Route of the Week:
WestJet’s Vancouver to Orange County
Celebrating WestJet’s arrival at John Wayne Airport in California’s Orange County were Chris Avery, WestJet’s VP WestJet Vacations, and Alan L. Murphy, Airport Director, John Wayne Airport along with Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto from nearby Disneyland Resort. Passengers arriving from Vancouver were greeted with Mickey ears and goody bags.
- WestJet on 2 May added a new destination in California to its network as the Canadian low-cost carrier began flying between Vancouver (YVR) and Santa Ana, CA (SNA) in Orange County. Flights operate daily with 166-seat 737-800s. Except for demand from Canadians visiting Disneyland, Hugh Dunleavy, WestJet’s EVP Strategy and Planning, pointed out the route’s further potential: “This is a tremendous opportunity for visitors from Orange County to experience the great city of Vancouver and indeed all of Canada.” The route was last operated by Alaska Airlines in 2002, while the airport’s most recent Canadian route was Air Canada’s service from Toronto last year.
Cake of the Week:
Porter Airlines’ Toronto City to Windsor
Cakes were baked to celebrate Porter Airlines to Windsor in southernmost Ontario, Canada. The airline now operates 19 times weekly from its base at Toronto City. Posing for the camera at the launch event were Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance and MPP Windsor Tecumseh; Federica Nazzani, President & CEO, Windsor International Airport; Eddie Francis, Mayor, City of Windsor; Robert Deluce, President & CEO, Porter Airlines; Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade and MPP Windsor West; and Jacques Demers, President & CEO, OMERS Strategic Investments.
- Porter Airlines expanded the network at its Toronto City (YTZ) base on 27 April when the airline launched a new route to Windsor (YQG) in southernmost Ontario, neighbouring Detroit in the US. The 330-kilometre route is now operated 19 times weekly with the airline’s 70-seat Q400 aircraft. Indirect competition comes from Air Canada Jazz’s 46 weekly flights from Toronto Pearson.
The rest of this week’s new routes
- Aegean Airlines on 29 April launched two new routes as the Greek Star Alliance carrier began flying to the Russian capital’s largest airport Moscow Domodedovo (DME) from both Athens (ATH) and Thessaloniki (SKG) using 168-seat A320s. Flights from the Greek capital operate four times weekly, while services from the country’s second-largest city are scheduled to operate twice a week. The Thessaloniki flights compete with VIM Airlines’ three flights a week, while the Athens service faces indirect competition from Aeroflot’s daily flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo.
- Aerosvit continued its Russian expansion as the Ukrainian airline on 2 May connected its Kiev Borispol (KBP) hub with Krasnodar (KRR) in the south of Russia. The 850-kilometre route, which is operated with Dniproavia’s 49-seat ERJ145 aircraft, will gradually increase to three weekly frequencies by June.
- Air Canada on 1 May went heads-on with Porter Airlines as it began flying 93 times weekly from Toronto City (YTZ) to Montreal (YUL) using 70-seat Q400s operated by Sky Regional Airlines. Porter Airlines’ competing service is operated 122 times a week. Ben Smith, Air Canada’s EVP and CCO, commented: “Air Canada is extremely pleased to return to Toronto Island and expand the range of travel options for our customers. This unique service between downtown Toronto and Montreal will provide more choice and added convenience for our customers travelling between Canada’s two largest cities.”
- Air Malta added its seventh German destination to its network on 1 May when the national carrier of the Mediterranean island nation connected its Malta (MLA) base with Hannover (HAJ). Flights operate once a week with A320 aircraft. This is the first time the two airports are connected since Condor operated the route in 2002.
- airBaltic continued its expansion in the Finnish regional market as the airline launched a new international service from Oulu (OUL) in the north of Finland’s coast to Tromsø (TOS), the largest city in northern Norway. Flights on the 600-kilometre route operate twice a week with 76-seat Q400s. This is the Latvian airline’s second route to Tromsø, which it already serves from its Riga hub.
As airberlin launched its new route between Berlin Tegel and New York JFK, the Statue of Liberty and Berliner Fernsehturm (TV tower) were present along with captain Ralf Nagel; Rainer Schwarz, CEO Berlin Airports; Joachim Hunold, CEO airberlin; Matthias Platzeck, Minister-President of Brandenburg; Philip D. Murphy, US Ambassador to Germany; Manfred A. Körtgen, COO Berlin Airports; and first officer Helmut Kunz. (Photo: Günter Wicker/Ligatur)
Celebrating airberlin’s new weekly service from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg to Malta were the airport’s marketing director Mario Eland; Stefan Gutknecht, airberlin’s sales director Switzerland; cabin crew Salimata Diop; and Matthias von Randow, airberlin board member.
- airberlin launched five new routes across its bases on 1 May. Among the routes was the airline’s launch of transatlantic flights between Berlin Tegel (TXL) and New York JFK (JFK) four times weekly with 303-seat A330-200s, complementing its Düsseldorf services to the US city. Competition comes from Delta’s six weekly flights on the route and Continental also provides indirect competition with its daily service from Newark to the German capital. Both Basel (BSL) and Nuremberg (NUE) each got weekly connections with Malta (MLA), while Stuttgart (STR) became the airline’s fourth German airport that it connects with Moscow Domodedovo(DME). The service to the Russian capital indirectly competes with germanwings’ also four weekly flights to Moscow Vnukovo. Notably, airberlin’s new service from Münster/Osnabrück (FMO) to Catania (CTA) is the airline’s 10th to the Sicilian airport.
|Berlin Tegel (TXL)
||New York JFK, NY (JFK)
||Delta (6); EWR: Continental (7)
||Moscow Domodedovo (DME)
||VKO: germanwings (4)
|*WF: Weekly Frequency
Celebrating the arrival of American Airlines from Chicago O’Hare in the Finnish capital Helsinki were Paavo Virkkunen, Finnair’s VP Alliances & Commercial Partnerships; Kurt Stache, American Airlines’ VP International; and Juha-Pekka Pystynen, Helsinki Airport Director together with the American Airlines flight crew. After cutting the cake, the gentlemen also got to cut the ribbon for the new service, joined by Captain Scott Stache.
- American Airlines continued expanding into the European hubs of its oneworld alliance partner airlines as the US major launched a daily seasonal service between its Chicago O’Hare (ORD) hub and Helsinki (HEL), the capital of Finland and the hub of Finnair, on 1 May. The transatlantic (LINK TO LEAD STORY) flights, which are scheduled until the end of the summer season, are operated with 225-seat 767-300ER aircraft. This is Helsinki’s second route to the US, the only other being Finnair’s flights to New York JFK. Juha-Pekka Pystynen, Helsinki Airport’s airport director, commented: “A nonstop service between Helsinki and Chicago has been high on our wish list in recent years. The new service gives excellent connections on both sides of the Atlantic and also strengthens Helsinki Airport’s position as the leading long-haul airport in Northern Europe and as a popular intercontinental transfer hub. As a result, Helsinki Airport warmly welcomes American Airlines and their new flight from Helsinki to Chicago.”
- Armavia on 1 May launched its first new route to be operated with the Sukhoi Superjet 100, the brand-new Russian aircraft of which the Armenian airline recently had the first unit delivered. The 96-seat aircraft now flies twice a week between the airline’s Yerevan (EVN) base and Venice (VCE) in northeast Italy, which notably is where the organisation Superjet International is headquartered. The 2,670-kilometre route makes Venice Armavia’s second Italian destination after the country capital Rome.
- Avianova continued its expansion of flights to Siberia as the Russian low-cost airline now also serves Surgut (SGC) in Tyumen Oblast from Krasnodar (KRR) in the south of the country, near the Black Sea. Flights, which launched on 30 April, operate three times weekly with the airline’s 159-seat A320s. Competition comes from Kogalymavia’s two and UTair’s one weekly flights.
Bearskin Airlines’ new route from Kitchener/Waterloo was welcomed to Montreal. After speeches, the ribbon was cut by Kevin Beddome, Chief Pilot, Bearskin Airlines; Ron Hell, Director Marketing & Sales, Bearskin Airlines; Harvey Friesen, President & CEO, Bearskin Airlines; Normand Boivin, VP Airport Operations and Aviation Development, Aéroports de Montréal; Ian McLean, President & CEO Waterloo Chamber of Commerce; Greg Durocher, President & CEO Cambridge Chamber of Commerce; Michel Leblanc, President & CEO Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal; Cliff Friesen, EVP Bearskin Airlines; Ilka Ethier, Area Manager, Eastern Region, Bearskin Airlines; Phuong Nguyen, Airline Development Analyst, Aéroports de Montréal.
- Bearskin Airlines, the Canadian regional carrier, on 1 May launched its second route to Montreal (YUL) as the airline began flying 17 times weekly, three times daily on weekdays and daily during weekends, from Kitchener/Waterloo (YKF) in Ontario, which is located less than 100 kilometres southwest of Toronto. Flights operate with 19-seat Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner aircraft. This service complements the airline’s Montreal service from Ottawa.
- Blue1, the SAS-owned Finnish Star Alliance member, added its second UK destination after London Heathrow on 29 April when the airline launched two weekly flights between its Helsinki (HEL) hub and Edinburgh (EDI), the capital of Scotland. The route, which last was served by Finnair in 2006-2007, is now operated with Blue1’s 115-seat 717s.
- Brussels Airlines on 30 April launched a weekly service from Brussels (BRU) to Lamezia Terme (SUF) in the south of Italy. Initially, flights are operated with RJ85 aircraft, but these are replaced with A319s at the end of June. The airline has a strong focus on Italy and Lamezia Terme therefore become’s the Star Alliance member’s 11th Italian airport. From 7 May, Jetairfly provides competition with its also weekly Saturday service.
As China Airlines last week rerouted its service between Taipei and New York JFK, Osaka Kansai now has its first non-stop link with the US metropolis. Flights operate three times a week with 375-seat 747-400s.
- China Airlines, the Taiwanese airline, on 28 April rerouted its service between Taipei and New York JFK (JFK). Having operated via Anchorage, the three weekly flights now operate via Osaka Kansai (KIX), resulting in a new service between the Japanese city and the US metropolis. The flights are operated with 375-seat 747-400s and for the first time connects the Japanese airport with the US east coast. China Airlines’ President H.S. Sun said: “At present, CAL operates seven flights a week between Taipei and Osaka, and this schedule change will bring the total to ten flights a week. CAL is the largest carrier serving Taiwan-Japan routes, and now the number of weekly flights have increased from 85 to 88. CAL is also the main carrier transporting passengers and goods between Taiwan and Osaka. The new TPE-KIX flights not only provide more choices for business and leisure travelers, but also show that CAL is taking action to develop the Japanese market.”
- Conviasa, the Venezuelan state-carrier, on 30 April began flying from its Caracas (CCS) base to Bogotá (BOG), the capital of neighbouring Colombia. The daily flights are operated with 737-200s and compete with Avianca’s three daily flights. From 5 July, further competition will also come from Copa Airlines, which then launches 13 weekly flights on the route.
- Croatia Airlines on 27 April expanded its network of flights from Croatian airports to London Heathrow (LHR), where it connects with its Star Alliance partners. Flights now operate once a week from the port city of Rijeka (RJK) with 164-seat A320 aircraft. Indirect competition comes from Ryanair’s two weekly flights from London Stansted. This is Croatia Airlines’ third route to the UK capital after year-round flights from Zagreb and also seasonal services from Split.
CSA Czech Airlines arrived in Poprad-Tatry with its ATR42, connecting the Slovakian airport with its Prague hub.
- CSA Czech Airlines continued rearranging its network as the airline launched two new routes from its Prague (PRG) hub in the last week, both with its fleet of 46-seat ATR42s. Following the airline’s most recently launched Ukrainian route to Donetsk last week, the SkyTeam airline on 27 April added Lviv (LWO) in western Ukraine to its network. Flights now operate four times a week to the airport that currently is going through works on the runway and, as a consequence of the restrictions therefore applying, recently has seen capacity reductions and route withdrawals. On 1 May, the airline launched flights to Poprad-Tatry (TAT) in the mountains of neighbouring Slovakia, close to the border to Poland. The three weekly flights are currently the only scheduled commercial services at the airport. Both of the two routes have been operated by CSA Czech Airlines before. The airline served Lviv 1992-1994, having taken over the route after Aeroflot pulled out. Air Ukraine also operated between the cities in 1993-1994, but the route has remained unserved since. Prague was last connected with Poprad-Tatry in 2002-2003 when the route was operated by SkyEurope and prior to that in 1996-1997 by Air Ostrava, which took over the route after CSA Czech Airlines’ withdrawal in 1995.
- Cyprus Airways, the airline analysed in March, on 29 March launched a new route to Russia from its Larnaca (LCA) base, as the airline began flying three times weekly to St Petersburg (LED) with A320s. Competition comes from Rossiya’s six flights a week on the same route.
- easyJet expanded its network to Estonia’s capital Tallinn (TLL) as the low-cost airline launched its second route in the last week. Already serving Tallinn from London Stansted, easyJet launched three weekly flights from Liverpool (LPL) on 26 April with its 156-seat A319s.
- Estonian Air on 1 May launched a new route to Berlin Tegel (TXL) from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius (VNO). Four weekly services are now operated with 118-seat 737-500s, complementing the airline’s seasonal service from Tallinn, which also relaunched for the season in the last week. The last time the capitals of Lithuania and Germany were linked was in June last year when airBaltic dropped the route.
- flydubai, as previously reported, connected its Dubai (DXB) base with both Riyadh (RUH) and Jeddah (JED) in Saudi Arabia on 1 May, using its 189-seat 737-800s. The route to the former destination operates daily and the latter four times weekly. Competition on both routes primarily comes from network carriers Saudi Arabian Airlines and Emirates as well as fellow low-cost carrier nasair. Indirect competition also comes from Air Arabia in nearby Sharjah.
- Kuban Airlines, the Russian airline based in Krasnodar (KRR) in the south of Russia, on 28 April launched a bi-weekly service to Gyumri (LWN) in the northwest of Armenia with its 124-seat 737-300s. Competition comes from RusLine’s two flights a week.
- LAN Ecuador on 2 May launched three weekly flights to Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires (EZE). At the Ecuadorian end, flights originate in Quito (UIO), but outbound flights operate via Guayquil (GYE). The aircraft used on the route are 160-seat A320s. The route has been operated in the past, most recently by the same airline between 2003 and 2008.
- Norwegian on 28 April launched two weekly flights between Oslo (OSL) and Athens (ATH). The route is a result of the airline moving its services to the Norwegian capital’s main airport, having served the Greek capital from Oslo Rygge previous seasons. Flights operate with 186-seat 737-800s. The airline also serves Athens from Copenhagen and Stockholm Arlanda.
- Pegasus Airlines, the Turkish low-cost carrier, on 1 May launched three weekly flights between the port city of Izmir (ADB) in western Turkey and London Stansted (STN) using 189-seat 737-800s. Flights operate seasonally until 29 October. This is Pegasus’ third route at London Stansted, which the airline also serves from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Bodrum. Izmir and Stansted were previously connected by Cyprus Turkish Airlines until its demise in June last year.
When Ryanair arrived in Vilnius, a giant cake was offered to the first passengers and VIP guests. Cutting the ribbon were Katarzyna Gaborec, Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Executive; Rimvydas Vaštakas, Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport; Philomena Murnaghan, Irish Ambassador to Lithuania; and Tomas Vaišvila, General Manager of Vilnius Airport.
- Ryanair began serving the Lithuanian capital Vilnius (VNO) in the last week, complementing its base in nearby Kaunas. In Vilnius, Ryanair competes with Wizz Air, which recently launched a base at the airport. On 1 May, Ryanair began flying daily from London Stansted (STN), the next day followed by a thrice-weekly service from Milan Bergamo (BGY), although the latter operation is moved from Kaunas. The London service indirectly competes with Wizz Air’s five weekly London Luton flights.
Although operated with a Cimber Sterling CRJ200, this is the first SAS flight at Wroclaw in Poland, operating from and to Copenhagen under the Star Alliance airline’s flight numbers.
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines on 2 May launched a new route from its Copenhagen (CPH) hub, now operating four times weekly to Wroclaw (WRO) in southwest Poland. Flights are operated by Cimber Sterling on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with 50-seat CRJ200s. The route was last operated by Cimber Sterling under its own marketing code until March last year, when the route was dropped. This is SAS’ fourth Polish destination after Warsaw, Gdansk and Poznan.
- SkyExpress, the Russian low-cost carrier, on 30 April launched a new route between its Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) base and Orenburg (REN), the city close to the border with Kazakhstan. Flights operate three times a week with 737 equipment, indirectly competing with Orenair’s three daily flights from Moscow Domodedovo and Aeroflot’s two daily flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo.
- Skyways, the Swedish regional carrier that recently announced the acquisition of Gothenburg-based City Airline, has further expanded its network in the last week. On 26 April, the airline launched two routes out of Gothenburg Landvetter (GOT), one international and one domestic; Riga (RIX), the capital of Latvia, and Sundsvall (SDL) in the north of Sweden. Both routes are initially served with Saab 2000 aircraft, but these will soon be replaced with 48-seat ERJ145s operated by Dniproavia. Both routes also have the same frequencies – 11 times weekly; twice-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays. Notably, the 615-kilometre route to Sundsvall is operated in competition with soon-to-be merged partner City Airline, which operates with the same frequency. The Riga route is taken over from airBaltic, which up until now has served the airport pair, but keeps the route in its network thanks to a new code-share partnership between Skyways and the Latvian carrier. On 2 May, Skyways also continued its expansion of international services from regional Swedish airports. Following the recent launch of flights from Jönköping to Berlin Tegel (TXL), the German capital is now linked with Kristianstad (KID) in Scania, Sweden’s southernmost region. Flights now operate the 375-kilometre route three times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with 50-seat Fokker 50 aircraft.
The arrival of international services at Antalya Gazipasa Airport, the airport serving the tourist resort of Alanya, was a much welcomed event among the large expat community in the area. Transavia.com’s aircraft from Amsterdam, which carried 59 passengers, was met with a fire-truck salute and a reception attended by almost 500 foreign locals.
- Transavia.com began operating two new routes to Turkey on 27 April, one from France and one from the Netherlands. From Nantes (NTE) in the west of France, the airline now flies once a week to Antalya (AYT) with 186-seat 737-800s, while from Amsterdam (AMS), the same day saw the launch of a weekly charter service to Antalya Gazipasa (GZP), the new airport close to the resort of Alanya. The service is operated on behalf of tour operator Neckermann with 149-seat 737-700 aircraft and becomes first international service at the airport operated by TAV.
Turkish Airlines’ chairman Hamdi Topçu led the delegation on the Star Alliance airline’s first flight to Malaga – its fourth destination in Spain.
- Turkish Airlines continued expanding its network in southern Europe as the Star Alliance member on 27 April launched a new service from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub to Malaga (AGP) in the south of Spain. 159-seat A320s are used on the route, which is the airline’s fourth to Spain, following Madrid, Barcelona and the recently launched route to Valencia. Flights operate three times a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
- Ukraine International launched its second route to Kazakhstan on 26 April when the airline connected its Kiev Borispol (KBP) base with the Kazakhstani capital Astana (TSE). Flights are operated three times weekly with 123-seat 737-500s, competing with Aerosvit’s five weekly flights on the same route. Ukraine International already serves Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty.
- Ural Airlines on 29 April began flying once a week between Novosibirsk (OVB) in Russia’s Siberia and Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus in the Mediterranean. The 4,350-kilometre route is operated with 159-seat A320 aircraft and is Ural Airlines’ second to Cyprus after its flights from Yekaterinburg.
UTair’s new service from its Moscow Vnukovo hub to Hannover was welcomed to the northern German airport. This is the airline’s second destination in Germany, after Munich. Hannover has large demand for Russian services, with three other airlines competing on the city pairs.
- UTair launched two new international routes in the last week. From Nizhnyvartovsk (NJC) in the oil- and gas-rich part of western Siberia, the airline flies once a week to Donetsk (DOK), the airport in eastern Ukraine, as of 29 April. Flights are operated with 737-500s. On 1 May, the airline launched a daily service between Moscow Vnukovo (VKO), the Russian capital’s city airport where UTair is the dominant carrier, and Hannover (HAJ) in northern Germany. Flights are operated with 50-seat CRJ200s and compete with germanwings’ four weekly flights as well as indirectly with Aeroflot’s daily flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo and S7’s weekly flights from Moscow Domodedovo.
Vueling, which launched three new routes in the last week, also held a press conference in Rome for the new route between Menorca and the Italian capital, which will launch at the end of June. Speaking to the press were Massimo Di Perna, Vueling’s Country Manager Italy; Alex Cruz, Vueling’s CEO; and Sergio Berlenghi, Responsible for Commercial Aviation at ADR (Rome Airports). The low-cost airline now serves the ‘Eternal City’ from nine airports, making it one of the busiest airports in the airline’s network.
- Vueling launched three new routes in the last week. Continuing the expansion of its new Toulouse (TLS) base, the airline launched two weekly flights to Tenerife Sur (TFS) on 26 April with its only 144-seat A319. Notably, the airport in the south of the Canary Island is new to the airline, which serves Tenerife Norte from several domestic Spanish destinations. The airline also launched two routes to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) with its 180-seat A320s. On 27 April, the airline began operating five times weekly from Amsterdam (AMS), competing with airberlin’s daily and Transavia.com’s six weekly flights. On 1 May, this was followed by a thrice-weekly service to Paris Orly (ORY), which competes with Air Europa’s daily and Transavia.com’s four weekly flights.
The ribbon for Yakutia Airlines’ first route to Munich was cut by Pavel Udod, Yakutia Airlines’ First Deputy Director General; Vladimir I. Pashkov, First Deputy Chairman of Irkutsk Region Government; Gerald Appelt, Marketing Director, Munich Airport; Alexander Schroll, Director Traffic Development, Munich Airport; Yuri Kurdukov, Irkutsk Airport; Victor I. Kondraschov, Mayor Irkutsk City; Andrey J. Grozov, Russian Consul General to Munich.
- Yakutia, the airline based in Yakutsk in the Russian Far East, on 30 April began flying twice-weekly between Irkutsk (IKT) in Siberia and Munich (MUC) in Germany using 192-seat 757-200s. The 6,140-kilometre flights, which operate Wednesdays and Saturdays, are scheduled to operate seasonally until 28 September.
Last week’s new route celebrations
Last week’s new route with Aerosvit between Kiev Borispol and Novosibirsk was celebrated with an official ceremony on 28 April. Cutting the cake were Alexander Borodin, General Director of Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport, and Oleg Berezhnoy, First Deputy General Director - Executive Director of Aerosvit Airlines. Initially, flights operate twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays with a 737-400, but frequencies later increase to five flights a week. There was a big media interest in the new route and the first passengers were interviewed by the local media. Passengers were clearly also interested – 67 passengers arrived from Kiev and 123 passengers departed Novosibirsk, resulting in an average load factor of 69%.
Other celebrations in the last week
A cake was baked to celebrate Geneva Airport’s new logo as well as the new brand name; Genève Aéroport. We have been informed that the choice to rebrand came because of the many changes going on at the airport at the moment, in terms of infrastructure, commercial strategy and aviation products. As the airport puts it: "This corporate identity, capitalising on the reputation and good name of Geneva while emphasising its local roots, should permit the airport to pursue its development while projecting a more modern, dynamic and top-of-the-range image." (Photos: Genève Aéroport, Etienne Delacrétaz)
After 14 years of operations at Geneva, easyJet transported its 30-millionth passenger on 28 April. Peter Voets, easyJet’s Marketing Director, (left) and Nicolas Gaspoz, Geneva Airport’s Infrastructure Director, (right) welcomed the lucky and thrilled passenger couple; Albino Da Costa Santos and Generosa Ribeiro Rosende from Portugal, living in Payerne.