New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 10 October – Friday 16 October):

Route of the Week:
Allegiant Air’s Phoenix/Mesa to Central Nebraska

Mike Olson, executive director, Central Nebraska Regional Airport welcomes Allegiant Air’s first service from Phoenix /Mesa.
  • Image: Route of the Week
    KHAS-TV’s report of the route launch

    Allegiant Air this week added two more routes from its base at Phoenix/Mesa (AZA) airport. Having started flights from Central Nebraska Regional Airport (GRI) near Grand Island (Nebraska) to Las Vegas in September 2008 the airline has now added twice-weekly flights to Phoenix/Mesa. “The Central Nebraska Regional Airport is very excited Allegiant Air is adding air service to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport,” Central Nebraska Regional Airport executive director, Mike Olson A.A.E., said. “The new service will compliment the already very successful service to Las Vegas. All of Central Nebraska will be thrilled to have affordable, convenient nonstop service to the ‘Valley of the Sun.’” The other new connection is from Gerald R Ford International Airport (GRR) serving Grand Rapids in Michigan. Both routes will be served twice-weekly with Allegiant’s 150-seat MD80s. “We are pleased to be a part of this new service offering by Allegiant Air,” executive director of Gerald R. Ford International, Jim Koslosky, said. “The addition of Phoenix shows the dedication of Allegiant Air to the West Michigan community and the support from the community of Allegiant Air’s presence at Ford International. We thank you both for supporting Gerald R. Ford International Airport.”

Image: Arkefly
Arkefly’s aircraft was greeted to Kathmandu with nature’s own fire truck salute – rain. Noteworthy is that the 7,000 km route appears to be operated with a 737-800, a range that requires a fuelling stop (at an unspecified destination). We are grateful to our colleagues on the Nepalese newspaper República for the photo.
  • Arkefly, the Belgian Dutch arm of TUI, has begun weekly non-stop flights from Amsterdam (AMS) to Kathmandu (KTM) in Nepal. These are apparently the first non-stop scheduled services between Europe and Nepal for five years since Royal Nepal Airlines abandoned various routes to Europe.
  • This week saw the introduction by easyJet of daily flights between two great and historic capital cities. Despite neither airport being a base easyJet has decided to connect Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Athens (ATH) despite competition from Aegean, Alitalia and the new Olympic Air. It becomes easyJet’s seventh route to Athens following in the footsteps of London Luton (July 1998), London Gatwick (July 2002), Berlin Schönefeld (May 2004), Milan Malpensa (March 2006), Paris Orly (May 2007) and Manchester (May 2009).
  • Montenegro Airlines has begun twice-weekly flights between Podgorica (TGD) and Dűsseldorf (DUS) using a Fokker 100. Flights operate Tuesday and Saturday. The airline already serves Frankfurt with four weekly flights. Last year Podgorica airport handled over 500,000 passengers.
  • Image: Qatar Airways route launch
    Fast-expanding Qatar Airways’ service between Doha and Amritsar was launched just in time for the religious festival Diwali that is estimated to attract large numbers of passengers to Punjab state.

    Qatar Airways has begun serving the Indian city of Amritsar (ATQ) from its Doha (DOH) hub. Flights will operate four times weekly. The colourful city of Amritsar is home to the famous Golden Temple, the holy place of worship for the Sikh religion, and a site that draws more visitors annually than India’s renowned Taj Mahal. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the first Amritsar flight signalled the start of a new period of planned route expansion. “These are exciting times for Qatar Airways with three route launches in less than two months, which demonstrates the robust growth we are still experiencing,” he said. “Qatar Airways and, indeed the State of Qatar, have close ties with India which are today strengthening with the launch of flights to Amritsar. I am extremely indebted to the authorities in Amritsar for welcoming Qatar Airways with open arms to this wonderful, historic city. Amritsar is highly underserved by international airlines so we are pleased to be filling a void with our award-winning service to and from this highly popular destination in north India.” Qatar Airways currently operates 60 flights a week between Doha and India – daily non-stop services to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Cochin and Kozhikode. The addition of Goa will take Qatar Airways’ Indian capacity up to 64 flights a week. Added Al Baker: “By bringing forward the launch date of Amritsar, we are able to meet the huge demand anticipated in time for the Diwali festive holidays celebrated by devotees of many religions, including Sikhism, during October. Amritsar is very much the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion.”

  • Vietnam Airlines has introduced services to a third Japanese destination from Hanoi (HAN). This week saw the launch of twice-weekly (Tuesday and Saturday) flights to Fukuoka (FUK) using an A320. The airline already serves Tokyo Narita and Nagoya from Hanoi, while also serving Fukuoka from Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Image: Zest AirPhilippine regional carrier Zest Air has launched four new routes this week including three from Cebu (CEB). Cagayan de Oro (CGY) and Davao (DVO) will both be served daily, while Zamboanga (ZAM) will get three weekly flights. From Zamboanga (ZAM) the airline has also launched its first international flight to Sandakan (SDK) in Malaysia. This route will also be served with three weekly flights. All routes are operated by 56-seat MA60 aircraft made by the Xi’an Aircraft Company of China.


  1. Sikiri says:

    Arkefly is not the Belgian arm of TUI, but the Dutch one. TUI Belgium airlines is called Jetairfly. replies: D’oh! Of course it is, that’s why it’s operating from Amsterdam and not from Brussels …

  2. Jip says:

    In addition to what Sikiri says (ArkeFly is Dutch), the flight has a fuel stop in Bahrain. replies: Thanks for clearing up that mystery Jip. So Kathmandu is still waiting for non-stop direct flights from Europe then.

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