Route of the Week:
Mandala Airlines’ Jakarta to Macau
Mandala Airlines’ CFO Michael Hamelink handed an aircraft model to Sunning Liu, executive director of Macau’s airport operator CAM, at a cocktail reception for the low-cost carrier’s new route.
- Mandala Airlines launched yet another international route from its Jakarta (CGK) base on 21 July. The Indonesian low-cost carrier, which started flying to Hong Kong two days earlier, now also serves neighbouring Macau (MFM). Flights operate three times a week with A320 aircraft, scheduled so that the airline serves either Macau or Hong Kong each day of the week. These operations reinstate services between Jakarta and Macau, two airports that have been left without a link since Air Macau and subsequently China Southwest Airlines gave up the route in 2002. Diono Nurjadin, Mandala Airlines’ President Director, commented on the expectations for the new routes: “For the first three months, we are targeting to reach 85 percent of load factor for Jakarta-Hongkong-Jakarta and 80 percent for Jakarta-Macau-Jakarta.”
Cake of the Week:
Wizz Air’s Budapest to Frankfurt Hahn and Bari
Wizz Air’s captain Attila Lukács and Budapest Airport’s spokesman Károly Szilágyi held the globe-shaped cake on display, showing the location of Budapest and Frankfurt Hahn.
A map theme was also featured on the cake displayed by Patrick Bohl, head of Budapest Airport’s airline development team, and Wizz Air’s first officer Béla Szegedi. Down on the heel of Italy, Bari is indicated as the low-cost airline’s new destination from the Hungarian capital.
- Wizz Air launched three routes with its A320s in the last week. On 24 June, the airline relaunched services between Budapest (BUD) and Frankfurt Hahn (HHN), a route that it used to operate until the end of the summer season in 2007. Hahn is the airline’s second German destination to be served from Budapest, after Düsseldorf Weeze. Flights will operate three times a week. On the same day, the airline launched a new route from its Transylvanian base in Cluj Napoca (CLJ) to the Spanish coastal city of Alicante (ALC), operating twice a week. On 26 July, this was followed by another route from the airline’s Budapest home base. The airline now serves Bari (BRI) in southern Italy with two weekly flights. The airport becomes the eighth Italian airport Wizz Air serves from Budapest this summer.
The rest of this week’s new routes
AirAsia arrived into Hyderabad with an A320 in its “World’s Best Low Cost Airline” livery. Thrilled to have such a distinguished carrier arrive, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport welcomed the airline with a fire truck salute.
- AirAsia launched two new destinations from its main Kuala Lumpur (KUL) base. Both Hyderabad (HYD) in India and Myanmar’s capital Yangon (RGN) are served with 180-seat A320s as of 20 July. The daily Hyderabad route competes with Malaysia Airlines’ five weekly flights, while Yangon is served with four weekly flights against both Malaysia Airlines and Myanmar Airways, each flying five times a week. While Hyderabad is a new destination to AirAsia Group, Thai AirAsia already serves Yangon from Bangkok.
- Air Italy launched a seasonal service from Naples (NAP) to Nice (NCE) on 26 July. The route used to be operated by Alpi Eagles until its demise at the beginning of 2008 and will now be served four times a week with Air Italy’s 737-300s until 5 September. This is Air Italy’s first international route out of Naples and the first time the airline serves Nice.
For the first time since 2008 Dalian is again connected with Vladivostok and Irkutsk. In the past, the routes were operated by Vladivostok Air and S7 respectively, but this is the first time a Chinese carrier enters the market.
- China Southern launched two new seasonal services from Dalian (DLC) in northeast China to the Russian Far East on 25 July. Both the route to Vladivostok (VVO) and the one to Irkutsk (IKT) are operated with A319s until 12 September. While both services start as weekly Sunday operations, the route to Vladivostok temporarily increases to twice-weekly during the second half of August.
Hainan Airlines has begun serving Yining from Ürümqi with 737-800s from its subsidiary Chang'an Airlines.
- Hainan Airlines launched a seasonal service within northwest China on 21 July. Flights will operate between Ürümqi (URC) and Yining (YIN), close to the Kazakh border, twice a day until 30 October. The 737-800 service competes with seven daily flights on China Eastern and four flights a day with Tianjin Airlines.
- Iberia on 24 July launched a new route between Bilbao (BIO) in northern Spain and Rome Fiumicino (FCO). The four weekly flights will be operated with Air Nostrum’s 90-seat CRJ900s and compete with easyJet’s three flights a week on the route.
Joy Air’s MA60 – based on the An-24 – will fly four times a week between Ordos City and Yinchuan, a distance of 360 kilometres. The first flight carried 34 passengers who were warmly received in Yinchuan with a little welcome ceremony.
- Joy Air began operating the 360-kilometre route between Ordos (DSN) in Inner Mongolia and Yinchuan (INC), the capital of the neighbouring Ningxia province, on 26 July. The route will be operated four times a week with the Chinese-made 52-seat turboprop MA60.
- SAT Airlines launched a new service within the Russian Far East on 21 July. The airline now flies between Khabarovsk (KHV), near the Chinese border, and Irkutsk (IKT), close to the border to Mongolia, twice a week with its 737s. Flights compete with Vladivostok Air’s three flights a week and Kavminvodyavia’s twice-weekly service.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Shangdong Airlines’ new service from Jinan, via Ürümqi, to Kashi in westernmost China was witnessed by a large crowd. Many of the passengers are young men who have volunteered to come to Xinjiang Province to work for the local government.
The first of Shangdong Airlines’ weekly flights to Taichung in Taiwan was full as it departed Jinan.
- Shangdong Airlines launched two new services from Jinan (TNA), located 350 kilometres south of Beijing, in the last week. On 26 July, the airline launched a new service to westernmost China. Two weekly 737-800 operations serve Kashi (KHG), also known as Kashgar, near the borders to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Flights operate via Ürümqi (URC) and code-share with Air China. While the first sector is more than 2,600 kilometres, the second sector measures almost 1,100 kilometres. The airline also launched a weekly service to Taichung (RMQ) in Taiwan.
Other celebrations in the last week
Wakefield businessman Mike Roberts became flybe’s two millionth passenger at Leeds/Bradford as he arrived back from London Gatwick. He was presented with champagne and a six month lounge pass at both Leeds Bradford and London Gatwick by the airport’s Commercial Director Tony Hallwood. The thrilled passenger commented: “I’m delighted to be passenger two million! I use Leeds Bradford airport on a regular basis. Without the option of flying to see both my UK and European customers my company would lose too many hours stuck on the road.”
Bournemouth resident Janet Cauchi became flybe’s 10 millionth passenger at Southampton as she arrived back from one of her weekly flights to Edinburgh. She was presented with flowers and a 12-month complimentary pass to the airline’s Southampton lounge.
Boise Airport had the great honour of welcoming the 787 for some touch and goes yesterday evening!