Cimber Air, a privately-owned Danish airline which carried around one million passengers in 2007 using a fleet of more than 20 CRJs and ATR turboprops, has rebranded as Cimber Sterling having acquired a number of assets from the bankrupt Sterling. Last week it announced plans to start several new international routes, mostly from Copenhagen using some of Sterling’s former 737s. The first of these, to London Gatwick, began this week.
Old Cimber focussed on regional routes
The ‘old’ Cimber focussed on flying a number of domestic routes in Denmark, connecting Copenhagen to six other airports. It also operated a number of international routes to Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK from Billund as well as serving Basel, Newcastle, Norrkoping and Wroclaw from Copenhagen. Its most recently started new routes were between Copenhagen and Aarhus (four times daily since September 2008) and between Billund and London Gatwick, which it began operating daily (except Saturday) on 24 November. This was a former Sterling route.
According to ERAA statistics in the first nine months of 2008 Cimber Air increased passenger numbers by 11.7% to 758,100 at an average passenger load factor of 59.6%.
|Cimber Sterling Route Map – Click to enlarge|
New Cimber Sterling takes over many Sterling routes to the sun
Cimber Sterling’s new 737 operations will be phased in gradually over the summer months starting with this week’s commencement of services to London Gatwick, in direct competition with easyJet, which also starts the route this week. In February routes to Malaga and Nice will get under way followed by six new routes in March.
|Month||Destination (weekly frequency)|
|January||London Gatwick (11)|
|February||Malaga (2), Nice (2)|
|March||Barcelona (3), Edinburgh (3), Florence (4), Naples (3), Rome Fiumicino (7), Venice (3)|
|April||Alicante (2), Athens (2)|
|May||Bourgas (1), Chania (2), Montpellier (2), Split (2)|
In addition there will be new services from Billund serving Malaga, Nice and Rome and a weekly service from Aalborg to Malaga.
Transavia.com has already launched new services from Copenhagen to Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, Nice and Rome, while Norwegian has revealed plans to serve Edinburgh, London Gatwick and Split. Competition between the carriers (and SAS) is clearly going to be intense and anna.aero will be watching developments with great interest.
|Some of the airline’s fleet of ATR-42s and ATR-72s that will continue to operate on domestic and intra-Scandinavian routes. The new international services will be operated by former Sterling 737s.|