Route of the week: Jet Airways’ Thiruvananthapuram – Muscat service
Mr M. A. Baby, Kerala Minister for Education & Culture opens the ceremony for Jet Airways’ maiden flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Muscat. The Indian airline proves that it’s not all gloom for the economy, with a further announcement of new routes within India, including daily flights from Hyderabad to Pune, Visakhapatnam and Goa.
While India’s domestic market may be suddenly taking a nasty downward turn, Jet Airways kept its marketing department busy this week with the launch of four new routes. Three of them are from Hyderabad (HYD) to Pune (PNQ), Visakhapatnam (VTZ) and Goa (GOI). All routes will operate daily using an ATR72. The Goa route is currently unserved. Visakhapatnam becomes the airline’s 45th domestic destination. The route is currently served by Indian Airlines, JetLite, Kingfisher, Paramount and Spicejet. A new international route also began this week from Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) to Muscat (MCT) in Oman. Daily flights using a 737-800 will compete with existing services offered by Air India Express and Oman Air. Muscat is already served by Jet Airways from Mumbai.
- Aeroflot has re-instated its service between Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) and Khabarovsk (KHV). Daily flights will be operated by an Ilyushin IL96 and depart Moscow at 21:30, returning at 15:35 the following day. The IL96 is configured with 22 seats in Business Class and 234 seats in Economy Class. The 6,100 kilometre flight was first served by Aeroflot in 1995 and it served the route until 2005 when its codeshare partner Dalavia took over. Dalavia currently operates the route twice daily. Khabarovsk is also served from Moscow Domodedovo by Dalavia, Domodedovo Airlines, S7 and Transaero.
In true Las Vegas style, Allegient air has brought in Elvis and a showgirl in full regalia to help launch today’s inaugural flight from Las Vegas to Casper. The new non-stop flights will operate twice-weekly.
Allegiant Air, the Ryanair of America when it comes to finding unlikely airports to serve, began a new twice-weekly service from Las Vegas (LAS) to Casper (CPR) in Wyoming. Flights will operate Monday and Friday. Casper currently has just four routes: Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Salt Lake City, all operated by aircraft with 50 seats or less. Allegiant will be operating 150-seat MD80s. During the last week Allegiant has been busy announcing more new routes starting this winter from under-utilised airports such as Kalispell (Montana), Bismarck (North Dakota), Great Falls (Montana), Medford (Oregon), Redmond (Oregon), Lexington (Kentucky), Hagerstown (Maryland), Appleton (Wisconsin), Tri-Cities (Tennessee) and Cedar Rapids (Iowa).
- Russia’s largest domestic airlines, S7, began two new routes last week from Krasnoyarsk (KJA) to Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and Norilsk (NSK). Moscow will be served daily with an A319 and will compete against rival services by KrasAir (possibly) and Domodedovo Airlines. The Norilsk service will be operated thrice weekly using a TU154.
- Cimber Air began operating four daily flights (on weekdays) between Copenhagen (CPH) and Aarhus (AAR) this week. SAS already operates 57 weekly departures but Cimber Air has obviously decided that now is a good time to take on a struggling competitor. At just under 150 kilometres, the route is one of the shortest in Europe.
- Wizz Air started two new routes this week. After just two months, the airline has moved its service from Sofia (SOF) to Barcelona, to the city’s secondary airport at Girona (GRO). From Warsaw (WAW) Wizz Air is now flying to Rome Ciampino (CIA) thrice-weekly. Rome becomes the airline’s 17th destination from Warsaw, although only the route to London Luton is served at least daily. Bologna will be the 18th destination next month. This week Wizz was supposed to start international routes from its Ukraine base in Kiev to Dortmund, London and Milan but these have now been pushed back to early 2009. A couple of additional domestic routes have also been delayed.
To see the latest information we have on routes that have recently been dropped or soon will be, check out our unique downloadable Route Recycle Bin spreadsheet. Since last week we have added a further 46 routes that airlines have decreed surplus to requirements since the start of the summer 2008 season. Airlines contributing to our updates list this week include: Air India, Air One, Allegiant Air, bmi, British Airways, Cimber Air, clickair, FlyGlobespan, Horizon Air, LOT, Lufthansa, Meridiana, Norwegian, OLT, Pluna, Spirit, Transavia and Wizz Air.