It’s our first anna-versary! And what a year it’s been…

1,800 new routes (five a day)

Image: 1st Birthday cake & some dancers.
At we focus on analysing real data rather than being influenced by the PR machines…although we love cakes and parties too.

Little did we know when we started a year ago that fuel prices (already at high levels) would virtually double within a year putting huge pressure on airlines to maintain profitability, or in some cases their mere existence. In the last 12 months we have witnessed the demise of ATA, eos, MaxJet, Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, Silverjet and Skybus to name just some of the more high-profile casualties. But the airline business continues to attract entrepreneurs and we have also seen the launch of ambitious (and well-funded or supported) airlines such as Air Asia X, Open Skies and Virgin America.

Image: Skybus plane
At we take our hat off to brave entrepreneurs and we mourn the passing of those who have a go but fail including Skybus (from our very first issue) which wanted to be an American version of Ryanair. The cheapskate European launched more routes than anyone else – 200 in the last 12 months including another 10 this week (which we report on in detail).

Five new routes per day

During our first 12 months has looked in detail at airline and airport route networks across all five continents. According to our own extensive database over 1800 new routes have been launched by 260 airlines since we started last July, that’s an impressive average of five new routes every day! Over 20 airlines have started at least 20 new routes though no prizes for guessing which airline has launched most.

Thanks to European liberalisation, which has expanded into Central Europe in recent years, Ryanair has started over 200 routes in the last 12 months and shows little sign of slowing up as it launched another 10 new routes this week. easyJet launched over 100 new routes and other European LCCs such as clickair, Flybe, Norwegian, SkyEurope, Sterling, Vueling and Wizz Air have all been keeping airport marketing executives busy all over Europe.

In North America AirTran, Allegiant, jetBlue, Southwest and WestJet all began at least 20 new routes in the last year. Skybus, which we featured in our very first lead story, also grew quickly but sadly failed to last a year.

Not surprisingly the so-called legacy carriers have been rather less busy spreading their wings though American and American Eagle between them have started over 50 new routes and Lufthansa has launched over 40 routes. Big spending Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways started just 20 new routes between them.

However, our database has also tracked almost 200 routes which have been axed during the year and that does not include those routes lost as a result of airlines ceasing operations. The ratio between new and dropped routes is likely to change significantly in the year ahead.

Global analysis; real data

At we focus on analysing real data rather than being influenced by the PR machines of the airlines and airports. After all, it’s what they don’t tell you that is usually far more interesting than what they do tell you. So instead of boring quotes stating the blindingly obvious we would rather show you a graph that actually tells a story. Over the course of the year we have covered (among many other stories):

Image: Alitalia collapse?
Italy without Alitalia – a story which really came to life – this week we look at Milan Malpensa’s 30% decline resulting from its withdrawal from its northern hub.
  • Top story: The launch of Skybus, All Business Class airlines, The impact of high-speed rail services, Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, The amazing UK-Poland market, The Delta-Northwest merger, European LCC frequency trends, Southwest’s network, Comparison of US hubs, China, Comparison of Middle East carriers, Developments in Germany and the UK, and what Italy might be like without Alitalia.
Image: Serbia’s eurovision entry.
The European Union has unified Europe and made deregulation possible. For the Eurovision Song Contest is another great pan-European institution worthy of constant reference for its role in embracing even more nations, for its contribution to stimulating air traffic, and for putting its host nation on the map: this year Serbia (whose act, Jelena Tomasevic, pictured, came sixth) hosted the event.
  • Country profiles: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and various US states (California, Colorado, Florida, Texas).
  • Image: Jetstar celebrate landmark.
    JetStarAsia’s Singapore Base Analysis – featured on January 25th just prior to launching two new routes on successive days – to Kuala Lumpur and Macau.

    Base analyses: Detailed network analyses for Aegean, Aer Arann, Air Arabia, Air Asia, Air Berlin, airblue, AirTran, Alitalia, Allegiant Air, Austrian, Blue1, Blue Air, bmibaby, Brussels Airlines, Centralwings, China Southern, clickair, Continental, Copa, easyJet, Emirates, Estonian Air, Etihad, Flybaboo, Flybe, Flyglobespan, Frontier, Germanwings, Iberia, Iceland Express, IndiGo, Intersky, Jazeera,, jet4you, JetBlue, JetStarAsia, KD Avia, Kingfisher, LTU, Lufthansa, Monarch, MyAir, Nas Air, Nok Air, Northwest, Norwegian, Qatar Airways, Ryanair, S7, Sama, SAS, SkyEurope, SkyExpress, Southwest, Spanair, Spicejet, Sterling, Swiss, Thomsonfly, Tiger Airways, Transavia, TUIfly, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, VLM, Volareweb, Volaris, Vueling, WestJet, Wizz Air and Zoom.

Image: Air France Jackal
Admittedly some younger readers didn’t “get” our image for our airport profile on Air France- dominated-Paris CDG: A take-off of a jacket design for Frederick Forsyth’s 1970s thriller based on the attempted assignation of de Gaulle; a best seller in about 1975.
  • Airport profiles: Bangalore, Bangkok, Birmingham, Budapest, Cardiff, Cincinnati, Cologne/Bonn, Dubai, Fort Lauderdale, Geneva, Hong Kong, Ibiza, Las Vegas, London City, London Heathrow, Lűbeck, Lyon, Macau, Madrid, Milan Bergamo, Montreal, Moscow, Mumbai, New Orleans, New York JFK, Newcastle, Nice, Paris CDG, Porto, Prague, San Francisco, Seoul Incheon, Singapore, Sofia, Stockholm Arlanda, Stuttgart, Tokyo Narita, Toulouse, Valencia, Verona, Vienna and Warsaw.
  • Farewatches: Boston-Orlando, Chicago-Fort Lauderdale, Cologne/Bonn-Berlin, Delhi-Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur-Singapore, London-Dublin, London Heathrow-US, Madrid-Rome, Melbourne-Gold Coast, Milan-Bucharest, Mumbai-Hyderabad, Paris-Milan, Stockholm-Copenhagen and Toronto-Montreal, as well as studies of airline fares at particular base.
  • Trend analyses: Regular updates on traffic trends in Asia-Pacific, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, India, Italy, Scandinavia, South Africa, Spain and US plus aircraft delivery trends, European LCCs, AEA Airlines and updates on load factor trends of various LCC bases across Europe.

Plus our unique weekly round-up of all the new routes that actually started operating during the previous week. You will not find all of this information in one place anywhere else on the web.

Reporting and analysing the “new reality”

Free network planners newsletterAs the industry faces a future where the price of oil may reach $200 per barrel network planners are going to be kept as busy deciding which routes to cut as which routes to add. At we shall be reporting these changes and revealing which airlines may benefit and what it means for airports. One thing is for sure, our second year of reporting will be just as dramatic and exciting as our first, so remember to bookmark our homepage and if you haven’t already, subscribe to our FREE weekly newsletter.

> Read all our birthday greetings and comments’s mystery present: at airport exchange


  1. Chris says:

    Since being introduced to, I haven’t missed a week, and it makes Fridays even better!

  2. Congratulations on your first year. has very quickly developed into a first rate resource for tracking developments in the aviation industry. I really value the sound research, lively online presentation and news intelligence that make so very helpful. With all good wishes for your second year.
    Nicky Gardner
    hidden europe magazine
    Berlin / Germany

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