New airline routes launched (26 March – 1 April 2013)

Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul Atatürk to Houston

Cutting the ribbon upon Turkish Airlines’ arrival in Houston were Houston Airport System’s Director of Aviation, Mario Diaz; Turkish Minister of Economy, Zafer Çaðlayan; Houston Mayor, Annise Parker; and Hamdi Topçu, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board.

There were major celebrations at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Sunday when Turkish Airlines officially celebrated making the airport its second base in Istanbul. By mid-summer the airline will be serving a total of 13 international destinations from the airport. Getting ready to cut the cake are Berk Albayrak, Chief Operations Officer, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport; Halil Ibrahim Polat, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Turkish Airlines; Abdullah Soner Akkurt, Chief Commercial Officer, Turkish Airlines; Gökhan Buğday, Chief Executive Officer, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport; Ibrahim Doğan, Deputy Senior Vice President of Regional Flights, Turkish Airlines. For only the second time in's history, Ralph Anker was on hand to try some of the celebratory cake for himself!

  • Turkish Airlines has finally decided to create a second base at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), as if operating to over 200 destinations from Istanbul’s main airport is not enough. By mid-summer, the carrier will serve 13 international destinations non-stop from the airport, but to start the summer season it launched flights to Amsterdam (AMS), Kuwait (KWI), Paris CDG (CDG), Tehran (IKA) and Vienna (VIE). Four of these routes are already served by other airlines, with local rival Pegasus present on three of the routes. Turkish Airlines also serves all of these destinations with between three and four daily flights from Istanbul Atatürk (IST). Talking of which, the airline launched a new transatlantic service from there to Houston, TX (IAH), its fifth US destination after Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, New York JFK and Washington Dulles, on 1 April. Flights will initially be operated four-times weekly with 777-300ERs, increasing to six-times weekly from the beginning of July. Speaking at the route launch in Houston, Hamdi Topçu, Turkish Airlines’ chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee said, “We’re delighted that Turkish Airlines can now serve the Houston community and better connect them with our services to 220 destinations globally via Istanbul. Houston is a key point in international aviation. We believe that these new flights will make international travel easier and more convenient for both business and leisure travellers in the area.”
Launch date From To WF Competition at SAW (WF) TK from IST (WF)
1 April Istanbul (SAW) Amsterdam (AMS) 4 Pegasus (7), Transavia (7) 28
31 March Kuwait (KWI) 5 Jazeera Airways (2) 17
31 March Paris CDG (CDG) 3 28
1 April Tehran (IKA) 5 Iran Aseman Airlines (4), Pegasus (7) 23
1 April Vienna (VIE) 4 Pegasus (7) 28

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

  • Adria Airways, which already offers services to eight destinations across Western Europe, added flights to Paris CDG (CDG) to its network from Ljubljana (LJU) on 31 March. Daily flights are operated on the 900-kilometre route using 86-seat CRJ900s in competition with Air France’s services of the same frequency. Adria Airways had previously operated the route until October 2010.

  • Aegean Airlines increased its offering with three new routes in the course of last week. This included the launch of daily flights from Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus to London Gatwick (LGW), which replace the airline’s former offering to London Heathrow. As a result Aegean is this summer operating just three daily flights to Heathrow (from Athens), compared with five daily flights last summer (four from Athens and one from Larnaca). This suggests Aegean has ‘given up’ two pairs of daily slots at Europe’s busiest airport, presumably for some financial gain. In addition, the carrier expanded its network from Heraklion (HER) with two new destinations in Germany. Competition on all three routes comes from a mixture of low-cost and leisure carriers.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Larnaca (LCA) London Gatwick (LGW) 7 A320 easyJet (7)
Thomas Cook (2)
Thomson Airways (2)
Heraklion (HER) Düsseldorf (DUS) 1 A320 Condor (1)
Frankfurt (FRA) 1 A320 Condor (1)
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Aer Lingus inaugurated flights from Belfast City (BHD) to Málaga (AGP) on 28 March, in addition to the Faro (FAO) service, which launched on 23 March. Six weekly flights depart to the Spanish destination, while the Portuguese city is served daily. These are the airline’s first international flights from Belfast City, from where it also serves London Heathrow and London Gatwick with multiple daily flights. On 31 March, the Irish carrier also started services on the 2,500-kilometre route from Dublin (DUB) to Corfu (CFU) and now offers it with a single weekly frequency. A320s are deployed on all newly launched services.

Herman Leiderman was officially welcomed by Sheremetyevo Airport's Sergey Ryzhov, Deputy Director Aviation Marketing and Commerce; and Air Astana's Kaparulin Dmitry, Head of Representative Office in Moscow, as the first passenger travelling on the Air Astana route from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Atyrau.

Vladimir Semenchenko, CEO Swissport Ukraine; and Air Astana’s Country Manager Ukraine, Sergali Amirbekov, celebrated the launch of two new routes to the Ukrainian capital.

  • Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, inaugurated two routes to the Ukraine last week, a market previously unserved by the airline. On 31 March, Air Astana inaugurated flights to Kiev Boryspil (KBP) from Kazakhstan’s largest city and former capital, Almaty (ALA), adding a second service to the Ukrainian capital from Astana (TSE) on the following day. While both routes are initially operated with thrice-weekly frequencies, the frequency of the Almaty service will increase to four-weekly at the end of May. Notably, E190s operate the 2,800-kilometre route from Astana, while A320s are deployed on the other route. Peter Foster, Air Astana’s President, commented: “Air traffic between the capital of the Ukraine and Kazakhstan’s largest cities will assist strengthening bilateral political, trade and economic relations between the countries. And I’m sure the young capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, as well as the cultural and business centre of the country, Almaty, will entail tourists from Ukraine”. Ukraine International Airlines provides competition in both markets, which it serves with daily flights each. In addition, on 31 March, the airline also commenced services on the 1,400-kilometre route from Atyrau (GAU) located in Kazakhstan in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea, to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO). Thrice-weekly flights are offered on the route and operated using E190s.

  • Air China expanded its offering from Hangzhou (HGH), the capital city of Zhejiang province in Eastern China, last week, as it added three new destinations to its network there. One of the newly launched services is operated with an intermediate stop. Competition is provided by at least one carrier in each of the markets.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
01-Apr-13 Hangzhou (HGH) Guilin (KWL) 7 A320 Shandong Airlines (14)
China Southern Airlines (7)
Beijing Capital Airlines (3)
Lanzhou (LHW) 7 A319 China Southern Airlines (7)
Xining (XNN via CGO) 7 A319 Sichuan Airlines via CKG (7)
Xiamen Airlines via XIY (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Air France Cityjet continues its expansion in Germany from London City (LCY) following the award-winning launch of services to Nuremberg earlier this year. Beginning on 1 April, the airline offers six weekly flights from its London base to the delightful, historic, eastern German city of Dresden (DRS). Avro RJ85s are deployed to serve the route, which is the airline’s third service to Germany from the airport.

  • Air France introduced two new destinations within its mainline operation from Paris Orly (ORY) to Morocco and Turkey. Daily flights have been added to Casablanca (CMN) and Istanbul Atatürk (IST). Both destinations are already served by the airline from its main hub at Paris CDG with at least double daily flights.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Paris Orly (ORY) Casablanca (CMN) 7 A318 Royal Air Maroc (37)
Jetairfly (3)
Istanbul Atatürk (IST) 7 A319
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Air Swedish, which operates under the brand Fly Swedish using 76-seat E170s leased from Estonian Air, commenced flights from the northern Swedish town of Arvidsjaur (AJR) to both Copenhagen (CPH) and London Stansted (STN) on 28 March. Thrice- and twice-weekly flights respectively are offered and both include a stop in Skellefteå (SFT). On the same day, the airline also launched operations on the route from Copenhagen to Beirut (BEY) via Skopje (SKP). Weekly services are operated on the route using A320.

AirAsia Japan’s CEO, Yoshinori Odagiri (pictured third left), led the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the base launch in Nagoya Chūbu last week. Local officials and airport VIPs assisted the event.

  • AirAsia Japan launched daily services from Nagoya Chūbu (NGO), which became the airline’s second base, to Fukuoka (FUK) on the southern Japanese Kyushu Island, on 31 March. Competition on the 600-kilometre route is significant and comes from ANA (70 weekly services), Jetstar Asia (11) and Ibex Airlines (7), but AirAsia Japan is already planning to double the frequencies later in the season.

Air Baltic adds Milan Malpensa and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to its offering from Riga

airBaltic moved Istanbul airports for its Riga service last week and now operates flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport. As marketing support, the airport offers free shuttle service for airBaltic passengers until the end of April, taking them to Taksim Square on the European side of Istanbul.

  • airBaltic expanded its Riga (RIX) network last week, as it launched two new destinations on 31 March. The carrier now operates daily services on the 1,800-kilometre route from the Latvian capital to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), having previously operated to Istanbul’s main airport at Atatürk. In addition, the airline also introduced changes to its offering in the Italian market, as it moved its Milan service back to Milan Malpensa (MXP), which it had given up in November 2010 in favour of serving Milan Linate.

  • AirDo, previously known as Hokkaido International Airlines, commenced operations on the 1,100-kilometre route from Sapporo Chitose (CTS) to Okayama (OKJ) on 31 March. The 737-700 operated service is offered with daily frequencies, in competition with ANA’s schedule of matching frequency. In addition, on the same day, the airline commenced twice-daily services from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Kushiro (KUH) in the Hokkaido prefecture. Competing in this market are ANA and JAL with 27 and 21 weekly departures respectively.

Cutting the ribbon for Alaska Airline’s inaugural flight from San Diego, CA, to 'Beantown' was Poley King – an Alaska MVP Gold and long-time fan of the airline.

  • Alaska Airlines added Boston, MA (BOS) as the ninth domestic destination it operates to from San Diego, CA (SAN), on 29 April. Daily frequencies are offered on the 4,200-kilometre route, which the carrier operates with 737-700s. Competition on the route comes from JetBlue Airways, which serves the market from the southern Californian city to Boston also with daily flights.

Performing the ribbon- and cake-cutting ceremonies in Ekaterinburg were Evgeny Krasikov, PR Director of the Airports of Regions Company; Denis Bukin, Ekaterinburg Koltsovo’s Director of Operations; Giovanni Simonini, Alitalia’s GM Russia and CIS; and Anna Golovina, Alitalia’s Station Manager Moscow.

Alitalia adds six international destinations to its Rome Fiumicino network

Accompanied by Alitalia’s Monica Garau and Emanuela Carillo, is Gianni Leone, Alitalia’s Country Manager UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and Baltics; and Matthew Hall, London City Airport’s CCO. A mini art exhibition was organised in the airport’s terminal to mark the launch of the new route.

  • Alitalia used the shift of seasons to expand its international offering from its Rome Fiumicino (FCO) hub. Notably, Ekaterinburg (SVX), the fourth-largest city in Russia, located on the border of Europe and Asia in the Urals, became Alitalia’s third Russian destination after Moscow Sheremetyevo (17 weekly flights) and St. Petersburg (4). The twice-weekly schedule to Copenhagen (CPH) presents the Italian carrier with the most competition, as three other carriers already operate a combined 29 weekly flights. In addition, the carrier inaugurated six-weekly flights to London City (LCY), which it operates using 100-seat E190s.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
26-Mar-13 Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Oran (ORN) 3 E175
Ekaterinburg (SVX) 3 A32S Ural Airlines (1)
27-Mar-13 Copenhagen (CPH) 2 A32S easyJet (7)
Norwegian (13)
SAS (9)
Bilbao (BIO) 2 A320
28-Mar-13 Montpellier (MPL) 2 E175
01-Apr-13 London City (LCY) 6 E190
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • ANA, which last week joined the five-star airline Skytrax club, inaugurated services on two domestic routes in Japan on 31 March. The carrier now operates flights on the 400-kilometre route from Sapporo Chitose (CTS) to Akita (AXT) in the Tohoku region of Honshu, the largest of Japan’s islands. Twice-daily flights are operated on the route using Q400s and ANA faces competition from JAL’s thrice-daily departures. In addition, the airline returned to the market from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Ishigaki (ISG) in the Okinawa prefecture, which it last served in October 2006. Departures on the 1,900-kilometre routing are offered with daily frequency and operated using 767-300s. Competition on the route comes from the Okinawa-based Japan Transocean Air, which offers twice-daily flights from Ishigaki to Tokyo Haneda.

  • Blu Express, the low-cost arm of Blue Panorama Airlines, inaugurated services on the 2,400-kilometre route from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 1 April. Blu Express’s President, Franco Pecci, commented: “Budget flights between Russia and Italy will contribute to the development of relationships between two countries. New flights and reasonable prices create new opportunities for cultural exchange and make shopping in Italy more comfortable for Russian tourists.” Twice-weekly flights are now operated by the carrier using B737 in competition with Transaero’s services of the same frequency. Additionally, Aeroflot and Alitalia both operate in the market from Rome Fiumicino to Moscow Sheremetyevo, offering 21 and 17 weekly flights respectively, while Transaero also flies with five weekly frequencies to Vnukovo.

  • Brindabella Airlines commenced services in the market from Sydney (SYD) to Moree (MRZ) in northern New South Wales, on 30 March. Last autumn, the airline was awarded a five-year license to operate the service and now offers 18 weekly frequencies on this domestic route, all of which are operated with Jetstream J41. Brindabella Airlines’s CEO, Ian Vanderbeek, commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Sydney to Moree route by Transport NSW, which results in a natural extension to our existing services in the region.” The 500-kilometre route was previously operated by Qantas and existing passengers will benefit from Brindabella Airlines’ affiliation in Qantas’ FFP scheme.

  • British Airways, following the launch of flights to Barcelona in late February, continued to expand its offering to Spain from London Gatwick (LGW) last week, as it inaugurated services to three destinations on 31 March. The carrier now offers 17 weekly departures to Alicante (ALC), five weekly to Tenerife Sur (TFS) and twice-weekly to Lanzarote (ACE). In addition, the airline also started daily flights on the 1,300-kilometre route from London Heathrow (LHR) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI). Competition on all of the Gatwick routes is intense, with easyJet, Monarch and Thomson Airways all providing direct competition on each route. Vueling provides competition on the Heathrow – Palma service.

  • British Airways Openskies, the French long-haul arm of the British carrier, which it failed to dispose of, returned to the market from Paris Orly (ORY) to New York JFK, NY (JFK) on 31 March. The airline last served the route in January 2010, when it shifted its New York operation to Newark, which it still serves with twice-daily flights. Departures from Orly are offered with daily frequencies and operated with 114-seat B757. While there is no direct competition on the route, Air France, American Airlines, United and Delta serve the Big Apple from Paris CDG with a combination of flights to both JFK and Newark, offering a total of 69 weekly services.

  • Brussels Airlines relaunched flights on the 1,700-kilometre route from its Brussels (BRU) base to Palermo (PMO) on the Italian island of Sicily. The service, which was last offered by the airline three years ago, now operates with a weekly schedule using A319.

  • China Southern Airlines commenced services to Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) from Urumqi (URC) on 1 April, and now offers flights to the Taiwanese city from 14 points across Mainland China. Thrice-weekly flights are operated on the 3,700-kilometre route from the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China using B757s.

  • Czech Airlines inaugurated three new routes from its Prague (PRG) hub on 31 March. The airline continues expanding its coverage of the Russian market, as it launched twice-weekly flights to Perm (PEE). The city, located in the foothills of the Urals, is already served from Prague by Tatarstan Airlines, whose weekly operation provides competition to the newly launched Czech Airlines service. The SkyTeam airline now flies a total of 11 routes to Russia, from both Prague and Karlovy Vary. In addition, on 1 April, the carrier resumed services to Zürich (ZRH), which it last offered in October 2011, and plans to boost the initial nine weekly frequencies with an additional weekly flight from May 2013. The airline also started operations on two Italian routes in the course of last week.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Prague (PRG) Perm (PEE) 2 A319 Tatarstan Airlines (1)
01-Apr-13 Nice (NCE) 4 EQV
Zürich (ZRH) 10 EQV Swiss (28)
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Darwin Airline commenced four weekly operations on the route from Prague(PRG) to Florence (FLR) in Italy on 1 April. Services are offered on this 740-kilometre route and operated using its Saab 2000s. To boost the load factors on the new service, Darwin Airline struck an agreement with Czech Airlines and the two carriers will codeshare on the route.

  • Donavia, Aeroflot’s subsidiary, resumed services on the domestic route from Rostov-on-Don (ROV), located in Russia’s south-west and Ekaterinburg (SVX), the country’s fourth-largest city. The 1,800-kilometre route was last served by the airline in September 2011, and commencing on 31 March, it returns to the airline’s schedule with five-weekly frequencies, using 149-seat 737-400s.

Dragonair’s Management Board celebrated the launch of services from Hong Kong with officials from Da Nang Airport and the Deputy Director of Tourism.

  • Dragonair inaugurated services to its second destination in Vietnam, after Hanoi, on 28 March and now connects its Hong Kong (HKG) base to Da Nang (DAD), the commercial centre of central Vietnam. As the only carrier offering flights on the 900-kilometre route, Dragonair operates thrice-weekly flights using A320s.’s Editor, Marc Watkins; and Ruth Spratt, Head of Sales UK, posed for a commemorative picture with the inaugural cake baked by the wife of’s Publisher, Paul Hogan. Spratt then said: “Around 30% of sales on the route come from Russia and the route has exceeded our expectations in that respect.”

easyJet's inaugural service from Berlin Schonefeld to Sofia was greeted with the traditional water salute. The crew then received commemorative goodie bags presented by Kristian Krastev, Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria. The ceremony was attended by Veselin Peykov, Sofia Airport's Executive Director; and Peter Voets, easyJet's Marketing Manager.

Basel Euroairport’s Ingrid Sturzenegger, Manager Business Development, celebrated the launch of new easyJet routes together with the airline’s ground team.

  • easyJet added a total of nine new services across its network in the course of last week. One destination each was launched from Basel (BSL), Berlin Schönefeld (SXF), Lisbon (LIS), Milan Malpensa (MXP), Newcastle (NCL) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO), while three services were inaugurated in Manchester (MAN). Notably, the northern British city is now connected with Moscow Domodedovo (DME), bringing the total of easyJet’s Russian routes up to two. assisted the launches of both Moscow routes, including an extensive coverage of last week’s London Gatwick to Moscow launch.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Basel (BSL) Catania (CTA) 2 A319 airberlin (2)
31-Mar-13 Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Sofia (SOF) 4 A319
31-Mar-13 Lisbon (LIS) Bilbao (BIO) 4 A319 TAP (12)
26-Mar-13 Manchester (MAN) Antalya (AYT) 2 A319 Thomas Cook (6), Thomson Airways (2)
27-Mar-13 Prague (PRG) 3 A320 (6)
28-Mar-13 Moscow Domodedovo (DME) 4 A319
27-Mar-13 Milan Malpensa (MXP) Larnaca (LCA) 2 A319 Cyprus Airways (2)
26-Mar-13 Newcastle (NCL) Jersey (JER) 2 A319
29-Mar-13 Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Hamburg (HAM) 4 A319 airberlin (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Ethiopian Airlines launches flights to Blantyre in Malawi and Ndola in Zambia

The traditional water cannon salute awaited Ethiopian Airlines’ arrival from Addis Ababa in Ndola, the capital of Zambia’s Copperbelt region. The country’s Transport and Communication Minister, Christopher Yaluma, commented during the ceremony: “The government will support Ethiopian Airlines as it has placed tourism high on the economic agenda. We expect new air services to not only spur creation of employment but also help us meet the Millennium Development Goals.”

  • Ethiopian Airlines further strengthened its Addis Ababa (ADD) operation on 31 March, as it launched two African routes. Thrice-weekly services are now offered by the airline to both Blantyre (BLZ), Malawi’s centre of finance and commerce, and Ndola (NLA), the capital of Zambian copper-mining region of Copperbelt. Both destinations are operated as extension of existing services, via Lilongwe and Lubumbashi respectively. The airline’s 737 fleet is used to operate both routes.

Etihad Airways becomes the last MEB3 carrier to serve Washington Dulles

Etihad’s arrival in Washington Dulles was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute. James Hogan, the airline’s CEO, commented: “Government and corporate customers in both markets have given us strong indication that the route can support a daily service from day one. We have confidently responded by committing 3,360 seats per week and already our forward bookings on the route are very encouraging in both directions.” Etihad also plans to open a $6.8 million premium lounge this week to benefit premium travellers.

  • Etihad Airways commenced services on the 11,400-kilometre route from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub to Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) on 31 March, becoming the last MEB3 carrier to serve the US airport. Daily flights are offered on the route using A340-500s, and Etihad faces indirect competition from Emirates and Qatar Airways, which serve Washington Dulles from their respective hubs with flights of the same frequency. In addition, United Airlines provides further daily departures from Dubai as the only non-MEB3 carrier in the market. Etihad Airways already serves two other US gateways, Chicago O’Hare and New York JFK, each with daily flights.

  • Flybe inaugurated twice-weekly flights on the 1,100-kilometre route from Exeter (EXT) to Barcelona (BCN) on 31 March, making the capital of Catalonia the seventh destination it offers in Spain. The newly launched service is operated using 118-seat E195s.

  • Fuji Dream Airlines, a domestic Japanese carrier headquartered in Shizuoka, inaugurated services on the domestic route from Nagoya Komaki (NKM) serving the country’s third-largest incorporated city, to Kōczi (KCZ) on the island of Shikoku. Daily services are operated on the 350-kilometre route using 76-seat E170s.

  • Germania, the German carrier focusing on leisure and ethnic traffic, inaugurated low-frequency services from Bremen (BRE) to Varna (VRN) located on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Single weekly frequencies are offered on the 900-kilometre route until 27 Septermber using 737-700 equipment.

Hamburg Airport celebrated the launch of several services by germanwings last week, as the airline took over a number of routes previously operated by its parent company, Lufthansa, and launched a brand new service to Barcelona.

  • germanwings, in addition to taking over a number of services previously operated by Lufthansa, added flights to Barcelona (BCN) to its offering from Hamburg (HAM) on 31 March. Five weekly A319-operated flights are now flown by the airline on the 900-kilometre route. On the same day, germanwings also inaugurated services from another northern German city, Hannover (HAJ), to Venice (VCE), which it had served during the summer season of 2011, but did not reinstate last year.

  • Iberia increased its offering to Algeria last week, as it launched two new routes to this North African country. Beginning on 30 March, the IAG-owned carrier inaugurated services on the route from Alicante (ALC) to Oran (ORN) on the western Mediterranean coast of the country and now operates a four-weekly schedule using variable equipment. Competition in the market from Alicante to Oran is provided by Air Algerie, which operates six-weekly services on the route. On the following day, Iberia also added single weekly flights on the 450-kilometre route from Valencia (VLC) to Algiers (ALG). CRJ900 equipment is deployed on the route.

InterSky launches Naples from Memmingen and Zurich from Salzburg

A variation on the traditional Mozartkugel cake, the “Moser-Kugel” cake was baked by Zürich Airport to celebrate both the launch of InterSky’s new route to Salzburg, and the birthday of the airline’s founder and MD, Renate Moser. Zürich Airport’s Rolf Hancock, Manager Airline Affairs, posed for a commemorative picture with Moser.

  • InterSky, which has set ambitious growing plans in Germany and Austria for 2013, inaugurated two routes on 31 March. The airline deploys its 50-seat Q300 to operate the newly launched service connecting Zürich (ZRH) and Salzburg (SZG), and now offers a total of 18 weekly flights on the 300-kilometre route. In addition, the carrier connected the southern German city of Memmingen (FMM) and Italy’s third-largest city Naples (NAP). The seasonal weekly service is operated using the Q300 until 16 June, with planned service resumption on 25 August.

  • Japan Airlines commenced services on the route from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Nagoya Chubu (NGO) on 31 March and now operates a daily schedule between the two airports. On the same day, the airline also resumed services on three routes from Osaka Itami (ITM), the domestic airport serving the Kansai area, which competes for traffic with both Osaka Kansai and Kobe airports.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Osaka Itami (ITM) Hakodate (HKD) 7 CRJ200
Matsuyama (MYJ) 21 CRJ200 ANA (63)
Misawa (MSJ) 7 ERJ170
Tokyo Haneda (HND) Nagoya Chubu (NGO) 7 B738
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Miyuki Suzuki, Jetstar Japan’s CEO, led the launch celebrations in Nagoya Chūbu Airport, where the airline added three new routes last week.

The Kagami Biraki ceremony was performed by airport and airline officials upon Jetstar Japan’s maiden arrival in Oita from Tokyo Narita.

  • Jetstar Japan continued its dynamic expansion in Japan with the change of seasons, as it launched five new destinations on 31 March, including three new routes from Nagoya Chūbu (NGO) and two from Tokyo Narita (NRT). All three services from Nagoya face considerable competition, while the Tokyo Narita services are operated by Jetstar Japan as the lone carrier.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Nagoya Chubu (NGO) Fukuoka (FUK) 14 A320 ANA (70)

AirAsia Japan (7)

Ibex Airlines (7)

Sapporo Chitose (CTS) 14 A320 ANA (36)

Japan Airlines (35)

Skymark Airlines (14)

Kagoshima (KOJ) 7 A320 ANA (28)
Tokyo Narita (NRT) Oita (OIT) 11 A320
Kagoshima (KOJ) 7 A320
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Jetstar Pacific commenced services on two routes from Ban Mê Thuột (MNV), the capital of Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, to both Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) in the south of the country, and Vinh (VII) in its north central coastal region. Five and thrice-weekly frequencies respectively are offered on the newly launched routes and operated using A320s. Vietnam Airlines provides competition in the market from Ban Mê Thuột to Ho Chi Minh City, which it serves with 24 weekly departures.

  • Juneyao Airlines, the Chinese regional airline, inaugurated its new base in Hangzhou (HGH) in the Eastern Chinese Zhejiang Province this week, launching services to five new destinations with its 158-seat A320s. While it faces substantial competition from industry heavyweights like Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines on three of these routes (Guiyang, Qingdao and Taiyuan), on the remaining two it will be the only airline operating flights. However, the most severe competition is saved for its Wenzhou (WNZ) to Changsha (CSX) route, where its daily offering will represent less than 15% of weekly flights on the 750-kilometre city pair.
Launch date Origin Destination WF Competition
31-Mar-13 Hangzhou (HGH) Guiyang (KWE) 7 Shenzhen Airlines (14)
Xiamen Airlines (14)
Air China (7)
China Southern Airlines (7)
China Eastern Airlines (4)
Qingdao (TAO) 7 Shandong Airlines (25)
China Eastern Airlines (8)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Taiyuan (TYN) 7 China Eastern Airlines (18)
Hainan Airlines (7)
Sichuan Airlines (7)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Urumqi (URC) 7
Yichang (YIH) 7
Wenzhou (WNZ) Changsha (CSX) 7 China Southern Airlines (14)
Xiamen Airlines (14)
Air China (7)
Chengdu Airlines (7)
Okay Airways (7)
Guiyang (KWE) 7
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Kenya Airways grew its international network last week, as it inaugurated services from its Nairobi (NBO) base to Hong Kong (HKG) on 31 March. Thrice-weekly flights are offered on the route, which operates via Dubai. The airline’s 767-300s are deployed on this stopping service, replacing the airline’s earlier Hong Kong routing via Bangkok in Thailand.

  • Korean Air resumed services on the 6,100-kilometre route from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Honolulu, HI (HNL), which it last served 24 years ago. Beginning on 31 March, the airline offers daily flights on the route and operates them using A330-300s as an extension of its existing service from its Seoul Incheon hub to the Japanese capital. Competition on the route comes from Delta Air Lines (16 weekly frequencies), Japan Airlines (15), ANA (7), China Airlines (7) and United Airlines (7).

Minoan Air expands in Swiss Lugano

Lugano Airport welcomed the arrival of Minoan Air’s inaugural flight from Vienna with the traditional water cannon salute.

  • Myanmar Airways International inaugurated flights on the 1,000-kilometre route from Mandalay (MDL), Burma’s second-largest city and the last royal capital, to Bangkok (BKK) on 31 March. Daily services are now operated to the Thai capital, which the Burmese carrier already serves with twice-daily flights from Yangon, using A320s. Competition on the route comes from the Thai Airways subsidiary, Thai Smile’s five weekly departures.

  • Norwegian expanded its offering from Northern Europe to Spain last week, as it launched three new services. London Gatwick (LGW), where the Nordic carrier is building up its new base, saw the inauguration of weekly flights on the 1,300-kilometre route to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) on 31 March. Competition on the route comes from easyJet (22 weekly frequencies), Thomson Airways (3), Monarch Airlines (2) and Thomas Cook (2). Additionally, the carrier commenced flying on four routes to Alicante (ALC) and now offers weekly services to Molde (MOL) and Tromsø (TOS) in Norway, as well as from Oulu (OUL) in Finland and Umea (UME) in Sweden. All Alicante routes were launched on 1 April, except for the service from Molde, which started a day earlier.

  • Pegasus Airlines increased its domestic offering from its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) hub on 1 April. The carrier now offers five-weekly services to Denizli (DNZ) in south-western Turkey, and thrice-weekly to Kahramanmaraş (KCM) located in the country’s south-east, at the foot of the Ahir Mountain. Both routes are operated using the airline’s fleet of 737-800s.

  • Royal Air Maroc expanded its network from Casablanca (CMN) hub with the launch of four new routes last week. On 31 March, the Moroccan flag carrier inaugurated thrice-weekly flights to London Gatwick (LGW), and now operates a combined total of 10-weekly frequencies to two London airports – Heathrow and Gatwick. In addition, after 14 years of absence from the market, the carrier returned to Scandinavia inaugurating services to both Copenhagen(CPH) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). On 1 April, the carrier also started flights to Las Palmas (LPA) in the Spanish Gran Canaria. Flights are operated twice-weekly via Laayoune (EUN) in Western Sahara, in competition with existing four-weekly frequencies from Binter Canarias.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Casablanca (CMN) Copenhagen (CPH) 3 B735
London Gatwick (LGW) 3 B738 Air Arabia Maroc (3)
Stockholm (ARN) 3 EQV
01-Apr-13 Las Palmas (LPA via EUN) 2 B735 Binter Canarias (4)
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Malta Airport’s Beatriz Corchero, Matthew Gusman and Jeanette Zammit from the marketing team organized a very special welcome event to celebrate the launch of Ryanair’s service to Gothenburg City.

Ryanair's 50 new routes include opening of Zadar base

Faro Airport’s Helder Lemos, Head of Marketing; and Jocelyn McCall Ferreira, Marketing Aviation, Key Account Airlines, cut the cake celebrating Ryanair’s new route to Leipzig and the third anniversary of the airline’s base at the southern Portuguese airport.

Camilla Littorin, Business Manager Destination Jönköping; and Sten Norrinder, Jönköping Airport’s MD, cheered to the success of Ryanair’s new service to Girona, 16 years after the carrier first touched down at the Swedish airport.

Traditional German Lebkuchen (or gingerbread cake) was served in Nuremberg to mark Ryanair’s launch of services to London Stansted. Presenting the bake were Peter Schuberth, AirPart’s Sales and Quality Manager; Henrike Schmidt, Ryanair’s Country Manager Germany; Ryanair Cabin Crew on the inaugural flight; and Andreas Humer-Hager, Nuremberg Airport’s Head of Aviation Marketing.

Ryanair's 50 new routes include opening of Zadar base

Porto Airport’s Joanna Martins, Álvaro Leite and Márcia Canedo from the marketing team, cut the celebratory cake for Ryanair’s maiden departure to Clermont Ferrand.

Ryanair's 50 new routes include opening of Zadar base

Another route launched by Ryanair from Porto last week – the twice-weekly service to Strasbourg – was also celebrated with a cake.

  • It may have recently reported a 1% drop in its passenger numbers for March, but that has not stopped Ryanair from leading the way, once again, as the airline that starts (and stops) more routes than any other. For the period under analysis this week (25 March to 1 April), we have identified a total of 54 genuinely new Ryanair routes (as opposed to including seasonal re-starts), with many more to follow next week. These new routes involve a total of 62 different airports across Europe and North Africa. Worth noting is that of the 54 new routes, just six are currently served by other airlines, and that the average weekly frequency of the new services is just 2.54. Zadar (ZAD) in Croatia officially becomes the airline’s latest base, and first in Croatia, with one based aircraft and three new routes starting this week.
Start Date From Code To Code WF* Competition (WF)
01-Apr-13 Alghero AHO Trieste TRS 3
01-Apr-13 Alicante ALC Katowice KTW 1
31-Mar-13 Barcelona BCN Bologna BLQ 7 Vueling (4)
31-Mar-13 Nador NDR 3 Air Arabia Maroc (2)
01-Apr-13 Brussels Charleroi CRL Rijeka RJK 2
01-Apr-13 Cagliari CAG Oslo Rygge RYG 2
01-Apr-13 East Midlands EMA Menorca/Mahon MAH 2
31-Mar-13 Edinburgh EDI Beziers BZR 2
31-Mar-13 Katowice KTW 2
31-Mar-13 Santander SDR 2
31-Mar-13 Faro FAO Cologne/Bonn CGN 4 germanwings (3)
31-Mar-13 Fez FEZ Rome Ciampino CIA 2
31-Mar-13 Girona GRO Groningen GRQ 2
01-Apr-13 Jönköping JKG 2
01-Apr-13 Kalmar KLR 2
01-Apr-13 Katowice KTW 2
31-Mar-13 Lappeenranta LPP 2
31-Mar-13 Memmingen FMM 5
31-Mar-13 Trieste TRS 2
31-Mar-13 Glasgow Prestwick PIK Rzeszow RZE 2
01-Apr-13 Liverpool LPL Lublin LUZ 2
01-Apr-13 London Stansted STN Kefalonia EFL 2
28-Mar-13 Nuremberg NUE 7
26-Mar-13 Strasbourg SXB 3
31-Mar-13 Tallinn TLL 4
27-Mar-13 Maastricht MST Brive BVE 2
31-Mar-13 Malaga AGP Cologne/Bonn CGN 4 airberlin (3)
01-Apr-13 Malta MLA Gothenburg City GSE 2
31-Mar-13 Liverpool LPL 3
31-Mar-13 Milan Bergamo BGY 7
31-Mar-13 Manchester MAN Corfu CFU 2 easyJet (2)
01-Apr-13 Lanzarote ACE 2 (2)

Monarch (4)

Thomas Cook Airlines (3)

Thomson Airways (3)

Trapani TPS 2
31-Mar-13 Marseille MRS Warsaw WAW 2
01-Apr-13 Oslo Rygge RYG Reus REU 2
31-Mar-13 Rijeka RJK 2
01-Apr-13 Palma de Mallorca PMI Warsaw WAW 2
01-Apr-13 Pisa PSA Leipzig LEJ 2
28-Mar-13 Porto OPO Clermont-Ferrand CFE 2
26-Mar-13 Strasbourg SXB 2
31-Mar-13 Rome Ciampino CIA Corfu CFU 2
31-Mar-13 Cuneo CUF 4
31-Mar-13 Trapani TPS Bratislava BTS 2
31-Mar-13 Gothenburg City GSE 2
31-Mar-13 Hamburg Lübeck LBC 2
01-Apr-13 Kaunas KUN 2
31-Mar-13 Rzeszow RZE 2
01-Apr-13 Warsaw WAW 2
31-Mar-13 Weeze NRN Oujda OUD 2
01-Apr-13 Rijeka RJK 2
01-Apr-13 Tangier TNG 2
01-Apr-13 Zadar ZAD Gothenburg City GSE 2
01-Apr-13 Haugesund HAU 2
01-Apr-13 Liverpool LPL 2
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weefly Frequencies at launch.

  • SAS added a total of five new routes last week. The airline reinstated services on the routes from Copenhagen(CPH) to Prague(PRG), and from Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) to Berlin Tegel (TXL), both of which had been discontinued in 2008. In addition, the carrier launched flights to Budapest(BUD) from both Nordic capitals. On 1 March, SAS also commenced operations on the 700-kilometre route across the Baltic Sea, connecting Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) and Vilnius (VNO). The now-bankrupt Swedish airline, Skyways, operated in this market until March 2012.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Copenhagen (CPH) Prague (PRG) 6 A319 Czech Airlines (19), Norwegian (7)
Budapest (BUD) 6 MD-81 Norwegian (6)
31-Mar-13 Oslo (OSL) Berlin Tegel (TXL) 3 737 airberlin (18)
Budapest (BUD) 3 737 Norwegian (9)
01-Apr-13 Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Vilnius (VNO) 6 S20
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Seaborne Airlines, the US Virgin Islands headquartered carrier, inaugurated a new route from San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico on 1 April. Four-weekly flights on the 530-kilometre route to Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP) in Guadeloupe are now operated by the airline. The newly launched service is operated using Saab 340s, leased by the airline in late 2012.

  • Shandong Airlines, owned by Air China, used the start of the summer season to introduce eight new domestic routes from four Chinese airports. The main airport beneficiary is Xiamen (XMN), which witnessed services inaugurated to Guilin (KWL), Dalian (DLC), Shenyang (SHE) and Xi’an (XIY). Flights to the former, the city located in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, represents the route where Shandong Airlines will encounter the stiffest competition, with 18 competing frequencies from three airlines. However, 50% of its new services will see it become the sole operator on the respective routes.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
31-Mar-13 Xiamen (XMN) Guilin (KWL) 7 Beijing Capital Airlines (7)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Lucky Air (4)
Dalian (DLC) 1 7 Xiamen Airlines (7)
Shenyang (SHE) 2 3 Hainan Airlines (7)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Xi’an (XIY) 3 7 Hainan Airlines (7)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Yantai (YNT) Fuzhou (FOC) 4 7
Hohhot (HET) 5 2
Qingdao (TAO) Zhuhai (ZUI) 6 3
Zhengzhou (CGO) Yantai (YNT) 7
Source: Innovata w/c 8 april 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.
Note: 1 – via Hangzhou; 2 – via Jinan; 3 – via Wuyishan;  4 – via Nanjing; 5 – via Tianjin; 6 – via Nanchang

  • Sichuan Airlines stand to increase its respective networks in two of three of its main hubs at the start of the Summer 2013 season, with Chongqing (CKG) and Kunming (KMG) attracting three of the nine new routes initiated this week (the airline’s primary base in Chengdu sees no new routes). Of the nine services starting this week, the Chongqing to Lanzhou (LHW) operation is the shortest at just 763 kilometres, while delivering a 1,867 kilometre sector length is Yinchuan (INC) to Harbin (HRB), some 46% longer than the average route distance of all these new flights. Interestingly, this carrier is 10% part-owned by fellow new route airline Shandong Airlines, as well as China Southern Airlines (39%) and Shanghai Airlines (10%).
Launch date Origin Destination WF Competition
31-Mar-13 Chongqing (CKG) Lanzhou (LHW) 7 China Express Airlines (7)
China West Airlines (7)
Hainan Airlines (7)
Shantou (SWA) 4
Changsha (CSX) Shenyang (SHE) 7 Sichuan Airlines (4)
Hangzhou (HGH) Taiyuan (TYN) 7 China Eastern Airlines (18)
Hainan Airlines (7)
Juneyao Airlines (7)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Tianjin (TSN) 7 Xiamen Airlines (28)
Tianjin Airlines (14)
Okay Airways (7)
Yinchuan (INC) Harbin (HRB) 7
Kunming (KMG) Yinchuan (INC) 7 China Eastern Airlines (14)
Kunming Airlines (3)
Lanzhou (LHW) Dunhuang (DNH) 4 Tianjin Airlines (4)
Sanya (SYX) Nanchang (KHN) 4 Beijing Capital Airlines (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Spring Airlines, China’s self-professed first and only true LCC, is using the start of the summer season in 2013 to add weight to two existing airports – namely Hangzhou (HGH) and its focus city of Shijiazhuang (SJW). Overnight the carrier has grown its presence by 150% at Hangzhou, with its additional 21 weekly rotations adding to the 14 Spring Airlines already flies to its only destination of Shenyang. Three of the four routes will face competition of up to 45 weekly rotations from six airlines, while its twice-weekly flights to Dayong (DYG), will start unchallenged. Meanwhile in Shijiazhuang, the incremental nine weekly services to three destinations add to the 77 weekly flights and 10 network points that the LCC already boasts from what is being promoted by Spring Airlines at least, as ‘Beijing’s new gateway airport’. All 25 new weekly sorties are flown by the carrier’s 174-seat A320 aircraft.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
31-Mar-13 Hangzhou (HGH) Dalian (DLC) 7 China Southern Airlines (12)
Air China (7)
Sichuan Airlines (7)
Xiamen Airlines (9)
Dayong (DYG) 2
Guilin (KWL) 2 Shandong Airlines (14)
Air China (7)
China Southern Airlines (7)
Beijing Capital Airlines (3)
Sanya (SYX) 3 China Southern Airlines (14)
Air China (7)
Chengdu Airlines (7)
Okay Airways (7)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Beijing Capital Airlines (3)
Shijiazhuang (SJW) Hangzhou (HGH) 7 China Eastern Airlines (7)
Shanghai Airlines (7)
Xiamen Airlines (7)
Hebei Airlines (6)
Guilin (KWL) 2
Dayong (DYG) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013.     *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • SriLankan Airlines increased its offering from the newly launched Hambatota (HRI) airport last week. On 26 and 27 March, the carrier launched international services to Malé (MLE) in the Maldives, and a domestic connection to Colombo (CMB). In addition, on 31 March, SriLankan Airlines extended its existing Bangkok service to include Shanghai Pudong (PVG). All routes are operated with single weekly frequency each, using variable equipment.

  • Syphax Airlines, Tunisia’s private hybrid airline, commenced services on the 3,100-kilometre route from its Sfax (SFA) base to Jeddah (JED) on 26 March. Twice-weekly departures are now offered by the airline and operated using A319s.

Thai Smile celebrated the launch of services to Mandalay in Upper Burma with a special event in the terminal in Bangkok.

Thai Smile celebrated the launch of services to Mandalay in Upper Burma with a special event in the terminal in Bangkok.

  • Thai Smile, the subsidiary of Thai Airways, increased its international offering from Bangkok (BKK) on 31 March. The carrier now offers five-weekly services to Mandalay (MDL) in Burma, as well as twice-weekly to Ahmedabad (AMD) in the north-western Indian state of Gujarat. While both routes are operated using A320s, Thai Smile faces competition only in the market from Bangkok to Mandalay, which is also served by Myanmar Airways International with daily departures.

Double tiger time was had by Sunshine Coast’s mayor, Mark Jamieson, as Tiger Airways Australia returned to the Queensland airport with services from Melbourne.

  • Tiger Airways Australia started flying on a new domestic route on 27 March and now connects Melbourne(MEL) and Sunshine Coast (MCY). Four-weekly flights are offered on the 1,500-kilometre route in competition with Jetstar Airways’ twice-weekly and Virgin Australia’s daily services. The new route is operated using A320s.

Agnes Fasting,’s Area Manager GS; and Álvaro Leite, Porto Airport’s Marketing Manager, celebrated the airline’s arrival in the northern Portuguese airport over this traditional Dutch cake design.

Agnes Fasting,’s Area Manager GS; and Álvaro Leite, Porto Airport’s Marketing Manager, celebrated the airline’s arrival in the northern Portuguese airport over this traditional Dutch cake design.

  • grew its presence in the Portuguese market last week, as it launched services on the fourth route to the country from its Amsterdam (AMS) base on 27 March. Four-weekly flights are now offered on the 1,600–kilometre route to Porto(OPO) and operated using 737-800s. Portugal’s flag carrier, TAP, provides competition, as it serves the Dutch city from Porto with daily flights. From Amsterdam, already serves three other destinations – Faro (11 weeekly frequencies), Lisbon (10) and Funchal (2).

  • Tunisair grew its international coverage from Tunis (TUN) last week, as it launched a new international service to Italy on 1 April. The airline commenced flights on the 860-kilometre route to Bologna (BLQ) in the north of the Apenine Peninsula. A thrice-weekly schedule is now offered on the route and operated with A320 family equipment. Tunisair already serves four other Italian destinations – Rome Fiumicino (twice-daily), Milan Malpensa (9 weekly frequencies), Venice (5) and Palermo (3).

  • Ukraine International Airlines continues to benefit from the demise of AeroSvit earlier this year, as it launched a total of nine routes in the wake of the 2013 summer season. Kiev Borispol (KBP) saw the launch of flights to five new destinations, including services to both Prague (PRG) and Warsaw (WAW), on which UIA competes with Czech Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines respectively. In addition, the airline also reinstated the ex-AeroSvit services from both Odessa (ODS) and Donetsk (DOK) to Tel Aviv (TLV).
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
31-Mar-13 Kiev Borispol (KBP) Larnaca (LCA) 3 B735
Prague (PRG) 7 B735 Czech Airlines (10)
Vilnius (VNO) 7 A81
Warsaw (WAW) 7 B735
Kaliningrad (KGD) 4 B735 LOT Polish Airlines (10)
Ekaterinburg (SVX) 3 B733
01-Apr-13 Athens (ATH) 4 B735
31-Mar-13 Odessa (ODS) Tel Aviv (TLV) 5 B735
01-Apr-13 Donetsk (DOK) 2 B735
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April.     *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • US Airways introduced changes to its transatlantic offering last week, when it commenced operations on its second route to London Heathrow (LHR) on 30 March. The airline, which already serves the UK gateway with daily flights from Philadelphia, PA, now also offers flights at the same frequency from Charlotte, NC (CLT), replacing its London Gatwick service, which terminated on 29 March. Suzanne Boda, US Airways’ SVP Airport Customer Service, International and Cargo, said: “US Airways’ new daily service to Heathrow reinforces our commitment to our customers and to strengthening our transatlantic network. Importantly, it connects customers in markets throughout the East Coast to London’s preferred business and tourism hub.”

Eye-defying Virgin Atlantic 3D artwork was displayed at St Ann’s Square in Manchester to celebrate the launch of Virgin Atlantic Little Red last weekend.

  • Virgin Atlantic inaugurated domestic services from London Heathrow (LHR) to Manchester (MAN) on 31 March. Thrice-dailly flights are offered on the route and operated within the Little Red brand using A320s. Virgin Atlantic’s Head of PR, Fay Burgin, commented on the airline’s domestic expansion: “The launch of Little Red is the start of the latest exciting chapter in the history of Virgin Atlantic. We will be flying a total of 13 return flights a day between Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, giving us the scope to fly around one million passengers per year.” In the meantime, competition on the route to Manchester comes from British Airways, which offers 68 weekly frequencies on the route.

  • Virgin Australia commenced services on the 800-kilometre domestic route from Brisbane (BNE) to the mining town of Moranbah (MOV) in Queensland. 16 weekly departures are operated on the route using ATR72s. Qantas provides competition in the market from Brisbane to Moranbah, which it serves with 43 weekly frequencies.

  • Volotea, the Spanish-headquartered LCC, which is celebrating its first anniversary this week (on Friday 5 April), is launching over 30 new routes this summer, starting with the first seven that began just in time for Easter. Five of these are domestic Italian routes, linking mainland Italy with Catania (CTA) and Palermo (PMO) in Sicily, with between four and five weekly flights. Competition is provided by Alitalia on three of the routes. Volotea is also commencing two new domestic routes in France; linking Lille (LIL) in the north, with Montpellier (MPL) on the south coast, and connecting Toulouse (TLS) with Ajaccio (AJA) on the island of Corsica. All flights are operated by the airline’s fleet of 717s.
Start date From To WF Competition (WF)
27 March Catania (CTA) Florence (FLR) 5 Alitalia (5)
27 March Genoa (GOA) 5 Alitalia (7)
28 March Lille (LIL) Montpellier (MPL) 3 HOP! (12)
27 March Palermo (PMO) Florence (FLR) 4
27 March Naples (NAP) 4 Alitalia (17)
27 March Verona (VRN) 4 Meridianafly (7)
30 March Toulouse (TLS) Ajaccio (AJA) 2

Vueling adds seven new routes from Barcelona, four to Germany

Vueling’s Ernesto Marzoa Notlevsen, Captain on the inaugural flight; Alejo Lopez, Purser; Cabin Crew members, Cristina Martinez, Irina Procop and Gabriela Lupu; and Miguel Fernandez Carnero, First Officer; were welcomed to Düsseldorf by Antonio di Monaco, the airport’s Manager Airline Marketing.

Commemorative goodie bags were handed over to the Vueling crew operating the inaugural flight to Dresden.

  • Ok, it happens. Last week we missed the start of a batch of new Vueling routes from Barcelona (BCN) because the airline had, sensibly, decided to bring forward the launch dates to maximise the revenue opportunities associated with the early Easter vacation period. The routes we missed were Banjul (BJL), Bologna (BLQ), Catania (CTA), Frankfurt (FRA), Fuerteventura (FUE), Gothenburg (GOT), London Gatwick (LGW), Pamplona (PNA) and Valladolid (VLL). But don’t worry. The airline has launched another eight routes this week, seven from Barcelona and one from its new base in Florence (FLR) to London Heathrow (LHR). Four of this week’s new routes are to airports in Germany; Dortmund (DTM), Dresden (DRS), Düsseldorf (DUS) and Stuttgart (STR). On the Düsseldorf route, Vueling will compete with both airberlin and Lufthansa, while on the Turin route it will compete head-to-head with Ryanair, something it already does on quite a few of its Spanish domestic routes. This summer Vueling will now serve four destinations from Europe’s busiest airport at London Heathrow; Florence joins Bilbao, La Coruna and Palma de Mallorca, with Seville and Vigo having been served in the past.
Start date From To WF Competition (WF)
28 March Barcelona (BCN) Dresden (DRS) 3
Düsseldorf (DUS) 10 airberlin (11), Lufthansa (14)
29 March Bari (BRI) 2
Dortmund (DTM) 4
Rennes (RNS) 3
Stuttgart (STR) 6 germanwings (12)
Turin (TRN) 5 Ryanair (3)
31 March Florence (FLR) London Heathrow (LHR) 7

Bergen waterfront was recreated in the cake prepared by Katowice Airport to celebrate the launch of Wizz Air’s new route connecting the two cities. Performing the cake-cutting ceremony were Paweł Wojda, Katowice Airport's MD; Diederik Pen, Wizz Air's COO; Wizz Air's representative; and Monika Krzykawska, the airport's Director Sales and Marketing.

  • Wizz Air increased its presence in Bergen (BGO) with the start of the summer season, as it launched services to the Nordic city from three Eastern European airports. In addition, the carrier also grew its Tigru Mures (TGM) operation and now connects this Romanian city to Memmingen (FMM) in Germany. While all new routes are initially offered with twice-weekly frequencies, the airline will add a third weekly service on the route from Poznań (POZ) to Bergen on 30 April.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c
28-Mar-13 Katowice (KTW) Bergen (BGO) 2 A320
31-Mar-13 Poznan (POZ) 2
01-Apr-13 Riga (RIX) 2
Tirgu Mures (TGM) Memmingen (FMM) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 8 April 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Xiamen Airlines inaugurated services on the 3,200-kilometre route from the capital of the south-eastern Chinese Fujian Province, Fuzhou (FOC), to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 31 March. The airline, which already serves the Malaysian capital with four-weekly flights from Xiamen, now also offers thrice-weekly departures from Fuzhou. All services are operated using the airline’s 737-800s.

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  1. mario dimarco says:

    Hi..You have failed to mention the fact that easyjet started from MAN flights to Thessaloniki also,on the 29th of March.So,it’s 4 new routes out of MAN.And Wizzair on the 1st of April also restarted BUD-SKG flights,2w.

  2. Ian Belcher says:

    Isn’t the reduction of Aegean’s flights from LHR a consequence of the ending of the agreement with British Midland for slots in exchane for ground handling which would ave been less attractive to BA?

Comments are closed