New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 28 February – Friday 6 March):

Route of the week: Lufthansa Italia’s Milan Malpensa to Madrid

Cake of the Week: Mexico City to Toronto
After only a month of operations, new airline Lufthansa Italia held multiple ceremonies this week to launch four new routes from its Milan Malpensa base – this time to Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest and Madrid. The carrier is to increase its fleet to eight A319s as part of a strategy to grow domestic services.
  • Cake of the Week: Mexico City to TorontoLufthansa Italia added another four destinations to its recently created hub at Milan Malpensa (MXP) this week. Daily fights to Brussels (BRU), Bucharest (OTP), Budapest (BUD) and Madrid (MAD) all got under way this week. Lufthansa faces head-to-head competition on each routes including easyJet on three of the routes. A319s are used on all services.

Cake of the week: AeroMexico’s Mexico City to Toronto

Image: AeroMexico
Aeromexico hired a Mariachi band to entertain passengers for the inaugural Toronto-Mexico City service. Cutting the cake – Lloyd McCoomb, President and CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority with Ruberman Aldana, AeroMexico’s regional sales director (central USA & Canada).
  • Image: AeroMexicoAeroMexico began operating daily flights between Mexico City (MEX) and Toronto (YYZ) this week. Toronto becomes the airline’s first Canadian market to be followed next month by Montreal. Frank Galan, VP US Operations said, “Launching this service in Canada is an important part of AeroMexico’s growth strategy for 2009. We expect strong demand both in Toronto and in Mexico City for this service due to the increase in international business and tourism between the two countries.” Air Canada and Mexicana already operate daily flights between the two cities. Last month the airline introduced a daily new connection from Mexico City to San Francisco (SFO), its 16th US destination.
  • AirAsia this week began flying between Penang (PEN) and Macau (MFM). In an unusual bit of scheduling there will be four weekly flights on the three hour 20 minute journey from Penang to Macau but only three weekly flights from Macau to Penang. This becomes the airline’s eighth route from Penang and sixth from Macau. In 2008 AirAsia carried 11.81 million passengers, an increase of 22% on 2007. Seat load factor fell 3.2 points to 75.4% while the average fare increased 11%. During the year the fleet grew from 39 to 44 aircraft. Operating profit margin fell from 11.0% to 6.5%.
  • AirTran has added another new route from Columbus (CMH) in Ohio to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) in Florida. The service operates daily using a 717. The airline already connects Columbus with Orlando and Fort Myers in Florida, as well as its main base at Atlanta in Georgia. “AirTran Airways is pleased to add another destination to our existing service in Columbus,” said Tad Hutcheson, vice president of marketing and sales for AirTran Airways. “As the only airline to offer non-stop daily service between Columbus and Fort Lauderdale, we are reinforcing our commitment to central Ohio and its residents by providing greater passenger choice and fares.” In February AirTran transported 14% fewer passengers than last year, though that did contain an extra day. Load factor fell almost four percentage points to 74.2%.
Image: Cebu Pacific
Among the special guests formally opening Cebu Pacific’s Siargao-Cebu service –  Mayor Constantino Navarr and Francisco Matugas, Congressman of Surigao del Norte. Siargao is a popular surfing destination and will now be served thrice-weekly by the low-cost Philippine carrier.
  • Cebu Pacific added two more domestic destinations from its Cebu (CEB) base this week. Siargao (SOS) and Dumaguete (DGT) will both be connected thrice-weekly to Cebu using the airline’s ATR 72-500s. Candice Iyog, VP for marketing and distribution, said, “The country has so many world-class natural attractions. Cebu Pacific strives to provide ample and convenient access to these sites in order to encourage tourist arrivals and economic development in these destinations.”
Image: Cimber Sterling
Cimber Sterling’s new Billund to Rome Fiumicino route (formerly run by Sterling), will fly twice-weekly. Cimber Sterling will be starting Billund to Nice services on 1st April.
  • Cimber Sterling started operating between Billund (BLL) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO) this week, another route it has chosen to ‘re-launch’ that used to be operated by Sterling. Flights operate twice weekly. The only other direct service to Italy from Billund is operated by Ryanair to Milan Bergamo.
  • Delta is now offering double-daily flights between New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) airport and Kansas (MCI). Flights are operated by Delta’s regional partner Comair and will utilise CRJ900s. Midwest Airlines already serves this route with 18 weekly flights while Continental operates 31 weekly departures from New York’s Newark airport to Kansas. Kansas City International Airport handled just under 10.5 million passengers last year, a decline of 7.2%. In January traffic was down 17.1%. Southwest is the airport’s biggest customer accounting for almost 40% of all passenger traffic.
Image: Finnair
Arriving at Istanbul after Finnair’s first scheduled flight from Helsinki are flight attendants Tiina Raitanen, Tuula Kaijanto, captain Tommi Rönkkönen, co-pilot Antti Markkola and purser Ari-Juhani Kajo.
  • Finnair has added Istanbul (IST) to its network. Twice-weekly flights (operating on Wednesday and Sunday) from Helsinki (HEL) began this week using an A319. Scheduled flight time is around three and a quarter hours. Turkish Airlines already operates the route with five weekly flights.
  • Delta/Northwest re-started operations between Memphis (MEM) and McAllen (MFE) in Texas this week after a four-year absence with double-daily services flown by a CRJ200 operated by Pinnacle Airlines. The afternoon flight departs at 16:20 but to link into the airline’s hub operations at Memphis the morning flight departs at an alarm-clock-busting 05:45. The flight time is around two hours and 10 minutes. Delta also previously served Atlanta and Los Angeles from McAllen but axed all routes to the Texan airport at the end of 2007 due to high fuel prices.
  • Qantas has launched twice-weekly flights between Adelaide (ADL) and Kalgoorlie (KGI) in Western Australia. The two hour 20 minute flight operates on Sundays and Tuesdays and a QantasLink 717 is utilised on the route. Kalgoorlie’s only other scheduled services are to Perth which Qantas serves thrice daily and SkyWest with nine weekly flights.
    Image: Spirit Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines added a third Colombian destination to its network this week when it began daily flights from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Medellin (MDE). “We are extremely pleased to be able to liberate millions of Colombians from high fares as we’ve already done in Cartagena, Bogota and other cities in the region,” said Spirit Airlines Chief Marketing Officer Barry Biffle. “Our third destination in Colombia offers over 100 million people in North America with low fare access to Colombia via our network of connections in Fort Lauderdale from 16 cities in the United States.” The only other existing services between Medellin and the USA are to Miami (with American and Avianca) and New York JFK (with Avianca). Spirit also launched daily flights this week from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Myrtle Beach (MYR) in South Carolina. This route is seasonal and is scheduled to operate until 11 November. Both routes will be operated by the airline’s A319s.
Image: Tiger Airways
At Adelaide, Tiger Airways taxis for its onward journey to Hobart. In addition to its existing Melbourne services, it has started flights from Adelaide to Perth, Gold Coast, Hobart and Alice Springs. Tiger Airways opened its second base at Adelaide on 1st March. A new Canberra service starts at the end of March. ( assures readers that no animals were hurt in this reconstruction)
  • Tiger Airways opened its second base in Australia this week. Adelaide (ADL) is Australia’s fifth busiest airport and Tiger has launched four new routes to complement its existing Melbourne route. The new destinations are Alice Springs (ASP), Gold Coast (OOL), Hobart (HBA) and Perth (PER). Gold Coast and Perth are served daily, the other two routes with three weekly flights (Alice Springs) and four weekly flights (Hobart). The Perth routes promises to be particularly tough as Jetstar (daily), Qantas (31 weekly departures) and Virgin Blue (21 weekly departures) are already well established on the route. Meanwhile back in Singapore (SIN), Tiger Airways has also begun a new daily service to Kota Kinabalu (BKI). This is another highly competitive route with AirAsia, JetstarAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Silk Air already offering customers a range of options.
Image: Watiniya Airways
Kuwait’s first full-service airline added three services this week to Bahrain, Beirut and Cairo.
  • New Kuwait carrier Wataniya Airways has begun three new routes from its Kuwait (KWI) base this week. Double daily services have been started to Bahrain (BAH) as well as daily flights to Beirut (BEY) and Cairo (CAI). Both the Beirut and Cairo flights will increase to twice daily from 8 June. The A320 being used on these routes is configured with just 122 seats. The Bahrain route will see the airline competing against Bahrain Air, Gulf Air, Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways. Between Kuwait and Beirut the airline will be up against Bahrain Air, Jazeera Airways, Kuwait Airways and Middle East Airlines. On Cairo only Egyptair and Kuwait Airways are competitors.
Image: Westjet Route Launch
Westjet staff in fancy dress (we’re not sure which) to launch the start of a limited-time service from Ottawa to Cancun. The service will continue until April 29th.
  • Westjet started a weekly service from Ottawa (YOW) to Cancun (CUN) this week. A total of just nine return trips will be made as the route only operates until 29 April. Scheduled flight time is around four hours.
  • Wizz Air did some ‘dot-joining’ this week when it linked its Bucharest Baneasa (BBU) base with both Madrid (MAD) and Paris Beauvais (BVA). Madrid will be served thrice-weekly and Beauvais four times weekly. Potential passengers on the Madrid service may wish to note that the flight arrives in Madrid at 01:45 in the morning and departs at 02:20 in the morning. Like Ryanair Wizz Air serves mostly secondary airports wherever possible, but like Ryanair also serves Madrid, one of Europe’s top 10 busiest airports.

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


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