New airline routes launched (4 – 10 October 2011)

Route of the Week: SpiceJet’s Hyderabad to

In Trivandrum (or Thiruvananthapuram), SpiceJet’s CEO Neil Mills and COO S Natrajhen held a press conference for the new routes. Notably, this is the first time the two cities of Hyderabad and Trivandrum are connected by air. To mark the occasion, the lamp was lit by the airport director and local members of parliament.

  • SpiceJet continued expanding its domestic, regional network with its Q400 aircraft. On 6 October, the Indian low-cost carrier launched three routes. From Hyderabad (HYD), the airline now flies daily to Chennai (MAA), competing with Jet Airways’ 35, Kingfisher’s 20, IndiGo’s 20 and Air India’s 14 weekly services. From there, the airline continues five times weekly to Kochi (COK). Competition on the latter route comes from Jet Airways’ twice-daily and Air India’s daily flights as well as Kingfisher’s two flights a week. SpiceJet also launched a new route that faces no competition. From Hyderabad, the airline now flies daily to Thiruvananthapuram (TRV), also known as Trivandrum. This route is – at 985 kilometres – almost twice as long as the other two routes launched by the airline the same day.

Cake of the Week: Qatar Airways’ Doha to Oslo

As the first passengers disembarked the Qatar Airways aircraft in Norway’s capital Oslo, there was instantly a welcoming. Avinor's CEO Dag Falk-Petersen is seen with Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ VP Europe Paul Johannes and Oslo Airport’s managing director Nic Nilsen. Even a children’s choir was eager to welcome the new route to Norway.

  • Qatar Airways continued expanding in Scandinavia, connecting its Doha (DOH) hub with the third and final of the Scandinavian capitals; Oslo (OSL). The airline operates the route five times weekly with 260-seat A330-200 aircraft. Oslo’s only other Middle Eastern route is Norwegian’s seasonal service to Dubai; however, other long haul routes bound to experience the competition are Pakistan International Airlines’ Islamabad service catering for Norway’s large Pakistani population and Thai Airways’ Bangkok route. Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker commented: “We are delighted to add this vibrant, scenic city of Oslo to our global route network, further strengthening our operations in Scandinavia and clearly proving how important this dynamic travel market is for Qatar Airways. We now operate 19 flights a week across three Scandinavian cities making Qatar Airways the biggest Gulf carrier in the Nordic market.” He then added: “Qatar Airways already had significant traffic from Norway via the neighbouring cities we serve of Stockholm and Copenhagen before even starting our direct operations to Oslo.”

The rest of this week’s new routes

Celebrating the reinstatement of services between the capitals of Mexico and Venezuela: Carlos Pujalte Piñeiro, Mexican Ambassador to Venezuela; Mario Rosas Martínez, Aeroméxico’s director international sales, and Trino Alcides Díaz, Venezuelan Ambassador to Mexico. Rosas Martínez then spoke to the gathered dignitaries, flanked by Fernando Godinez, first secretary and public relations attaché, Mexican Embassy to Venezuela.

  • AeroMexico launched another new route on 10 October that was previously operated by Mexicana until the airline’s demise in August last year. AeroMexico now flies daily from Mexico City (MEX) to the capital of VenezuelaCaracas (CCS) – with 737-700s. The airline has previously stated interest in operating this very route, but the bilateral only permits single designation, having made entry impossible for AeroMexico during Mexicana’s operation of the route.

  • Air Finland relaunched services between Helsinki (HEL) and Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus on 7 October. The leisure carrier last operated the route in 2007-2008. Flights now operate weekly with the airline’s 219-seat 757-200s, but only until November, resulting in six return trips in total. Finnair operated the same route February through April this year.

Harm Kreulen, Air France KLM’s director Netherlands, cut the ‘ribbon’ for the new route between Marseille and Eindhoven with Joost Meijs, CEO Eindhoven Airport. This is Air France’s second route at Eindhoven after its subsidiary CityJet’s route to London City.

  • Air France continued its expansion out of Marseille Provence (MRS), as detailed in last week’s airline analysis. On 4 October, the French national carrier launched three weekly flights to Eindhoven (EIN) in the Netherlands and the following day, a twice-weekly service was launched to Prague (PRG), the capital of the Czech Republic. Both new routes are operated with 172-seat A320s. The Eindhoven route is operated in competition with Ryanair’s twice-weekly flights, while the Prague route faces competition from Czech Airlines’ four flights a week, but only until the start of the winter season, when Air France’s Czech SkyTeam partner drops the route.

  • Arik Air expanded its network out of Lagos (LOS) on 4 October when the Nigerian airline launched two weekly flights to Angola’s capital Luanda (LAD). Flights are operated with 148-seat 737-800 aircraft and reinstate services on the route that have been left unserved since 1987 when it was dropped by Balkan Bulgarian Airlines.

GoAir’s new routes from were celebrated at Delhi International Airport by Bhupesh Joshi, Terminal Operations Officer, along with his team, Go Air officials and CISF. Joshi lit the lamp for the new routes to wish them the best of luck.

In Ranchi, the airport director cut the ribbon for GoAir’s new service operating from Delhi via Kolkata. The traditional lamp was also lit for the new route.

Also in Kolkata, a lamp was lit for GoAir’s new route.

  • GoAir, the Indian low-cost carrier, launched its first new routes since October last year when it now began operating three new services on 8 October. Each route is operated daily with the airline’s 180-seat A320s. From Delhi (DEL), the airline now operates to Kolkata (CCU) and Ranchi (IXR), and from Kolkata, a new route was launched to Port Blair (IXZ). On all three routes, GoAir faces competition. Between Delhi and Kolkata, Air India operates 35 times a week, IndiGo 34, SpiceJet 28, Jet Airways 20, Kingfisher 14, and JetLite 14, while the Ranchi route is operated in competition with Air India’s 13 flights a week as well as each daily flights on Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways. Between Kolkata and Port Blair, Air India and JetLite also operate each daily.

  • Hawaiian Airlines launched its second route to Las Vegas, NV (LAS) on 3 October when the airline began operating twice-weekly from Kahului, HI (OGG) on the island of Maui. The airline, which already serves ‘Sin City’ from Honolulu, operates 264-seat 767-300 aircraft on the route. While most of the airline’s routes rely on leisure traffic to Hawaii, it states that the new route is aimed at Maui-originating traffic to Las Vegas: “Hawaiian initiated the new service in response to demand from Maui residents and designed the flight schedule for their convenience”.

The ribbon for IndiGo’s new route from Mumbai to Muscat was cut by IndiGo’s president Aditya Ghosh and Gautam Broota, CEO Muscat International Services, while the airline’s CCO Sanjay Kumar (right) looked on. Two cakes were baked for the airline’s entry to Oman – one for the route and one for the partnership with Muscat International Services.

  • IndiGo, which recently began operating internationally, continued expanding out of Mumbai (BOM) on 10 October with its 180-seat A320s. The Indian low-cost airline now flies daily to Singapore (SIN), complementing its recently launched Delhi flights, in competition with Singapore Airlines’ twice-daily services and each daily flights on Air India, Kingfisher and Jet Airways, as well as thrice-weekly flights on Qantas. The second route to be launched that day by IndiGo was to Muscat (MCT) in Oman, which notably is IndiGo’s first international destination to be launched with a Mumbai route before Delhi services. Competition to IndiGo’s four weekly flights comes from Oman Air’s twice-daily and Jet Airways’ daily flights.

  • Ural Airlines, the Russian airline analysed this week, launched four new international routes in the last week – all with 159-seat A320 aircraft. Three of the routes are from Chelyabinsk (CEK) south of the airline’s home base in Yekaterinburg, and one from Nizhniy Novgorod (GOJ) east of Moscow. The routes to Dubai (DXB) and Harbin (HRB) in northeast China each operate weekly, while the Vienna (VIE) service is operated twice a week.
Date Origin Destination WF*
07-Oct-11 Chelyabinsk (CEK) Dubai (DXB) 1
05-Oct-11 Chelyabinsk (CEK) Harbin (HRB) 1
05-Oct-11 Chelyabinsk (CEK) Vienna (VIE) 2
04-Oct-11 Nizhniy Novgorod (GOJ) Dubai (DXB) 1
*WF: Weekly Frequency

  • UTair, the Russian airline analysed last month, launched a new route to Tel Aviv (TLV) in Israel on 5 October. The airline, which already serves the Israeli airport from Samara, now also flies weekly from Ufa (UFA) between the river Volga and the Ural Mountains. The flights, which are operated with 737-500s, are, however, operated four times only, with no operations scheduled for the winter season.


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