New routes launched during the last week
(Tuesday 22 June – Monday 28 June):

Route of the Week:
GOL’s São Paulo Guarulhos to Barbados

GOL’s Director of Planning and Statistics, Mauricio Emboaba Moreira, and local partner airline LIAT’s Chairman Jean Holder (centre) were flanked by Bridgetown airport officials Joseph Johnson, COO, and David Barrow, CEO, as the only route between Brazil and Barbados launched. Barbados’ Minister of International Transport, George Hutson, welcomed the GOL crew to the Caribbean island.

  • The Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL launched a weekly Saturday service to Barbados (BGI) from its São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) base on 26 June. The route, which is operated with 150-seat 737-800s, becomes the first link between the two airports since BWIA’s flights in 1996. Claudia Pagnano, GOL’s VP Marketing, commented: “Our operation will reduce the journey time of Brazilians visiting this destination by several hours. Currently the fastest route is via the United States.” Joseph Johnson, COO Bridgetown Airport, said “the new service by GOL enhances the world wide reach of the Grantley Adams International Airport, and in particular, it provides a much easier and eagerly anticipated access to sister member states of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region of Airports Council International.”

Cake of the Week:
LOT Polish Airlines’ Warsaw to Kaliningrad

Passengers on LOT Polish Airlines’ inaugural flight to Kaliningrad were treated with goody bags, drinks and a cake in the shape of a babushka doll.

  • LOT Polish Airlines resumed services between Warsaw (WAW) and Kaliningrad (KGD), the Russian exclave, on 28 June. The route used to be operated until August 2008 and will now be served six times weekly. Half of the services will be operated with 48-seat ERJ145s, while the other three flights a week will be served with larger 70-seat E-170s.

This week’s other route launches

Aeroméxico’s daily service between Monterrey and Miami received a wet welcoming to the Florida airport.

  • Aeroméxico launched its third international route out of Monterrey (MTY) on 28 June when it launched a daily service to Miami (MIA). The flights are operated by the airline’s regional subsidiary Aeroméxico Connect’s 50-seat ERJ-145s. Other international destinations served from the north-eastern Mexican airport are also in the US; Las Vegas, NV and San Antonio, TX.

Upon Air Canada’s arrival in Copenhagen, the new route was opened with a ribbon cutting by Air Canada’s MD Cargo, Lise-Marie Turpin; GM EMEAI, Gary Cross; and Robert Atkinson, Sales Manager UK, Ireland & Scandinavia. The airline’s Country Manager Scandinavia, Marc Sam, then spoke to the gathered crowd. Lise-Marie Turpin took the opportunity to have a chat with CPH's CEO Brian Petersen, and VP Sales Carsten Noerland.

  • Air Canada continued its European expansion on 24 June, when it relaunched services between Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Copenhagen (CPH), where it connects with its Star Alliance partner SAS. The airline last operated the route in 2003 and it will now be the only service between Canada and all of Scandinavia. Flights operate five times a week with 211-seat 767-300ER aircraft.
  • Air China was the next airline to launch flights between Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) and Taipei Songshen (TSA), which has been launched by a number of airlines over the last few weeks. Flights will operate four times a week with 737-800s.

Air Transat now also serves Marseille from Quebec, bringing more francophone Canadian tourists to the Mediterranean coast. The service complements the Canadian leisure carrier’s route from Montreal. The inaugural flight alone had a load factor of 80%, while the Montreal services now achieve an average of 93-94%.

  • Air Transat, the Canadian leisure carrier, launched a weekly transatlantic service between Quebec City (YQB) and Marseille (MRS) on 23 June. The service will operate seasonally until 13 October with A310 and A330 aircraft. This is the airline’s second route to the airport in the south of France, which it also serves seasonally from Montreal.

When AIRES arrived into JFK, the new route was celebrated by Eduardo, IT Manager AIRES; Janice Holden, CCO JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFK IAT); Javier Jimenez, Director Operations AIRES; John Grasser, Director Airside Operations JFK IAT; Jim Fazio, COO JFK IAT; Susana Cunha, Director Landside Operations JFK IAT; Harry Buitrago, JFK Station Manager AIRES; Fabio Andrade, FLL Station Manager AIRES; and Karen Schaefer, Jr Manager Commercial Dept JFK IAT.

  • The Colombian carrier AIRES now flies between its main base in the country capital Bogotá (BOG) and New York JFK (JFK) as of 25 June. This is the second US destination for the airline, which already serves Fort Lauderdale from three Colombian airports. The three weekly 737-700 flights face competition from Avianca’s 12 flights a week and daily flights on Delta, however, from August, AIRES will increase its frequency into JFK’s international terminal 4 to daily flights.
  • The Armenian airline Armavia launched two flights a week between its Yerevan (EVN) base and Warsaw (WAW) on 23 June. Flights will be operated with A319 aircraft. Although the route currently is uncontested and never has been served in the past, LOT Polish Airlines will also operate on the route twice a week from 1 July.
  • Cimber Sterling launched a weekly service between its Copenhagen (CPH) base and Thessaloniki (SKG) in mainland Greece on 22 June, operating with 737-700 aircraft. The route was operated by Olympic Airlines until 2000.

Vivienne Barker, the first passenger on CityJet’s new Deauville-London City service was congratulated by Desmond O’Flynn, MD Deauville Airport Public Authority. Mrs Barker, a Normandy resident, flew to visit an old school friend whom she hadn’t seen for 50 years (!). CityJet’s captain Eimar de Jong and Christain Fougery, President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Pays d’Auge, joined in for a photo opportunity in front of the aircraft named after the new destination.

  • The Air France-KLM subsidiary CityJet launched two seasonal routes out of London City (LCY) to France in the last week. On 24 June, four weekly flights began to Deauville (DOL), a route that travelled on the familiarisation flight for. The upscale French coastal resort will be served with VLM-operated 50-seat Fokker 50s until 27 September. The following day, three weekly Avro RJ85 flights began to Brive-la-Gaillarde (BVE) in southern France. These are scheduled to operate until 12 September.
  • Delta Air Lines launched two very different seasonal flights in the last week. From Salt Lake City, UT (SLC), five weekly 737-800 flights began to Fairbanks, AK (FAI) on 25 June, operating until 6 September. This is a relaunched service, which last operated in the summer of 2008. The following day, Delta began serving Grand Cayman (GCM) in the Cayman Islands from New York JFK (JFK). The airline, which already serves the Caribbean tax haven from Atlanta year-round and Minneapolis/St Paul and Detroit in winter, will fly the route once a week, on Saturdays, with 737-800s. The new route competes with Cayman Airways’ three weekly flights and indirectly with Continental’s two flights a week from Newark. Delta last operated the route in 2001.
Arrival of easyJet’s fifth aircraft based in Basel

At the arrival of easyJet’s fifth aircraft based in Basel, Thomas Haagensen, easyJet’s regional GM Northern Europe, announced the sixth based aircraft, which will arrive in December. The first of the two aircraft has instantly resulted in five new routes from the airport bordering three European countries.

easyJet’s arrival into Pristina marked an important step for Kosovo

easyJet’s arrival into Pristina marked an important step for Kosovo. Airport director Agron Mustafa pointed out that, in addition to the competition and low fares brought by the airline, the arrival of a giant airline makes Kosovo more attractive to foreign investors.

  • easyJet launched five new routes from Basel (BSL) with the arrival of yet another A319 to the airport at the Swiss/French/German borders on 24 June. The only route to face competition is to Ajaccio (AJA) on the French island of Corsica, which Air France’s subsidiary Régional also serves once a week in summer. The service to Pristina (PRN) in Kosovo follows the launch of services from Geneva the previous week.
Date Destination WF*
26-Jun-10 Ajaccio (AJA) 2
25-Jun-10 Nantes (NTE) 3
26-Jun-10 Pristina (PRN) 2
26-Jun-10 Split (SPU) 2
25-Jun-10 Thessaloniki (SKG) 3
*WF: Weekly Frequency
flydubai launch Colombo service

flydubai’s CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith (right) was welcomed to Colombo by Jumah Khamis Al-Dahmani, First Secretary at the UAE Embassy to Sri Lanka and Kamal Ratwatte, Deputy Chairman Airport and Aviation Services.

  • flydubai continued its rapid expansion when it launched four weekly 737-800 flights from its Dubai (DXB) base to Colombo (CMB), the capital of Sri Lanka, on 23 June. The airline’s CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith pointed out that “[t]ravel to Sri Lanka has shown a significant increase so far this year, with a 106 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Sri Lankan tourism board.” Competition on the route comes from SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka, each operating daily flights, and parent Emirates’ two daily services.
  • launched a weekly service between Newcastle (NCL) in the north of England and Monastir (MIR) on the Tunisian coast on 27 June. Competition comes from Thomson Airways’ also weekly flights. Anissa Ramoundi, Tunisian National Tourist Office, said: “This is fantastic news for Tunisia. It will provide a real boost to tourism in the country. At a time when some airlines are cancelling services, it is great to see investing in brand new destinations and we look forward to welcoming new visitors to the country.”

The new air link between Rzeszów and Gdansk was celebrated by a cake in Rzeszów. Airport president Stanislaw Nowak cut the cake, while representatives of the local province provided tourist information.

  • Jet Air, the Polish regional carrier, launched two weekly flights – on Fridays and Sundays – between Rzeszów (RZE) in the southeast of Poland and Gdansk (GDN) on the country’s north coast on 25 June. The route, which will be operated with 18-seat Jetstream 32s, is the first air link between the two cities since the 1970s.

Kuban Airlines was welcomed to Cologne/Bonn Airport with a fire truck salute and a cake in the airport’s colourful and cartoon-like corporate identity, which the crew seemed very excited about. Holding the cake are Kerstin Schweitzer, Head of Business Development, and Ulrich Stiller, Director Marketing & Sales, while Gerhard Pilop (wearing the high-vis vest) from the Business Development department handed the welcome sign over to the crew. The Russian airline will serve the German airport from both Sochi and Krasnodar this summer.

Kuban - sunflower livery

Also Munich saw the arrival of Kuban Airlines. The Bavarian airport suitably greeted the sunflower livery aircraft’s crew with – sunflowers.

  • The Russian airline Kuban Airlines launched three new German, seasonal routes in the last week. From Sochi (AER) on the Russian Black Sea coast, flights launched to both Munich (MUC) from 25 June and to Cologne/Bonn (CGN), which launched on 23 June. Cologne/Bonn also got two weekly connections with the airline’s base in Krasnodar (KRR), 100 kilometres inland, on 22 June. All three routes are operated twice a week with the airline’s 737-300s until the beginning of September.
  • Lufthansa Italia entered the Moroccan market when it launched weekly A319 flights between Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Casablanca (CMN) on 26 June, which will operate seasonally until 25 September. The route is very competitive, with Royal Air Maroc already flying 12 times a week against both easyJet’s six and Jet4you’s five weekly flights.
  • Mandala Airlines, the Indonesian low-cost carrier part-owned by US firm Indigo Partners, launched two new international routes on 25 June. The A319 and A320 operator now serves Singapore (SIN) from both the country capital Jakarta (CGK) daily and from Balikpapan (BPN) on the east coast of Borneo three times a week, on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Competition comes from Silk Air’s six weekly flights on the Borneo route, while the highly competitive Jakarta service faces 11 airlines, each operating between four and 49 flights a week.

Middle East Airlines was welcomed to Brussels Airport’s fire brigade, while passengers were offered drinks at the gate. The ribbon, held by MEA's flight attendants, was cut by Jos Stroobants, Director Aviation Development at Brussels Airport, and Nizar Khoury, Head of Commercial at MEA.

  • Middle East Airlines began flying A320s three times a week between Beirut (BEY) and Brussels (BRU) on 22 June. Flights are currently scheduled for the summer peak season and will end mid-September, but the demand has proven so strong that some of the flights have been rescheduled with A321s and Brussels Airport is in talks with the airline about making it a year-round route. In addition to Belgium’s large Lebanese population, demand comes from diamond trade business traffic and transfer traffic to Brussels’ large network to Africa, where there also is a large Lebanese presence.
  • Norwegian launched four Mediterranean leisure routes in the last week with its mixture of 737-300s and 737-800s. The only route to face competition is between Copenhagen (CPH) and Athens (ATH), which SAS operates daily and Cimber Sterling four times a week.
Date Origin Destination WF*
28-Jun-10 Copenhagen (CPH) Athens (ATH) 2
27-Jun-10 Copenhagen (CPH) Ibiza (IBZ) 1
26-Jun-10 Copenhagen (CPH) Kos (KGS) 2
27-Jun-10 Oslo Rygge (RYG) Chania (CHQ) 1
*WF: Weekly Frequencies
  • Porter Airlines launched two new Q400 routes on 25 June, both of which operate from other airports than its main base at Toronto City. The airline now flies 13 times a week between Montreal (YUL) and Halifax (YHZ) in competition with Air Canada’s 48 flights a week and weekly services on WestJet. From Ottawa (YOW), the airline began flying to Moncton (YQM), also 13 times a week. The only competitor on the route is Air Canada, which offers six weekly flights.

After a fire truck salute in São Paulo, the big celebrations took place in Buenos Aires where Argentina’s Secretary of Transportation Juan Pablo Schiavi welcomed Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker and Argentina’s Minister of Tourism Enrique Meyer. The gentlemen then cut the ribbon for the inaugural flight in front of the large crowd.

  • Qatar Airways entered the South American market on 24 June, when the airline began daily flights from its Doha (DOH) hub via São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) in Brazil to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) in Argentina. Notably, the first sector of the journey is 11,850 kilometres and Qatar Airways uses 259-seat 777-200LR aircraft to operate the route. While Emirates also serves São Paulo, Qatar Airways is the first of the ‘MEB3’ airlines to serve Buenos Aires. Another Asian airline, Malaysia Airlines, does, however, serve the Argentinean capital via South Africa. Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker commented: “With a large Lebanese and Japanese community living in Brazil, Argentina and neighbouring South American countries, the route is a perfect match for our business model, which carries passengers from East to West and vice versa via our Doha hub.”

A huge moment for Malaga airport, which recently opened a new terminal. Ryanair will now fill part of the capacity with its 22 new routes, which were celebrated by Ryanair’s marketing manager Leslie Kane and Salvador Pendón, president of the Provincial Deputation of Malaga and Costa del Sol Tourist board, who hold the flag of Andalusia. They were joined by the Ryanair cabin crew and a verdiales dancer.

Krakow Airport’s cake for the new Malaga route – Ryanair’s 10th route to Krakow this summer – was so stunning that Polish TV even took an interest. The first passengers (132 from Malaga and 146 from Krakow) were clearly delighted about the refreshments and celebrations, as was Ryanair’s proud CEE Sales & Marketing Manager Laszlo Tamas.

  • Ryanair launched a staggering 25 new routes in the last week. All but three were the result of the airline’s base launch in Malaga (AGP), which is analysed in this week’s airline feature.
Date Origin Destination WF*
22-Jun-10 Alghero (AHO) Gothenburg City (GSE) 2
24-Jun-10 Alghero (AHO) Bratislava (BTS) 2
23-Jun-10 Girona (GRO) Poitiers (PIS) 2
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Aarhus (AAR) 2
25-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) 3
22-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Billund (BLL) 3
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Bratislava (BTS) 2
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Eindhoven (EIN) 5
25-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Gothenburg City (GSE) 2
25-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Haugesund (HAU) 2
24-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Krakow (KRK) 3
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Maastricht (MST) 3
24-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Memmingen (FMM) 3
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Oslo Torp (TRF) 2
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Paris Beauvais (BVA) 4
24-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Pisa (PSA) 3
24-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Santander (SDR) 3
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) 4
24-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) 4
25-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Tampere (TMP) 3
22-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Valencia (VLC) 5
23-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Valladolid (VLL) 3
24-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Venice Treviso (TSF) 3
25-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Wroclaw (WRO) 2
24-Jun-10 Malaga (AGP) Zaragoza (ZAZ) 3
*WF: Weekly Frequencies
  • SmartWings, the Czech low-cost carrier, launched a weekly service between Prague (PRG) and the Mediterranean island of Malta (MLA) on 27 June. Flights will operate with 737-800 aircraft until 29 August, competing with Air Malta’s two flights a week.
  • Southwest began flying between Boston (BOS) and Philadelphia (PHL) on 27 June. The low-cost carrier now operates 35 flights a week (five a day) with 137-seat 737-700s. The route competes with US Airways’ 100 weekly flights, which are operated with a mixture of regional and narrow-body aircraft. Philadelphia becomes the fifth destination that Southwest serves from its Boston base, which it opened less than a year ago.
  • The Russian airline Transaero, which recently visited in Moscow, continued its expansion in the Russian Far East on 25 June. The airline now flies twice a week with 767-300s between its Moscow Domodedovo (DME) hub and Yakutsk (YKS). Flights compete with S7’s four weekly flights and indirectly with Yakutia Airlines’ eight flights a week from Moscow Vnukovo.
  • expanded its Danish operations on 27 June, when the airline launched a weekly service between Billund (BLL) on the Danish mainland and Antalya (AYT) in Turkey. The 737-800 service competes with four weekly flights on Corendon Airlines and two flights a week on Cimber Sterling.

First Officer Daniel Offermann, Captain Brendan Tierney and Flight Attendant Daphne Arthur posed for the camera, as they arrived into Baton Rouge, where the ribbon was cut for the route by Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden, assisted by airport officials, US Airways and PSA Airlines employees.

  • US Airways on 24 June resumed services between its Charlotte, NC (CLT) hub and Baton Rouge, LA (BTR) after seven years’ absence. Flights will be operated 21 times a week with 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft operated by PSA.

On site in San Francisco to see the flight to Toronto off: Mayor Gavin Newsom helped Richard Branson and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger cut the ribbon, before speaking to the gathered crowd. Sir Richard then couldn’t refuse posing in a mountie hat.

  • Virgin America expanded internationally on 23 June, when it launched daily flights to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) from both San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX) with its 119-seat A319s. Competition on the LA route comes from American Airlines also daily flights and four daily services on Air Canada, while the Canadian carrier flies five times a day to San Francisco along United’s daily services.

The Slovenian Alps provided the backdrop as Vueling touched down in Ljubljana. The two weekly flights will compete with Adria Airways’ flights, also operating twice a week.

Vueling’s crew was welcomed to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, where the airline competes with Barcelona rival Spanair.

  • Vueling expanded with six routes in the last week. Two of the routes, from Barcelona (BCN) to Edinburgh (EDI) and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), compete with Spanair’s recently launched flights to the same destinations. Notably, the Valencia (VLC) to Munich (MUC) service is Vueling’s first route to Germany, while the weekly Amman (AMM) service is an overnight operation. All flights are operated with the airline’s 180-seat A320 aircraft.
Date Origin Destination WF*
26-Jun-10 Barcelona (BCN) Amman (AMM) 1
24-Jun-10 Barcelona (BCN) Edinburgh (EDI) 3
24-Jun-10 Barcelona (BCN) Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) 4
25-Jun-10 Barcelona (BCN) Ljubljana (LJU) 2
24-Jun-10 Ibiza (IBZ) Amsterdam (AMS) 4
24-Jun-10 Valencia (VLC) Munich (MUC) 3
*WF: Weekly Frequencies
  • WestJet launched two new routes out of Vancouver (YVR) in the last week. On 27 June, the airline began flying daily to Kitchener (YKF) in Ontario, the next day followed by new daily services to San Francisco (SFO). While the Kitchener route is uncontested, Air Canada operates the route to San Francisco 28 times a week and United with 27 weekly flights.

Previous weeks’ launch celebrations

Armenian dancers were on site in Barcelona to celebrate Armavia’s new route to the Spanish city, which operates once a week as of 20 June.

Turkish Airlines’ CEO Dr Temel Kotil, whom just interviewed in  Milan , travelled on the airline’s first flight to Alexandria and was delighted to open the new service to the airline’s second Egyptian destination.


Corsairfly’s service between Paris Orly and Miami received a welcome to its first US destination. Starting off as an A330-200 service, flights will operate with 582-seat 747-400s from 2 July.

Turkish Airlines

As Turkish Airlines arrived in Dar es Salaam (from Istanbul via Entebbe), dancers met Kadir Topbas, mayor of Istanbul, and Hamdi Topcu, Turkish Airlines’ chairman of the board of directors.


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