New airline routes launched (31 July – 6 August 2012)

AirAsia Japan’s launch

Cutting the ribbon for the launch of AirAsia Japan were Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X; Kazuyuki Iwakata, CEO AirAsia Japan; Yuuichi Hata, Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and Kensaku Morita, Chiba Governor. Iwakata then posed with crew and passengers travelling on the airline’s first flights to Fukuoka, Sapporo Chitose and Okinawa.

  • AirAsia Japan commenced operations on 1 August and launched altogether three domestic routes in the last week out of its new Tokyo Narita (NRT) base with its two 180-seat A320 aircraft. All three routes face competition from the same four airlines; JAL, ANA, Jetstar Japan and Skymark. AirAsia Japan, which is a joint venture between ANA and AirAsia, saw its first two flights take off with load factors of 80% and 87%. AirAsia Group’s CEO Tony Fernandes said: “This is a dream come true for all of us at AirAsia. It has only been one year since we announced AirAsia Japan’s establishment and now we already have 2 aircraft, 243 staff in Japan and 3 domestic routes on the day we start our operations.”
Date Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
01-Aug-12 Fukuoka (FUK) 14 ANA (21), JAL (21), Jetstar Japan (14), Skymark (14)
03-Aug-12 Okinawa (OKA) 7 Skymark (14), Jetstar Japan (14), JAL (7), ANA (7)
01-Aug-12 Sapporo Chitose (CTS) 21 JAL (21), Jetstar Japan (21), ANA (14), Skymark (14)
Source: Innovata data for w/c 6 August 2012

Volotea’s Bordeaux to Toulon

Cutting the post stamp themed cake for for Volotea’s new French domestic route from Bordeaux to Toulon was Jean-Luc Poiroux, Bordeaux Airport’s Development Director, along with his colleagues from Bordeaux Airport’s Development and Communication teams – Sandy, Sophie, Delphine, Myriam, Martine. Poiroux was then joined by Fabrice Creon, Managing Director of Toulon Airport, and Edo Friart, Volotea’s Development Manager for France, in cutting the ribbon to open the new service.

  • Volotea has expanded its network at its two French bases with five new seasonal routes using its 125-seat 717s. From Bordeaux (BOD) in southwest France, the airline launched thrice-weekly domestic services to Toulon (TLN) on the country’s Mediterranean coast on 1 August. This is the airline’s seventh route from Bordeaux and its first within the French mainland. Flights are scheduled to operate until the end of the summer season, with the last flight operating on 26 October. From Nantes (NTE) in western France, the airline launched four routes, each of which is operated twice-weekly.
Launch date Destination End date
01-Aug-12 Mahon (MAH) until 9 September
01-Aug-12 Valencia (VLC) until 27 October
03-Aug-12 Perpignan (PGF) until 24 October
04-Aug-12 Olbia (OLB) until 7 September

The rest of this weeks’ new routes

  • Air Europa launched its first route to Morocco on 31 July when the SkyTeam carrier connected Spain’s capital Madrid (MAD) with Oujda (OUD) in eastern Morocco. Flights are operated once a week with the airline’s 180-seat 737-800 aircraft. The 650-kilometre route is scheduled to operate seasonally, ending already on 4 September.

In Bogotá, the ribbon was cut by Avianca's employees to celebrate the airline's new twice-daily service to Yopal in the oil-rich region of Casanare.

  • Avianca launched a new domestic Colombian route on 6 August when the airline connected its hub in the country capital Bogotá (BOG) with Yopal (EYP), the capital of the oil rich Casanare Department in the central-eastern part of the country. Flights operate twice-daily with 50-seat Fokker 50 aircraft. SATENA used to operate the route until March this year, but the only competition now facing Avianca is LAN’s 18 flights a week.

Along with Cebu Pacific cabin crew, CAAP’s Jose Emmanuel Sadam; Davao City Investment and Tourism Officer Jason Magnaye, the airline’s VP Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog; Summit World’s Eduardo Bangayan; and DOT Region 11 Director Art Boncato cut the ribbon for the new route from Davao to Puerto Princesa, while passengers travelling on the Kalibo service were entertained with traditional music and dance.

  • Cebu Pacific launched two new routes out of Davao (DVO) on southern Philippines’ Mindanao Island on 1 August. The Philippine low-cost airline now serves its latest, sixth base – Kalibo (KLO) in central Philippines – as well as Puerto Princesa (PPS) in the west of the country from Davao. Each of the two uncontested routes is operated four times weekly, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays, with the airline’s 180-seat A320s. Cebu Pacific’s VP Marketing and Distribution, Candice Iyog, commented: “Starting today, two popular tourism destinations, Puerto Princesa and Boracay, will be within easy reach of Dabawenyos and vice versa. Providing accessibility across the Philippine islands continue to be one of Cebu Pacific’s top priorities, and is evident in the rest of the new routes we are launching later this year.”

As Interjet became the first budget carrier to connect Mexico City and New York JFK, José Luis Garza, the airline’s president, said: “The demise of Mexicana created many opportunities for the development of international routes. We pick those markets in which our competitive advantage is clear.”

  • On 2 August, Interjet became the first low-cost airline on the important route between Mexico’s capital and the biggest city in the US. The Mexican carrier now operates daily between Mexico City (MEX) and New York JFK, NY (JFK), competing with Aeromexico’s 27 flights a week and Delta’s 14 weekly operations. Further, indirect competition comes from United’s 14 flights a week from Newark. This is Interjet’s third route to the US after its flights to Miami, FL and San Antonio, TX.

Pegasus Airlines’ new route to Bologna, the Italian university city with a worldwide reputation for its food, was celebrated with a cake illustrating the ‘Red City’ and its culinary treasures. Cutting the cake was Ilknur Aras, the airline’s station manager at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, as she was joined by the airport’s Commercial Team.

  • The Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus Airlines launched its third route to Italy on 2 August when the airline connected its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) base with Bologna (BLQ), complementing the airline’s routes to Rome Fiumicino and Milan Bergamo. Flights operate three times weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) with 737-800s. Indirect competition at Istanbul Atatürk comes from Turkish Airlines’ twice-daily Bologna operations.

SEAIR launches new domestic routes from Manila

Cutting the cakes baked to celebrate SEAIR’s new route between Manila and Cebu were Nikos Gitsis, SEAIR Director and co-founder; William Hotchkiss III, Director General, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP); Avelino Zapanta, president SEAIR; and Patrick Tan, COO SEAIR.

SEAIR launches new domestic routes from Manila

Cutting the ribbon for the new route to Manila in Tacloban were Antonio Alfonso, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) area manager (Area VII); Delza A. Gochoco, SEAIR general manager; and Alfred Romualdez, Tacloban City mayor.

  • SEAIR, the Philippine airline associated with Tiger Airways of Singapore and the subject of this week’s airline analysis, launched five new domestic routes out of the country capital Manila (MNL) in the last week. All routes are operated with the A319 and A320 aircraft that the airline leases from Tiger Airways.
Date Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
31-Jul-12 Cebu (CEB) 21 Cebu Pacific (71), Philippine Airlines (55), Airphil Express (35), Zest Air (21)
02-Aug-12 Iloilo (ILO) 7 Cebu Pacific (42), Philippine Airlines (28), Airphil Express (21), Zest Air (14)
04-Aug-12 Kalibo (KLO) 7 Zest Air (26), Cebu Pacific (23), Philippine Airlines (23), Airphil Express (14)
03-Aug-12 Puerta Princesa (PPS) 7 Cebu Pacific (30), Zest Air (25), Airphil Express (21), Philippine Airlines (14)
01-Aug-12 Tacloban (TAC) 7 Cebu Pacific (28), Philippine Airlines (21), Airphil Express (14), Zest Air (14)
Source: Innovata data for w/c 6 August 2012    *WF: Weekly Frequencies

  • The Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet has expanded its domestic network out of Bangalore (BLR) in the southwest of the country, launching two new routes on 2 August. The airline now operates daily to Ahmedabad (AMD) in the west of the country and Kochi (COK), merely 390 kilometres from Bangalore. Both routes are operated with the airline’s 737-800s. On the route to Ahmedabad, SpiceJet faces competition from IndiGo’s twice-daily and JetLite’s also daily operations, while the Kochi route is operated in competition with Jet Airways’ 14, Air India’s seven and IndiGo’s six flights a week.

  • Tiger Airways Australia has based its second aircraft at the newly relaunched base in Sydney (SYD) and launched flights to Brisbane (BNE) on 1 August. The A320 operator initially operates twice-daily, increasing to four times daily on 1 September. The new operation faces considerable competition. Qantas operates 136 flights a week, while Virgin Australia serves the market with 131 weekly flights and fellow LCC Jetstar operates 23 flights a week.

Turkish Airlines' new triangular route from Istanbul to Ganja via Nakhchivan in Azerbaijan was celebrated with a ribbon and cake-cutting ceremony. Turkish Airlines previously offered only one Azeri destination, Baku.

  • Turkish Airlines has expanded its network to Azerbaijan from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub by complementing its services to the country capital Baku with new operations to two further destinations in the country. On 31 July, the Star Alliance airline launched operations to Ganja (KVD), Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, but from 2 August, the route is operated via the exclave Nakhchivan (NAJ) on the outbound sector, adding yet another destination to Turkish Airlines’ network. The triangular route is operated three times weekly with the airline’s 124-seat A319s.

During the opening ceremony of Volaris' new route from Culiacán to Los Angeles, the governor of the Mexican Sinaola state, Mario López Valdez, said: "I believe that this new route from Volaris will bring considerable benefits to the region, as it opens up a very important market - California."

  • The Mexican low-cost airline Volaris launched its sixth route to Los Angeles, CA (LAX) on 4 August. The airline now flies once a week across the border to the US airport from Culiacán (CUL) in northwestern Mexico with its 174-seat A320 aircraft. The airline already serves Los Angeles from Guadalajara, Mexico City, Morelia, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes. This is the airline’s first international service from Culiacán, which the airline since previously serves from Tijuana, Mexico City and Guadalajara.

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