New airline routes launched (10 October 2017 – 16 October 2017)


SA Airlink’s Johannesburg to St. Helena

A route as important as this calls for cake, with St. Helena’s first ever service being greeted with this lovely creation. Along with cake, passengers arriving on the inaugural service were flag waved off by the SA Airlink’s cockpit crew Tammy King and Jaco Henning, with them then being greeted by the Governor of St. Helena Lisa Phillips.

  • SA Airlink has become the first-ever carrier to begin scheduled services to St. Helena (HLE) beginning on 14 October a weekly (Saturdays) E190-operated 3,686-kilometre connection from Johannesburg (JNB), a route that operates via a technical stop in Windhoek, Namibia. “For St. Helena, this is the start of a bright new future. We are determined to make sure that air services work to benefit all St. Helenians and bring about a higher standard of living for those on the island. We are open for business and investment and we know tourists will marvel at the beauty of the island. We are happy to welcome our visitors to the ‘secret of the South Atlantic’,” commented Lisa Phillips, Governor of St. Helena, at the arrival ceremony of the first flight. “This is a momentous historic occasion for St. Helena, its citizens and its stakeholders. On behalf of all of us at SA Airlink, the staff, board of directors and the shareholders of the airline, I hereby express our absolute joy and pride at having accomplished this inaugural flight and for having established this scheduled public transportation air bridge for St. Helena. This is indeed a privilege for SA Airlink and we congratulate St. Helena on achieving this auspicious milestone which has been many years in the making,” added Karin Murray, Sales and Marketing Manager at SA Airlink. Along with this new service, SA Airlink will operate a monthly charter service between St. Helena and Ascension Island. This charter operation will commence on Saturday 18 November and return 19 November. Thereafter the flight will take place on the second weekend of every month. See how St. Helena Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Loganair’s Durham Tees Valley to Aberdeen and Norwich

“A very significant week in delivering our plans for securing the future of Durham Tees Valley airport and its contribution to the region’s economy,” said Durham Tees Valley CEO Steve Gill about the start of Loganair’s new routes from the airport to Aberdeen and Norwich. A tartan-emblazoned, Saab 340-topped cake was also baked to mark these important new sectors. While Norwich is a brand new destination for the airport, Aberdeen is already served by Eastern Airways.

  • Loganair initiated two new services on 16 October, with up to three weekday flights between Durham Tees Valley (MME) and Aberdeen (ABZ), as well as a six times weekly service linking Durham Tees Valley with Norwich (NWI). While the latter 269-kilometre sector will face no direct competition, the former 303-kilometre airport pair will see Eastern Airways provide a 15 times weekly service up against Loganair. Both routes, which are flown by the Scottish airline’s 34-seat Saab 340 fleet, will provide extra connectivity through a codeshare with Loganair’s sister company bmi regional. Passengers travelling via Aberdeen can access easy onward links to Orkney, Shetland, the Danish seaport of Esbjerg and Norway’s capital, Oslo. “The arrival of a well-established airline such as Loganair is exactly in line with the strategy we set out in the business plan for Durham Tees Valley to concentrate on supporting and developing services focussed on providing vital connectivity to the business community,” said Durham Tees Valley CEO Steve Gill. “We are not ruling out developing leisure routes in the future which will need to driven by local market demand and have alignment with airline strategy. The priority is to secure the future of the airport until such a time that this becomes viable.” Kay Ryan, Loganair’s Commercial Director said: “It’s fantastic to commence services on these two routes, acting as an important gateway for the energy sector. Bookings have been extremely encouraging since tickets to Aberdeen went on sale a few months ago, even more positive when considering this is additional Aberdeen capacity from Durham Tees Valley.” Along with Loganair’s new services and Eastern Airways’ Aberdeen link, Durham Tees Valley is also connected to Amsterdam with KLM, with the SkyTeam member offering 19 weekly flights on the airport’s only scheduled international connection. 

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


Celebrating Air Austral’s maiden voyage on the Reunion to Marseille airport pair on 12 October are, from left to right: Pierre Regis, Chairman of Marseille Airport; Jean Marc Grazzini, SVP Sales & Marketing, Air Austral and Julien Boullay, CCO, Marseille Airport.

  • Air Austral commenced services between Reunion (RUN) and Marseille (MRS) on 12 October. Flights on the 8,795-kilometre sector will operate up to twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) on the airline’s 777-300s. XL Airways France offers the direct competition, with it currently serving the airport pair twice-weekly, although its frequency drops to once weekly at the end of October. Marseille is the second French destination served by Air Austral from Reunion, with the other being Paris CDG. See how Marseille Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Allegiant Air Milwaukee

Among those cutting the ribbon in Milwaukee to open Allegiant Air’s new routes from Punta Gorda and St. Pete-Clearwater on 13 October was Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive (third-left) who said at the launch: “These ultra-low fares to destinations in Florida will be a big hit with travelers from Milwaukee, southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois looking for an affordable way to soak up some sun.” The airline will later launch flights to Milwaukee from Fort Lauderdale, Orlando Sanford and Phoenix-Mesa, with these services scheduled to begin in mid-November.

  • Allegiant Air has now welcomed Milwaukee (MKE) to its network, initially beginning service to the Wisconsin airport from St. Pete-Clearwater (PIE) and Punta Gorda (PGD) in Florida on 13 October. The carrier from mid-November will also launch flights to Milwaukee from Fort Lauderdale, Orlando Sanford and Phoenix-Mesa. “We’re thrilled to begin service to Milwaukee, connecting travellers in the area to the sunny beaches of Punta Gorda and St. Pete-Clearwater,” said Lukas Johnson, SVP Commercial, Allegiant Air on the day of the launch. Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive, added to Johnson’s word by commenting: “These ultra-low fares to destinations in Florida will be a big hit with travelers from Milwaukee, southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois looking for an affordable way to soak up some sun.” Both 1,753- and 1,857-kilometre links launched by Allegiant Air this week will be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) on the carrier’s fleet of A320s. No other airlines currently offer either of these two routes. 

Evgeniy Ilyin CCO of St. Petersburg Airport, along with Dmitriy Zvonarev, Director for Strategy and Development at Azimuth Airline, take questions from the assembled media gathered to mark the start of the Russian regional carrier’s new routes from Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar. Both destinations are in the top 10 domestic routes from St. Petersburg in terms of passenger figures. Azimuth Airline will serve both routes daily on its Sukhoi Superjet 100s. 

  • Azimuth Airline, the fledgling Russian regional carrier, has added two more routes to its start-up network on 10 October, commencing daily services from Rostov-on-Don (ROV) and Krasnodar (KRR) to St. Petersburg (LED). Both routes are flown by the carrier’s 98-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100s. According to airport sources in Russia’s second city, both destinations are in the top 10 domestic routes from St. Petersburg in terms of passenger figures. From the nine million passengers using domestic services at the airport so far in 2017, 190,000 have flown to Rostov-on-Don and 180,000 to Krasnodar. The latter sector is also served by Rossiya Airlines (13 times weekly), Red Wings Airlines (twice-weekly) and UTair (weekly), whereas the former route has Aeroflot family incumbents Rossiya (10 times weekly) and Pobeda (daily) on the 1,746-kilometre city pair. See how St. Petersburg Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Frontier Airlines Ontario

On 12 October Frontier Airlines commenced its first operations to Ontario with a three times weekly service from Austin and a daily route from Denver. The following day, a four times weekly link from San Antonio was also inaugurated. Seen welcoming Frontier Airlines to the Californian city by speaking at a press event is Ontario Airport CEO Mark Thorpe.

Austin Airport celebrated the launch of Frontier Airlines flights to Ontario with the colourful cake. A ribbon cutting was also conducted to officially open the route, with the proceedings being carried out by: Walter Zaykowski from the Austin Chamber of Commerce; Jackie Peter, VP Labour Relations, Frontier Airlines; and Jim Halbrook, Public Information & Marketing Manager, Austin Airport. Frontier will operate the 1,922-kilometre route three times weekly.

  • Frontier Airlines introduced Ontario (ONT) to its network on 12 October, starting a three times weekly link from Austin (AUS) and a daily rotation from Denver (DEN). The following day the ULCC then commenced a four times weekly service from San Antonio (SAT). Both 1,922- and 1,872-kilometre links from the Texan cities will be flown by the carrier’s A320 fleet, while the 1,315-kilometre connection from the Colorado capital will see A319 operations. Mark Thorpe, CEO of Ontario Airport, said at the inaugural flight from Austin, which had a flight number of F9 1923: “Our headquarters, on the other side of the airport, are on 1923 East Avion. I take that as a sign of very good luck. I think we’re going to have more than just good luck, we’re going to have a very successful operation here by Frontier.” Of the new route trio, only Denver services will face direct competition, with United Airlines and Southwest Airlines both operating 13 weekly flights on the airport pair. Ontario becomes Frontier’s fifth destination in California, with the carrier already serving Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco. See how Ontario Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Celebrating Lanmei Airlines’ inaugural outbound flight to Macau via Siem Reap are: Chivannariddh Sisowath, Marketing Manager, Cambodia Airports (left); Janet Malaga, Commercial Sales Manager, Phnom Penh Airport (fifth-left); and Nuno Costa, Marketing & Sales Director, Cambodia Airports (eighth-left). There was also a welcoming committee (second image) at Phnom Penh for the first arrivals from Macau led by: Veasna Bun, Network Planning, Lanmei Airlines (fourth-left); Sopontara Pichr, Route Development Manager, Cambodia Airports (11th from left); and Hélène Veal, Digital Manager, Cambodia Airports (right).

  • Lanmei Airlines, a new airline in Cambodia, launched a new route from Phnom Penh (PNH) to Macau (MFM), via Siem Reap (REP) on 12 October. The route operates Phnom Penh-Siem Reap-Macau-Phnom Penh so point-to-point seats are available in one direction between Phonm Penh and Siem Reap, Siem Reap–Macau, and Macau–Phnom Penh. The total distance of the outbound route, featuring the stop in Siem Reap, is 1,653 kilometres in length, while the direct return sector from Macau to Phnom Penh is a 1,500-kilometre sector. The round trip is operated three times weekly by Lanmei’s A320s. The carrier faces competition from Bassaka Air which flies daily non-stop services between Phnom Penh and Macau, although this frequency reduces to twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays for the winter season. There is also competition on the point-to-point sectors from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and Siem Reap to Macau, with the former already operated by Cambodia Angkor Air, JC International Airlines, Bassaka Air and Cambodia Bayon Airlines, while the latter is also flown by JC International Airlines.

Helsinki Airport welcomed the arrival of SAS’ inaugural service from Malaga on 14 October, with the route officially being opened by a ribbon cutting which was conducted by Heini Noronen-Juhola, VP Aviation & Safety, Helsinki Airport, and Tuomas Kankaala, Key Account manager, Global Sales, SAS. Along with the ribbon cutting, passengers were treated to traditional Spanish dancing and chocolate cake. Flights on the 3,349-kilometre route will operate weekly (Saturdays).

  • SAS this week has begun two new routes between Scandinavia and Spain. On 14 October the Star Alliance member inaugurated a 3,681-kilometre connection between Copenhagen (CPH) and Fuerteventura (FUE), along with a 3,349-kilometre link from Malaga (AGP) to Helsinki (HEL), with the aircraft operating the latter service working on a w-pattern rotation out of the Spanish airport when referring to OAG schedules. Both routes will operate weekly (Saturdays) and wil be flown on the airline’s fleet of A320s. Flights on the link between the Danish capital and Canary Islands will face direct competition from Primera Air which offers a weekly service, while the link from the Finnish capital to Malaga will go head-to-head with Finnair (nine times weekly), Norwegian (eight times weekly) and Primera Air Nordic (weekly). See how Helsinki Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

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