New airline routes launched (26 June – 2 July 2012)

United’s Newark to Istanbul Atatürk

Cutting the ribbon for United’s arrival in Istanbul were State Airport Authority Head Manager Celal Ozugur, Ataturk Airport Civilian Administration Manager and Istanbul Deputy Mayor Ahmet Aydin, US Consul General in Istanbul Scott F. Kilner, TAV Airports President & CEO M. Sani Sener, and United Airlines’ VP Airport Operations Americas, Asia and Europe Cindy Szadokierski. A cake featuring the Bosporus Bridge and Statue of Liberty was baked to celebrate the route, while James Mueller, United’s VP Atlantic & Pacific Sales, exchanged gifts with Sener.

  • United Airlines launched two new routes on 1 July; one international and one domestic. The US carrier now connects its New York Newark, NJ (EWR) hub with that of its Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines, Istanbul Atatürk (IST). Flights on the new route operate daily with 183-seat 767-300ER aircraft. Indirect competition at JFK comes from Turkish Airlines’ thrice-daily and Delta’s daily flights. Jim Compton, United’s EVP and Chief Revenue Officer, commented: “This new service will provide customers throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America direct access to one of the most important cities in the region.” United also connected San Francisco, CA (SFO) with Jackson Hole, WY (JAC). The daily CRJ900 flights operate seasonally until the end of August. This is the fifth route United operates to the Wyoming airport after flights from Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.

Air New Zealand’s Auckland to Sunshine Coast

Two cakes were baked in Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia to welcome the first international route on Air New Zealand; one for arriving passengers and one for the first departure. Cutting the arrival cake were Cam Wallace, Air New Zealand’s GM Australia; the Australia Zoo Irwin family (Bindi, Bob and Terri); and Mayor Mark Jamieson, Sunshine Coast Council. As passengers got ready to depart for Auckland, the honour of cutting the second cake was with Fiona Simpson, MP for Maroochydore.

  • Air New Zealand, which now partners with Virgin Australia on trans-Tasman routes, launched a new route across the Tasman Sea on 1 July when the Star Alliance carrier connected its Auckland (AKL) hub with Maroochydore (MCY) on Australia’s Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Notably, this is the first time the Australian airport welcomes an international service. Flights operate seasonally, twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Sundays with A320s until 18 September. However, the airline states that the season may be extended depending on the route’s performance. Air New Zealand’s CEO Rob Fyfe commented: “Every year almost a hundred thousand New Zealand leisure travellers arrive in Brisbane and make the 100km plus drive north to the popular Sunshine Coast beach resorts such as Noosa, Coolum, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. This new service will cut down their travelling time by eliminating the commute from Brisbane Airport which can be more than two hours.”

The rest of this week’s new routes

In Sydney, Alvaro Barba, Consul General of Uruguay; Ricardo Bocalandro, Consul General of Argentina; Kerrie Mather, CEO, Sydney Airport; Oscar Cilli, Regional Manager, Aerolíneas Argentinas; and Pablo Hartstein, Consul of Argentina, jointly celebrated the arrival of Aerolíneas Argentinas’ first non-stop flight from Buenos Aires. The airline’s Sydney team also posed for the camera in their Aerolíneas Argentinas hats.

  • On 1 July, Aerolíneas Argentinas inaugurated non-stop services on the trans-Pacific route from Buenos Aires (EZE) to Sydney (SYD), which was previously served via Auckland in New Zealand. The thrice-weekly service is operated with A340s, and comes as a result of Qantas withdrawing from Buenos Aires in favour of Santiago de Chile at the end of last winter season. Sydney Airport’s CEO Kerrie Mather said: “Latin America is one of our major growth markets with more Australians discovering its amazing cities and incredible natural attractions.” Additionally, Aerolíneas Argentinas started a new route from the popular Patagonian ski resort of Bariloche (BRC) to São Paulo (GRU). Twice-weekly services are offered on the 3,000-kilometre trans-border route between Argentina and Brazil, which will be operated with 737-700s. There is no direct competition on either of the new routes.

  • On 1 July, AeroMexico expanded its presence in the US markets with two new routes. New York, NY (JFK) returned to the airline’s offering out of the resort city of Cancún (CUN), and is now served on a daily basis until the end of September. Competition on the 2,500-kilometre route comes from two US carriers: jetBlue (twice-daily flights) and American Airlines (daily). In addition, the airline has resumed flights from Mexico City (MEX) to Atlanta, GA (ATL), which it last offered in January 2009. Flights to Atlanta are operated daily using E-190s. AeroMexico’s SkyTeam partner Delta already operates the route with 26 flights a week.

  • Air China launched its fifth route between Mainland China and Japan’s Tokyo Narita (NRT) on 1 July. The Star Alliance carrier now connects with its partner ANA’s hub from Hangzhou (HGH) in eastern China. Flights operate four times weekly with 128-seat A319 aircraft, competing with ANA’s daily flights.

  • On 28 June, Air Corsica returned to the international market, launching two routes to the Italian capital airport Rome Fiumicino (FCO). The airline, which until earlier this year served Venice from Marseille, now serves the Italian capital from both Ajaccio (AJA) and Figari (FSC) on Corsica. Each of the two routes is operated twice a week with 70-seat ATR72 aircraft during the summer peak season. The Figari route ends on 1 September, while the Ajaccio route operates until 23 September.

Lufthansa’s Italian subsidiary Air Dolomiti now serves Swiss’ hub in Zurich from Verona with 11 weekly flights. Welcoming the crew operating the first flight were Zurich Airport’s Marco Schärli, Specialist Aviation Analysis & Research, and Natalie Zalan, Manager Airline Affairs.

  • Air Dolomiti, Lufthansa’s Italian subsidiary, launched two new international routes on 2 July. From Verona (VRN) in the north of the country, the airline now flies 11 times weekly to Zurich (ZRH) in Switzerland, the hub of fellow Lufthansa Group airline Swiss. Air Dolomiti uses 64-seat ATR72 aircraft on the route. The same day, the airline launched a seasonal service from the Italian capital airport Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Nîmes (FNI) in southern France. Flights operate twice-weekly with 116-seat E-195 aircraft until 7 September. This makes Air Dolomiti the third airline to serve Nimes after Ryanair and Iberia.

  • Air France launched four new regional routes under its Régional brand in the last week; two to Italy and two domestic to Corsica; one of each from Lyon (LYS) and Strasbourg (SXB). The three routes launched on 30 June are each operated once a week during the summer season until September, while the route to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) is scheduled four times weekly, year-round.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
30-Jun-12 Lyon (LYS) Bastia (BIA) 1 CRJ700 easyJet (4)
30-Jun-12 Lyon (LYS) Naples (NAP) 1 E190
30-Jun-12 Strasbourg (SXB) Ajaccio (AJA) 1 ERJ145
02-Jul-12 Strasbourg (SXB) Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 4 ERJ145
*WF: Weekly Frequency      Source: Innovata for w/c 2 July 2012

  • Air Vanuatu returned to Fiji on 1 July when the South Pacific island flag carrier connected its Port Vila (VLI) base with Suva (SUV), the capital of Fiji. This makes Air Vanuatu the second airline to serve Suva after locally based Air Pacific. The new service operates twice-weekly with ATR72 aircraft. Air Vanuatu last served Fiji through the country’s main airport in Nadi until 2008.

Celebrating Alitalia’s new route in the Georgian capital with a cake were Gabriele Michele, the airline’s representative; Giorgio Zagaia, Alitalia’s Station Manager; Mete Erkal, GM TAV Georgia; Tea Zakaradze, TAV Georgia Corporate Communications Manager; and Candemir Akyildiz, TAV Georgia Terminal Operations Manager.

  • Alitalia launched two routes from its Rome Fiumicino (FCO) hub in the last week; one international and one domestic Italian service. On 1 July, the SkyTeam airline began serving Trapani (TPS) in Sicily with two weekly flights using a mixture of A320 series aircraft. The seasonal route will be operated until the end of September. The following day, 2 July, Alitalia began serving Georgia’s capital Tbilisi (TBS). This is notably the first time that the Italian and Georgian capitals are connected non-stop. The service will also be operated twice a week, overnight, using 165-seat A320s. TAV Georgia’s GM Mete Erkal said: “We are glad that one of Europe’s oldest air carriers, Alitalia, is launching regular flights to Tbilisi.  The fact that during the first half of 2012 four well-known airlines began operating at Tbilisi Airport shows that Georgia has become an attractive country for foreign tourists and businessmen. Georgian citizens will also be able to travel to numerous European cities without having to take connecting flights.”

Allegiant’s new 757 was given a wet welcome to Fresno Yosemite International Airport as the low-cost airline launched its much-anticipated Hawaii operations. In the terminal, passengers were treated to tropical coconut and banana chip cupcakes, Kona coffee and were serenaded by Hawaiian ukulele players.

  • Allegiant Air expanded its Florida network last week when the ultra low-cost airline also finally commenced Hawaii operations with its new fleet of 217-seat 757s. Each of the Florida routes is operated twice-weekly, while Allegiant serves Las Vegas, NV (LAS) thrice-weekly and Fresno, CA (FAT) once a week from Honolulu, HI (HNL).
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
29-Jun-12 Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 3 B757 Hawaiian Airlines (17)
30-Jun-12 Honolulu, HI (HNL) Fresno, CA (FAT) 1 B757
27-Jun-12 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) South Bend, IN (SBN) 2 MD80
28-Jun-12 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) Fort Wayne, IN (FWA) 2 MD80
28-Jun-12 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) Peoria, IL (PIA) 2 MD80
29-Jun-12 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) Niagara Falls, NY (IAG) 2 MD80
01-Jul-12 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Niagara Falls, NY (IAG) 2 MD80 Spirit Airlines (2)
*WF: Weekly Frequency

Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012

The captain of ATA Airlines’ first flight to Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast got the honour of cutting the cake welcoming the Iranian carrier.

  • The Iranian carrier ATA Airlines launched two routes to Georgia’s Black Sea resort city Batumi (BUS) on 28 June. The airline now flies its A320 aircraft twice a week – on Mondays and Thursdays – from Tehran Mehrabad (THR), the Iranian capital’s city airport, and once weekly – on Thursdays – from Tabriz (TBZ) in the north west of the country. TAV Georgia’s GM, Mete Erkal, said: “We are happy to welcome air company ATA Airlines in Batumi International Airport. We appreciate the great interest, which tourists from Iran express towards Georgia and hope that they will spend pleasant time in Batumi seaside.”

Condor was welcomed to Baltimore/Washington with a tasty-looking cake. The German leisure airline now flies twice a week from Frankfurt with 270-seat 767-300ERs. Cutting the ribbon were Gunnar Schmidt, Condor's Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Operations; Paul J. Wiedefeld, Executive Director, Baltimore/Washington International Airport; and Doris Brunner, First Officer.

  • The German leisure carrier Condor, part of Thomas Cook Group, added another US destination to its Frankfurt (FRA) network on 2 July when the airline began serving Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI); the second European route to BWI after BA’s daily flights from London Heathrow. The new route is operated twice-weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays, with 270-seat 767-300ER aircraft. In addition to targeting tourism to the US east coast, Condor highlights onward connections in the US on Southwest out of BWI. Indirect competition at Washington Dulles comes from United’s thrice-daily and Lufthansa’s twice-daily flights.

The arrival of Copa Airlines’ maiden flight from Panama City to Las Vegas, NV, coincided with the opening of the modernised T3. Governor Brian Sandoval took the stage to welcome the airport’s newest carrier, which arrived in its brand-new Star Alliance livery.

  • On 27 June, Copa Airlines inaugurated non-stop services to its eighth US destination and now offers five weekly flights from its ‘Hub of the Americas’ in Panama City (PTY) to Las Vegas, NV (LAS). Dan Gunn, the airline’s VP Operations, said: “As the only provider of direct flights between Panama and Las Vegas, Copa’s offering has significant time advantage both for O&D traffic and passengers connecting in Panama.” The 4,700-kilometre route is served using the airline’s fleet of 737-800s.

  • On 1 July, Cyprus Airways commenced seasonal services from its base in Larnaca (LCA) to three destinations across the Greek Islands. Mykonos (JMK), Rhodes (RHO), and Santorini (JTR) are now offered with twice-weekly frequencies each and served with A320 family aircraft. Competition on all three routes comes from Aegean Airlines, which serves Rhodes thrice-weekly and both Mykonos and Santorini weekly.

  • The Slovakian airline Danube Wings launched a French domestic route on 30 June. From Bastia (BIA) on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the airline now flies once a week to Troyes (QYR) in France’s Champagne-Ardenne region. This is notably the only scheduled service operating to Troyes. The new route operates seasonally with ATR 72 aircraft until the end of August.

  • Cathay Pacific’s subsidiary Dragonair launched its second route to Thailand on 1 July when the airline began operating between its Hong Kong (HKG) hub and Chiang Mai (CNX) in northern Thailand, complementing its flights to the resort island of Phuket. Flights on the new route operate four times weekly with A320 aircraft. Although the airline faces no direct competition, Thai AirAsia indirectly competes with its daily flights from Chiang Mai to Macau.

Faro Airport and easyJet, in partnership with the Associação Rota da Cortiça, hosted a traditional regional reception, offering carob, fig and almond sweets, liqueur tasting and typical Algarve music on the arrival of over a hundred passengers from Basel. Exchanging gifts to celebrate the new route were José Lopes, easyJet’s Commercial Manager Portugal, and Helder Lemos, Faro Airport’s Marketing Manager.

easyJet launches new routes to summer sun destinations

On the crew’s return from Faro to Basel, they were greeted by the airport with Swiss Toblerone chocolate.

  • easyJet launched eight new routes in the last week; all to ‘summer sun’ destinations. Notably, the routes launched from Italy’s two main airports Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO) are all to Greek islands. Notably, the route between Naples (NAP) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI) is between two non-base airports. The route between Basel (BSL) and Faro (FAO), which will operate seasonally on Wednesdays and Saturdays until the beginning of September, is easyJet’s 11th to the Algarve airport and its second from Switzerland after flights from Geneva.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
27-Jun-12 Basel (BSL) Faro (FAO) 2 A320
26-Jun-12 Madrid (MAD) Olbia (OLB) 3 A319 From 20 July: Iberia (6)
30-Jun-12 Milan Malpensa (MXP) Kefalonia (EFL) 2 A319
30-Jun-12 Milan Malpensa (MXP) Kos (KGS) 3 A319
30-Jun-12 Milan Malpensa (MXP) Zakynthos (ZTH) 2 A319
30-Jun-12 Naples (NAP) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 3 A319
30-Jun-12 Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Corfu (CFU) 3 A319 From 17 July: Aegean (1); From 19 July: Blu-express (4)
01-Jul-12 Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Santorini (JTR) 2 A319 From 11 July: Aegean (1)
*WF: Weekly Frequency   Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012

  • Ethiopian Airlines expanded its regional network in East Africa on 1 July when the Star Alliance airline added Berbera (BBO), the port city in Somaliland, to its network out of its Addis Ababa (ADD) hub. The 700-kilometre route is operated daily with Q400 aircraft; three times a week in the mornings and four times weekly in the afternoons. Notably, this is Ethiopian Airlines’ only route to Somalia.

Etihad arrived to a fire-truck salute in an already rainy Lagos. The Gulf carrier now serves Nigeria’s largest city six times weekly from its Abu Dhabi hub.

  • Etihad expanded its African network on 1 July when the Gulf carrier began serving Lagos (LOS), Nigeria’s largest city, from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub. This is the airline’s first route to West Africa. Flights will operate six times weekly with the airline’s 264-seat A330-200s. Commenting the addition of Nigeria to the airline’s network, Etihad’s CEO James Hogan said: “The country is rich in natural resources, such as oil and natural gas. Our new point-to-point services will strengthen the oil and gas links between the UAE and Nigeria and facilitate further growth in these industries.” Notably, Arik Air was last year planning to operate the route, but abandoned its plans prior to the launch.

  • FlyCongo, the new DR Congo airline that was launched in March this year, began operating internationally on 27 June. From the country capital Kinshasa (FIH), the airline now operates via the mining city Lubumbashi (FBM) in the south of the country to South Africa’s largest city; Johannesburg (JNB). Flights operate twice-weekly with 767-200 aircraft. Competition on the sector between Lubumbashi and Johannesburg comes from South African Airways’ five flights a week and the also new fellow Congolese airline Korongo Airlines’ twice-weekly flights.

  • germanwings has expanded its network to Kosovo’s capital Pristina (PRN). On 30 June, Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary began operating a route from Basel (BSL) in Switzerland as part of a ‘W routing’. For regulatory reasons, the airline does, however, use the French Mulhouse (MLH) code, which the border airport also uses. germanwings operates the route once a week with its A319 aircraft. Competition comes from easyJet’s four flights a week. This is germanwings’ ninth route to Pristina after flights from eight German airports.

  • The Japanese regional carrier IBEX Airlines launched three new domestic routes on 1 July with its fleet of 70-seat CRJ700 aircraft. All three routes face high-frequency competition from Japan’s major airlines.
Origin Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
Nagoya (NGO) Fukuoka (FUK) 7 ANA (70)
Fukuoka (FUK) Miyazaki (KMI) 21 Japan Air Commuter/JAL (63), ANA (35)
Osaka Itami (ITM) Miyazaki (KMI) 7 ANA (35), JAL (35)
*WF: Weekly Frequencies    Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012

Cutting the ribbon for Iceland Express’ route to Lithuania’s capital Vilnius were Tomas Vaisvila, CEO Vilnius International Airport, and Skarphéðinn Berg Steinarsson, CEO Iceland Express. Both passengers and crew then enjoyed the gingerbread cakes with Iceland Express writing that were handed out by the airport staff.

  • Iceland Express launched a new seasonal operation between the capitals of Iceland and Lithuania. On 26 June, the virtual low-cost airline began operating once weekly between Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) and Vilnius (VNO) with 180-seat A320s. The route is scheduled overnight, operating until the end of August.

  • Serbia’s national carrier Jat Airways launched yet another route to the Croatian coast on 2 July. The airline now flies twice-weekly from the Serbian capital Belgrade (BEG) to Split (SPU) on the Croatian Adriatic coast, becoming the airline’s third destination in Croatia after Dubrovnik and Pula. The airline previously operated the route until 1991. Croatia Airlines competes with also twice-weekly operations.

  • Kenya Airways expanded its regional network on 2 July when the SkyTeam airline launched its second route to neighbouring Tanzania after its flights to Dar Es Salaam as the airline notably dropped its route to Zanzibar last month. The new route from the airline’s Nairobi (NBO) hub is to Kilimanjaro (JRO) in the northeast of Tanzania. Flights operate six times weekly with E-190 aircraft; however, frequencies are scheduled to increase to daily in October. Competition on the route comes from Precision Air’s four daily flights.

  • Kuban Airlines launched a new Russian domestic route from the Black Sea resort city of Sochi (AER) on 28 June. The airline now flies twice-weekly to Omsk (OMS) in western Siberia during the summer season until 17 September.

  • Norwegian launched five new routes out of the capitals of Denmark and Norway in the last week. The two routes out of Copenhagen (CPH) both face competition, whereas the three routes from Oslo (OSL) – notably all to Mediterranean islands – are uncontested. France’s second-largest city Marseille (MRS) on the Mediterranean coast is notably a new destination for the Nordic LCC. The fast-growing French airport recently became a base for Air France, which provides competition on the route from the capital of Denmark. All routes except the year-round service to Milan Malpensa (MXP) operate during the summer peak season only, ending in mid-September.
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition (WF*)
30-Jun-12 Copenhagen (CPH) Marseille (MRS) 1 B738 Air France (3)
29-Jun-12 Copenhagen (CPH) Milan Malpensa (MXP) 2 B738 SAS (15), easyJet (10)
28-Jun-12 Oslo (OSL) Kefalonia (EFL) 1 B738
27-Jun-12 Oslo (OSL) Mahon, Menorca (MAH) 1 B738
26-Jun-12 Oslo (OSL) Skiathos (JSI) 2 B738
*WF: Weekly Frequencies    Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012

Silvana Oczkowska, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship MP; Tomasz Moraczewski, Bydgoszcz Airport’s CEO; Piotr Całbecki, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship Parliament Speaker; and Mateusz Kowalski, pilot on OLT Express’ maiden flight from Bydgoszcz to Kraków, cut the celebratory cake in Bydgoszcz.

  • On 2 July, OLT Express inaugurated services to Kraków (KRK), Poland’s second-largest city, from Bydgoszcz (BZG) in the north of the country. Ten weekly flights will be operated using ATR 72 equipment. Bydgoszcz is the second Polish city after Szczecin to receive a non-stop air link to Kraków this month.

  • On 1 July, just over a month after the launch of its award-winning first international route to Seoul Incheon, the low-cost airline Peach added the second non-Japanese destination to its network. Flights from Osaka Kansai (KIX) to Hong Kong (HKG) are now offered with daily frequencies and operated using 180-seat A320s. Competition on the route comes from Cathay Pacific (thrice-daily flights), ANA and Hong Kong Express (each daily).

John T.J Mngodo, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Tanzanian Ministry of Transport, cut the ribbon for RwandAir’s new route to Mwanza, flanked by the airline’s Director Sales and Distribution, Alice B. Katiti, and Commercial Director, Bert van der Stege. Providing the scissors was RwandAir’s Merci Umwali. This is RwandAir’s second route to Tanzania from Kigali.

  • On 2 July, RwandAir added flights to Mwanza (MWZ), Tanzania’s second-largest city and RwandAir’s second destination in the country, to its network from the Rwandan capital Kigali (KGL). RwandAir’s CEO, John Mirenge, said: “Our aim is to expand into the region’s key cities; we are pleased to offer a much more convenient product to passengers originating in Mwanza, who previously had no choice but to transfer at Dar es Salaam.” The thrice-weekly service is offered using Dash-8s seating up to 37 passengers.

  • On 26 and 27 June respectively, Ryanair launched weekly services to Asturias (OVD), the northern Spanish province, from two airports in the Canary Islands; Gran Canaria (LPA) and Tenerife South (TFS). The Spanish carrier Air Europa provides competition on both domestic routes; it offers twice-weekly flights from Gran Canaria, and five weekly from Tenerife Sur. Additionally, the Irish low-cost carrier further expanded its presence in East Midlands (EMA) in the UK, as it added twice-weekly flights to Zadar (ZAD) on the central Croatian coast.

  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines launched eight new seasonal routes to southern European summer sun destinations. All but one of the new routes are from Norwegian airports – Bergen (BGO), Oslo (OSL), Stavanger (SVG) and Trondheim (TRD) – the exception being the Swedish capital airport Stockholm Arlanda (ARN).
Date Origin Destination WF* A/c Seasonality Competition (WF*)
28-Jun-12 Bergen (BGO) Barcelona (BCN) 1 B73G until 2 August Norwegian (2)
29-Jun-12 Bergen (BGO) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 2 B73G until 10 August
01-Jul-12 Oslo (OSL) Antalya (AYT) 1 B73W until 12 August Norwegian (6), TUIfly Nordic (3), Primera Air (2)
26-Jun-12 Oslo (OSL) Faro (FAO) 2 B73W until 10 August Norwegian (3)
28-Jun-12 Stavanger (SVG) Barcelona (BCN) 1 B73G until 2 August Vueling (2)
29-Jun-12 Stavanger (SVG) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 1 B73G until 10 August
02-Jul-12 Trondheim (TRD) Barcelona (BCN) 1 B73G until 6 August
26-Jun-12 Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Alicante (ALC) 5 B738 until 11 August Norwegian (7)
*WF: Weekly Frequency    Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012

  • The Japanese low-cost airline Skymark Airlines added two new domestic routes to its network on 1 July. From Tokyo Narita (NRT), Skymark now serves Kagoshima (KOJ) in the south of the country, while from Osaka Kansai (KIX), the airline launched flights to Asahikawa (AKJ) on Hokkaido in the north of the country. Each of the two routes is operated seasonally on a daily basis with the airline’s 177-seat 737-800s until the end of September. On the Asahikawa route, ANA competes with also daily flights.

  • The Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet continues to grow its domestic route network as it on 1 July launched six weekly flights between Kochi (COK) in the south of India and Pune (PNQ) in the west of the country. The airline uses 189-seat 737-800s on the route. Notably, this is the first time the two airports are connected.

  • On 1 July, the new Star Alliance member TACA launched thrice-weekly flights from San Salvador (SAL), the capital of El Salvador, to Cali (CLO), Colombia’s third-largest city located in the west of the country. Services on the 1,800-kilometre route to TACA’s second Colombian destination from San Salvador after Bogotá are performed using E-190 aircraft with eight business and 88 economy class seats.

TAP Portugal’s early morning flight was welcomed to the Romanian capital airport Bucharest Otopeni with a water cannon salute. The crew then posed for the camera to commemorate the first flight from Lisbon.

  • The Portuguese flag carrier TAP Portugal added a route across the European continent on 30 June when the Star Alliance carrier began operating from its Lisbon (LIS) base to Bucharest Otopeni (OTP), now the only commercial airport serving the Romanian capital. The airline now flies three times weekly with its 132-seat A319 aircraft, competing with the low-cost airline Blue Air’s also thrice-weekly flights.

Tiger Airways Australia re-established its Sydney base on 1 July and relaunched the route to Gold Coast. The airline’s CEO Andrew David travelled on the first flight and celebrated the airline making 10,000 seats available for $10, handing out $10 vouchers to passengers. (Photos by James Morgan)

  • Tiger Airways Australia reopened its Sydney (SYD) base on 1 July and resumed operations on the route to Gold Coast (OOL), which the airline previously operated between December 2009 and its grounding last summer. The route initially starts with a daily frequency, increasing to three daily on 1 August and four daily on 1 September. The A320 operator faces considerable competition on the route, with Jetstar operating 86 and Virgin Australia 83 flights a week. Speaking at the launch event, the airline’s CEO Andrew David said: “Today is an opportunity for Tiger to celebrate our accomplishments over the last 12 months whilst, importantly, we also reflect on our responsibilities as a credible and viable operation.”

  • Transaero, which aims to increase its role in traffic between Russia and Europe, now enjoys the status of being a designated carrier between Russia and Italy, and therefore launched six new routes to Rome Fiumicino (FCO), Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Venice (VCE) in the last week, in addition to two domestic routes. Although only the two Italian routes from St Petersburg (LED) face direct competition, indirect competition on the Moscow routes to Italy comes from Aeroflot and Alitalia at Moscow Sheremetyevo. To Rome, Alitalia operates 19 and Aeroflot 14 flights a week, while Malpensa has twice-daily flights on Aeroflot and daily on Alitalia. Aeroflot also serves Venice twice-daily. Aeroflot has even responded to Transaero’s expansion by announcing the upgrade of one weekly frequency to Malpensa from A321 to 777-300ER (!).
Date Origin Destination WF* Note A/c Competition (WF*)
26-Jun-12 Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC) 3 B763
01-Jul-12 Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) Blagoveschensk (BQS) 1 B763 Yakutia (3)
30-Jun-12 Moscow Domodedovo (DME) Venice (VCE) 1 B73G
28-Jun-12 Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) Venice (VCE) 2 B73G
27-Jun-12 Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 5 daily from 24 Sept B73G
30-Jun-12 Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) Milan Malpensa (MXP) 2 4/wk from 25 Sept B73G
28-Jun-12 St Petersburg (LED) Milan Malpensa (MXP) 2 3/wk from 28 Sept B733 Rossiya (6), Alitalia (1)
28-Jun-12 St Petersburg (LED) Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 2 3/wk from 27 Sept B733 Alitalia (6), Rossiya (6)
*WF: Weekly Frequencies   Source: Innovata data for w/c 2 July 2012

  • TransAsia Airways expanded its network out of Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) with three new Japanese routes in the last week. On 28 June, the Taiwanese airline became the sixth carrier on the route to Osaka Kansai (KIX), which it now serves with daily A321 operations. Competition comes from China Airlines’ 17 flights a week as well as twice-daily flights on JAL and Jetstar Asia and daily flights on Cathay Pacific and EVA Air. On 1 July, TransAsia took on China Airlines by launching daily flights to Okinawa (OKA). The daily flights compete with China Airlines’ twice-daily operations. TransAsia’s third route launched to Japan is uncontested. The airline now operates twice-weekly to Hakodate (HKD) in northern Japan.

  • On 26 June, inaugurated a new route connecting the capital airports of France and Tunisia; Paris Orly (ORY) and Tunis (TUN). The six weekly 737-800 flights will be decreased to five weekly in November. The Air France-KLM low-cost subsidiary will compete against Tunis Air’s 35 weekly frequencies on the 1,500-kilometre route. Further combined 37 weekly flights to Tunis are offered from Paris CDG by Air France, Aigle Azur, Syphax Airlines and Tunis Air.

  • On 2 July, Turkish Airlines further expanded its presence in East Asia, as it resumed services from Istanbul Atatürk (IST) to Ulaanbaatar (ULN), the capital of Mongolia. The route is now offered with thrice-weekly frequencies and operated using A320s with a technical stop in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. Turkish Airlines preciously operated the route between 1996 and 1997, but dropped it due to low demand. The economic exchange between Turkey and Mongolia is still low, although year on year figures doubled in 2011.

  • Vietnam Airlines launched a route to its fifth destination in Mainland China on 26 June when the SkyTeam carrier connected the Vietnamese capital Hanoi (HAN) with Chengdu (CTU) in southwest China. The airline operates the route thrice-weekly. Vietnam Airlines’ CEO, Dr Pham Ngoc Minh, has previously told how China is a strong and growing market for the airline. The route was intended to be operated with 79-seat Fokker 70 aircraft, but strong demand means that capacity instantly has been upgraded to 184-seat A321s on all three weekly flights in July and on two out of three flights from August onwards.

  • Volotea launched 12 seasonal routes from the three Balearic islands Ibiza (IBZ), Mallorca (PMI) and Menorca (MAH) in the last week. Each of the routes is operated twice-weekly to airports in Italy, France and Spain with the airline’s 115-seat 717s, ending between 6 and 9 September.
Date Origin Destination
29-Jun-12 Ibiza (IBZ) Bari (BRI)
30-Jun-12 Ibiza (IBZ) Lille (LIL)
29-Jun-12 Ibiza (IBZ) Strasbourg (SXB)
01-Jul-12 Ibiza (IBZ) Valladolid (VLL)
29-Jun-12 Ibiza (IBZ) Verona (VRN)
30-Jun-12 Mahon (MAH) Santander (SDR)
30-Jun-12 Mahon (MAH) Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)
29-Jun-12 Mahon (MAH) Verona (VRN)
29-Jun-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Bari (BRI)
30-Jun-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Lille (LIL)
01-Jul-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Palermo (PMO)
02-Jul-12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Strasbourg (SXB)

  • The Spanish low-cost airline Vueling launched its third route to the Russian capital airport Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 26 June when it began operating weekly flights from the island of Ibiza (IBZ). The airline already serves Moscow from Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. Flights operate with 180-seat A320s.

Wizz Air launches new routes from Romania and Bulgaria

Memmingen Airport in southernmost Germany celebrated the arrival of Wizz Air’s Bucharest flights – the airport’s third route with the airline after flights from Belgrade and Kiev.

  • Wizz Air added new destinations to its network as the low-cost airline launched six Eastern European routes in the last week, four of which are from the Romanian capital airport Bucharest Otopeni (OTP). For Arad (ARW) in western Romania, the new route to Milan Bergamo (BGY) is its only scheduled commercial service. Verona (VRN) in northern Italy is also a new destination for the 180-seat A320 operator, while the Bucharest service is the second Wizz Air route for Milan Malpensa (MXP).
Date Origin Destination WF*
30-Jun-12 Arad (ARW) Milan Bergamo (BGO) 2
01-Jul-12 Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) Memmingen (FMM) 2
01-Jul-12 Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) Milan Malpensa (MXP) 4
02-Jul-12 Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 2
30-Jun-12 Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) Verona (VRN) 3
27-Jun-12 Budapest (BUD) Varna (VAR) 2


  1. mike says:

    Re: Transaero and “Aeroflot has even responded to Transaero’s expansion by announcing the upgrade of one weekly frequency to Malpensa from A321 to 777-300ER (!).” – Oh? I think you mean Aeroflot’s seasonal use of a 767 on the route, as the airline no longer has Boeing 777 aircraft.
    Aeroflot’s real reaction to Transaero’s entry into the Italian market is the trade-off gain of traffic rights for a new daily Moscow-Bologna service, which will start on 1 September using an Airbus 320 from Moscow Sheremetyevo.
    Interestingly, Transaero is about to break up the duopoly of SkyTeam Aeroflot and Air France on the very lucrative Moscow-Paris route, after receiving rights to operate Moscow-Paris Orly from the end of July.

    • Although Aeroflot currently doesn’t operate any 777-300ERs, the airline has 16 of the type on order with Boeing. In Innovata data, Aeroflot appears as operating one of the three Friday operations with the aircraft type from February 2013.

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