New airline routes launched (21 November 2017 – 27 November 2017)
Air Namibia’s Ondangwa to Walvis Bay
- Air Namibia began flights between Ondangwa (OND) and Walvis Bay (WVB) on 21 November. The 583-kilometre route will be flown by the national carrier three times weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) on its fleet of 37-seat ERJ 135s. According to the airline’s social media accounts, the inaugural service carried 25 passengers, representing a load factor of 68%. No other airline currently operates on the city pairing between the northern and coastal cities in Namibia, meaning that Air Namibia is still the sole provider of domestic flights in the African nation. By introducing direct flights on this routing, it now means people can travel between the two destinations in 60 minutes, as opposed to an eight-hour drive. This route also becomes the only domestic route in Namibia that does not connect to either of the two capital airports in Windhoek.
Frontier Airlines’ Denver to Reno-Tahoe
- Frontier Airlines now links the Rockies and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges once again, with it beginning flights between Denver (DEN) and Reno-Tahoe (RNO), having last served the route back in September 2007. Launched 21 November, the carrier will operate the 1,291-kilometre link three times weekly, with departures on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, using its fleet of A320s. The route is already well served by two carriers, with United Airlines offering a twice-daily service and Southwest Airlines eight times weekly (twice-daily service on Sundays).
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- Air Moldova commenced its only route to the Middle East on 23 November, starting a twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) service between its home base of Chisinau (KIV) and Dubai (DXB). Flights will leave the Moldovan capital at 21:50, arriving into the UAE mega-hub at 04:50 the following morning. Return services then depart from Dubai at 06:50, landing back into Chisinau at 10:10. The carrier will operate the 3,349-kilometre route on a mixture of its E190s and A319s, with no other airline presently serving the city pair when referring to OAG schedules. With this launch, Air Moldova will be operating 25 routes from Chisinau this winter on 94 weekly flights, meaning that the carrier’s average weekly frequency per route in W17/18 will be 3.8. The next route launch for Air Moldova will be on 15 December according to the carrier, with this being the date of the airline’s first service to Geneva.
- British Airways will connect London Heathrow (LHR) to Turin (TRN) on Saturdays and Sundays during the winter season until 24 March 2018. Launched 26 November, the oneworld carrier will fly the city pair on its A320 fleet, and faces no direct competition. BA also serves the Italian city from London Gatwick with an eight times weekly operation. Along with BA, Ryanair (London Stansted; daily), easyJet (Gatwick; four times weekly) and Blue Air (London Luton; three times weekly) also serve the market at the beginning of December, meaning the four airlines combined are offering 29 weekly flights between the UK capital and Turin. By the start of the new year, BA will convert its Gatwick connection to a twice-daily service. Along with this increase, Blue Air will add a fourth weekly rotation from Luton, while easyJet will resume its weekly (Saturdays) service from Luton to Turin, with Gatwick flights increasing to six times weekly. Thomson Airways will also restart its twice-weekly service from Gatwick and weekly (Sundays) service from Stansted, meaning in total there will be 37 weekly flights on the city pair during the peak ski season, with the market served by five carriers.
- Interjet commenced services from Leon/Guanajuato (BJX) and San Jose del Cabo (SJD) to Los Angeles (LAX) on 23 November, before launching a further connection to the Californian hub from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) the following day. The Mexican carrier will deploy A320s on the trio of routes to Los Angeles, with all three taking on multiple incumbents. The 2,198-kilometre sector from Leon/Guanajuato will be operated daily, facing competition from United Airlines, Aeromexico and Volaris. The 1,466-kilometre link from San Jose del Cabo will be flown three times weekly, with competition coming in the form of Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United. Finally the 1,960-kilometre city pair of Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles will operate four times weekly, with Interjet going head-to-head with Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Southwest, United and Volaris on the latter route. As a result of these launches, Interjet now serves Los Angeles from six Mexican airports this winter when referring to OAG schedules, with it already operating services from Cancún, Guadalajara and Mexico City. When analysing data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), it highlights that Interjet carried 147,901 passengers during the first five months of 2017 from Los Angeles, resulting in an average theoretical load factor of around 66%. See how Leon/Guanajuato Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
- Ryanair has made Stuttgart (STR) its eighth German link from Dublin (DUB) after Berlin Schönefeld, Bremen (seasonal), Cologne Bonn, Frankfurt Hahn, Hamburg, Memmingen and Munich, with the ULCC beginning a daily, year-round service between the two cities on 23 November, a route it will operate on its 737-800s. “We are delighted to see Ryanair going from strength-to-strength, expanding its route network from Dublin Airport,” commented Vincent Harrison, MD Dublin Airport. “Ryanair is flying to 70 destinations from Dublin this winter and this new route to Stuttgart provides further travel options and flexibility for customers.” Although Ryanair’s latest service to Germany from the Irish capital will not face direct competition this winter, it should be noted that Aer Lingus offers a summer seasonal operation between the two cities. Along with flights to Stuttgart, Ryanair recently began routes to Munich and Naples from Dublin, with both having been inaugurated on 29 October. Dublin becomes Ryanair’s second route to Stuttgart, with the carrier also operating between the German airport and Manchester.
- SalamAir started flights on its sixth international city pair on 26 November, as services to Doha (DOH) join its existing operations to Dubai, Jeddah, Madinah, Sialkot and Karachi. The airline’s other routes from its Muscat (MCT) base are domestic sectors to Sohar and Salalah. Competition on the five times weekly service will be fierce, as incumbents Qatar Airways (35) and Oman Air (28) already provide 63 weekly rotations on the 698-kilometre airport pair. The airline is planning to add four A320s to its fleet in 2018 in order to meet the need of its expanding network. See how Doha Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
- Scoot commenced operations on a new route from Singapore (SIN) to Palembang (PLM) in South Sumatra on 23 November. The 476-kilometre link, was transferred from SilkAir, the regional arm of Singapore Airlines, and will operate four times weekly on its A320 fleet. The Singaporian LCC now flies to four destinations in Indonesia, since it also serves Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar. “Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia and the second largest in Sumatra,” says Vinod Kannan, CCO of Scoot. “Known as the Venice of the East, it is a city rich in history and heritage, and has become and up-and-coming tourist destination. As we take over from our sister airline SilkAir, we are excited to bring exceptional value and our unique ‘Scootitude’ to Palembang.” Scoot will face direct competition on the Singapore-Palembang sector from Jetstar Asia. See how Palembang Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
- Wataniya Airways has added another route from its Kuwait City (KWI) base this week, following recent launches to Tbilisi, Baku, Sarajevo, Najaf, Bahrain, Luxor, Beirut and Sohag. On 23 November the airline commenced daily operations to Doha (DOH) with its A320 fleet, of which it now has three according to ch-aviation’s fleet database. The 566-kilometre, intra-Middle East hop will see Wataniya face some stiff competition. Qatar Airways already flies 63 weekly services between the two capital cities, with Kuwait Airways (14) and Jazeera Airways (8) providing further competition. See how Doha Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.