New routes launched in the Americas (5 July – 1 August 2011)
- AeroMexico expanded its network with two new routes across the border to the US in the last week. On 15 July, the SkyTeam airline began flying twice a week, on Fridays and Sundays, between Monterrey (MTY) in northeastern Mexico and Brownsville, TX (BRO) just across the US border. The 270-kilometre route is operated seasonally until 21 August with 50-seat ERJ145 aircraft. Brownsville is notably the gateway to the resort city South Padre Island. The following day, AeroMexico launched daily flights between Guadalajara (GDL) and Sacramento, CA (SMF), competing with Alaska Airlines’ three flights a week on the route. This is AeroMexico’s fifth California route from Guadalajara after Los Angeles, Fresno, Ontario and San Francisco.
Route of the Week: (5 – 11 July 2011)
Caribbean Airlines’ Port of Spain to Orlando
- Caribbean Airlines for the first time connected the capital of Trinidad & Tobago, Port of Spain (POS) with Orlando, FL (MCO) as the airline on 5 July added its third Florida destination after Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The service is operated twice-weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, during the summer season with 154-seat 737-800s. Cesar E. Calvet, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said: “The arrival of Caribbean Airlines and its connections to tropical getaways is great news. It furthers our plans as an airport and as a community to cultivate and connect to markets that have historically been under served. This is good business for Orlando International and the 35 million people we serve and is good business for all of Central Florida.”
- Delta Air Lines entered the intra-California route between Los Angeles (LAX) and Oakland (OAK), the airport in the San Francisco Bay Area analysed this week, on 1 August. Complementing the airline’s 75 weekly flights to SFO, the SkyTeam carrier now flies 35 times a week to Oakland. Flights are operated by SkyWest with 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft. Competition comes from Southwest’s 92 weekly flights on the route. Joe Esposito, Delta’s Managing Director Domestic Network Planning, commented: “Oakland is one of the top local markets from Los Angeles, and Delta’s new service adds travel choices for our customers traveling between these key West Coast cities. In addition, Oakland customers will enjoy access to Delta’s international gateway in Los Angeles, with convenient connections on Delta and our SkyTeam partner carriers to cities across Europe, Asia and Latin America.”
Route of the Week: (12 – 18 July 2011)
Hawaiian Airlines’ Honolulu to Osaka Kansai
- Hawaiian Airlines on 12 July continued its trans-Pacific expansion and launched a daily service between its Honolulu, HI (HNL) base and Osaka Kansai (KIX). Competition on the route comes from Delta and JAL, each of which also operates the route daily. Flights on the 6,625-kilometre route operate with 264-seat 767-300ER aircraft, but these are to be replaced with 294-seat A330-200s. This is the airline’s second Japanese route after the Tokyo Haneda flights launched in November last year. Notably, the airline just increased capacity on the Haneda route by shifting to larger Airbus aircraft. Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, said: “Demand for our services in Japan has returned to pre-tsunami levels, and we are grateful for the enthusiastic response we are receiving from the people of Osaka. This new daily service reflects our confidence in the Japan market and in the important Kansai region in particular.”
- Insel Air continued expanding its network out of Curacao (CUR) in the Caribbean on 18 July, launching flights to its third destination in Venezuela; the country capital Caracas (CCS). Flights on the 280-kilometre route operate four times weekly with 152-seat MD83 aircraft, competing with Dutch Antilles Express’ 12 weekly flights as well as each twice-weekly flights with Avior Airlines and Aserca Airlines.
- REDjet, the Caribbean start-up low-cost airline that has had regulatory problems in gaining access to other markets than its first, on 1 August launched its second route. From its Bridgetown (BGI) base in Barbados, the airline now flies four times weekly to Port of Spain (POS), the capital of Trinidad & Tobago, using its 149-seat MD82 aircraft. Competition comes from Caribbean Airlines’ 28 and LIAT’s 14 weekly flights. Officially, the route launches on 8 August, but the airline has scheduled a number of flights before this date due to the increased demand caused by the Crop Over festival and Rihanna’s Loud concert.
- SeaPort Airlines, the US regional airline operating 9-seat Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, launched two new routes from Boise, ID (BOI) on 18 July. The airline now flies 22 times weekly – four times daily on weekdays and twice on Sundays – to Idaho Falls, ID (IDA), a distance of 335 kilometres east. The same day, SeaPort also launched a route to Pendleton, OR (PDT), 315 kilometres to the northwest. That service operates three times weekly.
- Volaris added flights to its fifth Californian airport on 15 July when the Mexican low-cost airline launched flights to San Diego, CA (SAN) from both Mexico City (MEX) and Guadalajara (GDL). Each of the two routes is operated daily with 144-seat A319s. The airline to last have operated these two routes is AeroMexico, which dropped Mexico City services in 2008 and Guadalajara flights in 2000.
- Volaris continued its expansion to the US on 28 July when the low-cost carrier connected Mexico City (MEX) with both Las Vegas, NV (LAS) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX). Each route is operated daily with 144-seat A319s. This is the airline’s second route to Las Vegas after Guadalajara services, whereas the carrier already serves LA from five other Mexican airports. Competition to ‘Sin City’ comes from AeroMexico’s 14 weekly flights, while the Los Angeles route faces AeroMexico’s 27, United’s 21 and Alaska Airlines’ 14 flights a week.