New airline routes launched (8 – 14 January 2013)

NovoAir from Dhaka to Chittagong

NovoAir launches domestic operations with four routes from Dhaka

Bengali Civil Aviation Minister, Faruk Khan, cut the ribbon during the inauguration ceremony for NovoAir, the country’s latest airline arrival.

  • NovoAir, the latest Bengali airline, commenced operations on 9 January, as it launched three domestic routes from the country’s capital, Dhaka (DAC). The airline now operates 26 weekly departures to Chittagong (CGP), an important port city in the south-east of the country. Daily flights to both Cox’s Bazaar (CXB), also in the south-east, and to Jassore (JSR) in the south-west, were also inaugurated on the same day. All services will be operated using the airline’s fleet of two 49-seater ERJ145s. NovoAir’s MD, Mofizur Rahman, said: “Air services are in high demand due to poor conditions on the roads across the country, and NovoAir will benefit from this fact.”
Origin Destination WF* Competition
Dhaka (DAC) Chittagong (CGP) 26 Regent Airways (35)
United Airways Bangladesh (24)
Biman Bangladesh (15)
Cox’s Bazaar (CXB) 7 Regent Airways (7)
Uniter Airways Bangladesh (7)
Jessore (JSR) 7 Regent Airways (14)
United Airways Bangladesh (14)
Source: Innovata w/c 21 January 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

InterSky’s Graz to Zürich

InterSky begins its Graz expansion

Clockwork: Graz’s famous clocktower provided the theme for the cake celebrating InterSky’s new route to Zürich, which was then presented at the Swiss airport by Stefan Ettl, Steiermark Tourism; Peter Oncken and Renate Moser, both InterSky’s MDs; and Gerhard Widmann, MD of Graz Airport.

  • InterSky, which was recently subject to airline analysis, inaugurated services on the 520-kilometre route from Graz (GRZ) in south-eastern Austria, to Zürich (ZRH) on 14 January. The double daily routes will be served with a mix of Dash8-300 and ATR72-600 and according to the airport’s Rolf Hancock, Manager Airline Affairs. A third daily flight could be added, subject to demand. Salzburg to Zürich is said to be in the pipeline for S’13 as well.

The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)

Celebratory cake was prepared in Sharjah on 10 January for Air Arabia’s inaugural departure to Sialkot, its third Pakistani destination after Karachi and Peshawar. Assisting the cake-cutting ceremony were the airline's Rajesh Narula, Manager, UAE; Shalini Rajan, Regional Manager; Tariq Iqbal Soomro, Pakistani Consul General in Dubai; and Arijit Ganguly, Air Arabia's Area Manager.

  • Air Arabia connected the third most populous city of the UAE, Sharjah (SHJ) and Sialkot (SKT) in the north-eastern Pakistani province of Punjab on 10 January. Operating daily flights with A320 in a 162-seat configuration, the airline now competes with and Shaheen Air’s thrice- and Pakistan International Airlines’ twice-weekly departures, which are already offered on this 2000-kilometre route.

Alitalia inaugurates Fortaleza as its third destination in Brazil

Alitalia's arrival in Fortaleza earlier this week turned the north-eastern Brazilian city into the airline's third destination in the country.

  • Alitalia started flights on the third route from its Rome Fiumicino (FCO) hub to Brazil on 14 January. The airline, which already serves both São Paulo (GRU) (8 weekly departures) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG) (6), now offers twice-weekly flights to Fortaleza (FOR), a popular tourist destination and Brazil’s fifth-largest city located in the north-eastern Brazil. Services will be operated with the 777-200 on seasonal basis until 27 May.

During the launch event for ANA’s new route from Tokyo to San José, guests and passengers enjoyed watching kagami-wari, the traditional Japanese ritual of breaking a sake barrel as a symbol of new beginning here performed by San José Airport’s Aviation Director, Bill Sherry; Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, Hiroshi Inomata; US Ambassador to Japan, John Roos; San José’s Mayor, Chuck Reed; former Secretary of Transportation and Commerce, Norman Mineta; and ANA’s Chairman, Yoji Ohashi.

  • ANA, the largest Japanese airline in terms of passenger movements, inaugurated new flights from its Tokyo Narita (NRT) hub to the third-largest city in California, San José (SJC), on 11 January. The airline deploys one of its 17-strong 787 fleet to provide five-weekly frequencies on the 8,300-kilometre route over the Pacific. During the inaugural ceremony in Tokyo, ANA’s President and CEO, Shinichiro Ito, said: “We are confident that passenger demand will remain high between San José and Japan, as well as other Asian cities, with Tokyo as the gateway into Asia. Reservations for the route are already showing great demand and we are excited that customers will enjoy ANA’s utmost service with Japanese hospitality on our innovative Dreamliner”. The new route is the first direct routing between Japan and San Jose since October 2006, when American Airlines withdrew its daily 777-operated service.

  • Atlasjet resumes its services on domestic route from Istanbul Atatürk (IST) to Adana (ADA) on 11 January following a break of six years. Flights to Adana, which is located in the south of the country, are now offered thrice-daily using A320s, in competition with both Turkish Airlines and Onur Air. The two airlines already operate respectively 70 and 18 weekly departures on this 700-kilometre route.

  • Blue1, SAS’ Finnish subsidiary, launched a weekly seasonal service from Helsinki (HEL) to Geneva(GVA) on 12 January. The low frequency 717-operated route will be served until 23 March and compete with existing services from Finnair (14 weekly flights) and TUIfly (1).

Passengers arriving on Cal Jet Air’s inaugural services to Mazatlán on the Mexican Pacific Coast disembarked to the tune of local music band. Inaugural conference was then held by airline and airport officials.

  • Cal Jet Air launched services to a new winter sun destination, Mazatlán (MZT) in Mexico from five US cities. Seasonal services from San Antonio (SAT), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), Oakland (OAK) and Houston (IAH) to the coastal city located in western Mexico are operated in collaboration with Xtra Airways using 737-400s and are scheduled to terminate in April 2013.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
09-Jan-13 San Antonio (SAT) Mazatlán (MZT) 1
10-Jan-13 Los Angeles (LAX) 2 Alaska Airlines (6)
10-Jan-13 Denver (DEN) 2
11-Jan-13 Oakland (OAK) 2
11-Jan-13 Houston (IAH) 2
Source: Innovata data for w/c 21 January 2013

*WF: Weekly Frequency

Dragonair connects Hong Kong with Yangon and adds Zhengzhou service

Dragonair’s inaugural service to Zhengzhou in north-central China was celebrated in Hong Kong by the airline’s mangement board and VIP guests. Passengers travelling on the maiden flight were given welcome gifts to mark the airline’s 21st Chinese route.

Dragonair connects Hong Kong with Yangon and adds Zhengzhou service

Welcome ceremony was thrown by Yangon Airport in Burma to celebrate the arrival of Dragonair’s four-weekly services.

  • Dragonair commenced two new routes last week. On 8 January, the Hong Kong (HKG) based airline launched daily services to Zhengzhou (CGO) in the north-central China. Competition in this market comes from China Southern Airlines which also provides daily frequencies. The following day the airline inaugurated flights from Hong Kong to Yangon (RGN), the largest city and main economic hub of Myanmar. Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung said: “We see tremendous potential in this market with both tourism and commercial activities rapidly gaining momentum. We look forward to carrying more passengers between Hong Kong and Myanmar and helping to promote ties between the two places.” The 2,000-kilometre route has not been served since March 2008 and now is operated four-times weekly with airline’s A320.

  • EVA Air enhanced its presence in Japan on 12 January. The second largest Taiwanese airline commenced services from its Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) hub to Niigata (KIJ) located on the northwest coast of Honshu, the largest Japanese island. The previously unserved route is served with twice-weekly frequencies using MD90s and is the airline’s second destination launched to Japan this season, following Hakodate flights, which commenced in October.

Frontier Airlines starts flying on the route from Denver to Cleveland

Frontier’s inaugural arrival to Cleveland, OH, from Denver, CO, was documented for posterity by Todd Payne who kindly shared this lovely picture with

  • Frontier Airlines inaugurated flights from its Denver (DEN) hub to Cleveland (CLE) on 9 January. The US low-cost carrier now operates four-weekly frequencies on the 1,900-kilometre route between the capital of Colorado and the city in north-eastern Ohio and competes with United Airlines’ existing 20 weekly departures. Ricky Smith, Cleveland Airport’s Director, said: “This new four-weekly service is a nice addition for north-east Ohio travelers going to the Rocky Mountain region and further west.”

  • Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ long-haul, low-cost subsidiary, which performed its first flight seven months ago, continues its expansion in China’s market. Commencing 11 January, the airline now flies from its Singapore (SIN) hub to Shenyang (SHE), located in the Northeast China, 220 kilometres north from the country’s border with North Korea. Operating with 777-200, the airline offers thrice-weekly frequencies with a stopover in Qingdao (TAO). Competition on the route comes from China Southern Airlines, which operates daily flights via Guangzhou.

Cutting the inaugural cake before SpiceJet’s maiden departure were the airline’s CEO, Neil Mills; and Bangalore Airport’s Director Operations, Daniel Bircher.

  • SpiceJet launched services on the 150-kilomtere route from Bangalore (BLR) to Mysore (MYQ), both located in the Indian state of Karnataka, on 14 January. Thrice-weekly services are offered on this new domestic route and all will be operated with 78-seater Q400s. SpiceJet is currently the only airline using Mysore, as the airport reopened following a closure of 14 months.

  • TransAsia Airways commenced flights on the 760-kilometre cross-strait route from Taichung (RMQ) to Macau (MFM) on 12 January, and now offers daily flights using A320s. Competition on the route comes from Mandarin Airways and Uni Airways, which each serve the city pair also with daily frequencies. Notably, the latter only launched operations on the route in late December 2012.


  1. Dwight says:

    Hey Marc, could you inform Ralph that the US Routes 2013 listing needs to be updated? Thank you.

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