New airline routes launched (16 – 22 August 2011)
Route of the Week:
Pegasus Airlines’ Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Skopje
- Pegasus Airlines, the Turkish low-cost carrier, continued launching flights to Macedonia’s capital Skopje (SKP). As of 16 August, the airline flies three times weekly from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) with 189-seat 737-800 aircraft. This is the airline’s second route to Skopje after launching flights from Izmir only the day before. The new route indirectly competes with Turkish Airlines’ 10 flights a week from Istanbul Atatürk.
Cake of the Week:
Spirit Airlines’ Las Vegas to Oakland
- Spirit Airlines, the US ultra low cost carrier, launched five new routes on 18 August. Four of the routes are from the airline’s Chicago O’Hare (ORD) base, as detailed in this week’s airline analysis. Furthermore, Spirit Airlines began flying from Las Vegas, NV (LAS) to Oakland, CA (OAK) in the San Francisco Bay Area; a new destination in the Spirit Airlines network. Flights initially operate twice-daily, but frequencies increase to three times daily from 7 September. Similarly, all routes out of Chicago but the Detroit service increase by one daily frequency on the same date.
|Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD)||Boston, MA (BOS)||7||A319||United (71), American Airlines (62), jetBlue (21)|
|Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD)||Dallas/Ft Worth, TX (DFW)||14||A319||American Airlines (118), United (36)|
|Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD)||Detroit, MI (DTW)||14||A319||Delta (51), American Airlines (48), United (47)|
|Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD)||New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA)||7||A319||American Airlines (107), United (95), Delta (76)|
|Las Vegas, NV (LAS)||Oakland, CA (OAK)||14||A319||Southwest (55)|
|*WF: Weekly Frequency (at the time of launch for the Spirit services)|
The rest of this week’s new routes
- Airphil Express launched two new domestic routes in the Philippines on 18 August. The low-cost carrier now flies daily from Davao City (DVO) in the south of the country to Iloilo City (ILO) in the centre of the island nation. Flights operate daily with A320 aircraft, competing with Cebu Pacific’s also daily flight. Airphil Express also launched three weekly flights between the country capital Manila (MNL) and Ozamiz (OZC) in the south. Competition comes from daily flights on Cebu Pacific and five flights a week on Philippine Airlines.
- China Eastern Airlines launched a new, stopping domestic service on 18 August. The SkyTeam member now flies three times weekly from Taiyuan (TYN) in northern China via Wuxi (WUX) in the east of the country to Xiamen (XMN) in the southeast. Flights are operated with 737 aircraft.
- Firefly, the regional subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines that is analysed this week, continued launching new routes to Indonesia from Johor Bahru (JHB), the Malaysian city on the border to Singapore. On 16 August, the airline began operating three times weekly to Bandung (BDO) with 162-seat 737-400s.
- Interjet, the Mexican low-cost carrier that recently has expanded internationally, launched two new domestic routes on 16 August. Each of the new services is operated three times weekly with its single fleet of 150-seat A320 aircraft. From Guadalajara (GDL) in Western Mexico, the airline now serves Hermosillo (HMO) in the northwest of the country. The route is operated in competition with each daily services on both AeroMexico and Volaris as well as six flights a week on vivaaerobus. From Monterrey (MTY) in northeastern Mexico, Interjet also began serving Culiacan (CUL) in the northwest, competing with 13 flights a week on AeroMexico and six weekly flights on vivaaerobus.
- Norwegian added a new route out of Sweden’s second city Gothenburg (GOT) on 22 August. As the Swedish peak summer holiday season now is over, the pan-Nordic low-cost carrier rearranges its route network out of the city that recently hosted the IATA Schedules Conference. The airline now flies twice-weekly to Barcelona (BCN) with its 737-800s, competing with City Airlines’ also two weekly flights that notably are operated similar times on the same days of the week; Mondays and Fridays.
- Precision Air of Tanzania launched two new routes on 17 August; one domestic and one international. From the country’s largest city Dar es Salaam (DAR), the airline now flies three times weekly to Moroni (HAH), the capital of Comoros, the island nation off the east coast of Africa. Flights on the 680-kilometre route are operated with 128-seat 737-300 aircraft and compete with Comores Aviation’s also three flights a week. Precision Air also began flying between Mwanza (MWZ) on Lake Victoria and Kigoma (TKQ) on Lake Tanganyika. The 450-kilometre route is operated four times weekly with 48-seat ATR42 aircraft, competing with daily services on Auric Air.
- Senegal Airlines, the West African country’s new national airline launched earlier this year, launched two new stopping services from its Dakar (DKR) base in the last week. Five times weekly, the airline flies its 136-seat A320s to Abidjan (ABJ), the largest city in Ivory Coast, competing with Kenya Airways’ three weekly flights. As of 16 August, three flights a week continue to Cotonou (COO), the largest city in Benin. These flights compete with Air Ivoire and Air Nigeria’s each twice-weekly flights. As of the following day, 17 August, Senegal Airlines each week continues twice from Abidjan to Libreville (LBV), the capital of Gabon.
- TransAsia Airways continued expanding its network across the Taiwan Strait, on 21 August launching a service between Kaohsiung (KHH) in Taiwan and Changsha (CSX) in south-central Mainland China. This is the airline’s second route to Changsha after flights from Taipei. The new weekly flights operate with 150-seat A320 aircraft.
- Ural Airlines, the Russian carrier based in Yekaterinburg, launched a new international route from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 17 August. The airline now serves Georgia’s second-largest city Kutaisi (KUT) twice-weekly with 159-seat A320 aircraft. Competition comes from S7’s also two flights a week. This is Ural Airlines’ second route to Georgia, whose capital Tbilisi it already serves from Yekaterinburg.
- UTair launched two new international routes out of its hub at Moscow Vnukovo (VKO). From the Russian capital airport, where UTair is the largest carrier, the airline now flies to three airports in Uzbekistan, having complemented its route to the country capital Tashkent with new services to Samarkand (SKD) three times weekly from 16 August and weekly services to Bukhara (BHK) from 20 August. Both new routes are operated with 159-seat 737-800 aircraft. Although the airline faces no direct competition on either route, several airlines operate indirectly competing services at Moscow Domodedovo. On the Samarkand route, competition comes from Uzbekistan Airways five times weekly, twice-weekly on Moskovia Airlines and a weekly service on VIM Airlines, while the Bukhara route competes with Uzbekistan Airways’ four weekly flights as well as a weekly service on Transaero.