilometre route to Hangzhou (HGH) in China. The airline’s A321s will operate the service which faces no direct competition. According to Flightradar24.com the inaugural flight touched down 18 minutes early at the Chinese airport. Nha Trang Airport, known locally as Cam Ranh International Airport also serves the Cam Ranh Bay area which includes a major naval maintenance facility. It is Vietnam’s fourth busiest airport after Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang, handling around two million passengers in 2015.

  • Xiamen Airlines has further expanded its international network from its home base at Xiamen (XMN) with the addition of a new thrice-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) service to Denpasar (DPS) on the island of Bali. On 25 January, the SkyTeam member began flights on the 3,179-kilometre sector, which is not flown by any other carrier. This becomes the airline’s 18th international route from Xiamen spread across 13 countries. Indonesia is not a new country market for Xiamen Airlines as it already serves Jakarta with daily flights from Xiamen and four weekly flights from Fuzhou.

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