Route of the Week:
Alaska Airlines Seattle-Tacoma to Houston
|Houston opens the gate: James Wilkins and Nancy Caldwell (both Alaska flight attendants); Rob Wigington, deputy director of marketing, communication and public affairs, Houston Airport System; Daphne Clarkson and Diane Thynes (yet more flight attendants); Ron Calvin, Alaska’s director of Eastern Region, Customer Service-Airport; and Eric Potts, interim director of aviation, Houston Airport System.|
- Alaska Airlines has begun daily flights between Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) and Houston (IAH) using a 737-800. This will provide passengers with an alternative to Continental who currently operate seven daily flights between the two cities. Next month sees Alaska also launch new services from Seattle to Atlanta. “We are shifting capacity into markets where we are seeing higher demand,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska’s vice president of planning and revenue management. “Houston and Atlanta are two of the largest markets that we don’t currently serve non-stop from Seattle. With their strong business ties to the state of Alaska and Pacific Northwest, these cities will be great additions to our core route network.”
|The touchdown at Houston and arrival at Terminal A ….could that be another retro livery?? Photos courtesy of Andrew Broadfoot (many thanks Andrew).|
Cake of the Week:
Sun-Air’s Billund to Stockholm Bromma
|After slicing the cake the launch party rolled – Kjell-Ake Westin, airport director Bromma (Left Picture) is seen celebrating here with Sun-Air cabin crew while (Right Picture) LFV’s Micke Bayart and Johan Backlund talk with Sun-Air’s Manager Routes and Network Trine Dige.|
- Sun-Air, a Danish-based British Airways franchise carrier, has launched flights between Billund (BLL) and Stockholm Bromma (BMA) airport. There will be two daily flights on weekdays plus a Sunday service. “As a direct consequence of the growing demand from both Danish as well as Swedish business people for routes out of Jutland, we have decided to expand our service with this route that makes it easy and comfortable to go back and forth on the same day,” says Niels Sundberg, owner and CEO of Sun-Air. This route is now only the third international service available from Stockholm’s downtown airport after Aarhus (also operated by Sun-Air for British Airways) and Brussels (operated by Brussels Airlines).
|Celebrating the launch of Aer Lingus’ new route to Tenerife are models Rachel Singleton (left) and Gemma McCorry with Aer Lingus pilot Harry Brady. Flights started on September 22 and operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.|
- Aer Lingus this week launched flights between Belfast International (BFS) and Tenerife Sur (TFS). The service will operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday right through the winter season and will compete with a weekly Thomson Airways service. For more information about the development of Aer Lingus’ Belfast base see this week’s airline analysis.
|Now doesn’t that look like a great place to go? Pacific Blue’s new twice-weekly Auckland service to the South Island resort of Queenstown competes with three dailies from Air New Zealand and a daily Jetstar service.|
- Pacific Blue has added another domestic route in New Zealand by introducing twice-weekly (Saturday and Sunday) flights between Auckland (AKL) and Queenstown (ZQN). Competition on the route is provided by Air New Zealand (with three daily flights) and Jetstar (daily flights). Pacific Blue recently introduced twice-weekly international flights from Queenstown to Sydney. Queenstown airport, which serves the resort town of Queenstown, Otago on New Zealand’s south island, handled 700,000 passengers in the year ending June 2008. It claims to be the third busiest airport in New Zealand for international passengers.
- Shandong Airlines has begun daily flights between Hangzhou (HGH) and Nanning (NNG) using a CRJ700. According to OAG data the route is already served by both Shenzhen Airlines (daily) and Xiamen Airlines (four times weekly). Shandong Airlines is a subsidiary of Air China and operates a fleet of almost 40 aircraft; 30 737s and seven CRJs.
- Shenzhen Airlines this week launched the first international flights from Quanzhou Jinjiang (JJN) airport in Fujian province when it began four times weekly flights to Manila (MNL). The airline has also started serving Singapore (SIN) from its base in Shenzhen (SZX) using a 737-800 which will serve the market thrice weekly. Silk Air (four weekly flights) and Tiger Airways (five weekly flights) already serve the market. Shenzhen Airlines operates a fleet of almost 80 Airbus A320 series and Boeing 737 series aircraft. The airline already serves Singapore from Nanning with two weekly flights.
- Thai AirAsia began serving Taipei (TPE) in Taiwan this week from its base in Bangkok (BKK). Flights operate daily with an A320. Taipei is already served by AirAsia X from its Kuala Lumpur base. The route is already served by China Airlines, EVA Airways and Thai Airways all of whom operate at least two daily flights.
|Two German low cost airport launches for Wizz Air. Düsseldorf Weeze (left) ‘says it with flowers’ for the Budapest inaugural; Memmingen’s celebrations for the Katowice launch are a little more understated (but that dress is lovely).|
- Wizz Air has started six new routes this week scattered across its network. Bucharest Baneasa (BBU) is now connected to Catania (CTA), Budapest (BUD) has a new link to Dűsseldorf Weeze (NRN), while Katowice (KTW) is now connected to both Memmingen (FMM) and Venice Treviso (TSF). Prague (PRG) also gets a direct service to Venice Treviso (TSF). All of these routes will be served just twice-weekly. Wizz Air’s first service to Slovakia sees Bratislava (BTS) linked to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) with four weekly flights, a route that now defunct SkyEurope used to operate. For a full analysis of Wizz Air’s current network see this week’s airline analysis.