Route of the Week:
Qatar Airways’ Doha to Bangalore
Qatar Airways is now the second ‘MEB3’ airline to serve India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore/Bengaluru. The daily service connects Qatar Airways’ 11th Indian destination with its Doha hub.
- Qatar Airways launched flights to its 11th Indian destination on 22 February. The Information Technology city of Bangalore (BLR), also known as Bengaluru, will be served daily with 144-seat A320s from the airline’s Doha (DOH) hub. In spite of the airline’s already extensive Indian network, the third largest city in India has until now only been served by Emirates among the ‘MEB3’ airlines. Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker commented: “2010 is going to be yet another exciting year for Qatar Airways and I am delighted that India will once again figure prominently in our expansion plans with the launch of Bengaluru from February 22 to further strengthen our operations in the country. Having recently launched flights to Goa and Amritsar, our new Bengaluru flights will provide even more choice for holidaymakers to India, but also provide a strategic air link for IT companies in and around Bengaluru with rest of the world.”
Cake of the Week:
Air Europa’s Madrid to Lima
Ok, so there weren’t many cakes this week. Air Europa’s entire PR team was in Lima and they were unable to get us pictures from the launch events, but they did send us a picture of the inaugural economy in-flight meal, which contained a delicious-looking chocolate brownie worthy of the esteemed Cake of the Week award.
- Air Europa, the Spanish SkyTeam associate, has taken advantage of the demise of Air Comet just before Christmas 2009. On 22 February, it launched three weekly services from its Madrid (MAD) hub to Lima (LIM), flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Peruvian capital will be served with its A330-200s. Competition on the route comes from daily services on LAN, analysed last week, and Iberia’s now 10 weekly flights, having been increased from daily only at the beginning of 2010.
- Allegiant Air has continued its move of 10 of its routes from Orlando Sanford to Orlando International (MCO). On 16 February, the airport saw the launch of five weekly services to Huntingdon, WV (HTS), located on the tri-state border to Ohio and Kentucky. The route was originally launched from Orlando Sanford in November 2006. Celebrations for the airline’s move of all 10 routes to Orlando International were held two weeks ago.
Norwegian continues its attack on the Danish competitor Cimber Sterling by launching another route in direct competition. Billund is now served six times weekly from Oslo on the fast-growing airline.
- Norwegian has expanded its network at Billund (BLL), which was launched only last week, again targeting the competitor Cimber Sterling. Norwegian now connects the mainland Danish airport with its primary hub at Oslo Gardemoen (OSL) with six weekly 737-800 flights, operating every day of the week but Saturday. The Danish competitor operates 12 weekly frequencies on the same days of the week, seven on 50-seater CRJ200s and five on 737-700s. Because of the greater aircraft size, Norwegian now offers slightly more seats a week on the route than Cimber Sterling.