New airline routes launched (14 November 2017 – 20 November 2017)


Beijing Capital Airlines’ Qingdao to London Heathrow

Beijing Capital Airlines has become the fourth Chinese airline, after Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, to serve London Heathrow, with the Hainan Group carrier on 17 November launching a twice-weekly service to Europe’s busiest airport from Qingdao. A celebration was held at Heathrow to welcome the carrier, with the UK hub also baking a cake to greet its newest airline partner.

  • Beijing Capital Airlines has become the fourth Chinese airline to serve London Heathrow (LHR) after Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, with the carrier beginning flights to the UK hub from Qingdao (TAO) on 17 November. The Hainan Group carrier will offer a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service on the 8,686-kilometre sector using its 212-seat A330-200s. For Heathrow, Qingdao becomes its fourth destination in China after Beijing, Shanghai Pudong and Guangzhou. The hub was connected to Chengdu until the end of 2016, with British Airways pulling its 787-8-operated service after a three-year operation. Qingdao services will face no direct competition, with the launch of these flights meaning Heathrow will see 55 weekly departures to China this winter, with the four Chinese airlines, along with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways, also serving the country market. While Beijing Capital Airlines serves Heathrow, fellow Hainan Group operator Tianjin Airlines operates into London Gatwick from Tianjin via Chongqing. Hainan Airlines itself also operates to the UK, with it serving the route between Beijing and Manchester. Beijing Capital Airlines already serves Lisbon, Madrid and Moscow Sheremetyevo with regular scheduled services from China in W17/18 when referring to OAG schedules.   

Allegiant Air’s Las Vegas to Louisville 

Allegiant Air Louisville

Seen posing with the slot machine-inspired cake in Louisville, baked to help promote Allegiant Air’s new service to Las Vegas which launched on 16 November, are: Alexandra Zevalking, Las Vegas Brand Ambassador; Justin Ralenkotter, Brand Manager, Allegiant Air; and Karen Scott, Executive Director, Louisville Airport.

Ogdensburg Airport

Ogdensburg Airport welcomed the arrival of Allegiant Air’s latest route from St. Pete-Clearwater on 16 November, a connection that the ULCC will operate twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) on its fleet of A320s when referring to OAG schedules. Seen welcoming inaugural passenger Frank LeFleur (centre), who is from Lakeland, Florida, are OBPA Executive Director Wade Davis (left) and OBPA Board Chairman Sam LaMacchia (right).

  • Allegiant Air commenced 19 new routes between 15 and 17 November, with 13 of those routes being flown by the airline’s A319s and A320s. The base which has gained the most new connections is Phoenix-Mesa (AZA), with the Arizona airport gaining four services, while Cincinnati (CVG), Las Vegas (LAS), Orlando Sanford (SFB) and Punta Gorda (PGD) have welcomed three each respectively. The average frequency of Allegiant Air’s new routes is 2.1, while the average sector length is 1,832 kilometres. Of the 19 connections, five will face direct competition from either Delta Air Lines or Southwest Airlines. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
15-Nov Phoenix-Mesa (AZA) St. Pete-Clearwater (PIE) A319 (2)  
Punta Gorda (PGD) St. Cloud (STC) A320 (2)  
16-Nov Cincinnati (CVG) Raleigh-Durham (RDU) A319 (2) Delta Air Lines (14)
Las Vegas (LAS) Louisville (SDF) MD80 (2) Southwest Airlines (7)
Los Angeles (LAX) Cincinnati (CVG) A319 (4) Delta Air Lines (10)
Orlando Sanford (SFB) Milwaukee (MKE) MD80 (2)  
Stewart (SWF) EQV (2)  
St. Pete-Clearwater (PIE) Ogdensburg (OGS) A320 (2)  
17-Nov Cincinnati (CVG) Providence (PVD) A319 (2)  
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) Milwaukee (MKE) A320 (2) Southwest Airlines (7)
Norfolk (ORF)  
Las Vegas (LAS) Ogden (OGD) EQV (2)  
Omaha (OMA) MD80 (2) Southwest Airlines (13)
Orlando Sanford (SFB) Norfolk (ORF) EQV (2)  
Phoenix-Mesa (AZA) Belleville (BLV) A319 (2)  
Indianapolis (IND)  
Milwaukee (MKE)  
Punta Gorda (PGD) Rochester (ROC) A320 (2)  
Stewart (SWF)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 21 November 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

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


Nassau Airport welcomed passengers arriving on bahamasair’s inaugural inbound service from Houston Intercontinental on 15 November. The carrier will operate twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) flights on the 1,843-kilometre sector, with it scheduled to face direct competition from United Airlines.

  • bahamasair began flights between Nassau (NAS) and Houston Intercontinental (IAH) on 15 November. The 1,843-kilometre sector will be operated by the airline twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) on its 737-500s. The Bahamas’ national carrier will face direct competition on the link from United Airlines, with the Star Alliance member operating seven weekly frequencies during the week commencing 21 November. The American carrier will however reduce capacity to four weekly from 28 November, before further cutting frequencies during January and February next year. United will then increase capacity to daily from March for S18. OAG schedules show that bahamasair will also connect to four other US destinations from Nassau during W17/18. It will also fly to Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Chicago O’Hare. See how Nassau Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Copa Airlines Mendoza

Fronting the ribbon cutting ceremony in Panama City to officially open Copa Airlines’ new four times weekly service to Mendoza were Gabriela Testa, President of Ente Mendoza Turismo and Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines. The Star Alliance member will offer four weekly flights on the 4,788-kilometre sector.

  • Copa Airlines commenced flights between Panama City (PTY) and Mendoza (MDZ) on 15 November, with the latter city becoming the Star Alliance member’s fourth destination in Argentina after Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Cordoba and Rosario. “Copa Airlines is proud to inaugurate new flights to the beautiful province of Mendoza,” commented Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines. “The connectivity between Panama and Mendoza will generate important opportunities for the development and strengthening of tourism and commercial activity between both countries, along with the other 73 destinations offered by the airline.” Adding to Heilbron’s comments, Gabriela Testa, President of Ente Mendoza Turismo, stated: “This inaugural flight is special for Mendoza, because it is the first time that our province will be directly connected beyond the countries bordering Argentina and, in addition, it’s the result of close collaboration from the start. The joint actions carried out by Copa Airlines and Mendoza Tourism have been incredibly fruitful. This flight generates an exchange that had not occurred on other occasions.” The airline will offer four weekly flights on the 4,788-kilometre sector, flown on 737-800s, with no other carriers currently operating the city pair. See how Mendoza Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Check-in desk celebrations for Jazeera Airways’ first Indian service were held in Hyderabad on 16 November. Air India will provide some competition on the city pair in the form of its existing twice-weekly service.

  • Jazeera Airways has begun its first Indian city pair on 16 November, connecting its Kuwait City (KWI) base with Hyderabad (HYD). The 3,370-kilometre sector will be flown daily by the LCC with its A320 fleet and will face direct competition from Air India, which operates the route twice-weekly. According to the anna.aero New Route Database the last route the airline started was to Taif in Saudi Arabia, a three times weekly service it no longer operates based on current OAG schedules. See how Hyderabad Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Adelaide Airport was certainly creative by using grapes to represent the wines from South Australia and a Tasmanian Devil to represent Hobart, Tasmania on its route launch cake to mark Jetstar Airways’ new city pair. Seen celebrating the launch of this service along with some crew members were: Nick Jones, Executive Director, South Australian Tourism Commission; Shalend Prakash, Manager Commercial and Aviation Relationships, Jetstar Airways; and Jonathan Cheong, Head of Aviation Business Development, Adelaide Airport.

  • Jetstar Airways commenced a new route between Adelaide (ADL) and Hobart (HBA) on 14 November. This direct service will operate between the two cities three times weekly, flown by the LCC’s 180-seat A320 fleet. “The route was Adelaide’s largest unserved domestic market prior to the launch of the Jetstar’s direct service,” says Jonathan Cheong, Head of Aviation Business Development at the South Australia airport. “We expect up to 55,000 customers will be travelling annually as a result of this service.” No other carrier operates this city pair. 

Okinawa Airport welcomed the arrival of Jetstar Asia’s first flight from Singapore on 17 November with a traditional fire truck water arch salute. Flights on the 3,742-kilometre sector will operate three times per week on its A320s and there is no direct competition. Okinawa becomes the carrier’s second destination in Japan during W17/18.

  • Jetstar Asia began services from Singapore (SIN) to Okinawa (OKA) on 17 November. Flights on the 3,742-kilometre sector will operate three times weekly on the airline’s A320s. There is currently no direct competition on the route. OAG schedules show that Jetstar Asia will also fly to Osaka Kansai in Japan during W17/18, operating to the latter airport from Taipei Taoyuan and Manila. 

Samoa Airways restarted international services from Apia to Auckland and Sydney this week. Earlier this year, the Government of Samoa announced that, with the initial support of Fiji Airways, it would relaunch international services from Samoa, having previously had an arrangement with Virgin Australia Airways.

  • Samoa Airways has commenced operations this week, relaunching flights from Apia (APW) to Auckland (AKL) and Sydney (SYD) on 14 and 16 November respectively. Formerly known as Polynesian Airlines, the airline was founded in 1959 and had previously operated flights to both of the restarted destinations as well as Wellington, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Nadi, Rarotonga, Papeete, Tongatapu, Niue and Pago Pago. Polynesian’s operation was downsized in 2005 and has been operating intra-island and charter flights for the last 12 years. The 4,324-kilometre, twice-weekly (Thursdays and Saturdays) route to Australia will face direct competition from Virgin Australia Airlines (twice-weekly), while the six times weekly New Zealand sector will encounter market opposition from Air New Zealand (daily). Both services are flown by Samoa Airways’ 186-seat 737-800. See how Auckland Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Vienna Airport welcomed the arrival of Thai Airways’ new service from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi on 16 November. Celebrating the occasion with Thai Airways’ crew and a colourful cake were: Norbert Kettner, Director of Vienna Tourism Board; Songsak Saicheua, Ambassador of Thailand; Usanee Sangsingkeo, Acting President of Thai Airways; and Julian Jäger, Member of the Management Board, Vienna Airport. Flights will operate four times weekly.

  • Thai Airways began services from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Vienna (VIE) on 16 November. Flightradar24.com data shows that the inaugural flight landed into the Austrian capital at 06:51 local time, some nine minutes ahead of its scheduled 07:00 arrival slot. The 8,446-kilometre route will be served by the airline four times weekly, with the 777-300 being the aircraft of choice for the Star Alliance member’s new venture. Two other carriers already operate between Suvarnabhumi and Vienna. Austrian Airlines serves the airport pair daily, while EVA Air offers four weekly flights. The latter carrier’s flights link Vienna with Taipei Taoyuan via Suvarnabhumi, however the airline has traffic rights on the Austrian–Thailand part of the route. With this launch, it now means that Thai Airways operates 13 non-stop services to Europe from Suvarnabhumi, with Vienna joining established destinations including Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Milan Malpensa, Moscow Domodedovo, Munich, Oslo Gardermoen, Paris CDG, Rome Fiumicino, Stockholm Arlanda and Zurich.

A total of 250 passengers boarded the A330-200 flight to Port Louis, Mauritius on 15 November, a 12-hour sector, to join their Fred Olsen cruise ship which will also visit the Seychelles, Comoros Islands and Réunion Island. The first flight passengers were treated to a tropical bon voyage at Manchester Airport, as they were each handed a floral lei garland and a delicious branded cupcake.

  • Thomas Cook Airlines began bi-weekly (Wednesdays) flights from Manchester (MAN) to Mauritius (MRU) in the Indian Ocean on 15 November. The leisure carrier will operate the 10,000-kilometre sector for cruise ship operator Fred Olsen, and it becomes the airline’s only service from the UK to the tropical island. Flown by its A330-200 fleet, the service faces no direct competition. 

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