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Global new routes round-up
(Saturday 9 February – Friday 15 February)

New routes launched this week:

  • AirtranIn the build-up to Spring Break in March AirTran has commenced flying a bunch of new seasonal routes to Florida. Tampa (TPA) will be served from Newport News/Williamsburg (PHF), Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP), Pittsburgh (PIT) and New York LaGuardia (LGA). Orlando (MCO) will be served from Raleigh/Durham (RDU) and Daytona Beach (DAB) will be connected to New York LaGuardia (LGA). Fort Myers (RSW) will get new services from Pittsburgh (PIT) and Buffalo (BUF). All flights will operate daily.
  • Portlandbmibaby belatedly decides to explore the potential of the Polish market by starting three new routes each from a different UK base. Warsaw (WAW) will be served from Cardiff (CWL) and East Midlands (EMA) while Birmingham (BHX) will be linked with Krakow (KRK). The latter is a route that SkyEurope had been serving since April 2006 until abandoning its Krakow base late last year. Ryanair already serves Krakow, Lodz, Poznan and Wroclaw from East Midland. Another new route started this week between Glasgow International (GLA) and Knock West Ireland (NOC) is unusual in that neither of the airports involved are bmibaby bases. All of these new routes are served either twice-weekly or thrice-weekly using 737s.
  • Something of a rarity is the new bmi regional route launched this week from East Midlands (EMA) to Cologne/Bonn (CGN). The route had previously been served by easyJet on a daily basis since June 2004. In 2005 and 2006 easyJet carried 86,000 passengers on the route suggesting a load factor of between 75% and 80%. However, easyJet abandoned the route in early January and bmi regional stepped in to take over the route, operating six-times weekly with an Embraer regional jet.
  • Delta began services from New York JFK (JFK) to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) this week, operating five flights per week. Delta already flies to San Jose from its main hub at Atlanta.
  • easyJet launched another three routes from its new Paris CDG (CDG) base this week. Daily services to Krakow (KRK, 1245 km), Marrakech (RAK, 2126 km) and Venice (VCE, 835 km) began on Friday. A fare check the day before the routes started showed one-way tickets still available from Paris to Krakow for €117, to Venice for €175 and Marrakech for €302.
  • Estonian Air began services this week from Tallinn (TLL) to Minsk (MSK), the capital of Belarus. There are three flights per week operated by Estonian Air Regional using a 33-seat Saab 340. One-way fares start from €64.
  • Moss Airport RyggeNorwegian launched flights from its new base at Moss Airport Rygge (RYG) with an inaugural flight to Budapest (BUD) on Thursday followed by flights to Alicante (ALC) and Barcelona (BCN) on Friday. Formerly a pure military airfield around 63 kilometres south of Oslo (and a 110 kilometres from Oslo’s main Gardermoen airport) a new company has been created to build, own and operate the new terminal building. Norwegian will be starting several more new routes from the airport in the coming weeks.
  • Ostfriesische LufttransportGerman regional carrier OLT (Ostfriesische Lufttransport) began a new domestic route this week linking Hamburg (HAM) with Erfurt (ERF). Flights will operate twice-daily on weekdays using a 19-seat Swearingen Metro. The route had previously been served by LGW (Luftfahrt Gesellschaft Walter) with a Dornier 228 but this was ended at the start of the winter season as LGW re-allocated capacity to focus on becoming a feeder for Air Berlin.
  • Spirit Airlines has begun a new daily service from Orlando (MCO) to Aquadilla (BQN) in Puerto Rico. Flights operate on an A319 and compete head-to-head with JetBlue who operate the larger A320.
  • The Australian arm of Tiger Airways launched services on Valentine’s Day from Melbourne (MEL) to the capital Canberra (CBR). Flights will operate daily using an A320. Canberra thus becomes Tiger’s 11th domestic route from Melbourne and its fourth new route this year after Adelaide, Hobart and Newcastle. Tiger expects to carry around two million passengers in its first year of operations in the Australian domestic market.
  • United Express through its partnership with Skywest has begun new daily flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to both Austin (AUS) and Des Moines (DSM). Flights will be operated by CRJ700s configured with six first class seats and 60 economy seats.
  • Virgin AmericaVirgin America began competing with Southwest and United on the San Francisco (SFO) to San Diego (SAN) route this week. Initially flights will operate three times daily increasing to five times daily in March. Southwest and United both operate over 50 weekly departures on the route. According to the latest DOT fare data (2007 q3) average one-way fares on the city-pair were $115 with United having a 55% share of the market with an average fare of $127.

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