New routes launched during the last week
(Tuesday 4 May – Monday 10 May)

Route of the Week:
KLM’s Amsterdam to Hangzhou

The historical arrival of Hangzhou’s first intercontinental flight was celebrated by a delegation bigger than we possibly could caption. KLM will serve the Chinese city three times a week from Amsterdam using 777-200ER equipment.

  • KLM launched a route to its sixth Chinese destination on 8 May. Its three weekly services from Amsterdam (AMS) to Hangzhou (HGH) marks the first intercontinental flights to the city of 7 million, located near Shanghai. The route will be operated with 318-seat 777-200ERs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, arriving and returning the following day. KLM’s President & CEO Peter Hartman said: “KLM is proud to add this 63th intercontinental destination to its network. With this sixth scheduled service to China, we now offer no fewer than 36 weekly services to this growing market. KLM has thus improved China’s connection with Europe and the rest of the world.”

Cake of the Week:
airberlin’s Basel to Catania

airberlin basel to catania

The French chef Pascal Brunstein of the Autogrill/EuroAirport Restaurant created this cake with the fresh strawberries and whipped cream representing airberlin’s colours red and white. This is the first route launch cake from Basel to feature print on sugar icing.

  • airberlin launched two Greek routes out of Nuremberg (NUE) on 4 May. Araxos/Patras (GPA) and Kalamata (KLX), both on the Peloponnese peninsula, will each be served with weekly flights. The airline also launched twice-weekly flights between Basel (BSL) and Catania (CTA) on 9 May. The Sicilian city will be served on Fridays and Sundays with A320 equipment.
  • Air Malta began serving the northern Italian port city of Genoa (GOA) on 4 May. The two weekly A319 services will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Malta (MLA) via its southern Italian focus city Reggio Calabria (REG), which the airline began serving in 2005 and now has transported over 150,000 passengers to and from.

The new KL-Mumbai route on Air Asia X and its 1 rupee (€/US$0.02) fare was unveiled with a smoke machine effect. At the celebrations, Periasamy Manoharan, director of Tourism Malaysia, Mumbai; Azran Osman Rani, CEO of Air Asia X; Encik Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, Malaysian consul general; Tony Fernandes, group CEO Air Asia; and Kathleen Tan, regional head of commercial, were flanked by flight attendants.

  • Air Asia X began its expansion into the Indian market, launching four weekly A330-300 services between its Kuala Lumpur (KUL) base and Mumbai (BOM) on 6 May. In August, flights to Delhi will follow. The Mumbai route competes with Malaysia Airlines’ daily flights.

A giant raspberry cake was presented to the passengers on the first flight between Riga and Belgrade by Janis Vanags, airBaltic’s VP Corporate Communications, and Natalie Marsans, Riga Airport’s Aviation Marketing Adviser.

  • airBaltic is next in line to make use of eased visa restrictions on Serbian nationals and connected its ‘North Hub’ Riga (RIX) with Belgrade (BEG) on 5 May. The route, which is the first connection between the two airports ever, will be operated four times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Initially, Q400s will be used on most departures, but the aircraft will be replaced by larger 737-500s at the start of the winter season.

Jacksonville welcomed AirTran’s second route to the north Florida Airport. Already serving Atlanta, AirTran now has launched two daily flights from Baltimore/Washington in competition with Southwest.

  • AirTran launched six new routes in the last week, all operating with 717s. The Tunica (UTM) route is the first commercial service at the airport since Pan Am Clipper Connection’s flights in 2006, also to Atlanta (ATL).
Date Origin Destination WF* Competition
04-May-10 Atlanta, GA (ATL) Allentown, PA (ABE) 7 Delta (7)
06-May-10 Atlanta, GA (ATL) Tunica, MS (UTM) 4
04-May-10 Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) 14
04-May-10 Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 14 Southwest (21)
04-May-10 Orlando, FL (MCO) Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) 7 Allegiant (7), Delta (1)
04-May-10 Tampa, FL (TPA) Asheville, NC (AVL) 4
*WF: Weekly Frequencies
  • AnadoluJet continued taking over routes from its parent Turkish Airlines by beginning to operate the twice-weekly service between Ankara (ESB) and Vienna (VIE) on 7 May. The low-cost carrier will operate the route with 737-800s.
  • Comair, the South African franchisee flying on behalf of British Airways, on 4 May launched a 737-300 service between its Johannesburg (JNB) base and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit/Mbombela (MQP), which serves the Kruger National Park. The six weekly flights will compete with South African Airways’ 36 operations a week.
The China Eastern crew

The China Eastern crew joined in for a photo shoot with a banner welcoming them to the Manzhouli-Hohhot route.

  • China Eastern launched services between Manzhouli (NZH) and Hohhot (HET), both located in the Inner Mongolia region of China, on 6 May. We have been unable to find information on the route’s frequencies, but, according to OAG, the ERJ145 operation faces competition from Tianjin Airlines’ daily flights with the same aircraft type.
  • Cimber Sterling launched a weekly service between Billund (BLL) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI) on 9 May. From 24 June, the 737-700 service will increase to twice-weekly.
  • easyJet added to its Edinburgh (EDI) network by launching three weekly flights Lisbon (LIS), operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 4 May. The Scottish airport became the 14th airport to be linked with the Portuguese capital by the A319 operator.
  • Flybe launched a service between Southampton (SOU) and Verona (VRN) on 8 May using Q400s. This is the airline’s first route to the northern Italian city and the first Italian connection from Southampton since the airline dropped its Milan Bergamo service in 2004. The weekly, seasonal route will operate until 18 September.

Holding the elaborate cake, which features details such as the traditional ‘Strandkorb’ beach chairs, are Helvetic Airways’ CEO Bruno Jans and CFO Tobias Pogorevc; Maria Muller, MD Rostock Airport; Sebastian Schröder, Transport Secretary Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; and Mathias Löttge, president Tourist Board of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. For the ribbon cutting ceremony, they were joined by the mayor of the city of Laage, Uwe Heinze (second from right).

  • The Swiss airline Helvetic Airways launched a seasonal service from Zurich (ZRH) to Rostock (RLG) on 6 May. Targeting leisure traffic to the German Baltic coast, the airline will operate Fokker 100s twice-weekly until 26 September.

After a welcoming shower for InterSky’s service to Düsseldorf from Friedrichshafen, the dignitaries lined up for a photo opportunity. Depicted are InterSky’s CEO Claus Bernatzik; Antonio Di Monaco, Manager Airline Marketing Düsseldorf Airport; flight attendant Reni Ehrlich; Renate Moser and Rolf Seewald, owners InterSky; Christian Hagen, captain; and Christian Korff, first officer. Renate Moser was also joined by Düsseldorf Airport’s Udo Fliegner, Head of Slot Management & Schedule Processing, and Ulrich Topp, Director Aviation Marketing.

  • The Austrian airline InterSky, based at Friedrichshafen (FDH) in nearby Germany, launched twice-daily services to Düsseldorf (DUS) on 10 May. The service will be operated with a 46-seat ATR42 wet-leased from the German airline Avanti Air, although the inaugural flight was operated with one of the airline’s mainline Q300s.
  • has continued expanding by launching three new routes in the last week. Out of Newcastle (NCL), twice-weekly 757 flights to both Paphos (PFO) in Cyprus and Dalaman (DLM) in Turkey were launched on 5 and 7 May respectively. Both routes operate in competition with several charter carriers. From Manchester (MAN), an uncontested route was launched to Split (SPU) on 8 May, also operating two times a week, although on 737 aircraft.

New definition of a flag carrier? jetBlue’s first flight to Punta Cana was warmly received to the Dominican Republic.

  • jetBlue launched flights from two of its bases to Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic in the last week. New York JFK (JFK) will see the airline fly the route daily with its 150-seat A320s from 6 May, while Boston (BOS) got a weekly service on 8 May. The JFK service competes with American Airlines’ also daily service and Delta’s two weekly flights, while the Boston service is uncontested. “JetBlue is proud not only to be launching a fourth destination in the Dominican Republic, but also announcing our 35th nonstop destination from Boston,” said Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s VP network planning. “We are very happy with our operations in the Dominican Republic and look forward to continuing our growth and sharing the JetBlue Experience – complete with free snacks, drinks, seatback TVs and friendly service – with more travelers to and from the island.”
  • Kenya Airways launched a service from its Nairobi (NBO) hub to Muscat (MCT), the airline’s 48th destination, on 5 May. The three weekly 737-800 flights (operating Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) then continue to Dubai (DXB), which the airline already also serves non-stop daily. The airline has, along with Gulf Air, served the airport pair in the past, with Kenya Airways last suspending the route in 2001. Kenya Airways’ Commercial Director Mohan Chandra commented: “The new flights will enable residents of Oman to enjoy the magnificence of African Safaris by offering stopovers and safari packages in Nairobi for passengers going on their vacation to Europe.”
LOT Polish Airlines cake

Tallinn Airport welcomed LOT Polish Airlines back with its daily Warsaw service, a route which was first launched back in 1932 when the airport in the Estonian capital was built.

  • LOT Polish Airlines reinstated daily flights between Warsaw (WAW) and Tallinn (TLL) on 10 May. The ERJ145 service between the two capital cities used to be operated until October 2008. Notably, the Polish carrier first began serving the Estonian capital already in 1932. Rein Loik, chairman Tallinn Airport said: “The opening of Tallinn – Warsaw route will definitely be wonderful news for our passengers and I am convinced that Warsaw will become a significant business and leisure destination as well as an important transfer airport for connecting to European, Middle-Eastern and North-American destinations.”
  • Malaysia Airlines launched two weekly flights between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Dammam (DMM) on 5 May. The A330-200s will stop in Dubai (DXB) en-route. This is the airline’s second destination in Saudi Arabia, which already serves Jeddah four times weekly non-stop. Malaysia Airlines’ CEO Azmil Zahruddin said: “We are excited to announce this latest destination, which further strengthens our Middle East network. In many ways, Dammam has evolved as the link between Saudi Arabia and the outside world, exporting the Kingdom’s products and importing its needs and thriving on the interaction between Saudi Arabia and other countries.”
  • Nas Air, the Saudi LCC, has launched two Syrian destinations from both of its bases in Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH) on 8 May. Aleppo (ALP) in northwest Syria is now connected three times weekly with each of the two bases, while two flights a week operate to Latakia (LTK) on the Mediterranean coast. The Aleppo services operate in competition with fellow Saudi LCC Sama’s four weekly flights from each of the two Saudi airports as well as Syrian Arab Airlines’ weekly flight to Jeddah, while the Latakia flights face no direct competition.
  • Norwegian has launched two new services from its Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) base. Both Edinburgh (EDI) and Munich (MUC) will be served each three times weekly, having started on 6 and 7 May respectively. The Scottish service competes with SAS’ two weekly flights, while the flights to Munich face considerable competition from both Lufthansa’s 28 and SAS’ three flights a week.
  • Oman Air launched three weekly flights from its Muscat (MCT) base to Islamabad (ISB) in Pakistan on 10 May. The flights will operate with 737-800s and compete with PIA’s also three weekly flights as well as Shaheen Air’s two flights a week.

Ryanair’s first base in Eastern Europe: Kaunas was delighted to have the airline, which already served the airport from eight destinations, establish a base. We gather that the Lithuanian text on the cake and sign reads ‘base opening on 4th May 2010’. Kaunas Airport’s GM Arijandas Sliupas, who clearly is ecstatic about the base, cut the cake with Maria Macken, Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Executive.

Ryanair’s thrice-weekly service from Reus

Knock Airport was delighted to welcome Ryanair’s thrice-weekly service from Reus. This is the airline’s third sun destination from the airport in western Ireland, already serving Alicante and Faro as well as six year-round destinations in the UK. Joe Gilmore, MD Ireland West Airport Knock, is here seen presenting the cake with Caitriona Coleman, Paula Nolan and Gerry McDonnell from Ryanair.

  • Ryanair continued its aggressive expansion by adding 36 routes to its already vast network. A base was launched at Kaunas (KUN) in Lithuania, which is the subject of this week’s airline analysis. Although this instantly resulted in eight new routes, Trapani (TPS) in Sicily saw even more new routes being launched in the last week – totalling nine.
Date Origin Destination WF*
04-May-10 Bratislava (BTS) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 4
04-May-10 Bratislava (BTS) Bari (BRI) 3
04-May-10 Brindisi (BDS) Billund (BLL) 2
05-May-10 East Midlands (EMA) Venice Treviso (TSF) 3
04-May-10 Edinburgh (EDI) Faro (FAO) 4
04-May-10 Edinburgh (EDI) Paris Beauvais (BVA) 3
04-May-10 Edinburgh (EDI) Marrakech (RAK) 2
05-May-10 Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Agadir (AGA) 2
04-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) London Gatwick (LGW) 7
04-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) Weeze (NRN) 3
04-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) Girona (GRO) 2
05-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) Berlin Schoenefeld (SXF) 4
05-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) Tampere (TMP) 4
05-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) Paris Beauvais (BVA) 3
05-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) Oslo Rygge (RYG) 2
06-May-10 Kaunas (KUN) Edinburgh (EDI) 2
04-May-10 London Stansted (STN) Fez (FEZ) 3
04-May-10 London Stansted (STN) Figari (FSC) 3
05-May-10 London Stansted (STN) Fuerteventura (FUE) 2
05-May-10 Marseille (MRS) Billund (BLL) 2
04-May-10 Pescara (PSR) Oslo Torp (TRF) 2
04-May-10 Pisa (PSA) Gothenburg City (GSE) 3
04-May-10 Reus (REU) Knock (NOC) 3
04-May-10 Reus (REU) Venice Treviso (TSF) 3
04-May-10 Reus (REU) Krakow (KRK) 2
04-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Ibiza (IBZ) 3
04-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Memmingen (FMM) 3
04-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Krakow (KRK) 2
05-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Valencia (VLC) 3
05-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Genoa (GOA) 2
05-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Gothenburg City (GSE) 2
06-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Billund (BLL) 2
07-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Bratislava (BTS) 2
07-May-10 Trapani (TPS) Karlsruhe-Baden (FKB) 2
04-May-10 Venice Treviso (TSF) Ibiza (IBZ) 2
07-May-10 Venice Treviso (TSF) Milan Bergamo (BGY) 2
*WF: Weekly Frequencies
  • The Russian airline S7, which is to join the oneworld alliance, launched a weekly service from its main base in Novosibirsk (OVB) to Osh (OSS), Kyrgyzstan’s second-largest city, on 9 May. The service, which will be flown on Sundays with A320 aircraft, is the airline’s second route to Osh. It already serves the city from Moscow Domodedovo four times weekly. From Novosibirsk, the Kyrgyzstani airlines Avia Traffic Company and Itek Air both provide competition with two AN-24 and one weekly 737-200 services respectively.
  • Southwest made 9 May a busy day in the US, launching an entire 12 new routes on the same day, half of them at St Louis (STL). Notably, most of these new Southwest routes are rather long, with eight of the routes’ distances exceeding 2,500 kilometres.
Date Origin Destination WF*
09-May-10 Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Norfolk, VA (ORF) 7
09-May-10 Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) 7
09-May-10 Oakland, CA (OAK) Nashville, TN (BNA) 7
09-May-10 Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) 7
09-May-10 Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) Kansas City, MO (MCI) 7
09-May-10 Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) Nashville, TN (BNA) 7
09-May-10 St Louis, MO (STL) Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 14
09-May-10 St Louis, MO (STL) Nashville, TN (BNA) 14
09-May-10 St Louis, MO (STL) New Orleans, LA (MSY) 7
09-May-10 St Louis, MO (STL) Raleigh-Durham, NC (RDU) 7
09-May-10 St Louis, MO (STL) San Diego, CA (SAN) 7
09-May-10 St Louis, MO (STL) Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) 7
*WF: Weekly Frequencies

60 travel agencies and 25 journalists (15 Turkish and 10 Spanish) attended the press meeting and welcome cocktail for Spanair’s first flight to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen from Barcelona. For the group photo, Gökhan Buğday, CEO of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport lined up with Joan Clos, Spain’s ambassador to Turkey; Ferran Soriano, Chairman Spanair; Ferzan Unlusoy, GM Airep, Spanair’s Turkish GSA; and Yolanda Sanz, Spanair's International Sales Manager. Hear  Gökhan Buğday speak at the Airport Leaders Symposium in Milan on Thursday 17 June 2010 .

  • Spanair continued its new route strategy, which recently was analysed in, by launching daily A320 flights between Barcelona (BCN) and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) on 4 May. Although the route currently is uncontested, Vueling will launch four weekly services on the route from 24 June. Indirect competition already comes from alliance partner Turkish Airlines two daily flights from Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport.
  • launched a weekly service between Memmingen (FMM) in Bavaria and the Greek island of Rhodes (RHO). The 737-800 service launched on 6 May and will operate seasonally on Thursdays until 21 October.
  • WestJet began flying between Toronto (YYZ) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR) on the Mexican west coast on 7 May. The weekly 737-700 service is the airline’s 12th Canadian airport to be connected with the Mexican holiday destination, although the Toronto service will operate seasonally during the summer, whereas most of its other routes to the airport operate seasonally in winter.

Other celebrations during the last week

El Al celebrated one year’s successful operations at London Luton. The Tel Aviv route has seen over 90,000 passengers during this period.

Copenhagen Airport celebrated the arrival of another 737-800

Copenhagen Airport celebrated the arrival of another 737-800. On 5 May, the aircraft was flown in from Boeing’s factory in Seattle with a number of delegates from the airline, airport as well as invited representatives of tour operators on-board. The aircraft has been named ‘Swift’ because it will be based at the low-cost terminal CPH Swift, which will open this autumn.

KLM CityHopper’s Head of Commercial Anko van der Werff and MD Boet Kreiken celebrated the airline’s fourth daily frequency on the Amsterdam-Liverpool route with a group of Norwegian Beatles fans returning home with KLM. Neil Pakey, Peel Airports Group Deputy CEO, also got the opportunity to appear with the cake. The additional frequency will further improve the English airport’s connectivity with KLM’s long-haul network out of Amsterdam.


  1. rix says:

    another year in row air Baltic is booming with 16% pax increase 2010 despite Iceland volcano eruption. It’s a bit petty to realizes that despite equalizing conditions at largest airport in Baltic Riga International Airport in accordance to claim of KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, easyjet, Finnair in cooperation with local tour operators couldn’t increase travelers pax.
    good luck to ryanair at KUN with 500000 population in 70km catchment area
    It will be hard to secure load factor in case of Baltic catchment area with 7500000 population it doesn’t secure good public transportation
    anyway all the airline and airport activities to improve passenger service are welcome in Baltic, Northern Europe.

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