Route of the week: Milan Malpensa to Barcelona
|Lufthansa’s new Italia subsidiary launched its first service from Milan to Barcelona on Monday, shortly followed by a Milan-Paris service. Wolfgang Schmidt, sales manager and Wolfgang Jans, Captain and head of the A320 Lufthansa fleet took centre stage at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.|
- Not content with buying up foreign airlines Lufthansa’s new Italian subsidiary Lufthansa Italia began operating this week from Milan Malpensa (MXP) airport. The first two routes are to Barcelona (BCN) and Paris CDG (CDG) both of which will be served three times daily using 138-seat A319s borrowed from one of the airline’s other partners Germanwings. The Barcelona route is already served by clickair, easyJet and Vueling while the Paris route sees Air France, Alitalia and easyJet all serving CDG. So plenty of data to keep Lufthansa’s competition analysts busy.
Cake of the week: jetBlue’s Fort Lauderdale to Nassau
|jetBlue has opened new sunshine routes this week, with new services from Florida to the Bahamas. Flights to Nassau will depart daily from Orlando and twice-daily from Fort Lauderdale.|
- jetBlue launched flights to Nassau (NAS) in the Bahamas from two Floridian airports this week. Orlando (MCO) gets a new daily service while Fort Lauderdale (FLL) gets a double-daily service. Both routes are operated by the airline’s smaller Embraer E190 jets. jetBlue already serves Nassau from its major bases at Boston and New York JFK.
- Air Canada has begun seasonal non-stop services between Halifax (YHZ) and Orlando (MCO). Flights operate on Friday (120-seat A319) and Sunday (93-seat E190) until 10 May. “The introduction of this new non-stop seasonal service offers Atlantic Canada the convenience of direct flights to one of the most popular destinations in Florida and more service from Halifax to Florida than any other airline,” said Daniel Shurz, Air Canada’s vice president responsible for network planning at Air Canada and Jazz. “The new Halifax-Orlando service reflects our ongoing commitment to pursue all viable market opportunities in Atlantic Canada.”
- American Airlines now connects Chicago O’Hare (ORD) with Montego Bay (MBJ) in Jamaica. The airline operates five weekly flights using a 757 configured with 22 first class and 166 economy class seats. American already operates to Montego Bay from Dallas/Fort Worth (daily), Miami (thrice daily) and New York JFK (four times weekly).
LCC Interjet’s four new services from Mexico City to Ciudad Obregon, Culiacan, Durango and Los Mochis will be in direct competition with legacy carrier Aeromexico.
Garuda Indonesia has begun two new international routes to Hong Kong (HKG). It has started four times weekly services from both Denpasar (DPS) and Surabaya (SUB) using 737-800s. Competition on the Denpasar route will come from Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Express while Cathay Pacific is also already present on the Surabaya route. Garuda is hoping to overturn the EU ban on all Indonesian airlines and would start services to Amsterdam first.
- Mexican LCC Interjet began four new routes from Mexico City (MEX) this week. It has started serving Ciudad Obregon (CEN), Culiacan (CUL), Durango (DGO) and Los Mochis (LMM). On all four of these routes it will compete head-to-head with Aeromexico while Mexicana provides additional competition on the Culiacan route. Having originally operated primarily at Mexico City’s “low-cost” airport at Toluca, Interjet now serves 18 destinations from Mexico City and just eight from Toluca. The airline’s fleet currently comprises 15 A320s and it has around a 10% share of the Mexican domestic market. Its A320s are equipped with just 150 seats (like jetBlue) well below the 180 achieved elsewhere by the likes of AirAsia and Wizz Air.
|Full of surprises: Iran launches a satellite while its private airline launches a route – it takes a lot of confidence to expect to send two 747-400s loaded with wealthy Iranians to Bali each week.|
- Mahan Air is now operating twice weekly from Tehran (IKA) to Denpasar (DPS). Flights operate twice weekly using a 747-400.
- Northwest has taken over from Delta operating between Los Angeles (LAX) and Tampa (TPA) in Florida. An A319 will operate the route six times weekly.
- Ryanair has joined together two non-base airports, Malta (MLA) and Trapani (TPS). Flights operate twice weekly on Monday and Thursday. This becomes the airline’s eighth destination from Malta with Bristol and Edinburgh to be added in the coming months.
- Transaero launched two new domestic routes from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) airport this week. Samara (KUF) and Ufa (UFA) will be served five and six times weekly using the airline’s 120-seat 737-500s. S7 airlines provides the main competition on both routes.
|Tashkent airport’s lavish departure lounge echoes Uzbekistan’s former soviet days (minus the plastic chairs).|
- Uzbekistan Airways began weekly (Sunday) flights from Tashkent (TAS) to Kaliningrad (KGD) this week.
- Another Mexican LCC Volaris has begun daily flights from Tijuana (TIJ) to Monterrey (MTY). It will compete directly with Vivaaerobus which also offers daily flights and AeroMexico whih has two weekly flights.
- WestJet now connects Winnipeg (YWG) with Orlando (MCO) but only until 4 April 2009. Initially flights will be weekly rising to twice-weekly during March.
The Route Recycle Bin
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 780 routes in our database which may be of interest to carriers.
Not a new route, but the proprietor lent on us to write about it…
Aer Lingus cabin crew carried off a slew of awards at the recent ISPY (Inflight Sales Person of the Year) awards at the Park Inn Hotel, Heathrow. This annual event honours hard working cabin crew from leading international airlines after a week of intensive training, superbly organised by Ray and Christine Martin, joint MDs of Travel Retail Training – ISPY’s organisers. This ninth gathering was judged by many to be ‘the best one yet’. The enthusiasm of all those involved at ISPY is hugely refreshing and underlines how important this event is regarded by cabin crew, airlines and suppliers.
Aer Lingus won the coveted Airline of the Year award and triumphed in several other categories including Claire Sutton – Selling with Emotional Intelligence Winner; Product Merchandising and Selling with Emotional Intelligence: Highly Commended, UK and Ireland – Karen Nicholl: Dragon’s Den: My First Flight won by Aer Lingus. On the fun side, Joe Harvey, Aer Lingus Cabin Crew Manager, Sales & Service, beat 70 other participants in a soccer shoot out by booting three goals past a giant Mars M&M character in 2.54 seconds!
The overall Inflight Sales Person of the Year 2009 was won by Anthony Fung of Dragonair.