New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 17 January – Friday 23 January):

Route of the week: Mexico City to London Gatwick

Image: Route of the Week
London-bound: Mexicana made its first transatlantic flight on Monday from Mexico City to Gatwick. Attending the inauguration: Gaston Azcarraga, chairman of the board (Grupo Mexicana), Juan Jose Bremmer, Mexican ambassador to the UK, Mike Luddy, LGW commercial director, and Manuel Borja, Mexicana’s commercial director. Two weekly flights will double to four from 17th February.
  • Mexicana this week began direct services from Mexico City (MEX) to London Gatwick (LGW). Initially flights will operate twice weekly using a 767-200 but will increase to four times weekly from mid-February. At present the only other non-stop scheduled services between the UK and Mexico are provided by British Airways with three weekly flights from London Heathrow.
Image: Aer Araan
London City’s CEO, Richard Gooding (right) flew to the Isle of Man to meet Aer Arann’s CEO, Paul Schutz, to mark the airline’s second route to the Irish Sea Island. Gooding has been quite busy launching new routes this week, as will reveal later…
  • Aer Arann has become the latest operator to launch services at London City Airport (LCY). From this Monday it has started operating three daily flights to and from the Isle Of Man (IOM) using an ATR72. In 2007 around three-quarters of a million passengers passed through the Isle Of Man airport. Competition on this new route is provided by VLM who operate just five times weekly. In both 2006 and 2007 around 65,000 passengers travelled between the two airports. In May 2008 however, Euromanx which had been operating three daily flights on the route, ceased trading creating the capacity vacuum that Aer Arann is now filling.
Image: Air France
Flights out of Switzerland’s capital depart from this tiny airport. Air France has now become the third carrier to fly to Bern-Belp, with twelve weekly flights from Paris Orly.
  • This Monday Air France began a new double-daily service from Paris Orly (ORY) to Bern (BRN), the capital of Switzerland. Flights will operate twice daily on weekdays and once on Saturday and Sunday using a 48-seat ATR42 operated by Airlinair. Bern becomes Air France’s fourth destination in Switzerland as it already serves Basel, Geneva and Zurich. This winter Bern-Belp airport has just two other scheduled services. Lufthansa operates three daily flights to and from Munich while Flybe operates a weekly service from Southampton (until the end of April).
Image: BA
Docklands to Denmark: Richard Gooding (LCY’s CEO) re-appears, but this time with Niels Sundberg, (Sun Air’s CEO) holding a replica LEGO model aircraft to mark new services from LCY to Billund – the home of LEGO. BA’s franchise partner, Sun-Air of Scandinavia will operate double-daily services.
  • Another new route to London City (LCY) has started this week operated by British Airways franchise partner Sun-Air of Denmark. Double-daily services from Billund (BLL) will be operated by the airline’s Dornier 328s. Niels Sundberg, Sun-Air’s CEO, says: “We have been particularly interested in London City for several years and we look forward to offering a British Airways product straight to the heart of London.” Cimber Air recently started daily flights from Billund to London Gatwick while Ryanair offers daily flights from the Danish airport to London Stansted. Ryanair also serves Birmingham and Edinburgh from Billund.
Image: Transporting Pandas
Pandering to the Mainland: Eva Air flew two endangered Pandas – Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuang – from Chengdu, Mainland China to their new home in Taipei last month (the pandas in this photo are played by actors).
  • EVA Air has resumed non-stop passenger flights between Taipei (TPE) and Paris CDG (CDG). The flights were suspended 14 months ago due to rising fuel costs and the fee for flying through Siberian airspace. However, the route was still operated as a dedicated cargo service. EVA Air also operates dedicated cargo services to Brussels and Frankfurt. The new passenger flights will operate thrice-weekly using a new 777-300ER whose unit costs are claimed to be around 20% cheaper on the route than the previously utilised 747-400. The 777 will be configured with 316 seats including 42 in Premium Laurel (Business) and 63 in Elite (Premium Economy). Paris thus becomes EVA’s first non-stop destination in Europe. Services to Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Vienna all operate via Bangkok. Local rival China Airlines operates non-stop from Taipei to Frankfurt.
Image: kingfisher
The first Kingfisher flight touched down at Colombo on Monday. Announcing daily direct flights from Bangalore and Chennai to the Sri Lankan city: Mr D H S Jayawardena, Chairman, Aitken Spence PLC, and Siva Ramachandran, Kingfisher’s vice president (sales).
  • Kingfisher, having delayed the launch of international flights from Mumbai to Hong Kong and Singapore, has made Colombo (CMB) the airline’s second international destination after London Heathrow. Daily flights from Bangalore/Bengaluru (BLR) and Chennai (MAA) started this week using one of the airline’s A320s. On the BLR routes competition is limited to SriLankan but on the Chennai routes Kingfisher will be fighting with Air India Express, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Jet Lite and SriLankan. In the first three quarters of 2008 Kingfisher flew 7.14 million passengers at an average load factor of around 60%. Individual monthly load factors have varied between 54% (in July) and 67% (in May).
  • Logo: Turkish AirlinesTurkish Airlines started its second new domestic route in as many weeks when it began thrice-weekly services from Istanbul (IST) to Canakkale (CKZ) in north-west Turkey using an A319. This raises to 34 the number of domestic destinations served by Turkish Airlines from Istanbul. The two airports are just 222 kilometres from each other. This becomes the airport’s first scheduled service. Canakkale is the nearest major town to the site of ancient Troy. The “wooden horse” which featured in the 2004 movie Troy is now located on the seafront as a tourist attraction.
  • Wizz Air has begun weekly (Saturday) flights between Poznan (POZ) and Milan Bergamo (BGY) aimed at the ski market. Flights operate until 4 April. This becomes the airline’s ninth routes from Poznan with services to Bourgas starting in June.

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


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