Route of the week:
Thai Airways’ Bangkok to Oslo
|Thai Airways completes the first of five new weekly flights from Bangkok to the Norwegian capital. (Photos: Nancy Bundt)|
- Thai Airways has started non-stop flights from Bangkok (BKK) to Oslo (OSL). There will be five weekly departures on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, departing Oslo at 14:55 and leaving Bangkok at 00:35. The schedule has been adjusted to connect with domestic flights in Norway, as well as Thai’s flights between Bangkok and regional routes in Asia and Australia/New Zealand. Thai will serve the route on an A340-500, with a seat capacity of 215.
Cake of the week:
Safi Airways’ Kabul to Frankfurt
|Europe-bound: anna.aero applauds Safi Airways for its first intercontinental service from Kabul. At the lavish ceremony in Frankfurt: Werner Hans Lauk, German ambassador to Kabul; Peter Schmitz, vice-president (Ground Services, Fraport); Rahim Safi, chairman (Safi Airways) and Hameedullah Farooqi, Afghan minister of transport. (Photos: Sabine Eder, Fraport AG).|
|Frankfurt has also been busy launching LAN Cargo’s new 777F, which will continue to serve Viracopos cargo airport (Sao Paulo) three-times weekly.|
- This week Safi Airways launched its first intercontinental route, with non-stop flights from the Afghan capital (and its operating base) in Kabul (KBL) to Frankfurt (FRA). Flights will depart Frankfurt three times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) on a Boeing 767-200ER. Last month, Safi (which is separately headquartered in Dubai) also started a service from Kabul to Abu Dhabi.
|Traditionally played in the Swiss Alps, these ‘Alpehorns’ couldn’t have failed to catch eyes in the terminal. Played by musicians in native Swiss and Norwegian costume, the ceremony marks the first service by Swiss from Oslo to Zurich. Oslo’s CEO Nic Nilsen cut the ribbon, while passengers were offered some bubbly and cake. According to Harry Hohmeister from Swiss, the plane was 99% full (possibly with these gigantic horns). (Photos: Øyvind Markussen)|
- Today (Friday), Swiss begins twice-daily flights to between Oslo (OSL) and Zurich (ZRH) on an A319. An additional frequency will be provided by Star Alliance partner SAS.
|jetBlue inaugurates twice-daily nonstop services from Los Angeles (the 56th destination in its route network) to Boston and New York JFK. At the JFK launch party: Cindy Adams (New York Post columnist, with her two dogs Jazzy and Juicy); Alex Battaglia (JetBlue VP, airports), Ronald Lamont “Winky” Wright (light middleweight world champion boxer), Tamara Deer and Jose Cologne (JetBlue flight attendants).|
|Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra attend Boston airport’s big bash before passengers are waved off to Hollywood. Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director, Los Angeles World Airports said: “The addition of JetBlue is a reflection of the progress made in our work to revitalise LAX.”|
|jetBlue now flies daily between Fort Lauderdale and Cancun.|
- jetBlue has added another string of new destinations to its ever-growing network. Starting this week, there are twice-daily coast-to-coast services from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) and Boston (BOS). Competition on the Boston-Los Angeles route will come from American Airlines, United and Virgin America. jetBlue has also begun daily services from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Cancun (CUN) and Santo Domingo (SDQ). JetBlue has also started serving Santo Domingo from Boston. Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s vice president of network planning said: “These two destinations in the Dominican Republic are key markets for jetBlue and we’re pleased to be linking them to our growing South Florida focus city.” jetBlue will operate its Santo Domingo service with a 150-seat A320 aircraft and its Cancun route with a 100-seat EMB190.
|(Photos: Port of Portland)|
- Air Canada now offers a direct service between Portland (PDX) and Calgary (YYC) and is the only carrier to serve the route directly. Air Canada Jazz, the carrier’s regional affiliate, will operate daily flights using a 50-seat CRJ. The flight will add to Air Canada’s nonstop Portland-Vancouver service. Earlier this month Air Canada reported a load factor of 81% in May – a 3% drop on the same period in 2008. Also this week, Air Canada connects Montreal (YUL) with Rome Fiumicino (FCO). Marcel Forget, vice president, network planning (Air Canada) added: “Our Calgary-Portland flights have been timed for convenient connections to and from other points in our network, including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg.”
|Last week: the first passenger at Cebu’s Manila-Cauayan launch meets Michael Shau, vice-president, (airport services). This week, Cebu has added a four-times weekly service to Ozamis from its Manila base.|
- Cebu Pacific has added another domestic route from Manila (MNL). Following last week’s launch of three-times weekly services to Cayayan (Isabela), this week Cebu Pacific launched the first of four weekly flights to Ozamis using an A319. Candice Iyog, Cebu’s vice president (marketing) said: “This new service will offer travellers a more convenient travel option with our fast 1-hour 25 minute flight, compared with a three-day ferry boat trip.”
|White roses are handed to passengers on arrival at Larnaca – Etihad’s 12th European destination from Abu Dhabi.|
- Etihad Airways has begun three-times weekly flights from its home base in Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Larnaca (LCA). Flights will operate on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday in a two-class A320. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: “The launch of flights between Abu Dhabi and Larnaca completes our ‘hat-trick’ of launches to destinations in the Mediterranean region this summer, which also includes Athens and Istanbul. We anticipate tremendous demand from leisure travellers flying for their summer break in Cyprus.”
- As well as celebrating its 82nd birthday this week, JAT Airways has launched a twice-weekly seasonal service from Belgrade (BEG) to Gothenburg (GOT). The route will be served until 10th September.
- Blue Panorama Airlines’ low-cost carrier, Blu Express has added a new Summer destination to Lampedusa (LMP) from its base at Rome Fiumicino (FCO). From June 26th, the carrier will also serve Pantelleria (PNL).
- From its base in Tbilisi (TBS), SkyGeorgia now serves Thessaloniki (SKG) via Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) in Istanbul.
- Jet2.com has commenced flights from Blackpool (BLK) and Belfast International (BFS) to Menorca/Mahon (MAH). As part of Jet2.com’s summer sale fares from Blackpool to Menora will start from £55.99 one way including taxes. Other summer destinations operated by Jet2.com from Blackpool include Alicante, Faro, Ibiza, Menorca, Malaga, Murcia, Palma and Tenerife.
- Carpatair has added direct services from its Timisoara hub (TSR) to Perugia (PEG), which will connect with all Carpatair destinations in Romania, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Twice-weekly flights will depart Timisoara and Perugia on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
|Delta display: An important event in the airline’s calendar as it starts daily non-stop services from Prague Ruzyne airport to New York JFK.|
- In addition to Delta Airlines’ four existing weekly flights from Prague to Atlanta, the carrier begins a daily non-stop service between New York (JFK) and Prague (PRG), using a 216-seat Boeing 767-300ER. The flight will depart Prague on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, at 9:30 a.m., arriving at New York-JFK at 12:30 p.m. A domestic SkyWest service has also begun from Atlanta (ATL) to Billings (BIL). Delta plans to operate a CRJ-900 on this flight with a 7:00 a.m. scheduled departure time from Billings, while the return flight departs Atlanta at 7:15 p.m. The route will run until 7th September.
- From Saturday Spirit Airlines will fly non-stop between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Santiago (STI). Four weekly flights will add to Spirit’s existing Fort Lauderdale – Dominican Republic network, which includes Santo Domingo and a seasonal service to Punta Cana. Kent George, Broward County aviation director said: “I’m delighted Spirit airlines will be adding another international destination at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport serving the south Florida community. We look forward to future air service expansions as the economy improves.”
- Some positive news this week for Virgin Nigeria Airways, the nation’s flag carrier (which took over after Nigerian Airways collapsed) as it begins flights to Banjul from Lagos (via Dakar in Senagal). Virgin Atlantic Airways will soon relinquish its 49% stake in the company. Earlier this year Virgin Nigeria announced they would be stopping flights on their loss-making Lagos-Johannesburg and Lagos-London routes.
|Celebrating five years since its first service from Katowice to London Luton, Wizz Air now serves 15 destinations from the London airport – the latest began this week to Varna. Pictured here: Simon Harley, airlines manager (Luton); Melinda Kecskés, head of marketing (Wizz Air group); Jo-Ann Lloyd, marketing manager and Natasa Kázmér, head of corporate communications (Luton).|
- Wizz Air has added eight new destinations to its network. From Cluj Napoca (CLJ) in Romania, the low-cost carrier now serves Forli (FRL), Madrid (MAD), Palma de Mallorca (PMI) and Venice Treviso (TSF). From Katowice (KTW) there are now flights to Bourgas (BOJ) and Heraklion (HER) in Greece as well as from Poznan (POZ) to Bourgas (BOJ), while London Luton (LTN) has a new twice-weekly service to Varna (VAR) in Bulgaria. Flights depart Saturday and Tuesday, leaving London Luton at 14:05pm and into Varna at 19.20pm. Returning flights leave Varna at 19:55pm, arriving in Luton at 21:25pm. Wizz Air has eleven operating bases in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Czech Republic.
|Meeting the Siberian press – the Air Astana press conference also explained details about planned new services to Omsk and Yekaterinburg.|
- Air Astana has opened a direct flight from Astana (TSE) to Novosibirsk (OVB). Cardiologists and heart surgeons were among the first passengers to Novosibirsk – they took part in Air Astana‘s charitable action. Specialists examined over 300 children with cardiovascular disease and held training for doctors from medical centres in Astana and Almaty. Three-times weekly flights to Novosibirsk (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) will be operated on a Fokker-50. Peter Foster, Air Astana’s President, said: “Our new strategy is directed at developing regional air transportation in Central Asia and CIS countries.” The route will provide important connections to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business centre, as well as Istanbul and Dubai. The airline is also considering new routes to border cities in the Russian Federation, including Omsk and Yekaterinburg.
- MyAir.com has begun a seasonal service from Brindisi (BDS) to Turin (TRN), with four-weekly flights (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) going ahead until October 23rd. The service will be operated by a CRJ-900, with capacity for 90 passengers. MyAir.com also launched a domestic service this week from
Foggia (FOG) to Milan Bergamo (BGY).
- German budget carrier BlueWings, which was grounded until recently after insolvency fears, continues to restart operations, with six services added this week. Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Dusseldorf (DUS) are now connected with Abu Dhabi (AUH). Elite Aviation will serve the route from Abu Dhabi, with three-weekly direct flights to Dusseldorf, and twice-weekly direct flights to Berlin. Dusseldorf (DUS) has also begun new services to Beirut (BEY), while Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) has added additional services to Leipzig/Halle (LEJ), Munster/Osnabruck (FMO) and Karlsruhe/Baden (FKB).