New routes launched during the last week
(Saturday 17 October – Friday 23 October):

Route of the Week:’s Newcastle to Sharm El-Sheikh

Image: Jet 2
Two CEO’s and a Base Captain: Newcastle International’s Dave Laws (left) celebrates the new weekly route to Sharm El-Sheikh with the airline’s Philip Meeson (middle) and Kenton Ensink (right).
  • has begun weekly (Saturday) flights from Newcastle (NCL) to Sharm El-Sheikh (SSH) in Egypt. At over 4,100 kilometres the flight is one of the airline’s longest and will be flown by a 757. The airline began flights to Sharm El-Sheikh from Leeds/Bradford and Manchester last winter. Competition on this new route will be provided by Thomsonfly operating twice-weekly flights.
Image: Newspaper extract
If your newsagent ran out of Tuesday’s Macau Daily News, here’s the great coverage on Air Macau’s Macau to Nanning launch. (We’re grateful to our colleagues at the newspaper and Xinhua News Agency for the photos)
  • Map: MacauAir Macau has begun non-stop flights from Macau (MFM) to Nanning (NNG) in China. Flights operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday using a 122-seat A319. No other carrier currently operates this route. The airline started commercial flights in November 1995 and has grown to operate a fleet of 14 A320-series aircraft. It operates 58 weekly departures to two destinations in Taiwan and 73 weekly departures to eight destinations in China, providing many opportunities for passengers across the Taiwan Strait. Air Macau also serves Bangkok (Thailand), Osaka Kansai (Japan) and Seoul Incheon (Korea), and is the busiest airline at Macau Airport with around 35% of scheduled seat capacity. Last year Macau handled almost 5.1 million passengers but with more direct cross-strait flights being permitted, passenger numbers in the first seven months of this year are down 23%.
Image: Air Asia
At the launch event for AirAsia X’s route from its Kuala Lumpur base to Chengdu in China, a main focal point on the KL side of the celebrations was the giant panda, native to the Chengdu region. Meanwhile, in Chengdu, He Jian of the Chengdu Culture and Tourism Development Group and Kathleen Tan, regional head of commercial at AirAsia, “had to do” with being flanked by the gorgeous cabin crew.
  • AirAsia X continues to develop its network from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) with the addition this week of a new four-times weekly service to Chengdu (CTU) using an A330. Chengdu is currently ranked sixth among Chinese airports with over 17 million passengers in 2008 but offers a relatively limited range of international destinations. These include Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul and Singapore, as well as twice-weekly flights to Amsterdam with KLM.
  • Alaska Airlines has launched daily flights between Seattle (SEA) and Atlanta (ATL). The route is already served by Delta with five daily flights. For Alaska Airlines this is the first time the airline has chosen to serve the world’s busiest airport, which last year handled just over 90 million passengers.
Image: FlyDubai
Hopping across the Persian Gulf: The first passengers were welcomed aboard flydubai’s flight between Dubai and Doha, a service that carries the flight number FZ001.
  • Dubai’s new low-cost carrier, flydubai, has introduced double-daily flights between Dubai (DXB) and Doha (DOH). The two airports are just 380 kilometres apart. Competition on the route will come from Qatar Airways (with 54 weekly departures) and Emirates (with 34 weekly departures). Flydubai has just received its fifth 737-800 and is now operating to seven destinations from its Dubai hub.
  • Monarch has begun serving Fuerteventura (FUE) and Gran Canaria (LPA) from its four UK bases at Birmingham (BHX), London Gatwick (LGW), London Luton (LTN) and Manchester (MAN). All of these routes will be served once or twice weekly over the winter period with a combination of A320s and A321s. The only one of these routes already served by the airline is from London Luton to Gran Canaria.
Ad: Muscat to Male
  • A week later than originally planned, Oman Air has begun service from Muscat (MCT) to Male (MLE) in the Maldives and Colombo (CMB) in Sri Lanka. Oman Air has been busy launching several new European routes in recent weeks including Frankfurt, Munich and Paris. The delay to these new Colombo and Male services has been blamed by the airline on “the inability to secure approval from the Sri Lankan authorities.”
Image: Westjet
Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet is welcomed to Miami by both the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the airport’s deputy aviation director Miguel Southwell (center) and marketing director Chris Mangos (far left).
  • WestJet is expanding its international network with the launch of two new US services from Toronto (YYZ) to Atlantic City (ACY) and Miami (MIA). Both routes will be served daily. For Atlantic City airport this appears to be their first scheduled international service. On the Toronto – Miami route, competition will be provided by American Airlines and Air Canada who both operate at least daily on the route.


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