New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 2 May – Friday 8 May):

Route of the week:
JAT Belgrade to Abu Dhabi

Image: Route of the week: JAT Belgrade to Abu Dhabi
  • The first direct air link between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Belgrade (BEG) since 1998 was launched yesterday, with the commencement of JAT Airways’ twice-weekly service on the route. Flights operate via Larnaca (LCA) using a 737-300. From Belgrade flights depart on Tuesday and Thursday while from Abu Dhabi the return flights are on Wednesday and Friday. Mohammed Al Bulooki, VP airline marketing and aeronautical revenue at the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), said: “JAT Airways is our 44th airline to establish operations at the airport and the first from Europe this year. ADAC is working extensively on a hub strategy that is to see airlines from the east and west use Abu Dhabi as an excellent intermediate point.”

Cake of the week:
Turkish Airlines Istanbul to Benghazi

Image: Cake of the week:  Turkish Airlines Istanbul to Benghazi
  • Turkish Airlines continues to expand its Istanbul (IST) hub. This week saw the launch of thrice-weekly flights to Benghazi (BEN) in Libya. Flight time is around two and a half hours and A321s will operate the service. Turkish Airlines already serves the Libyan capital Tripoli with daily flights from Istanbul.
  • Aegean Airlines now flies to Barcelona (BCN). This week it began flying five-times weekly from Athens (ATH) using A320s. The route is already served by both clickair and its new partner Vueling but not Olympic. Instead Olympic serves Madrid (competing against Iberia).
Image: The official Casablanca launch
The official Casablanca launch: (central group) Karim Ghellab, Morrocan minister of transport, HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, Mohamed Hassan Bensalah, chairman of Air Arabia Maroc, and Adel Ali, managing director, Air Arabia Maroc.
  • Air Arabia’s new Moroccan subsidiary Air Arabia Maroc launched this week with flights from Casablanca (CMN) to London Stansted (STN) and Marseille (MRS). Both will be served four-times weekly using A320s. See our Moroccan trendwatch feature for more about developments in the Moroccan market.
Image: Air India Express starts two new routes to Abu Dhabi (AUH).
Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al Bulooki, VP airline marketing and aeronautical revenue, says: “These services will help us to better serve the huge Indian expat community that reside in the UAE.”
  • Air India Express has started two new routes to Abu Dhabi (AUH). It now links the airport twice-weekly with both Chennai (MAA) and Tiruchirapally (TRZ) using 737-800s. This brings to six the number of destinations served by Air India Express from Abu Dhabi. Reiterating Air India Express’ commitment to the Abu Dhabi market, Mr. Fali. D. Warden, Executive Director for Middle East & Africa, Air India & Air India Express, said: “With the introduction of direct air links from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Tiruchirapally in Central Tamil Nadu, we are confident that the new flights will be successful in attracting passengers not only from the immediate vicinity but from the nearby districts of Tanjavur, Ramnad & Madurai as well. The sustained introduction of Air India Express services from Abu Dhabi reflects the growing importance which Air India attaches to this region”. Abu Dhabi airport reported that in March alone traffic to India was up 32%.
Image: China Eastern recently added services from Xian (XIY) to Singapore (SIN) via Kunming (KMG).
  • China Eastern recently added services from Xian (XIY) to Singapore (SIN) via Kunming (KMG). Flights will operate twice-weekly using an A320. Departures from Xian are on Thursdays and Sundays with the return flight arriving back in Xian on Fridays and Monday. Flights depart Singapore at 02:20 in the morning. China Eastern already operates four-weekly flights between Kunming and Singapore using a 737-300.
Image: El Al launch new service
Left to right: El Al CEO Chaim Romano, El Al chairman Amikam Cohen, Stas Misezhnikov minister of tourism, Binyamin Ben Eliezer, minister of industry, and Paulo Pinto Koalo, Brazilian ambassador.
  • El Al launched what is apparently its first new route in 10 years this week when it began non-stop flights from Tel Aviv (TLV) to Sao Paulo (GRU) in Brazil. A 777-200 will connect the two cities three times each week. Meanwhile the airline has also moved its London Stansted services to nearby London Luton (LTN). Luton will be served with six weekly 767-200 flights.
  • Air Malta is complementing its existing 10-times weekly service from Malta (MLA) to Paris Orly (ORY) by starting four-times weekly services to Paris CDG (CDG) this week. Air Malta also serves Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse as Air France currently does not serve Malta at all.
Image: airBaltic stand
The Riga-Linkoping new route pre-launch event in Linkoping.
  • airBaltic is still adding new routes. This week it began thrice-weekly flights between Linkoping (LPI) in Sweden and Stavanger (SVG) in Norway. The route will be operated by one of the airline’s 737-500s.
Image: VLM Airlines launch Antwerp (ANR) to Frankfurt (FRA) service Image: VLM Airlines launch Antwerp (ANR) to Frankfurt (FRA) service
Departing Antwerp: The ribbon was cut by Kris Peeters, minister-president of the Flemish government and Dirk Van Mechelen, Vice-Minister-President. A full load factor climbs aboard…
Image: VLM Airlines launch Antwerp (ANR) to Frankfurt (FRA) service Image: VLM Airlines launch Antwerp (ANR) to Frankfurt (FRA) service
Fraport greets the arrival in the traditional way… And for good measure “City of Frankfurt” is ‘Christened’ for a second time that day by the city’s mayor Petra Roth and Fraport chairman, Prof. Dr Bender.
  • VLM Airlines (now a member of the Air France-KLM Group) has initiated flights between Antwerp (ANR) and Frankfurt (FRA). A Fokker 50 will link the two cities thrice daily. Johan Vanneste, Managing Director of VLM Airlines, stated, “We will cooperate with Air France on the Antwerp-Frankfurt route. Frankfurt is the second most important financial centre in Europe. Since the European Central Bank established its seat there, the importance of Frankfurt as a financial centre has only increased. A direct connection with Antwerp offers a lot of perspectives. The opening of our third destination from Antwerp is of great importance to Antwerp International Airport, which once again can play its trump card of being a comfortable and fast gateway to major European cities.” VLM already serves London City and Manchester non-stop from Antwerp.
  • airberlin began new weekly flights this week between Stuttgart (STR) and Preveza (PVK), and Dortmund (DTM) and Ibiza (IBZ).
  • Canadian charter specialist Air Transat has started weekly flights between Montreal (YUL) and Venice (VCE). Flights depart Montreal on a Friday evening and depart Venice on Saturday afternoons. An A310-300 will operate the flight which takes between eight and nine hours depending on prevailing winds.
  • Allegiant Air added four more links to its new Los Angeles (LAX) base this week with the start of services to Bellingham (BLI) in Washington state, Missoula (MSO) in Montana, Monterey (MRY) in California and Springfield (SGF) in Missouri. All of these airports already have Allegiant Air flights to other destinations.
Image: Austrian plane
  • Despite its on-going problems while it tries to get its ownership issues resolved Austrian has started a new route from Vienna (VIE) to Amman (AMM) in Jordan. Flights will operate thrice-weekly (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday) using an A320. Royal Jordanian already operates this route with five weekly flights.
  • Blue1 began serving Split (SPU) this week from Helsinki (HEL). Twice-weekly flights (on Friday and Sunday) will be operated by the airline’s 166-seat MD90s until 18 October. No other airline currently served the route.
  • Cebu Pacific now links Cebu (CEB) with Roxas (RXS) three-times weekly (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) using an ATR 72-500. “Our Cebu-Roxas service will increase the accessibility of Roxas to its neighbouring provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Local residents from Roxas can also enjoy the wide connectivity of flights we offer from our Cebu hub to other domestic and international destinations,” Candice Iyog, CEB vice president for marketing and distribution said. Flights from Cebu depart at 05:20, with return flights departing Roxas at 06:30.
  • easyJet started a couple more new routes this week. From its GB Airways inherited Manchester (MAN) base it has added twice-weekly flights to Corfu (CFU), while from London Gatwick (LGW) it now offers thrice-weekly flights to Santorini (JTR), a new destination for easyJet. Scheduled competition on both of these routes is provided by Thomsonfly.
Image: Etihad launch Abu Dhabi (AUH) flights to Astana (TSE)
The ribbon cutting after the arrival in Astana on May 7 was preceded by a workshop for the travel trade on May 6. A further official ceremony for the launch of the route is planned for June 4.
  • Etihad has ‘borrowed’ a weekly frequency from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Almaty service to begin weekly flights to Astana (TSE) the new Kazak capial. An A319 will operate the route.
  • Flybe and its franchise partner Loganair have launched six new routes this week. Flybe has begun serving Jersey (JER) from Dundee (DND) and Humberside (HUY) both with a single weekly (Saturday) service operated by a Q400. From Southampton (SOU) there are seasonal weekly flights to Dubrovnik (DBV) and Split (SPU) in Croatia, while Loganair begins thrice-daily flights with a Saab 340 from the Isle Of Man (IOM) to both Belfast City (BHD) and Blackpool (BLK). In 2008 Flybe carried 6.85 million passengers (up 14%) at an average load factor of 63.6% (up 2.3 percentage points). In addition Loganair carried a further half a million passengers.
  • Scottish low-cost carrier FlyGlobespan has started serving Dalaman (DLM) in Turkey this week. It now operates weekly non-stop flights throughout summer from Aberdeen (ABZ), Edinburgh (EDI) and Glasgow (GLA). According to UK CAA data the airline operated a fleet of 14 aircraft at the end of 2008 and had carried 1.62 million scheduled passengers last year (at an impressive 85.7% load factor), down 21.6% compared with 2007.
  • Germanwings has launched a raft of low-frequency (weekly) routes aimed at the summer leisure market. From Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) it has added flights to Dubrovnik (DBV), Kavala (KVA), Pula (PUY) and Zadar (ZAD). From its biggest base at Cologne/Bonn (CGN) it has added Kos (KGS) while from Stuttgart (STR) it has added Heraklion (HER). Compared with last summer the airline appears to have dropped eight routes from Cologne/Bonn (Bordeaux, Bourgas, Cluj-Napoca, Katowice, Malta, Osijek, Riga and Varna), two from Stuttgart (Katowice and Malta) and four from Berlin SXF (Balaton, Bourgas, Ibiza and Varna). These have all been added to’s unique Route Recycle Bin.
  • Starting this week Gol has commenced flying non-stop from Rio’s Santos Dumont (SDU) airport to Belo Horizonte (CNF) and Brasilia (BSB). Both routes will be served between four and five times daily with reduced frequencies at weekends. Santos Dumont airport handled 3.63 million passengers in 2008, all on domestic flights. Both TAM and GOL operate around 200 weekly departures between Rio Santos Dumont and Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport, making it one of the world’s busiest airport-pairs.
  • Helvetic has begun weekly flights from Zurich (ZRH) to Pula (PUY) and Rijeka (RJK), both in Croatia. Sunday flights will operate with a Fokker 100 until 11 October. For the financial year ending 31 March 2009 the airline recently reported a “solid” result. Three of the airline’s four Fokker 100s are wet-leased to Swiss for niche operation leaving one aircraft for charter and scheduled serviced. This summer the airline will be operating scheduled services to eight destinations including Brindisi, Lamezia Terme, Jerez, Olbia, Ohrid and Skopje.
  • Iberia, through its partner Air Nostrum, has begun twice-weekly flights between Madrid (MAD) and Bari (BRI) using an 86-seat CRJ900. Flights operate on Tuesday and Saturday. The route is already served by who operate thrice-weekly on the route also using a CRJ900.
  • German regional airline Intersky has added a weekly service from its base at Friedrichshafen (FDH) to Pula (PUY) in Croatia. Saturday services operate using a Q300 until 3 October 2009. Last year the airline carried 210,000 passengers (an increase of 17% on 2007) and reported a profit for the fifth straight year. Its fleet currently consists of four Q300s.
Image: Jet2
Nino Brautovich (Dubrovnik Airport), Frano Luetich (Dubrovnik Airport), Jet2 (Captain+crew) and Paul Carter (Jet2).
  • has commenced four new low-frequency seasonal routes as it starts to ramp up its summer schedules. Weekly services have started between Belfast International (BFS) and Dubrovnik (DBV), Leeds/Bradford (LBA) and Dubrovnik (DBV), Manchester (MAN) and Olbia (OLB), and Newcastle (NCL) and Split (SPU). In 2008 the airline carried 3.22 million passengers on scheduled services (down 15% on 2007) at an average load factor of over 79% (up from under 74% in 2007). According to CAA data the airline’s fleet consists of 21 737-300s and nine 757-200s which during the last quarter of 2008 had an average utilisation of just 4.8 hours per day. Thehe airline’s network has been cut from some 50 routes last winter to just 30 this winter, as a result of which passenger numbers are down around 40%. However, this summer’s schedule will consist of over 90 routes while capacity will remain broadly in line with last year. According to our research only five routes have actually been dropped since last summer; Barcelona and Malaga from Belfast International (both served by Aer Lingus and easyJet) and Hamburg Lűbeck, Madrid and Valencia from Leeds/Bradford.
  • LOT has added a new route from its Warsaw (WAW) hub. It now operates to Belgrade (BEG) in Serbia. Five times weekly flights (daily except Thursday and Saturday) began this week operated by an ERJ145. Another new route scheduled to start this week was to Dnepropetrovsk (DNK) in the Ukraine. The route was announced back in February and appears in the airline’s pdf timetable but does not appear in the booking system. It was planned to operate four times weekly using Embraer E170s.
  • now connects Rimini (RMI) with both Bucharest Baneasa (BBU) and Paris CDG (CDG). Rimini is a new airport for the airline. Both routes will initially be served weekly (on Fridays) before increasing to four weekly flights from 1 June.
  • Northwest despite its on-going merger with Delta is starting a new service between Memphis (MEM) and Columbus Golden Triangle Regional (GTR) airport in Mississippi. The twice-daily service will be provided by Mesaba Aviation operating Saab 340s on behalf of Northwest Airlink. The only other route from GTR is to Atlanta which is operated thrice-daily by Atlantic Southeast Airlines on behalf of Delta.
  • Norwegian began serving two more leisure destinations this week from its new Copenhagen (CPH) base. Weekly (Saturday) services will operate to Heraklion (HER) on the Greek island of Crete, and Split (SPU) in Croatia, during the whole summer season. This brings to 18 the number of destinations now served by Norwegian from Copenhagen, all of which (apart from Oslo) have been started since last November. Another new route started this week connects Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Pula (PUY) in Croatia. Flights operate every Saturday until 15 August. Norwegian will serve 23 destinations from Stockholm Arlanda this summer including five intra-Scandinavian routes.
Image: Ryanair add 5 new routes
Source – “Photo: Frankfurt-Hahn Airport”
  • Ryanair added just five new routes to its network this week. Three of them were from its biggest German base at Frankfurt Hahn (HHN). Carcassonne (CCF) in France, Osijek (OSI) in Croatia and Rimini (RMI) in Italy will now each be served twice or three times weekly. From London Luton (LTN) customers can now fly thrice-weekly to Limoges (LIG) in France while Trapani (TPS) is now linked to Paris Beauvais (BVA) with three weekly flights.
  • TAAG Angola Airlines has begun flying from Luanda (LAD) to Sao Paulo (GRU). Flights operate thrice-weekly using a 747-300 Combi in a three-class configuarion.
  • WestJet began serving five new markets this week. There are new daily (or almost-daily) flights between Vancouver (YVR) and Fort McMurray (YMM), Regina (YQR) and Saskatoon (YXE). There is also a new daily service between Toronto (YYZ) and Fort McMurray (YMM) and also a new daily service between Edmonton (YEG) and Yellowknife (YZF). Finally WestJet follows Air Canada into the Toronto (YYZ) to Sydney (YQY) Nova Scotia market with three weekly flights, increasing to four from 16 June.

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


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