Route of the Week:
Minsk to Amsterdam
|Say cheers!: The expression etched on the face of Mr Lekkerkerk, Schiphol’s marketing manager at a champagne toasting for Belavia’s new three-times weekly services from Minsk. He stands with Mrs Gritsenko, (Ambassador, Republic of Belarus), Mr Loginov, 1st deputy director for aviation, Ministry of Transport, (Republic of Belarus) and Mr Tcherginets, Belavia’s deputy director general. It’s the second consecutive week Amsterdam has rolled out the fire trucks for a new carrier.|
- Belavia, the national airline of Belarus, began thrice-weekly flights this week from Minsk (MSQ) to Amsterdam (AMS). No other carrier operates this route at present. The flight will primarily be operated by CRJs with a 737-500 used on high demand days. The airline recently acquired an ex-flyLAL 737-500 to bring its western fleet up to 11 aircraft; five 737-500s, three 737-300s and three CRJ 100s/200s. Its last new route was a weekly service to Beirut which began in mid-June.
|Launching the second service from Kolkata- Kingfisher’s Vijay Arora, head of Sales (India) and Rajesh Verma, VP, hand over the first boarding pass to Manop Mekprayoonthong, (Royal Thai Consulate General) – bound for Bangkok.|
- Kingfisher began daily flights to Bangkok (BKK), its fifth international destination, from Kolkata (CCU) this week. According to OAG Max data the daily A320 service will be competing directly against services operated by Air India Express, Druk Air, Jet Airways and Thai Airways. Bangkok joins Colombo, Dhaka, Dubai and London as non-Indian destinations served by India’s biggest domestic airline.
- Ural Airlines has started weekly flights from Ekaterinburg (SVX) to Gyandzha (KVD), the second biggest city in Azerbaijan after Baku. Flights operate every Saturday using an A320. Ural Airlines ranked seventh among Russian airlines in 2008 with 1.45 million passengers of which 710,000 were on domestic flights and 740,000 on international routes. Ekaterinburg airport at Koltsovo handled 2.44 million passengers in 2008 making it Russia’s busiest airport outside of Moscow and St Petersburg.
Other route news:
|A welcoming ceremony at Athens airport this week, ahead of SunExpress’ new Athens-Izmir service to start on 15th August (Tuesdays and Saturdays).|
|In Dhaka, Yin Yifan (first secretary of the Chinese embassy in Bangladesh) opens China Southern’s service to Guangzhou, which is served using a 737-800. The first flight carried just 17 passengers.|