New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 12 – Friday 18 September):

Route of the Week:
Indonesia AirAsia’s Ho Chi Minh City to Jakarta

Image: Route of the Week
We reward AirAsia for being the first to start up a direct service between Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City. At a press conference launching direct four-times weekly services: Widijastoro Nugroho, director of distribution and marketing, PT Indonesia AirAsia; Ha Hong Hai, minister, embassy of Vietnam and Dharmadi – Chief Executive Officer, PT Indonesia AirAsia.
  • Image: Air Asia adIndonesia AirAsia has added Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) from its Jakarta (CGK) base. Flights will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using an A320. The Vietnamese city is already served by AirAsia from its bases in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. According to OAG schedule data no other carrier currently operates between Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City. This brings to 17 the number of destinations served non-stop by AirAsia and its partners from Jakarta.

Cake of the Week:
OAG’s 80th Birthday

Image: Cake of the week
At the World Routes Development Forum in Beijing, OAG celebrated 80 years of providing important airline scheduling data services to the air transport industry. It’s also the first time the team has been around to enjoy a mouthful of cake (we made sure none of it went to waste).
Image: airBaltic
In Riga, Janis Vanags, vice-president, corporate communications, airBaltic hands out a €100 gift certificate to Adrian Besho – the first passenger to check-in for the inaugural service to Frankfurt.
Image: airbaltic route launch
Warsaw airport is the second new destination for airBaltic this week from its Riga base. Janis Vanags, vice president, corporate communications, airBaltic re-appears to give a warm welcome to Liene Simsone – the first checked-in passenger.
  • airBaltic has introduced two more connections from its Riga (RIX) hub this week. The Latvian national carrier has added daily flights to Frankfurt (FRA) using a 737-500. Tero Taskila, the Chief Commercial Officer of airBaltic: “We’re delighted to expand the airBaltic network of routes with Europe’s financial capital, Frankfurt. This new route will ensure convenient connections to final destinations in Scandinavia, the CIS, the Caucasus, and the Middle East.” Lufthansa already links the two airports on a daily basis. The other new route started this week is to Warsaw (WAW). This will also operate daily but will be served by one of the airline’s Fokker 50s. Tero Taskila commented: “We’re delighted that by opening the route Warsaw-Riga, airBaltic will begin operations in one of the largest markets in the Baltic Sea region, allowing an increasing number of people to enjoy the airline’s vast network of routes and the low prices which apply to the purchase of a flight plus hotel accommodations.” This route is already served by LOT with nine weekly flights using mostly ATR 42s.
Image: Dragonair
Dragonair touches down in Guangzhou to a simple ceremony to celebrate its inaugural service from Hong Kong.
  • Dragonair this week launched double-daily flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Guangzhou (CAN) using a mix of A320s and A321s. “We are excited to announce this new operation to Guangzhou which extends our network’s coverage into the Pearl River Delta. This is one of the most affluent and most economically dynamic regions in Mainland China and is home to a population of 45 million – six times greater than that of Hong Kong,” said Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Kenny Tang back in June. “The new Guangzhou service is important because air-to-air connections are still by far the most convenient way for international travellers to move in and out of the Pearl River Delta region. Opening Guangzhou as a destination reinforces Dragonair’s long-term commitment to explore potential destinations and strengthen our presence in our core Mainland market,” Mr Tang added. The two airports are already connected by China Southern which operates 18 weekly flights.
  • IndiGo, the three-year-old Indian LCC which is currently the country’s fourth biggest domestic airline with some 14% of the passenger market, has launched five times weekly flights between Kolkata (CCU) and Dibrugarh (DIB) using an A320. The route is already served by both Indian Airlines and Jet Lite.
Image: Kenya airways
  • Kenya Airways has started flying twice weekly (Thursday and Saturday) from Nairobi (NBO) to Ndola (NLA) in Zambia using a 737-300. The route is not currently served by any other carrier. It becomes the airline’s 44th route to date. “The direct flights to Ndola will enable easy access to Zambia’s famous copperbelt region, promote tourism and provide an alternative avenue for exportation of products,” Kenya Airways Managing Director and CEO Dr Titus Naikuni said. “Travellers on this route are expected to benefit greatly from the superb connections that Kenya Airways’ network provides to destinations across Africa, the middle and far-East and Europe through its hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” said Naikuni. “The route will add frequencies to Zambia where Kenya Airways already operates daily flights to Lusaka and strengthen business relationship between Kenya and Zambia,” Kenya Airways’ chairman Evanson Mwaniki added.
Image: Kingfisher
This passenger doesn’t have to worry about losing his boarding pass – he’s been recognised as the first passenger on Kingfisher’s Mumbai to Hong Kong service.
  • Kingfisher has expanded its international network portfolio by adding daily flights from Mumbai (BOM) to both Hong Kong (HKG) and Singapore (SIN). Both routes will be served by A330-200s. At the launch of the Hong Kong route Mr. AK Ravi Nedungadi, Director, Kingfisher Airlines Limited said, “A growing number of travellers from India to Hong Kong and South East Asia are demanding more choice, greater luxury and better value for money when choosing flights for business and leisure trips to India. There is tremendous potential for this route which Kingfisher Airlines is committed to developing with its new aircraft and superior service. With our award-winning service, our flights will offer guests who travel on these routes, a truly five-star, world-class flying experience.” Regarding the Singapore service Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman and CEO, Kingfisher Airlines Limited, said, “I am delighted that Kingfisher Airlines will now be flying to Singapore and offer daily direct flights to Mumbai. With the award-winning Kingfisher Experience and the premium five star service, discerning flyers between Singapore and Mumbai will now have the option to fly with India’s favourite airline and enjoy our personalised and luxurious hospitality that is aimed at bringing back the element of style in flying. I would like to thank Changi Airport Group for the extremely warm welcome that our inaugural flight and the members of our Leadership Team received today upon arrival at Changi Airport.” Kingfisher has also axed its Bangalore – London and Bangalore – Colombo routes from this week.
Image: Ryanair
Two of the first passengers to board Ryanair’s inaugural Oslo Torp – Paris Beauvais service win a trip to one of Ryanair’s upcoming destinations: Lódz, Rome and Krakow.
  • Ryanair launched a curious route this week, linking two airports neither of which are currently bases. The route in question is from Paris Beauvais (BVA) to Oslo Torp (TRF) and it will operate daily. Analysis of Ryanair’s schedules reveals that the route is actually operated by a Glasgow Prestwick based aircraft, which departs Prestwick at 06:40 and lands in Paris at 09:10. At 09:35 the aircraft leaves Beauvais and lands in Oslo at 11:35. At 12:00 the aircraft departs Torp and lands back at Beauvais at 14:00 before departing Beauvais at 14:25 and landing back at Prestwick at 14:55 (all times are local).
  • Montenegro Airlines has begun flying between Podgorica (TGD) and Pristina (PRN). The service will operate five times weekly using a Fokker 100. No other airline currently operates this route
Image: Pacific Blue
Pacific Blue is happy to step up the competition this week for traffic between Wellington and Sydney… they’ve just added a three-times weekly frequency, giving passengers the choice of three airlines serving the route.
  • Pacific Blue continues its expansion of cross-Tasman routes by adding flights between Sydney (SYD) and Wellington (WLG) using a 737-800. Competition on the route is provided by Air New Zealand with eight weekly departures and Qantas which operates a double-daily service. Pacific Blue will fly three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) to start with. Scheduled flight time is three hours and 10 minutes for flights from Sydney and three hours and 40 minutes for flights from Wellington.
Image: Porter Airlines
Boston is Porter’s third US destination – launched in the presence of Robert Deluce (president and CEO, Porter Airlines), David Ishihara (director of aviation operations, Massport) and Jamie Huget (Canadian consul/trade commissioner, Boston). Deluce said: “Boston continues Porter’s current growth phase and becomes an important part of the network – a new connection between two of North America’s most vibrant cities.”
  • Porter Airlines has inaugurated its third route to the US from its base at Toronto City Centre Airport (YTZ). Thrice daily flights to Boston (BOS) began this week using a Q400. “Porter’s arrival at Logan today represents another milestone for our airline and another option for passengers travelling through Boston,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “We’re proud of Porter’s developing network and recognize the great synergy between New England and the Canadian markets we serve.” When the inaugural flight touched down in Boston it was met by political representatives, tourism officials and business leaders as well as Porter staff to commemorate the occasion at a welcome celebration held at Boston Logan International Airport


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