Route of the week:
Allegiant Air, Las Vegas to Grand Forks International
|Allegiant’s Director of Sales, John Fenyes and GFK’s Executive Director Steve Johnson announced the new service from Las Vegas to Grand Forks in July. The Nevada based carrier now offers two direct flights a week to Las Vegas.|
- Allegiant Air has found another small community to whom it is now offering the chance to visit Las Vegas (LAS). Flights to and from Grand Forks International Airport (GFK) in North Dakota will operate on Mondays and Fridays. GFK currently has only two scheduled routes, both operated by Northwest, to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Devil’s Lake. Grand Forks joins Bismarck and Fargo as destinations served by Allegiant in North Dakota.
Cake of the week:
easyJet’s 10th anniversary of routes out of Northern Ireland
|Chief Executive Andy Harrison commemorates easyJet’s tenth anniversary since the start of its operations in Northern Ireland. The budget airline has added 3 new routes this week from its Milan hub and a new service from Manchester to Alicante.|
- After a gap of 11 weeks since it last launched any new routes, easyJet has had a busy week with the introduction of three new routes from its Milan Malpensa (MXP) base, one from its acquired Manchester (MAN) base and one linking two additional bases. From Milan the airline is starting daily services to Brindisi (BDS) and Copenhagen (CPH) and thrice-weekly flights to Sofia (SOF). Competition on the Brindisi route comes from Air Italy and Volareweb, while SAS and Sterling provide existing services to Copenhagen. Meanwhile Alitalia already flies daily to Sofia. From Manchester easyJet has started flying to Alicante (ALC) four times weekly. This is a highly competitive route, which is already served by bmibaby, First Choice, Jet2.com, Monarch and Thomsonfly. Finally a new daily service has started between London Gatwick (LGW) and Lyon (LYS). easyJet already connects Lyon with London Stansted, a route it inherited when it bought Go back in 2002. Go first started the route in December 1999.
Lanzarote is the first of three new routes operated by Aer Lingus to be launched during the winter season, departing from Belfast International. New services to Munich and Milan will follow on 28th October.
Aer Lingus launched the first of three new routes for this winter from its Belfast International (BFS) base. Flights to Lanzarote / Arrecife (ACE) began this week and will be operated thrice weekly. The airport is already served by Aer Lingus from both Cork and Dublin. Since launching its base in Belfast last December, Aer Lingus has operated a total of 11 routes so far. Geneva was only operated last winter, while Nice was only operated during the summer. Flights to Budapest, which started on 28 February lasted just four months before being axed. New routes to Milan Malpensa and Munich begin at the start of the winter season, bringing the network back up to 10 routes. EasyJet is the dominant scheduled airline at Belfast International, offering 21 routes accounting for over half the scheduled capacity at the airport. Aer Lingus is now the second busiest carrier, just ahead of bmibaby (four routes to the UK) and Jet2.com. This could soon change when Jet2.com expands its routes from Northern Ireland in 2009. The low cost carrier is responding well to the current market downturn, announcing a host of new routes this week, including two new services out of Belfast to Dubrovnik and Newquay Cornwall Airport, which will begin operating from next May.
- In a bold move Latvia’s airBaltic is taking on Ryanair … with turboprops! This week saw the launch on Wednesday of double daily flights between Riga (RIX) and Tampere (TMP) in Finland. Bertolt Flick, president and CEO of airBaltic, comments: “Over the last year, the flow of both business and leisure travellers has increased between Finland and Latvia as a result of strengthening ties between the two countries. We have followed these developments closely and have already opened new routes to Oulu and Kuopio, as well as increasing the number of flights to Helsinki. Consequently, Tampere is a logical next step and we have a great degree of confidence in this new route.” Air Baltic will operate Fokker 50s while Ryanair operates the route daily with 737-800s. Air Baltic’s scheduled flight time from Riga is one hour and 45 minutes while Ryanair allows just one hour and five minutes for the 500 kilometre journey. For Ryanair the route is something of a novelty as it is one of just a handful it operates between two airports, neither of which are currently Ryanair bases.
- Here’s a surprise. A new airline called GeorgiaSkies started operating this week. No, it’s not the national airline of a former Russian republic, but a regional airline operating two routes from Atlanta (ATL) to Athens (AHN) and Macon (MCN). Athens will be served twice daily and Macon four times daily. Both routes are under 80 miles in length. Are the roads in Georgia really that bad? Amazingly both routes are apparently subsidised by the US Essential Air Services (EAS) programme. The airline is part of Pacific Air Holdings which also owns Pacific Wings (in Hawaii) and New Mexico Airlines. GeorgiaSkies promotes the use of its environmentally friendly “propjets” which seems a rather grand description for a nine seat Cessna 208-B Grand Caravan.
- Indian Airlines is taking on Air Arabia by starting a four times weekly service from Bangalore (BLR) to Sharjah (SHJ). Flights on an A320 will depart Bangalore at 20:15 and depart Sharjah at 00:05 the following day, returning to Bangalore at 05:00. Air Arabia, which started flying the route last October, currently operates daily flights.
- IndiGo has started four new routes from Ahmedabad (AMD) this week. Until now its only route at the airport was a daily flight to Delhi but from this week it has added Bangalore (BLR), Jaipur (JAI), Kolkata (CCU) and Pune (PNQ) all operating daily (expect Pune which is six-times weekly). Competition on these routes will come from Indian Airlines (Jaipur, Kolkata), JetLite (Bangalore) and Spicejet (Bangalore, Jaipur). The route to Pune is currently unserved.
- Kingfisher Red (formerly known as Simplify Air Deccan) has started daily flights on an A320 between Jaipur (JAI) and Mumbai (BOM). The route is already served by four other carriers who all operate daily, or double-daily, flights. Go Air, Indian Airlines, IndiGo and Jet Airways will no doubt welcome further competition with open arms.
|Leeds Bradford’s Aviation Development Director, Tony Hallwood presents two lucky Ryanair passengers with a pair of free tickets on the inaugural flight to Barcelona Girona.|
- Ryanair has added yet another route to it burgeoning Barcelona Girona (GRO) base. This week it began operating four times weekly to Leeds/Bradford (LBA). The airline currently has 61 routes on sale from the Spanish airport including additional new routes to Bologna, Ibiza, Palma and Turin which all begin before the end of the year. For Leeds/Bradford this is Ryanair’s second route (it currently only serves Dublin three-times daily) and will be joined at the end of the month by a third route to Alicante. Jet2.com, which is based at Leeds/Bradford, has been serving Barcelona and Alicante since 2003.
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 which contains information on over 360 routes that airlines have decreed surplus to requirements since the start of the summer 2008 season.