New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 26 September – Friday 2 October):

Route of the Week:
Etihad’s Abu Dhabi to Cape Town

Who needs a cake when you have Dannii Minogue? You can read the comments of Etihad CEO James Hogan in the story, but meanwhile here’s some more pictures of Dannii and the crew.
  • Image: Danni Minogue with Etihad stewardessesEtihad increased its presence in South Africa this week with the start of daily flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Cape Town (CPT) via Johannesburg. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Etihad Airways is committed to expanding its flight network across the world and we are delighted to add flights to Cape Town to our schedule. In the coming 12 months demand for flights to South Africa will grow immensely, especially with the 2010 FIFA World Cup next summer.” Etihad started flights to Johannesburg in December 2005. The airline expects the new Cape Town service will be welcomed by the South African expatriate community living in the UAE which now stands at approximately 40,000 people. Many more South African nationals live across the Middle East region and also will be able to connect quickly and easily back home via Abu Dhabi. It is also anticipated that many leisure travellers will fly to Cape Town with Etihad’s new service. The city is South Africa’s premier tourist destination offering many highlights including the iconic Table Mountain and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Vote for your Cake of the Week:
The Contenders: airBaltic, Oman Air, Ryanair and Ukraine International

Vote for your cake of the week

Cake 1: airBaltic’s Tallinn to Turku

Another airBaltic new route adds to its significant contribution to baking this year. The ribbon cutting is performed by Rein Loik, director Tallinn Airport, Laine Janes Estonian minister of culture, and Bertolt Flick, CEO and president of airBaltic. The giant orange ball-throwing thing represents an exchange of gifts between the cultural heads of the capitals of Turku and Tallinn. VOTE AS CAKE OF THE WEEK
  • airBaltic is at it again. Not content with growing its Riga base the airline has now added a direct connection between Tallinn (TLL) in Estonia and Turku (TKU) in Finland. The daily service will be operated by a Fokker 50 with a scheduled flight time of just 40 minutes. The two airports are less than 200 kilometres apart but are separated by the Gulf Of Finland. Turku, which last year ranked as Finland’s sixth busiest airport with 318,000 passengers, already has airBaltic flights from Riga and a domestic route to Oulu. Other airlines at the airport are Blue1 (to Stockholm Arlanda), Finnair (to Helsinki), Jet Air (to Gdansk), SAS (to Copenhagen) and Wizz Air (to Gdansk).

Cake 2: Oman Air’s Muscat to Frankfurt

Oman Air’s fantastic Frankfurt fanfare was a cut above the traditional ribbon cutting and was handled by Peter Schmitz, Fraport COO, and Capt. Saud AL Maamari of Oman Air. A clearly delighted Mr Schmitz later tried out the comforts of the cabin (although we noticed that our helpful Fraport colleague Robert Payne, Manager International Press & PR, is in contravention of several regulations by not wearing his high-vis jacket). VOTE AS CAKE OF THE WEEK
  • Oman Air began not one but two new long-haul routes this week from Muscat International Airport (MCT). The airline is launching four-times weekly flights to Frankfurt (FRA) and three-times weekly flights to Munich (MUC) using A330-200s. The airline’s only existing service to Europe is a daily service to London which began in November 2007 to Gatwick but was then transferred to Heathrow from 15 January 2009. This week’s country profile takes a closer look at Oman.

Cake 3: Ryanair’s Madrid – Oslo Rygge

Hola Oslo Rygge: Norway gets the most new Ryanair frequencies this week with 28 new weekly flights all from Oslo Rygge. 187 travelled on the Madrid inaugural flight, the first of eight routes and an expected 700,000 annual passengers. Passengers enjoyed a ticket rain, flamenco dancers and, of course, cake. We are grateful to Ryanair’s Erik Elmsäter, Sales & Marketing Executive Nordics, for this party report. VOTE AS CAKE OF THE WEEK
  • Ryanair is back on the new route trail this week with the introduction of 10 new routes across Europe. These are summarised below:
Route WF Route WF
Bremen – Liverpool 3 London Stansted – Oslo Rygge 14
Bremen – Memmingen 6 Madrid – Jerez 3
Bremen – Oslo Rygge 3 Madrid – Oslo Rygge 4
Brussels Charleroi – Oslo Rygge 7 Pisa – Brindisi 4
Girona – Malaga 6 Pisa – Trieste 3
Ryanair dominates traffic at Germany’s fastest growing airport, Memmingen, which is now served from Bremen.
  • These 10 new routes involve airports in just six countries. Norway gets the most new frequencies with 28 new weekly flights (all from Oslo Rygge), followed by Spain (22), Germany (18), United Kingdom (17), Italy (14) and Belgium (seven). Half of the new routes are domestic; two in Italy, two in Spain and one in Germany, while four of the five international routes involve connections to Oslo Rygge (RYG) in Norway, a new Ryanair destination.

Cake 4: Ukraine International’s Kiev to Abu Dhabi

  • Ukraine International has launched twice-weekly flights from Kiev (KBP) to Abu Dhabi (AUH). The airline will operate the route as a code-share with Etihad Airways using a 737. Ukraine International already serves Dubai twice-weekly in competition with Aerosvit (who operate four weekly flights).

The rest of this week’s route news

Image: Avianova
Avianova at Moscow Vnukovo – fast building in many ways.
  • New Russian LCC Avianova added a fifth route from its Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) base this week. Naberezhnye Chelny (NBC) will be served with three weekly flights using one of the airline’s two A320s. Competition on the route will come from UTair (daily flights).
Image: 32 Club World travellers
Well there it goes – first stop for a maximum 32 Club World travellers is Shannon to pre-clear US immigration. Return from JFK is non-stop.
  • British Airways finally unleashed its new transatlantic service from London City (LCY) airport this week. New York JFK (JFK) will be served twice daily using a brace of all Club World 32-seat A318s, which will make a technical stop at Shannon on the westbound flight where passengers can pre-clear US immigration. Return flights from New York are non-stop. One of the rotations has been given the historic ‘001’ and ‘002’ flight numbers previously reserved for BA’s Concorde services. For a detailed history of the London – New York air travel market see our previous route analysis.
  • Carpatair has begun twice weekly (Monday and Friday) flights between Bucharest (OTP) and Ancona (AOI). A Saab 2000 will operate the route. Most of Carpatair’s routes are from its Timisoara base and this new route is the airline’s first international route from the Romanian capital. Carpatair already serves Ancona directly from Timisoara. Last year the Italian airport handled some 410,000 passengers. Alitalia and Lufthansa serve their Rome and Munich hubs with thrice-daily flights from Ancona, Ryanair serves four destinations (Alghero, Brussels Charleroi, Dűsseldorf Weeze and London Stansted), while Belle Air serves Tirana.
  • China Southern has begun twice-weekly flights between Guangzhou (CAN) and Male (MLE) in the Maldives using an A330-200. This appears to be the only direct link between China and the Maldives.
  • Emirates launched a new route from Dubai (DXB) to Durban (DUR) this week. This is the airline’s third destination in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town. The daily service was originally planned for 2008 but was delayed due to the rise in fuel prices. The route will be served by an A330-200. Durban is located in KwaZulu-Natal Province – better known as the Kingdom of the Zulu. According to the airline, “Visitors looking to relax in Durban can enjoy the beautiful beaches of The Golden Mile or swim and surf in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.” Next summer Durban will be one of the major venues for the FIFA World Cup.
Image: Iraqi Airways
Iraqi’s return: The growth in services between Bahrain and Iraq has been made possible by a revised air services agreement between the two countries which was agreed in July
  • After a gap of almost 20 years Iraqi Airways has re-started flights between Baghdad (BGW) and Bahrain (BAH). Flights will operate five times weekly using a 737-200. Gulf Air also re-launched flights between the two cities in early September.
Image: Gulf Air News conference
News conference at Najaf: First Deputy of Najaf Governor Dr. Razzaq Sharif, Head of Governing Board Sheikh Fayed Al Shemmari, and Gulf Air CEO Samer Majali. The ribbon cutters: Standing group: Undersecretary of Civil Aviation Affairs, Captain Abdul Rahman Al Goud, Gulf Air CEO Samer Majali (standing at rear), Bahrain’s Ambassador to Iraq Salah Al Malki, Shura Council Member Khalid Al Maskati, and Iraq’s Ambassador to Bahrain Ghassan Mohsen.
  • Image: Holy City - NajafGulf Air has added another new route in Iraq. This week it started four-times weekly flights from Bahrain (BAH) to the Holy City of Najaf (NJF) using an A320. Frequency will increase to daily from the end of October. The growth in services between Bahrain and Iraq has been made possible by a revised air services agreement between the two countries which was agreed in July. Najaf is located around 160 kilometres south of Baghdad and is renowned as the site of the tomb of Imam Ali. Holy City of Najaf takes the number of cities Gulf Air flies to in Iraq to two and the airline’s total route network to 44 destinations in 29 countries. Departing on the inaugural flight Gulf Air CEO Samer Majali said: “We have identified Iraq as a niche destination. A large number of pilgrims visit the sacred shrine of Imam Ali and Iraq continues to rebuild and prosper we envisage that Najaf will become a centre of religious and cultural tourism. The potential is enormous and as such we plan to increase the service from four times per week to daily as part of our 2009/2010 winter schedule from 26 October, by which time we will have received two of the 15 brand new A320 aircraft we have on order.”
Image: Jet Airways Ceremony
The inaugural lamp-lighting ceremony at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, in the presence of senior company officials. Jet Airways’ CEO, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, said:”We are delighted to connect Delhi and Hong Kong and launch our inaugural flights on the occasion of China National Day. There continues to remain a strong demand for quality services on the Delhi-Hong Kong sector.”
  • International traffic in India continues to be stimulated by new services from Jet Airways. This week saw the introduction of daily services from Delhi (DEL) to Hong Kong (HKG) using an A330-200. According to Mr. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO, Jet Airways, “We are delighted to connect Delhi and Hong Kong with daily services, and launch our inaugural flight from Hong Kong to Delhi on the occasion of China National Day. There continues to remain a strong demand for quality services on the Delhi-Hong Kong sector, on account of the latter’s popularity as a leading global business and leisure destination.” Delhi and Hong Kong are currently connected by non-stop flights offered by Air India (daily) and Cathay Pacific (daily).
Image: jetBlue begins its first services to Barbados
JetBlue’s all-Barbadian crew join chief commercial officer Robin Hayes to cut the (blue) ribbon with the Hon. Richard Sealy, Barbados Minister of Tourism. Photo: Clyde Jones.
  • JetBlue this week began its first services to Barbados (BGI). Daily all-year round services from New York JFK (JFK) will be operated by the airline’s A320s. “JetBlue is proud to offer our customers even more choice with the addition of new daily service between New York and Barbados,” said Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s vice president of network planning. “We look forward to welcoming New Yorkers and Barbadians alike to JetBlue with low fares and the promise of a great travel experience. Whether you’re headed on holiday or reconnecting with family and friends, JetBlue gets you there in style and comfort, and without breaking the bank.” In applauding the new JetBlue service from JFK, the Barbados Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Richard Sealy, stated that he was happy to welcome the JetBlue service to Barbados: “The carrier has an excellent reputation in the industry and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership,” he said. “The additional service fits in perfectly with Government’s strategy of increasing our levels of business out of the US market.” Direct services from Barbados to the US are currently provided by American (to Miami and New York JFK) and US Airways (to Charlotte).
The Mayor of Townsville Les Tyrell is guest-of-honour at launch. The ribbon cutting is performed by Kevin Gill (COO Townsville Airport), Warrick Lodge (Rex GM Network Strategy & Sales), and Councillor Sue Blom and Councillor Brian Hewett (both of Townsville City Council) watched by Jim Davis (Rex Managing Director). Then passengers rush aboard heading for Mackay.
  • Logo: REX Regional ExpressREX Regional Express began thrice-daily intra-Queensland flights between Townsville (TSV) and Mackay (MKY) using Saab 340s. The route is already served by Qantas with 16 weekly departures. REX operates a fleet of 40 Saab 340s on Australian domestic routes. In the latest financial year the airline carried 1.3 million passengers (down 12.8%) at an average load factor of 66%.
Image: REX Regional Express began thrice-daily intra-Queensland flights between Townsville (TSV) and Mackay (MKY)
Mackay’s airport director, Terry Simpson, sent this photo to us after falling off his chair laughing because’s publisher is called Paul Hogan. “I thought it was Crocodile Dundee” said Simpson to a bleary-eyed Hogan who was calling Aus in the middle of the night from London. The real movie star is back in the news for alleged tax evasion, whereas our London-based Mick Dundee reckons he’s paid “sizable chunks” of his.
  • S7 has begun daily flights from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Kaliningrad KD Avia (KGD) using an A319. The route used to be operated by which ceased operations earlier this month. According to OAG data, at the time of its closure it was operating a hub-and-spoke network to 20 destinations, 10 in Russia and various CIS states, and 10 in Europe (of which five were in Germany).
  • United has introduced two new routes this week. From its Chicago O’Hare (ORD) base it is starting twice-daily flights to London (YXU) in Ontario. The Canadian airport’s only other international service is currently provided by Northwest from Detroit. United is also starting a daily service (operated by Skywest) between San Francisco (SFO) and Kansas City (MCI) which will compete with a daily service operated by Midwest.


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