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Global new routes round-up
(Saturday 2 February – Friday 8 February)

New routes launched this week:

  • Image: AirAsia XAir Asia’s long-haul low cost affiliate AirAsia X began flying its second route from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) this week. Hangzhou (HGH), which is a two hour bus ride from Shanghai, will be served five times weekly using an A330. AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani joined passengers on the inaugural flight and reported that a survey of passengers on the airline’s first route to the Gold Coast in Australia showed that 45% of passengers were heading for the Gold Coast, 35% for Brisbane and the remainder were using the airport as a connecting point to other destinations in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Image: Air BeeAir Bee, a new Italian airline whose flights are operated by Itali Airlines, launched flights from Brescia (VBS) to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Naples (NAP) this week. Rome will be served twice daily and Naples daily using a 22-year-old MD82 configured with 164 economy seats. CEO of the new airline is Paolo Rubino whose CV includes stints as Marketing Director at Alitalia and helping to create Air One.
  • Image: Air IndiaAir India began its second non-stop route to the US this week. A daily Delhi (DEL) to New York JFK (JFK) service started this week to complement the Mumbai – New York service that began last August. A 777-200LR is deployed on the route and is equipped with 238 seats – eight in First Class, 35 seats in Executive Class and 195 in Economy Class. Air India is the only airline flying non-stop between Delhi and New York JFK.
  • Image: Bahrain AirBahrain Air finally took to the skies this week with its maiden flight from Bahrain (BAH) to Dubai (DXB). Flights operate twice per day using an A320 in a two-class configuration, 12 Business Class seats with a 35-inch pitch and 150 Economy Class seats with 32-inch pitch. Double-daily services from Bahrain to Doha (DOH) also began this week. Flights to Amman (AMM), Beirut (BEY), Damascus (DAM) and Sanaa (SAH) also got under way with frequencies ranging between twice and four times weekly.
  • CityJet, the Irish subsidiary of Air France, launched double-daily services from Paris CDG (CDG) to Shannon (SNN) this week. The schedule has been designed to fit with the Air France hub to facilitate easy worldwide connections, as well as being convenient for travellers whose final destination is Paris.
  • Continental entered a new era at its Newark (EWR) hub this week with the start of turboprop services operated by Colgan Air to four destinations. Using 74-seat Q400s which are able to take advantage of the little-used crosswind runway at Newark, Colgan Air has started services to Albany (ALB), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Pittsburgh (PIT) and Rochester (ROC). These routes are already served by Continental using smaller Embraer jets.
  • Image: easyJet low priceseasyJet launched two new routes from its Paris CDG (CDG) base this week. Double-daily flights to Biarritz (BIQ) began on Thursday. This route is currently an Air France monopoly and consistently registers just over half a million passengers each year. easyJet also launched a new daily service from Paris to Porto (OPO) and a new thrice-weekly service from East Midlands (EMA) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI). Last week the airline began its third route from Madrid (MAD) to Morocco when it began near-daily flights to Tangiers (TNG). The airline already serves Casablanca and Marrakesh from Madrid.
  • Last Saturday Flybe belatedly launched a couple of weekly ski routes from the Isle Of Man (IOM) and Jersey (JER) to Geneva (GVA).
  • FlyNordic also began a weekly route to Geneva (GVA) this week from its Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) base.
  • Jetstar Asia launched its second new route in as many weeks when it began operating between Singapore (SIN) and Macau (MFM) this week. Flights operate daily and compete head-to-head with those of Tiger Airways who also operate A320s on the route.
  • Image: Virgin BlueVirgin Blue adds three new destinations from Sydney (SYD) this week with the start of services to Albury (ABX), Canberra (CBR) and Port Macquarie (PQQ). Albury will be served twice-daily, Canberra eight times daily and Port Macquarie daily. All routes will be operated with Virgin Blue’s growing fleet of Embraer E170 and E190 jets. The Canberra route was previously served by Virgin Blue but was axed two and a half years ago. Flying time from Sydney to the capital is less than 45 minutes as the two airports are a mere 240 kilometres apart.

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