New airline routes launched (3-9 May 2011)

Route of the Week:
Ethiopian Airlines’ Addis Ababa-Delhi-Hangzhou

Ethiopian Airlines’ arrival in Hangzhou, an area characterised by manufacturing of goods that Chinese businesses are encouraged to sell to Africa, was celebrated at the eastern China airport. Passengers, including those travelling from the flight’s intermediate stop in Delhi, were welcomed by the airport staff. At the Ethiopian end, a speech was held by Gu Xiaojie, the Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, who then joined the local delegation in cutting the cake.

  • Ethiopian Airlines added its third destination in Mainland China on 3 May as the airline extended its services between the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa (ADD) and India’s largest city Delhi (DEL). Flights now continue to Hangzhou (HGH) in eastern China, complementing the airline’s services to Beijing and Guangzhou. The airline, which has local rights in India, operates the route five times weekly, initially with 757-200s, but from June with 767-300ER aircraft.

Cake of the Week:
Ryanair’s Rome Ciampino to Riga

Ryanair’s Sales & Marketing Executive Baltics Elina Hakkarainen and Aldis Mūrnieks, Member of the Board of Riga International Airport, cut the Colosseum cake celebrating Ryanair’s 15th route to the Latvian capital. The Italian capital Rome (Ciampino) is now served four times weekly; on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Bordeaux Airport’s whole communication and development team celebrated Ryanair’s first arrival from Seville in the morning of 7 May. Margaux, Anaïs, Nathalie, Sophie, Estelle, Myriam, Catherine, Stephane, Martine, Corine, Christian, Catherine and Thierry were all desperately waiting for the aircraft to land so that they each could have a piece of the Ryanair chocolate cake. Meanwhile, the airport’s development director Jean-Luc Poiroux tried to imitate Michael O’Leary himself.

  • Ryanair launched 20 new routes across its network in the last week with its single fleet of 189-seat 737-800s. A notable addition is the airline’s second route to Plovdiv (PDV) in Bulgaria, from Milan Bergamo (BGY). The two bases to get the most new Ryanair services were Seville (SVQ) and Rome Ciampino (CIA), which saw the launch of five new routes each.
Date Origin Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
04-May-11 Brussels Charleroi (CRL) Almeria (LEI) 3
03-May-11 Brussels Charleroi (CRL) Rhodes (RHO) 2 Jetairfly (2)
03-May-11 Dublin (DUB) Vilnius (VNO) 3 Aer Lingus (3)
03-May-11 Girona (GRO) Vilnius (VNO) 2
05-May-11 Memmingen (FMM) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 3
05-May-11 Milan Bergamo (BGY) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 3
07-May-11 Milan Bergamo (BGY) Plovdiv (PDV) 2
04-May-11 Milan Bergamo (BGY) Thessaloniki (SKG) 5
06-May-11 Paris Beauvais (BVA) Lamezia Terme (SUF) 3
06-May-11 Rome Ciampino (CIA) Memmingen (FMM) 3
05-May-11 Rome Ciampino (CIA) Riga (RIX) 4 FCO: airBaltic (7)
06-May-11 Rome Ciampino (CIA) Tampere (TMP) 2
05-May-11 Rome Ciampino (CIA) Thessaloniki (SKG) 7 FCO: Alitalia (14)
03-May-11 Rome Ciampino (CIA) Vilnius (VNO) 3 FCO: Wizz Air (3)
04-May-11 Seville (SVQ) Ancona (AOI) 2
07-May-11 Seville (SVQ) Bordeaux (BOD) 2
03-May-11 Seville (SVQ) Ibiza (IBZ) 3 Vueling (3)
04-May-11 Seville (SVQ) Santander (SDR) 4
07-May-11 Seville (SVQ) Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) 2
07-May-11 Weeze (NRN) Palermo (PMO) 3
*WF: Weekly Frequencies

The rest of this week’s new routes

The cake welcoming Aer Lingus to Izmir and Turkey was decorated with Izmir’s Clock Tower and Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey. One of the Irish airline’s cabin crew members got the honour of cutting the cake, while the sun-seeking Irish passengers were welcomed to the Turkish city with Turkish Delight sweets and flowers.

  • Aer Lingus on 4 May launched its first route to Turkey as the Irish airline connected its Dublin (DUB) base with Izmir (ADB) on the Turkish west coast. The 3,050-kilometre route is operated twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with A320 aircraft. The CEO of Fly Service, Aer Lingus’ Turkish representative, Gökhan Sarıgöl said: “Dublin-Izmir flights will contribute to Izmir’s economy as well as to Turkish tourism. We are confident that Izmir’s natural, cultural and historical wealth will capture Irish tourists’ interest, making Turkey an attractive destination.” The only other route currently operated between Ireland and Turkey is Turkish Airlines’ daily service between Istanbul Atatürk and Dublin.
  • airberlin continued adding new routes to its network. In the last week, the airline added five routes from across Germany. Olbia (OLB) on the island of Sardinia, which is analysed this week (LINK TO COUNTRY STORY), has received two new services with the airline, from both Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Münster/Osnabrück (FMO). The only route to face direct competition is the service between Cologne/Bonn (CGN) and Casablanca (CMN), although easyJet indirectly competes with airberlin with its service to Olbia from Berlin Schönefeld. The route between Stuttgart (STR) and St Petersburg (LED) follows just days after the airline launched a service between the German city and Russia’s capital Moscow.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
03-May-11 Berlin Tegel (TXL) Olbia (OLB) 3 eqv
03-May-11 Cologne/Bonn (CGN) Casablanca (CMN) 2 B738 Air Arabia Maroc (2)
07-May-11 Karlsruhe/Baden (FKB) Kos (KGS) 1 B73G
07-May-11 Münster/Osnabrück (FMO) Olbia (OLB) 1 A320
03-May-11 Stuttgart (STR) St Petersburg (LED) 3 A320
*WF: Weekly Frequency
  • Condor, the German Thomas Cook Group airline, on 6 May resumed services between Frankfurt (FRA) and the coastal city of Recife (REC) in the north of Brazil, the airline’s second Brazilian destination after Salvador da Bahia, further down the coast. Flights operate once a week with 270-seat 767-300ER aircraft. The airline last operated the route in 2008-2009.
  • Continental Airlines launched four new routes on 3 May, three regional domestic flights and one international service. From the Star Alliance airline’s Houston Intercontinental (IAH) hub, ExpressJet now flies under the Continental Express brand to Cedar Rapids, IA (CID) and Grand Junction, CO (GJT). Each of the two routes is operated 13 times weekly with 50-seat ERJ-145 aircraft. From the hub at the New York airport Newark, NJ (EWR), the same airline began flying daily with the same aircraft type to Des Moines, IA (DSM). The airline’s new international service is between Los Angeles, CA (LAX), which notably is a hub for United rather than Continental. Continental now serves Guadalajara (GDL) in Mexico from the California airport, operating daily with 160-seat 737-800s. Competition on the route comes from two Mexican carriers; Volaris (24 flights a week) and AeroMexico (twice-daily flights), as well as two US carriers; Alaska Airlines (twice-daily flights) and Delta (daily fligths).

A cake showing a Dutch windmill and Lake Ohrid was baked to celebrate Corendon Airlines’ arrival in Ohrid from Amsterdam. Attending the event were the Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister, Vladimir Pesevski; the Dutch Ambassador to Macedonia, Simone Filippini; the Macedonian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Nikola Dimitrov; Corendon Airlines’ chairman Atilay Uslu; and TAV Macedonia’s GM, Zoran Krstevski.

  • Corendon Airlines, the Turkish leisure carrier with a base in Amsterdam (AMS), on 6 May connected the Dutch capital with Ohrid (OHD), the Macedonian tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site by Lake Ohrid. Flights initially operate twice a week, but frequencies increase to three times weekly in June. In July and August, both MAT Airways and will provide competition, each operating weekly services on the route.
  • Croatia Airlines launched its third route to Munich (MUC) in the south of Germany as the Star Alliance airline launched two weekly flights to its partner Lufthansa’s hub from Zadar (ZAD) on the Croatian coast. Flights are operated seasonally until the end of September with 76-seat Q400 aircraft. The route follows the airline’s services to Munich from Zagreb and Split.

easyJet’s crew celebrated the return of the airline’s London Luton services to Belfast International with the cake that later was cut by Ali Gayward, easyJet’s commercial manager, and John Doran, managing director Belfast International Airport.

  • easyJet on 9 May moved its service between Belfast in Northern Ireland and London Luton (LTN). Having moved the route to Belfast City on a trial in January last year, the service now has moved back to Belfast International (BFS). easyJet’s commercial manager Ali Gayward said: “Our 20 other routes operate from Belfast International and we are now consolidating our overall operation by reinstating our Luton flights from there as well.” Flights operate 18 times a week with 156-seat A319s.
  •, the British low-cost carrier recently analysed, launched two new routes in the last week with its fleet of 757-200s. On 7 May, the airline expanded its new Glasgow (GLA) base as it launched two weekly flights to Dalaman (DLM) in southwest Turkey. Competition comes from Thomas Cook’s five and Thomson’s two weekly flights. The following day, the airline connected its East Midlands (EMA) base with Palma de Mallorca (PMI) three times weekly. This route is under intense competition, facing nine weekly flights on Ryanair, seven operations a week with bmibaby, four weekly Thomson flights and a weekly service on Thomas Cook.

Celebrations were due in Boston as jetBlue celebrated the launch of flights to its second New York City airport; Newark. Passengers on the first flight were treated with a real American breakfast; doughnuts and coffee.

  • jetBlue launched two new routes on 4 May. From Tampa, FL (TPA), the airline initially operates daily with 150-seat A320s to San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico, but frequencies increase to twice-daily after only two weeks of operations. Notably, AirTran launched the same route last month, also operating twice-daily, after a gap was left in the market as American Airlines pulled out of the route. jetBlue also connected its Boston, MA (BOS) base with the New York City airport Newark, NJ (EWR). Flights operate 27 times weekly with 100-seat E-190s, competing with Continental’s 73 weekly flights on the same route. The new service complements jetBlue’s 41 flights a week between Boston and New York JFK, a route that also is operated by American Airlines and Delta. The New England city is further connected with New York through La Guardia, where US Airways, Delta and American provide indirect competition.
  • Monarch, the British leisure carrier, on 4 May launched new routes to Paphos (PFO) in Cyprus from three of its UK bases. Flights now operate each twice-weekly from Birmingham (BHX), London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN). The routes, which previously have been reported about in, were previously served as charter operations. All three routes face competition. The Birmingham route operates against Thomson’s two weekly services and Thomas Cook’s weekly flight, while the London Gatwick route faces easyJet’s 11, Thomson’s four and Thomas Cook’s two flights a week. The Manchester services also compete with the same airlines; easyJet (6), Thomson (3), Thomas Cook (3) as well as’s twice-weekly service.
  • Norwegian continued expanding its new Helsinki (HEL) base and on 5 May connected the Finnish capital with another one of its Nordic bases. The airline now flies its 737-800s 11 times weekly, twice-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays, to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen (CPH). Competition comes from Blue1, which operates the route 35 times weekly, its parent SAS, which flies 26 times a week, and Finnair, which operates 25 weekly frequencies.

As Porter Airlines took on Air Canada Jazz, flying from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie, the airline was welcomed with a cake. Cutting the creation were Terry Bos, CEO Sault Ste Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC); Debbie Amaroso, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie; Robert Deluce, CEO Porter Airlines; and Jerry Dolcetti, Chairman SSMADC.

  • Porter Airlines expanded the network out of its Toronto City (YTZ) base and on 4 May launched 12 weekly flights – twice-daily except Saturdays – to Sault Ste. Marie (YAM), the Ontario city on the border to the US state of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The 515-kilometre route is operated with the airline’s single fleet of 70-seat Q400s, competing indirectly with Air Canada Jazz’s 44 weekly flights from Toronto Pearson.
  • SkyWork, the Swiss regional carrier, launched a new leisure route from its base in Bern (BRN), the capital of Switzerland. With 31-seat Dornier 328 aircraft, the airline now flies once a week to Elba (EBA), the Italian island off the Tuscan mainland coast. The 510-kilometre route is operated seasonally until 8 October.

In Latrobe, the golfing legend Arnold Palmer (right), who lends his name to the airport, cut the ribbon for Spirit Airlines’ new Myrtle Beach service. Cakes were also baked to celebrate the Myrtle Beach expansion. The one baked to welcome passengers to the South Carolina resort city even had a Mexican theme as the launches coincided with Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Cutting the cake was Tony Lefebvre, Spirit Airlines’ SVP Airport and Inflight Operations.

At Dallas/Fort Worth, the new Spirit routes to Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas were celebrated with a cake. Gracing the Las Vegas-themed event with their presence were also a show girl and Elvis himself.

  • Spirit Airlines launched eight new US domestic routes on 5 May, all with the low-cost airline’s fleet of 145-seat A319s. Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) notably got five of the routes within the western US, two of which are competing with locally based Direct Air and a daily service to Washington Reagan, DC (DCA) that competes with US Airways’ services operating twice on Saturdays and once on Sundays. Michael La Pier, Director of Airports, Myrtle Beach International Airport, commented: “It’s extremely exciting for us to have Spirit continue to invest in Myrtle Beach with these additional non-stop destinations. Our community has worked extremely hard to increase air service and we are particularly excited to see daily service to Washington, D.C. via Reagan National.  This will be a great benefit to our residents as well as provide more opportunity for increased tourism.” The remaining three routes launched are further west on the continent and notably all face competition from network carriers. Most notably, Spirit has entered the highly competitive high-frequency route between Las Vegas, NV (LAS) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX), where its frequency of 35 weekly flights only beats that of US Airways.
Origin Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
Dallas/Ft Worth, TX (DFW) Las Vegas, NV (LAS) 14 American Airlines (70), US Airways (21)
Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) 14 American Airlines (42)
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 35 Southwest (80), Delta (42), United (37), American (35), US Airways (28)
Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) Niagara Falls, NY (IAG) 3 Direct Air (4)
Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) Charleston, WV (CRW) 3
Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) Latrobe, PA (LBE) 4
Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) Plattsburgh, NY (PBG) 4 Direct Air (4)
Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) Washington Reagan, DC (DCA) 7 US Airways (3)
*WF: Weekly Frequency
  • TACA Peru launched two new domestic services from its Lima (LIM) hub on 9 May. With its 96-seat E-190 aircraft, the airline now serves the north-western destinations Piura (PIU) twice-daily and Chiclayo (CIX) daily. The Chiclayo route competes with Lan Airlines’ 21 and Star Peru’s six weekly flights, while Piura is served by Lan 34 times weekly and Peruvian Airlines 21 times a week.
  • US Airways launched a weekly service between its Philadelphia, PA (PHL) hub and Asheville, NC (AVL) on 8 May. The 810-kilometre route is operated with CRJ200s by Air Wisconsin. US Airways already serves the city from both Charlotte and New York La Guardia.
  • UTair, the Russian airline, on 5 May began flying between Surgut (SGC) in western Siberia and Armenia’s capital Yerevan (EVN). The 3,075-kilometre route is operated with 737-500s at a frequency as low (and unusual) as once every four weeks.

Deborah Ale Flint, Port of Oakland’s Director of Aviation, spoke to the gathered media at the event welcoming Volaris’ second route to the San Francisco Bay Area airport. Representing Volaris was the airline’s CCO Holger Blankenstein. Daily Mexico City flights now complement twice-daily services from Guadalajara.

  • Volaris, the Mexican low-cost airline, on 6 May further expanded its Californian network. The airline now serves Oakland (OAK) in the San Francisco Bay Area from Mexico City (MEX), complementing its services to the California city from Guadalajara. Flights on the new route operate daily with 174-seat A320s. Volaris began serving Oakland in July 2008 and its two routes are the only connection between the airport and Mexico. Notably, Volaris has a commercial agreement, including code-shares, with Southwest Airlines, which has a base in Oakland.
  • Vueling, the Spanish low-cost carrier, on 7 May took over yet another service from its minority shareholder Iberia. Vueling now operates once a week, on Saturdays, between the country capital Madrid (MAD) and the Canary Island Lanzarote (ACE) with its 180-seat A320s, while Iberia now operates once a day except Saturdays.
  • Wizz Air on 5 May opened its Targu Mures (TGM) base in Romania’s Transylvania region. Initially announced to open in June, the base now opened over a month earlier with four routes to Dortmund (DTM), Paris Beauvais (BVA), Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Weeze (NRN) to begin with. All routes are operated three times weekly except Weeze, which is flown twice a week. György Abrán, Wizz Air’s CCO, commented: “We had the opportunity to open earlier than expected the Tirgu Mures base following a dispute with Cluj airport. With this, the truly affordable fares of Wizz Air will be available to more Romanian citizens living in the catchment area. Considering the initial number of routes announced and the potential of the region we estimate to carry over 300,000 passengers to and from Tirgu Mures in the next 12 months.”

Other celebrations in the last week

 Cologne/Bonn Airport  celebrated that XL Airways Germany has stationed an aircraft at the airport. The airline flies full charters on behalf of the tour operators ITS, Jahn Reisen and Tjaereborg, who are all part of Germany’s REWE Group. The inaugural flight on 4 May was to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. The airline also flies from the airport to Antalya, Varna, Burgas, Larnaca, Enfidha, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. Celebrating the event along with the crew were Cologne/Bonn Airport’s Maike Wülbers; XL Airways’ Liliane Wager; Thomas Braun, Commercial Director XL Airways Germany; Sonja Malinski, Flight Management REWE Touristik; Jörgen Bongartz, Director Flight Department REWE Touristik; and Cologne/Bonn Airport’s Kerstin Schweitzer and Carina Hennes.


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