New airline routes launched (15 – 21 January 2013)

flydubai from Dubai to Malé

A water cannon salute and delegation of senior Maldivian state officials received flydubai's inaugural service from Dubai in Malé. The airline's CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, remarked: "I am confident that the Maldives will prove attractive to passengers from across our network, particularly those in the GCC and CIS regions who can transit easily through Dubai hub."

  • flydubai inaugurated flights from Dubai (DXB) to Malé (MLE) on 19 January. The low-cost carrier now serves the Maldives with five-weekly frequencies using its fleet of 737-800s, competing with Emirates’ twice-daily 777-operated services. flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “As the first low-cost carrier from the UAE to fly to the Maldives, we are making this island paradise even more accessible to travellers across our network”. The 3,000-kilometre route to the Maldivian capital became the airline’s 51st destination served from the Middle-Eastern mega hub.

Bangalore to Pondicherry

Tiruchirapally in the Indian state of Tamil Nandu became SpiceJet’s 21st domestic destination currently offered from Chennai. Guests were treated to a celebratory cake during the launch event in the terminal.

And more cakes! SpiceJet’s second route launched last week, from Bangalore to Pondicherry, was also celebrated with a sweet treat.

  • SpiceJet expanded with two new domestic routes last week. On 15 January, India’s low-cost carrier commenced four-weekly operations connecting south-eastern cities of Chennai (MAA) and Tiruchirapally (TRZ). The 300-kilometre route is served with 78-seater Dash 8-400 and competes with Jet Airways’ 13 and Air India Express’ seven weekly departures. The same aircraft type is also deployed for the previously unserved route from Bangalore (BLR) to Pondicherry (PNY), the latter being a Union territory of India in the south-east of the Deccan Peninsula. This 280-kilometre service launched on 17 January, and now operates with thrice-weekly frequencies.

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

  • Atlasjet, which last week launched services to Adana, added two more domestic destinations to its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) network. Commencing on 15 and 18 January respectively, the Turkey’s low-cost airline now flies twice-daily to Alanya Gaziantep (GZT), which is located in the south of the country, and thrice-daily Kayseri (ASR) in central Turkey. Following these additions, the airline now serves a total of seven domestic routes from Istanbul Atatürk and has scheduled further domestic expansion this week to both Van and Kars from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen airport. Make sure to check back next week for analysis of these two services.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition (WF*)
15-Jan-13 Istanbul Atatürk (IST) Gaziantep (GZT) 14 Turkish Airlines (35)
Onur Air (7)
18-Jan-13 Kayseri (ASR) 21 Turkish Airlines (46)
*WF: Weekly Frequency
Source: Innovata data for w/c 28 January 2013

  • Juneyao Airlines, the Shanghai-based carrier, continues its international expansion to the Thai market, as it launched its second route to the country on 16 January. Following the Phuket service, which commenced in November 2012, the Chinese airline now also connects Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Bangkok (BKK). The airline deployed A320s for the daily 2,900-kilometre flights and faces substantial competition from existing services provided by Shanghai Airlines (21 weekly departures), China Eastern Airlines (14), Thai Airways (14), Spring Airlines (7) and Sri Lankan Airlines (5).

  • Ukraine International Airlines resumed services from Kiev to Kazakhstan’s capital on 16 January. The airline was quick to re-launch the flights from Kiev Boryspil (KBP) to Astana (TSE), after its main competitor Aerosvit withdrew daily services between the capitals two days earlier. Operating with 112-seat 737-500 equipment, the Ukrainian airline will offer five-weekly frequencies, boosting them to daily departures from April 2013. The airline now holds monopoly conditions serving the two largest Kazakhstan’s cities, including the country’s main economic hub Almaty.

  • UTair launched a domestic, 1,400-killometre route from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) to Nalchik (NAL) on 15 January. The daily frequencies between the Russian capital and the mountain resort located in the Caucasus foothills are operated with one of the airline’s 113-seat 737-500s, providing competition to Grozny Avia’s daily departures operated with slightly larger (120 seats) Yak-42s.

  • Vietnam Airlines inaugurated its first flight from Da Nang (DAD) to Cambodia on 21 January. Daily services from the port city in central Vietnam to Siem Reap (REP), the gateway to Cambodia’s historical region of Angkor in the north-west of the country will be operated with a 66-seater ATR72 on seasonal basis until 30 March. Competition in the market comes from Silkair, which already operates on the route with thrice-weekly departures.


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