New routes launched during the last week (Saturday 6 October – Friday 12 October 2007)
Air India Express started a new service from Kolkata to Singapore this week. The three times weekly service complements the airline’s existing services from Chennai (11 flights per week) and Tiruchirapalli (three flights per week). In 2006 Changi airport handled just over 35 million passengers.
Cebu Air started operating direct services from Manila to Guangzhou this week. Flights will be operated four times weekly using 150-seat A319s. The airline faces competition on the route from China Southern. Guangzhou’s must-see tourist attractions include the South China Botanic Garden, Zhenhai Tower, Qingping Market, Litai Waterfalls, and the Pearl River Cruise. It is one of the most progressive cities in China with local and foreign tourists visiting Guangzhou every April and October for the much-awaited Guangzhou Trade Fair. Another new route was also launched from Manila to Macau. This will be operated three times weekly and will compete for customers with Air Macau. Cebu Pacific operates 14 Airbus aircraft to 20 domestic and now 12 international destinations. In the year ending 30 June Cebu Pacific carried 3.98 million passengers on domestic routes, overtaking Philippine Airlines (3.81 million passengers) to become the leading domestic carrier in the Philippines.
easyJet started a new daily service from its Milan Malpensa base this week. Barcelona becomes the airline’s 14th international route from Malpensa complemented by four current domestic services. The Milan-Barcelona market is getting highly competitive as apart from Alitalia and Iberia, Vueling is operating between Malpensa and Barcelona and Ryanair links Barcelona Girona with Milan Bergamo. Though not a base Barcelona is now connected to 12 destinations by easyJet, with a couple more to start soon.
Indigo, the fast-growing Indian LCC recently took delivery of its 13th new A320 and began new daily routes this week between Delhi and Agartala, and Hyderabad and Goa. Indigo now has a near eight per cent share of Indian domestic capacity according to OAG data for October.
So what’s Ryanair been up to this week? Just the nine new routes spread across two bases. Stockholm Skavsta received a new aircraft and six new routes. Berlin Schönefeld and Bratislava (substituting for Vienna) were treated to daily flights while Basel, Karlsruhe/Baden, Pisa and Valencia will be served three or four times per week. The Basel route signifies Ryanair’s first operations to Switzerland, though four more routes to Basel get under way in the coming weeks. Three other new routes took to the skies this week from Düsseldorf Weeze. Winter sun destinations Fuerteventura and Marrakech were honoured with new connections but the most intriguing new route is to Växjö (also known as Smaland Airport) in Sweden. This small airport is located on Sweden’s eastern side about half way between Stockholm and Malmo. Its only existing services are to Stockholm (Bromma and Arlanda). In 2006 it ranked as Sweden’s 17th busiest airport with 158,064 passengers some of whom flew to Kaunas in Lithuania, the only previous international route.
SAS began a new twice-weekly service between Gothenburg and Malaga. This is a route that has previously been operated by now defunct FlyMe. Until now SAS passengers had been routed via Oslo.
Virgin America started its fifth route this week since operations began back in early August. Its home airport of San Francisco is now connected three times each day with Las Vegas. Southwest also started operating this route back in late August and further competition is provided by US Airways and United’s lower-cost subsidiary Ted.
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