New routes launched during the last week (Saturday 14 February – Friday 20 February):
Route of the week: Allegiant Air’s Owensboro to Orlando Sanford
Making use of the new tarmac: “I am thrilled that Allegiant Air will now be operating flights to and from the Owensboro Airport,” said US Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), who supported the runway extension project that made Allegiant service possible at Owensboro.
Allegiant Air now connects Owensboro (OWB) in Kentucky with Orlando Sanford (SFB) airport in Florida. “We are extremely pleased to expand the Allegiant brand of low-fare, nonstop jet service to the midwestern Kentucky and southern Indiana community,” Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., Allegiant Air President and CEO, said. “This is an exciting new addition for our airline and our customers as we launch the only non-stop, scheduled air service out of Owensboro.” Flights operate twice-weekly on Wednesday and Saturday. “I am thrilled that Allegiant Air will now be operating flights to and from the Owensboro Airport,” said US Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), who supported the runway extension project that made Allegiant service possible at Owensboro. “Not only will these added flights help better meet the travel needs of those living in and around Daviess County, but this new partnership will also provide an economic boost to the region by bringing in more jobs and tourism. This is great news for the Commonwealth.” Meanwhile George Smith, Airport Director of Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport, said “The Airport is very excited to enter into this partnership with Allegiant Air. This union will offer local communities low-cost air service to one of the top vacation spots in the United States and fulfill the 10-year dream of bringing quality point-to-point air carrier service to the airport. We just couldn’t be happier.” Allegiant already serves Lexington airport in Kentucky. In 2008 Allegiant’s total system passengers reached 4.3 million an increase of almost 32% on 2007. Annual load factor was an impressive 87%, up from 81.3% the previous year.
Eagle Air chief executive Grant Kerr and his wife Karen stepping off the first flight at the much-extended Hood Aerodrome. We are very grateful to Dave Saunders, Editor of the Wairarapa Times-Age, for his assistance with this article. To find out just what it means to his community to gain an air service like this read his newspaper’s excellent coverage here
Air New Zealand has begun operating a new domestic route between Masterton (MRO) and Auckland (AKL). Air New Zealand subsidiary Eagle Air will actually provide the aircraft, a 19-seat Beech 1900D, and the flights will operate six days a week. Masterton is in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand, renowned as one of the country’s leading wine regions. The inaugural service and official opening of Masterton Airport at Hood Aerodrome was marked with a function hosted by Masterton Mayor Garry Daniell and featuring local entertainment from the Wairarapa Fern & Thistle Pipe Band and Masterton District Brass Band.
This week’s inaugural ceremony for Manila-Calbayog services using its seventh brand new ATR 72-500. Flights on the Monday-Wednesday-Friday service sold at the ‘Go Lite’ seat sale fare of P488 ($US10), rising to only around $25 when the sale ends.
Cebu Pacific of the Philippines this week launched more new domestic routes from its main base in Manila (MNL). Using its newest ATR 72-500 (the airline’s seventh) it has begun operating four weekly flights to Catarman (CRM) and Virac (VRC), and thrice-weekly flights to Calbayog (CYP). It has also begun flying four times weekly between Cebu (CEB) and Legaspi (LGP). Last year the airline carried 6.7 million passengers and now operates a fleet on 10 A319s, 11 A320s and seven ATR 72-500s. According to the airline it increased its lead in the domestic market and had a 45.6% share in 2008, up from 42.9% in 2007. It flew 5.4 million domestic passengers, half a million more than the combined traffic of Philippine Airlines and PAL Express. The airline grew its total number of destinations in 2008 to 42 (from 32 in 2007) and its number of routes to 63 from 43. CEB expects to take delivery of six new aircraft (three Airbus A320 and three ATR 72-500) this year and expand services accordingly. Lance Gokongwei, CEB President and CEO explains: “We were able to successfully convince more Filipinos to travel by air despite economic uncertainties.
Cimber Sterling has re-instated a link between Billund (BLL) and Malaga (AGP). Last summer Sterling operated this route up to five times weekly. Cimber Sterling has started with a weekly (Sunday) service until the end of March when frequency increases to three weekly flights (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday).
‘Regional Airline of the Year’: Flybe’s CEO Jim French scoops the prestigious award from ATW’s Senior Editor, Sandra Arnoult.
Flybe, recently awarded the title of 2009 Regional Airline of the Year by a US trade publication Air Transport World, has begun a new thrice-daily service between Newquay (NQY) and London Gatwick (LGW) using its 78-seat Q400s. It will compete head-to-head with Air Southwest which operates 28 weekly departures using smaller 37-seat Dash 8-300s. Last year Flybe also started flights from Aberdeen and Newcastle to London Gatwick. As a result the airline is now the third biggest operator at Gatwick (behind easyJet and British Airways) operating to eight destinations (Aberdeen, Belfast City, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle Of Man, Jersey, Newcastle and now Newquay) with over 200 weekly departures.
A nice quiet beach in St Maarten.
jetBlue has started a weekly (Saturday) service from Boston (BOS) to St Maarten (SXM) in the Dutch Antilles. It began daily service from New York JFK to St Maarten just last month.
Lucky passengers on Wizz Air’s first Prague to Brussels Charleroi service are welcomed with (rather thin-looking) goodie bags.
Wizz Air wins the award for most new routes this week. Since its launch in May 2004 Central Europe’s largest home-grown LCC, Wizz Air, has been conspicuous by its absence from Prague (PRG) airport, the busiest airport in Central Europe. All that changes this week with the launch of four new routes from the airport to Brussels Charleroi (CRL), London Luton (LTN), Milan Bergamo (BGY) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO). London and Rome are served four times weekly the others just thrice-weekly. SkyEurope provides direct competition on the London and Milan routes. Though no-one else operates the CRL route, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines and SkyEurope all operate to Brussels Zaventum. The Rome FCO route is already served by Alitalia, Czech Airlines and SkyEurope.
This week, Wizz Air announced that Timisoara will become its third operating base in Romania, from March. John Stephenson, Wizz Air’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “We are well on track to become the leading low cost airline in the country.”
Wizz Air’s other base development this week took place at Timisoara (TSR) in Romania. The airline started flights to the airport from Dortmund, London Luton and Rome FCO at the end of 2008. Now four more destinations have been added to Barcelona (BCN), Milan Bergamo (BGY), Paris Beauvais (BVA) and Venice Treviso (TSF).
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New route? New airline? Email us!Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.