New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 27 July – Friday 3 August 2007)

Click Air launches four more Barcelona routes

Image: clickAir Scotland
Click Air will take on local carrier FlyGlobespan on the Barcelona-Edinburgh route, on which traffic grew 35% in 2006.

The fast-growing Spanish LCC this week began operating on four more new routes from its Barcelona base. Double-daily domestic flights to Granada began on 1 August, as did daily flights to Edinburgh and Jerez and twice-weekly flights to Tunis.

On the Granada route it will compete against Spanair and Vueling. This is a route that Iberia operated three times per day until the end of July using a combination of MD87 and A319. The route has now been ‘passed on’ to Click Air. Jerez is another route that Iberia operated until the end of July before making way for Click Air. It will compete against Spanair and Vueling on this route as well.

Competition on the Edinburgh route will be provided by FlyGlobespan, which also operates daily during the summer. In 2006, traffic between Barcelona and Edinburgh increased 35% to 68,000 passengers.

Air India launches first non-stop flights to US

Image: AirIndia ad

Air India became the first Indian airline to offer non-stop service to the US when it started daily flights to New York JFK from Mumbai on 1 August. The airline is using a B777-200LR, which will be branded in the new corporate colours reflecting the recent merger of the ‘old’ Air India with Indian Airlines.

easyJet adds new destinations across Europe

In the last couple of weeks easyJet has announced a total of 18 new routes. Broken down by base the new routes are:

From To
Bristol Funchal (Madeira), Gdansk, Innsbruck, Lisbon
Edinburgh Gdansk, Krakow
London Gatwick Bucharest, Gdansk, Innsbruck, Lisbon
London Stansted Funchal (Madeira)
Madrid Bucharest, Paris CDG
Milan Malpensa Barcelona, Bari

New routes that do not involve existing bases are Bournemouth-Krakow, Lyon-Barcelona and Nice-Brussels. Start dates for these routes are between October and December. New destinations not previously served by easyJet are Bari, Funchal (Madeira), Gdansk and Innsbruck.

image: easyjet taking off
easyJet has announced 18 new routes. Among destinations not previously served is Funchal (Madeira).

Arch rival Ryanair already flies to Bari (from London Stansted, Frankfurt Hahn and Milan Bergamo from 13 December) and Gdansk (from Stansted, Hahn and Dublin), but does not operate to either Innsbruck or Funchal. The Milan-Bari route is suddenly getting really competitive, as MyAir has been operating low-cost flights from Milan Bergamo since February 2005. From mid-December there will now be three LCCs on the city-pair.

Cimber Air serves up a new route to Berlin

0708012_cimber_02.jpgDanish regional carrier Cimber Air started daily operations between Billund (BLL) and Berlin Tegel (TXL) on 1 August. The 65-minute sector will be flown with one of the airline’s 50-seat CRJ200s. Billund is not currently connected with Berlin. One-way fares start from DKK395.

This will be the airline’s second route to Germany as it already operates twice-daily flights to Munich from Billund. Other routes from Billund to Germany are provided by British Airways (operated by Sun-Air) to Düsseldorf and Cirrus Airlines, which operates three daily flights to Frankfurt on behalf of Lufthansa.

In 2006, traffic at Billund airport was down 5% at 1.88 million. However, the latest figures for July 2007 show traffic up 19.2% thanks to growth of 44% in the international scheduled market. Traffic for the first seven months of 2007 is also up 15% thanks to new routes with Ryanair to Dublin, Pisa and Madrid.

A route to Frankfurt Hahn which started on the 7 November last year ended just nine weeks later on 9 January. In that time 2,681 passengers had travelled on the 27 rotations operated (Source: destatis), resulting in an average load factor of just 26%. Even allowing for seasonality, it seems the route showed little sign of long-term viability. Undaunted, Ryanair will be adding new routes to London Stansted and Barcelona Girona later in the year and Milan Bergamo early in 2008.

image; airport terminal
Billund airport: Ryanair aircraft not shown due to speed of turnaround. (Source: Billund airport)


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