New airline routes launched (31 May – 6 June 2011)

Route of the Week:
Hainan Airlines’ Beijing to Zurich

The inaugural ceremony, with its 80 invited guests as well as departing passengers, featured a traditional Chinese lion dance, which is believed to bring luck to the airline and its new route. The cake was cut by Wei Hou, Hainan Airlines’ Chief Marketing Officer; Liang Jianquan, Chinese Consul General to Zurich; and Stefan Conrad, Zurich Airport’s COO.

Hainan Airlines’ staff and crew also celebrated the new Swiss route

At the Beijing end, Hainan Airlines’ staff and crew also celebrated the new Swiss route.

  • Hainan Airlines added its sixth European destination on 31 May as the airline launched a new service from its Beijing (PEK) hub. The airline now serves Zurich (ZRH) three times weekly with 213-seat A330-200s. However, the airline already points out that there may be frequency increases if market demand proves to be stronger. This is the first time that Zurich is connected with the Chinese capital since Swiss dropped the route in 2003, however, the Star Alliance airline will also resume services next month, albeit only weekly operations during summer only.

Cake of the Week:
British Airways’ London Heathrow to San Diego

In London Heathrow’s Terminal 5, British Airways passengers were provided entertainment by a Beach Boys tribute band as the airline again began serving San Diego. On arrival on the US west coast, the 777 decorated with British and US flags was given a fire-truck salute.

An amazing cake was baked to welcome the first passengers, emphasising the theme of the two connected cities – ‘lifeguards to palace guards’. Cutting the ribbon were Robert Gleason, Chairman San Diego Airport Authority (SDCRAA); Simon Talling-Smith, British Airways’ EVP Americas; Thella Bowens, President/CEO SDCRAA; and Brent Buma, VP Marketing & Communications SDCRAA, while the two SDCRAA board members Paul Robinson and Bruce Boland stood in the background.

  • British Airways on 1 June resumed services between its London Heathrow (LHR) hub and San Diego, CA (SAN) in southern California. Having operated the route in 2002-2003 and prior to that from London Gatwick in 2001-2002, the airline now returns with daily flights aboard 276-seat 777-200ERs. Notably, this is San Diego’s only non-stop link with Europe, making the airport the largest US market up until now not to have had a direct connection with Europe. British Airways’ new CEO Keith Williams said: “California is one of our most popular destinations so we’re delighted to be able to offer a third destination and give customers more choice. And with the state’s importance in the technology sector we’re sure this route will appeal to business customers too.”

The rest of this week’s new routes

  • Aegean Airlines expanded its network out of Greece’s second-largest city Thessaloniki (SKG) on 2 June when the airline launched a seasonal service to Paris CDG (CDG). Flights operate three times weekly with A320 equipment until 30 September. Although currently not facing any competition, the route will be operated against easyJet’s also three weekly flights during the July to September peak season. Previously, the route was operated by Cyprus Airways, but the airline dropped the route in January this year after having operated flights since November 2006.

A gorgeous cake was baked to welcome Air Astana to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. A big group of dignitaries, including representatives of the airport operator TAV Georgia, Air Astana and the Kazakhstani Embassy to Georgia, was on site for the celebrations as the airline’s E-190 for the first time touched down at the airport.

  • Air Astana, the airline of Kazakhstan, on 2 June launched two new routes from its Almaty (ALA) base. Samara (KUF) in south-eastern European Russia as well as Tbilisi (TBS), the capital of Georgia, are now served each three times weekly. The Monday, Thursday and Saturday flights are operated with 97-seat E-190s. “Air Astana is delighted to launch new services to Tbilisi and Samara,  which will help to boost business, economic and cultural relations between these cities and Kazakhstan,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
  • Air Moldova expanded its Russian network on 31 May when the airline connected Moldova’s country capital Chisinau (KIV) with Sochi (AER) on the Russian Black Sea coast. Flights operate twice a week and are scheduled overnight, departing Chisinau on Tuesdays and Saturdays, returning on Wednesdays and Sundays. The airline uses its 114-seat E-190 on the route. The same route was previously served by Aeroflot between 1987 and 1994, having been a domestic Soviet route until Moldova’s independence in 1991.

Pizza of the Week: An olive indicated the location of Bari on the pizza baked to celebrate airBaltic’s new route to Italy from its Riga hub, as displayed by Katrīna Godmane, Riga International Airport’s Route Development Manager, and Grigori Pomerantsev, airBaltic’s SVP Sales and Marketing. The two then handed out slices of Margherita pizza to the eager passengers.

  • airBaltic launched flights to its fourth Italian destination on 4 June as the Latvian national airline connected its Riga (RIX) hub with Bari (BRI) in southern Italy. Flights now operate twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, seasonally until 1 October with 120-seat 737-500 aircraft. The airline already serves Rome, Milan and Venice in Italy.

Celebrations were due in Linz when airberlin arrived at the Austrian airport. The airport now has a connection with the German capital Berlin as well as to the airline’s onward network via its Berlin Tegel hub. The spectator area at the airport got busy as the first aircraft arrived and got a wet salute.

  • airberlin launched two new routes in the last week, one from each of its two bases at Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Düsseldorf (DUS). From the German capital, the future oneworld member began serving Linz (LNZ) in Austria on 1 June. Flights operate five times weekly. Although the Austrian city is a new destination to airberlin, the airline’s Austrian partner niki operates a number of summer seasonal leisure flights from the airport. This is the first time Linz is connected with the German capital since City-Air Germany’s 2003 operations from Berlin Tempelhof. Christian Peter, airberlin’s Director of Route Management, commented: “By adding Linz to our flight schedule, we are increasing our Austrian destinations to six. airberlin is now creating the first alternative connection for the economically important region of upper Austria to all major German cities as well as Scandinavia. As well as tourism, we believe this connection also offers tremendous potential for business travellers.” On 2 June, airberlin launched three weekly flights between Düsseldorf and Rijeka (RJK), the port city on the Croatian coast. Flights operate with 144-seat 737-700s, for the first time connecting the two airports, however, it is airberlin’s fourth route to the Croatian airport, already serving the city from Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart and Münster/Osnabrück.
  • Alaska Airlines’ regional sister airline Horizon Air on 5 June launched two new routes to Montana out of Portland, OR (PDX). The airline now operates to both Billings, MT (BIL) and Missoula, MT (MSO). Each flight operates daily with its 76-seat Q400s seasonally until 27 August. Horizon Air already serves both destinations from Alaska Airlines’ main hub in Seattle.
Alitalia launch Rome Fiumicino to Beijing service

Speaking to the gathered Alitalia passengers at Rome Fiumicino before boarding the airline’s first route to Beijing was Giancarlo Schisano, Alitalia’s EVP Chief Operating Officer, accompanied by Elia Pistola, ADR’s EVP Aviation.

  • Alitalia in the last week launched two intercontinental services out of its Rome Fiumicino (FCO) hub. On 1 June, the airline began serving Beijing (PEK) four times weekly, increasing to five weekly flights at the start of the winter season, and on 4 June, the airline relaunched four weekly flights (initially three flights a week in June) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG), having served the Brazilian city until 2001, when the route also was dropped by Varig. The route to the Chinese capital is Alitalia’s only Chinese route since the airline dropped its route between Milan and Shanghai in January 2008. Flights on the new route are operated in competition with Air China’s daily service. Giancarlo Schisano, EVP Chief Operating Officer of Alitalia, said: “China and Brazil represent, together with India and Russia, target markets for the strategy of expansion of intercontinental and international routes; the strategy focuses on areas of the world with the highest growth rate for leisure and business traffic.”

Cutting the cake for AnadoluJet’s first flight between Turkey’s capital Ankara and Georgia’s resort city Batumi was AnadoluJet Regional Flights President Sami Alan; Ankara Esenboğa Airport’s Civil Administration Manager Hayrettin Balcioglu; and TAV Esenboga General Manager Nuray Demirer.

  • AnadoluJet, Turkish Airlines’ low-cost brand, on 31 May connected the Turkish capital Ankara (ESB) with Batumi (BUS), the Georgian resort city on the Black Sea coast. Notably, both airports are run by the Turkish company TAV. Flights on the new route operate twice a week.
  • Armavia launched flights between its Yerevan (EVN) base in Armenia and the Spanish capital Madrid (MAD) on 2 June. Flights operate twice a week with 134-seat A319s. This is the airline’s second Spanish destination after having launched Barcelona flights in June last year.
  • Asiana, the South Korean Star Alliance member airline, on 1 June launched two new international services between Busan (PUS), the country’s second-largest city, and Vietnam. The airline now operates daily to both Hanoi (HAN) and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) with A320 aircraft, competing with Vietnam Airlines’ also daily flights on both routes. From its main base at Seoul Incheon, Asiana already serves both destinations. Until last year, the route between Busan and Hanoi was operated by Korean Air.

As Belavia arrived in Finland’s capital Helsinki, cakes were baked for the first passengers to enjoy. After speeches by Helsinki Airport’s VP Aviation & Safety Heini Noronen-Juhola and Belavia’s Director General Marketing & International Igor Tcherginets, the two dignitaries cut the ribbon.

  • Belavia, the national airline of Belarus, on 1 June connected its Minsk (MSQ) base with Helsinki (HEL), the capital of Finland. The airline now operates the 740-kilometre route three times weekly with its 50-seat CRJ200s.

We don’t have a picture of Blue Air’s new route to Barcelona, but we do have this picture from last week’s Star Alliance CEO meeting in Barcelona. The airport’s Head of Marketing, Anita Gackowska, posed with (1) Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada; Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines; Rob Fyfe, Air New Zealand; and Temel Kotil, Turkish Airlines; (2) Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, bmi; and Líbano Miranda Barroso, TAM; (3) Christoph Franz, Lufthansa; and Temel Kotil (again), Turkish Airlines. Before we get any complaints that this isn’t relevant, we would like to point out that Calin Rovinescu at least was born in Romania.

  • Blue Air continued expanding its base in Bacau (BCM) in northeastern Romania as the low-cost airline on 3 June launched a twice-weekly service to Barcelona (BCN). The airline already serves the Spanish city from its main base in Bucharest.

Cutting the ribbon for Blue1’s first flight to Marseille was the first passenger, Göran Höglund, assisted by Tom Christides, Blue1’s VP Communications & Public Affais, and cabin crew member Salla Halste. On arrival in Marseille, the aircraft was welcomed by the French airport’s fire department.

  • Blue1, the Finnish Star Alliance member and subsidiary of SAS, on 31 May connected its Helsinki (HEL) base with Marseille (MRS). The flights operate twice a week with 115-seat 717s. This is Blue1’s third French destination after Paris CDG and Nice.
  • Cathay Pacific resumed services between its Hong Kong (HKG) hub and Abu Dhabi (AUH) on 2 June, having previously briefly operated the route in 1984. The airline now operates the route four times weekly – on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays – with A330-300 aircraft. Abu Dhabi is Cathay Pacific’s second destination in the UAE after Dubai, which the airline has served for over 30 years. This is the first time Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi are connected since Lufthansa suspended its flights between the two airports in 1989. Tom Wright, Cathay Pacific’s GM Middle East, India, Africa & Pakistan, commented: “We are very proud to be the first carrier to offer a direct service from Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong. With the increasing economic and tourism links between Abu Dhabi – one of the fastest growing cities in the Middle East – and Hong Kong, which has long been a vibrant destination and popular hub in Asia, we expect this service to be well received amongst both business and leisure travellers throughout the Emirate.”
  • Czech Connect Airlines, the new Czech carrier that previously has begun operating between regional Czech destinations and Russia, on 2 June launched four weekly flights between Prague (PRG) and Geneva (GVA), competing with Swiss’ daily flights. The Czech airline operates with a 148-seat 737-300.

If you luv someone, say it with cake: Newark became Southwest’s latest base at the end of March. This week, it added services to Baltimore/Washington, Denver, Houston/Hobby, and Phoenix, taking it to 122 weekly departures. Besides the smitten employees, the celebrations are joined by a grateful Newark Mayor, Cory Booker, Southwest’s CEO Gary Kelly, Bill Baroni, Deputy Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Chris Bollwage, Mayor of the City of Elizabeth.

Delta’s new service from Kansas City to Austin

Delta’s new service from Kansas City was welcomed to Austin with a fire-truck salute. The airline will operate the route six times a week, competing with Frontier’s five flights a week.

  • Delta Air Lines launched five new routes in the last week, one international and four domestic. From New York JFK, NY (JFK), the airline now flies to Iceland, serving Reykjavik (KEF) five times weekly. The route, which launched on 1 June, is now operated with 757-200s in competition with Icelandair’s twice-daily flights and indirectly against Iceland Express’ daily service to Newark. This is notably the first time (in modern times) that a US carrier serves Iceland. From Kansas City, MO (MCI), the airline launched three routes on 6 June, each operated six times weekly with 50-seat ERJ145s. Two of the routes to Columbus, OH (CMH), New Orleans, LA (MSY) and Austin, TX (AUS) face competition from Frontier. The competing airline used to operate all three routes until earlier this month, but competition now comes from its five weekly flights to Austin and four flights a week to New Orleans. The same day, Delta also connected Omaha, NE (OMA) with Washington Reagan, DC (DCA) with a daily E-175 service. Again, Frontier provides competition with its 12 weekly flights on the route.
Eastern Airways Cake to celebrate new route from Southampton to Dijon

Uncanny realism was achieved when the Cremant bottle cake was baked to celebrate Eastern Airways’ new route from Southampton to Dijon. Celebrating together with the crew was the airline’s commercial director Kay Ryan and director France Ben Leon. The first passengers were given a real bottle of the French sparkling wine as a gift.

  • Eastern Airways added yet another French destination to Southampton’s (SOU) expanding network across the English Channel. The British regional airline now flies three times weekly with 29-seat Jetstream 41s to its French base at Dijon (DIJ) in eastern France. Kay Ryan, Eastern Airways’ commercial director, said: “Part of our expansion plans for Dijon was to provide a link to the South of England, and Southampton is the ideal gateway for us to offer this link for business travellers and tourists travelling between the two regions. Any travellers who have business in Dijon and beyond can also make use of our onward services to Bordeaux, Toulouse and Nantes from Dijon.”
  • easyJet launched three routes in the last week, each operating daily with 156-seat A319s from two of the airline’s English bases. On 3 June, the airline began flying from its largest base at London Gatwick (LGW) to both Aberdeen (ABZ) and Verona (VRN). The route to the Scottish oil city complements the airline’s existing services from London Luton and competes with Flybe’s 19 weekly flights. The northern Italian city by Lake Garda is a new destination for easyJet, but the route competes with BA’s twice-daily and Thomson’s twice-weekly services. On 6 June, easyJet also moved its service between Bristol (BRS) and the Italian capital from Rome Ciampino to Rome Fiumicino (FCO).

Posing for the camera in Geneva were Jürg Müller, Emirates Airline’s Area Manager Switzerland; Tim Clark, Emirates Airline’s President; François Longchamp, State Councillor of the Canton of Geneva and Genève Aéroport’s chairman; and Robert Deillon, Director of Genève Aéroport. The dignitaries then cut the cake baked to celebrate the event, while passengers were handed gifts as a memory of the first flight. (Photos: Etienne Delacrétaz)

  • Emirates on 1 June expanded its European network, adding Geneva (GVA) to its list of destinations served from its Dubai (DXB) hub. The daily flights are operated interchangeably with Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. This is Emirates’ second Swiss destination after Zurich, which the airline began serving in 1992. Tim Clark, Emirates’ President, said: “This launch, in particular, has a strong international feel about it – linking Dubai, as a global aviation hub and centre for business and tourism with Geneva, a home to so many international organisations and an important financial and banking centre.” Reportedly, each flight will also have capacity for 15-20 tonnes of cargo, much of which is expected to be used by the luxury sector, which stands for the majority of the region’s exports.
  • Ethiopian Airlines added its third Indian destination on 3 June when the airline extended its daily service between Addis Ababa (ADD) and Mumbai (BOM) to Chennai (MAA). The airline also already serves Delhi.
  • Frontier Airlines launched two new routes on 6 June, both of which face considerable competition. From Denver, CO (DEN), the airline now flies four times weekly to Knoxville, TN (TYS) with 138-seat A319s, competing with United’s 10 weekly flights on the route. “This is really our first low-fare service that is not directed mainly at leisure travellers,” said Bill Marrison, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority president. At Kansas City, MO (MCI), the airline launched 13 weekly flights to Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP), operating with E-170s and E-190s. Competition comes from Delta’s 40 flights a week.
  • Garuda Indonesia on 1 June launched a daily serve between Makassar (UPG), the largest city on Sulawesi Island, and Singapore (SIN). The 1,870-kilometre route, which is operated with 96-seat 737-500s, is the airline’s third to the neighbouring city state after flights from Jakarta and Denpasar/Bali. The last time the route was operated was in 2002-2003 when SilkAir took up the route dropped by Bouraq Indonesia Airlines.

Icelandair’s crew was welcomed to Hamburg with flowers and a huge cake displayed by Christina Stadtler, Icelandair’s Sales Manager Germany, and Gesa Zaremba, Hamburg Airport’s Senior Manager Aviation Marketing. Hamburg is the Icelandic national carrier’s fourth German destination.

  • Icelandair launched two new routes to the European mainland in the last week. On 1 June, the airline connected its Reykjavik (KEF) hub with Billund (BLL) on the Danish mainland. This is notably only the airline’s second Danish destination after Copenhagen, in spite of the strong historical ties between the two countries. However, the route is already operated by Iceland Express, which competes with a weekly operation. Icelandair flights operate three times weekly with 183-seat 757-200s during the summer peak season only, with the last flight operating on 12 September. Two days later, on 3 June, the airline began serving Hamburg (HAM) in northern Germany. The route, which also is operated seasonally until 9 September is Icelandair’s fourth German destination after Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. Hamburg services are scheduled twice-weekly, also with 183-seat 757-200s. Competition comes from Lufthansa’s also twice-weekly service, and during the peak season also from airberlin’s also twice-weekly flights.
  • Jet4you, the Moroccan low-cost carrier part of TUI Travel, on 1 June began flying once a week between Agadir (AGA) in Morocco and Düsseldorf (DUS) in Germany. Flights compete with Condor’s also weekly flights.
  • Jetstar Pacific, the Vietnamese low-cost carrier with a minority shareholding by Qantas of Australia, on 1 June relaunched one of its domestic services. The airline now flies between the country capital Hanoi (HAN) in the north and Nha Trang (CXR) on the South Central Coast. The twice-daily flights are operated with 168-seat 737-400 aircraft, having previously been operated by the airline daily until September last year, when the route was dropped.

A LOT of cake: Donetsk Airport in eastern Ukraine baked a LOT cake to welcome the Polish airline to its fourth Ukrainian destination. Balloons decorated the terminal area, including those arranged to form the airline’s name.

  • LOT Polish Airlines expanded its network to the Ukraine on 3 June when the Star Alliance member connected its Warsaw (WAW) hub with Donetsk (DOK), which notably recently got a connection on CSA Czech Airlines from Prague. Flights on the new route operate three times weekly with the airline’s E-series aircraft. The new destination is LOT Polish Airlines’ fourth Ukrainian destination after Kiev, Odessa and Lviv.
  • Malev, the Hungarian national carrier, on 5 June launched a charter route from its Budapest (BUD) base to Antalya (AYT) in Turkey. Flights operate three times weekly with 180-seat 737-800s during the summer season, ending on 23 October.
  • Mango, South African Airways’ low-cost subsidiary, on 1 June began serving Lanseria (HLA), the secondary airport for Johannesburg that is located near Pretoria. Complementing its 29 weekly operations to Johannesburg’s main OR Tambo Airport, the airline now flies 20 times a week from Cape Town (CPT) to Lanseria, competing with’s 49 weekly flights. Up until now, has been the only commercial operator at Lanseria.
Middle East Airlines’ inaugural flight to Düsseldorf

Middle East Airlines’ inaugural flight to Düsseldorf was on an A321 piloted by captain Jean Antoine Esber. He and his crew were welcomed by Airport Düsseldorf International’s Director Aviation Marketing Ulrich Topp, who was joined by, among others, Andre Abitzsch, Station Manager AHS German Ground, and Khalil Al Zein, MEA’s Sales & Traffic Representative. (Photo: Andreas Wiese, Airport Düsseldorf)

  • Middle East Airlines, the national carrier of Lebanon, this summer changed which German destination it serves seasonally. In addition to its year-round Frankfurt route, the airline has served Berlin Schönefeld during previous summers. From 2 June, the future SkyTeam airline this summer instead serves Düsseldorf (DUS) from its Beirut (BEY) base. Flights initially operate three times weekly, but frequencies double in mid-August to six weekly flights. The seasonal service operates until 10 September, generally with 126-seat A320s. During the peak summer season, competition comes from Germania’s two flights a week.
  • niki, airberlin’s Austrian partner, on 4 June launched a weekly service between Graz (GRZ), Austria’s second-largest city, and Shannon (SNN) in western Ireland. On the return sector, flights operate via Linz (LNZ). Flights operate seasonally until 3 September with A320 series aircraft.
Norwegian 737-800

The location might not be recognisable, but this Norwegian 737-800 is at Visby Airport on the Swedish island of Gotland, a popular summer destination. (Photo: Peter Snäckerström)

  • Norwegian expanded its Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) base in the last week, as detailed in this week’s airline analysis. With its 189-seat 737-800s, the low-cost carrier launched three new routes. On 1 June, it began serving Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) four times weekly, increasing to six weekly by the end of the month. Competition comes from germanwings’ six weekly flights. As detailed in this week’s fare analysis, there is also considerable indirect competition on the route. The following day, on 2 June, Norwegian began flying three times a week to Prague (PRG), competing with Czech Airlines’ 17 and SAS’ two weekly flights. The same day, Norwegian also launched four weekly flights to Visby (VBY) on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. The seasonal summer service operates until 12 August, facing the regional airlines Skyways’ 25 and NextJet’s eight weekly flights.

Celebrating Orenair’s new route from Barnaul in Düsseldorf were Antonio Di Monaco, Manager Airline Marketing, Düsseldorf International; the Orenair crew; Heinrich Thießen, Orenair’s representative in Germany; Tatjana Kolesova and Olga Biryukova from, Orenair’s headquarters; and Lutz Honerla, VP Marketing & Strategy, Düsseldorf International. (Photo: Andreas Wiese)

  • Orenair, the Russian airline, launched two new seasonal routes between southwestern Siberia and Germany in the last week, both operating with 168-seat 737-800s. On 2 June, the airline began operating between Omsk (OMS) and Hannover (HAJ) in northern Germany twice-weekly. Flights operate until 29 September. On 6 June, the airline also connected Barnaul (BAX) with Düsseldorf (DUS) in western Germany. The weekly service operates until 29 August.
  • Pegasus Airlines, the Turkish low-cost carrier, launched a new domestic service on 2 June. The airline now operates three times weekly between Bodrum (BJV) on the west coast with Adana (ADA) in the south of the country.
Qatar Airways celebrate new Doha to Shiraz route

Shaking hands to celebrate Qatar Airways’ new route to Shiraz in Iran were Fathi Al Shehab, Qatar Airways’ SVP Iran, and Hameed Reza Seyedi, Fars Province Airport Director General.

  • Qatar Airways added the third Iranian destination to its network on 5 June. The airline now flies between its Doha (DOH) hub and Shiraz (SYZ), a distance of only 485 kilometres. The two weekly flights are operated with 144-seat A320s, complementing the airline’s flights to Tehran and Mashad. Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker commented: “Iranian expatriates number between four and five million people, with many living in Europe and North America. We have good connections from these continents to Shiraz through our Doha hub, so facilitating travel for this expatriate community is now made much easier. As the route to Shiraz develops, we will also look to add frequency and capacity to improve connectivity even further.”

Cutting the ribbon for Royal Jordanian’s arrival to Berlin were Marjan Schoeke, Berlin Airports’ Head of Airline Marketing (left); Kareem Elouri, Royal Jordanian’s Director Germany (centre); and Simon Miller, Berlin Airports’ Airline Marketing Manager (right). (Photos: Günter Wicker/Ligatur/Berlin Airports)

  • Royal Jordanian on 2 June resumed services between its Amman (AMM) hub and Berlin Tegel (TXL). The airline, which notably is a member of the oneworld alliance that locally based airberlin is set to join, previously operated the route between 1993 and 2001. Flights will now operate three times a week with a mixture of 110-seat A319s and 136-seat A320 aircraft. In winter, the route will be served with A319s only.
  • Rwandair, the national airline of Rwanda, on 31 May launched a new domestic service between the country capital Kigali (KGL) and Gisenyi (GYI) on Lake Kivu in the western part of the country. Flights operate four times weekly with Dash 8 aircraft. The airline has operated the route in the past, between January and May 2009.
A cake to celebrate the new Ryanair service between Cork in Ireland and Milan

Celebrating the new Ryanair service between Cork in Ireland and Milan Bergamo in Italy were Maria Macken, Ryanair’s Sales & Marketing Executive UK & Ireland; Kevin Cullinane, Cork Airport’s Marketing Manager; and Aoife Buckley, the airport’s Marketing Officer. The route, Ryanair’s 16th from Cork this summer, was welcomed by Cullinane who said: “Milan was identified as a key city region unserved from Cork and we are delighted to bring to fruition months of aviation business development effort to secure Ryanair to operate this new service.”

  • Ryanair launched six new routes in the last week with its 189-seat 737-800s. Notably, the route between Dublin (DUB) and Marseille (MRS) used to be operated each summer between 2007 and 2009, but not last summer.
Date Origin Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
01-Jun-11 Dublin (DUB) Marseille (MRS) 2 Aer Lingus (3)
04-Jun-11 Trapani (TPS) Tampere (TMP) 2
01-Jun-11 Barcelona (BCN) Jerez (XRY) 4 Vueling (6)
01-Jun-11 Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Chania (CHQ) 2
03-Jun-11 Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Rzeszow (RZE) 3
02-Jun-11 Milan Bergamo (BGY) Cork (ORK) 2
*WF: Weekly Frequency
  • SmartWings, the Czech low-cost carrier, on 6 June launched a weekly service from neighbouring Slovakia’s capital Bratislava (BTS) to Tel Aviv (TLV) in Israel. Flights operate once a week with 737-800s. Competition comes from flights scheduled as Sun d’Or, but operated by El Al after the recent suspension of Sun d’Or operations.
Jacksonville Airport welcomed Southwest’s aircraft from Denver

Jacksonville Airport welcomed Southwest’s aircraft from Denver, which is a new destination to the northern Florida airport.

  • Southwest, the airline analysed this week, launched seven new routes in the last week; three from Denver, CO (DEN) and three from New York Newark, NJ (EWR) as well as one between the two. 137-seat 737-700s are used on all seven routes. All but the routes to Jacksonville, FL (JAX) and Houston Hobby, TX (HOU) face competition, although the latter route faces considerable indirect competition at Houston Intercontinental. Commenting the new Jacksonville service, JAA’s Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman said: “This new service greatly enhances air travel out west and we anticipate the flight will be greeted favourably by both leisure travellers heading to ski resorts and business travellers. In addition, this service provides excellent connections to central California and the pacific northwest.”
Date Origin Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
04-Jun-11 Denver, CO (DEN) Columbus, OH (CMH) 7 United (20)
05-Jun-11 Denver, CO (DEN) Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 7
05-Jun-11 Denver, CO (DEN) Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) 7 United (20)
05-Jun-11 New York Newark, NJ (EWR) Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) 21 Continental (28)
05-Jun-11 New York Newark, NJ (EWR) Denver, CO (DEN) 21 Continental (27), United (14)
05-Jun-11 New York Newark, NJ (EWR) Houston Hobby, TX (HOU) 13
05-Jun-11 New York Newark, NJ (EWR) Phoenix, AZ (PHX) 14 Continental (25), US Airways (21)
*WF: Weekly Frequency
  • SpiceJet launched a new domestic Indian route on 1 June as the low-cost airline connected Ahmedabad (AMD) with Pune (PNQ), both in western India. The daily flights on the 515-kilometre route compete with fellow LCC IndiGo’s six flights a week.
Spirit Airlines arrives in Toluca

This is the picture evidence that Spirit Airlines now has arrived in Toluca near Mexico’s capital Mexico City. The low-cost airline flies the route from Fort Lauderdale twice weekly.

  • Spirit Airlines added a second Mexican destination to its network after Cancun on 3 June when the airline connected its Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) base with Toluca (TLC), the secondary airport for Mexico City. Flights operate twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, with 145-seat A319s. Enrique Peña Nieto, Constitutional Governor of the State of Mexico, commented: “The government of the State of Mexico welcomes and congratulates very warmly Spirit Airlines for the beginning of operations in Toluca International Airport. It’s a strategic initiative which will allow and expand the State of Mexico’s connectivity with the United States.”
  • Syrian Air on 1 June launched a weekly service between Aleppo (ALP) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) in the United Arab Emirates. The flights, which are operated with A320s, operate seasonally until the end of the summer season.

TAP Portugal’s arrival in Miami – the Star Alliance airline’s second US destination – was led by José Manuel Coelho, TAP’s Director General USA (far right).

While no decent route launch is complete without a cake, this year's must-have accessory for a new service is the flash mob which TAP spontaneously organised in the South Terminal. Meanwhile, a more formal welcome took place at the gate by a delegation led by Bill Talbert, President and CEO Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; Nuno Brito, Portuguese Ambassador to the US; José Abreu, Miami-Dade Aviation Director; and Carlos Paneiro, TAP Portugal’s VP Sales.

A cake was baked to welcome TAP Portugal to Manchester. Cutting the ribbon for the new route was Carlos Lourenco, TAP Portugal’s GM UK, assisted by Manchester Airport’s Marketing Manager Sarah Thursfield and Marketing Director Caroline Plant as well as Angie Robinson, CEO MIDAS (Manchester Investment Development Agency Service), and Manuel G. do Vale, Portuguese Honorary Consul to Manchester.

  • TAP Portugal continued its network expansion, launching four new services in the last week; two intra-European and two intercontinental services. All flights are from the Star Alliance airline’s Lisbon (LIS) hub, which is detailed in this week’s analysis of Portugal. Miami (MIA) is notably TAP Portugal’s second US destination after Newark. Both European routes have been operated by TAP in the past. The airline dropped Athens services in 1998 and Manchester flights in 1993.
Date Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
01-Jun-11 Manchester (MAN) 5 A319 bmibaby (2)
04-Jun-11 Athens (ATH) 3 A320
05-Jun-11 Bamako (BKO) 3 A32S
06-Jun-11 Miami, FL (MIA) 5 A332
*WF: Weekly Frequency
  • Ural Airlines on 3 June launched a weekly flight between Samara (KUF) in southeastern European Russia and Varna (VAR), the Bulgarian resort city on the Black Sea coast. Flights operate with 159-seat A320s.

In Philadelphia, a big party was laid out for US Airways’ new route to Quebec City. We are particularly amazed by how there could be pieces of the cake sliced up at the same time as the cake appears to be intact.

Quebec City Celebrate new route celebrated with a cake

In Quebec, the new route was also celebrated with a cake!

  • US Airways launched a new international service out of its Philadelphia, PA (PHL) hub on 2 June when the Star Alliance airline began serving Quebec City (YQB) with 21 weekly flights aboard CRJ200s. This is US Airways’ eighth Canadian destination. Gaëtan Gagné, president and CEO of Aéroport de Québec, commented: “We are truly enthusiastic about the arrival of US Airways at our airport. Gaining access to a major hub like Philadelphia is a great addition to the connecting flights offered from Québec City.”

The first passenger on UTair’s route to Bratislava, Andrey Ossipov, spoke to the gathered passengers in the gate area, flanked by Vasily Aleksandrov, Vnukovo Airport’s Director General, and Elena Krylova, Vnukovo Airport’s press secretary.

On arrival, UTair was welcomed to Bratislava with a traditional bread and salt welcoming. The capitals of Russia and Slovakia had been left without an air link since Aeroflot dropped its services last year.

UTair’s first flight to Brno in the Czech Republic

At the celebrations for UTair’s first flight to Brno in the Czech Republic, Gennady Novikov, Commercial Department Chief of JSC Vnukovo Handling, and Igor Pedan, UTair's Vnukovo station manager, gave a certificate and goody bag to the first passenger Elena Sibogatova.

  • UTair, the Russian airline with a hub at Moscow Vnukovo (VKO), launched three new routes in the last week; one domestic and two international. All three routes are operated with 50-seat CRJ200s. On 1 June, the airline began serving Naryan-Mar (NNM) near the northern Barents Sea coast. Flights operate daily, indirectly competing with Nordavia’s also daily flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo. The same day, the airline began serving Slovakia’s capital Bratislava (BTS) four times weekly and on 2 June, it launched a thrice-weekly service to Brno (BRQ) in eastern Czech Republic. The Czech service competes indirectly with Czech Connect’s four weekly flights to Moscow Domodedovo, while the Bratislava route is uncontested. The airline, which benefits from a considerably large Russian domestic feeder network, has already expressed interest in increasing frequencies on the Bratislava route to daily.
Clay Meek, Vision Airlines’ Director of Sales & Marketing

Clay Meek, Vision Airlines’ Director of Sales & Marketing, announced the five new routes from the airline’s base at Northwest Florida Regional Airport at Fort Walton Beach.

  • Vision Airlines continued expanding its base at Fort Walton Beach, FL (VPS), launching five new routes in the last week.
Date Destination WF* A/c
03-Jun-11 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) 2 B737
04-Jun-11 Lafayette, LA (LFT) 2 Do328
02-Jun-11 Las Vegas, NV (LAS) 4 B737
03-Jun-11 St Louis, MO (STL) 2 B737
04-Jun-11 Tunica, MS (UTM) 4 Do328
*WF: Weekly Frequency
  • Widerøe, the Norwegian regional subsidiary of SAS, launched a new domestic service on 5 June. The airline now flies six times weekly between Tromsø (TOS) and Svolvær (SVJ), both in northern Norway, with 39-seat Dash 8-100s until 31 August.

Other celebrations in the last week

Shannon Airport in Ireland celebrated United increasing from 7 to 11 weekly flights on its route to the New York City airport Newark. Displaying the stunning cake baked to celebrate the occasion were Yvonne Muldoon, United's sales manager Ireland, and Declan Power, Shannon Airport's senior manager aviation business development.

Ryanair celebrate its 10th anniversary at Gothenburg City Airport

On a windy but sunny 1 June, Ryanair celebrated its 10th anniversary at Gothenburg City Airport. Having started in 2001 with flights from London Stansted only, the airline now operates 14 routes to and from Sweden’s second-largest city. Celebrating the event with a cake were Ryanair crew as well as Elina Hakkarainen, the airline’s Nordic Sales & Marketing Executive, and station manager Bo Zetterström.

An Emirates A380 arrived in Rome to join celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. Guests invited to a special reception were given the chance to explore the superjumbo. Rome has notably been part of the Emirates network since 1992.


Rimini’s popularity among Russians is shown in that Transaero operated a test flight with 747 equipment to the airport on Italy’s Adriatic coast. The airline is interested in operating the type on its Moscow-Rimini route ‘due to constantly growing passenger demand’.


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