New airline routes launched (16 – 22 August 2011)



Route of the Week:
Pegasus Airlines’ Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Skopje

Pegasus Airlines has in a matter of days launched two routes to Macedonia’s capital Skopje; from Izmir and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen. Arriving on the celebratory flight from Izmir were Turkey’s Minister of Transport and Communication Binali Yıldırım (left) and TAV Airports President & CEO Sani Sener (right), who were welcomed by Macedonia’s Minister of Transport and Communication Mile Janakievski (centre).

  • 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

Yes, it really is a cake! Oakland celebrated Spirit Airlines’ arrival to the airport with a Las Vegas route with a blackjack table-style cake. Posing with the cake were a Las Vegas showgirl; Mark Kopczak, Spirit Airlines’ Senior Director Network Planning; Deborah Ale Flint, Port of Oakland’s Director of Aviation; an Elvis tribute artist; Alicia Malone, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority’s PR Manager Leisure; and Omar R. Benjamin, Port of Oakland’s Executive Director.

Spirit Airlines’ first of the new flights at Chicago O’Hare was welcomed upon arrival from Boston.

Spirit Airlines’ first of the new flights at Chicago O’Hare was welcomed upon arrival from Boston.

At Dallas/Fort Worth, Spirit Airlines’ Chicago O’Hare route was welcomed with a cake and the airline’s Director Corporate Communications, Misty Pinson, was dressed for the occasion.

Wild Bill of Dallas and his crew helped Spirit Airlines’ Chief Marketing Officer Barry Biffle and fellow airline executives distribute free cowboy hats as they arrived on horse-drawn carriages on Michigan Avenue in central Chicago to promote the airline’s new service from O’Hare to Dallas/Fort Worth.

  • 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.
Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
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’s first flight on the route Taiyuan-Wuxi-Xiamen had a load factor of over 90% and was celebrated with something as unusual – for Mainland China – as a cake! The cream and fruit creation was enjoyed by the passengers and crew on board and we encourage more Chinese cakes!

  • 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.

3-year-old passenger Jana Rylander got the honour of cutting the ribbon for Norwegian’s new route to Barcelona from Gothenburg Landvetter Airport. The route was celebrated with a cake featuring pictures of Barcelona’s attractions.

  • 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.

Abidjan is now a secondary, virtual base for Senegal Airlines. With the launch of two further routes in the last week, the airline now serves six destinations from the largest city in Côte d’Ivoire.

Abidjan is now a secondary, virtual base for Senegal Airlines. With the launch of two further routes in the last week, the airline now serves six destinations from the largest city in Côte d’Ivoire.

  • 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.

Other celebrations in the last week

easyJet on 21 August celebrated 10 years on the route between Belfast International and Glasgow and in only a few days time, it will be the tenth anniversary of the Edinburgh route as well. Over the decade, 3.1 million passengers have flown on the Glasgow route – and 2.9 million have been going to Edinburgh. Seen with easyJet cabin crew Paul Doran and Rebecca Holland is Major Malcolm Wallace, of the Cottown Pipe Band in Bangor.

On 21 August, easyJet celebrated 10 years on the route between Belfast International and Glasgow and in only a few days time, it will be the tenth anniversary of the Edinburgh route as well. Over the decade, 3.1 million passengers have flown on the Glasgow route – and 2.9 million have been going to Edinburgh. Seen with easyJet cabin crew Paul Doran and Rebecca Holland is Major Malcolm Wallace of the Cottown Pipe Band in Bangor.


New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.

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