New airline routes (1 – 7 November 2011)

Click here to download the new routes spreadsheet

Route of the Week:
Mandarin Airlines’ Taichung to Hanoi


Mandarin Airlines launches four new routes

Mandarin Airlines’ three weekly flights – on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays – between Taichung in Taiwan and Vietnam’s capital Hanoi were celebrated at the Taiwanese airport. After Ho Chi Minh City, this is the airline’s second route to Vietnam from Taichung. The airline cites Taiwanese companies’ investments, manufacturing and business links with Vietnam as the main reason for the route.

  • Mandarin Airlines, China Airlines’ regional subsidiary, launched four new routes in the last week – three across the Taiwan Strait and one to Vietnam. From Kaohsiung (KHH), the airline competes with TransAsia on the route to Changsha (CSX). The twice-weekly service is operated with parent airline China Airlines’ A330-300s. The remaining three routes are from Taichung (RMQ) and are all operated with the airline’s single fleet of 104-seat E-190 aircraft. Three flights a week are operated to the Vietnamese capital Hanoi (HAN), while Wuhan (WUH) and Zhengzhou (CGO) are served each weekly.

Cake of the Week:

Vote for your Cake of the Week!

The rest of this week’s new routes


If you didn’t know where Kerry was before you saw this cake, you will know now, as pointed out by Maedhbh Daly (aged 5) from Knockaderry National School, Farranfore, Co. Kerry. Cutting the cake were Kerry Airport chairman Denis Cregan and Aer Arann chairman Padraig O’Ceidigh, flanked by cabin crew members Karen McCarthy and Melanie Fitzgerald.

  • AerArann connected the Irish capital Dublin (DUB) with Kerry (KIR) in the southwest of the country on 3 November. The airline flies the route twice-daily with ATR72 aircraft. This makes AerArann the second airline in Kerry, after only Ryanair. The route between Kerry and Dublin was last also operated by Ryanair until the airline dropped its services in September this year. Prior to Ryanair taking up the Public Service Obligation (PSO) route in 2008, Aer Arann was the operator of the route.

  • Aeroflot continued expanding its Asian network, on 1 November relaunching flights to Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo (CMB) from its Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) hub. The route is operated twice-weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, during the winter season with the airline’s 218-seat 767-300ERs. This is the only non-stop service between Russia and Sri Lanka since Aeroflot dropped the same route in 2004, but SriLankan Airlines also operates a twice-weekly stopping service between Colombo and Moscow Domodedovo, via Dubai. Please note that we now have additional pictures from last week’s Aeroflot launch to Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Air Arabia has introduced flights to its sixth destination in Saudi Arabia, Yanbu (YNB) from its base at Sharjah (SHJ). Flights will operate three times weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday using an A320. Yanbu, a major Red Sea port on Saudi Arabia’s western coast, joins Dammam, Gassim, Jeddah, Medinah and Riyadh in the airline’s portfolio of Saudi Arabian routes, and becomes the airline’s 51st destination from Sharjah. Back in January, flydubai became the first local LCC to serve Yanbu when it began offering six weekly flights from its Dubai hub. Since then, it has reduced its offering to just three weekly flights.

  • Air Europa launched two new routes out of Madrid (MAD) with its 122-seat E-195 aircraft last week. The Spanish SkyTeam carrier then began serving Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Amsterdam (AMS), each twice-daily, from the Spanish capital. The airline faces considerable competition on both routes; to Amsterdam from KLM’s 35, Iberia’s 21 and easyJet’s 12 flights a week as well as Vueling’s daily services and even Korean Air’s three flights a week, while the Milan Malpensa route is operated in competition with Iberia’s 26 flights a week and easyJet’s 19 weekly services.

  • Air France relaunched services to Cape Town (CPT) in South Africa from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on 31 October. The airline now complements its sister airline KLM’s daily operations from Amsterdam by operating three times weekly from Paris with 309-seat 777-200 aircraft during the northern winter season. Pierre Descazeaux, Air France-KLM’s SVP Africa and Middle East, said: “There is a lot of traffic from Europe and France in particular to Cape Town during our winter months. If demand remains high, we will consider keeping the flight for longer periods. This is an initial trial period but forward bookings indicate demand is very high. We’re very happy to be back in Cape Town.” Although this is the first time the two airports are connected with a non-stop service, Air France did operate the route via Johannesburg between 1993 and 1999.

  • airberlin has introduced four new routes from two of its non-hub airports, Saarbrücken (SCN) and Stuttgart (STR). Despite claiming that its future network strategy would be based around four main hubs in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Palma and Vienna, it seems the airline can’t resist looking for new niche markets to exploit from some of its regional airports in Germany. So this week has seen the launch of weekly flights from Saarbrücken to Las Palmas (LPA) in Gran Canaria using an A319, and four-times weekly domestic flights to Nuremberg (NUE), also using an A319. Until now, airberlin’s only routes from Saarbrücken (close to the French border) have been to its bases in Berlin Tegel and Palma de Mallorca. Last year, Saarbrücken Airport handled just over 490,000 passengers, but in the first nine months of 2011, terminal passenger numbers are down 4.4%, compared with growth of 5.8% across all German airports, according to ADV statistics. Meanwhile, from Stuttgart, the future oneworld alliance member has launched two new routes to the Canary Islands; weekly flights to Lanzarote (ACE) using an A320, and twice-weekly flights to Fuerteventura (FUE) using 737-800s, bringing to 23 the number of destinations served from Stuttgart by Germany’s second-biggest airline.

As Allegiant Air began serving Lafayette in Louisiana from ‘Sin City’, Elvis and Allegiant’s showgirl posed with Kelly Strenge, public relations manager Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, and Paul Guilbeau, chairman Lafayette Airport Commission.

  • Allegiant Air has added two new airports to its US network this week. Lafayette (LFT) in Louisiana is now connected twice-weekly to Las Vegas, NV (LAS), while Saginaw (MBS) in Michigan now offers twice-weekly flights to Orlando Sanford, FL (SFB). Both of these new airports are classic ‘commuter’ airports whose main services are to hubs, operated with 50-seat aircraft. Lafayette has multiple daily flights to Atlanta (Delta), Dallas/Fort Worth (American) and Houston (Continental), while Saginaw has hub-feeding flights to Detroit and Minneapolis/St Paul (both with Delta) and Chicago O’Hare (United). Commenting on the Saginaw route announcement back in mid-August, Andrew Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said: “We’re pleased to bring an affordable and convenient travel option to Saginaw. We are confident the Saginaw community and the entire Tri-Cities region of Michigan will appreciate flying nonstop to Orlando and take advantage of the great deals we offer on hotels, car rentals and theme park tickets.” Lafayette Airport Commission Chairman Paul Guilbeau added: “Las Vegas has consistently been one of the top destinations for our airport’s travellers. Our Director of Aviation, Greg Roberts, targeted what we believe to be the best carrier to bring Las Vegas service to Lafayette Regional Airport and made the case for our community. Our airport commission and airport employees are excited that Allegiant has decided to expand nonstop service to Lafayette. We look forward to seeing how well people who fly from Lafayette will respond and we thank Allegiant for bringing service to Acadiana.”

  • Avianca, the Colombian flag carrier merged with Central American TACA, expanded its South American network on 4 November when the airline relaunched services from its Bogotà (BOG) hub to Rio de Janeiro (GIG). This is the airline’s second route to Brazil after twice-daily flights to São Paulo. Flights on the new 4,500-kilometre route are operated three times weekly with A330-200 aircraft. The last time the route was served was in 1999, then also by Avianca.

China Airlines now flies every Friday between Taipei in Taiwan and Dalian in Mainland China with 307-seat A330-300s. Dalian is China Airlines’ 24th destination in Mainland China. In total, the airline operates 103 flights a week across the Taiwan Strait.

China Airlines now flies every Friday between Taipei in Taiwan and Dalian in Mainland China with 307-seat A330-300s. Dalian is China Airlines’ 24th destination in Mainland China. In total, the airline operates 103 flights a week across the Taiwan Strait.

  • China Airlines has launched five new routes from across Taiwan in the last week. Four of the routes are to Mainland China and one to the capital of Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur (KUL). The two routes from Taiwan’s capital airport Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) both face competition. See the downloadable spreadsheet for full details.

Cutting the cake to celebrate Condor’s new route to Kenya’s capital Nairobi from Frankfurt were Rosemary Owino, Counsellor of the Kenyan Embassy to Germany; Uwe Balser, Managing Director Condor Airlines; Monika Powik, Condor flight attendant; Rainer Ruppel, Fraport SVP ramp/passenger services; and Lucia-Maria Beitlich, Condor flight attendant.

Cutting the ribbon for Condor’s new route to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic from Austria’s capital Vienna were Achim Lameyer, Condor Airlines’ VP Sales; Julia Günthner, Condor flight attendent; Petra Cruz-Deyerling, European Director of the Dominican Republic Tourism Authorities; Ramón Quiñones, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Austria; and Julian Jäger, Vienna Airport’s COO. Lameyer and Cruz-Deyerling then cut the cake, assisted by ambassador Quiñones. (Photos: Thomas Gamharter/Flughafen Wien AG)

  • Condor, the German leisure airline owned by Thomas Cook Group, has started two new African routes from its Frankfurt (FRA) base during the last week. Last Tuesday (1 November) saw the introduction of weekly flights to Banjul (BJL) in Gambia using a 757-300 and last Friday (4 November), the airline launched twice-weekly year-round flights to Nairobi (NBO) in Kenya, departing Frankfurt on Mondays and Fridays. However, Kenya has only granted traffic rights for the first half of November, although according to the airline, on-going negotiations between Germany and Kenya should hopefully be completed this week. This is the first time there is a non-stop service between Germany and the Kenyan capital since Lufthansa dropped its Frankfurt route in 1999. Meanwhile in Austria, Condor on 2 November launched weekly scheduled flights on Wednesdays from Vienna (VIE) to Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic, a destination it currently serves five times weekly from Frankfurt.

  • CSA Czech Airlines launched its third route out of Karlovy Vary (KLV) in western Czech Republic on 2 November. The SkyTeam carrier now flies once a week to Samara (KUF) on the Volga in Russia with 128-seat A319 aircraft, adding to the airline’s also Russian services to Moscow and St Petersburg. The service complements the airline’s four weekly flights to Samara from its Prague hub. Czech regional airports increasingly capture traffic between the Czech Republic and Russia as the demand is greater than what the restrictive bilateral agreement permits to and from Prague. At the time of the new route’s announcement, Czech Airlines’ VP sales and marketing Jiří Marek said: “Right now, we’re working on further business developments including the launch of several new routes in Eastern Europe over the next 12 months in strict adherence to our principles of gradual change in Czech Airlines’ route network.”

Czech Connect Airlines is new to Pardubice from where it now flies once a week to Moscow Domodedovo. (Photo: Petr Hunacek)

Czech Connect Airlines is new to Pardubice from where it now flies once a week to Moscow Domodedovo. (Photo: Petr Hunacek)

  • Czech Connect Airlines continued expanding its network from Czech regional airports to Russia by launching a service between Pardubice (PED) east of Prague and Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 5 November. The weekly service, which is Czech Connect’s first at Pardubice, is operated with 148-seat 737-300 aircraft. Competition comes from Transaero’s four flights a week.

  • Delta Air Lines resumed flights between Boston, MA (BOS) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ) on 6 November, having previously operated the route 1996-1999. The airline now flies twice-daily with 50-seat CRJ200s operated by Pinnacle Airlines, competing with Air Canada’s 52 flights a week and American Airlines’ 26 weekly services.

  • easyJet has launched four-times weekly flights between its bases in Manchester (MAN) and Madrid (MAD). The service operates on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using a Manchester-based A319. Competition is provided by Iberia (daily flights with CRJ1000s that started last week) and Ryanair (four weekly flights with a 189-seat 737-800, which launched in April 2011). Prior to this year, the last carrier to serve the Manchester – Madrid route was bmibaby, which operated four weekly flights in the summer of 2008.

  • Edelweiss Air, Swiss’ leisure subsidiary, launched a new service to Cape Town (CPT) on 1 November. The twice-weekly service from Zurich (ZRH) is operated with 285-seat A330-200s, complementing its parent airline’s year-round Johannesburg flights.

Mohammed A Ahli, Director General Dubai CAA, and Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ EVP Passenger Sales Worldwide, cut the cake during the reception at St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport. This is Emirates’ second Russian destination after Moscow.

  • Emirates launched its second route to Russia on 1 November when the airline connected its Dubai (DXB) hub with St Petersburg (LED). The daily service on board a mixture of A340-300s and A330-200s complements the airline’s twice-daily Moscow Domodedovo flights. Competition on the new route comes from Rossiya’s twice-weekly flights. Sergey Emdin, Director General of Northern Capital Gateway, commented: “Flights to the Northern Capital, launched by one of the world’s largest airlines, supports Pulkovo’s route network expansion, offering our customers an opportunity to travel all around the globe in comfort with Emirates.”

Etihad was welcomed to Male in the Maldives where a ribbon was cut for the airline’s new Abu Dhabi route.

The next day, the routine was the same for another Indian Ocean island nation. Etihad now also flies to Mahé in the Seychelles.

  • Etihad expanded its Abu Dhabi (AUH) network with new routes to two island nations in the Indian Ocean in the last week. On 1 November, the airline began operating daily to Malé (MLE) in the Maldives and the following day, the airline launched four weekly flights to the Seychelles (SEZ). Both new routes are served with A320 aircraft.

Donegal Airport and Loganair management celebrated the new routes in the airport terminal before joining crew; first officer Mark Millar, cabin crew Geraldine Parker and captain Robin Freeman.

  • Flybe franchise partner Loganair has replaced Aer Arann as the only scheduled carrier serving Donegal (CFN) in the north-west corner of Ireland. However, the routes served remain unchanged; Glasgow (GLA) and Dublin (DUB). Glasgow is served initially with three weekly flights (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), increasing to daily next summer, while Dublin is connected twice daily. The Dublin route was awarded to Loganair by the Irish government, which supports the route under a three-year PSO (Public Service Obligation) contract. Both routes are now operated by Loganair’s 34-seat Saab 340B aircraft. When Aer Arann operated the routes, a larger 48-seat ATR 42-300 was used. However, Glasgow was then only served with three weekly flights. Speaking at the launch of the new routes Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s COO, said: “We’re delighted to be launching our new services in Donegal today. We’ve seen a huge surge in bookings as the launch date has approached, and it’s very clear that the travelling public in Donegal are keen to secure the very best deals for trips to Dublin. I’m confident that the mix of competitive fares, full service and Loganair’s customary reliability will prove popular, and we very much look forward to serving Donegal for years to come.” Welcoming the new carrier, Anne Bonner, Donegal Airport’s MD, said: “We are looking forward to working with the Loganair team to continue to provide flights to Dublin and Glasgow over the next three years. Loganair is a long established airline and we have no doubt they will deliver a good reliable service to their Donegal customers.”

flydubai was welcomed to Tbilisi with a cake showing the landmarks of Dubai as well as the Georgian capital; the Burj Al Arab and the Bridge of Peace.

Exchanging gifts at the press conference for flydubai’s new route were Vera Kobalia, Georgian minister of economy; Jamal Al Hai, Dubai Airports’ ESVP communications & international affairs; and Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO flydubai.

Exchanging gifts at the press conference for flydubai’s new route were Vera Kobalia, Georgian minister of economy; Jamal Al Hai, Dubai Airports’ ESVP communications & international affairs; and Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO flydubai.

  • flydubai, which only celebrated its second birthday back in June, has launched twice-weekly 737-800 flights to Tbilisi (TBS), the capital of Georgia, from its Dubai (DXB) hub. The airline now serves 45 destinations non-stop from Dubai and will be competing on the Tbilisi route with Georgian Airways, which also operates two weekly flights. Announcing the route back in September, flydubai’s CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “We are grateful to the Georgian authorities for welcoming flydubai into Tbilisi. As Georgia’s largest city as well as its industrial, social, and cultural centre, Tbilisi is gaining prominence in the Middle East both as a business and leisure destination. Also, improving air links between Dubai to Central and Eastern Europe is of great strategic importance to us. There are more than 55,000 expatriates from this region residing in the UAE and more than a million tourists visiting the emirates every year. We hope our network of direct flights will play a part in making travel between the UAE and Central and Eastern Europe easier and more affordable.” Other carriers to have launched new routes to the Georgian capital this year include Air Astana (from Almaty) and China Southern (from Ürümqi), while next February will see Qatar Airways launch daily flights from Doha via Baku in Azerbaijan.

  • Frontier Airlines has launched two new routes from Kansas City, MO (MCI), a focus city for the airline. Since last Tuesday, Frontier has been operating daily flights to Houston Hobby, TX (HOU), using 99-seat E-190s. Flights depart Kansas City at 09:10 arriving in Houston at 11:00. Return flights depart Houston at 11:30 arriving back in Kansas City at 13:15. Indirect competition comes from Continental, which operates over 50 weekly flights between Kansas City and Houston Intercontinental Airport. This is Frontier’s second route to Houston Hobby as it already serves the airport three times daily from Denver. Frontier’s other new route from Kansas City is to Las Vegas, NV (LAS), which it will operate six times weekly (daily except Saturday) using 138-seat A319s. Direct competition on this route comes from Southwest which flies the route four times daily. In the first three-quarters of 2011 passenger numbers at Kansas City International Airport are up 2.3% to 7.57 million. In September, Frontier was the third biggest airline at the airport with 14.4% of enplaned passengers, behind Southwest (36.8%) and Delta (18.6%).

Germania links Bremen to Madeira with weekly flights

Celebrating the new route to Madeira together with the Germania crew were Bremen Airport’s Daniela Langenhagen, Communications and Marketing, and Florian Kruse, Head of Public Relations and Marketing.

  • Germania, the German leisure airline, has started a new weekly service between Bremen (BRE) and Funchal (FNC) on Madeira in Portugal. Bremen, which became a Ryanair base in April 2007, has seen terminal passenger numbers fall by 3.1% in the first nine months of 2011, mostly as a result of Ryanair cutting capacity in response to the German government’s introduction of a departure tax at the beginning of the year. In contrast, Madeira Airport has seen passenger numbers grow by 5.6% in the period January to October.

  • germanwings, the low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa, has added four new links to Pristina (PRN) in Kosovo. The carrier already operates weekly flights from its four bases at Berlin Schönefeld, Cologne/Bonn, Hannover and Stuttgart, but from this winter it also has scheduled flights from Düsseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA), Hamburg (HAM) and Munich (MUC). These new routes operate weekly with A319s, except Düsseldorf and Munich that offer each three weekly flights. This marks the first international services operated by germanwings from Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. Last year, Pristina International Airport handled 1.3 million passengers. In the first half of 2011, demand was up just over 10%. Other new routes launched this year to Pristina include seasonal services from Gothenburg and Oslo (both operated by Norwegian) and year-round service to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (operated by Pegasus) and from Vienna, operated by airberlin subsidiary niki.

  • Hainan Airlines became the next Chinese airline to begin serving the Maldives on 1 November when the airline launched a new route between Beijing (PEK) and Male (MLE). Flights are operated twice-weekly with 767-300ER aircraft. Other Chinese airports currently having non-stop connections with Male are Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

What an artistic route launch photo! After the Air Nostrum aircraft from Madrid was welcomed to Glasgow by the airport fire department, flamenco dancer Louise Veitch joined the cabin crew and Amanda McMillan, MD Glasgow Airport, Glasgow Councillor Gordon Matheson and Frank Mitchell, CEO Scottish Power Energy Networks.

  • Iberia continued its expansion in the UK market. On 1 November, the airline’s regional partner Air Nostrum began operating twice-weekly – on Tuesdays and Thursdays – from the Spanish capital Madrid (MAD) to Scotland’s largest city Glasgow (GLA) with 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft. This is the first time the two airports are connected. Amanda McMillan, managing director at Glasgow Airport, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Iberia Regional to Glasgow Airport. The new route, a first for Glasgow, will not only provide direct access to Madrid but also provide our customers with greater access to the Iberia route network.” Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, continued: “I am delighted that Glasgow City Council’s Air Route Development Fund, which is managed by GCMB and is a key component of the city’s economic strategy, has helped secure this new service.”

  • jet4you, the Moroccan LCC that is owned by TUI Travel and operates a small fleet of 737s, has launched eight new scheduled routes between Morocco and France. From Agadir (AGA) the airline now flies to Bordeaux (BOD), Lyon (LYS), Marseille (MRS), Nantes (NTE) and Toulouse (TLS), while from Marrakech (RAK) the new routes are Bordeaux (BOD), Lyon (LYS) and Marseille (MRS). All routes operate between one and three times weekly. On all the new Marrakech routes, Royal Air Maroc competes directly, while easyJet competes on the Lyon route and Ryanair on the Marseille route.

Cutting the Caribbean beach themed cake for the new service from Copenhagen to St Croix in the US Virgin Islands – a route that would have been domestic a century ago – were Steen Albrechtsen, Head of Production at Albatros Travel, and Peder Hornshøj, CEO Bravo Tours. The gentlemen were then joined by Ole Wieth Christensen, Copenhagen Airport’s Director Airline Sales, and Karin Gert Nielsen, Managing Director US Virgin Island Tourism Scandinavia & Finland.

  • Jetairfly, the Belgian airline owned by TUI Travel, has launched scheduled weekly flights from Brussels Charleroi (CRL) to Oran (ORN) on Algeria’s north coast using a 737-700. Air Algerie is the biggest airline in Oran operating flights to 19 destinations (including 10 in Algeria and six in France) followed by Aigle Azur with seven. Another new service that started last week is from the Danish capital Copenhagen (CPH) to St Croix (STX) in the US Virgin Islands. This fortnightly service is not as unusual as it may seem as the US Virgin Islands used to be the Danish West Indies for hundreds of years until 1916.

The first KLM 777-200ER arriving in Rio de Janeiro was suitably named after the city. KLM previously used to operate the same route between 1986 and 2000.

  • KLM relaunched flights to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) on 1 November. The airline now flies three times weekly – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – to the Brazilian city from its Amsterdam (AMS) hub, using 318-seat 777-200ER aircraft. The Dutch airline, which already serves São Paulo, previously operated the route to Rio between 1986 and 2000. KLM’s CEO Peter Hartman commented: “Latin America is an emerging market. By adding Rio de Janeiro as KLM’s 9th destination in Latin America, we intend to greatly strengthen our position in this rapidly expanding region. Because Brazil is experiencing such strong economic growth we see Rio’s inclusion in the KLM network as beneficial to our business passengers. Foreign investment in the region is increasing strongly, fuelled by the growing oil and gas industry.”

  • Korean Air launched a new route to Koror (ROR) in the Pacific island nation of Palau from its Seoul Incheon (ICN) hub on 1 November. The two weekly flights are operated with the SkyTeam airline’s 737-800 aircraft and compete with Asiana’s four flights a week on the same route.

  • Lufthansa launched a new route to Klagenfurt (KLU) in southern Austria on 5 November, reinstating the Frankfurt (FRA) service dropped by its subsidiary Austrian Airlines in 2008 after having been operated for decades. Flights are now operated twice-weekly with Lufthansa CityLine’s 100-seat E-190 aircraft.

  • Monarch, the British leisure airline, launched two new scheduled routes to Sharm El-Sheikh (SSH) in Egypt, from London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN). From London, there will be three flights per week, from Manchester four. Both routes were previously operated by the airline as charter services. Competition on both routes is provided by easyJet, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. The airline recently announced that it intends to operate around 80% of its capacity next summer on scheduled services. This shift from charter to scheduled has been on-going for several years. UK CAA data for July 2010 and July 2011 shows that the share of passengers travelling on charter services fell from 39% to 23%. Total passenger numbers are down just under 1% to 740,000 in July. Last week, the airline announced 14 new routes starting next summer, nine of which are to Italy, three to Croatia (Dubrovnik) and two to Greece (Athens). Two additional A320s will be added to the fleet to facilitate this growth. Commenting on the expansion plans, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, Kevin George said: “The strategy for Monarch Airlines is now firmly focused on its scheduled operations and we are delighted to be adding these new routes to our already extensive network of leisure destinations across Europe. Adding Italy to our network will further reinforce our position as the leading leisure focused airline serving the Mediterranean and the Canaries. The addition of two new aircraft to the fleet is great news, and marks the start of our fleet expansion plans, which will see the fleet grow from 30 to around 40 aircraft in the medium term. In addition to growing our network, we are committed to providing high levels of care and service for our customers and are constantly striving for innovative ways of providing great value benefits for them at year-round low fares. The introduction of our discounted ‘Happy Hour’ cheap flights and our fight against unjust debit and credit card fees are examples of ways in which Monarch Airlines looks after its customers and we are excited about introducing these initiatives across our expanding network.”

  • Myanmar Airways International began serving the capital of Cambodia on 2 November as the airline extended its two weekly flights between Rangoon (RGN) and Siem Reap (REP) to continue to Phnom Penh (PNH). Flights are operated with A320 aircraft.

Sandefjord Airport Torp celebrated Norwegian’s second route from the airport with a cake. Malaga is now served once a week from the airport this winter, complementing the airline’s Alicante route and filling the gap after Ryanair, which only operates the route during summer.

Sandefjord Airport Torp celebrated Norwegian’s second route from the airport with a cake. Malaga is now served once a week from the airport this winter, complementing the airline’s Alicante route and filling the gap after Ryanair, which only operates the route during summer.

Cupcakes were served to the first passengers on Norwegian’s route from Gothenburg to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. Swedavia’s key account & development manager Johan Backlund spoke to the celebrating passengers as the first flight’s captain oversaw the ribbon being cut by two lucky passengers.

Norwegian is new in Turku in Finland, which the airline now serves four times a week from Stockholm Arlanda. Thanks to Juha-Matti Lavonen for the picture from his journey on the inaugural flight!

Norwegian is new in Turku in Finland, which the airline now serves four times a week from Stockholm Arlanda. Thanks to Juha-Matti Lavonen for the picture from his journey on the inaugural flight!

  • Norwegian has added a further six routes to its ever-expanding Scandinavian network. During the last week, it has added weekly, non-stop, ‘winter sun’ flights from Bodø (BOO) and Gothenburg Landvetter (GOT) to Gran Canaria (LPA), from Oslo (OSL) to Madeira (FNC) and from Sandefjord (TRF) to Malaga (AGP). The latter route, Norwegian’s second to Sandefjord 100 kilometres south of Oslo, is scheduled to be operated during winter, whereas the same route is operated by Ryanair during summer. Norwegian has also added Poznan (POZ) to its route network, introducing twice-weekly flights from Oslo (OSL) and making it the third LCC to serve the Polish airport after Ryanair and Wizz Air. Finally, Turku (TKU) in Finland is also a new destination for Norwegian, but this time served four times weekly from its Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) base. It will compete with Blue1’s 22 weekly flights between the two cities. Norwegian will thus join airBaltic, Blue1, Finnair, Flybe, SAS and Wizz Air in serving Finland’s fourth busiest airport (after Helsinki, Oulu and Tampere).

  • OLT Jetair, the Polish airline formed as a result of the merger of OLT of Germany and Jet Air of Poland, resumed the former OLT route between Bremen (BRE) in northwest Germany and Belgium’s capital Brussels (BRU) on 2 November. The 380-kilometre route, which previously was operated until May this year, is now flown nine times weekly with 18-seat Jetstream 32 aircraft.

As Qatar Airways arrived in Entebbe, the airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker was walked down the red carpet with Stephen Chemoiko Chebrot, Uganda’s transport minister. In his speech to more than 100 guests, Al Baker said: “Since we announced plans to serve Uganda with daily passenger flights, this new route has been highly anticipated by the travel trade, business community and the travelling public. I would like to stress that we are here to stay, building strong relationships with our business partners for the long term.”

Qatar Airways’ Chief Flight Operations Officer Captain Suhail Abdul Hameed Ismaeel, who flew on the inaugural service from Doha to Benghazi, is pictured sixth left, along with well wishers, including airport officials at Benghazi’s Benina International Airport. Qatar Airways now flies four flights a week to Libya’s second-largest city.

Qatar Airways’ Chief Flight Operations Officer Captain Suhail Abdul Hameed Ismaeel, who flew on the inaugural service from Doha to Benghazi, is pictured sixth left, along with well wishers, including airport officials at Benghazi’s Benina International Airport. Qatar Airways now flies four flights a week to Libya’s second-largest city.

  • Qatar Airways continued its fast network growth by launching flights to two new African destinations in the last week, both with 144-seat A320 aircraft. From its Doha (DOH) hub, the airline launched four weekly flights to Benghazi (BEN) in Libya on 1 November. This makes Qatar Airways the first airline to launch a new route to the airport after the Libyan civil war, whereas other airlines have resumed their previously operated routes. The following day, Qatar Airways added another new country market by launching daily flights to Entebbe (EBB) in Uganda. Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker commented: “I am extremely confident Entebbe will be just as successful as our other destinations in Africa and this will further strengthen our position across the Continent where we now operate to 16 cities from Doha.”

Ahead of Poland hosting Euro 2012 – the European football/soccer championship – Ryanair has launched a new route to Katowice in southern Poland from its new base in the British football city of Manchester – a fact that the Polish airport celebrated with a football stadium cake.

Malmö Airport’s airport director Peter Weinhandl invited passengers to celebrate with traditional Swedish ‘Princess Cake’ when Ryanair relaunched its route to the airport in southern Sweden from London Stansted.

At Oslo Rygge Airport, Ryanair’s new winter route launches – along with the announcement of six new routes next summer – were celebrated with two adjoined cakes.

At Oslo Rygge Airport, Ryanair’s new winter route launches – along with the announcement of six new routes next summer – were celebrated with two adjoined cakes.

Leipzig/Halle Airport is a new airport in Ryanair’s network. The airline now serves the airport in eastern Germany from both Rome Ciampino and London Stansted. Posing for the camera were Fabrizio Ferri, Ryanair’s Rome Ciampino base captain, and his crew along with Bettina Ganghofer, Managing Director PortGround, and Dierk Näther, Managing Director Leipzig/Halle Airport. (Photo: Uwe Schoßig)

Leipzig/Halle Airport is a new airport in Ryanair’s network. The airline now serves the airport in eastern Germany from both Rome Ciampino and London Stansted. Posing for the camera were Fabrizio Ferri, Ryanair’s Rome Ciampino base captain, and his crew along with Bettina Ganghofer, Managing Director PortGround, and Dierk Näther, Managing Director Leipzig/Halle Airport. (Photo: Uwe Schoßig)

Also at Brussels South Charleroi Airport, the new Ryanair route to Manchester was celebrated with a football theme. Ryanair’s crew posed with the airport’s Mélissa Milioto, PR & communication executive, and David Gering, commercial director aviation, PR & communication.

Also at Brussels South Charleroi Airport, the new Ryanair route to Manchester was celebrated with a football theme. Ryanair’s crew posed with the airport’s Mélissa Milioto, PR & communication executive, and David Gering, commercial director aviation, PR & communication.

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary was on site in Manchester to watch a flash mob get the terminal dancing as the airline launched its new base at the airport. See video from the event:

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary was on site in Manchester to watch a flash mob get the terminal dancing as the airline launched its new base at the airport. See video from the event

  • Ryanair has launched a ‘that’s more like it’ 22 new routes this week. A total of 24 different airports are involved (spread across 12 countries), with the leading country markets being UK (16 new routes), followed by Germany and Poland with six new routes each. The average weekly frequency of these 22 new routes is 3.7, with just four of the routes being launched with daily frequencies. These include a new daily service from London Stansted (STN) to Leipzig/Halle (LEJ), a new airport for Ryanair. Since 2003, Ryanair had been serving the Leipzig region by flying to Altenburg, but this service ended earlier this year. Over half of Ryanair’s new routes this week are from its new Manchester base. With the launch of another batch of new routes at the airport next summer, Ryanair will then serve 26 destinations from Manchester. The only new route this week not involving a base at either end of the route is Eindhoven (EIN) to Gdansk (GDN). With flights now to almost 30 destinations maybe the Dutch airport is destined to be Ryanair’s next base? A summary of all of this week’s new routes is shown in the following table.
Launch Base Destination WF
1 November Bristol (BRS) Katowice (KTW) 2
1 November Eindhoven (EIN)* Gdansk (GDN) 2
3 November Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Plovdiv (PDV) 2
2 November Leeds/Bradford (LBA) Kaunas (KUN)** 2
3 November London Stansted (STN) Leipzig/Halle (LEJ) 7
1 November London Stansted (STN) Malmö (MMX) 7
3 November Manchester (MAN) Bremen (BRE)** 3
2 November Manchester (MAN) Brussels Charleroi (CRL)** 7
1 November Manchester (MAN) Frankfurt Hahn (HHN)** 3
2 November Manchester (MAN) Girona (GRO)** 5
2 November Manchester (MAN) Katowice (KTW) 2
3 November Manchester (MAN) Malaga (AGP)** 3
3 November Manchester (MAN) Memmingen (FMM) 5
2 November Manchester (MAN) Milan Bergamo (BGY)** 7
4 November Manchester (MAN) Oslo Rygge (RYG)** 4
2 November Manchester (MAN) Paris Beauvais (BVA) 4
2 November Manchester (MAN) Rome Ciampino (CIA)** 4
4 November Manchester (MAN) Rzeszow (RZE) 2
1 November Oslo Rygge (RYG) Poznan (POZ) 2
1 November Rome Ciampino (CIA) Leipzig/Halle (LEJ) 3
1 November Rome Ciampino (CIA) Marseille (MRS) 3
1 November Rome Ciampino (CIA) Poznan (POZ) 2
Source: Ryanair WF: Weekly Frequency * Airport is not a designated base ** Airport is a designated base

  • S7 launched a new route between Vladivostok (VVO) in the Russian Far East and Hong Kong (HKG) on 2 November. This is the first time the two cities are connected. The Russian oneworld carrier now operates the 2,880-kilometre route once a week with A320 aircraft, but frequencies double to twice-weekly between 17 December and 21 January.

  • Sichuan Airlines launched two new stopping domestic services to Haikou (HAK) on the tropical island of Hainan on 1 November. Each flight operates three times weekly. From Changzhou (CZX) in the east of the country, the airline now flies via Zhuhai (ZUH) in the south, competing with Tianjin Airlines’ four weekly flights on the first sector and then with China Southern’s daily and Xiamen Airlines’ five weekly flights between Zhuhai and Haikou. The second new route is from Harbin (HRB) in the northeast of China, operating via Ningbo (NGB) in the east. From there to Haikou, Sichuan Airlines faces competition from Hainan Airlines’ 10 flights a week and a weekly service on Beijing Capital Airlines.

SkyWork arrives against the background of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport’s distinctive tower. Those real experts among you will notice that Dornier 328 equipment is being used to launch the route that will normally be operated by Q400s. We’d like to thank Nikola Djukic, BEG’s public relations manager, for these exclusive photos.

  • SkyWork connected the capitals of Switzerland and Serbia on 1 November when the Swiss airline began operating twice-weekly between Bern (BRN) and Belgrade (BEG). Q400 aircraft will usually be deployed on the route.

  • Starbow Airlines continued to expand its domestic Ghanaian network, launching five weekly flights between Accra (ACC) and Takoradi (TKD) on 7 November. The route is operated with the airline’s BAe 146 aircraft, competing with Antrak Air’s 20 flights a week.

SunExpress launches new route to Sharm El Sheikh from Munich

The SunExpress cabin and ground crew celebrated the new Sharm El Sheikh route with Andreas Stitterich, station manager AHS Aviation Handling Services; Daniel Stephan, Munich Airport; Özlem Topal, SunExpress station manager; Denise Dekker, first officer; Karl Kastin, captain; and Franziska Lohr, Munich Airport.

  • SunExpress launched a new service between Munich (MUC) in southern Germany and Sharm El-Sheikh (SSH) on Egypt’s Red Sea coast on 1 November. The joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, which as of this year also holds a German AOC, now flies twice-weekly with 189-seat 737-800s on the route, competing with Condor’s weekly flights.

  • Thai Airways launched a new route from the Thai resort island of Phuket (HKT) on 1 November. The Star Alliance member now serves the South Korean capital airport Seoul Incheon (ICN) where it connects with alliance partner Asiana. Flights operate three times weekly with A330-300s and compete with Korean Air’s daily flights, six flights a week on Asiana and a thrice-weekly service with Business Air.

  • Tiger Airways has launched its second new route to the Philippines in the space of two months, having served Manila for several years. In early September, the Singapore (SIN) based LCC began flying to Cebu and last week, it also began operating three weekly flights to Davao (DVO) using 180-seat A320s. The airport is the busiest on the island of Mindanao and Singapore is its only international service, currently served by Silk Air with two weekly flights. According to Philippine CAA statistics, the airline last year carried 21,009 passengers on the route. Tiger’s new service will more than double international capacity at the airport, which last year handled around 2.2 million passengers, of which just over 50% flew on Cebu Pacific flights.

TransAsia was welcomed to Nanning in southern China from Kaohsiung in Taiwan. The airline’s GM Chen Jia was interviewed by local media about the new weekly service.

TransAsia Airways’ GM Chen Jia celebrated the airline’s new route to Xuzhou with the city’s mayor Zhang Jinghua.

  • TransAsia Airways launched three new routes across the Taiwan Strait in the last week. From Taipei (TPE), the airline launched three weekly flights to Xuzhou (XUZ) on 1 November, competing with Shanghai Airlines’ four flights a week. The following two days, the airline continued by launching two routes from Kaohsiung (KHH); each weekly flights to Hefei (HFE) and Nanning (NNG). Both routes compete with Far Eastern’s flights; twice-weekly and weekly respectively.

Celebrating Turkish Airlines’ route launch to its sixth Iraqi destination were Atheel al-Nujaifi, Governor of Nineveh province, and Turkish Airlines’ CEO Dr Temel Kotil. After cutting the cake, al-Nujaifi was given an aircraft model by Kotil as a memory of the event.

  • Turkish Airlines, the airline analysed this week, continued growing its Iraqi network, on 3 November launching a new route from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub to Mosul (OSM), located in northern Iraq and the country’s third-largest city. The four weekly flights are operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays with 737-800 aircraft. Mosul thus becomes Turkish Airlines’ sixth Iraqi destination, meaning that no other airline serves more Iraqi airports than the Star Alliance member.

  • UNI Air launched a new route across the Taiwan Strait on 2 November. The EVA Air subsidiary now flies weekly between Taitung City (TTT) in southeast Taiwan and Nanjing (NKG) in eastern Mainland China with MD90 aircraft.

  • United relaunched a route previously operated by Continental on 6 November when the airline connected Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH) with Palm Springs, CA (PSP). Flights are operated 13 times weekly – twice-daily except Saturdays when a daily flight is operated – with SkyWest’s CRJ700 aircraft. Continental previously operated the route between 1999 and 2008.

  • Velvet Sky, the South African low-cost airline, launched three new domestic routes on 4 November. From its Durban (DUR) base as well as Cape Town (CPT), the airline now flies each four times weekly to Port Elizabeth (PLZ), competing from Durban with South African Airways’ (SAA) 37 weekly flights and a daily service on British Airways (Comair) and from Cape Town with SAA’s 51 weekly flights, BA’s daily service and six flights a week on 1time. The airline also launched a twice-weekly connection between Cape Town (CPT) and Durban (DUR), which faces high-frequency competition from Mango’s 21, BA’s 19, SAA’s 19, 1time’s 18 and Comair’s seven weekly flights.

  • Vueling last week took over operating three of Iberia’s seven weekly flights between Madrid (MAD) and Copenhagen (CPH). Iberia now operates four weekly flights on the route and is joined by Spanair operating daily flights and SAS a further four weekly flights. At the beginning of the winter season, Vueling’s Madrid network comprises just five non-stop routes; Amsterdam (daily flights), Barcelona (11 daily flights), Berlin Tegel (daily flights), Copenhagen and Paris CDG (daily flights). With part-owner Iberia having announced plans to launch its own low-cost subsidiary (Iberia Express) from Madrid next summer with four A320s sourced from Iberia, it is not yet clear what Vueling’s future plans for the airport are. However, the carrier has already announced that it will start serving Copenhagen with four weekly flights from its Barcelona base next summer.

Cutting the ribbon in Toronto for WestJet’s first route to Puerto Rico were Pamela Griffith-Jones, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority; Robert Palmer, Manager Public Relations, WestJet; and Sunny Montgomery, Puerto Rico Tourism Company. In the terminal, passengers were treated to a Puerto Rican dance performance. Palmer then gave WestJet aircraft models to Mario Gonzalez Lafuente, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company; Arnaldo De Leo, Aviation Director, Puerto Rico Ports Authority; and Jaime López-Díaz, Chief Development Officer, Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce.

  • WestJet has added four more routes that are all aimed at Canadian leisure travellers wanting to head south for at least part of the winter season. As mentioned last week, one of the new routes is from London (YXU) in Ontario to Cancun (CUN) in Mexico. Flights operate weekly to start with but increase to twice-weekly from mid-December. Also new are weekly flights between Thunder Bay (YQT) and Montego Bay (MBJ), and between Victoria (YYJ) and Phoenix (PHX) in Arizona. Finally, a twice-weekly service is launched from Toronto (YYZ) to San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico. Although currently uncontested, Air Canada will compete on the route when it resumes for the season later this winter with three flights a week. Last winter, the route was also operated by Sunwing. “We are very excited to be launching non-stop seasonal service to Puerto Rico,” said John MacLeod, WestJet’s VP Network Management and Alliances. “San Juan is known as one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the world as well as for its own distinct charm and hospitality. We look forward to offering our guests the opportunity to travel to our 17th Caribbean destination.” José R. Pérez-Riera, Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico, added: “Developing air access to Puerto Rico is essential for our economy. In the last two years we have been able to attract three new airlines to serve Puerto Rico, and we have the honour now of welcoming WestJet. The new Toronto-San Juan flight that WestJet is establishing in Puerto Rico is estimated to have an economic impact of $6.8M.” Mario González Lafuente, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, noted: “It’s a pleasure to welcome WestJet to Puerto Rico. Securing non-stop air access to the Canadian market has been a priority of our administration for its positive impact in the tourism industry. Canadian travellers represent 18.5 per cent of our international hotel registrations. In collaboration with WestJet Vacations, we are working on packages tailored to the needs and likes of that market.”

Previous weeks’ route launches

As Kenya Airways launched a route from Nairobi to Jeddah on 18 October, the airline’s crew and management posed for a photo with the first passenger. Seen in the picture are commercial director Mohan Chandra; the first passenger; a Muslim cleric; Ghorm Said Malhan, Saudi Ambassador to Kenya; and COO Ngunze Mbuvi.

Celebrating last week’s new route on bmibaby between Belfast City and Amsterdam at the Dutch end of the route were Ben James, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s director aviation marketing; Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe; Simon Moore, bmibaby’s network planning manager; and Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s marketing executive Netherlands.

Celebrating last week’s new route on bmibaby between Belfast City and Amsterdam at the Dutch end of the route were Ben James, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s director aviation marketing; Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe; Simon Moore, bmibaby’s network planning manager; and Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s marketing executive Netherlands.

Other celebrations

At Leeds/Bradford Airport, Ryanair announced its third based aircraft and six additional routes – Chania, Corfu, Dinard, Kos, Milan Bergamo and Tenerife – bringing the airline’s total number of destinations served from the UK airport to 26. Celebrating the fact that half of the new routes are to Greece, Greek Goddesses joined the airport’s commercial director Tony Hallwood, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary and airport CEO John Parkin.

At Tampa Airport in Florida, a cake was baked to celebrate that the airport now has a third company offering direct charter flights to Havana in Cuba. Island Travel & Tours, along with partner Sky King, now offer flights each Sunday, departing at 3 pm.

Ryanair celebrated reaching 7 million passengers at Bristol Airport. Angelo Tebano from Southampton, who was travelling to Dublin, was the lucky passenger who received a pair of return tickets to Katowice. He is here seen given the honour of cutting the celebratory cake, assisted by Paris Spokes and Martin Msara of Servisair.

Ryanair celebrated reaching 7 million passengers at Bristol Airport. Angelo Tebano from Southampton, who was travelling to Dublin, was the lucky passenger who received a pair of return tickets to Katowice. He is here seen given the honour of cutting the celebratory cake, assisted by Paris Spokes and Martin Msara of Servisair.


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