New routes launched during the last week
(Tuesday 15 June – Monday 21 June):
Route of the Week:
Mahan Air’s Tehran to Almaty
- Mahan Air of Iran launched three weekly flights between Tehran (IKA) and Almaty (ALA) in Kazakhstan on 19 June. The route, scheduled to take 3 h 15 min, will operate with 196-seat A310-300s. This is the first link between the two cities since Air Kazakhstan suspended its route ten years ago. The flights have been scheduled to provide connections from Tehran to for example Dubai, Istanbul and Düsseldorf.
Cake of the Week:
flybe’s Jersey to Glasgow Prestwick
- flybe launched two new services from Jersey (JER) on 19 June. Both Durham Tees Valley (MME) and Glasgow Prestwick (PIK) will be served on a weekly basis until 18 September with the airline’s Q400s. Notably, Flybe already serves Glasgow International from the Channel Island airport.
The rest of this week’s new route launches
- Air Canada launched two routes from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to the US west coast on 17 June. The airline now serves Portland, OR (PDX), a 3,375-kilometre route, with daily E-190 flights. The airline operates a number of advanced range versions of the aircraft type, which would be required on a route of this length. Daily flights also began to San Diego, CA (SAN), using A319s. This is part of the airline’s increased focus on the California market, which has been seen in increased capacity to Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the launch of flights to Orange County.
- Air France began flying between Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Bata (BSG) in Equatorial Guinea. The two weekly flights operate via Malabo, the country capital, using its premium, 79-seat A319LR aircraft. The route can be presumed to be aimed at business travellers to the oil rich African nation. This is the airport’s first intercontinental service.
- airberlin on 19 June launched a weekly service between Berlin Tegel (TXL) and the airport analysed in this week’s anna.aero; Visby (VBY) on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Flights will operate seasonally with Q400s until 28 August. This is the first time the German capital is connected with the Swedish airport, although its fellow German city Hamburg also offers flights to the island.
- Alitalia launched a seasonal route between Alghero (AHO) in Sardinia and Brussels (BRU) on 17 June. The five weekly flights on 90-seat CRJ900s will operate until 26 September. Notably, Ryanair suspended its flights between Brussels Charleroi and Alghero in April, having operated the route just over a year.
- Allegiant Air added a new destination to its network when it on 17 June launched two weekly flights to Twin Falls, ID (TWF) from Las Vegas, NV (LAS). The low-cost MD80 operator makes the Idaho city its 39th destination to be served from Sin City’s McCarran International Airport. The only other services from the Idaho airport are four times daily flights on Delta to Salt Lake City. Twin Falls’ Mayor Don Hall said: “We are thrilled to welcome Allegiant Air to Twin Falls. Travelers from throughout the Magic Valley have longed for low-cost service to Las Vegas for a very long time, and now Allegiant has answered that call. Las Vegas, here we come!”
- Armavia launched a weekly service between Yerevan (EVN) and Barcelona (BCN) on 20 June. Flights operate with A319 aircraft.
- Bulgaria Air resumed flights between its Sofia (SOF) base and Skopje (SKP) in neighbouring Macedonia on 20 June. The two capitals will be linked twice a week with BAe146 aircraft. While the airline operated the route year-round until October last year, the service will now be seasonal, operating until 22 October.
- Cimber Sterling continued its leisure route expansion out of Aalborg (AAL) in northern mainland Denmark. On 16 June, the airline launched a weekly 737-700 service to Antalya (AYT). This is the Danish airline’s third route to the Turkish airport, which it already serves from Copenhagen and Billund.
- CSA Czech Airlines began flying between its Prague (PRG) hub and Dubrovnik (DBV) on 20 June. This is the third Croatian destination for the airline, which already serves Zagreb and Split. The route will operate twice a week with 737-500s.
- easyJet on 19 June launched two new destinations from its Geneva (GVA) base, which is analysed in this issue of anna.aero. The flights are operated with the airline’s Swiss subsidiary’s A319s. Heraklion (HER), on the island of Crete in Greece, starts off as a weekly service, but increases to twice weekly mid-July. The route will be operated until 30 October. The airline also began serving Pristina (PRN), the capital of Kosovo, which is a new destination for easyJet. The year-round service will operate twice a week, flying on Wednesdays and Saturdays during summer season and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays in winter. The flights compete with Edelweiss Air’s also two weekly flights in summer (weekly in winter) as well as airberlin’s weekly flights that are operated by Belair during summer only.
- Ethiopian Airlines expanded its network in the Republic of the Congo on 16 June when it added flights to the country’ second-largest city; Pointe Noire (PNR). The airline, which already serves the country capital Brazzaville, will operate the new flights three times a week – on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays – with 235-seat 767-300s from its Addis Ababa (ADD) hub. Outbound flights operate via Brazzaville, while inbound flights are non-stop.
- flydubai launched three new routes in the last week, bringing its number of destinations served from Dubai (DXB) to 20. On 17 June, five weekly flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW). This was followed by four flights a week to Latakia (LTK) on the Syrian Mediterranean coast, which launched on 20 June, and the following day, daily flights to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi (KHI) launched. While the Latakia route is uncontested, flydubai faces competition from four airlines with a total of 48 weekly flights to Karachi. The Istanbul service indirectly competes with flights on Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines and parent Emirates to Istanbul’s Atatürk airport. All three new routes are operated with the airline’s single fleet of 737-800s, of which flydubai just had its ninth delivered. Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai’s CEO, said: “Istanbul is one of the most popular destinations for UAE residents seeking a short break. With a wealth of historical sites and shopping options there is much to delight and occupy visitors. This year Istanbul is the European Capital of Culture so when you put that together with flydubai’s simple, uncomplicated, low fares, there has never been a better time to visit this ancient capital.”
- Gulf Air launched two routes in the last week from its Bahrain (BAH) hub. On 15 June, year-round flights to Aleppo (ALP), Syria’s largest city, were launched. The route has been served seasonally in the past and will now be served three times a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The airline also began operating four weekly flights to Medina (MED), its fifth Saudi Arabian destination, on 17 June. Both routes are served with 67-seat E-170s. Gulf Air’s CEO Samer Majali commented the launch of these routes and the Alexandria service launched a week earlier: “There has always been strong demand for a direct service to the holy city of Medina and we have launched Alexandria and Aleppo as permanent destinations following the strong customer demand to continue flying to these cities after the summer season.” “This is part of our strategy to further strengthen our regional network and connect customers from more regional cities to Bahrain and beyond.”
- Hamburg International launched four new Turkish routes from Cologne/Bonn (CGN) in the last week. All will operate weekly with A319 aircraft. On 15 June, the airline began serving Elazığ (EZS) in eastern Turkey, followed by Hatay (HTY), near the Mediterranean border to Syria, and Kars (KSY), in the easternmost part of the country, the next day. On 18 June, the airline began serving Trabzon (TZX) in the north-east of the country, on the Black Sea coast.
- Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines’ regional sister carrier, began operating six weekly flights between Portland, OR (PDX) and Bellingham, WA (BLI), close to the Canadian border, on 18 June. The airline already serves the airport from Seattle and will now operate the new route seasonally with 70-seat CRJ700 until 20 August.
- Jet2.com launched a weekly service from Leeds/Bradford (LBA) to the Greek, former British, island of Corfu (CFU) on 21 June. The flights will operate until 19 September with 757-200s, competing with Thomson Airways’ also weekly flights.
- LOT Polish Airlines relaunched services between Beirut (BEY) and its Warsaw (WAW) hub on 16 June. The route was last operated by the airline during the summer season on 2008, with the last flight in September that year. Flights will now operate three times a week with E-175s until 29 September.
- Qantas launched a new domestic route on 17 June when it further expanded its network out of Karratha (KTA) in the northwest of the country. It now serves its main hub in Sydney (SYD), a distance of 3,685 kilometres, once a week with 737-800s.
- Royal Air Maroc launched a service between Casablanca (CMN) and Berlin Tegel (TXL) on 21 June. The flights will operate three times a week with 737-700s. This is the airline’s first flight to the German capital, although it already serves Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn. Of those destinations, only Frankfurt is served from the airline’s main Casablanca base.
- S7 on 19 June entered the competitive market between Russia and the Italian city of Rimini (RMI) on the Adriatic coast. The weekly A319 service from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) competes with several charter flights, as was presented in our analysis of Rimini airport two weeks ago. These competing services are operated by Globus twice weekly, Ural Airlines three times a week and VIM Airlines with six weekly flights.
- Sevenair, Tunisair’s regional subsidiary, began operating two weekly ATR72 flights between Tunis (TUN) and Naples (NAP) on 15 June. This is the airline’s second Italian destination, already serving Palermo in Sicily.
- Shanghai Airlines is now one of the airlines to have started flying between Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) and Taipei Songshen (TSA). On 15 June, a day after a number of services on other airlines launched the same route, the airline began flying three times a week with 757-200 aircraft.
- Tiger Airways’ Australian operations launched another domestic route on 18 June. It now connects Melbourne (MEL) with Darwin (DRW) six times a week with its A320 aircraft. The airline used to connect the capitals of Victoria and Northern Territory until October 2008. The service now competes with Jetstar’s 10 and Virgin Blue’s seven weekly flights. Northern Territory Airports’ CEO Ian Kew commented: “Our partnership with Tiger Airways goes back many years as Darwin was the first Australian destination served by Tiger Airways Singapore in 2005. We are pleased to see the return of Tiger Airways to Darwin, and look forward to working with them to expand their ‘paw print’ in the Territory.”
- Turkish Airlines on 19 June launched four weekly flights between its Istanbul Atatürk (LINK TO http://www.therouteshop.com/istanbul-airport/) (IST) hub and Alexandria Borg El Arab (HBE) on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, its second Egyptian destination after Cairo. Flights will increase utilisation of its 737-800 aircraft by operating during night, departing Istanbul at 00:30 and arriving back at 05:40.
- United Airlines launched its first African route on 20 June, when the airline began serving Accra (ACC), the capital of Ghana in West Africa, from its Washington Dulles (IAD) hub. Flights will operate daily with 767-300 aircraft. Jeff Foland, United’s SVP Worldwide Sales and Marketing, commented: “With the addition of service to Accra, United now offers customers nonstop service to points on six continents.” Other US services to Accra are provided by Delta, which serves the city from both Atlanta and New York JFK.
- Vladivostok Air began serving Bejing (PEK) from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (UUS) on Sakhalin Island, close to Japan, on 15 June. The two weekly A320 flights to the Chinese capital will complement the airline’s flights from Vladivostok and Khabarovsk.
- Wizz Air launched three routes out of London Luton (LTN) to the Western Balkans with its A320s in the last week. On 18 June, four weekly flights began to Split (SPU) on the Croatian coast, followed the next day by three flights a week to Dubrovnik (DBV). On 20 June, the airline launched its second route to Belgrade (BEG), which it will serve four times a week.