New routes launched during the last fortnight
(Saturday 4 April – Friday 17 April)

Route of the week:
Shenzhen Airlines’ Wuxi to Osaka Kansai

Image: Shenzhen Airlines’ Wuxi to Osaka Kansai route launch
An historical moment for China’s Wuxi airport (in the Jiangsu Province), after starting up its first service to Japan – an achievement deserving much praise on both sides in global recessional times. Wuxi is also considering new routes to Korea, Singapore and a cargo service to Japan.
  • Shenzhen Airlines is now connecting Wuxi (WUX) and Osaka Kansai (KIX) with three weekly flights using a 737-800. The airline already operates to Osaka Kansai from Fuzhou with four weekly flights.
Image: V Australia start daily flights from Brisbane to Los Angeles
A group of celebs join cheerleaders and staff to wave off V Australia’s first flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles – the second service the airline has begun after launching Sydney-LAX in late February. V Australia Executive General Manager, Scott Swift announced: “Sydney-LA may be the busiest route between Australia and Los Angeles but V Australia is also eager to give the Brisbane-Los Angeles route a red hot go and we are keen to help ramp up visitor numbers to the state of Queensland.”
  • V Australia started its second route last week when it began daily flights from Brisbane (BNE) to Los Angeles (LAX), ending Qantas’ domination on the route. The airline is using 777-300ERs on the route. Among those boarding the V Australia flight to LA to help celebrate the milestone were a number of celebrity guests including esteemed actor Michael Caton, sassy songstress Deni Hines, TV personality Mike Goldman, Bollywood leading lady Tania Zaetta, Queen of Brisbane Travel TV Sofie Formica, along with staff, competition prize winners and paying passengers.
Image: Aer Lingus London Gatwick to Knock route launch
Liam Scollan (chairman, Ireland West airport, Knock) and Enda Corneille (director, corporate affairs, Aer Lingus) proudly mark the return of daily Aer Lingus services from London Gatwick to Knock – a decade since Aer Lingus has served a route here. (Credit: Michael McCormack)
  • Aer Lingus has begun the first two of seven new routes from its new base at London Gatwick (LGW) both of which are being served by A320s. Daily flights to Knock (NOC) resumed after a 10-year hiatus which may yet provoke a response from Ryanair which serves Knock from both London Luton and London Stansted, but not Gatwick. The other new route started recently is to Malaga (AGP) which is already served by British Airways, easyJet, Monarch and Thomsonfly. That’s pretty hefty competition. Aer Lingus started this route twice-daily but will increase frequency to thrice-daily from 20 April.
Image: Air Southwest Plymouth - Guernsey route launch
Peter Davies – Air Southwest’s newish managing director (and former chief executive of SN Brussels Airlines – left) and “Sir Francis Drake” re-enact the game of bowls he is reputed to have insisted on completing on Plymouth Hoe as the invading Spanish Armada approached. The airline began services to Guernsey from Plymouth this week. Plymouth Airport serves a major city of 250,000, but can only be served by airlines able to operate on its very short runway (both the airport and airline are owned by Sutton Holdings).
  • UK regional airline Air Southwest has started services between Plymouth (PLH) and Guernsey (GCI). Flights will operate four times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). On three of the four days flights from Plymouth go via Jersey. However, on the return flight only the Sunday flights go via Jersey.
Image: Air Austral Paris CDG to Sydney via Saint Denis de la Reunion route launch
Gerard Etheve (Air Austral CEO) cuts the ribbon at Sydney Airport, as general Manager (Corporate Affairs), Rod Gilmour and Air Austral’s regional manager (Aus & NZ), Francis Ong Seng welcome the arrival of the French airline’s first service to Australia. Air Austral and Virgin Blue have entered into an interline agreement to one ticket travel on their networks between Australia, France and the Indian Ocean.
  • Air Austral, the “French airline of the Indian Ocean” based in Reunion Island east of Madagascar, has begun operating a new twice-weekly service from Paris CDG (CDG) via Saint Denis de la Reunion (RUN) to Sydney (SYD) with an onward connection to Noumea (NOU) in New Caledonia. A 777-200 will operate the route which provides Australians with an interesting alternative routing to get to France. Back in January the airline became the first to place an order for two Airbus A380 in an all-economy class configuration which will potentially seat around 840 people.
Image: Virgin Blue route launch
Going ‘Troppo’: Sporting special launch t-shirts, Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell and Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter join forces to celebrate Virgin Blue’s string of new North Queensland services this week.
  • Virgin Blue had a busy week as it launched five new routes utilizing its Embraer 170s. Four of these routes were to Townsville (TSV) in Queensland which previously was only connected by Virgin Blue to Brisbane and Sydney. However, it now also has daily connections to Canberra (CBR), Cairns (CNS), Gold Coast (OOL) and Rockhampton (ROK). All of these are new routes with the exception of Cairns which is served by Qantas. Townsville ranks just outside the top 10 of Australia’s leading airports. The other new route started this week by the airline was between Canberra (CBR) and Hobart (HBA). This is another route not currently served by any other carrier.
Image: SAA Johannesburg to Buenos Aires route launch
South African Airways’ Nelson De Oliveira (director for South America) and Franz Siegenthaler (general manager for Argentina) officially open the new service to Johannesburg at the gate in Buenos Aires. Passengers also included a crate of llamas.
  • Image: Angel Cabrera receives the famous green jacket after winning the Masters
    Making a statement: Angel Cabrera receives the famous green jacket after winning the Masters – the first major golf tournament of the year – last weekend. Co-incidentally (it seems), the victorious Argentinian wore a South African Airways sponsored t-shirt as the airline began their new service from Johannesburg to Buenos Aires this week.

    SAA has re-started flights from Johannesburg (JNB) to Buenos Aires (EZE). The route was axed at the end of June 2001 but has now resumed with two flights per week using an A340-200. A third weekly frequency will start at the end of June. SAA’s only other route to South America is a daily service to Sao Paulo. “Adding a second destination in South America strengthens our position as the preferred carrier between South America and major cities in Asia, including Australia,” said Thevan Krishna, SAA’s head of Australasia. “The Buenos Aires route expansion is in line with our vision of being an African airline with global reach and will be SAA’s first route launch following the airline’s restructuring plan,” said Krishna.

  • Adria Airways has begun direct flights between Ljubljana (LJU) and Madrid (MAD). The service will be operated twice-weekly (Wednesday and Saturday) using the airline’s 86-seat CRJ900s. No other carrier operates on this route. Last year Adria carried 1.3 million passengers, up almost 15% on the previous year. According to AEA data the airline handled 1.1 million passengers on scheduled services at an average load factor of 63.2% (down 1.1 percentage points from 2007). The airline’s fleet currently consists of 15 aircraft; three A320s, four CRJ900s, six CRJ200s, one CRJ100 and one 737-500. This summer Star Alliance regional member Adria will operate non-stop to 23 destinations from Ljubljana where it has around 75% of scheduled seat capacity. The only low-cost competition at Ljubljana currently comes from easyJet which operates a daily service to London Stansted.
  • Aegean Airlines is continuing to broaden its international network with two new routes launched in the last fortnight from its base at Athens (ATH). Berlin Tegel (TXL) is now served six-times weekly (daily except Thursday) with an A320 while Paphos (PFO) is now served thrice-weekly. Competition on the Berlin route will come from Olympic which served the route five-times weekly and easyJet which operates daily between Athens and Berlin Schönefeld.
  • Air Arabia began flights to Goa (GOI) this week from its base at Sharjah (SHJ). Goa becomes the airline’s 13th destination in India and will be served thrice-weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday using an A320. “Air Arabia is pleased to announce the launch of service to Goa,” said AK Nizar, ‎Head of Commercial Department, Air Arabia. “Famous for its sun-kissed sandy ‎beaches and natural beauty, Goa is India’s premier tourist destination. With a high ‎tourist inflow in to Goa, the route promises to be of great potential for Air Arabia, ‎especially since there are few direct flights from the UAE. We are confident that Air ‎Arabia’s non-stop flights to Goa will further enhance its popularity among travellers ‎based in the region.” Flights will depart Sharjah at 00:25 arriving in Goa at 05:05. The return flight departs Goa at 05:50 arriving back in Sharjah at 07:35.
  • Air Astana now connects Uralsk (URA) in Kazakhstan with Amsterdam (AMS) with a weekly service using a 757-200. Amsterdam already has direct connection to Almaty (with KLM) and Atyrau (with Air Astana) but not yet with Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
  • American Airlines has started two new routes recently. It now operates daily between San Diego (SAN) and Boston (BOS) using a 757. jetBlue currently operates on this route daily using an A320. Meanwhile American Eagle Airlines has begun connecting New York LaGuardia (LGA) with Charleston (CRW) in West Virginia. Flights operate six-times weekly using a 37-seat ERJ135. Flights depart New York in the evening (Sunday through Friday) and depart Charleston early in the morning (Monday through Saturday). Charleston airport is dominated by feeder flights to hubs using 50-seat aircraft. Continental (Houston), Delta (Atlanta and Cincinnati), Northwest (Detroit), United (Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles) and US Airways (Charlotte and Washington National) are all present at the airport which American last served back in the 1980s.
  • Having recently started new services to Zurich, Armavia has now added Berlin Tegel (TXL) to its international network. Twice-weekly flights from Yerevan (EVN) arrive on Tuesdays and Fridays on one of the airline’s 136-seat A319s.
  • Brussels Airlines has added Palermo (PMO) to its network from its Brussels (BRU) hub. Flights to the Sicilian destination operate every Saturday with an extra Wednesday service during July and August. The airline already operates to Catania in Sicily and this brings to 10 the number of destinations served in Italy. The route will be flown by a 737.
Image: Air Transat cake, celebrates the launch of Montreal - Rome route
A recent celebration at Rome Fiumicino marked the start of new Air Transat services from the Italian capital. After Toronto (launched earlier this month), Montreal is the second new route by Air Transat this week. On 30th May, Air Transat’s hotly anticipated start-up from Rome to Vancouver will begin… Watch this space for exclusive photos of the celebrations…
  • Air Transat of Canada has started operating direct flights between Montreal (YUL) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO) using an A310-300. Frequencies will increase to a maximum of four per week during the peak of the summer season. During the peak season Air Canada also operates on this route. Air Transat’s A310-300s are typically configured with 249 seats of which 20 are in Club Class and 229 in Economy Class.
  • Luxair now operates a weekly service from Luxembourg (LUX) to Palermo (PMO) using an ERJ145. This becomes the airline’s sixth destination in Italy after Catania (two weekly flights), Milan Malpensa (12 weekly flights), Naples (one weekly flight), Rome Fiumicino (served daily) and Turin (six weekly flights).
  • City Airline, which codeshares with SAS, is now operating five-times weekly between Gothenburg (GOT) and Helsinki (HEL). Flights depart Gothenburg each weekday morning at 06:30 and arrive back at Gothenburg at 08:55. An ERJ145 will operate the route which is already flown by Finnair. The City Airline service appears to replace a Blue1 service. However, flights for the City Airline service can still be booked on the Blue1 website where it is clear the flights are operated by City Airline.
  • LAN Argentina began double daily domestic flights from Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) airport to Tucuman (TUC) using A320s. Aerolineas Argentinas, which already operates the route, thus loses its monopoly on the only route from Tucuman airport. Meanwhile LAN Ecuador is starting domestic services between Quito (UIO) and Guayaquil (GYE) with seven daily flights using A318s. According to OAG data the route is extremely competitive with over 230 weekly departures each way shared between Aerogal, Air Comet, Iberia, Icaro, Lacsa, LAN, TAME and VIP.
Image: Turkish Airlines
Pit stop: Turkish Airlines’ lands in Senegal as it embarks on its first service from Istanbul to Sao Paulo. Twice-weekly flights via Dakar will increase to three from 22nd May.
  • Turkish Airlines launched a new long-haul route on 5 April from Istanbul (IST) to Sao Paulo (GRU) via Dakar (DKR). Initially flights will operate twice-weekly using an A330-200, but a third weekly frequency will be added from 22 May.
  • Despite reporting an almost 25% drop in passenger numbers in February, Polish flag-carrier LOT has started a new route between Krakow (KRK) and Athens (ATH). This is not really a new route for the airline as it was previously operated by the airline’s in-house (but now axed) low-cost airline Centralwings. LOT will operate the route twice-weekly until 13 September using an Embraer E170. Flights depart Krakow at 23:45 on Thursday and Sunday evening arriving in Athens at 03:15 the following morning. Flights depart from Athens at 04:30 on Monday and Friday arriving in Krakow at 06:00.
  • Mauritania Airways has started direct scheduled services between Nouakchott (NKC) and Tunis (TUN). Flights will be operated twice weekly with an A320. Nouakchott lies on the Atlantic coast of north-west Africa. The airline operates just two aircraft (an A320 and an ATR42) both of which are operated by majority shareholder Tunisair and its regional partner Sevenair.
  • Northwest Airlines (a.k.a. Delta) has begun operating double-daily flights between Memphis (MEM) and Lubbock (LBB) in Texas. Pinnacle Airlines operates the flights on behalf of Northwest Airlink using a CRJ. Other airlines operating at Lubbock include Southwest (to Albuquerque, Austin, Dallas Love Field and Las Vegas), Continental (to Houston Bush) and American (to Dallas / Fort Worth). However, Southwest recently dropped services to El Paso from the airport.
  • Norwegian continues its impressive expansion at Copenhagen (CPH) as it began five new destinations from the airport last week. Amsterdam (AMS), Faro (FAO), Paris Orly (ORY), Pisa (PSA) and Prague (PRG). Frequencies vary between one and six flights per week. The airline has also started weekly flights between Aalborg (AAL) and Malaga (AGP), and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) and Faro (FAO).
  • Swiss has started weekly flights between Zurich (ZRH) and Catania (CTA) in Sicily. The two hour flights operate initially just on Friday but during the peak summer season there are also flights on Monday and Wednesday. Competition will come from Air Berlin which operates the route twice-weekly during the peak summer period.
  • Transavia.com has begun flights to Olbia (OLB) in Sardinia from its Paris Orly (ORY) base. Flights operate on Thursdays and Sundays throughout the summer season. This summer Transavia.com’s network of routes from Paris Orly appears to consist of 16 destinations. Girona and Granada have both been dropped as destinations since last summer.
Image: Wind Jet
  • And finally, Wind Jet has begun weekly (Friday) flights between Catania (CTA) and Nantes (NTE). Services run until 25 September using an A319. The return flight from Nantes to Catania makes a 50-minute stop in Lyon.

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 almost 900 routes in our database which may be of interest to carriers.


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