New airline routes launched (1 – 7 May)

Route of the Week: jetBlue’s Boston to
Dallas/Fort Worth

Although Dallas/Fort Worth welcomed jetBlue with a cake, the airline’s staff had more lobster on their minds when they welcomed the first flight from Boston to the Texan airport.

Passengers arriving on the first flight were handed giant, blue cowboy hats and were welcomed to DFW by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings – even with high-fives. DFW’s CEO, Jeff Fegan, exchanged gifts with jetBlue’s VP Sales and Revenue Management, Dennis Corrigan, after which the ribbon was cut for the first flight to take off back to Boston.

  • jetBlue launched two new routes in the last week; one domestic and one international. On 1 May, the low-cost airline expanded its Boston, MA (BOS) base to serve a new destination – Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) – three times daily, initially using 100-seat E-190 aircraft, although with plans to increase capacity by switching to A320s. Competition comes from American Airlines’ 53 weekly flights and Spirit Airlines’ daily operations. “JetBlue’s arrival at DFW is a testament to the strong economy in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and our great airport is a key to that strength,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Her Dallas colleague Mike Rawlings added: “New air service growth is a major economic driver for North Texas and we’re very pleased to welcome JetBlue with its high level of service to the Dallas/Fort Worth region.” Internationally, jetBlue launched its second route to Colombia’s capital Bogotà (BOG) on 7 May. The airline now flies daily with 150-seat A320s from Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL), complementing its flights from Orlando. Competition comes from Avianca’s and Spirit Airlines’ also each daily flights.

Cake of the Week:
Norwegian’s Copenhagen to Bratislava

Cutting the Lego cake that welcomed Norwegian’s first flight from Copenhagen to Bratislava were the Slovakian capital airport’s CEO, Maros Jancula, and the Danish Ambassador to Slovakia, Anita Hugau. The Ambassador was then surprised to find that the captain operating the flight was her nephew, who joined in cutting the ribbon.

Aalborg’s much anticipated new route to Berlin – a destination it has sought in the Route Shop – has now launched on Norwegian. Cutting the ribbon for the new service were Henning G. Jensen, Chairman of Aalborg Airport and Mayor of Aalborg, and Johan Bisgaard Larsen, Norwegian’s Head of Marketing for Denmark.

Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
04-May-12 Aalborg (AAL) Berlin (SXF) 3 B738
04-May-12 Copenhagen (CPH) Belgrade (BEG) 2 B738 Jat Airways (3)
03-May-12 Copenhagen (CPH) Bratislava (BTS) 2 B738
04-May-12 Copenhagen (CPH) Riga (RIX) 3 B738 airBaltic (21)
02-May-12 Copenhagen (CPH) Split (SPU) 2/4 B738 SAS (1)
07-May-12 Copenhagen (CPH) Karup (KRP) 25 B733
*WF: Weekly Frequency

The rest of this week’s new routes

  • On 2 May, following its recent European expansion at the beginning of the summer season, Aegean Airlines launched new domestic route, connecting Athens (ATH) and Skiros (SKU), the southernmost of the Sporades in the Aegean Sea. Flights on the 120-kilometre route are offered with thrice-weekly frequencies and operated with A320s. Competition comes from Crete-based Sky Express, which also serves the market with thrice-weekly flights, however, operated with Jetstream 41s.

Aer Lingus Regional reconnects Dublin and Bournemouth

Launching Aer Lingus Regional’s route from Dublin to Bournemouth were Aer Arann’s interim CEO, Sean Brogan; Brian Simpson, MEP; and Ken O’Toole, Manchester Airport Group’s CCO.

  • On 1 May, Aer Lingus commenced services from Dublin (DUB) to Bournemouth (BOH), reconnecting the two cities after two-year break that followed Ryanair pulling out from the market after 15 years of service. The six weekly departures that are offered on the route are served with Aer Arann’s ATR72s operated under the Aer Lingus Regional brand. There is no competition on the 420-kilometre sector across the Irish Sea.

El Salvador’s Tourism Minister, José Napoleón Duarte (cutting the ribbon), welcomed the Aeroméxico delegation. In the first quarter 2012, international arrivals at El Salvador’s airports showed a 25% increase.

  • On 7 May, Aeroméxico launched services from Mexico City (MEX) to El Salvador’s capital San Salvador (SAL), which becomes the airline’s fourth destination in Central America. The 782-kilometre route is operated on a daily basis with E-190 jets, facing competition from TACA’s 11 weekly flights. The route has also been served by the now defunct Mexicana between 2001 and 2011. Other country markets served by Aeromexico in the region are Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.

  • On 3 May, Air Canada reinstated services from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to New York JFK, NY (JFK), having abandoned the route as far back as 1981. For last 31 years, Air Canada has served the “Big Apple” with flights to LaGuardia and, since 1987, also to Newark. Thrice-daily departures are now offered on the transborder route, on which American Airlines and Delta are Air Canada’s direct competitors, providing 28 and 25 weekly flights. Additionally, a combined total of 239 weekly flights are currently offered by Air Canada, American Airlines and United to New York’s two other airports, including Air Canada’s own 14 daily flights to LaGuardia.

Air China’s arrival in Mumbai – India’s largest city – makes the national carrier the first airline from Mainland China to serve the airport. Cutting the cake for the Shanghai-Chengdu-Mumbai route were Air China’s GM Tang Zhongling and Tariq Butt, Mumbai International Airport’s VP Airport Marketing & Aero Business. This was followed by a traditional Indian lamp-lighting ceremony.

Air China has expanded in the London area by flying four times weekly to Gatwick Airport, connecting the airport with the Chinese capital Beijing. Gatwick Airport’s CCO Guy Stephenson welcomed the crew on the Chinese national carrier’s first flight, while passengers in the terminal were treated to a dragon dance performance.

  • Air China launched three new routes last week; all on 2 May. The Star Alliance carrier expanded its presence in the London market by adding flights from its main hub in Beijing (PEK) to London Gatwick (LGW), the airport that is increasingly attracting Asian services. The four weekly flights, which are operated with 251-seat A330-200s, complement the airline’s daily operations to London Heathrow. Mr Wu, Air China’s GM UK & Ireland said: “Air China is committed in growing its services from China to the UK and the addition of London Gatwick to our UK operation will help absorb the solid and sustained growth for the foreseeable future for both passengers and cargo alike.” The Star Alliance airline also expanded its network to India by launching four weekly flights between Chengdu (CTU) in western China and Mumbai (BOM), India’s largest city, using 128-seat A319s. Flights originate in Shanghai, operating as a stopping service via Chengdu. This is the airline’s third route to India, already serving Delhi from Beijing and Bangalore from Chengdu. Notably, Air China becomes the first airline from Mainland China to serve Mumbai. Air China also launched a new route across the Taiwan Strait the same day. From Wenzhou (WNZ) in the east of China, the airline now flies three times weekly to Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) with A319s.

  • Air One, Alitalia’s low-cost subsidiary, opened its latest base in Venice (VCE), the Italian airport analysed by last week. On 4 May, the airline launched three routes with its A320 aircraft. Barcelona ROUTE SHOP LINK!!!! (BCN) is now served daily in competition with Vueling’s 18 flights a week, while Prague (PRG) gets four weekly flights on Air One in competition with Czech Airlines’ three flights a week. Air One’s third route, twice-weekly flights to St Petersburg (LED), faces no competition. Both Barcelona and St Petersburg are new destinations to Air One, while the airline already serves Prague from its other two bases at Milan Malpensa and Pisa. Both Barcelona and St Petersburg are, however, served by Air One’s full service parent Alitalia.

  • The first week of May saw airberlin launch four new routes from three German airports; all are low-frequency holiday routes except for the twelve weekly frequencies from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Gdansk (GDN) in northern Poland. The route to the Namibian capital Windhoek (WDH) is a move of airberlin’s service from Munich. The new operation became the first African destination other than Egypt that the airline serves from Berlin. None of the four new routes face any competition.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c
01-May-12 Berlin Tegel (TXL) Gdansk (GDN) 12 Q400
06-May-12 Windhoek (WDH) 1 A332
05-May-12 Frankfurt (FRA) Heringsdorf (HDF) 1 Q400
03-May-12 Friedrichshafen (FDH) Antalya (AYT) 2 B738
Source: Innovata data for w/c 7 May

WF*: Weekly Frequency at launch WF**: Weekly Frequencies for w/c 7 May

  • On 1 May, the Thessaloniki-based regional carrier Astra Airlines took over four Greek domestic routes within the government-subsidised PSO scheme. Thessaloniki (SKG) is now connected with daily services to Samos (SMI) near the Turkish coast, with each five weekly flights to Corfu (CFU) and Kalamata (KLX). Additionally, Astra Airlines now flies daily from the capital Athens (ATH) to Sitia (JSH). All five routes were previously operated by Aegean, but as the all-BAe146-300 operator steps in, frequencies are adjusted. Outside of the programme, the airline launched an additional route on the same date; four weekly flights between Thessaloniki and Athens, competing with Aegean’s 54, Cyprus Airways’ 21 and Olympic Air’s 39 flights a week.

Atlasjet launches UK routes to London from Antalya and Istanbul

As Atlasjet for the first time took off from Istanbul Atatürk bound for London Stansted, the crew were given flowers.

  • Turkey’s Atlasjet entered the UK market this week with two routes to London Stansted (STN). Beginning on 5 May, Turkey’s biggest sea resort on the south-western coast, Antalya (AYT), is connected to the British capital with weekly flights. Direct competition on the route is provided by Thomas Cook and Thomson, which each serve the market with twice-weekly flights. An additional 16 weekly frequencies between the two cities are offered at other London airports. On 6 May, six-weekly services from Istanbul Atatürk (IST) commenced. Although Atlasjet does not face any direct competition on the route, a combined total of 78 weekly flights are already offered between the two capitals. Turkish Airlines, British Airways, easyJet and Pegasus all serve the market using different combinations of airports at both ends.

  • British Airways resumed services to Libya’s capital Tripoli (TIP) on 1 May after flights were suspended when the recent civil war broke out in the country. The three weekly flights from London Heathrow (LHR) will increase to daily in September. Flights operate with A320 aircraft. The airline also, though its franchisee Sun-Air of Scandinavia, took up three routes on 7 May that previously were operated by now-defunct Cimber Sterling. All three are from Jutland, the Danish mainland, to capitals of fellow Scandinavian countries. From Billund (BLL), the airline now operates to Stockholm Bromma (BMA) and Oslo (OSL), while Aalborg (AAL) also got a connection with the Norwegian capital. Each of the three routes is operated 11 times weekly; from Billund with 32-seat Dornier 328 aircraft and from Aalborg with 18-seat Jetstream 31s.

  • Condor launched its second route to Croatia on 5 May when the German leisure carrier began operating weekly between its Frankfurt (FRA) base and Rijeka (RJK) in the north of the Croatian coast. The airline already serves Dubrovnik in the south. Flights are operated with A320 aircraft.

  • Having launched services to Frankfurt last week, on 1 May, Croatia Airlines inaugurated low-frequency route from Zadar (ZAD) to Paris CDG (CDG). The 1,100-kilometre route is operated once weekly with A319s. The Star Alliance airline serves Paris CDG from further three destinations; Dubrovnik and Split are offered with thrice-weekly frequencies and Zagreb on a daily basis.

  • Dalian Airlines, the Air China subsidiary in Dalian (DLC) in northeast China, launched two new domestic routes on 1 May. The airline now serves Hangzhou (HGH) in the east of the country and Xi’an (XIY), home of the Terracotta Army, each with daily flights on 737-800s. To Hangzhou, competition comes from Xiamen Airlines’ 14, China Southern’s nine and Sichuan Airlines’ seven weekly flights, while to Xi’an, competing flights are operated by China Southern twice-daily, alongside China Eastern’s and Shenzhen Airlines’ each daily flights.

  • Danish Air Transport (DAT) has taken up two domestic routes left vacant by Cimber Sterling. The airline moved fast and commenced operating the same day that Cimber Sterling ceased operating; 3 May. From Copenhagen (CPH), DAT now operates 38 times weekly to Bornholm (RNN), the island located in the Baltic Sea, between Sweden and Poland, using ATR72 aircraft. The airline also launched 22 weekly flights to Sønderborg (SGD) in the Danish mainland, Jutland. ATR42 aircraft operate the route from the capital.

  • Dragonair, Cathay Pacific’s regional subsidiary, expanded its Korean network on 1 May when the airline launched flights to its second destination in the country; Jeju (CJU). The airline flies three times weekly from Hong Kong (HKG) with its A320 aircraft. The airline already serves Busan in the country. This is the first time since Korean Air’s operations in 2001 that the island of Jeju has a regular connection with Hong Kong.

  • EastarJet, the South Korean low-cost airline, became one of four airlines to operate the route between the city airports of the capitals of South Korea and Taiwan; Seoul Gimpo (GMP) and Taipei Songshan (TSA). As of 1 May, EastarJet operates three times weekly with its 149-seat 737-700 aircraft, competing with China Airlines’ four, EVA Air’s four and T’way’s three flights a week.

  • Following the recent launch of services from the airline’s latest base to Ibiza, easyJet continued to expand its London Southend (SEN) operation last week. The airline inaugurated three new routes, two on 1 May and one a day later, and while all of them will be operated with A319s, the frequencies differ. Flights to Jersey (JER), Málaga (AGP) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI) are offered with five, eight and four weekly frequencies respectively. Although easyJet does not face any direct competition at London Southend, all three destinations are already fairly extensively served from other London airports; Jersey with 90, Malaga with 112, and Palma de Mallorca with 86 weekly flights. Additionally, easyJet launched five weekly services from Madrid (MAD) to Copenhagen (CPH), making the Danish capital its first Scandinavian destination served from the Spanish capital. Competition on the route comes from Iberia’s seven and SAS’s twice-weekly services. Notably, the route was previously also served by Spanair, which ceased operating earlier this year.

  • EVA Air of Taiwan became one of four airlines to launch the route between the city airports of the capitals of South Korea and Taiwan; Taipei Songshan (TSA) and Seoul Gimpo (GMP). EVA Air operates four times weekly with MD90 aircraft, competing with China Airlines’ four, EastarJet’s three and T’way’s three flights a week.

Together with the crew operating Flybe Nordic’s first flight between Stockholm Bromma and Oslo, the new route was celebrated by Johan Backlund, Swedavia’s key account & development manager, and Antti Kuusenmäki, Flybe Finland’s head of commercial.

Flybe’s three new summer season routes to Newquay in Cornwall in southwest England were celebrated by Flybe captain Alistair Ripper and Keith Marshall, Newquay Cornwall Airport’s Finance Director. (Photo: Toby Weller)

Flybe’s three new summer season routes to Newquay in Cornwall in southwest England were celebrated by Flybe captain Alistair Ripper and Keith Marshall, Newquay Cornwall Airport’s Finance Director. (Photo: Toby Weller)

  • Flybe launched three new domestic routes to Newquay (NQY) in Cornwall in southwest England on 5 May as well as a new city route in Scandinavia under its sister brand Flybe Nordic. The airlines now serves Newquay each weekly from Belfast City (BHD) and Newcastle (NCL), as well as twice-weekly from Norwich (NWI). All three routes are operated with 78-seat Q400 aircraft seasonally until 22 September. This brings Flybe’s network into Newquay to seven non-stop destinations. Flybe UK Managing Director, Andrew Strong, commented: “We are strongly committed to the South West and to growing the number of destinations we offer from Newquay. The launch of our direct services to Belfast City, Newcastle and Norwich sees us responding to consumer demand, creating convenient and improved transport links to and from Cornwall.” Connecting the Swedish capital’s city airport with the Norwegian capital, Flybe Nordic launched 11 weekly flights between Stockholm Bromma (BMA) and Oslo (OSL) on 2 May. Flights operate twice-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays using ATR72 aircraft. While there is no direct competition at the city airport Bromma, indirect competition at Stockholm’s main airport Arlanda comes from SAS’ 79 and Norwegian’s 43 weekly flights.

A press conference was held in Chennai by Giorgio De Roni, GoAir’s CEO, as the Indian low-cost airline returned to the city with three domestic routes.

  • On 1 May, three years after withdrawing from the airport, India’s GoAir – the airline analysed this week – returned to Chennai (MAA) with services to Mumbai (BOM) and Pune (PNQ), which are now offered with 16 and seven weekly flights respectively. Additionally, services to Port Blair (IXZ) in the Andaman Islands now depart with five weekly frequencies. While competition on the route to Mumbai consists of IndiGo (29 weekly flights), Jet Airways (49), Air India (28), Kingfisher (21), Air India Express (2), SpiceJet (14), services to Port Blair are also provided by Jet Airways (12), Air India (7) and Kingfisher (14). Flights to Pune, the second largest after Mumbai city in the Maharashtra region, face somewhat lesser competition; IndiGo and SpiceJet serve the route with respective 12 and seven weekly flights. GoAir previously operated from Chennai between 2006 and 2009, when it suspended services to Mumbai and Hyderabad; the short-lived services to Delhi and Pune terminated in 2007.

  • On 1 May, the Malaga-based regional carrier Helitt Líneas Aéreas inaugurated services from Malaga (AGP) to the Moroccan city of Casablanca (CMN). The 460-kilometre service is offered with four weekly flights and operated with the turboprop operator’s fleet of ATR72s. Competition on the route comes from Royal Air Maroc’s six weekly frequencies. Casablanca is Helitt’s first international destination, but the airline’s second on the African continent, besides Spanish Melilla.

Representatives of local authorities and the tourism industry joined Iberia Express’ CFO, Javier Sánchez-Prieto (pictured without a high-vis vest), in Mahón on the island of Menorca to celebrate the airline’s latest route from Madrid.

On the island of Ibiza, Valentín Lago Rodriguez, Iberia Express’ Operations Director (pictured seventh left), launched the new link to the capital with a little help from local authorities and business.

  • On 1 and 3 May respectively, the Spanish flag carrier Iberia launched services from Madrid (MAD) to Mahon (MAH) and Ibiza (IBZ), both in the Balearic Islands. Two and five weekly frequencies are now offered between the country’s capital and these two popular holiday destinations. Both flights are operated by Iberia Express, a low-cost subsidiary of the mainline Iberia operation. While competition on the route to Menorca comes only from Ryanair’s seven-weekly flights, three carriers provide capacity in the market from Madrid to Ibiza; Ryanair, Air Europa and Vueling offer 14, nine and six weekly flights respectively.

A cake welcomed Iraqi Airways to Mumbai; here seen cut by Tariq Butt, Mumbai International Airport’s VP Airport Marketing & Aero Business, along with representatives from Iraqi Airways, Iraq’s Ministry of Transport and Director General Iraq Civil Aviation Authority.

  • Iraqi Airways launched its second route to India on 1 May when the airline began operating a new, twice-weekly charter route from Baghdad (BGW) via Najaf (NJF) to Mumbai (BOM). Flights, which complement operations launched to Delhi in February, operate with 737-700 aircraft. A major traffic driver for the route is Shia Islam pilgrimage.

  • On 5 May, launched its first Italian route from East Midlands (EMA). The Italian city of Pisa (PSA) in Tuscany is now served with weekly frequencies and the service will be operated with 737-300s. Competition on the 1,300-kilometre route comes from Ryanair’s twice-weekly flights.

Cutting the cake for Lufthansa’s arrival in Knock in western Ireland were Michael Ring, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport; Florian Gränzdörffer, Lufthansa’s spokesman for Western Germany; and Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport Knock. Ring then welcomed passengers, such as Mary Wiethold, originally Mary Cunningham from Westport in County Mayo, who has lived in Paderborn, Germany for the past 44 years.

  • Lufthansa launched six routes from three of its bases in the last week; Düsseldorf (DUS), Hamburg (HAM) and Munich (MUC). All but one of the routes is either to the British Isles or the Mediterranean; the exception being Odessa (ODS) in the Ukraine. Notably, this is Odessa’s first link with Germany since Donbassaero operated the same route until June 2007. That of the new routes with the highest frequency is the service from Hamburg to Birmingham (BHX) in the UK, which at 12 weekly flights competes with Flybe’s six flights a week. Commenting the route to Knock (NOC) in western Ireland, the airport’s Managing Director Joe Gilmore said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome the world’s fourth largest airline, Lufthansa, back to the West of Ireland after a ten year absence. This new service is a major vote of confidence for this airport and indeed the wider region and we look forward to welcoming German tourists to this beautiful part of Ireland.”
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
06-May-12 Düsseldorf (DUS) Dublin (DUB) 2 eqv Aer Lingus (14)
05-May-12 Düsseldorf (DUS) Knock (NOC) 1 CRJ900
05-May-12 Düsseldorf (DUS) Bari (BRI) 1 CRJ900 airberlin (2)
02-May-12 Hamburg (HAM) Birmingham (BHX) 12 CRJ900 Flybe (6)
05-May-12 Munich (MUC) Bastia (BIA) 1 CRJ900
05-May-12 Munich (MUC) Odessa (ODS) 1 CRJ900
*WF: Weekly Frequency

  • Mandala Airlines, the Indonesian low-cost airline relaunched in cooperation with Tiger Airways of Singapore, continued expanding its network on 4 May with the launch of flights between Jakarta (CGK) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL). Flights initially operate daily, increasing to twice-daily next month. Competition between the Indonesian and Malaysian capitals comes from Malaysia Airlines’ 42, Indonesia AirAsia’s 28, Garuda Indonesia’s 21, AirAsia’s 21, Lion Air’s 14, KLM’s seven, Kuwait Airways’ three and Yemenia’s two weekly flights.

  • Between 1 and 3 May, Monarch launched a range of holiday destinations from three UK airports. A combined total of eight routes were started from Birmingham (BHX), London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN). All routes except for flights from Manchester to Verona (VRN) face (mostly considerable) competition.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF**)
03-May-12 Birmingham (BHX) Dubrovnik (DBV) 2 A320 Flybe (1)
01-May-12 Heraklion (HER) 2 A320 Thomson (2), Thomas Cook (1)
03-May-12 London Gatwick (LGW) Antalya (AYT) 2 eqv Thomas Cook (6), easyJet (5), Thomson (2)
01-May-12 Dalaman (DLM) 7 eqv Thomas Cook (7), Thomson (6), easyJet (5)
01-May-12 Dubrovnik (DBV) 3 A320 easyJet (7), British Airways (7), Thomson (1)
01-May-12 Heraklion (HER) 2 A320 easyJet (12), Thomson (3), Thomas Cook (2)
01-May-12 Manchester (MAN) Dalaman (DLM) 5 eqv Thomas Cook (9), Thomson (4), easyJet (3), (1)
02-May-12 Verona (VRN) 2 A320
WF*: Weekly Frequency at launch
WF**: Weekly Frequencies for w/c 7 May (Source: Innovata)

Despite OLT Express’ initial plans to operate the 280-kilometre route from Warsaw to Poznań with A320s, the new services were inaugurated with smaller turboprop aircraft.

Despite OLT Express’ initial plans to operate the 280-kilometre route from Warsaw to Poznań with A320s, the new services were inaugurated with smaller turboprop aircraft. The fast-growing airline has adopted a trial and error approach to its route expansion.

  • Poland’s youngest airline, OLT Express, may just have announced a major European expansion of its network in the winter season, but it is yet to open all domestic services announced when the airline relaunched in mid-February. On 2 May, ten weekly flights from Poznań (POZ) in the west of the country to the country capital Warsaw (WAW) were launched, followed by 18 weekly frequencies from Szczecin (SZZ) by the Baltic Sea border to Germany, also to Warsaw, which commenced on 6 May. LOT Polish Airlines is the only competitor on both routes, providing 15 and 17 weekly flights respectively. In addition, on 7 May, OLT Express inaugurated services from Gdańsk (GDN) on the Baltic coast, to Kraków (KRK) in southern Poland. The airline will face competition from LOT Polish Airlines’ regional subsidiary eurolot, which already serves the route with 15 weekly flights.

Celebrating the launch of the airline Palau Airways was the its GM Andy Lee along with cabin crew from the start-up carrier. The new airline competes with China Airlines on the route to Taipei Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan. For video coverage of the fire-truck salute at the Taiwanese end, see  YouTube .

  • Palau Airways is a new start-up airline in Palau, the Micronesian island nation located just east of the Philippines. From its base in Koror (ROR), the airline now flies three times weekly to Taipei Taoyuan (TPE), a distance of 2,400 kilometres, with its single 206-seat all-economy 757-200. In June, frequencies will increase to four times weekly. Competition comes from China Airlines’ four weekly flights.

  • Philippine Airlines launched two new international routes in the last week. On 1 May, the airline connected its main base in Manila (MNL) with Denpasar (DPS), the airport serving the Indonesian island of Bali. Flights operate twice-weekly on the route that notably never has been served non-stop before. On 5 May, the Philippine national carrier expanded its network to South Korea as Kalibo (KLO) became its third airport to be connected with South Korea’s capital airport Seoul Incheon (ICN) after Manila and Cebu. Flights operate four times weekly in competition with ZestAir’s daily flights. Both of the two new routes launched by Philippine Airlines are operated with A320 aircraft.

  • On 1 May, Rossiya Airlines inaugurated services from St Petersburg (LED) to Kazan (KZN) in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. The airline now offers flights on the route with five weekly frequencies in codeshare partnership with its sister airline Aeroflot, which owns 75% of Rossiya. All flights are operated with An-148 aircraft and face competition from Ak Bars Aero’s daily services.

  • On 7 May, RusLine launched new route connecting Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and Izhevsk (IJK) in the Western Urals. The 1,000-kilometre route will be offered with four weekly frequencies and operated with 50-seat CRJ regional jets. Competition on the route comes from Izhavia’s 13 weekly flights.

Ryanair’s new routes to Malta were celebrated with this multi-national cake, here seen with close-ups of the figurines representing the routes launched last week. Posing by the cake table were dancers Berthille, Ewange, Sandra and Eldridge, along with the Ryanair crew and Malta Airport’s Katharina Seidl from the Airline Marketing Department and Jeanette Zammit, Human Resource Executive and creator of the cake.

Ryanair launches new routes to Bilbao and Mahon in Menorca

Ryanair has now landed in Mahon on the Balearic island of Menorca with two domestic routes; from Barcelona and Madrid.

  • Ryanair launched 17 new routes in the last week. Most of the routes are from Ryanair bases in Spain; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Barcelona (BCN) and Madrid (MAD), but also from the Mediterranean islands of Malta (MLA) and Cyprus’ Paphos (PFO). A new destination for Ryanair is Mahon (MAH) on the island of Menorca in Spain, while other non-Ryanair bases to have received new routes with the airline in the last week are fellow Spanish airport Bilbao (BIO); Malmö (MMX) and Växjö (VXO) in Sweden; as well as Turin (TRN) in Italy. Notable is that the competitor information for the Spanish domestic routes below reflect the current week’s schedule, whereas the competitive situation during the summer peak season is quite different.
Date Origin Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
01-May-12 Barcelona (BCN) Bilbao (BIO) 14 Vueling (42)
01-May-12 Barcelona (BCN) Mahon (MAH) 14 Vueling (31), Air Europa (7)
01-May-12 Madrid (MAD) Bilbao (BIO) 14 Iberia (64), easyJet (25)
01-May-12 Madrid (MAD) Mahon (MAH) 7 Iberia (2)
03-May-12 Malta (MLA) Kaunas (KUN) 2
04-May-12 Malta (MLA) Malmö (MMX) 2
02-May-12 Malta (MLA) Oslo Rygge (RYG) 2
05-May-12 Malta (MLA) Turin (TRN) 2
03-May-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Malmö (MMX) 2
02-May-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Porto (OPO) 3 airberlin (7)
01-May-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Rome Ciampino (CIA) 3
07-May-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Växjö (VXO) 1
02-May-12 Paphos (PFO) Kaunas (KUN) 1
04-May-12 Paphos (PFO) Pisa (PSA) 2
03-May-12 Paphos (PFO) Rome Ciampino (CIA) 3
02-May-12 Paphos (PFO) Venice Treviso (TSF) 2
02-May-12 Paphos (PFO) London Stansted (STN) 4 Thomson (2)
*WF: Weekly Frequency

SEAir, Tiger Airways’ Philippine partner airline, has become the third airline to operate the domestic route between Clark and Kalibo, a route launched by both AirAsia Philippines and Airphil Express only at the start of the summer season.

  • SEAir, Tiger Airways’ Philippine partner airline, launched two routes out of its base at Clark (CRK) in the last week, one international and one domestic; both with its 144-seat A319 aircraft. On 1 May, the airline began serving Kota Kinabalu (BKI) on Malaysian Borneo. The 1,135-kilometre route is operated three times weekly in competition with AirAsia’s daily flights. On 5 May, the airline entered the domestic route to Kalibo (KLO). Its four weekly flights on the route compete with the start-up AirAsia Philippines’ twice-daily flights as well as Airphil Express’ also four flights a week.

  • Skyways launched two routes in the last week; one Swedish domestic and one intra-Scandinavian to cover for the bankruptcy of its Danish sister airline Cimber Sterling. Both are operated with F50 aircraft. On 2 May, the Swedish regional carrier began operating 15 times weekly, thrice-daily on weekdays, between Stockholm Bromma (BMA) and Visby (VBY) on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, complementing its 24 weekly operations to the island from Stockholm Arlanda. Flights compete with Gotlandsflyg’s 46 weekly operations as well as indirectly with NextJet’s 10 flights a week from Arlanda. On 7 May, the airline launched 10 weekly flights between Norrköping (NRK) in eastern Sweden and the Danish capital Copenhagen (CPH), a route previously operated by Cimber Sterling. Through its partnership with SAS, passengers can connect onto the Scandinavian flag carrier at its Copenhagen hub.

Please note that Skyways filed for bankruptcy on 22 May and that operations now have been suspended.

Supervised by one of the younger travellers on the maiden flight, Bern Airport’s CEO Mathias Häberli cut the ribbon for the latest new route from the airport to Croatia’s Rijeka, assisted by the airport’s Director of Ground Services, Heinz Kafader, and SkyWork’s CEO, Tomislav Lang.

Supervised by one of the younger travellers on the maiden flight, Bern Airport’s CEO Mathias Häberli cut the ribbon for the latest new route from the airport to Croatia’s Rijeka, assisted by the airport’s Director of Ground Services, Heinz Kafader, and SkyWork’s CEO, Tomislav Lang.

As SkyWork’s new route from Switzerland’s capital Bern arrived in Croatia’s Rijeka, a joint press conference was held by Kvarner Tourist Board’s Irena Peršić Živadinov; SkyWork’s CEO Tomislav Lang; Rijeka Aiport’s CEO Mladen Pasaric; and Gerhard Lempl from Primorsko Goranska County. A big cake was also on offer, along with traditional Croatian music and dancing.

  • The first week of May saw the Swiss regional carrier SkyWork commenced six new low-frequency routes to the Mediterranean from its base in Bern (BRN); two to Croatia, two to Italy and once each to Spain and Greece. While all new destinations are served weekly, only services to Catania (CTA) face competition from the also weekly service provided by Helvetic Airways.
Launch date Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF**)
04-May-12 Rijeka (RJK) 1 Eqv
06-May-12 Cagliari (CAG) 1 Do328
05-May-12 Catania (CTA) 1 Do328 Helvetic Airways (1)
06-May-12 Mahon (MAH) 1 Do328
07-May-12 Preveza (PVK) 1 Do328
05-May-12 Split (SPU) 1 Do328
WF*: Weekly Frequency at launch
WF**: Weekly Frequency for w/c 7 May (Source: Innovata)

Calicut’s Airport Director Mr Jose cut the ribbon for SpiceJet’s two new routes to the airport. The gentlemen were then joined by dignitaries arriving on the first flight: Kamal Hingorani, SpiceJet’s SVP & Head Ground Services; Neil Mills, SpiceJet’s CEO; and S.Natrajhen, Whole time director. There was – of course – also cake on offer to celebrate the event.

Posing for the camera in Port Blair in the Andaman Islands were R.Ranjeev, Sr.MGR –TN; Kamal Hingorani VP; Shri.Jalaj Srivastava, Principal Secretary (Finance); Shakti Sinha, Chief Secretary; Mr.Handa, Acting APD; Sudhir Kumar, CASO; and Ajay Rai, DS of Immigrations. After the lamp-lighting ceremony, it was time to share the cake baked to celebrate the low-cost airline’s arrival on the busy route from Chennai.

  • SpiceJet launched three new domestic routes in the last week. On 1 May, the Indian low-cost airline connected Chennai (MAA) with Port Blair (IXZ) in the Andaman Islands near Burma. The five weekly flights are operated with 737-800 aircraft, competing with Kingfisher Airlines’ 14, Jet Airways’ 12, Air India’s seven and GoAir’s five flights a week. On 5 May, SpiceJet began serving Calicut (CCJ) with each daily Q400 flights from Hyderabad (HYD) and Trivandrum (TRV). These are the airline’s third and fourth routes to Calicut after flights from Bangalore and Chennai. The Trivandrum route competes with Air India’s three weekly and Air India Express’ weekly flights.

  • Spirit Airlines, the US ultra-low cost airline, clearly does not shy competition as it launched six new routes in the last week, of which only one – to Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) – does not face considerable frequencies on competing airlines. Four of the routes are to Denver, CO (DEN) and three are from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW); homes of United, Frontier and American Airlines. The route between those two airports initially operates daily, but increases to twice-daily from 17 May.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
04-May-12 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) Tampa, FL (TPA) 4 A319 American Airlines (47)
03-May-12 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) 3 A319
03-May-12 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) Denver, CO (DEN) 7 A32S American Airlines (67), Frontier (39), United (31)
03-May-12 Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Denver, CO (DEN) 7 A320 United (58), American Airlines (35)
03-May-12 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Denver, CO (DEN) 7 A320 Southwest (14), United (7), Frontier (6)
03-May-12 Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Denver, CO (DEN) 14 A319 Southwest (60), United (43), Frontier (41)

Tibet Airlines and Bangda Airport jointly celebrated the arrival of maiden flight from Lhasa.

Tibet Airlines and Bangda Airport jointly celebrated the arrival of maiden flight from Lhasa. Bangda is the highest airport in the world, although it will be soon replaced by another Tibetan airport, Nagqu, which at an altitude of 4,436 metres will be 102 metres higher.

  • On 3 May, Tibet Airlines launched services from Lhasa (LXA) to Bangda (BPX). The 600-kilometre intra-Tibet route is offered with twice-weekly frequencies. All flights will be operated with A319s in codeshare with Air China.

  • On 2 May, Brazil’s TRIP commenced services from Goiânia (GYN) to Campo Grande (CGR), further increasing the connectivity within the Brazilian interior. Flights to the 700-kilometre inter-capital route from Goiás to Mato Grosso do Sul, both in the central-west part of the country, are now offered with six weekly frequencies and operated with E-190 jets. The only other airline to operate on the route is TAM, which serves it with daily flights.

Flanked by the United crew, Clive Memmott, CEO Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and Mats Sigurdson, Manchester Airport Group’s Commercial Director Aviation, held the ribbon for Bob Schumacher, United’s Managing Director Sales UK & Ireland, to cut. Celebrating the new Washington Dulles link with Manchester were also Barbers shop quartet members Rod Butcher, John Brough, George Badland and Henry Foster.

  • United Airlines added its second route to Manchester (MAN) in northern England on 1 May when the Star Alliance airline complemented its daily Newark services with a daily operation from its Washington Dulles, DC (IAD) hub. Flights operate with 169-seat 757-200s. This makes Washington DC the ninth US airport served from Manchester. Bob Schumacher, United’s Managing Director Sales UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to launch non-stop service between Manchester and the US capital. Having operated our Manchester-New York/Newark service successfully for 17 years, the new Manchester-Washington/Dulles service will further benefit our customers in the North West, offering reduced journey times between the two cities as well as increased travel options.”

  • US Airways continued expanding at Washington National, DC (DCA) in competition with Delta. On 2 May, the Star Alliance airline launched 20 weekly CRJ200 flights to Cincinnati, OH (CVG) in competition with Delta’s 22 weekly flights. The airline also began serving Des Moines, IA (DSM) from the capital’s city airport. The 12 weekly flights operate with E-170s and compete with Delta’s six flights a week.

Aruba’s Minister of Economic and Social Affairs, Michelle Hooyboer-Winklaar, and WestJet’s Public Relations Manager, Robert Palmer, cut the ribbon for the inaugural arrival of WestJet to the Caribbean island, having launched a weekly service from Toronto.

  • On 6 May, the Canadian low-cost airline WestJet inaugurated services to its 17th Caribbean destination from Toronto Pearson (YYZ), and now serves Aruba (AUA) with weekly Sunday flights. Air Canada presents the only direct competition on the route, which it also operates with weekly flights. The new route comes less than a week after the launch of WestJet’s thrice-weekly services to Kingston in Jamaica.


  1. Luke says:

    Regarding Aegean’s new route from Athens to Skiros Island (SKU), they actually face no competition as its a PSO route. Sky Express was the previous operator.

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