New routes launched during the last week (Wednesday 10 February – Tuesday 16 February):

Route of the Week:
US Airways’ Charlotte to Melbourne

Melbourne’s mayor Harry Goode cut the ribbon with help from Miss Florida Rachael Todd. More than 100 community and business leaders gathered at the airport to welcome US Airways back to Melbourne, its 15th Florida destination, after a 12-year hiatus.

  • US Airways began flying from its Charlotte, NC (CLT) hub to Melbourne, FL (MLB) on 11 February. The airline, which will serve the airport on Florida’s ‘Space Coast’ with three daily flights on 70-seat CRJ700s, is the second major airline to serve the airport after Delta Air Lines’ 43 weekly Atlanta services. Melbourne’s Airport Executive Director Richard A. Ennis commented: “It speaks volumes that the first week of flights from Charlotte is sold out. It is a clear indication that the public is embracing the return of US Airways to Melbourne.”

Jockey of the Week:
AirTran’s Lexington to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando

Thrilled about the two new Florida services: Lexington’s Mayor Jim Newberry celebrated the new AirTran routes with Kentucky resident and Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day and AirTran Airways’ director of sales Paul Clements.

SkyWest’s CRJ200, operating on behalf of AirTran, was welcomed to a snowy Des Moines after its first journey from Milwaukee. The route will operate three times a day in competition with Midwest.

AirTran’s new Orlando to Montego Bay route was sent off with a steel drum band and a carnival atmosphere. Tropical smoothies and goodie bags were also handed out to passengers to mark the occasion.

  • Suitably for the long weekend in the US (because of Washington’s Birthday on 15 February), AirTran has launched seven new routes. The two Milwaukee (MKE) routes will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, while the two Orlando (MCO) routes only recently had competing services launched. As reported last week, Allegiant just moved its Lexington (LEX) service over to Orlando International and jetBlue launched flights to Montego Bay (MBJ). AirTran’s SVP marketing and planning Kevin Healy commented the launches to Montego Bay: “We are extremely excited to be connecting not only Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington and Orlando to this popular tourist destination, but in fact, almost our entire network”.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
11-Feb-10 Atlanta, GA (ATL) Montego Bay (MBJ) 7 B737-700 Delta (21)
11-Feb-10 Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) Montego Bay (MBJ) 7 B737-700 Air Jamaica (6). From IAD: United (1)
11-Feb-10 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Lexington, KY (LEX) 3 B717
12-Feb-10 Orlando, FL (MCO) Lexington, KY (LEX) 4 B717 Allegiant (4)
11-Feb-10 Orlando, FL (MCO) Montego Bay (MBJ) 4 B737-700 jetBlue (6), Air Jamaica (4)
11-Feb-10 Milwaukee, WI (MKE) Des Moines, IA (DSM) 21 CRJ200 Midwest (19)
11-Feb-10 Milwaukee, WI (MKE) Omaha, NE (OMA) 20 CRJ200 Midwest (25)
WF*: Weekly frequency
  • Air Canada has launched yet another weekly leisure route out of Halifax (YHZ). Samaná (AZS) in the Dominican Republic was launched on 11 February, served with an A319. Halifax is Air Canada’s third airport to receive services to Samaná, which it already serves from Montreal and Toronto. The same airline also offers weekly flights each to two further destinations in the Dominican Republic out of Halifax; Puerto Plata and Punta Cana.
  • All-MD80 operator Allegiant Air has continued to move flights over to its new Orlando International (MCO) focus city from Orlando Sanford. The airport has seen the addition of six weekly flights to Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) on 12 February as well as four times weekly to Springfield, MO (SGF) and thrice weekly to Tri-Cities, TN/VA (TRI) on 15 February. Celebrations for the move of all ten Allegiant routes took place at the same time and were awarded last week’s Cake of the Week
bmibaby captain Martin Forrest

bmibaby captain Martin Forrest and Venetian carnival dancers welcome passengers on board the inaugural flight from East Midlands to Venice, only a month after easyJet suspended its EMA base and Venice route.

  • bmibaby launched a new route to Venice (VCE) out of its East Midlands (EMA) base in time for both the carnival and Valentine’s Day. Four weekly flights began operating on 12 February and will fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays until 30 October. The route was operated year round by easyJet until last month; daily during summer season and four times weekly in winter. After its East Midlands base was suspended, Ryanair has also been eager to fill the void left by the orange competitor and has announced flights to Venice Treviso (TSF) from 4 May.
  • Delta Air Lines has launched two new routes on 11 February, both operated with CRJ200s. New York JFK (JFK) is now connected daily with Halifax (YHZ), which replaces the airline’s connection with the capital of Nova Scotia out of Boston, which was suspended at the end of January. The service is operated by subsidiary Comair and will compete with American Airlines’ twice-daily flights as well as indirectly with Continental Airlines’ thrice-daily services to Newark. On the 175-kilometre route between Los Angeles (LAX) and San Diego (SAN), Delta has also launched 5 daily flights, operated by SkyWest. These compete with American Airlines’ 17 daily services and United Airlines’ 14 daily.
easyJet launch

easyJet’s 500th route is coincidentally competing indirectly with Ryanair. The northern Portuguese city of Porto is now served five times a week on easyJet from Milan Malpensa, while Ryanair flies three times weekly from Bergamo.

  • easyJet has launched three new routes from its Milan Malpensa (MXP) base; two to Morocco on 11 February and one to Portugal on 12 February. Casablanca (CMN) will be served six times weekly and Agadir (AGA) three times. The Casablanca services face competition from both Royal Air Maroc’s 10 weekly flights and Jet4you’s six weekly, while the Agadir route is operated against Royal Air Maroc’s currently two weekly services. Five weekly flights have also started to Porto (OPO), easyJet’s 500th route, in competition with TAP Portugal’s daily services.
Norwegian will serve Billund with four routes.

A new Danish market for fast-growing Norwegian, which just reported record profits. As part of the airline’s marketing strategy, the first flight to Billund had a number of competition winners on board. By the end of the month, Norwegian will serve Billund with four routes.

  • Norwegian has entered yet another Cimber Sterling territory in Denmark. Billund (BLL) received weekly, seasonal flights to Las Palmas (LPA) and Malaga (AGP) on 13 and 14 February respectively. The major route launched is, however, from Copenhagen (CPH), which will be served with 17 weekly flights on 737s. The competitor Cimber Sterling offers 27 flights a week, but only one on a 737 and the remaining on smaller ATRs and CRJs. This means that Norwegian will offer more than 60% more seats on the route than Cimber Sterling. Later this month, Norwegian will also start serving Billund from its Oslo Gardemoen base.
  • Royal Air Maroc has added to its Moroccan network out of Lyon (LYS) with a weekly flight to Agadir (AGA) from 13 February. The service will be operated on Royal Air Maroc’s behalf by its low-cost subsidiary Atlas Blue, using 737-800s. The new route is uncontested, but the airline already serves Lyon from Casablanca, Marrakech and Fez.
  • QantasLink launched 23 weekly flights between Adelaide (ADL) and Port Lincoln (PLO), 250 kilometres apart, on 15 February. The 74-seat Q400 services compete with Port Lincoln’s only other service, also to Adelaide, with Regional Express 60 times weekly on Saab 340s. Because of the Spencer Gulf dividing the two cities, the alternative drive would be a much longer 650 kilometres. QantasLink’s launch comes as the ferry service across the gulf is suspended. Narendra Kumar, QantasLink’s Executive Manager, commented: “We are very pleased to be able to offer the people of Port Lincoln our premium product, which will not only result in reduced flying time between Port Lincoln and Adelaide in comparison to other aircraft operated on the route, but will enable us to offer 3,400 seats each week between the two markets”.

Brandi Honey, Marketing Manager for SkyWest, and Neil Archer, Chairman of the Barkley Regional Airport Authority, cut the ribbon to launch the new CRJ200 service from Paducah to Chicago O’Hare. Airport Manager Richard Roof (left), McCracken County Judge Executive Van Newberry, and Deputy Commissioner of KY Aviation Steve Parker delivered words of welcome to SkyWest before a crowd of 150 who came to see the first arrival and departure on 11 February. (Photo: Eddie Grant, iSurf Paducah)

The new United/SkyWest service to Muskegon County Airport was welcomed by 150 locals at an event organised with the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce. Taking part in the ribbon cutting were Rob Brewer, SkyWest Airlines; Jill Emory, convention and visitors bureau; Bonnie Hammersley, county administrator; Charles Nash, district #7 county commissioner, vice-chairman county board; Marvin Engle, district #5 county commissioner; James Derezinski, district #4 county commissioner; Bill Gill (cutting ribbon; left), district #8 county commissioner, chairman transportation committee; Kenneth Mahoney (cutting ribbon; right), district #1 county commissioner, chairman county board; Lew Collins, district #6 county commissioner; Robert Scolnik, district #11 county commissioner, transportation committee vice-chair and Roger Wade, district #10 county commissioner.

  • United Airlines has launched five domestic routes ahead of the long weekend in the US. United becomes the only airline to operate scheduled services into Muskegon (MKG) and Paducah (PAH), as the current operator Delta Air Lines pulls out to make way for United and its Chicago O’Hare (ORD) hub. The two routes are subsidised federally under the “Essential Air Service Program”, now having been won by United over Delta.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
11-feb-10 San Francisco, CA (SFO) St Louis, MO (STL) 7 A319 American (7)
11-feb-10 Washington, DC (IAD) Pensacola, FL (PNS) 14 CRJ200
11-feb-10 Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Muskegon, MI (MKG) 21 CRJ200
11-feb-10 Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Paducah, KY (PAH) 14 CRJ200
11-feb-10 Denver, CO (DEN) Dayton, OH (DAY) 7 CRJ700 Frontier (14)
WF*: Weekly frequencies
  • Viva Macau added its second Vietnamese destination to its network on 13 February. The airline will serve Hanoi (HAN) three times weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with 767s from its Macau (MFM) base. It has already served Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) since December 2007.

A high-pressure welcome: vivaaerobus’ flight from Guadalajara was welcomed to Chihuahua by the enthusiastic fire brigade. Juan Carlos Zuazua, commercial director at vivaaerobus, spoke to the gathered press about the airline’s second route to the city since it began its service from Monterrey at the launch of the airline on 30 November 2006.

  • The Mexican ultra low-cost airline vivaaerobus launched a new daily route between Guadalajara (GDL) and Chihuahua (CUU) on 15 February. The service, which will be operated on 737-300s, is operated in competition with AeroMexico’s 12 weekly flights and Mexicana’s 13 weekly, which started earlier this month. This is the airline’s second route to Chihuahua, already serving the airport from its main base in Monterrey.


  1. Hi

    Hope to see in Cracov airport any airlines from USA.
    It is really great market for connection from Cracov POland special to Chicago or New York area.

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