New routes launched during the last week:
Route of the week: Dragonair’s Hong Kong – Bangalore service
- Dragonair finally launched its daily service between Hong Kong (HKG) and the new airport serving Bangalore (BLR). The start date had been pushed back twice due to the delay in opening the new Indian airport. The almost six hour flight will be served by one of the airline’s 17 A330s. No other carrier currently serves this route.
Cake of the week: Emirates’ Dubai – Guangzhou service
- Emirates launched not one but two new routes this week from Dubai (DXB). From 1 July the airline has added Guangzhou (CAN) and Kozhikode (CCJ) to its network. Both routes will be served six times weekly. Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is Emirates’ 10th destination in India. The route is already served by Air India Express and Indian Airlines. China Southern already operates between Guangzhou and Dubai.
|Friedrich Lehr, senior executive vice president of aviation at Vienna International Airport and Jacques Bankir, Baboo CEO, at a press conference in Vienna to mark the launch of Geneva-Vienna services.|
- Swiss regional Baboo (formerly known as Flybaboo) recently started connecting its home base of Geneva (GVA) with Vienna (VIE). Flights operate daily Monday to Friday and a second frequency will be introduced in early October. A Q400 operates the 815-kilometre service. Austrian Airlines already connects the two cities with four daily flights.
- British Airways has started daily flights between London Gatwick (LGW) and Paphos (PFO) in Cyprus. BA used to serve the route via its franchise partner GB Airways but since they were acquired by easyJet BA has now decided to launch the route itself using a 737-400. Scheduled competition comes from easyJet, First Choice Airways and Thomsonfly.
- CCM Airlines of Corsica has started a weekly service between Ajaccio (AJA) and Montpellier (MPL). Flights operate every Saturday until 6 September. CCM operates a fleet of 10 aircraft – six ATR72s, two A319s and two A320s.
- clickair began two new routes to Central Europe this week. From Barcelona (BCN) it began serving Ljubljana (LJU) twice-weekly (Monday and Friday), while from Valencia (VLC) there are now twice-weekly flights to Dubrovnik (DBV). On the former route clickair will compete head-to-head with Air Adria while the latter route is completely new. Clickair already serves Dubrovnik from Barcelona.
- easyJet focused its new routes this week on Switzerland. From its major base at Geneva (GVA) it has started six times weekly flights to Ajaccio (AJA) in Corsica. Flights operate until mid-September. It is the airline’s second route to Ajaccio after London Gatwick services started in May. Also new from Geneva (GVA) is Split (SPU) in Croatia. Flights operate thrice-weekly until early September. Another seasonal route has been launched from Basel (BSL) to Cagliari (CAG) operating twice weekly. Finally from its biggest base at London Gatwick (LGW) easyJet has started serving Biarritz (BIQ) on the French west coast. Flights operate four times weekly and will compete indirectly with Ryanair’s daily flights from London Stansted. easyJet has now started four routes from Biarritz this year the others being Paris CDG (7 February), Bristol (23 April) and Lyon (7 June).
|Gulf Air president Bjorn Naf strikes a pose following the announcement of daily flights to Hyderabad after a bilateral agreement between Bahrain and India.|
- Gulf Air has also started a new route to India this week. A daily service to Hyderabad (HYD) from Bahrain (BAH) began on Tuesday operated by an A320. No other carrier operates the route. It is the airline’s eighth destination in India following in the footsteps of Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.
- Jet2.com has started a couple more seasonal ‘beach’ routes. From Newcastle (NCL) it is serving Corfu (CFU) each Monday until 14 September while from Blackpool (BLK) the airline is flying to Ibiza (IBZ) on Mondays and Thursdays also until mid-September.
- Lufthansa has also started a seasonal route this week aimed at the German surfing community. A weekly (Saturday) service from Dűsseldorf (DUS) to Newquay (NQY) in the UK began this week operated by a Eurowings CRJ200. The service ends in mid-September. Now regarded as the “Surf Capital of the UK” the airport handled just over 350,000 passengers in 2007.
- Norwegian added another seasonal route from Oslo (OSL) to Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus this week. Flights operate weekly on a Thursday until 7 August. So that’s just six return flights in total.
- Ryanair started operating its second aircraft to be based at Birmingham (BHX) this week. Thanks to some neat scheduling and some low frequencies this aircraft will operate nine routes each week to Biarritz (BIQ), Bratislava (BTS), Bydgoszcz (BZG), Gdansk (GDN), Olbia (OLB), Perpignan (PGF), Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) and Trapani (TPS). All routes are served either twice or three times weekly with the exception of Skavsta which is honoured with four weekly flights. Ryanair has also started a four times weekly service between Milan Bergamo (BGY) and Trapani (TPS).
- TACA has begun two new routes from Lima (LIM) in Peru. Rio de Janeiro (GIG) will be served four times weekly with an A320 while Medellin (MDE) will be served four times weekly with an A319.
- UTair has started two new routes from its base at Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) airport. Seasonal flights to Palanga (PLQ) the so-called “summer capital” of Lithuania will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays using an ATR42. A new daily service to Volgograd (VOG) was also started this week. Furthermore the airline has revealed that it is now connecting Surgut (SGC) and Nizhnekamsk (NBC) twice weekly using a recently acquired ATR72. Nizhnekamsk is of course the centre of Tatarstan’s petrochemical industry. In the first five months of 2008 UTair’s passenger numbers have risen by 24.8% to 1.19 million.