New airline routes launched (18 December 2012 – 7 January 2013)

Mandala Airlines’ Surabaya to Jakarta

Mandala Airlines’ staff, including the flight crew members Muhammad Junaidi, Ditto Arya and Diah Proborini, posed for a series of commemorative pictures in anticipation of the new services from Surabaya.

  • Mandala Airlines, the Indonesian low-cost carrier,which resumed its services last April, continues its expansion in the country’s second-largest city Surabaya (SUB) with three new routes, in addition to the Denpasar flights launched earlier in December. Last week the carrier commenced services to Jakarta (CGK), Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Singapore (SIN) and now offers seven weekly frequencies on each route facing substantial competition from numerous airlines already operating in those markets.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
04-Jan-13 Surabaya (SUB) Jakarta (CGK) 7 Lion Airlines (133)

Garuda Indonesia (105)

Citilink (49)

Sriwijaya Air (28)

Indonesia AirAsia (21)

Batavia Air (16)

Merpati Nusantara Airlines (7)

05-Jan-13 Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 7 Indonesia AirAsia (28)

AirAsia (14)

Merpati Nusantara Airlines (7)

06-Jan-13 Singapore (SIN) 7 Silkair (14)

China Airlines (7)

Lion Airlines (7)

Valuair (6)

Source: Innovata w/c 14 January 2013   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch

Qatar Airways’ Doha to Qassim

Pictured during the cake-cutting ceremony marking Qatar Airways’ new route to Qassim are Qatar Airways’ SVP GCC Levant, Iran and Indian subcontinent, Fathi Al Shehab; and Mohammed Al Majled, GM of Gassim’s Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Airport, flanked by airline officials.

  • Qatar Airways inaugurated services on the 800-kilometre route from its Doha (DOH) hub to Qassim (ELQ) on 7 January, making the latter the fifth destination it serves in Saudi Arabia. Four-weekly flights are operated on the route using the airline’s fleet of A320s.

The rest of this week’s new routes

AirAsia connects Kota Kinabalu with Guangzhou

Celebratory goodie bags were distributed amongst the passengers on AirAsia’s inaugural flight from Kota Kinabalu to southern China’s largest city, Guangzhou.

  • AirAsia continues its expansion in the market to China, as it added China’s third-largest city Guangzhou (CAN) to its Kota Kinabalu (BKI) network on 25 December, making it the second (after Shenzhen) destination from the Malaysian city to mainland China. Daily departures are operated by AirAsia on the 1,900-kilometre route using A320-200s.

  • airBaltic returned to the Czech market adding Prague (PRG) to its Riga (RIX) network on 1 January. The route is served with 76-seat Dash 8-400 equipment offering thrice-weekly flights. Following Czech Airlines’ withdrawal from the route last week, airBaltic is now the solo carrier on the route. Czech Airlines’, which previously operated the route in monopoly conditions since September 2004, pulled all of its services to the Baltics and now offers them only as a code-share with airBaltic via Riga.

Allegiant Air inaugurates new route from Las Vegas, NV, to Plattsburgh, NY; adds flights from Phoenix-Mesa, AZ, to Casper, WY

Cutting the ribbon for Allegiant Air’s inaugural flight to Phoenix-Mesa, AZ, were Casper Airport’s Board of Trustee members Bill Sullivan, Kermit Wille, and Tim Monroe; along with County Commissioner, Terry Wingerter; and the airport’s Manager, Glenn Januska.

Allegiant Air inaugurates new route from Las Vegas, NV, to Plattsburgh, NY; adds flights from Phoenix-Mesa, AZ, to Casper, WY

Members of the Las Vegas Airport’s fire and rescue service were on hand to douse Allegiant Air’s maiden arrival from Plattsburgh, NY, as it pulled into the gate.

  • Allegiant Air inaugurated two new low-frequency routes over the Christmas period. On 20 December, the carrier commenced services on the route from Las Vegas, NV (LAS) to Plattsburgh, NY (PBG), which at just over 3,600-kilometres is Allegiant Air’s longest overland routing. Given Plattsburgh’s close proximity to greater Montreal, the Las Vegas-based carrier hopes to tap into a potentially strong market of Canadian travelers, who’ll cross the Canadian border by car and then fly to Nevada as domestic passengers. On the same day, the airline also commenced flights from Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) to Casper, WY (CPR). Glenn Januska, Casper Airport’s Manager, said: “We know that the community, county, and the entire central Wyoming region will support this service to a top vacation destination.” Allegiant Air already offers twice-weekly flights from Casper to Las Vegas. While both new routes are offered with twice-weekly frequencies, flights to Plattsburg will be operated using 757s and to Casper – MD80s.

  • Asiana Airlines became the second carrier to operate on the 3,700-kilometre route from Seoul Incheon (ICN) to the capital of Myanmar, Rangoon (RGN), on 19 December. Twice-weekly departures will be offered on the route until 3 March using 250-seater 767-300s. Another Korean carrier, Korean Air, already serves the route with daily flights.

  • Asky Airlines inaugurated operations in Senegal on 25 December, as it extended its existing route from Lome (LFW) in Togo to Bamako in Mali with thrice-weekly services to the Senegalese capital of Dakar (DKR). All flights on the 2,300-kilometre route are operated using 737-700s.

Belavia connects Minsk in Belarus and Barcelona

Belavia’s inaugural flight from Minsk to Barcelona, here pictured while pulling into the gate in Terminal 2 of the Spanish airport, was operated with the airline’s 737-500; however, the airline’s new E-175 will be deployed to serve the route, offering 12 seats in business and 64 in economy.

  • On 26 December, Belarusian flag carrier Belavia connected country’s capital Minsk (MSQ) with Barcelona (BCN). The airline operates twice-weekly frequencies on this 2,400-kilometre route, using variable narrow-body equipment. The route has been served before with occasional charter services, but never on a scheduled basis; furthermore, Barcelona is now the only Spanish destination, for which direct services are available from Belarus.

  • Cambodia Angkor Air became the first carrier to fly on the 1,100-kilometer route from Cambodia’s Phnom Penh (PNH) to Vietnamese Hanoi (HAN). Trinh Hong Quang, CEO of the airline, said: “The two cities have never been linked with an air service before and we hope that the new route will help boost social and economic exchange.” Daily flights will be operated on the new route using A321.

Celebrating the arrival of China Eastern in Sydney were the airport's Max Moore-Wilton; China Eastern's Shengji BA, Vice Chairman; Kathy Zhang, GM Oceania; and Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport's CEO.

  • China Eastern Airlines continues its Australian expansion with the thrice-weekly flights from Nanjing (NKG) to Sydney (SYD), which it launched on 21 December. Operating with 298-seat Airbus A330-300, the airline is the first to connect Australia with this historic Chinese city located 300km west of Shanghai. Sydney Airport’s CEO, Kerrie Mather, said: “Earlier this year, China overtook the US to become our second largest inbound nationality market, second to only New Zealand and we want to show that we are ‘China-ready”. The carrier also expanded its international network from Kunming (KMG) hub in southwest China, from where, on 28 and 29 December respectively, it commenced flights to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi (HAN) and the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh (PNH). Offering two weekly frequencies on each route, China Eastern is the solo carrier in both markets. In addition, the airline launched two domestic routes. On 27 December, it stepped into the previously un-served Hefei (HFE) to Yinchuan (INC) market. The carrier now offers thrice-weekly departures from this eastern city to the capital of autonomous region Ningxia Hui with a stopover in Xi’an (XIY). On 1 January it then inaugurated seven-weekly flights from Chengdu (CTU) in the southwest of the country to the north-eastern city Changchun (CGQ), competing with Air China’s five-weekly frequencies.

  • Citilink increased its presence in Balikpapan (BPN), located on the east coast of Indonesian Borneo, on 26 December. The airline now offers twice-daily services to Denpasar (DPS) and daily to Ujung Pandang (UPG). While there is no competition on the route to Denpasar, the capital of the province of Bali, as many as five airlines operate in the market from Balikpapan to Ujung Pandang on the Sulawesi Island: Lion Air (21 weekly frequencies), Indonesia AirAsia (14), Garuda Indonesia (11), Merpati Nusantara (7), Sriwijaya Air (7). Mixed narrow-body equipment will be operated on each route.

  • Delta became the second carrier, after Allegiant Air, to inaugurate new routes to Montrose, CO (MTJ) in the last month of 2012, as it connected the popular ski resort and its Atlanta, GA (ATL) hub on 22 December. While daily flights are initially offered on the route, the frequencies will be reduced to weekly from 10 January to 30 March, when it terminates. All flights will be operated using MD-88s.

  • Far Eastern Air Transport inaugurated flights on the 2,100-kilomtre route from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Lanzhou (LHW), the capital of the Gansu Province in Northwest China, on 20 December. The airline, which already offered three Chinese destinations from the Taiwanese airport, launched the new route with twice-weekly departures, both of which will be operated with MD88s. Competition on the route comes from Hainan Airlines, which it matches in terms of frequencies.

  • FlyGeorgia inaugurated services on the 2,100-kilometre route from Tbilisi (TBS) to Dubai (DXB) on 3 January. John Kohlsaat, CEO of the Georgian airline, said: “Our country has something to offer everyone, whether travelling for business or leisure and FlyGeorgia’s chief priority is to deliver the highest quality service and safety to our passengers to ensure their journey to our airline’s home country is a good experience.” In addition to this newly launched twice-weekly service to Dubai, which it will operate in competition with flydubai’s thrice-weekly flights, FlyGeorgia has an ambitious plan to take delivery of two more aircraft and add four European destinations by March 2013. One of the airline’s two A319s will be deployed on the Dubai route.

Jet Airways breaks Air India Express' monopoly on the route from Mangalore to Dubai

Gaurang Shetty, Jet Airways’ SVP Commercial, addressed guests gathered at the press conference in Mangalore to mark the launch of the airline’s new service to Dubai.

Celebrating the arrival of Jet Airways’ third route from India to Dubai with a cake were the airline’s and airport’s officials. First passenger on the return flight had the privilege of cutting the inaugural ribbon. Saleem Golandaz, Dnata’s Customer Services Manager; and the Jet Airways Airport and sales teams including Bram Steller, EVP International Sales; Shakir Kantawala, GM Gulf, Middle East and North Africa; Rohan Alva, Cargo Manager Gulf; and Sanjay Lobato, DM, were present.

  • Jet Airways launched its third (after Delhi and Mumbai) service to Dubai (DXB) on 3 January. The second largest Indian airline at present, Jet Airways now operates six-weekly flights from Mangalore (IXE) to the Middle-Eastern mega hub. The service between western’ India’s largest port city and Dubai is operated with 156-seat 737-800. Competition on the route comes from Air India Express, which has previously held a monopoly in this market since March 2007 and currently operates twice-daily frequencies on the same route.

Jin Air adds its second route to Japan

Merry Christmas & Merry Okinawa: Jin Air’s inaugural service from Seoul Incheon to the south-western Island of Okinawa departed on 24 December.

  • Jin Air, the South Korean low-cost carrier, launched its second Japanese route on 24 December following services to Sapporo. From its base at Seoul Incheon (ICN) the airline now operates daily flights on 1,300-kilometre route to Naha (OKA), which is located in the Okinawa prefecture in southern-western Japan. Operating the route with 189-seat 737-800s, the carrier competes with another South Korean carrier, Asiana Airlines, which it matches in terms of weekly frequencies.

  • Lao Airlines entered the market from Laos to South Korea with two routes from the Laotian capital of Vientiane (VTE). On 21 December, the airline commenced services to Seoul Incheon (ICN), while two days later flights to Busan (PUS) in the south-east of South Korea were launched. Thrice-weekly departures to each destination are all operated with the airline’s A320s. While South Korea’s Jin Air operates four-weekly schedule on the 3,200-kilometre route from Vientiane to Seoul Incheaon, there is no competition in the market to Busan.

  • Malaysia Airlines resumed services on the route from Kota Kinabalu (BKI) in northern Borneo to Osaka Kansai (KIX), which it previously operated with mixed luck on two occasions in the last decade. Beginning on 20 December, the airline offers twice-weekly 737-800-operated flights on the 3,700-kilometre route.

New Year surprise awaited passengers travelling on Nok Air’s maiden flight from Chiang Mai to Hat Yai on 1 January, as airline and airport organized celebratory reception at the gate.

  • Nok Air commenced services on its fifth domestic route from Chiang Mai (CNX) on 1 January, and now connects the northern-Thai city with Hat Yai (HDY), which is located in the south near the country’s border to Malaysia. Daily flights are operated on the route using 737-800s. Thai AirAsia already serves the market from Chiang Mai to Hat Yai with also daily departures.

  • Norwegian added seasonal services from Helsinki (HEL) to the Austrian ski destination of Salzburg (SZG) on 5 January. The low-cost carrier will operate weekly flights between the Finnish capital and the Austrian Alps until 30 March competing with TUIfly’s also weekly departures.

  • Russian airline Orenair, which mainly operates in the country’s domestic market, launched weekly Prague (PRG) service from Volgograd (VOG) on 30 December. The seasonal 2,800-kilometre route is operated with airline’s 737-800 in cooperation with the carrier’s subsidiary tour operator Orenairtour.

Pakistan International Airlines connects Quetta and Kandahar

PIA’s MD, Muhammad Junaid, cut the celebratory ribbon for the launch of the airline’s inaugural service from Quetta to Kandahar in Afghanistan. The launch date coincided with the 137th birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of Pakistan.

  • Pakistan International Airlines inaugurated twice-weekly flights from Quetta (UET) on the western edge of Pakistan and to the second largest city in Afghanistan, Kandahar (KDH), on 25 December. Catering to two important trade centres in the neighbouring countries, the 170-kilometre route is now operated twice-weekly with the airline’s ATR-42 configured for 48 passengers. The Pakistani flag carrier operates to a total of nine destinations from Quetta, which makes it the largest operator at this airport.

Ryanair’s inaugural routes to Lublin Airport in Poland were greeted with a celebratory cake showcasing the brand new terminal building.

  • Ryanair became the first carrier to serve the market from Dublin (DUB) to Lublin (LUZ) on 18 December, when it launched twice-weekly services connecting the Irish capital and the eastern Polish destination. Together with the London Stansted service, which was became the maiden route to this brand new Polish airport only a day earlier, the airline will operate a total of two destinations to Lublin this winter. In addition, Ryanair further expanded its Dublin network on 22 December, when the low cost carrier resumed three winter destinations. The airline now operates with weekly frequencies each to Turin (TRN) and Grenoble (GNB), as well as twice-weekly to Salzburg (SZG). On the same day, it also launched Grenoble (GNB) from its busiest base at London Stansted (STN). While this twice-weekly service faces indirect competition from British Airways (10 weekly frequencies); easyJet (2); Thomas Cook (1), all of which operate the route from London Gatwick, the airline will be a solo carrier on all resumed Dublin routes.

Merry Christmas wishes were sent to Munich with this special cake prepared in Siberian Novosibirsk for S7’s inaugural departure on 23 December.

  • S7 resumed services from Novosibirsk (OVB) to Munich (MUC) on 23 December following a break of eight years. The 4,800-kilometre route between the industrial centre of Siberia and the capital of German Bavaria now operates with weekly frequencies using the airline’s 160-seat 737-800. In addition, S7 also expanded its Moscow Domodedovo (DME) network, as it launched thrice-weekly services to Verona (VRN) in northern Italy on 26 December. Indirect competition to this market comes from Yakutia Airlines, which serves Verona twice-weekly from Moscow Vnukovo until 26 January.

  • SAS added Kiruna (KRN) as the third destination it serves in Sweden from its Copenhagen (CPH) hub on 20 December. The airline, which already serves Stockholm and Goteborg, now offers twice-weekly A319 flights to Sweden’s northernmost city located in the province of Lapland. The service will terminate in late April.

  • Shaheen Air inaugurated operations in the Saudi capital of Riyadh (RUH) on 1 January, when it launched twice-weekly services from Peshawar (PEW) in northern Pakistan. On 2 and 6 January respectively, the airline then went on to launch also twice-weekly flights from Lahore (LHE) and weekly from Islamabad (ISB). Flights on the new routes are operated using the airline’s A330-300s.
Launch Date Origin Destination WF* Competition
01-Jan-13 Peshawar (PEW) Riyadh (RUH) 2 Nasair (4), Saudia (4), PIA (3)
02-Jan-13 Lahore (LHE) 2 Nasair (4), Saudia (3), PIA (1)
06-Jan-13 Islamabad (ISB) 1 Saudia (4), Nasair (3), PIK (1)
Source: Innovata w/c 14 January.      *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch

Reception at the gate and surprise gifts awaited passengers departing on Southwest inaugural flight from Ontario, CA, to Reno, NV – also known as “the biggest little city in the world” – a popular starting point for ski-lovers.

  • Southwest Airlines expanded its network with five new routes on 6 January. All flights are performed using the airline’s fleet of 737-family aircraft and the airline faces competition on two routes – from Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) to Phoenix, AZ (PHX), and from Nashville, TN (BNA) to New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA). 
Origin Destination WF* Competition
Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Phoenix, AZ (PHX) 6 US Airways (13)
Milwaukee, WI (MKE) New Orleans, LA (MSY) 7
Nashville, TN (BNA) Fort Myers, FL (RSW) 7
New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA) 14 American Airlines (39), Delta (29)
Ontario, CA (ONT) Reno, NV (RNO) 7
Source: Innovata w/c 14 January 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequency at launch

SpiceJet grows its offering to Dubai and Riyadh

Indian Minister of Minority Affairs, K. Rahman Khan, was briefed by Kamal Hingorani, SpiceJet’s VP, at the inauguration of the airline’s Saudi service in Riyadh. Hingorani noted: “As a branded airline, we look forward to a long sustained relationship with Saudi Arabia and our partners in this country.”

  • SpiceJet inaugurated daily services on two routes to the Middle East. On 19 December, the Indian carrier launched daily flights from Ahmedabad (AMD) in the north-western state of Gujarat, to Dubai (DXB), which is now served by the airline from four points across India. Competition on the 737-700-operated route comes from Emirates Airlines’ 10 and flydubai’s twice-weekly frequencies. In addition, on 4 January, the airline expanded its international offering from Delhi (DEL) with the launch of services to Riyadh (RUH) in Saudi Arabia. SpiceJet’s daily A320-operated service faces competition from Saudia (6 weekly frequencies) and Air India (3).

Sun Country Airlines’ airport staff in Minneapolis/St Paul, MN, posed for a commemorative picture together with the celebratory cake baked for the launch of the carrier’s new route to Tampa, FL.

  • Sun Country Airlines inaugurated flights on four routes in the last days of December, as it launched one route each domestic and international from both Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) and Lansing, MI (LAN). Flights on all routes are operated using the airline’s fleet of 737-800s on seasonal basis and will be discontinued in early April. 
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
20-Dec-12 Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) Tampa, FL (TPA) 4 Delta (20)
22-Dec-12 Huatulco (HUX) 1
23-Dec-12 Lansing, MI (LAN) Punta Cana (PUJ) 1
27-Dec-12 Las Vegas, NV (LAS) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 14 January 2013   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch

  • Sunwing Airlines added two new winter sun routes to the Caribbean in the run-up to Christmas. On 23 December, the airline launched services from Toronto (YYZ) to San José (SJO) in Costa Rica, on which route it competes with Air Canada’s four-weekly and Air Transat’s single-weekly departures. In addition, on 26 December, Sunwing Airlines launched Santa Clara (SNU) as the second after Varadero Cuban destination it offers from Windsor (YQG). Both routes are operated with weekly frequencies using 737-800s and scheduled terminate in early April.

  • Taca commenced flights on the 1,700-kilometre route from San Salvador (SAL) to Medellín (MDE) in the north-western Colombian region of Antioquia, on 2 January. Four-weekly services to Medellín – Taca’s third Colombian destination, after Bogotá and Cali, from San Salvador – are operated on the route using E190s.

  • TAME continues its international expansion, which commenced last year with new route from Guayaquil (GYE), the main city in Ecuador, to São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU). Thrice-weekly flights on the 4,300-kilometre route across South America are now offered by the Ecuadorian carrier and operated with A319s.

  • Transaero expanded its European coverage from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) with the launch of services to Vienna (VIE) on 26 December, and it now offered services to a total of eight destinations. Twice-weekly flights are operated to the Austrian capital using 737-700s in 137-seat configuration.

  • France increased its offering in the market from France to Venice (VCE) on 20 December with the launch of twice-weekly services from Lille (LIL) and Nantes (NTE). In addition, the latter also saw the airline launch services to Berlin Tegel (TXL) of the same frequency; both new destinations from Nantes will be served on a seasonal basis until mid-March. Volotea provides competition on the route from Nantes to Venice, matching France in terms of weekly frequencies.

  • TUIfly commenced low-frequency seasonal operations on the 1,300-kilometer route from Hannover (HAJ) in northern Germany to the Finnish capital of Helsinki (HEL) on 20 December. 737-800-operated flights depart Sundays until 7 March. 

Cameroon's Douala and Yaoundé welcomed four-weekly services from Turkish Airlines in late December, but the airline also expanded in the opposite direction (looking from its Istanbul hub) - to Iran.

  • Turkish Airlines expanded its presence in Iran in the last month of 2012, as it launched twice-weekly services each to Isfahan (IFN) and Kermanshah (KSH), respectively on 19 and 26 December. The airline now offers a total of six destinations in Iran from Istanbul Atatürk (IST). In addition, the airline added Cameroon as the 96th country it serves from its Istanbul hub, and now offers four-weekly flights to Douala (DLA), the country’s largest port city, via the capital Yaoundé (NSI) on the outward leg.

  • Uni Air, the regional subsidiary of EVA Air, commenced services on the 760-kilometre route from Taichung (RMQ) in western Taiwan to Macau (MFM) on 25 December. Daily flights are offered on the route using MD-90s. Mandarin Airlines and TransAsia Airways each provide also daily departures on the route.

Kelowna Airport’s air service development team posed with Martin Kammerman, United’s Senior Manager Market Analysis Network Planning for a commemorative picture celebrating the airline’s new route to Los Angeles.

United launches three each domestic and international services

United’s maiden arrival in San Salvador was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute. Alberto Arene, President of CEPA (the airport’s operator), said: “This new service reflects the existing passenger demand for international services. The opening up of the country will greatly facilitate the launch of various tourism campaigns that would historically prove too isolated to be successful.”

  • United inaugurated a number of international services in the run-up to Christmas, including daily flights from Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) to San Salvador (SAL), on which route it now competes against Taca’s 17 weekly frequencies. Furthermore, in the first week of January, the airline launched three high-frequency domestic routes, all of which are operated within the United Express brand.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
19-Dec-12 Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Monterrey (MTY) 7 CRJ700 American Airlines (2)
19-Dec-12 Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Kelowna (YLW) 8 CRJ700 WestJet (1)
19-Dec-12 Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) San Salvador (SAL) 7 B738 Taca (17)
03-Jan-13 Cleveland, OH (CLE) Nashville, TN (BNA) 12 ERJ Southwest (19)
07-Jan-13 Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Orlando, FL (MCO) 17 SF3
07-Jan-13 West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) Tampa Bay, FL (TPA) 12 SF3
Source: Innovata data w/c 14 January 2013.      *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Virgin America connects New York JFK, NY, and Palm Springs, CA

Celebrating Virgin America’s new service in California were Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson; and Palm Springs Mayor, Steve Pougne.

  • Virgin America returned with flights on the 3,800-kilometre route from New York JFK, NY (JFK) to Palm Springs, CA (PSP) on 22 December. Virgin America’s President and CEO, David Cush, said: “The convenience of nonstop service is something that was missing from the New York market, so we’re pleased we can offer this additional option for Northeasterners needing a winter escape to the Desert.” Weekly services will be operated with A319s until late April.

Not one, but two Santas saw off passengers travelling on Volotea’s inaugural flight from Verona to Bari on 20 December. Cutting the cake during the launch event were Carmine Bassetti, Catullo Spa's GM; and Valeria Rebasti, Volotea's Commercial Country Manager Italy.

Volotea launches new routes in Italy and France

Volotea’s inaugural departure from Catania in Sicily was given the traditional water cannon send-off by the airport’s fire brigade.

  • Volotea started flying on the route from Verona (VRN) in northern Italy, to Bari (BRI) on the country’s Adriatic Sea coast, on 20 December. Four-weekly services will depart on the 700-kilometre domestic route. On the same day, the airline commenced five-weekly flights from Venice (VCE) to Catania (CTA). In addition, on 22 December Volotea launched operations on two routes from Nantes (NTE), where it now offers a total of six destinations. Year-round weekly service to Tenerife Sur is now in operation, as well as twice-weekly seasonal flights to Grenoble (GNB) in southeastern France, which are scheduled to terminate in mid-March. Volotea is the sole operator on all of the routes.

  • WestJet, which concentrates most of its winter sun routes in Toronto, inaugurated services to the Caribbean from nearby London (YXU), as well as from Winnipeg (YWG) on 21 December. Cuban Varadero (VRA) and Mexican Los Cabos (SJD) are now each served from those two Canadian airports, both with weekly frequencies. In addition, WestJet added Fort Myers, FL (RSW) as its fifth trans-border destination from Ottawa (YOW) on 22 December, and now serves it with also weekly frequencies. All of the newly launched routes are operated with 737-700s until late April.

WizzAir’s Director Corporate Communications, Daniel de Carvalho, and Lublin Airport’s Spokesperson, Piotr Jankowski, admired the stunning cake baked to celebrate the airline’s arrival to the new Polish airport. Daniel de Carvalho commented: “We expect Lublin, the gateway to eastern Poland, to become the place to be in 2013.”

  • Wizz Air inaugurated operations at the second Polish airport opened in 2012 Lublin (LUZ), on 18 December, one day after its arch-rival Ryanair did the same. Welcomed to eastern Poland with a spectacular cake, Wizz Air now offers respectively twice-weekly flights from Lublin to both London Luton (LTN) and Oslo Torp (TRF). Grzegorz Muszyński, the airport’s CEO, said: „We hope that these new routes is only the beginning of our cooperation with Wizz Air, and that more will follow in the future.”

The arrival of WOW air in Salzburg was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute. Weekly service will be operated until late February.

  • WOW air inaugurated seasonal services from Reykjavik (KEF) to Salzburg (SZG) on 22 December. Weekly flights on the 2,800-kilometre route are offered using the airline’s fleet of A320s until 23 February. Salzburg Airport’s CEO, Roland Hermann, underlined: “We are pleased to see the launch of a direct link to Iceland, which will make it easier for Icelanders to come and enjoy Salzburg in the winter.” 

  • XL Airways France inaugurated flights to its fifth Caribbean destination from Paris CDG (CDG) on 19 December, and now serves Guadeloupe’s largest city, Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP) with thrice-weekly frequencies. Services on the 6,800-kilometre route are operated using A330-300 in competition with Air France’s weekly 777-300ER service. 

  • Yakutia Airlines launched flights on its second route to China from Yakutsk (YKS) on 29 December. Services connecting the capital of the Siberian Sakha Republic and Beijing (PEK) are operated with weekly frequencies and 737-800 will be deployed on the 2,600-kilometre route. The airline already serves Harbin in Northeast China. 

  • Zest Air expanded its domestic operation in the Philippines from Cebu (CEB), the country’s second most significant population centre, on 20 December, and now offers daily flights to both Davao (DVO) and Puerto Princesa (PPS). Cebu Pacific provides competition on both routes (respectively 26 and seven weekly frequencies); additionally, AirPhil Express offers twice-daily departures on the route to Davao. Zest Air will operate both routes using its fleet of A320s. 


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