New airline routes launched (12 – 18 February 2013)

American Airlines’ Chicago O’Hare, IL to Columbia, MO

Celebrating American Airlines’ arrival in Columbia, MO, were Cole County Missouri Presiding Commissioner, Marc Ellinger; Eric Struemph, Mayor of Jefferson City, MO; Brett Hooyerink, American Airlines’ Senior Manager Market Development; Will Livsey, American Airlines’ Business Development Manager; Bob McDavid, Mayor of Columbia, MO.

  • American Airlines inaugurated a total of four destinations on 14 February. The airline’s Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) hub now has direct services to destinations in Texas, Missouri and North Dakota, while Chicago O’Hare is now connected to Columbia, MO (COU).
Origin Destination WF* A/c
Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Columbia, MO (COU) 7 ERJ145
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) Beaumont, TX (BPT) 27 CRJ
Columbia, MO (COU) 13 ERJ145
Fargo, ND (FAR) 7 CRJ
Source: Innovata w/c 4 March.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies

easyJet’s Reykjavik to Manchester

With a little help from passengers travelling on easyJet's inaugural flight to Manchester, Hlynur Sigurdsson, Keflavik Airport’s Director of Terminal Operation, cut the celebratory cake.

easyJet adds new routes in Manchester and London Stansted

Sofia welcomed the crew operating easyJet’s inaugural flight from London Stansted with commemorative goodie bags. The UK carrier now serves the Bulgarian capital from three points across the country, the other two being London Gatiwck and Manchester.

  • easyJet inaugurated a total of five new routes from Manchester (MAN) and London Stansted (STN) last week. The carrier now offers flights to 22 destinations from each of the two British airports. Of the newly launched services, Manchester to Sofia (SOF) is the only route on which easyJet enjoys monopoly.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
14-Feb-13 Manchester (MAN) Reykjavik (KEF) 2 Icelandair (3)
Venice (VCE) 3 Monarch Airlines (2)
15-Feb-13 London Stansted (STN) Marrakech (RAK) 3 Ryanair (2)
16-Feb-13 Sofia (SOF) 2
17-Feb-13 Sharm El-Sheikh (SSH) 2 Thomson Airways (1)
Source: Innovata w/c 4 March 2013.
*WF: Weekly Frequencies.

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

  • AeroMéxico inaugurated low-frequency seasonal services on the 1,700-kilometre route from Cancún (CUN) to Nashville, TN (BNA) on 16 February. “We are pleased to welcome AeroMéxico to BNA,” said Rob Wigington, CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. “We are working hard to offer new destinations that our business community and leisure travellers want and markets that help Nashville attract more conventions and corporate relocations.” Weekly flights, which are marketed via a tour operator, will be offered using 737-800s until 11 August.

  • Air Dolomiti inaugurated services connecting Munich (MUC) and Venice (VCE) in northern Italy on 18 February. Thrice-daily flights are now offered on the route, which the carrier previously operated until August 2009. Variable equipment will be used to operate the service.

  • Air Méditeranée increased its offering from Paris CDG (CDG) to Morocco on 14 February, and now offers twice-weekly services on the route. The airline, which already serves Agadir, Marrakech and Oujda from the Paris airport, now also flies to Casablanca (CMN) using 737-500s. While direct competition comes from Air France (26 weekly frequencies) and easyJet (daily), Royal Air Maroc and Jetairfly respectively operate a further 26 and seven weekly flights from Paris Orly.

Air Asia X launches flights to Jeddah and Shanghai Pudong

Aireen Omar, AirAsia’s CEO; Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia X’s Co-founder and Director; Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Chairman; and Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO celebrated the launch of the airline’s 14th destination, Jeddah. Osman-Rani commented: “With Jeddah being the gateway to holy cities of Madinah and Makkah, we are delighted that our services will provide more affordable travel for our Muslim guests in Malaysia and throughout the region to perform the holy pilgrimage of Hajj and Umrah. Similarly, guests from Saudi Arabia will have the opportunity to travel across our extensive network in South East Asia and beyond.

  • AirAsia X inaugurated flights on the route from its base in Malaysian Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Jeddah (JED) in Saudi Arabia, on 16 February. The thrice-weekly service faces competition from Malaysia Airlines, which serves Jeddah with daily frequencies. Additionally, Saudia operates four-weekly flights between the cities.

  • AirTran expanded its offering to Fort Myers, FL (RSW) on 14 February, as it commenced operating two new routes. The carrier now offers twice-daily services from Chicago Midway, IL (MDW), which are operated using 737-700 in addition to Southwest’s 26 weekly departures. A daily 717-operated schedule from Detroit, MI (DTW) was also added to the airline’s network. Competition on this route is provided by Delta and Spirit Airlines, which serve it respectively with 35 and 14 weekly flights.

  • Allegiant Air commenced flights on three new routes last week, including the 800-kilometre service from Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) to Provo, UH (PVU). None of the MD80-operated twice-weekly services faces competition.
Launch date Origin Destination WF*
15-Feb-13 Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA) Provo, UH (PVU) 2
14-Feb-13 Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) Chicago Rockford, IL (RFD) 2
16-Feb-13 Toledo, OH (TOL) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 4 March 2013.

  • Brindabella Airlines, the Australian regional carrier based in Canberra, launched services on its second route from Sydney (SYD) on 18 February. In addition to the 11 weekly flights to Cobar, the airline now serves Orange (OAG) in New South Wales with the same frequency. Flights on the 200-kilometre are operated with variable equipment in competition with Rex Regional Express, which offers 30 weekly frequencies from Sydney to Orange.

  • Delta added four routes to its domestic network on 16 February. All new flights are now offered each with single weekly frequencies and face competition from at least one carrier. Notably, the route from Orlando, FL (MCO) to Milwaukee, WI (MKE) was previously served by Northwest Airlines until December 2006, well before the carrier was absorbed by Delta.
Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
Boston, MA (BOS) West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) 1 MD88 JetBlue (40)
Orlando, FL (MCO) Hartford, CT (BDL) 1 MD88 Southwest Airlines (22)
JetBlue (14)
Milwaukee, WI (MKE) 1 MD88 AirTran Airways (17)
Southwest Airlines (9)
Spirit Airlines (3)
Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) 1 A319 AirTran Airways (23)
Southwest Airlines (15)
Source: Innovata w/c 4 March 2013.
*WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Flydubai, which previously served eight points across Saudi Arabia from its Dubai (DXB) hub, has further increased its offering in the country. Beginning on 13 February, the carrier serves Ha’il (HAS) in north-western Saudi Arabia with twice-weekly frequencies. Ha’il is the second destination launched this year by flydubai, which now serves a total of 52 airports from its middle-eastern hub and recently posted first full-year profits in only third year of operation.

  • IndiGo expanded its presence in north-east India last week with the launch of services from Bangalore (BLR) to Agartala (IXA) on 15 February. Daily flights are now offered on the route, which operates via Guwahati, the capital of the Indian state of Tripura, in which also Agartala is located. All flights are operated with the airline’s fleet of A320s.

  • Mandala Airlines launched Pekanbaru (PKU) as the latest airport it serves in Indonesia on 14 February. The carrier now offers weekly domestic services each to Jakarta (CGK) and Madan (MES), as well as five-weekly to Singapore (SIN). Competition on the route to the Indonesian capital comes from Lion Air (49 weekly frequencies), Garuda Indonesia (42) and Sriwijaya (7). Madan, its other domestic destination launched last week, is already served by Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air (each with daily flights) and Indonesia AirAsia (3). Mandala Airlines will face the least competition on the international route, as Singapore is served by Silkair with thrice-weekly flights.

  • Nas Air launched two domestic and one international service on 18 February, bringing the total number of routes it operates to 45. Thrice-weekly A320-operated flights are now offered on the domestic routes from Riyadh (RUH) to Taif (TIF) and from Dammam (DMM) to Yanbu (YNB). In addition, flights from Taif (TIF) to Kuwait City (KWI) are now operated with also thrice-weekly schedule. Nas Air already links Kuwait City to both Jeddah and Medinah.

Southwest Airlines launches seven seasonal routes; adds year-round flights from Kansas City to Minneapolis/St Paul

One small step for Orlando. One giant leap for Little Rock. NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre heavily supported the launch of Southwest’s new route from Little Rock, AR, to Orlando, FL.

  • Southwest Airlines inaugurated a number of seasonal services on 14 February, all of which are now served with daily frequencies. In addition, on the same day the airline commenced year-round operations on the 630-kilometre route from Kansas City, MO (MCI) to Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP). Competing against Delta’s 41 weekly frequencies, Southwest offers twice-daily flights on the route. In addition, a daily service from Little Rock, AR (LIT) to Orlando, FL (MCO) was inaugurated on 15 February.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
14-Feb-13 Albuquerque, NM (ABQ) Orlando, FL (MCO) 7
Fort Myers, FL (RSW) Long Island/Islip, NY (ISP) 7
Providence, RI (PVD) 7
Kansas City, MO (MCI) Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) 14 Delta (41)
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Albany, NY (ALB) 7
Hartford, CT (BDL) 7
West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) 7
Providence, RI (PVD) 7
15-Feb-13 Little Rock, AR (LIT) Orlando, FL (MCO) 7
Source: Innovata w/c 4 March 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Spirit Airlines inaugurated services on a total of five routes last week, all of which were launched on 14 February except for the Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) to Niagara Falls, NY (IAG) service, which commenced a day later. Spirit Airlines faces competition on two of the newly launched routes, both of which involve Detroit, MI (DEN).
Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
Detroit, MI (DTW) Denver, CO (DEN) 5 A320 Delta (21)
United (14)
Southwest Airlines (13)
Frontier (6)
Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) 7 A319
Detroit, MI (DTW) 7 A319 Delta (7)
Latrobe, PA (LBE) 3 A319
Niagara Falls, NY (IAG) 2 A319
Source: Innovata w/c 4 March 2013.
*WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Tiger Airways Australia launched its operations to the coastal city of Coffs Harbour (CFS) in New South Wales on 15 February. The airline now offers four weekly services on the 450-kilometre route to Sydney (SYD) in competition with Qantas and Virgin Australia, which operate respectively 31 and 14 weekly departures in the market.  Tiger Airways Australia’s Commercial Director, Carly Brear, said: “Coffs Harbour is a great tourism destination with a fantastic year round climate, superb resorts and classic Australian surf beaches. Tiger is the only low fare operator on the Sydney – Coffs Harbour route and we’re confident our services will stimulate demand and provide significant tourism and economic benefits to both destinations.”

  • France commenced services on the route from Lille (LIL) to Marrakech (RAK) in Morocco on 17 February. The carrier, which previously offered only one international route from the French city (twice-weekly flights to Venice), now also flies twice-weekly to the Moroccan destination. The route is operated using 737-800s in competition with Jetairfly’s also twice-weekly departures until 18 April.

  • Ukraine International Airlines inaugurated operations on the ex-AeroSvit routes from Kiev Borispol (KBP) to the second-largest city in Azerbaijan, Baku (GYD), and the Armenian capital of Yerevan (EVN). Beginning on 13 February, the airline offers thrice-weekly flights on each route. While the Baku service is operated with an A320, a 737-500 is deployed on the route to Yerevan. Competition comes respectively from Azerbaijan Airlines (thrice-weekly frequencies to Baku) and Armavia (weekly flights to Yerevan). However, another competitor might soon emerge, as Wizz Air Ukraine is awaiting approvals to carry out flights on both routes. Full analysis of Wizz Air’s expansion plans in the Ukraine was featured last week.

Flights to Oklahoma City, OK, United’s 61st destination from Cleveland, OH, were officially inaugurated by the airport’s Chuck Bushley, Sales Account Manager; Evan Koppel, Director Regional Sales; Jeff Comella, Customer Service Representative; Brenda Gyory, Senior Manager Customer Service; Rich Lisser, MD Cleveland Hub; Bill Redmond, Airport Sales Agent; Sue Louard; Airport Sales Agent; and Todd Payne, Chief of Marketing and Air Service Development.

Keith Hobbs, Mayor of Thunder Bay, welcomed the arrival of United’s new service from Chicago O’Hare, IL. Thunder Bay is now United’s 12th Canadian destination from O’Hare and is served with daily flights.

  • United added three new routes two its network on 14 February, two domestic and one trans-border service. Notably, Thunder Bay (YQT) was added as the airline’s 12th Canadian destination from Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) and is now served with daily flights. United also added flights to Oklahoma City, OK (OKC) from Cleveland, OH (CLE), where it now offers a total of 61 destinations. The new route is aimed at the oil industry, as Oklahoma City is a major centre of shale oil development. All three routes are operated with regional aircraft by United’s regional partners.
Airline Origin Destination WF* A/c
United (SkyWest) Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD) Thunder Bay (YQT) 7 CRJ200
United (Champlain) Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) Fayetteville, NC (FAY) 21 DH2
United (ExpressJet) Cleveland, OH (CLE) Oklahoma City, OK (OKC) 6 ERJ
Source: Innovata w/c 4 March 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch

Helping to launch the new route from Mexico to Tuxtla Gutiérrez last week was José Calderoni, Volaris’ Director Sales and Marketing.

  • Volaris, which launched flights to Mérida earlier in February, further increased its offering from Mexico City (MEX) to the Mexican south-east on 15 February, and now offers services on the 700-kilometre route to the capital of Chiapas. Twice-weekly flights operate to Tuxtla Gutiérrez (TGZ), a major transportation hub for tourists visiting Chiapas. Competition on the route comes from AeroMéxico and Interjet, which serve the market from the Mexican capital to Tuxtla Gutiérrez respectively with 34 and 33 frequencies. VivaAerobus, the Mexican low-cost carrier, previously operated the route, which it launched in October 2010 with daily frequencies, but gradually reduced capacity until it withdrew altogether in early January 2013.

  • WestJet commenced seasonal services on the 3,500-kilometre route from St. John’s (YYT), the capital and largest city of Newfoundland and Labrador, to Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic. Weekly flights are offered to the Caribbean destination using 737-700s until 21 April.


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