New airline routes launched (16-22 November)

Route of the Week:
American Airlines’ JFK to Rio & Miami to Brasilia

The new service from New York to Rio was celebrated by Art Torno, American Airlines’ VP New York; Miguel Jeronimo from Embratur, the Brazilian Tourist Board; Wladimir Valler Filho, Deputy Consul General of Brazil to New York; and Mark Najarian, American Airlines’ GM JFK Terminal 8. The Deputy Consul General spoke to the gathered press next to the elaborately decorated gate area.

The people of Rio were in a carnival mood and absolutely delighted to welcome passengers and crew from American Airlines’ first JFK flight.

As American Airlines arrived in Brasilia, the ribbon was untied by the AA team: Alfredo Gonzalez, Managing Director, South America; Dilson Vercosa Jr, Director Sales & Marketing Brazil; Peter Dolara, SVP Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America; Raymond Frajmund, General Sales Agent in Brasilia; Jose Trinca, Sales Manager Sao Paulo and Southern Brazil; and Jean Claude Frajmund, GSA Brasilia.

  • American Airlines expanded its network into Brazil in the last week. On 18 November, the airline began flying between its New York JFK, NY (JFK) hub and Rio de Janeiro (GIG). The daily 225-seat 767-300ER service complements the airline’s existing Rio flights from Miami. Competition on the new route comes from TAM’s four weekly flights. The following day, AA added a new Brazilian destination to its network. The airline now flies four times a week from Miami, FL (MIA) to the Brazilian country capital Brasilia (BSB) with 182-seat 757-200s. On 1 December, TAM will begin competing on the same route. The only other airline flying between the US and Brasilia is Delta, which last year began flying from its Atlanta hub.

Cake of the Week:
Allegiant’s Savannah to Fort Lauderdale

Even though this gorgeous Savannah cake looks convincing enough for us to think it might be made with real sand, we would love to eat it! Allegiant now connects the Georgia city with Fort Lauderdale twice a week.

  • Allegiant Air took the opportunity to launch nine winter sun destinations in time for Thanksgiving. All routes are from its Florida or Arizona/Nevada bases.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c
17-Nov-10 Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Bakersfield, CA (BFL) 3 MD80
17-Nov-10 St Petersburg/Clearwater, FL (PIE) Youngstown, OH (YNG) 2 MD80
18-Nov-10 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Savannah, GA (SAV) 2 MD80
18-Nov-10 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) 2 MD80
18-Nov-10 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) Lexington, KY (LEX) 2 MD80
18-Nov-10 Phoenix/Mesa, AZ (AZA) Moline, IL (MLI) 2 MD80
18-Nov-10 Phoenix/Mesa, AZ (AZA) Northwest Arkansas, AR (XNA) 2 MD80
18-Nov-10 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) Greensboro, NC (GSO) 2 MD80
19-Nov-10 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Elmira/Corning, NY (ELM) 2 MD80
*WF: Weekly Frequency

The rest of this week’s new routes

  • AeroMéxico on 20 November added its third route to the US from Guadalajara (GDL). The airline now flies daily with 737s to Ontario, CA (ONT). Notably, the airline also already serves nearby Los Angeles (LAX) from Guadalajara. This is the airline’s first service to the airport located east of Los Angeles.
  • Air Astana began expanding its network out of Almaty (ALA) on 21 November. Until the Kazakhstani airline’s E-190s are delivered next year, A320s will be used on the new 875-kilometre route to Dushanbe (DYU) in Tajikistan. The three weekly flights face competition from three other airlines. Tajikistan Airlines flies twice-weekly, while SCAT and Somon Air operate one weekly flight each.
  • Air Macau added a new service to its Macau (MFM) base on 19 November. The airline now flies twice a week to Singapore (SIN) with 178-seat A321s, operating as a scheduled charter service. Competition on the route comes from both Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia that fly daily and five times weekly respectively.
  • AirTran on 18 November expanded its Milwaukee, WI (MKE) network by adding two new routes to warmer latitudes in time for Thanksgiving. The airline now serves Phoenix, AZ (PHX) with daily flights, increasing to twice-daily on 20 December, and Sarasota/Bradenton, FL (SRQ) daily. The Phoenix service adds to Southwest’s daily flights and the two airlines, which soon are to become one, face competition from US Airways’ 11 weekly and Frontier’s daily flights. On 20 November, the airline connected Fort Myers, FL (RSW) with Rochester, NY (ROC), its fifth route to the upstate New York airport. Flights operate once weekly. All three new AirTran routes are operated with 137-seat 737-700s.
Norfolk celebrated the new American Eagle connection with 'The Big Apple'

Norfolk celebrated the new American Eagle connection with 'The Big Apple' with…apples! But there was more - we have been told that inside those carefully wrapped boxes are individual cupcakes, iced with the 'I (heart) NY' logo.

  • American Eagle on 18 November launched five new routes across three of its bases, all with its 50-seat ERJ145s. Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) got connected with Manhattan, KS (MHK), the airport’s second air service after American Eagle’s DFW route, while Miami, FL (MIA) saw the resumption of flights to Cleveland, OH (CLE). American Eagle, which used to operate the route until November 2008, now faces competition from five weekly flights on Continental. At New York JFK, NY (JFK), three routes were launched, all of which compete with Delta. American Eagle now flies from the Big Apple to Cincinnati, OH (CVG), Indianapolis, IN (IND) and Norfolk, VA (ORF). All of the new routes are operated daily, except for the Cleveland service, which operates twice-daily.

The passengers on Carpatair’s first Linate service were greeted with refreshments before checking in for Bucharest.

  • Carpatair launched its first route to Milan’s city airport Linate (LIN) on 16 November. The Romanian carrier then added four weekly flights from the capital city airport Bucharest Otopeni (OTP), where it is increasing its presence. Already from 1 December, frequencies on the route will increase to daily. Flights are operated with 72-seat Fokker 70 aircraft and directly compete with Alitalia’s six weekly services on the route. Further indirect competition comes from easyJet at Milan Malpensa as well as Wizz Air and Blue Air between Milan Bergamo and Bucharest Baneasa. Nicolae Petrov, Carpatair’s President & CEO, commented: “Launching operation in Milan – Linate is for Carpatair a great achievement and a recognition of the quality of its services. Passengers traveling with Carpatair from Milan might save time since the transfer from  the city  takes only 10 minutes, meanwhile to other airports might take an hour, and also save money since  transfer costs are lower by taxi or public transport.”
  • Direct Air launched two weekly flights between West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) and Chicago Rockford, IL (RFD) on 19 November. The virtual airline’s new route is operated with 737-400s. Indirect competition comes from American Airlines’ 13 weekly flights from Chicago O’Hare.
flydubai’s CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith and cabin crew enjoyed some traditional Armenian fruit

flydubai’s CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith and cabin crew enjoyed some traditional Armenian fruit to celebrate the launch of the low-cost airline’s Yerevan route.

  • flydubai on 21 November expanded its Dubai (DXB) network into the Caucasus area by adding two weekly flights to Yerevan (EVN) with its 737-800s. This is the fast-growing airline’s 25th route. On 15 December, frequencies increase to three weekly flights. Notably, another UAE low-cost carrier, Air Arabia, served the Armenian capital from its Sharjah base from May 2007, before dropping the route in May 2009. flydubai’s new service competes with Armavia’s four weekly flights on the route. “Destinations like Yerevan offer both leisure and business opportunities that don’t always immediately spring to mind, but with flydubai services we aim to help people discover these,” said flydubai’s CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.

Cutting the ribbon for the new Kansas City service: Margo Richards, Director of Tourism Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau; Jamy Kazanoff, Assistant Director City of Austin Aviation; Daniel Shurz, VP Strategy & Planning Frontier Airlines; and Eric Engel, Senior Account Manager Frontier Airlines. Six times a week, E-170s will fly the 1,050 kilometre-route.

  • Frontier launched three new routes in the last week, two of which were from Milwaukee, WI (MKE). As of 19 November, the airline flies four times weekly to San Antonio, TX (SAT), a never previously operated route, with 99-seat E-190s. On 18 November, it also began flying seasonally six times a week with 136-seat A319s to St Petersburg/Clearwater, FL (PIE), which is a move of its Tampa service. From Kansas City, MO (MCI), Frontier on the same day began flying six times weekly to Austin, TX (AUS). 76-seat E-170 aircraft are used to revive the route that was last operated by Midwest in July 2008. Jamy Kazanoff, Assistant Director at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, commented: “The Austin-Kansas City nonstop is an important business connection, particularly in the financial and software fields.  Plus, the leisure opportunities offered by both regions complement each other.”

A link to the tropical island of Hainan is a welcome addition to the winter cold Harbin in northeast China.

China’s ambassador to Egypt, Song Aiguo, spoke to the gathered press as Hainan Airlines launched two weekly flights between Beijing and Cairo, competing with EgyptAir.

  • Hainan Airlines launched two new routes on 17 November, one domestic and one intercontinental. Closer to home, the airline began serving Harbin (HRB) in the northeast of the country from Sanya (SYX) on the southern island of Hainan. Flights operate three times a week via Ordos (DSN) in Inner Mongolia with 164-seat 737-800s. From its Beijing (PEK) hub, Hainan Airlines further expanded its African network when it launched two weekly flights to Cairo (CAI), its third African destination after Luanda and Khartoum. The route between the Chinese and Egyptian capital cities is operated with 222-seat A330-200s and competes with EgyptAir’s three weekly flights.

Hawaiian Airlines’ President and CEO Mark Dunkerley spoke at the “Aloha, Tokyo” Inaugural Gala held at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo in front of the screen showing the countdown to the first flight out of Haneda. At Hawaiian Airlines gate at Haneda, the kahu (Hawaiian priest) performed a Hawaiian blessing ceremony and keiki (children) hula dancers performed.

  • Hawaiian Airlines was the next airline to launch flights to Tokyo Haneda (HND), which recently saw the opening of a new runway and international terminal. From its Honolulu (HNL) base, the airline now flies daily to the Japanese capital’s city airport with 767-300ERs, competing directly with ANA and JALways that also fly each daily. In spite of Hawaii’s popularity in the Japanese market, this is the first time Hawaiian serves Tokyo, although it has previous experience of serving Japan from services to Fukuoka in 1991-1992. Indirect competition for the new route, to Tokyo Narita, comes from Delta, JALways, ANA, United and China Airlines.

The dark skies of Hartford provided the ideal setting, full of contrast, as two new jetBlue routes to sunny Florida launched.

jetBlue’s Sarasota/Bradenton staff was out on the tarmac to welcome jetBlue’s Boston service. Passengers were also delighted to find a welcoming cake baked for them as they arrived.

  • jetBlue launched three new Florida services in time for Thanksgiving. Hartford, CT (BDL) got two new routes on 17 November from both Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) and Orlando, FL (MCO), each operating twice daily. Both routes face competition from Delta (7/w and 13/w respectively) and Southwest (7/w and 20/w respectively). From Boston, MA (BOS), the airline on 18 November began serving Sarasota/Bradenton, FL (SRQ) daily, competing with AirTran’s weekly flight. All three new routes are operated with 150-seat A320s.
  • Kuban Airlines on 17 November began serving Israel as it added a weekly service from its main Krasnodar (KRR) base in the south of Russia to Tel Aviv (TLV). The flight will be operated with 124-seat 737-300s.
  • The future Star Alliance member TACA expanded its US network out of El Salvador’s capital San Salvador (SAL). As of 16 November, the airline flies twice a week to Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) with 120-seat A319s. The service, which is TACA’s ninth to the US out of San Salvador, is the first time the two airports are connected. Notably, O’Hare is the main base for TACA’s future alliance partner United.
  • UNI Air launched two new routes across the Taiwan strait in the last week, both out of Kaohsiung (KHH). On 17 November, two weekly flights launched to Fuzhou (FOC), competing with Xiamen Airlines’ two weekly services and Transasia’s three flights a week. A weekly service to Qingdao (TAO) was launched three days later. Both new routes are operated with MD90 aircraft.

Last week’s route launches

Crew and passengers on LOT Polish Airlines’ first flight to Hanoi were greeted with flowers after the aircraft had been welcomed with the customary fire-truck salute. Print and TV media were on site to cover the event, which was broadcast on both VTV1 and even VTC10’s consumer programme.

The Polish Embassy in Hanoi with Ambassador Roman Iwaszkiewicz (centre) and LOT hosted an event at the Melia Hotel for over 300 guests on the occasion of the 92nd anniversary of Polish Independence as well as the opening of the new Warsaw route. A jazz concert was also organised with the Polish jazz band led by Jarek Smetana at the Hanoi opera house for over 600 invited guests.

Last week’s launch of Alaska Airlines flights between  San Diego and Puerto Vallarta  is now illustrated!


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