Route of the Week:
China Airlines’ Taipei to Sanya
Celebrations were held in Sanya on the holiday island of Hainan off the coast of Mainland China when China Airlines arrived from Taipei Taoyuan in Taiwan. An ice sculpture was made with pictures of the two islands and a China Airlines 737-800 embedded.
- China Airlines launched two new routes across the Taiwan Strait in the last week. On 6 September, the Taiwanese airline connected its main hub in Taipei (TPE) with Sanya (SYX) on the tropical island of Hainan. Flights operate twice-weekly. On 9 September, the airline also began flying once weekly between Kaohsiung (KHH) and Beijing (PEK), departing Taiwan Friday evenings and arriving back on Saturday mornings. Both new routes are operated with 158-seat 737-800s.
Cake of the Week:
WestJet’s Hamilton to Las Vegas
Robert ‘Elvis’ Palmer, WestJet’s Manager Public Relations, was joined by two showgirls at Hamilton International Airport to show off this brilliant Las Vegas inspired cake.
- WestJet launched two new routes to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) in the last week. On 9 September, the airline began operating from Hamilton (YHM) in Ontario – a route the airport seeks in The Route Shop. The following day, the Canadian low-cost airline also began serving Sin City from Prince George (YXS) in British Columbia. Each of the two routes is operated twice-weekly with 136-seat 737-700s for an 11-week trial.
The rest of this week’s new routes
- Aegean Airlines resumed services between Athens (ATH) and Vienna (VIE) on 12 September. The Star Alliance airline, which connects with its alliance partner Austrian Airlines at the airport, dropped the route at the end of October last year. Flights now operate daily with 168-seat A320 aircraft, competing with Austrian’s 11 flights a week on the same route.
Brussels Airlines now flies to its 19th destination in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cutting the ribbon at Brussels Airport for the new service were Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport; Ibrahim Bocar BA, Mali’s Ambassador to Belgium; and Bernard Gustin, co-CEO Brussels Airlines.
- Brussels Airlines further expanded its African network out of its Brussels (BRU) hub on 7 September. The Star Alliance airline now flies twice-weekly to Bamako (BKO), the capital of Mali in West Africa and the airline’s 19th destination in Sub-Saharan Africa. Flights are operated with 284-seat A330-300s. This makes Brussels Airport the seventh European airport to be connected with Bamako, while Brussels Airlines becomes the sixth airline to serve Bamako from Europe after Air France, TAP Portugal, Aigle Azur, Spanair and Air Mali.
- China Eastern Airlines was one of three airlines to launch the same route across the Taiwan Strait on 7 September. From Yancheng (YNZ) in eastern Mainland China, the SkyTeam airline now serves Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) with a weekly flight aboard A320 aircraft. Competition comes from Mandarin Airlines’ two flights a week and UNI Air’s weekly service.
- Delta Air Lines launched a new regional route on 7 September when the SkyTeam airline began flying 17 times weekly between Raleigh-Durham, NC (RDU) and Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) using 50-seat CRJ200s operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines. Competition on the route comes from Southwest’s 40 flights a week. Teresa Damiano, RDU’s director of marketing, commented: “RDU welcomes Delta’s additional service to BWI. BWI is a very important and convenient alternative to the Washington, D.C. area. We appreciate the fact that Delta values the RDU market and seeks new ways to support air service for our region.”
Celebrating the new Eastern Airways service to Stavanger in Norway at Glasgow Airport were Tom Rice, Head of Marketing at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau; Kay Ryan, Commercial Director at Eastern Airways; and Francois Bourienne, Commercial Director at Glasgow Airport.
- Eastern Airways, the British regional airline, launched a new route from Glasgow (GLA) in Scotland to Stavanger (SVG) on Norway’s west coast on 12 September. This is the airline’s third route to the Norwegian oil city after flights from Aberdeen and Newcastle. A weekly service from Glasgow is operated non-stop, while two further flights a week are operated via Aberdeen. 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft are used on the route.
- EuroLOT, the regional subsidiary of LOT Polish Airlines, launched a new Polish domestic route on 12 September. The airline now flies between Krakow (KRK) in the south of the country and Poznan (POZ) in the west. Flights operate six times weekly; twice-daily on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Initially, the equipment used is 46-seat ATR42s, but 64-seat ATR72 aircraft will be deployed on the route later this year. This is the first time the two airports are connected non-stop since Jet Air dropped its service last year.
- IndiGo, the Indian low-cost carrier that just began operating internationally, launched its second international route on 8 September. From Delhi (DEL), the airline now flies daily to Thailand’s capital Bangkok (BKK) with its 180-seat A320s. The airline faces considerable competition on the route, although only one other low-cost carrier. Thai Airways operates twice-daily, while daily flights are operated by Air India, Cathay Pacific, Thai AirAsia, Kingfisher, and Jet Airways. Philippine Airlines operates an additional three flights a week. This is IndiGo’s first route to the Thai capital, but the low-cost airline already plans flights from Mumbai and Kolkata as well. The airline expects the new route will bring predominantly Indians travelling to Thailand for leisure.
There were no celebrations in Poznan for the arrival of Jetisfaction, but the airport had this picture taken of the Saab 340 aircraft after its arrival from Münster/Osnabrück, before continuing to Wroclaw.
- Jetisfaction, the airline analysed this week, continued to grow its scheduled network. After the route launch reported on last week, the German regional airline continued expanding with further routes on 6 September. From Münster/Osnabrück (FMO) in northwest Germany, the airline now flies twice-weekly to Poznan (POZ) in western Poland, continuing onward to Wroclaw (WRO) in the southwest of the country. From Wroclaw, the airline also began operating twice-weekly to Zurich (ZRH) in Switzerland, thereby connecting the airline’s almost circular route network.
Ningbo in eastern China is Jetstar Asia’s fifth destination in Mainland China from Singapore. The airline crew was given a warm welcome to the city with a traditional banner and flowers.
- Jetstar Asia launched its fifth route to Mainland China on 9 September when the Singapore (SIN) based low-cost carrier began serving Ningbo (NGB) in eastern China. The operator of 180-seat A320s already serves Hangzhou, Guilin, Shantou and Haikou in Mainland China. The new route will initially be operated three times weekly, but frequencies increase to four flights a week at the start of the winter season.
- Kunming Airlines, the local airline at the capital of China’s Yunnan Province – Kunming (KMG), which is the airport analysed this week – launched three new routes in the last week with its single fleet of 737-700s. On 10 September, the airline began operating from its home base in the southwest of the country via Tianjin (TSN) in the northeast of China to Changchun (CGQ) in Manchuria. Flights operate twice-weekly and compete on the first sector with Shanghai Airlines’ and Air China’s each daily flights and on the second sector with Sichuan Airlines’ daily service and Tianjin Airlines’ five flights a week. The following day, Kunming Airlines extended its services to Nanning (NNG) in southern China to continue to Hefei (HFE) in the east. The twice-weekly flights compete with Tianjin Airlines’ daily service. On 12 September, Kunming Airlines launched a twice-weekly service from Kunming (KMG) to Ningbo (NGB), competing with China Eastern’s and Sichuan Airlines’ each daily flights. Each of the routes will operate temporarily during September only, with the Nanning-Hefei route that also operates in October.
Here’s a launch ceremony we have never seen before! Yancheng City Government sent a delegation to the opening ceremony held at the Novotel in Taipei. The dignitaries appear to each pour a bottle of red wine into an ice sculpture.
- Mandarin Airlines was one of three airlines to begin flying between Taipei (TPE) in Taiwan and Yancheng (YNZ) in eastern Mainland China on 7 September. The regional subsidiary of China Airlines now flies the route twice-weekly with 158-seat 737-800s, competing with each weekly services on China Eastern and UNI Air.
- Pegasus Airlines, the Turkish low-cost carrier, launched its second route to the Ukraine on 6 September. From its base at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), the airline now flies three times weekly to Donetsk (DOK) in eastern Ukraine with 189-seat 737-800s. Indirect competition at Istanbul Atatürk Airport comes from Turkish Airlines’ four weekly flights and two flights a week on Aerosvit.
- REDjet, the Caribbean low-cost carrier, expanded its network on 12 September when the airline launches a new route outside of its home country Barbados by adjoining two dots in its network. From Port of Spain (POS), the capital of Trinidad & Tobago, REDjet now flies its 149-seat MD80s three times weekly to Georgetown (GEO), the capital of Guyana. From 2 October, frequencies will increase to four times weekly. Competition comes from Caribbean Airlines’ 33 flights a week.
- Southwest launched two new routes out of Milwaukee, WI (MKE) on 6 September, using its 137-seat 737-700s. The airline now flies twice-daily to St Louis, MO (STL), competing with Frontier’s 12 flights a week, and daily to Denver, CO (DEN) in competition with Frontier’s 37, United’s 14 and subsidiary AirTran’s also seven flights a week.
An Elvis cake was baked to welcome the low-cost airline Spirit Airlines to San Diego from Las Vegas. Flanked by Angela Shafer-Payne, the airport’s VP Operations, Misty Pinson, Spirit Airlines’ Director of Corporate Communications, spoke to the gathered crowd. (Photos: Roy Ang)
- Spirit Airlines continued launching new routes to California from Las Vegas, NV (LAS), as the airline began serving San Diego, CA (SAN) from Sin City on 7 September. Flights now operate twice-daily, competing with Southwest’s 81 flights a week, but Spirit will increase frequencies to three times daily already next week, on 22 September. Spirit Airlines operates 145-seat A319s on the route.
- Tiger Airways launched flights to its second Filipino destination after Manila on 7 September, when the airline began operating four times weekly from its Singapore (SIN) base to Cebu (CEB) with its 180-seat A320s. The low-cost airline has already indicated that frequencies soon are to increase to daily. Competition on the route comes from Cebu Pacific’s daily and Silk Air’s five weekly flights.
- UNI Air was one of three airlines to launch services between Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) in Taiwan and Yancheng (YNZ) in Mainland China on 7 September. The EVA Air subsidiary flies the route once a week with its MD90 aircraft, competing with Mandarin Airlines’ twice-weekly and China Eastern’s weekly services.
- Wizz Air Ukraine launched two new Spanish routes from its Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) base – the operations analysed in this week’s airline analysis – on 6 September. With its 180-seat A320s, the low-cost airline now flies three times weekly to Girona (GRO) and twice-weekly to Valencia (VLC). On the Girona route, indirect competition from Kiev’s main airport at Borispol comes from Windrose Aviation seasonally only.
Other celebrations in the last week
Last Monday, Ryanair welcomed its 4-millionth passenger at Ireland West Airport Knock and the airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary personally went to welcome her. He is here seen with the lucky passenger, sister Maude Murphy from Knock, and the airport’s chairman Liam Scollan.
Kevin Schorr, VP Air Service Development at InterVISTAS Consulting, shared this picture with us. It is not to celebrate a new route launch, but for his son’s birthday! What a happy birthday it must have been for Andrew with such a birthday cake!
At Belfast International, there were celebrations for easyJet’s announcement that frequencies on the Amsterdam route increase from daily to ten weekly on 6 November. Terry O’Connell from Dublin, easyJet crew manager Heather Clarke and Kevin McCarthy from Comber celebrated.
First phase open: Miami International Airport’s new mover system now brings passengers between the terminal and car rental centre and this landmark event was celebrated with a magnificent cake!
Brussels South Charleroi Airport celebrates its 20th anniversary and as part of the celebrations, the airport released its ‘anthem’ composed by local artist DJ Joss – here seen with the airport’s CEO Jean-Jacques Cloquet (left). All profits from album sales go to charity. See the music video and listen to the song on YouTube.