New routes launched during the last week (Tuesday 29 June – Monday 5 July):
Route of the Week:
TAP Portugal’s Lisbon to Campinas, Brazil
- TAP Portugal increased its Brazilian network on 3 July, when it launched flights from Lisbon (LIS) to Campinas (VCP) in São Paulo state, Brazil, where alliance partner TAM offers connections to other Brazilian airports. This is the first international service to the airport since 1992, when Swissair served the city via Buenos Aires. The new route – TAP’s 10th to Brazil – is operated with A330-200s three times a week and complements TAP Portugal’s 11 flights a week to São Paulo Guarulhos, just over 80 kilometres away.
Cake of the Week:
Brussels Airlines’ Brussels to Accra and Lomé
- Brussels Airlines expanded its West African network out of Brussels (BRU) on 5 July, when the Star Alliance member launched two new routes. Accra (ACC) in Ghana, which has seen a number of new route launches lately and was analysed in the last issue of anna.aero, saw the launch of four weekly flights, operating via Monrovia either on the way out or back. Two flights a week also began to Lomé (LFW), the capital of Togo. Similarly, flights operate via Abidjan either on the outbound or the return leg. This is the second European service to Togo after Air France’s four weekly Lomé flights from Paris CDG. Both of the new Brussels Airlines routes are operated with new 284-seat A330-300s.
The rest of this week’s new routes
- Air Lingus Express, the Irish airline’s regional brand operated by Aer Arann, launched four new routes out of Shannon (SNN) to UK destinations on 1 July. Birmingham (BHX) and Bristol (BRS) will be served each six times a week, while Glasgow (GLA) and Manchester (MAN) get a daily service each.
- Aeroméxico launched two international services on 5 July. Flights will operate daily between the capitals of Mexico and Colombia, Mexico City (MEX) and Bogotá (BOG), with 737s and compete with Avianca’s 14 and Mexicana’s 11 flights a week. From Monterrey (MTY) in the northeast of the country, the airline began flying to Houston Intercontinental (IAH) 12 times a week, using Aeroméxico Connect’s ERJ aircraft. The service competes with Continental’s 62 flights a week and vivaaerobus’s two weekly operations, which also launched in the last week (see below).
- Aerosvit launched a daily service between Dnepropetrovsk (DNK), the third biggest city in the Ukraine, and Berlin Tegel (TXL) on 1 July. The 1,600-kilometre flights will be operated with 50-seat ERJ-145 aircraft. Notably, this is the only the second route to Berlin from the Ukraine, with the only other service being offered by Ukraine International from Kiev Borispol. Dnieproavia was the last airline to connect the city in eastern Ukraine with the German capital, although its Berlin Schönefeld flights were dropped in 2006.
- Air Arabia Egypt, the new Egyptian joint-venture for Sharjah-based Air Arabia, launched four weekly flights between Alexandria Borg El Arab (HBE) and Beirut (BEY) on 1 July. This is the airline’s fourth destination, which it will serve on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The operator of brand-new A320s indirectly competes with Egyptair’s seasonal Beirut service from Alexandria’s El Nouzha Airport, which operates twice a week during summer.
- Air Astana began serving Ürümqi (URC) in northwest China from its Almaty (ALA) base on 2 July. The three weekly A320 flights complement the airline’s service to the Chinese city from Astana. The new flights compete with China Southern’s daily operations.
- Air China launched a service to a brand-new Tibetan airport on 1 July. Gunsa Airport (NGQ) near Shiquanhe (known as Ali in Chinese) in Ngari Prefecture is at an altitude of 4,300 metres, which causes some operational complications. Flights operate twice a week with A319s from Chengdu (CTU), via Lhasa (LXA), but the final leg cannot take more than 60 passengers.
- Air Europa, which recently upgraded to full membership of SkyTeam, launched services between Barcelona (BCN) and Athens (ATH) on 4 July. The weekly 737-800 operation competes with Vueling’s 11 flights a week and a daily service on Aegean Airlines.
- Air Nigeria, formerly Virgin Nigeria, on 1 July launched a domestic connection from its Lagos (LOS) base to Benin City (BNI), 250 kilometres away along the coast, not to be confused with the neighbour country bearing the same name. Flights will operate daily with 96-seat E-190s and compete with Associated Aviation’s 19, Aerocontractors’ 14 and Arik Air’s 13 weekly operations on the route.
- The Fijian carrier Air Pacific, part-owned by Qantas, launched two weekly 737-700 flights between Suva (SUV), the country capital, and Auckland (AKL) on 2 July. The airline already serves the New Zealand city from its main base in Nadi, but this marks its first flight from Suva to outside the South Pacific islands.
- Air Vallée, the regional airline from northwest Italy, has re-emerged outside its traditional, Alpine home base. As of 4 July, it flies twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, between Rimini (RMI) in Italy and Split (SPU) in Croatia. The two cities on the Adriatic coast will be served with Dornier 328JET aircraft.
- airBaltic launched two new northern routes out of its Riga (RIX) hub in the last week. On 2 June, four flights a week launched to Luleå (LLA) in northernmost Sweden. The route will initially be operated with Fokker 50 aircraft, but these will be replaced with Q400s in August. The following day saw the launch of two weekly 737-500 flights to the Russian port city Arkhangelsk (ARH). In the case of both airports, domestic traffic has so far dominated the route networks.
- Allegiant Air began serving Long Beach, CA (LGB) in the Los Angeles metropolitan area on 1 July with its MD80s. The low-cost carrier now serves the airport with three weekly flights from Bellingham, WA (BLI) near the border to Canada and five times a week from Stockton (SCK) in northern California.
- American Airlines launched two routes out of New York JFK (JFK) in the last week. On 1 July, two daily flights were relaunched to its former hub in St Louis, MO (STL). The airline operated the route until the end of the summer season in 2008 and the service will face competition from Delta’s daily flights and indirectly from Continental’s 31 flights a week from Newark. On 2 July, American launched daily flights to Austin, TX (AUS), operating with MD80s. The flights compete with jetBlue’s 20 flights a week and complement American’s existing services from Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles. From New York LaGuardia (LGA), the airline also launched 34 weekly flights to Atlanta, GA (ATL), the giant airport that was just analysed in anna.aero. The flights are operated with CRJ700s and face competition from Delta’s 107 and AirTran’s 53 flights a week on the same route.
- All Nippon Airways launched flights to its second German, and fourth European, destination on 1 July. Munich (MUC) will be served daily from its Tokyo Narita (NRT) hub with 777-300ER aircraft. Flights compete with alliance partner Lufthansa’s also daily operation.
- Arkefly, the Dutch arm of travel group TUI’s airlines, launched two weekly flights between Amsterdam (AMS) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ) on 1 July. Flights will operate with 767-300ERs until 9 September and compete with KLM’s 10 flights a week and four weekly services on Air Transat.
- Avianca launched a transatlantic service to Madrid (MAD) from Colombia’s second largest city Medellin (MDE) on 3 July. This is the third Colombian airport to have transatlantic services on Avianca, after the airline’s main hub in Bogotá and Cali, from where it also offers Madrid services. The new flights will be operated twice a week with A330-200 aircraft.
- Cimber Sterling launched two weekly flights from its Copenhagen (CPH) base to the new billi low-cost terminal in Bordeaux (BOD). Flights will operate with 737-700 aircraft and reinstate services last operated by predecessor Sterling in 2005.
- Delta Air Lines expanded its presence in the San Francisco Bay area on 5 July, when it launched a daily service between Atlanta (ATL) and Oakland (OAK). The 3,425-kilometre route is operated with 176-seat 757-200 aircraft and complements the airline’s Atlanta services to both San Francisco and San José airports. Deborah Ale Flint, Port of Oakland’s director of aviation, commented: “Delta Air Lines has been expanding its operation at Oakland International Airport over the past year, and we’re pleased to see the airline increase its presence here with new nonstop service to its Atlanta hub. Now, East Bay Area travelers have more choices for transcontinental service, including great connections to Florida, from Oakland.”
- easyJet expanded its Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) base on 3 July, when it launched two Mediterranean leisure routes. Both the Greek island of Corfu (CFU) and Croatia’s second-largest city, the coastal resort Split (SPU), are now served each three times a week with 156-seat A319s. The Corfu service faces competition from Condor’s weekly flights, while the Split route also is served by germanwings four times a week. Indirect competition also comes from airberlin’s twice-weekly Berlin Tegel service.
- Emirates launched two new routes out of Dubai (DXB) in the last week. On 1 July, daily flights began to Prague (PRG), making the Czech capital the airline’s second European destination to be launched this year, after Amsterdam services that launched in May. In addition to this new service, operated with 278-seat A330-200s, SmartWings flies the route once a week with 737-800s. Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates’ chairman and CEO, commented: “We have already been carrying passengers from the Czech Republic through existing European points, such as Vienna. Now, customers can fly direct from Prague to Dubai, and onwards to Asia and the Far East, bringing more convenience and reduced travelling time. Amongst our cabin crew alone, we have more than 60 staff from the Czech Republic based in Dubai.” Emirates also launched a service to the Saudi Arabian city of Medina (MED) on 2 July. The route will be operated twice a week with A330-200s as a seasonal scheduled charter service until 30 October. Flights compete with Saudi Arabian Airlines’ two flights a week.
- Estonian Air launched a weekly service between Tallinn (TLL) and Athens (ATH), where the Star Alliance member now has connectivity with new alliance partner Aegean Airlines. Flights operate seasonally with 737-300s until 16 August.
- flybe launched two weekly flights between Edinburgh (EDI) and Limoges (LIG) in west-central France on 3 July. The route, which is operated with Q400 aircraft, will be operated seasonally until 14 August and complements the airline’s existing services from Southampton and Newcastle. Later this month, services from a further three UK airports will also be launched by flybe.
- Hong Kong Airlines continued its expansion, facilitated by the arrival of its new A330-200s, with the launch of three weekly flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on 30 June. The service currently competes with Aeroflot’s five flights a week. Later this month, two additional airlines will begin competing indirectly with services to and from Moscow Domodedovo. From 13 July, Cathay Pacific begins operating three weekly flights and from 30 July, Transaero follows with a weekly service.
- Iberia launched two weekly flights between Madrid (MAD) and Amman (AMM) on 3 July. Notably, both flights to the Jordanian capital, which recently has seen a number of new route launches, operate on the same day – on Saturdays – with 141-seat A319s. Flights compete with fellow oneworld carrier Royal Jordanian’s five flights a week, of which one frequency also is operated on Saturdays.
- Jetstar launched a new service between Melbourne (MEL) and Brisbane (BNE) on 1 July. Flights will operate twice a day with the airline’s A320 aircraft. Competition comes from parent Qantas, which serves the route with 99 weekly flights, as well as Virgin Blue’s 75 flights a week and, the most recent addition, Tiger Airways Australia’s 19 weekly services. The airline is, however, not new on the city pair, but already serves Brisbane from Melbourne Avalon.
- Jetstar Asia launched something as unusual as an add-on to its service between Singapore (SIN) and Taipei (TPE). Using fifth freedom rights, the airline launched a daily Taipei to Osaka Kansai (KIX) service on 5 July. The service, operating with 180-seat A320s, becomes the low-cost carrier’s first Japanese service, although the airline’s Australian sibling already serves both Kansai and Tokyo Narita. The new Taipei to Kansai service enters a highly competitive route. JAL flies twice a day, while China Airlines offers 10 flights a week. Also operating daily are both EVA Air and Cathay Pacific, the latter also using fifth freedom rights. Non-stop services between Singapore and Osaka Kansai are offered by Singapore Airlines.
- LAN launched its fourth US route out of Lima (LIM) on 1 July, when LAN Peru began flying to San Francisco (SFO) four times a week, using 221-seat 767-300 aircraft. Previous US services are to Miami, Los Angeles and New York JFK. The flights, which operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, are scheduled in order to provide connections to São Paulo in Brazil.
- LOT Polish Airlines launched two flights a week between Warsaw (WAW) and Armenia’s capital Yerevan (EVN) on 1 July. Flights operate on Mondays and Thursdays. The route, which will be operated with 82-seat E-175s, follows the Armavia launch of the same route – also operating twice a week – on 23 June.
- Luxair launched two new Italian routes in the last week. From the airline’s main base in Luxembourg (LUX), two weekly flights to Venice (VCE) began operating on 3 July. The ERJ145 service will operate until 13 September. The following day, Luxair launched a weekly service to Catania (CTA) in Sicily from its German focus city Saarbrücken (SCN). Flights will operate with Q400s and are the only southern European flights Luxair operates from the airport.
- Mahan Air launched two weekly flights between Tehran (IKA) and Muscat (MCT) on 30 June. The flights between the Iranian and Omani capitals will be operated seasonally with A310 aircraft until 19 September.
- Norwegian launched a weekly service between Oslo Rygge (RYG) and the Greek city of Thessaloniki (SKG) on 29 June. Flights will operate with 737-300 aircraft.
- Qantas began serving Port Moresby (POM), the capital of Papua New Guinea, on 1 July. 12 weekly Q400 flights, operated by the QantasLink airline Sunstate, compete with Air Niugini’s nine and Airlines PNG’s six weekly flights on the 840-kilometre route. The last time the Australian airline regularly flew to its northern neighbour and former colony was in 2002.
- Ryanair contributed with five new routes this week. From its Scandinavian bases at Oslo Rygge (RYG) and Stockholm Skavsta (NYO), the airline began serving an airport new to scheduled passenger traffic on 30 June; Paris Vatry (XCR). The French airport, which is marketed as a low-cost airport located on the same side of Paris as Disneyland Paris as well as a gateway to the Champagne region, will be served twice a week – on Wednesdays and Saturdays – from both bases. “I am delighted to cooperate with Ryanair and hope it is only the beginning of an ongoing relationship. High quality service and a warm welcome await them at Paris-Vatry and I am certain that they will very quickly feel at home,” said Gilles Darriau, CEO of SEVE, the local authority managing Paris Vatry Airport. The same day, two weekly flights were launched between Porto (LINK TO http://www.therouteshop.com/porto-airport/) (OPO) in northern Portugal and Carcassonne (CCF) in southern France. On 1 July, Ryanair also launched two routes out of Düsseldorf Weeze (NRN). Both Kerry (KIR) in Ireland and Zaragoza (ZAZ) in Spain will be served three times a week.
- Spanair launched two new seasonal Mediterranean routes on 1 July. From its Barcelona (BCN) hub, the Star Alliance airline now serves Dubrovnik (DBV) and Malta (MLA), each with two flights a week. The flights, which will operate until 30 September, compete with local low-cost rival Vueling, which serves Dubrovnik daily and Malta with three flights a week.
- SriLankan Airlines expanded its presence on the Chinese market on 1 July, when it launched four weekly flights to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) operating from Colombo (CMB) via Bangkok (BKK). The flights, which are operated with A330-200s, add to the airline’s routes to Beijing and Hong Kong, which also are flown via Bangkok. Competition on the Bangkok-Shanghai sector comes from China Eastern and Thai Airways, each of which operates twice-daily flights.
- Sun D’Or, the Israeli leisure carrier, launched a weekly service between Tel Aviv (TLV) and Lisbon (LIS) on 2 July. The capitals of Israel and Portugal, a distance of over 4,000 kilometres, will be linked until 10 September with 757s and 737-800s.
- Swiss launched a seasonal service between Basel (BSL) and Venice (VCE) on 1 July. Flights will operate four times a week with Avro RJ100s until 22 August and complement the airline’s services to Venice from Zurich, which operate three times a day.
- TAROM, which recently became a member of the alliance SkyTeam, launched a new service between Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) and Damascus (DAM) on 2 July. The two weekly A318 flights alternate between operating via Amman outbound or inbound.
- Transavia.com launched three weekly 737-800 flights between Paris Orly (ORY) and Ibiza (IBZ) on 30 June. The flights to the Balearic island indirectly faces competition from Paris CDG services on Vueling (daily) and, from 10 July, also easyJet with its five flights a week.
- vivaaerobus launched two weekly flights between Monterrey (MTY) and Houston Intercontinental (IAH) on 2 July. Flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays with 149-seat 737-300s. The low-cost carrier competes with Continental’s 62 flights a week as well as Aeroméxico’s 12 weekly flights that also launched this week.
- Wind Jet, the Italian low-cost carrier analysed in this week’s anna.aero, launched a route between its main Forlì (FRL) base and Tallinn (TLL). This expansion is in line with the airline’s partly eastern focus, already serving Riga, St Petersburg, Moscow and Samara. Flights will operate once a week with A319 aircraft. The only other services between Italy and the capital of Estonia are Estonian Air’s flights to Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumincino.
- Wizz Air was, along with Ryanair, the airline to launch the most new routes in the last week. Three of the five routes are from its Bucharest Baneasa (BBU) base, which is featured in this week’s airport analysis. On 30 June, the A320 operator began serving Cuneo (CUF) in northwest Italy from the Romanian capital, on 3 July followed by Düsseldorf Weeze (NRN) and Zaragoza (ZAZ). Each of the three flights is operate twice a week. On 1 July, the airline launched three flights a week between Budapest (BUD) and Pisa (PSA). This is the first time the Hungarian capital is connected with Tuscany since Meridiana dropped its Florence route in January last year. On 3 July, Wizz Air launched two weekly flights between Prague (PRG) and Catania (CTA) in Sicily. Flights compete with twice-weekly services on both Wind Jet and SmartWings.