New routes launched during the last week (Saturday 15 November – Friday 21 November):
Route of the week: Cebu Pacific’s Manila to Osaka
Cebu Pacific’s new Manila-Osaka services are operated three times weekly using an A320. Lance Y. Gokongwei, airline President and CEO, said that the new service can “help open avenues for more business collaborations as well as trade and investment opportunities”.
Cebu Pacific has launched flights from Manila (MNL) to Osaka Kansai (KIX) in Japan. This is the airline’s first route to Japan and will operate thrice weekly (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) on an A320. It will compete with Philippine Airlines and Thai Airways on the route. Lance Y. Gokongwei, airline President and CEO, said, “We are confident that our Japan operations will increase the accessibility between Japan and the Philippines. Osaka is our first destination in Japan and we believe that our trademark low fares can stimulate tourism to both countries. The inclusion of Osaka in our international route network makes us the only low cost carrier in the ASEAN region to serve the major North Asia markets of Japan, China, and South Korea.
Cake of the Week: Allegiant’s Orlando to Appleton
Allegiant’s six new domestic routes departing Orlando this week include a non-stop service to Appleton’s Outagamie airport, which will operate twice-weekly on Wednesday and Saturday. Appleton is now one of Allegiant’s 27 non-stop destinations from Orlando Sanford.
Allegiant Air began six new routes to Florida this week. From Orlando Sanford (SFB) it has added twice-weekly connections to Appleton (ATW) in Wisconsin, Elmira/Corning (ELM) and Fargo-Moorhead (FAR) in North Dakota. From St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE) it has added flights to Tri-Cities (TRI) in Tennessee and Wilmington (ILM) in North Carolina. Finally, it has connected Tampa (TPA) with Cedar Rapids (CID) in Iowa. In October Allegiant carried 243,715 passengers on scheduled services, up 14.2% on the previous year. Average load factor was up 10.5 percentage points to an impressive 91.2%. Average stage length was down 7% to 874 miles while the number of scheduled flights operated was up less than 1%.
American football legend Jack Ham, a former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, ‘breaking the barrier to low fares’ at the inauguration of AirTran Airways’ new service from Harrisburg, PA to Orlando. Matthew Klein, director of pricing and distribution planning for AirTran Airways, said: “We already run successful operations in Baltimore and Philadelphia, but by entering Harrisburg International Airport, we can make it more convenient for residents in the Susquehanna Valley and the entire Central Pennsylvania region to catch a low-fare, nonstop flight to Florida.”
AirTran has added another airport to its network. From this week the airline is operating daily flights form Harrisburg (MDT) in central Pennsylvania to Orlando (MCO) in Florida. In the first nine months of 2008 traffic at Harrisburg International Airport has grown by just under 1% to 977,741 passengers. Apart from AirTran other scheduled services are provided by all of the big US legacy airlines apart from American Airlines. US Airways is the biggest carrier at the airport with connections to Boston, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Air Canada provides double-daily flights to Toronto using a 19-seat Beech 1900 operated on its behalf by Air Georgian.
Alaska Airlines launched daily year-round flights from its Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) base to Kona (KOA) on Hawaii’s Big Island. The route will be served by one of the airline 737-800s equipped with 157 seats including 16 in first class. “Kona is now the fourth destination that Alaska Airlines serves in Hawaii,” said Gregg Saretsky, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president of flight and marketing. “We’re looking forward to welcoming our customers onboard Alaska Airlines to discover another of the unique and beautiful Hawaiian Islands.”
Bahrain Air added Kuwait (KWI) to its growing network this week. Flight from Bahrain (BAH) will operate 10 times per week using an A320. Competition on the route is pretty intense with Gulf Air (four daily flights), Jazeera Airways (two daily flights) and Kuwait Airways (daily flights) all providing alternatives. Bahrain Air now flies to 14 destinations with its fleet of 126-seat A319s and 162-seat A320s which included a former Frontier Airlines A319 which recently joined the fleet.
easyJet began a new service from Paris Orly (ORY) this week when it commenced daily flights to Budapest (BUD). Air France and Malev currently both operate thrice daily flights between Paris CDG and Budapest while Wizz Air flies four times weekly from Budapest to Paris Beauvais. Paris becomes easyJet’s sixth route from Budapest. It already serves Berlin SXF, Dortmund, Geneva, London Gatwick and London Luton from the Hungarian capital. Between October 2004 and October 2006 the airline also operated from Bristol and Newcastle to Budapest.
Insel Air, based in the Netherland Antilles, has started flights between its home base of Curacao (CUR) and Miami (MIA). The service will operate four times weekly using a 150-seat MD83. Insel Air launched operations in 2006 with an Embraer Bandeirante and currently has a fleet of four aircraft. It serves a total of 12 destinations across the Caribbean including Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten and Santo Domingo.
LACSA began daily flights between its home base of San Jose (SJO) in Costa Rica and Tegucigalpa (TGU) in Honduras. The airline will operate an ATR42 on the route which is already served daily by COPA Airlines. Toncontin International Airport at Tegucigalpa has one of the more challenging approaches for pilots. See just how challenging:
Maldivian, the new name for the national airline of the Maldives (which used to operate as Island Aviation Services Limited), recently began a new international service from Male (MLE) to Colombo (CMB) in Sri Lanka. The route will be served by one of the airline’s 50-seat Q300 turboprops. Initially there will be five flights per week but the airline says frequency will increase as demand responds.
Norwegian began its fifth new route in the space of two weeks from Copenhagen (CPH) when it began twice-weekly services to Alicante (ALC) this week. Dutch low-cost carrier Transavia.com will also be starting the route next month. Both airlines are filling in after the collapse of Copenhagen-based Sterling at the end of October.
Ryanair started five new routes this week. Despite grounding many of its London Stansted (STN) based aircraft over the winter period it is still starting a new twice-weekly service to Agadir (AGA), a destination previously only served by Ryanair from Marseille. The remaining new routes are all from Madrid (MAD) where four domestic services have been started to Alicante (ALC), Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) and Valencia (VLC). All of these routes will be served twice daily, yes daily. Competition on these routes will come from Air Berlin (Palma), Air Europa (Palma), Iberia (all routes) and Spanair (all routes). This brings to 18 the number of destinations served by Ryanair from the busiest airport on its network. Routes to Billund, East Midlands, Gothenburg, Liverpool and Oslo Torp that operated from Madrid during the summer are not on sale for the winter period. Whether they have been dropped or will re-appear as seasonal summer-only routes remains unclear at present.
TAM has started flying from Sau Paulo (GRU) to Orlando (MCO), its 18th international destination and third in the US after New York and Miami. The new daily service will be operated by an A330 configured with 213 seats. “Orlando is one of the destinations most sought after by Brazilians both for holidays and business trips,” according to Paulo Castello Branco, VP of Commerce and Planning. According to latest figures TAM has more than an 80% share among Brazilian airlines on international routes to and from the country. For more on TAM’s network development see this week’s base analysis.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mrs Phornsiri Manoharn and Thai AirAsia’s CEO, Mr Tassapon Bijleveld, recently participated in a ceremony to welcome the airline’s thirteenth Boeing 737-300 aircraft – the first to feature the “Amazing Thailand” campaign logo.
Thai AirAsia has recommenced daily flights between Bangkok (BKK) and Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST). The scheduled flight time is just one hour and 15 minutes and will be operated with an A320. Indirect competition will come from Nok Air which flies thrice daily from Bangkok’s Don Muang airport to the same destination.
Tiger Airways is taking advantage of greater freedom to fly between Singapore and Malaysia by introducing daily flights from Singapore (SIN) to Kuching (KCH). AirAsia launched flights on the same route just a fortnight ago. Malaysia Airlines and Silk Air also provide capacity on the route.
Southwest’s controversial new Mexican partner Volaris has begun daily flights between its home base of Toluca (TLC) near Mexico City and La Paz (LAP). It already serves La Paz daily from Tijuana and four-times weekly from Guadalajara.
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. We currently have 590 routes in our database which may be of interest to carriers.