Route of the Week:
Frontier’s Denver to Fairbanks and Long Beach
Frontier’s new route to Fairbanks in Alaska will connect the city with Denver four times a week this summer. Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins, Frontier’s VP Marketing & Branding Ian Arther and Emil Notti, commissioner of the state Department of Commerce cut the ribbon for the flight.
Frontier’s aircraft was evidently upgraded from the usual E-190 on the occasion of the airline’s first flight into Long Beach. Mario Rodriguez, Director Long Beach Airport; Bob Foster, Mayor of the City of Long Beach; and Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s VP Strategy and Planning, celebrated the new route.
- Frontier launched four routes out of its Denver, CO (DEN) home base on 14 May. The highest frequency route to be launched is the 13 weekly flights to Long Beach, CA (LGB), followed by daily flights to both Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) and Jackson Hole, WY (JAC). The 3,900-kilometre route to Fairbanks, AK (FAI), which will operate seasonally until 11 September, will be flown four times a week, although with 136-seat A319s, unlike the other three routes that all will be served with smaller, 99-seat E-190s.
Cake of the Week:
Condor’s Frankfurt to Fort Lauderdale
Ulrich Johannwille, MD Condor Flugdienst (dark suit), spoke to the gathered passengers before being joined by Stefan Schulte, CEO Fraport (grey suit), in cutting of the cake and ribbon. The new route is the only now operating service between Germany and Fort Lauderdale.
- Condor, the German leisure airline in Thomas Cook Group, on 14 May relaunched the first non-stop service between Germany and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) since the airline suspended the route in 2002. Frankfurt (FRA) is now connected with the Florida airport twice-weekly. The flights will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays with 270-seat, three-class 767-300ER aircraft. Janet Gorecki-MacKanin, Condor Sales and Marketing Manager North America, commented: “Condor is excited to offer service from FLL to Frankfurt. We feel that the business as well as vacation traveler will be pleased to have an alternative to Miami International Airport. Providing connections to most German and European destinations either direct on Condor or via our interline partners, Condor strives to be the airline of choice to the Heart of Europe from the South Florida region.”
Lupita Cardiel, Air Canada Regional Sales Manager (centre), and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport CEO John C. Mok welcomed the first arriving Air Canada passenger as they prepared to cut the ribbon for the inaugural flight, which brought 39 passengers to Toronto.
- Air Canada launched five new routes with its regional fleet on 17 May, four of which are between Toronto (YYZ) and destinations in the US. Portland, ME (PWM) and Syracuse, NY (SYR) will be served twice-daily on weekdays and daily on weekends with Air Georgian’s 15-seat Beechcraft 1900s, while flights to Cincinnati, OH (CVG) and Memphis, TN (MEM) will be flown with CRJ200s, each operating 13 times a week. The latter two routes are both to Delta hubs, which results in the US major competing on both routes, offering 18 and 14 frequencies a week respectively. Six weekly flights between Regina (YQR), the capital of Saskatchewan, and the country capital Ottawa (YOW) were also launched, using CRJ705 aircraft. The route was last operated by WestJet until 2003.
- Air Greenland on 12 May launched its first international service since short-lived US flights were suspended in 2007. The island capital Nuuk (GOH) is now connected with Reykjavik (KEF) in Iceland with one weekly Q200 service, which will operate seasonally until 25 September. The launch date was originally scheduled for 8 May, but the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud delayed the first flight. Except for this new service, the airline only operates inter-island flights and services to the country capital Copenhagen. Although this is the only flight between Greenland and Reykjavik’s main Keflavik Airport, Air Iceland also operates Greenland flights from Reykjavik Airport, which is dedicated to domestic and regional flights only.
- Air Malta launched a new A319 route in the last week. Two weekly flights between Malta (MLA) and Turin (TRN) in northern Italy launched on 15 May, for the first time linking the two airports.
- AirAsia launched two new routes in the last week, both operating daily with its 180-seat A320 aircraft. After the launch of services to Chennai (MAA) in India from Penang two weeks ago, the airline launched flights from its main Kuala Lumpur (KUL) base on 17 May. The service competes with Indian Airlines, Air India Express, Malaysia Airlines and Jet Airways, all operating the route daily as well. On 13 May, the airline also launched domestic flights between the islands of Penang (PEN) and Langkawi (LGK). The route of merely 130 kilometres is scheduled to last 35 minutes and competes with Firefly’s two daily services and Malaysia Airlines’ four flights a week.
Erik Sakkov, member of Tallinn Airport’s board, and Janis Vanags, airBalic’s VP Corporate Communications, inaugurated the Tallinn-Oulu route with an owl cake, hinting at the Oulu area’s famously wide variety of owls.
- airBaltic launched three weekly flights between Tallinn (TLL) and Oulu (OUL) on the coast of northern Finland on 11 May. The Fokker 50 route stops in Turku (TKU) en-route. On 17 May, the airline continued its Nordic expansion by launching four weekly flights between Vilnius (VNO) and Oslo (OSL) using 737-500s. The flights, which depart Vilnius as early as 05:45 am, compete with Norwegian’s three weekly services.
San Düssico: Christoph Debus, CCO airberlin; Janice G. Weiner, US Consul General in Düsseldorf; and Christoph Blume, CEO Düsseldorf International, cut the ribbon for airberlin’s new two weekly flights to San Francisco. In the US, the flight was welcomed with a banquet. (DUS Photos: Andreas Wiese)
- airberlin has launched four new routes, of which three are seasonal services to Rimini (RMI) on the Italian Adriatic coast. Münster/Osnabrück (FMO) and Stuttgart (STR) saw the launch weekly Q400 services on 15 and 16 May respectively. A weekly link was also launched from Hamburg (HAM) on 15 May, operating with A319 equipment. Düsseldorf (DUS) had a long-haul route added on 12 May. San Francisco (SFO) will be served every Wednesday and Friday on 303-seat A330-200s, becoming the eighth US destination to be served from Düsseldorf. LTU, now absorbed into airberlin, last operated the route in the late 1990s.
- Alitalia has launched three new domestic routes. On 14 May, four weekly flights between Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Alghero (AHO) in Sardinia were launched with A320s, operating seasonally until 12 September, while 17 May saw the launch of two MD82 services to southern Italy from Venice (VCE). Both Lamezia Terme (SUF) and Reggio di Calabria (REG) are served each three times weekly.
- American Airlines launched two routes on 13 May, both operating daily with 757-200s seasonally until the end of September. Domestically, Chicago O’Hare (ORD) was linked with Anchorage (ANC). The route competes with Alaska Airlines’ year-round services that operate twice-daily during summer and an eight times weekly seasonal service on United Airlines. American already serves Anchorage seasonally from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub as well. Internationally, flights were launched between New York JFK (JFK) and Manchester (MAN). The service will compete with Delta’s also daily service and indirectly with Continental’s twice-daily flights to Newark. Craig Kreeger, American’s SVP International, said: “These new routes further demonstrate American’s commitment to the UK market and build upon our Manchester operation. This will be our second scheduled service between Manchester and the USA and complements our Manchester – Chicago service which has been in operation for more than 20 years.”
AnadoluJet is new to Brussels, having taken over its parent Turkish Airlines’ Ankara route. Cutting Brussels Airport’s celebratory AnadoluJet cake is Odette Swinnen, Turkish Airlines’ Marketing Manager Brussels.
- AnadoluJet, Turkish Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary, took over another one of its parents’ routes on 16 May. The airline now operates the four weekly services between Ankara (ESB) and Brussels (BRU).
- B&H Airlines, the national carrier of Bosnia & Herzegovina that is part-owned by Turkish Airlines, relaunched six weekly ATR72 services between Sarajevo (SJJ) and Belgrade (BEG) on 17 May. The airline used to operate the route until March 2009 and faces competition from Jat Airways’ daily flights.
A new airline is welcomed to Austin: Branson AirExpress, operated by ExpressJet, now connects the Texas airport with Branson in Missouri five times a week.
- Branson AirExpress, a new virtual airline based in Branson, MO (BKG), began serving Austin, TX (AUS) on 17 May. The five weekly flights are operated by ExpressJet using ERJ-145 aircraft on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Jeff Bourk, Executive Director of Branson Airport, said: “Travel between Branson and Austin is now easier and more affordable, plus what a great connection between the Live Music Show Capital of the World and the Live Music Capital of the World.”
- Carpatair launched four Italian routes out of its secondary base at Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) on 17 May and thereby greatly expanded its network from the airport. Bologna (BLQ) and Verona (VRN) are both served each three times a week, while Milan Bergamo (BGY) and Venice (VCE) gets six weekly frequencies each. All flights are operated with Fokker 70 aircraft and add to the airline’s previous network of three routes out of Bucharest, with flights to Ancona and Bari in Italy and the airline’s main base in Timisoara.
- Cimber Sterling began operating two routes on 15 May. Weekly flights were launched to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) from Aalborg (AAL) in northern Denmark as well as from Copenhagen (CPH) to Catania (CTA), marking the first time a Danish airport is connected with the Sicilian airport since Maersk Air operated the same route in 2005. Both new routes are operated with the airline’s 737-700 aircraft.
- City Airline of Gothenburg, which recently abandoned its regional expansion plans, launched six weekly non-stop ERJ145 flights between Göteborg Landvetter (GOT) and Umeå (UME) in northern Sweden on 17 May. In return, its one-stop operations via Västerås are suspended.
Celebrating the new batch of easyJet routes out of London Stansted with a grand, orange cake are Wendy Harkess, easyjet GM London Stansted; Mark Souter, BAA Stansted Head of Airline Relations; Paul Haynes, BAA Stansted Airline, Route and Marketing Manager; and Sophie Dekkers, easyjet UK Commercial Manager.
- easyJet launched six new routes in the last week, all with A319 aircraft. Four of them were from London Stansted (STN), the base that is analysed in this week’s airline article. Dalaman (DLM) and Split (SPU) both launched on 14 May with four weekly frequencies, while 15 May saw the launch of Bodrum (BJV) and Dubrovnik (DBV) with each three flights a week. Both Turkish routes face competition. To Dalaman, Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook fly each three times weekly and Kibris Turkish Airlines once a week, while two Thomas Cook flights a week to Bodrum are joined by Pegasus Airlines’ and Kibris Turkish Airlines’ each weekly flights. From Amsterdam (AMS), daily services were launched to Prague (PRG) in competition with KLM’s two flights and CSA Czech’s three flights a day. Paris CDG (CDG) also got a new daily route, with flights to Malaga (AGP) competing with Air Europa’s three daily flights.
- Flybe launched a seasonal, weekly service between Guernsey (GCI) in the Channel Islands to Norwich (NWI) in mainland England on 15 May. The service will operate with Q400s until 18 September.
flydubai’s COO Ken Gile and Yousuf Khamis Saeed Subaa Al Ali, UAE’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, with cabin crew presenting an Afghani carpet to before the airline’s first flight to Kabul.
- The expanding Emirati low-cost carrier Flydubai begun serving Kabul (KBL), Afghanistan’s largest city, five times weekly on 17 May. This is the airline’s 14th destination from its Dubai (DXB) base. Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai’s CEO, commented: “The start of flydubai’s service to Kabul is a major expansion for our airline and an important step forward in the reemergence of Afghanistan. flydubai is responding to the need for quality, reliable, safe and low cost air travel between the capital of Afghanistan and the emirate of Dubai, which is home to a sizeable Afghan population.”
- Jazeera Airways began flying three times a week between its Kuwait (KWI) base and Lahore (LHE) in Pakistan with A320s. The route is already operated three times weekly by Kuwait Airways and each twice weekly by both Shaheen Air and Pakistan International Airlines. Jazeera Airways’ CEO Stefan Pichler commented: “In keeping with Jazeera Airways’ vision to expand our regional network, we are very pleased to inaugurate our latest non-stop route to Lahore. Our convenient schedules and frequent flights combined with great low fare travel will enable those working away from home in Kuwait or the Middle East to travel home and visit family and friends with greater ease.”
- jetBlue relaunched a daily service across the US on 13 May, from Boston, MA (BOS) in the east to San Jose, CA (SJC) in the west, which it operated until September 2008. The flights will be operated with A320s and face no direct competition. This is the airline’s second route into the Silicon Valley city, which it already serves from New York JFK.
LOT’s return to Bratislava was celebrated with a cake, balloons and a fire truck salute. The Polish airline last served the route in 2004 and now has returned with six flights a week. The first flight carried a number of dignitaries, such as former ambassadors, journalists and both Polish and Slovakian officials.
The new route also caused celebrations at the Polish end. Warsaw’s Chopin Airport was decorated for the occasion and passengers were greeted with goody bags after checking in for the new route to Bratislava.
- LOT Polish Airlines has continued its regional expansion into nearby capital cities. On 17 May, the airline launched six weekly 46-seat ATR42 flights from Warsaw (WAW) to Bratislava (BTS). The route, which operates every day but Saturdays, is now relaunched by LOT, which last served the airport pairs in 2004. The most recent connection was, however, on SkyEurope, which dropped the route in 2006. Radek Zabransky, Director for Commerce and Marketing at Bratislava Airport, said: “Airport Bratislava is pleased to welcome a new legacy carrier to operate from Slovakia, who not only brings an almost daily connection to an economically important partner country Poland, but also opens new opportunities to Slovak travellers to take advantage of LOT´s extensive network from Warsaw, mainly to U.S., Canada and Europe, all at very competitive prices. We believe that LOT’s high quality product will quickly gain its clientele in Slovakia.”
- Oman Air continued its expansion by further grwoing in the Pakistani market. On 15 May, the airline launched four weekly 737-800 services from Muscat (MCT) to Lahore (LHE). Competition comes from Shaheen Air’s three flights a week and Pakistan International Airlines’ weekly service.
- The Russian airline Orenair, also known as Orenburg Airlines, on 15 May launched a new service to Düsseldorf (DUS), which it now connects with Omsk (OMS) in Siberia twice-weekly on 737-500s. The airline already serves the German city, which has a considerable Russian population, seasonally from Orenburg. The route will operate until 25 September.
- Ryanair may “only” have launched one new route in the last week, but it is a noteworthy route for being so atypical for the Irish LCC giant. 11 May was the date that saw the 737-800 operator launch flights between Bremen (BRE) and Berlin Schönefeld (SXF), a distance of merely 325 kilometres. The new route will be operated with frequencies as high as 12 times a week and faces no competition, neither from Schönefeld nor Tegel. It can, however, be argued that train services compete on the sector, with train travel times only reaching 3 hours, in spite of a change being required in Hannover.
- Silk Air, Singapore Airlines’ regional subsidiary, launched a daily service from Singapore (SIN) to Bangalore (BLR) on 17 May. Both A319 and A320 equipment will be used on the route. Notably, the airline’s parent Singapore Airlines already serves the route daily with 777-200 aircraft, while narrow-body competition comes from daily flights on Air India and five weekly flights on Tiger Airways.
- Turkish Airlines launched four weekly services between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) and Brussels (BRU) on 15 May, operating in direct competition with Pegasus Airlines’ daily service. Turkish Airlines also already serves Brussels three times daily from its primary Istanbul Atatürk hub.
At the Rome press conference for the US Airways’ service from Charlotte, Sergio Berlenghi, ADR’s Head of Planning & Airport Marketing Development, and Salvatore Merola, US Airways’ Sales & Marketing Manager Legal Representative Italy & Greece, shook hands on the new route. At the gate for the first flight, Mr Merola was joined by Elia Pistola, ADR’s Aviation & Security Director, in cutting the US Airways cake.
- US Airways added to its Italian network on 13 May when it launched daily 288-seat A330-300 flights between its Charlotte, NC (CLT) hub and Rome Fiumicino (FCO). The route doubles the airline’s presence at the airport, which it already serves daily from its Philadelphia hub. For Rome Fiumicino, this is currently the ninth destination in the US to be served from the airport. US Airways’ SVP Airport Customer Service, International and Cargo Operations, Suzanne Boda, commented: “All roads lead to Rome and US Airways is excited to offer a direct path from Charlotte to the ‘Capital of the World.’ Our new service will offer our customers another convenient option for traveling to one of our most popular European destinations.”
- Wizz Air has launched a new route from Lviv (LWO) to Venice Treviso (TSF) on 14 May. The two-weekly A320 services will be the airline’s second route into the airport in western Ukraine, the other being to Dortmund, after Wizz Air has downscaled its Ukrainian operations and no longer serves Lviv as part of its domestic network.