New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 10 January – Friday 16 January):

Route of the week: Puerto Vallarta to Austin, Texas

Image: Austin Vivaaerobus
The inaugural Austin-Puerto Vallarta flight receives a welcome water cannon salute.
Non-stop flights between central Texas and Mexico take just two hours – Vivaaerobus will operate the service on its 737-300 fleet.
  • Image: Air Hazard
    Bird strike: Please don’t attempt this severe ingestion hazard.

    Mexico’s Vivaaerobus has launched twice-weekly (Thursday and Sunday) services from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) to Austin (AUS) in Texas. This is the airline’s third international route as it already serves Austin from Cancun and Monterrey. Vivaaerobus has also taken a leaf out of Ryanair’s marketing manual by launching a charity calendar for 2009. Whereas Ryanair employed its own cabin staff as models it is not clear if Vivaaerobus has done the same.

Image: Azul
David Neeleman, chairman of Azul (left), with Embraer president and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado and Mauro Kern, Embraer’s EVP Airline Market, during delivery of the first Embraer 195 in December.
  • Azul, the new Brazilian airline founded by jetBlue’s David Neeleman, started two more routes from its base at Viracopos/Campinas (VCP) near Sao Paulo. Twice-daily flights to Vitoria (VIX) and Curitiba (CWB) began this week using the airline’s start-up fleet of Embraer E190s and E195s. TAM and GOL already serve Curitiba and Vitoria from both Sao Paulo’s Congonhas and Guarolhos airports. In 2007 Curitiba handled almost 3.9 million passengers while Vitoria handled 1.9 million.
Image: St-Kitts
  • British Airways began weekly flights this week from London Gatwick (LGW) to Robert L Bradshaw International Airport on the island of St. Kitts (SKB). Flights operate on a Saturday via Antigua using a 777. BA began the route partly in response to the collapse last summer of XL Airways.
  • Cimber Air of Denmark recently acquired some of the assets (including aircraft) of Sterling which collapsed last year. It has now rebranded itself Cimber Sterling and this week starts operating between Copenhagen (CPH) and London Gatwick (LGW). Flights operate twice-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays. Flights are operated with an ex-Stirling 737. Curiously it is not the only airline starting this route this week …
Image: Eastern Airways
Graeme Ross, Eastern Airways’ director (Scotland) and Claire Burt, marketing manager get off-piste for the launch of the new Aberdeen to Oslo service. With daily flights (except Saturday), the latest route becomes the carrier’s twelfth from Aberdeen.
  • UK regional carrier Eastern Airways this week began daily (except Saturday) flights between Aberdeen (ABZ) and Oslo (OSL) using a 50-seat Saab 2000. “Our first service to Norway’s capital will help to further strengthen business links between the city and Aberdeen,” said Graeme Ross, Eastern Airways’ Scotland director. “Our comprehensive Aberdeen network has been developed to provide businesses, including the energy sector, with vital city links and now with our second international service from the North-east, we are providing a capital city destination. We also expect city breaks to prove popular.” The only other scheduled service between Scotland and Oslo’s main airport is offered by Norwegian with three weekly flights from Oslo to Edinburgh.
  • easyJet has also decided to fill the void left by the demise of Sterling on the London Gatwick (LGW) to Copenhagen (CPH) route. It started flying the route this week with daily flights in competition with Cimber (see above). This is only easyJet’s fourth route to the Danish capital joining links from its bases at Berlin Schönefeld, London Stansted (originally operated by Go) and Milan Malpensa. In the past it also served Copenhagen from Bristol and Newcastle but these routes proved unprofitable and were dropped.
Image: JAL
JAL operates a daily service between Kansai International and Gimpo (Seoul) on a Boeing 767. Routes between Kansai and Incheon (Seoul) airports have been reduced from 21 to 14 flights per week.
  • Iamge: Tiruchirapallii
    Things to do in and around Tiruchirapalli – visit the Srirangam temple.

    JAL has begun operating a daily flight between Osaka Kansai (KIX) and Seoul Gimpo (GMP). At the same time the airline will operate one less daily flight between Osaka Kansai and Seoul Incheon. Frequency on this route will come down from three to two daily flights.

  • Fresh from re-launching itself with a daily service to Dubai, Mihin Lanka has begun serving two destinations in India. Tiruchirapalli (TRZ) will be served four times weekly while Trivandrum (TRV) will be served thrice-weekly from Colombo (CMB). Both routes are operated by the airline’s single 737-800.
Image: Terminal
Trivandrum: In demand and recently much-improved by the installation of new passenger boarding bridges.
Image: Oman
That’s only about $675 per person – for another $100 you can stay five star!
  • Image: Turkish skirt
    Usak is famous for fine Turkish rugs; although’s fashion editor advises it is clearly unwise to wear them.

    Oman Air has moved its Muscat (MCT) to London service from Gatwick to Heathrow (LHR). The Gatwick service was launched in November 2007. This makes Oman Air the newest carrier at the world’s busiest international airport. This accolade was previously held by Arik Air, which started services to Lagos in December.

  • Turkish Airlines has added another destination to its domestic network. It is now serving Usak (USQ) thrice-weekly from Istanbul (IST) with A319s. Usak is around 250 kilometres south of Istanbul in the Aegean region of Turkey and is famous for its carpets. This is the first scheduled service from Usak airport. In the first 11 months of 2008 the airline transported 20.78 million passengers, an increase of 15.1% compared with 2007. It now operates a fleet of 120 aircraft and operates to 144 destinations worldwide.
Image: Eindhoven Airport
Bart de Boer, Eindhoven Airport director, with the determined-looking Dutch politician Ineke Dezentjé Hamming.
  • VLM has begun operating a double-daily service from Eindhoven (EIN) to London City (LCY). The route was previously served by CityJet on behalf of Air France using 31-seat Dorner 328s. VLM will operate a Fokker 50 on the route, thus increasing capacity on the route by over 50%.
Image: Eindhoven Airport
The VLM aircraft is baptised “City of Eindhoven” before its maiden flight to London City. The carrier’s fifth Dutch route will operate twice every weekday and once on a Sunday.

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 over 740 routes in our database which may be of interest to carriers.


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