New routes launched this week:
- Newcomer Bahrain Air has launched another new route from Bahrain (BAH) this time to Mashad (MHD) in Iran. The three-times weekly service operates during the night with departures from Mashad at 02:05 in the morning and arriving in Bahrain at 04:10.
- Delta began services from New York JFK (JFK) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIB) this week, operating twice weekly. Flights are performed by one of the airline’s B737-800s.
- Norwegian launched a further three routes from its new base at Moss Airport Rygge (RYG). Following last week’s inaugural flights, this week witnesses the start of new services to Malaga (AGP), Palanga (PLQ) and Szczecin (SZZ). All flights will be operated twice weekly, on Tuesday and Saturday. This is the first low-cost airline service to Palanga Airport in Lithuania. In 2007, some 93,379 passengers passed through Palanga airport, mostly on flights to Copenhagen with SAS.
- TACA has started a new route from San Jose (SJO) in Costa Rica to David (DAV) in Panama. Flights will operate four times weekly.
- United Express is using the services of partner Colgan Air to launch flights from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Beckley (BKW) in West Virginia and Shenandoah Valley (SHD) in Virginia. Both routes will operate three times each weekday using 34-seat Saab 340s and replace existing services operated by Colgan Air on behalf of US Airways, operating smaller Beech 1900s. Beckley airport’s website could do with updating as the most recent news item is from March 2005.
- Westjet has added another three routes to Florida to offer Canadians some warm, winter sunshine. Twice-weekly services from Hamilton (YHM) to Tampa (TPA) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) are complemented by a new connection from Halifax (YHZ) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Hamilton (YHM) also gets a new weekly service to Nassau (NAS) as does Halifax (YHZ). Last week the airline announced record annual earnings in 2007 of C$192.8 million, up 68% on 2006. Over 13 million ‘guests’ (+16%) were flown by the airline’s fleet of 70 aircraft (63 in 2006). Significantly, the airline’s unit cost of fuel increased by only 1.2% last year to just under 70 Canadian cents per litre and represented 27% of the airline’s operating expenses. Average load factor was up 2.5 percentage points to 80.7%.