New routes launched this week:
- Increased liberalisation on flights between the UK and Israel is enabling bmi to start daily services this week between London Heathrow (LHR) and Tel Aviv (TLV), initially using an A320. However, this will shortly be replaced by a damp-leased 757 on six days of the week as the flight is selling so well. British Airways currently operates twice-daily on the route, while El Al operates 11 weekly flights.
- Copa began direct services from Panama (PTY) to Port Of Spain (POS), Trinidad & Tobago this week. An Embraer 190, operating in a two-class, 94-seat configuration will fly the route four times weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Port Of Spain will thus become the airline’s 41st destination.
- Germanwings becomes the first airline to begin scheduled services to Osijek (OSI) in Croatia. Services from Cologne/Bonn (CGN) begin on 14 March and operate every Friday and Sunday during the summer season.
- jetBlue commenced a new daily service this week between Orlando (MCO) and Cancun (CUN) in Mexico using an E190. The only other daily service between Orlando and Mexico at present is an Aeromexico service to Mexico City. jetBlue already serves Cancun from its New York JFK and Boston bases. Currently Cancun is the only Mexican destination in the airline’s network.
- Norwegian added five new destinations from its new base at Rygge (RYG) this week. A twice-daily domestic link to Bergen (BGO) is complemented by international routes to Athens (ATH), Istanbul (SAW), London Stansted (STN) and Warsaw (WAW) each of which will be operated either two or three times per week. This almost doubles the number of destinations served by Norwegian at Rygge from six to 11. Norwegian has also added a twice-weekly service from Oslo (OSL) to Longyearbyen (LYR) on the island of Svalbard. The almost three-hour flights depart Olso just before midnight on Thursdays and Sundays, returning the following morning.
- Skybus has added two more routes from its new base at Piedmont Triad Airport (PTI) near Greensboro to Gary Chicago (GYY) and Wilmington (ILG) in Delaware. Both routes will be served twice-daily. Gary Chicago Airport is only 25 miles from the Chicago Loop and has a 7,000-foot main runway and recently renovated terminal, which features a display of 35 model aircraft representing airlines from all over the world. Skybus is the first airline to use the airport for scheduled commercial flights.
- Southwest entered the San Francisco (SFO) to Phoenix (PHX) market this week by commencing flights that will operate five times daily. US Airways (42 weekly flights) and United (28 weekly flights) already operate on this route and will not be thrilled to see capacity on the route increased by 50%.
- Having lost a range of connections last year when Ryanair axed all its routes from the airport, Malmo (MMX) this week celebrates the arrival of a Sterling aircraft to create a mini-base. Alicante (ALC), Barcelona (BCN), Florence (FLR) and Nice (NCE) will each be served twice weekly while a six-times weekly London Gatwick (LGW) service will start at the end of the month. Sterling already operates thrice-daily services to Malmo from Stockholm Arlanda in competition with SAS. Providing even more competition is Malmo Aviation, which operates over 60 weekly flights from Malmo to the downtown Stockholm Bromma airport.
- Vueling launched two new domestic routes from Madrid (MAD) to the Canary Islands this week. Las Palmas (LPA) will be served four times weekly initially, rising to 10 weekly flights in April, while Tenerife North (TFN) will initially get five weekly flights also increasing to 10 in April. A new route from the Seville (SVQ) base to Las Palmas (LPA) was also started this week and will operate with three weekly flights during the summer season.