New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 27 June – Friday 3 July):

Joint Cake of the week winners:
Amsterdam Schiphol and airBaltic’s Riga to Geneva

Image: Air Schipol
Schiphol July 1. This is a shared cake of the week in more ways than one. The Schiphol cake is not for a new route – it’s for all old or new 262 destinations served from Amsterdam, which went down in price on Wednesday thanks to the abolition of the hated Ticket Tax. Schiphol treated all departing passengers to Dutch cream cake – more than 200 metres of it and 18 local pastry chefs worked together to make the cake. If you want to make one at home you’ll need 1,000 litres of whipping cream, 400 kilos of fruit, 170 kilos of sugar, 170 kilos of flour, 1 kilo of vanilla, 20 kilos of lemon juice and 6,800 eggs. Bake in a moderate 200 metre long oven.
Image: Air Baltic cheese
Cheesecake of the Week: From its Riga base, airBaltic now serves Geneva three-times weekly. Janis Vanags, airBaltic’s vice president (communications); Janis Balkens, board member and Richard Roberts, senior vice president (network planning).
  • airBaltic continues its impressive growth from its home base in Riga (RIX). Last month its passenger numbers at the airport were up 33% and this week it has added two further destinations, Geneva (GVA) and Tartu (TAY). Geneva will be served thrice-weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday) using a 737-500 while Tartu, the second biggest city in Estonia, will be served four-times weekly by a Fokker 50. The schedule requires the aircraft to overnight in Tartu. This becomes Tartu’s only scheduled service at present though Estonian Air plans flights to Stockholm Arlanda starting in late August.

Route of the week:
AirAsia X’s Kuala Lumpur to Taipei

Image: Air Asia route of the week
AirAsia X’s five weekly flights connect Kuala Lumpur’s low-cost carrier terminal with the Taiwanese capital – using a big A330.
  • AirAsia X has launched services from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Taipei (TPE). The route will initially be served five-times weekly using an A330. According to AirAsia regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan, “Taipei is the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle to our oriental network strategy and we are extremely excited on the potential of this route. In the past, we have been receiving a lot of requests from our guests and the travel community in Malaysia and Taiwan, thus we are really thrilled that this route is now finally happening. Although shadowed by economic uncertainties, we are confident our ultra low fares will entice the Taiwanese public and Malaysians who reside, work and study in Taiwan to be able to fly home to connect with their families.”
Image: Volaris
This is the first international flight for low-cost Mexican carrier Volaris. CEO Enrique Beltranena delivers a welcome speech in Los Angeles – the first of five US routes to be added this year. A twice-daily Guadalajara-Los Angeles service will follow on 1st July.
  • Image: Volaris thumbMexican LCC Volaris has crossed the border into the US. This week the airline began daily flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to both its main base at Toluca (TLC) near Mexico City, and to Guadalajara (GDL). Both routes will be operated by A320s. The airline is currently busy working on its planned codeshare agreement with Southwest Airlines which it plans to have in place during 2010.
Image: Moldova
Delta’s first Australian services. Cutting the ribbon: Grant Woods, general manager airport operations (Sydney); Steven Crowdey, Delta’s regional manager, (Aus, NZ & Philippines); Mr Barry Buffier, director general (NSW department of state & regional development).
  • A busy week for Delta and its partners with the launch of five new routes. From Atlanta (ATL) it has started services to Muscle Shoals (MSL) in Alabama, and Tupelo (TUP) in Mississippi. Muscle Shoals (or Northwest Alabama Regional Airport as the airport brands itself) will be served twice-daily by Saab 340s operated by Mesaba. This replaces the services to Memphis and Tupelo which were operated by Northwest Airlink until the end of June. Atlanta services to Tupelo will operate daily. From Los Angeles (LAX) Delta has started daily non-stop service to Sydney (SYD), its first route to Australia. This means that Delta is now present on all five continents and joins Qantas, United and V Australia on this highly competitive 7,500-miles route. A second new long-haul service from Los Angeles (LAX) starting this week is to Sao Paulo (GRU) in Brazil. This route will operate thrice-weekly in competition with Korean Air. Finally, after a brief hiatus, Delta (Northwest) restarts service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Las Vegas (LAS). Competition on this route is particularly tough with American (21 weekly flights), Southwest (94), United (41) and US Airways (42) all providing alternatives.
Image: Tiger Airways
Players from the Wests Tigers’ NRL team haul the A320 out of the hangar at Melbourne, ahead of its maiden flight to Sydney.
  • Tiger Airways has expanded its Australian domestic network to finally include Sydney (SYD). It has commenced flights there from its base at Melbourne (MEL) offering four daily flights. In 2008 just over seven million passengers flew between Australia’s two biggest cities making it one of the world’s top five busiest air routes. At present Qantas operates some 200 weekly flights on the route and Virgin Blue a further 160.
Image: Ryanair
Gdansk: The opening of the Bremen service.
Image: Ryanair
Ryanair has launched 11 new routes this week from Bristol.
  • Ryanair has launched 18 new routes across Europe this week. These are summarised below:
    Route WF Route WF
    Alicante (ALC) – Bristol (BRS) 7 Bristol (BRS) – Rimini (RMI) 2
    Alicante (ALC) – Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) 4 Bristol (BRS) – Seville (SVQ) 2
    Barcelona Reus (REU) – Marrakech (RAK) 2 Bristol (BRS) – Toulon (TLN) 3
    Bremen (BRE) – Gdansk (GDN) 3 East Midlands (EMA) – Barcelona Reus (REU) 3
    Bremen (BRE) – Kaunas (KUN) 2 East Midlands (EMA) – Palma (PMI) 3
    Bristol (BRS) – Cagliari (CAG) 2 Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) – Zadar (ZAD) 2
    Bristol (BRS) – Limoges (LIG) 3 Pescara (PSR) – Eindhoven (EIN) 3
    Bristol (BRS) – Montpellier (MPL) 3 Pescara (PSR) – Milan Bergamo (BGY) 4
    Bristol (BRS) – Perpignan (PGF) 2 Pescara (PSR) – Venice Treviso (TSF) 2
    Source: Ryanair website and booking toolWF: Weekly frequency

    These 18 routes involve airports in 10 countries. The most popular countries for new routes are UK (10), Italy (7), Spain (6), Germany and France with four each. There are no new routes to or from Ireland. The average weekly frequency of these new routes is just 2.9. The eight new routes at Bristol (BRS), plus the three new ones starting next week, will bring to 28 the number of destination served by Ryanair from the airport this summer. Two years ago the airline operated just three routes from the airport.

  • Zambezi Airlines has begun thrice-weekly flights between Lusaka (LUN) in Zambia and Dar es Salaam (DAR) in Tanzania. A 737 will be used on the route.
  • Image: transaeroTransaero continues to expand its domestic network with three new routes from its Moscow Domodedovo (DME) base. New routes started this week to Anapa (AAQ), Krasnodar (KRR) and Omsk (pictured).  This increases to 20 the number of domestic routes operated by Transaero from Domodedovo. All of these new routes are already served by other airlines. S7 operates on all three routes while Kuban Airlines operates the Krasnodar route.
  • After a gap of 16 years Aeroflot returns to Dresden (DRS) this week with the launch of twice-weekly services from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO). Every Monday and Friday an A319 will fly between the two cities. “The flight to Moscow will give a further boost to the many existing economic and cultural ties between Russia and Saxony. It offers an excellent basis for business trips and city breaks and will promote tourism among the Russian population groups living in the catchment area,” says Dr Michael Hupe, CEO of Flughafen Dresden GmbH. Aeroflot served Dresden between 1972 and 1993 and it now becomes the airline’s seventh destination in Germany after Berlin, Frankfurt, Dűsseldorf, Munich, Hamburg and Hannover. According to OAG data Aeroflot becomes only the second non-German airline (after Austrian) to operate scheduled services at Dresden airport. Last year Dresden airport handled 1.86 million passengers. In the first five months of 2009 passenger numbers at the airport are down 8.8% compared to the German national average of 8.1%
  • Air Canada has begun seasonal daily flights from Vancouver (YVR) to Paris CDG (CDG). Flights operate until 9 September via Montreal using a 211-seat 767-300. According to the Vancouver Sun the number of French visitors to the state of British Columbia rose by more than 19% in 2008 to 21,000. Air Transat does operate a weekly non-stop service between the two airports as well as a weekly service via Calgary.
  • Air China has commenced seasonal operations between Tianjin (TSN) and Urumqi (URC) using a 737. Service is provided until 30 September. According to OAG data no other airline operates this route.
Image: Andelus
  • Spanish regional newcomer Andalus Lineas Aereas has begun thrice-weekly flights between Barcelona (BCN) and Gibraltar (GIB) using an ERJ145. No other carrier operates this route. The airline already serves ‘the rock’ from Madrid. It has also begun weekly (Wednesday) flights between Almeria (LEI) and Nador (NDR) in Morocco. The airline now operates scheduled services across nine airports; six in Spain, Marrakech and Nador in Morocco, and Gibraltar.
  • Air Italy adds another Olbia (OLB) link this week with the introduction of weekly services from Milan Bergamo (BGY).
  • airberlin has launched a seasonal weekly service from Basel (BSL) to Rimini (RMI) in Italy. Flights operate every Saturday until 26 September using one of the airline’s new Q400s. The airline already serves Rimini weekly from both Nuremberg and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden.
  • Alaska Airlines has introduced thrice-weekly flights between Portland (PDX) in Oregon and Maui (OGG) in Hawaii. Service will increase to daily from 7 August which was the original launch date, but in a rare example of an airline bringing forward its launch date the route has started a month earlier than originally envisaged. “We’re delighted to offer our customers in Oregon non-stop service from Portland to Maui. Combined with new year-round service between Anchorage and Maui, this greatly expands our coverage from the West Coast to the Hawaiian Islands,” said Steve Jarvis, Alaska’s VP of Marketing, Sales and Customer Experience.
  • Blue Air has started new twice-weekly flights from Bucharest Baneasa (BBU) to Nice (NCE). The seasonal service operates until the end of September. This is the first time the airline has served the French airport on the Cote D’Azur. This is Blue Air’s third French route as it already serves Paris Beauvais and Lyon. Fellow low-cost airline Wizz Air, which also has a base at Bucharest Baneasa, has never (yet) served Nice.
  • clickair, which will shortly merge with Vueling and lose its own identity, has still found time to start a new route. Valencia (VLC) is now connected with Malta (MLA) twice-weekly (Thursday and Sunday) until 13 September. The airline already serves Malta twice-weekly from Barcelona.
  • Continental launched a new international service from Los Angeles (LAX) this week. San Salvador (SAL) in El Salvador will now be served thrice-weekly by the airline using a 737-800. American (daily) and TACA (double-daily) already operate on this route. Continental already serves San Salvador twice-daily from Houston and weekly from Newark.
  • COPA Airlines’s Clombian subsidiary AeroRepublica has started a new thrice-weekly service between Cartagena (CTG) in Colombia, and Caracas (CCS) in Venezuela using an Embraer 190. No other carrier operates on this route.
  • New Slovakian-based regional carrier DanubeWings has started seasonal flights from Bratislava (BTS) to Split (SPU) and Zadar (ZAD). Split is served weekly (on Wednsday) while Zadar is served twice-weekly (Wednesday and Saturday). Both destinations are served only until the beginning of September. All flights are operated by the airline’s ATR 72s. The airline began scheduled operations on 29 March when it started domestic flights between Bratislava and Poprad, and between Bratislava and Kosice.
Image: Dubrovnik Airport
  • Dubrovnik Airline in conjunction with Extra Travel has begun direct flights from Zagreb (ZAG) to Helsinki (HEL), Madrid (MAD), Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). All routes will be served two or three times per week. Currently Iberia operates twice-weekly on the Madrid route and SAS twice-weekly on Stockholm route.
  • easyJet has started a sixth route to Bastia (BIA) on the island of Corscia. This week twice-weekly services began from Geneva (GVA). Flights operate twice-weekly on Tuesday and Saturday until 5 September. easyJet already serves Bastia from Bristol, London Gatwick, Lyon, Manchester and Paris CDG. Thanks to increased easyJet services Bastia is one of those airports reporting solid growth in 2009 with passenger numbers up almost 8% in the first five months of the year.
Image: Firefly
Confetti rains over Lee Seow Hiang, CEO, Changi Airport Group and Eddy Leong, Firefly’s managing director to welcome FireFly from Kuala Lumpur. The airline will also begin operating routes between Singapore and four other Malaysian destinations, including: Ipoh (12th July), Kuala Terengganu (14th July), Kuantan (from 22nd July) and Malacca (from 1t Sept).
  • Image: Fireflyfirefly has introduced a new four-times daily service from Kuala Lumpur Subang (SZB) to Singapore (SIN). Firefly’s Managing Director, Eddy Leong, speaking in Singapore, emphasized that, “This is a much anticipated moment for all of us at Firefly. Our new routes from Singapore into Malaysia further strengthens Firefly’s network focusing on commuters for business and leisure travellers.” The airline operates a fleet of six ATR 72s each equipped with 72 seats. Launched in April 2007 firefly is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines with bases in Penang and Subang.
Image: Flybe
At Flybe’s Leeds-Bradford to Gatwick launch – a rather handsome Matthew Bose (former actor from the hit soap Emmerdale) joins Andrea Hayes, Flybe’s general manager (market development); Margaret Smith (first Interline passenger) and Tony Hallwood, LBIA’s commercial director.
  • Flybe continues to develop its presence at London Gatwick (LGW) with a new thrice-daily service to Leeds/Bradford (LBA). Flybe stepped in when bmi decided to axe its Leeds/Bradford to London Heathrow service at the end of March. Says Mike Rutter, Chief Commercial Officer, Flybe: “Air services from London Gatwick to Leeds Bradford are of great strategic importance to Yorkshire and the North in general and we’re delighted to be able to fill the gap and introduce a service to London so soon after BMI abandoned their service. The new service demonstrates Flybe’s commitment to the region, continuing to help the local economy through the development of affordable and convenient business and leisure travel options. We stepped in to provide air links to London when other operators walked away from Newcastle and Aberdeen and are now getting a bit of a reputation as the airline that comes to the rescue of the regions.”
Image: Flybe
CAA April/May statistics confirm that Flybe is now the UK’s largest domestic airline with 26% of traffic followed by easyJet with 23%. The brand also became Gatwick’s biggest domestic player – just months after announcing it as the 14th UK base. “The numbers not only reflect the strength and success of our business model but also the fact that, in bucking the spiralling downturn of aviation trends, we have continued to add routes,” says Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer. In addition to Leeds new routes out of London Gatwick include Newquay and Dusseldorf.
  • Flyglobespan has introduced seasonal non-stop flights between Aberdeen (ABZ) and Ibiza (IBZ). The weekly service departs Scotland at 22:15 on Saturday night arriving in Spain at 02:20 the following morning. Return flights depart Ibiza at 03:05 in the morning and arrive back in Aberdeen at 05:20. This service will operate just seven times until Saturday 15 August. The airline already serves Ibiza from Glasgow (but not as in previous seasons from Edinburgh).
  • germanwings has started a seasonal service between Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) and Pristina (PRN). Weekly (Saturday) flights operate to the capital of Kosovo until early September. The airline already served Pristina from its bases at Cologne/Bonn, Hamburg and Stuttgart giving it more non-stop scheduled destinations from the airport than any other airline. Last year Pristina handled 1.13 million passengers up 14.1% from 990,000 in 2007. Swiss was the leading airline and Zurich the leading destination.
  • Iberia has begun weekly flights from Madrid (MAD) to Salvador de Bahia (SSA) in Brazil. The weekly (Tuesday) service is operated by Iberworld using an A330 on behalf of Iberia.
  • After a gap of almost 18 years JAT has resumed flights between Belgrade (BEG) in Serbia and Dubrovnik (DBV) in Croatia. Services will be provided on Mondays and Thursdays using an ATR 72. The seasonal service operates until the end of August.
Image: Mahan Air
OK – this is not Birmingham. Marc Watkins, the airport’s Business Development Manager, was meant to get a photograph for us, but he was too busy hiding while all his colleagues were carrying heavy boxes down the hall in an office move.
  • Despite the current rather tense relations between Iran and the United Kingdom, Mahan Air has boldly gone ahead with its new route linking Tehran (IKA) with Birmingham (BHX). Flights will operate thrice-weekly using an A310. The airline is also adding Amritsar (ATQ) to its network, also with thrice-weekly A310 services.
  • Mandarin Airlines has started operating non-stop flights between Kaohsiung (KHH) and Laoag (LAO) in the Philippines. The twice-weekly service will be operated by the airline’s Embraer 190 jets.
  • MIAT Mongolian now connects Ulaan Baatar (ULN) with Irkutsk (IKT). Flights operate twice-weekly (Wednesday and Saturday) using its 162-seat 737-800.
  • Norwegian launched two more seasonal ‘summer-sun’ routes this week. From Copenhagen (CPH) there is now a weekly service to Rhodes (RHO) until mid-August, while from Oslo (OSL) there is a new weekly service to Olbia (OLB) on Sardina. According to anna.aero’s database this latter route was served briefly during the summer of 2004.
  • Fresh from its new route to Brussels which started last week Pegasus has started a new route from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) airport to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF). Flights will operate four-times weekly. Flights depart Turkey at 23:30 arriving in Germany at 01:15 the following day. Departure from Berlin is at 02:05 in the morning arriving in Istanbul at 05:40.
  • S7 recently began two new routes from Irkutsk (IKT). Weekly (Tuesday) flights were started to Tashkent (TAS) in Uzbekistan, and twice-weekly flights (Wednesday and Saturday) were launched to Beijing (PEK). Both routes will be served by the airline’s 158-seat A320s.
  • SmartWings has introduced weekly (Sunday) flights from Brno (BRQ) to Bourgas (BOJ) for the rest of the summer season.
  • SAA’s regional partner South African Express was supposed to have launched daily flights from Johannesburg (JNB) to Maun (MUB) in Botswana using a CRJ200. According to Marc Cavaliere, executive vice president, North America, for South African Airways “Maun is Botswana’s tourism capital and gateway to one of the most untouched areas for safari in the African bush thanks to its proximity to the world-renowned Okavango Delta. This service will provide a new and faster option for travellers to get there on the airline consistently named ‘Best Airline to Africa.’” Ir Botswana currently operates twice-daily flights on the route. However, it seems that authorities in Botswana have not (yet?) approved the route and visitors to the SAA website are not able to make bookings on the route at present.
Image: Southwest
New York La Guardia: For one of its most poignant routes, Southwest staff (in graceful costume) chose to hand out practical gifts in these blue bags – each contained TSA clear plastic bags, a USB port, laptop sleeves and The New York Times.
  • Southwest made its debut at New York LaGuardia (LGA) this week with the launch of flights to Chicago Midway (MDW) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI). See this week’s lead story for more information and analysis.
  • TACA Peru has introduced a new service between Lima (LIM) and Santo Domingo (SDQ) in the Dominican Republic. Flights operate thrice weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) using an A319.
Image: Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines’ CEO Temel Kotil (centre) celebrating his seventh new route this year and the second service to Sweden. He’s flanked by Business Region Göteborg’s Lennart Olausson (left) and Landvetter’s managing director, Olle Sundin.
  • Turkish Airlines has launched its seventh new international route this year with the commencement of thrice-weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) flights from Istanbul (IST) to Gothenburg (GOT) in Sweden. A 737-800 will be used on the route. This becomes the airline’s second Swedish destination after Stockholm. Turkish Airlines has already launched new flights to Mashad (Iran), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Ufa (Russia) and Benghazi (Libya) from its Istanbul hub this year.

Image: United Airlines

  • United Airlines has begun twice-daily flights from Denver (DEN) to Regina (YQR) in Canada. A SkyWest CRJ200 will be used on the route. Regina’s only other international service is a twice-daily service to Minneapolis/St. Paul operated by Delta/Northwest. Last year Regina handled just over one million passengers for the first time in its history.
  • Ural Airlines has launched twice-weekly flights from Koltsovo airport in Ekaterinburg (SVX) to Beijing (PEK) using an A320. Ekaterinburg is the fifth busiest airport in Russia after the three Moscow airports and Saint Petersburg. In 2008 the airport handled a total of 2.44 million passengers.
  • US Airways continues to expand its transatlantic offerings. This week saw the launch of daily flights from Philadelphia (PHL) to Tel Aviv (TLV) in Israel. At over 9,200 kilometres the route is the longest operated by the airline and will be flown by an A330-200. Other non-stop US services available from Tel Aviv are Atlanta (Delta), Newark (Continental and El Al), New York JFK (Delta and El Al) and Los Angeles (El Al).
  • Vueling has started a seasonal service between Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Ibiza (IBZ). Flights will operate daily until 14 September. Competition on the route this summer will come from Iberia and blu-express. Vueling will be operating nine routes to Ibiza this summer, six from other points in Spain as well as Milan, Paris and now Rome.
  • Widerøe has launched summer-only flights from Oslo Torp (TRF) to Bodo (BOO) and Tromso (TOS). Both routes will be served four-times weekly using the airline’s Q400s. Flight-time on the more northern route to Tromso is almost two-and-a-half hours. Services end on 23 August.
Image: Wind Jet
Arriving into London Luton – the first UK destination for Wind Jet.
  • Italian LCC Wind Jet made its debut appearance in the UK this week when the airline began twice-weekly (Monday, Thursday) flights from Forli (FRL) to London Luton (LTN). Simon Harley, Airline Manager, London Luton Airport, said, “We are delighted to announce the arrival of Wind Jet at London Luton. With the established Italian community in the local area we are confident these flights will be extremely successful. Low fares flying continues to make business and leisure travel increasingly accessible to millions of Europeans and the launch of this new service to Forli provides yet more choice for our passengers.”
  • And finally, Wizz Air has added two new routes from its expanding Prague (PRG) base. New thice-weekly services have been added to Eindhoven (EIN) and Paris Beauvais (BVA). Both routes operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. These are the airline’s fifth and sixth routes from the Czech airport with a further eight new routes to follow later this month.
Image: Air Tran
Celebrating new AirTran services from Allentown (ABE) in Pennsylvania to Orlando (MCO): George Doughty, executive director (Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority); Percy Dougherty, chairman (Lehigh County Commissioners);
Glenn Walbert, chairman (Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board of Governors)
Matthew Klein, AirTran’s director of pricing and distribution planning.

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Comments

  1. CEM SAYER says:

    Libyan Arab Airlines launched non stop flights between Ankara and Tripoli on July 2, 2009 and this was not published in your new routes section. The flights are twice weekly and opeartes on Monday and Thursday both ways.

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