New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 26 April – Friday 2 May 2008)

The beginning of May is a popular time of year to start new routes, especially in the Northern hemisphere where the weather normally warms up and encourages people to start taking “summer” holidays.

  • Logo: Aegean AirlinesAegean Airlines launched a new four times weekly service linking its main base in Athens (ATH) with Kefalonia (EFL). In the first quarter of 2008 Aegean Airlines increased its passenger numbers by 10% to 1.06 million with international traffic up 35% to 356,719. Domestic traffic was up a more restrained 1%. A new route to Tirana (TIA) in Albania due to start this week has been put back to 19 May.
  • Logo: Aer ArannOn 1 May Aer Arann began flying from Galway (GWY) via Waterford (WAT) to Amsterdam (AMS) this week in cooperation with Nex Aviation using BAe 146-200s. Flights operate four times weekly on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
  • Logo: AeroflotAeroflot is still starting new routes with its venerable TU-154s. This week Sochi (AER) gets a new four times weekly service to Novosibirsk (OVB) in Siberia, a route that’s 2,052 miles long. Flights arrive in Novosibirsk at 05:20 in the morning, which sounds like fun. Sochi is the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Logo: Air BalticFast-growing Air Baltic adds another two destinations from its Riga (RIX) base. Billund (BLL) will be served twice-weekly using 737s while Simferopol (SIP) in Ukraine will be served four times weekly as a code-share with Aerosvit Airlines.
  • Having acquired LTU last year Air Berlin launches its first flights to China this week using LTU’s A330s. Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG) will both be served five times weekly from Dűsseldorf (DUS). These are the only scheduled services from Dűsseldorf to China.
  • Logo: Air Canada - JazzAir Canada added four new destinations from Ottawa (YOW) this week. Three of these are new daily domestic routes to Charlottetown (YYG), Saskatoon (YXE) and Thunder Bay (YQT). In addition a new international route to Washington National (DCA) will be operated twice daily by Jazz using CRJ200. The airline is also starting two new international routes from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Austin (AUS) and Richmond (RIC). According to the airline this will become the first international route from Richmond.
  • Logo: Air SouthwestUK regional Air Southwest has begun new services from Plymouth (PLH) and Newquay (NQY) to Cork (ORK), Dublin (DUB), Glasgow (GLA) and Newcastle (NCL). Glasgow and Newcastle will be served daily. According to UK CAA statistics the airline carried 316,209 passengers (down 3.6%) at an average load factor of 62.9% (up 1.1 percentage points). Their five Dash 8-300s achieved an average utilisation of 6.5 hours per day (down from seven hours in 2006).
  • American Airlines adds a bit more pressure to Alitalia this week by commencing direct services between New York JFK (JFK) and Milan Malpensa (MXP). This is one of the few long-haul routes that Alitalia had retained after its dramatic downsizing at the airport. American will operate the service five times weekly with 767-300.
  • Centralwings, despite its recent cull of routes, has decided to open a new Krakow (KRK) to Barcelona (BCN) service. The route replaces a service to Barcelona Girona that went via Lille. The new route operates three times weekly during the night. Passengers from Krakow arrive in Barcelona at 01:55 in the morning, while the return flight departs BCN at 02:55. The change has been made to “ensure the convenience of Centralwings’ clients”. Hmm.
  • CSA Czech Airlines began two more routes this week from Prague (PRG). Damascus (DAM) in Syria will be served three times weekly, while Almaty (AMA) in Kazakhstan will be served twice weekly using the airlines’ Airbus fleet.
  • Image: easyJet FlipflopeasyJet enjoyed a busy week of route launches this week with eight new services getting under way, two each from its bases in Bristol (BRS), London Gatwick (LGW), Lyon (LYS) and Manchester (MAN). Olbia (OLB) and Split (SPU) are new destinations from Bristol (BRS), while Mykonos (JMK) and Montpellier (MPL) are new routes from London Gatwick (LGW) which the airline has inherited from its acquisition of GB Airways. From Manchester (MAN) there are new routes to Heraklion (HER) and Malaga (AGP), while from Lyon (LYS) the airline is starting its new double-daily domestic route to Toulouse (TLS) as well as a new service to Casablanca (CMN). The performance of the new French domestic route will be watched with particular interest by industry analysts.
  • Flybe has begun a new route connecting Jersey (JER) with Paris CDG (CDG). The route operates six times weekly and brings to nine the number of airports now served by the airline from CDG. A tenth route to Guernsey begins in July.
  • Germanwings increased its network at Cologne/Bonn (CGN) this week by a further four routes. Bordeaux (BOD), Riga (RIX) and Rostock/Laage (RLG) will all be served three times weekly while Pula (PUY) will be served twice weekly. All four destinations are new to Germanwings. A fifth new route between Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) and Bucharest Baneasa (BBU) also began this week with flights operating twice weekly.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has this week started a new daily service from Honolulu (HNL) to Oakland (OAK) using a 767-300. Oakland becomes the airline’s 10th West Coast destination and sixth in California.
  • Logo: IcelandAirIcelandair has added Toronto (YYZ) to its list of North American destinations. A new five times weekly service from Reykjavik (KEF) began this week making Toronto the second Canadian city the airline serves after Halifax.
  • Jet2.com has added two more destinations from its home base at Leeds/Bradford (LBA). New four times weekly services to Hamburg Lűbeck (LBC) and Madrid (MAD) began this week. LBC’s scheduled services are currently limited to six routes with Ryanair and a Wizz Air service to Gdansk. The airport handled around 600,000 passengers in 2007.
  • Image: jetBlue new routejetBlue began a total of seven new routes on 1 May. From Austin (AUS) there are two new daily services to California – Long Beach (LGB) and San Francisco (SFO) – and two new daily connections to Florida – Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO). All four of these services will be operated with Embraer E190s. Previously only New York JFK and Boston were linked to the Texan airport. The airline is also launching two new daily services from its base in Boston (BOS) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and New Orleans (MSY). These will be operated by A320s. Finally, there is a new daily service between Salt Lake City (SLC) and Las Vegas (LAS).
  • Lufthansa launched three new transatlantic routes this week plus six leisure routes. From Dűsseldorf (DUS) the airline has started new daily services to Chicago (ORD) and Newark (EWR) using A340-300s. Both routes were previously operated as ‘business-only’ routes using PrivatAir aircraft. In addition there is also a new six-times weekly service to Toronto (YYZ) from the same airport. Other new routes from Dűsseldorf (DUS) include Bastia (BIA) and Olbia (OLB), which will both be offered weekly operated by partner Eurowings with a CRJ200 and a weekly service to Usedom/Heringsdorf (HDF). Dublin (DUB) will now be served from both Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Stuttgart (STR) while there is also a new route from Stuttgart (STR) to Olbia (OLB). Whew.
  • Image: Mexicana adMexicana has started serving New York JFK (JFK) daily from Monterrey (MTY) using an A319. Flights operate daily and depart Monterrey at 08:15 arriving in New York at 12:00. Flights depart JFK at 14:30 and return to Monterrey at 18:00. The route is not currently flown by any other airline. It was recently revealed that Mexicana will join the oneworld alliance and become its eleventh full member some time in 2009 when it has upgraded its IT systems. Mexicana’s low-cost subsidiary, Click Mexicana, will join oneworld as an affiliate member. Mexicana carried nine million passengers in 2007 while Click Mexicana transported an additional 2.2 million. Mexicana’s fleet consists of 62 aircraft – 30 A320s, 20 A319s and 10 A318s, plus two long-haul 767s. Click Mexicana operates a fleet of 18 F100s.
  • Northwest may be in the midst of merger-mania but that has not stopped it from starting a whole range of new routes. A new daily transatlantic service began this week from Detroit (DTW) to London Heathrow (LHR) using an A330. Existing service to London Gatwick will be retained though the aircraft will be downsized to a 757. Partner airlines Compass and Pinnacle are also providing new daily services from Detroit (DTW) to Monterrey (MTY) and Wichita (ICT). Memphis (MEM) gets two new daily routes to San Diego (SAN) and Norfolk (ORF) in Virginia, while Indianapolis (IND) gets two new links to Texas with daily flights to Austin (AUS) and San Antonio (SAT). On the San Antonio route the airline will be competing against American Airlines and Southwest. Finally, Pinnacle will be starting three new daily routes from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) to Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP), Ottawa (YOW) and Fort Wayne (FWA) in Indiana. All routes will be served with CRJ200s.
  • Norwegian has decided to take on SAS on another domestic route. Starting this week the airline will fly twice-daily from Oslo (OSL) to Bardufoss (BDU). SAS already operates the route 19 times per week. From its new base at Rygge (RYG) Norwegian has also begun weekly (Thursday) flights to Antalya (AYT) in Turkey.
  • Ryanair can only muster the enthusiasm for three new routes this week but each is interesting for a different reason. The airline has started its first German domestic service from Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) which is being operated twice daily. It is also starting its first French domestic route from its Marseille Provence (MRS) base to Paris Beauvais (BVA). However, this route is only being operated four times weekly. Finally, Ryanair is going head-to-head with bmibaby between Birmingham (BHX) and Marseille (MRS). This is a route that was first tried several years ago by BA franchise carrier Maersk Air Ltd. It was not a success.
  • Image: s7 dublin routeS7 has started flying from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Dublin (DUB). The airline will operate thrice weekly (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) using an A319. Flights depart Dublin at 22:30 arriving in Moscow at 05:30. No other airline currently offers scheduled services between Dublin and anywhere in Russia. Last year the airline saw traffic increase by 16% to 5.7 million passengers. Domestic traffic grew 22% while international traffic was up a more modest 8%. The fleet consists of 66 aircraft including 23 Airbus and seven Boeing, with the rest made up of older Russian ‘classics’.
  • SkyEurope has begun flying to Turkey. A new thrice-weekly service from Bratislava (BTS) began this week to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (SAW). Flights depart Bratislava on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 23:00 and arrive in Istanbul at 02:10 the following morning. The return flight departs Istanbul at 04:40 and arrives back in Slovakia at 06:00. The airline has also begun night flights between its Prague (PRG) base and Lisbon (LIS). Flights depart Prague at 22:40 and arrive in Lisbon at 01:10. The return flight leaves Lisbon at 01:50, arriving back in Prague at 06:15.
  • Image: Smart WingsSmartwings, the Prague-based LCC now owned by the Icelandair Group, has begun serving Valencia (VLC) from its Prague (PRG) base. Flights operate twice-weekly using 737s with fares starting from 32 Euros (including taxes).
  • Logo: Long Island MacArthur AirportSpirit Airlines this week commenced a new route from its Fort Lauderdale (FLL) base to Long Island / Macarthur airport (ISP) in New York State. The airport, locally known as Islip, is currently dominated by Southwest which operates eight routes, including a triple-daily service to Fort Lauderdale. Spirit will compete with two daily flights.
  • Swiss has decided to complement its existing Zurich to Istanbul (IST) service with a new daily service from Geneva (GVA) using an A319. Turkish Airlines already operates daily service on the route. During the upcoming Euro 2008 football championships Turkey will be playing two games in Geneva.
  • TUIfly.com has started weekly flights between Hamburg (HAM) and Tel Aviv (TLV). Flights depart every Friday at 19:25 arriving in Israel the following morning at 00:30. The return flight departs Ben Gurion Airport at 01:20 arriving back in Hamburg at 06:00. TUIfly already serves Tel Aviv from Berlin Tegel, Cologne/Bonn and Munich, each of which are served thrice-weekly during the peak summer season.
  • Image: Vivaaerobus adVivaaerobus is helping to inaugurate the new low-cost facility (South Terminal Austin) at Austin-Bergstrom (AUS) airport. From this week the Mexican LCC will operate daily flights to both Cancun (CUN) and Monterrey (MTY) using its 148-seat 737-300s. These are the airline’s first international routes and only the second and third international destinations from Austin after Mexico City (served by Aeromexico).
  • Image: Vladivostok Air planeVladivostok Air has become the fourth airline to operate scheduled services to Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) following Iceland Express, Ryanair and Wizz Air. A new thrice weekly service from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) was launched this week using one of the airline’s A320s. Flight time is around three and a half hours. The airline operates a fleet of over 50 aircraft and flies to 24 domestic and 13 international destinations. It claims to be the largest carrier in Russia’s Far East and is based, unsurprisingly, in Vladivostok.

Comments

  1. John Korenic says:

    Welcome a free subscription. Well laid out format.

  2. Great updates. Apparently, during the same week, the following routes were initiated as well:
    Ural Airlines (U6, SVX): on April 27 Yekaterinburg (SVX)-Milan Malpensa MXP) 3x; and Yekaterinburg (SVX) – Thessaloniki (SKG) 2 x weekly, wjile on April 30 the route Yekaterinburg (SVX) – Larnaca (LCA), 3x per week.
    Lufthansa had plans to initiate Berlin Tegel (TXL)-Tallinn (TLL) route on April 26, served weekly, restarting daily service from Frankfurt Main (FRA) to Tallinn (TLL) beginning from April 28, and from April 27 add seasonal weekly flights from Dusseldorf (DUS) to Heringsdorf (HDF).
    OLT (OL, BRE) planned seasonal weekly flights to Herigsdorf (HDF) from Bremen (BRE), Cologne (CGN), Dortmund (DTM), Frankfurt (FRA, and Munich (MUC), all from April 26.
    Air Berlin (AB, TXL) restarted seasonal flights to Bourgas (BOJ) on May 1 from Cologne (weekly), and Dusseldorf (2x weekly).
    Air Baltic also planned new service from Riga (RIX) to Norrkoping (NRK), with 3 flights, beginning from April 30, but it has been apparently shelved.
    Centralwings (C0, WAW) restaretd its seasonal mix-charter weekly service from Warsaw (WAW) to Thessaloniki (SKG) on April 28.
    Also on May 2, Malev (MA, BUD) resurrected its Budapest (BUD) to New York Kennedy (JFK) service (daily). This route was year-round until 2007, but suspended for the 2007/08 winter season, and apparently will be operated only as seasonal beginning this year, along with another (formerly year-round) transatlantic route from Budapest to Toronto (from May 26).
    Greetings, Jerzy

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