Route of the Week:
flydubai’s Dubai to Samara
flydubai’s CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith celebrated the two new routes to Russia with Irena Antonenko, Miss Russia 2010, and Natalia Vorobieva, Director General of Natalie Tours. Flights from Samara will bring Russian tourists to Dubai’s warm weather and shopping every Wednesday and Saturday.
- flydubai on 20 October continued its Russian expansion from its Dubai (DXB) base. The airline then launched two weekly flights to Samara (KUF), located by the river Volga. 189-seat 737-800s are used on the two Wednesday and Saturday flights. The UAE’s Ambassador to Russia, Omar Saif Ghobash, commented the new route: “Our two countries have so much to offer one another, and the opening of further pathways between the nations will help to strengthen our already strong ties. The UAE provides the ideal short break location for Russian holidaymakers looking to escape the harsh cold winters. And winter shopping extravaganzas ensure Russian visitors can combine relaxing on warm sunny beaches with bargain hunting in the UAE’s wonderful shopping malls and souks.”
Cake of the Week:
Allegiant Air’s Las Vegas to Minot
When Allegiant arrived in Minot, the casino theme was on. Cookies were made to look like poker chips with the Allegiant logo in the middle. Airport director Andrew Solsvig told anna.aero: “They were sugar cookies with cake frosting and a poker chip decoration. We thought it would be fun to celebrate the direct service to Las Vegas. They were delicious!” Speaking to the gathered passengers and press, City of Minot’s Mayor Curt Zimbelman welcomed the airline.
- Allegiant Air continued adding new destinations from is Las Vegas, NV (LAS) base, as it on 22 October launched services to Minot, ND (MOT). The airport, whose only other scheduled commercial routes are on Delta to Minneapolis/St Paul and United to Denver, now gets two weekly 150-seat MD80 flights, on Mondays and Fridays, to the entertainment capital in the warm Nevada climate. The airline already flies to multiple destinations, including Las Vegas, from three other North Dakota airports; Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks. Andrew Solsvig, Minot International Airport’s airport director, commented: “The Allegiant announcement is icing on the cake this year! After recently starting new airline service and two new hub markets that increased daily seats by more than 50 percent, Las Vegas service became our next goal. This new air service announcement represents Allegiant’s confidence in this market. The Minot community and region will now have access to one of the best leisure destinations on the planet.”
The rest of this week’s new routes
- Delta Air Lines on 21 October added its third route to São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), as the airline launched flights from Detroit, MI (DTW). Delta already flies to Brazil’s largest city from both New York JFK and Atlanta and has a partnership in place with Brazil’s GOL. The new service will operate twice-weekly with 216-seat 767-300ER aircraft until 15 December, when frequencies increase to five flights a week. This is the airline’s first route from Detroit to a Latin American destination other than in Mexico since its predecessor Northwest dropped its flights to Liberia in Costa Rica in 2002. Joe Cambron, director of Air Service Development for Wayne County Airport Authority, commented: “Delta’s new, non-stop service from Detroit to Sao Paulo is a landmark event for the community in that it represents Detroit’s first ever nonstop service to South America and first ever service south of the Equator. Sao Paulo is the auto capital of South America, so linking it with Detroit will stimulate the economies of both cities while also easing the journey for passengers already traveling this important route.”
- Frontier expanded its Denver, CO (DEN) network on 24 October, when the airline began flying to Des Moines, IA (DSM). 99-seat E-190s are scheduled to operate the six weekly flights. This is the airline’s second route to the Iowa capital, which it also serves from Milwaukee. The new service faces competition from United’s 27 weekly flights. Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s VP Strategy and Planning, said: “With nonstop service to Milwaukee and now Denver, Frontier provides Des Moines-area travelers with economical access to the east and west with connections to Frontier’s more than 70 destinations across the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica.”
- Tianjin Airlines launched a new stopping service from its Tianjin (TSN) base on the seaside southeast of Beijing. As of 19 October, the airline flies twice a week via Hohhot (HET) in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia to Ulan Bataar (ULN), the capital of Mongolia. The route, which is operated with 106-seat E-190s on Tuesdays and Saturdays, is the Hainan Airlines Group subsidiary’s first international service. Tianjin is the closest sea port to Mongolia and reportedly, all of Mongolia’s marine cargo is handled at Tianjin port.
Transavia.com’s first flight from Marseille to Monastir boasted 180 passengers – a 97% load factor. The two weekly flights will compete with Tunisair.
- Transavia.com France launched two weekly flights between Marseille (MRS) and Monastir (MIR) on 22 October. The airline now operates its 186-seat 737-800s to the Tunisian resort city, complementing its flights from Lyon and Paris Orly. Competition comes from Tunisair’s also two flights a week.
- WindJet continued its Russian expansion out of Milan Bergamo (BGY) as it launched a weekly flight to St Petersburg (LED) on 24 October. This route launch follows the airline’s new service between the Milan airport and Moscow a month earlier . The airline’s 180-seat A320 flights, which offer connections from Catania, indirectly compete with Rossiya’s two weekly flights to Milan Malpensa. WindJet has served St Petersburg from Forlì, Catania, Pisa and Verona this summer, but will this winter serve the airport with this new service from Bergamo only. Massimo Polimeni, the airline’s commercial director, commented: “In line with our expectations, we are recording an excellent market response since the launch of sales.”
Other recent events
Avianova captain Vyacheslav Kostenov won the industry golf tournament Passarola Golf Cup 2010 held at the golf courses Praia del Rey and Bom Sucesso in Portugal. It was a close race against the runner-up, TAP Portugal's Jose Mendos, and only the Russian A320 pilot's last putt made him the winner.