With the start of the winter season just a week away it’s a quiet week for new route launches. Even Ryanair has taken the week off!
- Centralwings launched a new service between Warsaw and Dublin on 16 October. For the first two weeks the route operates daily but as soon as the winter season starts services are reduced to four times weekly. The airline will face direct competition on the route from both Aer Lingus and Ryanair who operate daily flights.
- Transavia’s French operation began service last week between Paris Orly and Granada. Flights operate three days per week. Next week Vueling will also start linking Paris and Granada with four weekly flights departing from CDG rather than Orly. The scheduled flying time is two hours 20 minutes. Transavia’s cheapest fares from Paris in November are €49 with flights from Granada starting at just €33. Vueling’s lowest fares are around €3 cheaper in each direction during the same period. Transavia’s flights operate Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday while Vueling fly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
- Air Arabia began serving its ninth Indian destination from its Sharjah base last week. From 15 October the airline began flying four times weekly to Bangalore. Air Arabia celebrates its fourth birthday next week. In the first half of 2007 the airline carried 1.23 million passengers (up 58%) at a load factor of 83% (up three percentage points) and generated an impressive EBITDAR margin of 30%. By the end of 2007 the fleet of A320s should have grown to 10 and an estimated 2.2 million passengers will have been carried between 38 destinations. According to an investors presentation new destinations planned for the second half of 2007 include Aden (Yemen), Shiraz (Iran), Lahore (Pakistan), Kiev (Ukraine) and Delhi (India).
- Etihad started its ninth new route in 2007 from its Abu Dhabi base when it recently began services to Kathmandu in Nepal. An A330-200 will operate the route four times per week providing a valuable link for the 90,000 Nepalese nationals who live and work in the UAE and across the Middle East region. Scheduled flight time is four hours on the outbound flight and five hours on the return flight.