New airline routes launched (7 March 2017 – 13 March 2017)


Emirates’ Dubai – Athens – New York Newark

Emirates has carried over 16 million passengers on its US flights since launching services to New York JFK in 2004. Its latest addition to New York Newark started on 12 March and joins its existing flights to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma and Washington Dulles. The airline celebrated its newest US addition with a cake cutting ceremony.

A cake cutting ceremony also took place at New York Newark. Emirates will serve the Dubai – Athens – Newark route daily on its 777-300s, with its latest service joining its existing four times daily Dubai – New York JFK link.

  • Emirates commenced a daily service on 12 March between and Dubai (DXB) and New York Newark (EWR), via Athens (ATH). Newark becomes Emirates’ 12th US gateway, and is the second serving the greater Tri-State Area, complementing its existing four times daily flights to New York JFK. “This new route will connect America’s largest metropolitan area and Dubai through one of Europe’s great capitals,” said Hubert Frach, Divisional SVP, Commercial Operations West, Emirates. He continued: “The launch of this year-round daily service will allow us to offer Emirates’ unique product and award-winning service to passengers on a route long neglected by other airlines. We expect this service to generate consistently high demand and enhance business, culture and leisure connections on both sides of the Atlantic.” Dr. Yiannis Paraschis, Athens Airport CEO added: “Emirates’ direct, year-round operations on the Athens-New York route is a spectacular development for the Athens market, enhancing its connectivity and presenting the travelling public with new travel options on Emirates’ excellent product. At the same time, Athens’ strong traffic volumes to/from the US, underpinned by the vibrant Greek-American community, signify the potential and the success of the route.” The 777-300 operated service will initially face no direct competition, on either sector, although United Airlines operates seasonal service between Athens and Newark (resuming 24 May) and Delta Air Lines also flies summer-only between Athens and New York JFK (resuming 14 April). See how Athens Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Southwest Airlines’ Kansas City to Austin-Bergstrom

Kansas City celebrated with this head-turning cake the start of Southwest Airlines’ new five times weekly service to Austin-Bergstrom on 13 March. The route between the two airports is one of three routes opened by the LCC this week that does not face any direct competition.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Denver Airport to officially open Southwest Airlines’ new weekly (Saturdays) service to Belize City on 11 March. Seen cutting the ribbon are: Jason Van Eaton, Southwest Airlines VP Governmental Affairs; The Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism in Belize; and Patrick Heck, CCO Denver Airport.

  • Southwest Airlines commenced flights on seven routes during the past seven days, ranging from an 853-kilometre US domestic link between Salt Lake City (SLC) and Sacramento (SMF) to a 2,937-kilometre international connection between Denver (DEN) and Belize City (BZE). The latter was the only international route launch by the carrier this week. Commenting on the start of non-stop flights between Denver and Belize City, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said: “Every time we add an international destination to our network, we further engrain Denver in the global market. We couldn’t do this without the support of our great airline partners at Southwest Airlines and we are thankful for their commitment to Denver and our passengers.” Of Southwest Airlines’ new connections that started this week, three are routes that are currently unserved, with the seven registering an average sector length of 1,551 kilometres and an average weekly frequency of 7.9. See how Denver Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
09-Mar Burbank (BUR) Salt Lake City (SLC) B73W (14) Delta Air Lines (19)
Houston Hobby (HOU) Omaha (OMA) B73W (7)  
Las Vegas (LAS) Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) B73W (7) Delta Air Lines (46), Sun Country Airlines (15), Spirit Airlines (14)
New York Newark (EWR) Fort Lauderdale (FLL) B73W (14) United Airlines (58), JetBlue Airways (49), Spirit Airlines (28)
Salt Lake City (SLC) Sacramento (SMF) B73W (7) Delta Air Lines (34)
11-Mar Denver (DEN) Belize City (BZE) B73W (1)  
13-Mar Austin-Bergstrom (AUS) Kansas City (MCI) B73W (5)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 14 March 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

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


Alaska Airlines launched flights between San Jose and New York Newark on 12 March, a route which it will serve daily. The 4,088-kilometre sector is also a new link for United Airlines which inaugurated services three days previous to Alaska Airlines.

  • Alaska Airlines launched flights between San Jose (SJC) and New York Newark (EWR) on 12 March, the airline’s first route to the US East Coast from San Jose. The airline will serve the 4,088-kilometre sector daily on a mixture of its 737 fleet. Alaska Airlines is not the only carrier to have commenced flights on the airport pair this week, with Star Alliance member United Airlines having launched service between the two points on 9 March, a route which it will also serve daily. No other carriers currently operate between the two airports. As a result of launching flights to Newark, this becomes the longest route for Alaska Airlines from San Jose, with it overtaking its connection to Lihue in Hawaii which is 3,962 kilometres. In total Alaska Airlines now serves 16 routes from San Jose, while from Newark it now serves four points, with San Jose joining flights to Seattle-Tacoma, Portland and San Diego.   

Delta Air Lines Raleigh-Durham Austin-Bergstrom

Cutting the ribbon at Austin-Bergstrom on 9 March, officially opening Delta Air Lines’ new daily connection from Raleigh-Durham are: Tom Noonan, President and CEO, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau; Aaron Murray, MD Pricing and Revenue Management, Delta Air Lines; Jamy Kazanoff, Assistant Director, Austin-Bergstrom Airport; and Diana Roberts, Senior Legal Counsel, IBM. The SkyTeam member will operate the route on its CRJ 900s.

Milwaukee Seattle Delta Air Lines

Milwaukee Airport handed out Starbucks coffee and Seattle Space Needle-themed chocolates to passengers on the inaugural flight to Seattle-Tacoma on 9 March. The SkyTeam member will operate the route daily in direct competition with Alaska Airlines.

  • Delta Air Lines commenced four new routes from three bases this week, one from Raleigh-Durham (RDU) in North Carolina, one from Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) in Washington, and two from Washington Reagan (DCA) in Virginia. Of the SkyTeam member’s new services only one, its new daily link from Raleigh-Durham to Austin Bergstrom (AUS), will not face any direct competition. The most competed route which Delta is entering is the 1,223-kilometre link from Reagan Airport to Orlando (MCO), a sector that is already served by three carriers which combined offer 86 weekly flights.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
09-Mar Raleigh-Durham (RDU) Austin-Bergstrom (AUS) CRJ9 (7)  
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Milwaukee (MKE) E175 (7) Alaska Airlines (7)
11-Mar Washington Reagan (DCA) Miami (MIA) E170 (1) American Airlines (63)
Orlando (MCO) CRJ7 (1) American Airlines (43),
JetBlue Airways (28),
Southwest Airlines (15)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 14 March 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

Hawaiian Airlines launched flights between Kona and Lihue on 12 March, with the latter airport organising a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony for the route before passengers boarded for the return journey. The airline will operate the route daily on its fleet of 717s. No other airline serves the intra-Hawaiian link.

  • Hawaiian Airlines this week commenced flights on a new intra-Hawaiian link between Kona (KOA) on Hawaii Island and Lihue (LIH) in Kauai. Inaugurated on 12 March, Hawaiian Airlines will offer a daily flight on the 422-kilometre sector using its 717s when referring to OAG schedules. No other carriers operate the route. “Demand from our kama‘āina and visitors for travel between Hawaii Island and Kauai has been growing steadily over the past few years,” said Peter Ingram, CCO Hawaiian Airlines. “We are proud to now offer our guests direct access between these islands, in addition to our connecting flights through Honolulu or Maui. This gives travelers greater flexibility and convenience when traveling through the Hawaiian Islands.”   

United Airlines Chicago O'Hare San Jose

United Airlines commenced flights from Chicago O’Hare and New York Newark to San Jose in California on 9 March. The Star Alliance member will operate both routes daily. Flights to O’Hare will face direct competition from American Airlines, while United’s Newark route goes head-to-head with Alaska Airlines, with both carriers each offering a daily service respectively.

  • United Airlines commenced flights from its Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and New York Newark (EWR) hubs to San Jose (SJC) in California on 9 March. The Star Alliance member will operate both 2,935- and 4,088-kilometre sectors daily. Services to O’Hare will face direct competition from American Airlines which provides a daily connection, while Newark flights will go head-to-head with Alaska Airlines which also offer a daily flight starting 12 March. While O’Hare flights will be operated on a mixture of United’s short-haul fleet, Newark services are scheduled to be flown on the carrier’s 737-800s. With these launches, it means that United has doubled its route count at San Jose from two to four, with O’Hare and Newark joining its existing operations to Denver and Houston Intercontinental, with flights to the carrier’s Colorado hub being offered daily, while its Texan base is served six times weekly.  

Vistara launches Mumbai to Amritsar service

  • Vistara has become the only full-service carrier to operate direct flights between Mumbai (BOM) and Amritsar (ATQ). On 8 March the airline began daily service on the 1,415-kilometre route using its A320s. Until now the route has been served daily by SpiceJet. Competition will increase further later this week when IndiGo, India’s biggest domestic airline, also begins daily service between the two airports. The inaugural Vistara service was operated by an all-female crew to help celebrate International Women’s Day. A week earlier the carrier had launched its first route to Amritsar from Delhi.

Wizz Air Katowice Malta

Wizz Air launched flights between Katowice and Malta on 10 March, one of four new services that the airline launched from the Polish airport this week. Katowice is the airline’s sixth largest base, with it being home to 3.7% of the airline’s weekly seat capacity.

Wizz Air opened its fifth route to Malta on 10 March when it commenced flights from Katowice to the Mediterranean island. In welcoming the new service, Malta Airport baked this splendid cake. Wizz Air also links Malta to Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia and Warsaw Chopin.

While 10 March was the day on which Wizz Air opened a connection between Cluj-Napoca and Bratislava, it was also the day on which the airline celebrated carrying its seven millionth passenger from the Romanian airport. The ULCC will operate flights between Cluj-Napoca and Bratislava twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays), with no other airline serving the route. To celebrate both the seven millionth passenger and the new route to Bratislava, the Romanian airport baked a cake while a press conference was also conducted by David Ciceo, CEO of Cluj-Napoca Airport and Sorina Ratz, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air.

  • Wizz Air added a sixth aircraft to its Katowice (KTW) base this week, with the extra capacity allowing for four new routes to be launched, starting on 10 March with services to Malta (MLA) and Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF). Routes to Catania (CTA) and Lisbon (LIS) followed, launching on 11 and 12 March respectively. All four routes will be flown twice-weekly on the airline’s A320s. Along with these routes, the carrier also opened a new service from its Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) base to Bratislava (BTS) this week. The average sector length of the airline’s five new routes is 1,812 kilometres, with none facing any direct competition. Katowice is Wizz Air’s sixth largest base and has 3.7% of the airline’s weekly seat capacity, while Cluj-Napoca is seventh largest with 3.4%. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
10-Mar Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) Bratislava (BTS) A320 (2)  
Katowice (KTW) Malta (MLA)  
Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF)  
11-Mar Catania (CTA)  
12-Mar Lisbon (LIS)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 14 March 2017. WF = Weekly frequency.

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