New airline routes launched (23 – 29 April 2013)

WestJet’s Calgary to Dallas/Fort Worth

Ed Baklor, WestJet’s VP guest services, spoke at a ceremony marking the Canadian carrier's arrival at Dallas/Fort Worth. Pictured behind him are Paula Caldwell St-Onge, Canada's Consul General to the South Central US; DFW’s EVP, Phil Ritter; and VP, David Magana.

  • WestJet commenced operations on the 2,500-kilometre route from Calgary (YYC) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) on 29 April. The carrier, which already operates nine other transborder routes from Calgary, offers daily flights on the new route. American Airlines provides competition in the market from Calgary to the Texan destination, which it serves with twice-daily flights.You can read more about Calgary in this week’s analysis.

UTair’s Budapest to St. Petersburg

UTAir inaugurates flights from St. Petersburg to Budapest

The arrival of UTair in Budapest means that the city’s link to St. Petersburg, which disappeared together with Malév – is reinstated. A Russian ballet themed cake was prepared in Hungary to celebrate the occasion.

  • UTair commenced services on the 1,600-kilometre route from St. Petersburg (LED) to Budapest (BUD) on 28 April, which was previously served by the Hungarian flag carrier, Malév, before its demise in January 2012. Twice-weekly flights are now offered by UTair and carried out using 737-500s.

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

  • Aegean Airlines inaugurated thrice-weekly services on the 1,700-kilometre route from Athens (ATH) to Geneva (GVA) on 24 April. The airline, which operates the route using its A320s, faces competition from Swiss’ eight weekly and easyJet’s thrice-weekly frequencies. Another Greek airline to offer flights between the two cities was Olympic Air, which served the route briefly between April and December 2008.

  • Aeroflot increased its offering to Greece last week, as it added a third route to the southern European country from its Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) base on 26 April. The new service to Thessaloniki (SKG) is initially offered with thrice-weekly frequencies, but an additional weekly flight will be added effective 18 May. Aeroflot uses its A320s to operate the 2,000-kilometre route. The Russian carrier also offers flights to two other Greek destinations from the Moscow airport, serving Heraklion with ten times weekly, and Athens with daily services.

  • Air Astana expanded its offering to Kyrgyzstan last week, as it added a second route to the country’s capital on 23 April. The airline, which already operates services to Bishkek (FRU) from Almaty (five-weekly flights), now offers thrice-weekly frequencies from Astana (TSE). Richard Ledger, Air Astana’s Director Worldwide Sales, commented: “The new services from Astana not only complement the existing Almaty route, but significantly, also provides connections between the two capital cities. In addition to direct traffic, the schedule of the new flights provides good connections in Astana to destinations in the Russian Federation and Europe”. The airline’s 97-seat E190s will be deployed to operate this 900-kilometre route.

Air Moldova’s move of the Chisinau service from Gatwick to London Stansted was celebrated with a cake at the Essex airport. Performing the cake-cutting ceremony were Veronica Borcan, Air Moldova's Chief of Foreign Representations; and London Stansted's Operations Director.

  • Air Moldova introduced changes to its London operation last week, as it inaugurated services on the 2,100-kilometere route from Chisinau (KIV) to London Stansted (STN) on 29 April. The new flight, which replaces services to London Gatwick offered by the airline since October 2012, is operated with twice-weekly frequencies using E190s.

AirAsia Japan’s CEO, Yoshinori Odagiri, led the launch celebrations for the airline’s new service from Nagoya to Seoul Incheon. The airline already serves the South Korean capital with daily flights from Tokyo Narita.

  • AirAsia Japan commenced services on two routes, one domestic and one international, from its second base in Nagoya (NGO) on 26 April. The airline, which already serves Fukuoka with twice-daily services from Nagoya, now offers a second domestic destination from Japan’s third-largest city as it flies with daily frequencies to Sapporo Chitose (CTS). In addition to the Sapporo service, AirAsia Japan also commenced operations on its first international route from Nagoya and now connects it with a daily service to Seoul Incheon (ICN). Competition in both markets is significant, and the airline faces ANA (42 weekly flights), Japan Airlines (35), Jetstar Japan (14) and Skymark Airlines (14) on the 1,000-kilometre domestic route, as well as twice-daily flights from both Asiana Airlines and Korean Air, and daily flights from Jeju Air on the route to South Korea. Both newly launched routes are operated using the airline’s fleet of A320s.

  • AirOne, part of the Alitalia Group, inaugurated seasonal services on the 2,600-kilometre route from Catania (CTA) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on 26 April. Twice-weekly flights are operated from the Sicilian city to the Russian capital until 17 October. A320s are deployed to serve the route. This is the first of three new routes to Russia the airline is starting from Catania, with St. Petersburg and Rostov services starting soon.

  • AirTran Airways inaugurated flights on its 15th route from Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) on 24 April, and now serves Las Vegas, NV (LAS) with daily frequencies. Flights on the 3,400-kilometre route are offered with the airline’s 737-700s in competition against Spirit Airlines’ daily flights. In addition, Southwest Airlines (which owns AirTran Airways) also serves the market from Baltimore/Washington to Las Vegas, offering 27 weekly flights. Confusing, isn’t it …

  • Austrian Airlines commenced low-frequency services on the 1,100-kilometre route from its Vienna (VIE) hub to Palermo (PMO) in Sicilly. Weekly flights are offered in the market from the Austrian capital to the southern Italian city, and operated on a seasonal basis until October with A319s. This summer Austrian Airlines will serve 10 destinations in Italy; five with at least daily flights (Bologna, Florence, Milan MXP, Rome FCO and Venice), and five with just one or two flights per week (Cagliari, Catania, Naples, Olbia and Palermo).

  • Azul started flying on the 900-kilometre route from São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) to Porto Alegre (POA), the capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, on 27 April. A schedule of 19 weekly flights is operated on the route using its E195s. TAM (49 weekly flights), GOL (44) and Avianca Brazil (21) provide intense competition on the route, which is Azul’s 13th from the São Paulo airport. It is the airline’s 11th route from Porto Alegre, which handled almost 8.3 million passengers in 2012 making it Brazil’s ninth busiest airport.

  • Batik Air, the full-service subsidiary of Lion Air, inaugurated its operations on 26 April with the launch of two domestic routes from Jakarta (CGK). The carrier, which was conceived to challenge Garuda Indonesia, now offers daily services on the route to Balikpapan (BPN) in eastern Borneo, and twice-daily to Manado (MDC) in North Sulawesi. Both destinations are served with 737-900ERs. Competition on the route to Borneo comes from Garuda Indonesia (57 weekly flights), Lion Air (56), Citilink (21) and Sriwijaya Air (14), while in the market from Jakarta to Manado, Batik Air faces Lion Air (28) and Garuda Indonesia (14).

  • Belavia commenced flights on the 1,500-kilometre route from its Minsk (MSQ) base to Samara (KUF) in the south-eastern part of European Russia, on 28 April. Samara, the carrier’s sixth destination in the Russian Federation, is now served with twice-weekly frequencies using 50-seat CRJ200s. Belavia already provides services from the Belarusian capital to Moscow Domodedovo (35 weekly flights), Kaliningrad and St Petersburg (both twice-daily), Yekaterinburg (thrice-weekly) and Novosibirsk (twice-weekly). Belavia’s fleet comprises a mix of 737s, CRJs, two Embraer 175s, and some ‘classic’ Tu-154s.

Dong Bo, China Eastern Airlines’ Chief Marketing Officer, presented a model of his company's aircraft to John Martin, SFO Airport’s director last Friday. Commenting on the daily service, which will also provide thrice-daily through travel option to Wuhan, Bo said: “We had planned for years for a San Francisco route. Our new service will deepen the relationship between Wuhan, Shanghai and San Francisco, which will help promote trade and personal exchanges between the United States and China."

  • China Eastern Airlines expanded its network with two new routes in the course of last week. On 23 April, the airline inaugurated low-frequency flights on its 15th route to Taipei Taoyuan (TPE), which it now serves with single weekly frequency from Yinchuan (INC) in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The A320-operated service faces competition from Far Eastern Air Transport’s schedule of the same frequency. In addition, on 26 April, China Eastern returned to the market from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to San Francisco, CA (SFO) following 13 years of absence. Daily flights are now offered on the 9,900-kilometre route, on which China Eastern challenges the incumbent United Airlines service, also offered on a daily basis. Its A330-200s are deployed to operate the route, which is the airline’s fourth US service from Shanghai. China Eastern already flies to Los Angeles, and New York JFK (daily flights each), as well as thrice-weekly to Honolulu in Hawaii.

Citilink inaugurates first route to Malang

One of the hundred: Citilink eyes 100 new routes this year, an ambitious plan given Indonesia’s highly competitive market. However, the newly launched service from Jakarta to Malang presents Citilink with “only” five-daily frequencies from competitors.

  • Citilink, which targets opening 100 new routes in 2013, launched services on the 700-kilometre domestic route from Jakarta (CGK) to Malang (MLG) on 28 April. Malang, sometimes called “Paris of East Java”, is the second-largest city in the province and now served by Citilink with daily frequencies. Arif Wibowo, Citilink’s CEO, said: “In 2012, we’re focusing on rebranding, starting from the introduction of the company’s new color, new livery, new logo, new uniform for stewardess, and other things. In terms of network development, we will be more aggressive in gaining the market, as we are no longer managed by Garuda Indonesia.” Competition on the route comes from Sriwijaya Air and Garuda Indonesia, which serve the market from the Indonesian capital to Malang with thrice- and twice-daily flights respectively.

  • Cyprus Airways commenced flights on the 3,400-kilometre route from Paphos (PFO) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on 25 April. The airline, which already serves the Moscow airport with daily flights from Larnaca, now offers weekly services from Paphos. Flights on the new route are operated using A320s. As the recent banking crisis in Cyprus revealed, the country is a popular destination for wealthy Russians.

  • Donavia launched services on the 1,400-kilometre route from its Rostov-on-Don (ROV) base to Antalya (AYT), Turkey’s biggest international sea resort, on 23 April. The carrier, which already offers thrice-weekly flights from the Russian city to Istanbul Atatürk, now provides services of the same frequency to Antalya. Its 737-700s are deployed to operate the new route.

  • easyJet commenced flights on the third Greek route it offers from its London Luton (LTN) base on 26 April. The British carrier now operates twice-weekly schedule on the 2,600-kilometre route to Mykonos (JMK) in the Cyclades, in addition to the existing thrice-weekly schedule to Corfu and twice-weekly to Heraklion (which was the last new route easyJet launched from Luton, last April). In addition, on the following day, the carrier launched twice-weekly flights on the 2,200-kilometre route from Edinburgh (EDI) to Dubrovnik (DBV), which it already serves from two London airports – Gatwick and Stansted. Flights on both new routes are carried out using A319s.

  • eurolot, the Polish regional operator, commenced operations on four new routes on 27 April, improving summer connectivity between Poland and the soon-to-be EU-member, Croatia. The airline now offers weekly services each from Gdańsk (GDN) and Warsaw (WAW) to both Dubrovnik (DBV) and Rijeka (RJK), which it serves using its fleet of Q400s. Passenger numbers at Dubrovnik Airport were up an impressive 9.7% last year, proving the growing popularity of the region. All services are operated on a seasonal basis and will terminate in mid-October.

  • Flybe commenced low-frequency seasonal services on the 450-kilometre domestic route from Norwich (NWI) to Guernsey (GCI) in the Channel Islands on 28 April. Weekly flights will be performed on the route by Loganair under flybe’s franchise, using Dornier 328s, and is scheduled to terminate on 29 September. This summer, flybe will serve Guernsey from another five British airports – London Gatwick (33 weekly flights), Southampton (25), Jersey (11), Birmingham (7) and Exeter (6). Last year Norwich’s traffic fell by 4% to just under 400,000 passengers while Guernsey’s also fell by 3% to 870,000.

  • flydubai expanded its offering in the CIS region last week, as it commenced services on the 2,300-kilometre route from its Dubai (DXB) base to Osh (OSS) in Kyrgyzstan on 24 April. Weekly flights are now offered on the route, which is the carrier’s second to the country, as flydubai already operates thrice-weekly services to Bishkek. flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “We marked our entry to the Kyrgyz market back in February 2012 with flights to the capital, Bishkek, and through adding Osh and soon also Dushanbe in Tajikistan, we are able to link even more underserved destinations to our ever growing network.” 737-800s are deployed on the new route. flydubai joins China Southern Airlines and Turkish Airlines in being a rare non Russian/CIS-based airline serving Osh, which handled over 800,000 passengers last year.

FlyNonstop takes to the skies with seven new routes

Bernard Lavelle, London City Airport’s Sales Director, welcomed FlyNonstop’s CEO, Daniel Lundberg; and owner, Espen Hennig-Olsen, to the London Airport. Lavelle then said: “We are delighted that FlyNonstop has chosen London City Airport as its UK base, opening up Norway and the wider Nordic region as a new destination for our passengers. The new route will also open up opportunities for the smaller Norwegian airports to connect directly to central London, benefitting both leisure and business travellers.”

FlyNonstop takes to the skies with seven new routes

Celebrating the arrival of Andreas Ley, Senior Consulting Airline Marketing, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH; Michael Jernberg, First Officer, FlyNonstop; and Marcelo Passos, Captain, FlyNonstop.

Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c
25-Apr-13 Kristiansand (KRS) London City (LCY) 5 E190
25-Apr-13 Nice (NCE) 2
25-Apr-13 Paris CDG (CDG) 2
26-Apr-13 Berlin Tegel (TXL) 2
26-Apr-13 Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 2
27-Apr-13 Barcelona (BCN) 2
27-Apr-13 Parma (PMF) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 6 May 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • HOP!, the recently launched regional subsidiary brand of Air France, added a new domestic route on 27 April. The carrier, which already serves more than 70 domestic routes, now operates weekly flights from Lille (LIL) in French Flanders, to Figari (FSC) in southern Corsica. The route is operated using CRJ1000s until 21 September. In the first quarter of 2013 passenger numbers at Lille Airport are up over 25%, making it one of Europe’s fastest-growing airports so far this year.

  • LAM Mozambique inaugurated flights on the 1,700-kilometre route from Nampula (APL), the largest city and main business centre of northern Mozambique, to Johannesburg (JNB) in South Africa, on 28 April. Daily flights are now offered on the route in competition with South African Airways service of the same frequency, and operated using ERJ 145s. Only two other international destinations are offered by LAM Mozambique from Nampula – Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya, both served with twice-weekly flights.

  • Malmö Aviation commenced operations on the 1,700-kilometre route from Umeå (UME) in northern Sweden, to Prague (PRG) on 26 April. The airline operates twice-weekly services on the route, which is currently its only international service. Avro RJ100s with 112 seats are deployed on the route. Last year Umea airport reported traffic growth of 3% to 983,500 passengers. This summer the airport’s only other scheduled international service will be a weekly Norwegian flight to Alicante.

  • Norwegian, the world’s #2 airline for new route launches this summer, further increased its network last week, this time by adding a new Spanish service to its offering from Bergen (BGO). On 28 April, the airline launched low-frequency seasonal services to Palma de Mallorca (PMI), which are scheduled to terminate on 21 October. While the route is initially served with a single weekly frequency, this is set to double on 28 June, in time for the high season. This brings to 10 the number of airports served by Norwegian from Palma; four in Norway, two each in Denmark and Sweden, and one each in Finland and the UK.

  • Rossiya Airlines expanded its domestic offering from St. Petersburg (LED) on 25 April, as it inaugurated flights on the 1,100-kilometre route to Syktyvkar (SCW), the capital of the Russian Komi Republic. Daily departures are now offered on the route and operated using 68-seat Antonov 148-100Bs. Competition in the market from St. Petersburg to Syktyvkar comes from UTair and Nordavia, which serve the destination with six and four weekly flights respectively.

A show of belly-dancing and a tea for all passengers travelling on Ryanair’s maiden flight to Marrakech were prepared in Memmingen to entertain the passengers. While the airport’s Svenja Damzog, Marketing Manager; and CEO, Ralf Schmid, did not showcase their Moroccan moves on the floor, they then bravely posed for a commemorative picture with the dancers and crew of the inaugural flight.

Ryanair opens three bases in a week

A taste of Moroccan delights for passengers travelling on Ryanair’s inaugural flight to Fez from Lille, as the French airport prepared a special reception in the terminal.

Katowice Airport welcomed the launch of Ryanair’s new route to Greek Chania with a celebration in the check-in area. Passengers travelling on the inaugural flight were handed goodie bags and were then able to sign a commemorative poster.

  • Ryanair, the #1 airline for route launches this summer season, inaugurated three new bases last week, its first in Greece and Morocco, and now bases its aircraft at a total of 57 airports. Out of the three, Marrakech (RAK) saw the most new routes being added (7), with six and four new services being launched in Chania (CHQ) and Fez (FEZ) respectively. None of the routes presents Ryanair with any competition, nor are any served with more than twice-weekly frequencies.
Launch date Origin Destination WF*
25-Apr-13 Chania (CHQ) Billund (BLL) 2
25-Apr-13 Venice Treviso (TSF) 2
26-Apr-13 Katowice (KTW) 1
26-Apr-13 Memmingen (FMM) 2
27-Apr-13 Bristol (BRS) 2
29-Apr-13 Warsaw (WAW) 1
24-Apr-13 Fez (FEZ) Nantes (NTE) 2
24-Apr-13 St. Etienne (EBU) 2
26-Apr-13 Lille (LIL) 2
26-Apr-13 Nimes (FNI) 2
23-Apr-13 Marrakech (RAK) Cuneo (CUF) 2
24-Apr-13 Bergerac (EGC) 2
24-Apr-13 Memmingen (FMM) 2
25-Apr-13 Dole (DLE) 2
26-Apr-13 Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) 2
26-Apr-13 Paris Vatry (XCR) 2
26-Apr-13 Tours (TUF) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 6 May 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • S7 Airlines started operations on its only Greek route so far this summer, as it launched services connecting Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and Athens (ATH) on 27 April. Twice-weekly A319-operated flights are initially offered on the route by the oneworld carrier in competition with Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines’ five weekly frequencies; this will be then reduced to weekly, effective on 13 October. 

  • SATA International increased its seasonal offering in the French market on 26 April with the launch of weekly services from Ponta Delgada (PDL) to Paris CDG (CDG). The carrier, which already offers weekly flights from Funchal to Paris Orly, now operates weekly services on the new route. The A320-operated service will disappear from the airline’s schedule on 3 October. Last year Ponta Delgada handled almost 890,000 passengers, down 4.3% on the previous year.

Michael Pewther, Spirit Airlines’ Senior Director Sales, made an inaugural speech to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new service from Dallas/Fort Worth to Cancún. The airline now offers services to the Mexican resort from three US cities, as it also markets daily flights from Fort Lauderdale, FL, and weekly from Detroit, MI.

  • Spirit Airlines expanded its network with nine new routes in the course of last week, with most of the new services added on 25 April. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) saw the most Spirit Airlines routes commence, as daily services to both Oakland, CA (OAK) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX), as well as thrice-weekly flights to Cancún (CUN) were launched. Spirit Airlines faces significant competition from a mix of legacy and low-cost carriers on seven of the routes. 
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
25-Apr-13 Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) 7 A320
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) Cancún (CUN) 3 A319 American (35)
Sun Country (6)
Oakland, CA (OAK) 7 A32S
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 7 A32S American (125)
Virgin America (21)
United (19)
Denver, CO (DEN) Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) 7 A319 Delta (37)
United (32)
Frontier (7)
United (32)
Frontier (7)
Southwest (7)
Houston, TX (IAH) Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 7 A319 United (78)
American (21)
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 7 A320 US Airways (35)
Southwest (7)
Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) 7 A320 Southwest (27)
AirTran (7)
26-Apr-13 Philadelphia, PA (PHL) Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) 7 A320 US Airways (12)
Source: Innovata w/c 6 May 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • SunExpress, the Antalya-based joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, inaugurated services on the 2,500-kilometre route from Izmir (ADB) to Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) on 28 April. The carrier, which already connects the Swedish airport with six Turkish destinations, now offers weekly flights on the route. 737-800s are deployed to carry out the service, which was previously operated in summer 2010. Passenger numbers at Izmir rose by 9.5% to 9.4 million in 2012, making it Turkey’s fourth busiest airport.

  • Tarom built its presence in the Romanian city of Iași (IAS), located in the north-east of the country, on 26 April, as it added three international destinations to its offering. In addition to four-weekly flights to Rome Fiumicino, the carrier now offers thrice-weekly services each to Bologna (BLQ) and Turin (TRN). Moreover, Tarom also inaugurated twice-weekly services on the 2,100-kilometre route from Iași to London Heathrow (LHR), which it already serves with eight weekly frequencies from Bucharest Otopeni. These extra flights at Iasi should help the airport pass the 200,000 passenger mark in 2013. Last year 173,200 passengers passed through the airport, a fall of 6% on the record high of 184,311 achieved in 2011.

  • Transaero Airlines, which already operates a scheduled domestic service from Perm (PEE) to Moscow Domodedovo, added its first international scheduled destination from the city on 23 April. Perm, located in the European part of Russia near the Ural Mountains, is now connected with Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) with twice-weekly services. Flights on the 1,900-kilometre route are carried out using its 737-700 equipment. France adds four routes in Paris Orly; launches Lyon to Oujda in Morocco

Welcoming the arrival of France in Malta were Markus Klaushofer, Malta Airport’s CEO; Malta’s Minister for Tourism, Karmenu Vella; and Josef Formosa Gauci, the CEO of Malta Tourism Authority.

  • France increased its presence at two French airports in the course of last week, when it launched one international service from Lyon (LYS), as well as four new destinations from Paris Orly (ORY). While all newly launched routes are operated using the airline’s 737-800s, only the Lyon service is competition-free.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
24-Apr-13 Lyon (LYS) Oujda (OUD) 1
25-Apr-13 Paris Orly (ORY) Malta (MLA) 2 Air Malta (9)
28-Apr-13 Lisbon (LIS) 9 TAP (49)
Vueling (14)
Aigle Azur (13)
28-Apr-13 Naples (NAP) 7 easyJet (10)
28-Apr-13 Venice (VCE) 7 easyJet (15)
Source: Innovata w/c 6 May 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • expanded its summer season offering from Rotterdam (RTM) with the launch of three new destinations last week. On 27 April, the carrier commenced operations on the 1,500-kilometre route to Ibiza (IBZ), which was followed by the launch of flights to another Balearic destination, Palma de Mallorca (PMI), only a day later. Both Spanish destinations are offered with thrice-weekly frequencies. Also on 28 April, added twice-weekly flights to Rhodes (RHO) to its Rotterdam network, a route it last served in October 2010. In addition, the carrier inaugurated flights on the 2,400-kilometre route from Eindhoven (EIN) to Kos (KGS) in the south Sporades, on 25 April. The airline, which already serves Heraklion with weekly services from the Dutch city, now offers twice-weekly flights to Kos. All new services are operated using 737-800s.

  • Tunisair commenced low-frequency services on its only route to the Russian Federation on 26 April, when it launched single weekly frequencies from Monastir (MIR), located on the central coast of Tunisia, to St. Petersburg (LED). The airline has already announced plans to double the frequency to twice-weekly beginning 17 May. All flights are carried out using A320s.

Celebrating the return of Turkish Airlines to Kuala Lumpur after more than a decade of absence were Dato’ Mirza Mohd Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia; Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Malaysia Airports’ MD; Ismail Gercek, Member of the Board, Turkish Airlines; Serap Ataay, Ambassador of Turkey in Malaysia; and Dato’ Azmi Murad, SGM Operations Services, Malaysia Airports.

  • Turkish Airlines resumed services on the 8,400-kilometre route from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 25 April, and now serves the Malaysian capital with thrice-weekly flights. The route, now operated with A340s, was last served by the airline in 2002. Malaysia Airlines provides competition in the market from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur, which it serves with flights of the same frequency. Notably, Turkish Airlines plans to add a fourth weekly service from 18 June.

  • Ukraine International Airlines commenced operations on the 3,500-kilometre route from Kiev Boryspil (KBP) to Novosibirsk (OVB) on 29 April, making Russia’s third most populous city its tenth destination in the country. The service is carried out on a seasonal basis until 11 September using 737-800s.

Helping to launch United’s new service from San Francisco, CA, to Paris CDG last week was John Slater, the airline’s VP Sales Americas, who said: “We are excited to offer customers new service between two of the world's most culturally and economically diverse cities.”

  • United Airlines resumed service on the 9,000-kilometre route from San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Paris CDG (CDG) on 26 April, a market it previously served until October 2005. Daily flights are now offered on the route, which will be flown by 767-300s. Competition on the route comes from Air France, which operates 12 weekly frequencies.

Belgian chocolates from Brussels Airport powered the crew on Vueling’s inaugural flights to Spain last week.

  • Vueling inaugurated services on three new routes last week, all of which present the Barcelona-based carrier with competition from incumbent carriers. Notably, two of the three newly-launched services involve Brussels (BRU); of those, the route to Málaga (AGP) was previously operated by the carrier until March 2008. This brings to four the number of destinations served by Vueling from Brussels; it serves Barcelona with three daily flights, and Valencia with five weekly flights. All flights are carried out using the airline’s fleet of A320s.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
24-Apr-13 Alicante (ALC) Brussels (BRU) 5 Jetairfly (7)
24-Apr-13 Malaga (AGP) 4 Brussels Airlines (17)
Jetairfly (9)
27-Apr-13 Paris Orly (ORY) Porto (OPO) 7 TAP (28)
Transavia France (17)
Aigle Azur (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 6 May 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Wizz Air’s Daniel De Carvalho; and Kate Aleksidze, Director of United Airports Georgia, cut the celebratory ribbon to mark the launch of the airline’s new service from Warsaw to Kutaisi.

  • Wizz Air, which only inaugurated its presence at Debrecen (DEB) in Hungary less than a year ago, launched its third route to the city last week. Beginning on 23 April, the carrier operates a twice-weekly schedule on the 1,100-kilometre route from Dortmund (DTM). Other destinations offered by Wizz Air from Debrecen are London Luton (the carrier’s first destination from the city, now served with five weekly flights), and Eindhoven, offered with twice-weekly frequencies. All flights are carried out with the airline’s fleet of A320s. In addition, on 28 April, the carrier inaugurated the first route from Kutaisi (KUT) to the European Union, as it connected the western Georgian city and Warsaw (WAW) with twice-weekly services. Speaking during the launch event, Daniel De Carvalho, Wizz Air’s Communications Director, said: “This new service allows us to propel our “Go East” network strategy. Georgia has outstanding potential.”

Wizz Air Ukraine’s inaugural flight from Kutaisi in Georgia to Donetsk in eastern Ukraine also marked the arrival of the airline’s first scheduled service to the Ukrainian airport.

  • Wizz Air Ukraine increased its presence in Kutaisi (KUT), Georgia’s second-largest city, on 23 April, when it launched services on the 750-kilometre route to Donetsk (DOK) in eastern Ukraine. The carrier, which already offers daily flights to Kiev Boryspil, now markets twice-weekly departures on the newly-launched route. Kutaisi is possibly best known as the birthplace of multi-million selling UK-based recording artist Katie Melua, although she’s apparently more into bicycles and sailboats than aeroplanes …


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  1. Michael says:

    Please note that your table shows flynonstop operating to Berlin Tegel, but the analysis says Berlin Schönefeld.

  2. Slim Essoussi says:

    Tunisair only route to Russia ? Flying TUN-DME and NBE-DME since last year. Will start flights to ROSTOV early June.

Comments are closed