New routes launched during the last week (Saturday 30 January – Tuesday 9 February)

Route of the Week:
Jetstar Asia’s Singapore to Shantou

A marriage made in Heaven – or at least on Jetstar Asia’s new Shantou service: Rachel Chan and Alvin Lim get married on the inaugural flight, the first foreign service into Shantou. The arrival was greeted with all the festivities and a speech by CEO Chong Phit Lian.

  • Jetstar Asia has launched three weekly flights from its Singapore (SIN) base to Shantou (SWA) in mainland China, a city of 5 million and famous for its communication industry. The airline’s A320s started flying the route on 2 February, marking the launch of its second destination in mainland China (the other being Haikou on the island of Hainan). Jetstar Asia’s CEO Chong Phit Lian commented: “Our latest low fare services, representing Jetstar’s 2nd mainland Chinese market, will provide an unprecedented direct flight link for Teochew descendents now based or living in Singapore and the Guangdong Province as well as a convenient low fare flight offering for leisure and business travelers”. The only other international routes out of Shantou are offered by China Southern, which serves Hong Kong and Bangkok.

Cake of the Week:
Allegiant Air’s move to Orlando International!

Allegiant’s Florida Chief of Pilots, Captain Chris Gillette, poses with Jim Rose, senior director of commercial properties Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, before cutting the cake to celebrate the move of Allegiant’s Knoxville, Lexington, Allentown and Greenville-Spartanburg routes to Orlando International.

  • The American low-cost carrier Allegiant Air has this week launched a new focus city. Orlando International Airport (MCO) got four services moved over from Orlando Sanford (SFB), with six further routes scheduled to make the move in the coming month. On 1 February, the daily service to Knoxville, TN (TYS) and the five weekly to Lexington, KY (LEX) made the move. They were followed by Allentown, PA (ABE) and Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (GSP) on 8 February.
  • airberlin has launched a fortnightly 737-800 service between Munich (MUC) and Erbil (EBL) in Iraq on 6 February. Erbil’s current European links are with Turkish Airlines from Istanbul Atatürk, Austrian Airlines from Vienna, Viking Airlines from Stockholm Arlanda, Malmö and Gothenburg Landvetter as well as Viking Hellas from Athens (also launched this week – see below). According to current plans, airberlin’s frequencies will increase by the summer. Return fares start at a high €598.
Air Canada route launch

Volunteers saw off the first passengers to Tampa, which is Halifax Stanfield International Airport’s second Florida destination.

  • Air Canada has on 8 February launched a weekly service between Halifax (YHZ) and Tampa Bay (TPA) in ‘sunshine state’ Florida. A319s are scheduled to operate the seasonal service until 6 May. This is Halifax’ second Florida route, already offering Orlando services on both Air Canada (twice-weekly) and WestJet (weekly).
  • The Thai regional airline Bangkok Airways has launched a daily domestic service on 1 February from Bangkok (BKK) to Lampang (LPT) via Sukhothai (THS) using its ATR-72s. Bangkok Airways is the only airline operating scheduled services to the two airports in north-west Thailand. Sukhothai also has a second daily service to Bangkok on the airline.
Image: Cimber Sterling’s new weekly Salzburg route

Cimber Sterling’s new, weekly Salzburg route, operated by its ‘exotic’ retro-painted 737-700 from Billund.

  • Cimber Sterling has continued its expansion on the Danish mainland by launching another weekly 737-700 ski service from Billund (BLL) on 30 January. Salzburg (SLZ) will be served until 6 March. This is the airline’s 11th route from Billund this winter.
  • Cirrus Airlines has begun flying between Munich (MUC) and Bern (BRN), the lesser-known capital of Switzerland, on 1 February. The 12 weekly services will be operated with its Dornier 328-100s. The route was just dropped by Lufthansa, which served the route on larger capacity Q400s operated by Augsburg Airways. Munich is the only German destination served from Bern.
Image: easyJet London Gatwick- Düsseldorf

London Gatwick-Düsseldorf: easyJet’s first flight from Gatwick was welcomed by Düsseldorf’s manager airline marketing Ulli Topp (far left) and easyJet’s regional marketing manager Verena Keimer (centre). The route competes with Flybe’s recently launched services.

easyjet

Düsseldorf-Rome: Looking happy, even in a cold Düsseldorf: The easyJet crew join for a photo with Lutz Honerla, VP Marketing & Strategy Düsseldorf International (far left), easyJet’s regional marketing manager Verena Keimer and Düsseldorf’s manager airline marketing Ulli Topp (centre) before taking off for sunny Rome in competition with Lufthansa and airberlin. (Photos: Andreas Wiese, Düsseldorf International)

Image: easyJet Hamburg-London Gatwick

Hamburg-London Gatwick: Hamburg Airport’s GM aviation marketing Jörgen Kearsley (far right) presents the easyJet crew with a cake and flowers. anna.aero’s dedicated followers of confection will recognise the impressive Hamburg Airport-style cake and appreciate the orange touch. (Photo: Michael Penner, Hamburg Airport)

Passengers on easyJet's two new routes from Paris and Manchester to Helsinki were greeted by Finavia’s Business Development Manager Kimmo Holopainen and the airport’s easyJet girls who handed out Finnish chocolates in easyJet colours. Nobody could get away from their charm - including the happy Russian hat-clad tourist on his way to Paris.

  • easyJet has launched further routes to its newest German destination Düsseldorf (DUS). The London Gatwick service will notably compete directly with Flybe’s 17 weekly E-195 services, only launched in June last year. The airline’s new services from London Gatwick (LGW) to Hamburg (HAM), which complements its six weekly London Luton services, does not face any direct competition, but indirectly from British Airways’ (27 weekly) and Lufthansa’s (21 weekly) London Heathrow flights. Notably, easyJet’s main competitor at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) – Air France – does not serve Helsinki (HEL) other than through code-sharing with alliance rival Finnair. Agadir (AGA) is already connected with Paris through services to Paris Orly; Royal Air Maroc (12), Transavia.com (5), Jet4you (2) and Aigle Azur (2).
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
01-Feb-10 Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Düsseldorf (DUS) 7 A319 airberlin (7), Lufthansa (7)
02-Feb-10 London Gatwick (LGW) Düsseldorf (DUS) 7 A319 flybe (17)
02-Feb-10 London Gatwick (LGW) Hamburg (HAM) 14 A319  
08-Feb-10 Paris CDG Helsinki (HEL) 7 A319 Finnair (35), Blue1 (5)
08-Feb-10 Manchester (MAN) Helsinki (HEL) 4 A319 Finnair (10)
09-Feb-10 Paris CDG Agadir (AGA) 4 A319  
09-Feb-10 Paris CDG Catania (CTA) 3 A319 Wind Jet (1)

Etihad was warmly welcomed to Nagoya. After the celebrations, UAE’s Ambassador to Japan, Saeed Al-Nowais, and Etihad’s CCO Peter Baumgartner shook hands on the airline’s entry into an important market. The route is already scheduled to increase to five weekly frequencies in less than two months’ time.

  • Etihad Airways started flights to its first Japanese destination on 1 February. Abu Dhabi (AUH) will have four weekly flights to Nagoya (NGO), operating via Beijing on A330-200s. The frequency will increase to five times weekly from 29 March. This launch makes Etihad the first of the ‘MEB3’ airlines to serve Nagoya. The airline will further increase its Japanese network in March, when it adds a service to Tokyo Narita. Etihad’s CEO James Hogan commented: “We believe the connection between Abu Dhabi and Nagoya will offer opportunities to grow tourism, as well as foster commercial growth and benefit key industries – particularly energy, environmental services and manufacturing, for which Nagoya is becoming a centre of excellence.”

Five local entrepreneurs (Fredrik Göpert, Thomas Johansson, Henrik Lindberg, Gabriel Andersson and Henrik Göpert) have set up the new virtual airline Flyglinjen in Jönköping in southern Sweden. On arrival of the first flight from Stockholm Bromma, Jönköping airport’s MD Hazze Sandström greeted the arriving passengers with a red carpet and then wished the chairman of Flyglinjen, Gabriel Andersson, the best of luck.

  • Flyglinjen is a new Swedish virtual regional airline based in Jönköping (JKG). On 8 February, it started services to the capital’s city airport Stockholm Bromma (BMA) 15 times weekly. Jönköping airport, which recently received a service to Copenhagen, has shown itself very able to attract new routes after it was sold to the local municipality. Flyglinjen’s flights are operated by UK based Eastern Airways’ Jetstream 41s. The service indirectly competes with the Skyways’ 21 weekly flights to Stockholm Arlanda, although almost 40 kilometres from central Stockholm. Importantly, it has just been announced that the airline has won a tender to provide Swedish state employees with seats for travel between Jönköping and Stockholm. Flyglinjen’s CEO Bengt Lundin commented: “We are delighted that Jönköping’s own airline is finally airborn. We hope that the passengers will recognise how smooth and convenient it is to fly direct to Stockholm city airport with our new concept.”
  • The Brazilian carrier GOL has on 1 February launched five weekly 737-800 flights from the city airport São Paulo Congonhas (CGH) to Bauru (BAU), the biggest city in western São Paulo state and the city where football legend Pelé grew up. This is a route of only 285 kilometres and flights are scheduled to last 50 minutes. Bauru airport is currently only served by the airline Passaredo’s two 30-seater EMB-120 Brasilia services to Marilia and São Paulo Guarulhos. GOL’s CEO Constantino de Oliveira Junior commented on this move into a fresh market: “We are launching regular operations in Bauru in the wake of our success in Presidente Prudente (SP), a destination that handled around 50 passengers a day before GOL moved in and now generates more than 200 tickets per day. We expect the same GOL effect at this new destination, the 50th in our domestic network.”

jetBlue’s staff in Orlando were happy to send off the first flight to Montego Bay on 8 February, offering jetBlue’s many cricket fans a piece of Jamaican-themed cake.

  • jetBlue has this week launched a route from a holiday destination to a holiday destination. Montego Bay (MBJ) in Jamaica is served daily from Orlando (MCO) on A320s from 8 February. The route will be operated in competition with Air Jamaica’s four weekly services. This is jetBlue’s third route to Montego Bay, already offering the destination from New York JFK and Boston, and its 23rd destination offered non-stop from Orlando.
  • JetLite, Jet Airways’ low-cost subsidiary, has begun serving Agartala (IXA) in easternmost India, on the border to Bangladesh, from Kolkata (CCU) on 8 February. The cross-Bangladesh flight will be served five times weekly with 737-700s. The route is already highly competitive, with 14 weekly flights on Indian Airlines, 11 with IndiGo Airlines and daily each on Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Paramount Airways.
Image: Crew and staff from Juneyao Airlines

Crew and staff from Juneyao Airlines had a clear message: “Celebrate Juneyao Airlines’ Shanghai Pudong-Nanchang new route launch”.

  • Juneyao Airlines has begun flying daily from its Shanghai Pudong (PVG) base to Nanchang (KHN) on 1 February with its A320s. The 620-kilometre route is also operated daily by China Eastern Airlines, while four airlines – China Eastern, Xiamen Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Spring Airlines – provide competition from Shanghai Hongqiao.
Image: KLM relaunch of Aruba services

Big big names!!!! The KLM relaunch of Aruba services attracted no less than Peter Steinmetz, MD Aruba airport; Mike Eman, prime minister of Aruba; Peter Hartman, CEO KLM; Otmar Oduber, transport minister; Hendrik Croes, airport PR and Mike de Meza, finance minister.

  • KLM has relaunched its service between Amsterdam (AMS) and Aruba (AUA) on 1 February. The Caribbean autonomous region of the Netherlands will be served from the Dutch capital twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) using 747-400s. The route was suspended on 29 March last year, but has remained served by the airline’s leisure subsidiary Martinair. KLM’s CEO Peter Hartman commented on the decision: “We have seen that customers would like the option of a business class product on flights to and from Aruba. To meet the different demands of our passengers we will operate KLM flights alongside the Martinair service on this route”.
Image: Niki Lauda

Niki Lauda is eager to take advantage of the fact that Serbians no longer need visas to travel to the majority of European countries. Belgrade is already being considered for twice-daily services.

Niki Lauda also piloted the route launch to Sofia where passengers were greeted with a commemorative hat and Bulgarian chocolate. An impressive 70 journalists attended when Lauda himself was welcomed by the minister of transport Aleksandar Tsvetkov, his deputy Kamen Kichev, the Bulgarian CAA director Tilko Petrov, Sofia Airport’s director general Plamen Stanchev, the Austrian ambassador Gerhard Reiweger and commercial representative Michael Angerer.

  • Niki, the Austrian low-cost carrier and airberlin partner, launched three routes from its Vienna (VIE) base to Eastern Europe on 1 February, directly targeting local competitor Austrian Airlines’ traditional “Focus East” strategy. Belgrade (BEG) will be served with six weekly flights on E-190s, competing with Austrian Airlines’ 17 weekly flights and Jat Airways’ 14 weekly. On the press conference following the inaugural flight, piloted by Niki Lauda himself, it was announced that the airline considers more than doubling the frequency by offering twice-daily services from 2011. Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) will also see six weekly services against Austrian’s 19 and TAROM’s 13 weekly flights. Bucharest Baneasa is also served by Blue Air 12 times weekly as of December 2009, after the loss of SkyEurope’s nine weekly services last September. Sofia (SOF), which SkyEurope used to serve daily, has received six weekly A319 services on Niki, which compete with Austrian’s 26 weekly frequencies and Bulgaria Air’s six weekly flights.
Image: Qantas’ Canberra team

Qantas’ Canberra team promote the airline’s new non-stop Darwin route to the ‘Top End Region’ (Northern Territories) at an event at the ‘Boathouse by the Lake’ restaurant in Canberra.

  • Qantas has launched a new route between the country capital Canberra (CBR) and Darwin (DRW) on 1 February. The three weekly flights (operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) will be flown with 168-seater 737-800s and are scheduled to provide an efficient connection on to Melbourne. Darwin Airport’s CEO Ian Kew commented: “The Darwin-Canberra market has grown strongly in recent years, and I am sure these new services will be welcomed by both Government and business travellers. These direct flights will reduce travel time by over one and a half hours in each direction, which is great news.”
Image: Regional Express

Happy to have competition to Qantas: Sending off Rex’s new route between Mount Isa and Townsville: Jennifer Welk, Mount Isa Airport Manager; John Molony, Mayor of Mount Isa; Betty Kiernan, MP for Mount Isa; Robert Mathieson, Airside Logistics and Maurice Gahan, Regional Manager Rex.

  • The Saab 340 operator Regional Express (Rex) of Australia has begun serving the mining city of Mount Isa (ISA) non-stop eight times weekly from Townsville (TSV) on 1 February. The two Queensland destinations are linked as a result of a “recent partnership with the Queensland Government”. Rex’s GM network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge commented: “We have started the direct Mount Isa to Townsville service in response to the persistent and genuine pleas from the local community for an air service to Townsville that is affordable and which has a business-friendly schedule”. Qantas already serves the route nine times weekly on Q400s and Q300s.
Image: Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Tanzania

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Tanzania HE Fatuma Ndangiza welcomed the inaugural flight at Julius Nyerere Airport in Dar es Salaam. (Thanks to RwandAir’s Michael Otieno for providing the pictures)

  • RwandAir, the growing national airline of Rwanda, has launched two routes from Kigali (KGL) on 2 February. The service to Johannesburg (JNB) has been relaunched after almost two months’ suspension after the airline’s previous jet aircraft was involved in an accident. The route will now be flown four times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) on ex-Lufthansa CRJ200s. The airline has also launched a service to Dar es Salaam (DAR), the largest city in Tanzania, operating via Bujumbura (BJM), the capital of Burundi. The three weekly services will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Two carnival regions now connected: Carnival enthusiasts from Putignano in the province of Bari, which is famous for the eldest carnival in Europe, celebrate the launch of the new Bari-Weeze route with the Lower Rhine region carnival group and “Prinzenpaar”. The local marching band leader joined up with the “princess and prince” for a photo with Düsseldorf Weeze’s MD Ludger van Bebber and Ryanair’s regional sales & marketing manager Henrike Schmidt.

  • Ryanair has this week launched its second base in the Italian region of Puglia. The port city of Brindisi (BDS) has seen the launch of five new routes. The airline’s COO and deputy CEO Michael Cawley commented that the “Brindisi base will deliver 650,000 passengers p.a. and sustain 650 local jobs”. The recently launched base in Bari (BRI) has also had four routes added. For more information about Ryanair’s developments, read this week’s special report.
Date Origin Destination WF*
04-Feb-10 Bari (BRI) Valencia (VLC) 3
04-Feb-10 Bari (BRI) Weeze (NRN) 3
05-Feb-10 Bari (BRI) Cagliari (CAG) 4
05-Feb-10 Bari (BRI) Trapani (TPS) 4
04-Feb-10 Brindisi (BDS) Trapani (TPS) 3
04-Feb-10 Brindisi (BDS) Turin (TRN) 3
05-Feb-10 Brindisi (BDS) Venice Treviso (TSF) 4
05-Feb-10 Brindisi (BDS) Eindhoven (EIN) 2
07-Feb-10 Brindisi (BDS) Barcelona Girona (GRO) 2
WF: Weekly Frequencies

Skymark arrives in Fukuoka

  • Skymark, which anna.aero analysed last month, has launched yet another route from Kobe (UKB) this week. On 1 February, twice-daily flights to Fukuoka (FUK) started, using its 737-800s.
Image: Skywest’s Fokker 100

Skywest’s Fokker 100 is welcomed to Kalgoorlie. Mayor Ron Yuryevich hopes the new air service will lead to even more tourists hurrying to his historical gold rush town. (Salute photo: Kalgoorlie Miner)

  • Kalgoorlie (KGI) in Western Australia again offers non-stop Fokker 100 flights once weekly to Melbourne (MEL) after Skywest Airlines began restarted the route on 5 February. The airline used to operate the 2,300 kilometre route between November 2007 and October 2008. anna.aero spoke to the city’s mayor Ron Yuryevich who explained how Kalgoorlie-Boulder is an emerging tourist destination forming part of the Golden Outback Tourism Zone where the discovery of gold by Paddy Hannan in 1893 led to one of Australia’s great gold rushes. Mayor Ron is hoping airline incentives might start the excitement all over again: “For this service, we’re offering free airport taxes and access to an advertising fund which matches dollar for dollar up to AU$ 1m (US$ 860,000).”

Spring Airlines is at it this week again: anna.aero’s China correspondent Joanna Meili informs us that the banner over the check-in area reads “Celebrate Spring Airlines’ new route Shantou-Shanghai; tickets from RMB199” ($29). Thanks to Haipeng Wang in Shantou for the photo.

  • The Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines has launched a daily route from Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) to Shantou (SWA) on 1 February. The A320 service competes with China Southern’s and China Eastern’s services, each operating daily, as well as Shanghai Airlines’ twice-weekly flights. China Southern also offers a further daily service from Shanghai Pudong.
  • Tianjin Airlines now offers three weekly services between its Tianjin (TSN) hub and Wuxi (WUX) near Shanghai. The route, which started on 3 February, is not currently served by any other airline. Tianjin Airlines will use its E-190s on the route.
Image: Tiger Airways

Rosalynn Tay, MD of Tiger Airways Singapore, cuts the ribbon with Ian Kwok, Manager Industry & Government Affairs at Hong Kong Airport. The first passenger to check-in for the inaugural flight was Jehan Djody (right). Thanks to Charles Sng at Tiger Airways for the photos. (Photos: Thomas at TravelQnA)

  • Tiger Airways, the Singaporean low-cost carrier, has launched twice-daily services to Hong Kong (HKG) from 1 February, using its A320s. The airline has served nearby Macau since March 2005 and Shenzhen, just across the Hong Kong border to mainland China, since April 2006, while the local competitor Jetstar Asia (also operating twice-daily on A320s) until now has been left as the only low-cost carrier on the competitive Singapore-Hong Kong route. Other, high-capacity competition comes from Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines (35 weekly frequencies each) as well as United Airlines’ daily flights, all on wide-body aircraft. One of Singapore Airlines’ daily frequencies is even offered on A380s with 471 seats. Rosalynn Tay, MD of Tiger Airways Singapore pointed out: “It is especially meaningful for Tiger Airways to land in Hong Kong in time to welcome the Year of the Tiger”.

The Taiwanese airline TransAsia Airways’ arrival in Fuzhou in mainland China was big enough news to draw attention from the Chinese state TV channel CCTV-4.

  • TransAsia Airways of Taiwan has launched two new cross-strait routes to mainland China from Taizhong (RMQ), Taiwan’s third largest city, with its A321s. On 5 February, the airline began flying twice-weekly to Xiamen (XMN), in competition with Uni Airways’ weekly service. On 7 February, a weekly service to Fuzhou (FOC) followed. These are TransAsia Airways’ second and third international routes from Taizhong, from where it already serves Shanghai Pudong.
  • The new airline Viking Hellas, a Greek subsidiary of the Swedish airline Viking Airlines, has launched services from its Athens (ATH) mini-hub to Manchester (MAN) and Erbil (EBL) in Iraq on 5 February. For more information on the new operations, see this week’s airline analysis on Viking Hellas.

New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.

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