New airline routes launched (30 April – 6 May 2013)

United Airlines’ Edmonton to New York Newark

Serving bagels to passengers departing on United’s inaugural flight to Newark were Reg Milley, Edmonton Airport’s CEO; John Whaley, Mayor of Leduc County; Richard Starke, Alberta Tourism Minister; Greg Krischke, Mayor of the City of Leduc; and Brad Ferguson, CEO of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

  • United Airlines added New York Newark, NJ (EWR) as the fifth US airport it connects with Canadian Edmonton (YEG) on 1 May. Six weekly departures are offered on the 3,300-kilometre route and operated using A319s. Reg Milley, the airport’s CEO, commented: “Last year alone, about 44,000 people from this region travelled to New York to enjoy New York so we know there’s a good market there.”

Turkish Airlines’ Friedrichshafen to Istanbul Atatürk

Not one, but two cakes were served to celebrate Turkish Airlines’ new service to Friedrichshafen, securing the airline and the airport this week’s Cake of the Week prize.

Turkish Airlines launches five routes; adds Friedrichshafen to its network from Istanbul Atatürk

During the evening event, Turkish Airlines’ SVP Sales and Marketing, Ziya Taşkent, received a little tutorial on the traditional German size of a cake slice from Friedrichshafen Airport's Chairman, Dieter Hornung.

Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
01-May-13 Ankara (ESB) Frankfurt (FRA) 3 B738 Lufthansa (7)
02-May-13 Istanbul Atatürk (IST) Friedrichshafen (FDH) 4 A320
02-May-13 Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) Ercan (ECN) 5 B738 Pegasus Airlines (35)
03-May-13 London Gatwick (LGW) 3 B738
Tbilisi (TBS) 4 B738 Pegasus Airlines (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 13 May 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

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

  • Aegean Airlines, which in the preceding week inaugurated services on the ex-Olympic Air route from Athens (ATH) to Geneva, launched three new destinations last week. From the Greek capital, the airline resumed flights on the 1,800-kilometre route to Berlin Tegel (TXL), which it last served in January 2012. While Aegean Airlines is the only carrier to offer services to Athens from the German capital’s busiest airport, easyJet competes indirectly with five-weekly flights from Berlin Schönefeld. In addition, on 1 May, the Greek carrier commenced services to St Petersburg (LED) from both Heraklion (HER) and Rhodes (RHO), bringing the total of Greek destinations it connects with the Russian city to four (it already offers twice-weekly flights from both Athens and Thessaloniki). All new services are operated with A320s.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
30-Apr-13 Athens (ATH) Berlin Tegel (TXL) 3
01-May-13 Heraklion (HER) St Petersburg (LED) 2 Rossiya Airlines (3)
Transaero (2)
Rhodes (RHO) 2 Transaero (2)
Rossiya Airlines (1)
Source: Innovata w/c 13 May 2013.     *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Aer Lingus commenced flights to its only Portuguese destination from Shannon (SNN) on 1 May, when it launched thrice-weekly services to Faro (FAO) using its A320s. The southern Portuguese destination, which is already served by the Irish carrier from Dublin (15 weekly frequencies), Belfast City and Cork (both daily), is now offered from Shannon until 13 September.

  • Air India, which is soon set to expand its long-haul offering, commenced operations on the 500-kilometre domestic route from Dehradun (DED) to Lucknow (LKO), both located in the north of the country. Beginning on 2 May, the carrier offers four weekly departures between the two cities, which have never before been linked by air. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, who spoke during the event, said: “Convenient for people of the Uttarakhand state residing in Lucknow, the new link will also boost tourism and is very important for development efforts.” Flights are operated using CRJ700 regional jets.

  • Air Méditerranée expanded its offering from the southern French port city of Marseilles (MRS) to Greece on 5 May, as it inaugurated services on the 2,000-kilometre route to Kos (KGS) in the Southern Sporades. The airline, which already flies from Marseille to Corfu, Crete and Rhodes, now operates a single weekly service on the newly launched route using 737-500s.

  • Air Uganda, the privately-owned de facto national carrier of Uganda, launched a new route from its Entebbe (EBB) base on 1 May and now connects the city with Kilimanjaro (JRO) in neighbouring Tanzania. Twice-weekly CRJ 200 operated flights are offered by the airline on the 650 kilometre route in competition with Precision Air’s daily schedule.

airBaltic launches seasonal flights to Balaton and Olbia

Riga Airport’s Aviation Services Director, Arturs Kokars; and airBaltic’s VP Communications, Janis Vanags, performed the cake-cutting ceremony in honour of the airline’s inaugural flight from Riga to Balaton…

airBaltic launches seasonal flights to Balaton and Olbia

…and continued the day’s celebrations, as the airline commenced twice-weekly services to Olbia.

  • airBaltic increased its seasonal offering from Riga (RIX) last week, as it launched new flights on 4 May to Balaton (SOB) in Hungary, and Olbia (OLB) in Sardinia. Balaton is now offered with a single weekly frequency and operated using Q400s, while Olbia launched with a twice-weekly schedule, and will be increased to thrice-weekly on 19 June. The latter service will see 737-500s deployed on the route. Both routes will have disappeared from the airline’s schedule by the end of September.

  • airberlin resumed flights on 1 May on the 1,800-kilometre route from Leipzig (LEJ) to Kos (KGS), which it last served in the summer season of 2011, and now offers thrice-weekly departures in competition with Condor’s service of the same frequency. In addition, the carrier inaugurated thrice-weekly seasonal services from Düsseldorf (DUS) to Jersey (JER) on 4 May. Unlike the Greek route, which is operated using 737-800s, E190s are deployed to serve the 700-kilometre service to the British Channel Islands. Lufthansa and Germania also offer four and single weekly frequencies between Düsseldorf and Jersey.

  • Austrian Airlines increased its offering to Spain from its Vienna (VIE) hub this summer, as it launched flights to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) in the Balearic Islands. The carrier, which already serves Barcelona (15 weekly flights), Las Palmas and Tenerife South (both single weekly), inaugurated the new service with twice-weekly flights, but will add a third weekly frequency on 18 May. Competition in this popular summer market comes from airberlin subsidiary NIKI, which offers 17 weekly flights on the route. Notably, Austrian itself is not new to the route, which it last operated in August 2008.

  • British Airways inaugurated services on the 430-kilometre route from Johannesburg (JNB) to the capital of Mozambique, Maputo (MPM), on 6 May. Nine weekly departures are now offered on the route and will be carried out by Comair on behalf of the British carrier using 737-300 and 737-400 equipment. Competition on the route comes from LAM Mozambique’s 24 and South African Airways’ 17 weekly departures.

  • Cathay Pacific, the largest carrier in the market from Hong Kong to the Middle East, extended its existing twice-weekly Hong Kong to Abu Dhabi (AUH) service with weekly flights to Riyadh (RUH) in Saudi Arabia on 4 May. A330-300s are deployed to operate the route, which competes with existing flights from Etihad (13 weekly frequencies) and Saudia (daily).

Croatia Airlines’ Captain on the inaugural flight from Pula to Frankfurt received the honour to cut the ribbon and cake upon the aircraft’s arrival from Germany. Franjo Krcmar, Croatia Airlines’ Director Central Europe; Denis Ivošević, Director of the Istrian Tourist Board; and Svemir Radmilo, Pula Airport’s CEO, attended this inaugural flight ceremony.

  • Croatia Airlines commenced seasonal twice-weekly flights from Pula (PUY) to Frankfurt (FRA) in Germany on 30 April. Services on the 700-kilometre route are operated using A319s.

Celebrating the launch of easyJet’s new service from London Southend was the airport’s CEO, Alastair Welch and the Essex Caledonian Pipe Band.

  • easyJet expanded its domestic coverage from London Southend (SEN) last week, as it commenced services on the 600-kilometre route from the southern base to Edinburgh (EDI) on 2 May. Hugh Aitken, the airline’s UK Commercial Manager, commented: “We’re making it extremely easy and affordable to visit the city or extend the journey further afield to other parts of the Lothians and Scotland by cutting the travel time to less than half compared to a train or car journey from the region and presenting our customers with great value.” A319s are deployed to operate the route. In addition, on 4 May, the carrier increased its summer offering from Manchester (MAN) with the launch of services to Santorini (JTR). Twice-weekly flights are offered on the route and operated using A320s, in competition with Thomas Cook and Thomson Airways, which serve the market from Manchester to the Greek island with a single weekly frequency each.

The characteristic beach basket found its way onto the inaugural cake bake at Cologne Bonn Airport to mark the arrival of eurolot’s service to Heringsdorf, and was presented by Jan Möller and Tobias Lyssy from the airport’s aviation marketing team.

  • eurolot, which already serves the German summer resort of Heringsdorf (HDF) with weekly flights from Warsaw, further increased presence at the German airport last week. Beginning on 4 May, the carrier offers seasonal services from Cologne Bonn (CGN) and Dortmund (DTM), both of which are offered on a weekly basis in replacement of airberlin’s seasonal service. Turboprop Q400s are deployed to serve the two domestic markets.

  • EVA Air continued to expand its presence in Japan last week, as it inaugurates thrice-weekly services on the route from its Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) hub to Asahikawa (AKJ) on 2 May. The carrier, for which Asahikawa is the third destination on the Hokkaido Island and tenth in Japan, operates the service using A330-200s in competition with TransAsia Airways’ single weekly flight.

Flybe launches four new routes from the UK

Believe it or not… but the aircraft on pushback is the inaugural Flybe service from Birmingham to Lyon! Photo: Courtesy of Gordon Stretch

  • flybe commenced services on four new routes last week. Only one – the six-weekly flight connecting Birmingham (BHX) and Lyon (LYS) airports – faces competition, as bmi regional will start operating the route next week. flybe’s remaining routes are operated with three or fewer weekly frequencies and include two international and one domestic destination.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
01-May-13 Birmingham (BHX) Lyon (LYS) 6 ER7 bmi regional (3)
Glasgow (GLA) Shannon (SNN) 3 Q400
Isle of Man (IOM) Southampton (SOU) 3 Q400
03-May-13 Exeter (EXT) Nice (NCE) 2 E195
Source: Innovata w/c 13 May 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

flydubai launches flights to the Tajik capital

flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said of the new service to Dushanbe: “It’s within our geographical reach. We can see the opportunity to connect more people to our country for business and tourism, as Dubai is the hub for these. There are not enough flights between the two countries so we are making the relationship stronger.”

  • flydubai ended the busy month of April, during which it started services to Mineralnye Vody in Russia, Juba in South Sudan and Osh in Kyrgyzstan, with the launch of operations to its 57th international destination on 30 April, and now serves Dushanbe (DYU) from its Dubai (DXB) base with twice-weekly services. Speaking at a press conference, flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “Today is an exciting day for flydubai, as we start operations to our 33rd country. We are pleased to extend our reach in Central Asia and, as the first UAE airline serving Dushanbe, look forward to encouraging trade and developing further relations between our countries”.

  • FlyGeorgia commenced operations on the 3,200-kilometre route from Tbilisi (TBS) to Brussels (BRU) on 6 May. Twice-weekly flights are offered in the market and operated using A319s. FlyGeorgia only flies to one other EU destination, Düsseldorf, which it serves also with twice-weekly frequencies.

  • Frontier Airlines commenced thrice-weekly seasonal services on the route from Denver, CO (DEN) to Greensboro, NC (GSO) on 1 May. The service is carried out using 138-seat A319s. Frontier’s SVP Commercial, Daniel Shurz, said: “We are excited to offer travellers in the Triad region the only nonstop service from Greensboro to Denver. Now, customers can travel to Denver and easily connect to 16 other destinations.”

  • Garuda Indonesia increased its domestic offering last week, as it launched two routes involving Pekanbaru (PKU) in Sumatra on 1 May. The carrier now offers daily services to this busy trading port from Batam (BTH) and Medan (MES) using CRJ1000 equipment on both routes. Competition on the 300-kilometre route to Batam, the free trade zone located 20 kilometres off Singapore’s south coast, comes from Wings Abadi (36 weekly flights), Citilink Indonesia (7) and Sriwijaya Air (7). Services on the route from Medan face competition from Lion Air (14), Indonesia AirAsia (7), Mandala Airlines (7) and Sriwijaya Air (7).

Cutting the inaugural cake for Germania’s arrival in Gran Ganaria were: Gran Canaria Airport’s Director, Alberto Martín Rodriguez; Germania’s Chief Pilot; and Gran Canaria Island’s Councilor for Tourism, Melchor Camón.

  • Germania, the German carrier specialising in leisure and ethnic traffic, commenced operations on six new routes last week, one from Erfurt (ERF) and five from Bremen (BRE). The airline faces competition on half of the routes, whereby Ryanair already serves some of the summer markets from Bremen. All flights are operated using 737-700s.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
01-May-13 Erfurt (ERF) Gran Canaria (LPA) 1
04-May-13 Bremen (BRE) Nice (NCE) 2
Tenerife South (TFS) 1 Ryanair (1)
05-May-13 Gran Canaria (LPA) 1 Ryanair (1)
06-May-13 Fuerteventura (FUE) 1 Ryanair (1)
Ibiza (IBZ) 1
Source: Innovata w/c 13 May 2013.  *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • germanwings commenced flights on a total of six new summer routes last week, as it launched new services from Cologne Bonn (CGN), Hamburg (HAM), Hannover (HAJ) and Stuttgart (STR). All flights are operated using A319s.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
04-May-13 Cologne Bonn (CGN) Olbia (OLB) 2 airberlin (3)
05-May-13 Hamburg (HAM) Dubrovnik (DBV) 1
Olbia (OLB) 1 Meridianafly (1)
04-May-13 Hannover (HAJ) Lamezia Terme (SUF) 1
05-May-13 Thessaloniki (SKG) 1
04-May-13 Stuttgart (STR) Olbia (OLB) 1 airberlin (4)
Source: Innovata w/c 13 May 2013.    *WF: Weekly Frequency at launch.

  • Hong Kong Airlines inaugurated services on the 2,100-kilometre route from its Hong Kong (HKG) base to Hohhot (HET), the capital of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in north-central China. Beginning on 1 May, thrice-weekly flights depart on the route, and all are operated using A320s.

HOP! launches three domestic routes in France

HOP!’s new service from Pau to Bastia in Corsica will operate on a seasonal basis until 5 October.

  • HOP!, the recently launched by Air France regional brand, added three domestic routes connecting the mainland and the Mediterranean island of Corsica. On 4 May, the carrier commenced low-frequency, single weekly services from Ajaccio (AJA) to Metz (MTZ) and from Calvi (CLY) to Mulhouse (MLH). Both services are operated using ERJ145s until October. In addition, on the same day, HOP! inaugurated services on the 800-kilometre route from Pau (PUF) to Bastia (BIA). Weekly flights on this routes are operated using Bombardier regional jets.

  • commenced flights on three new routes in the course of last week, as it introduced new services to some popular summer destinations. On 2 May, the carrier inaugurated thrice-weekly flights from East Midlands (EMA) to Nice (NCE), while on 5 May, single weekly departures to Dubrovnik (DBV) commenced at the UK airport. The newly launched routes are operated with variable narrow-body equipment.

  • Jetairfly commenced flights on 2 May on the 2,000-kilometre route from Ostend (OST) in Belgium to Djerba (DJE) in Tunisia. Weekly services are operated on the route by the airline on a seasonal basis using 737-800s. On the return leg, the aircraft is routed via Enfidha (NBE) located on the Tunisian coast.

  • JetBlue Airways expanded its coverage of the Caribbean from San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico on 1 May, bringing the total number of routes it offers to the region up to six. The airline, which already serves Santo Domingo (21 weekly flights) in the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas (14), St. Croix (7) in the Virgin Islands, and St. Maarten (7), now also operates daily services to both Punta Cana (PUJ) and Santiago (STI). E190s are deployed on both routes.

  • Lufthansa continues to increase its UK offering, as it inaugurated services to its seventh destination in the country from its Düsseldorf (DUS) hub on 4 May. The carrier, which recently commenced flights to Glasgow, started flying to Cardiff (CWL) in Wales. Saturday flights are scheduled to operate using CRJ900s on seasonal basis. In addition Lufthansa has resumed weekly (Saturday) flights between Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Ibiza (IBZ), a route it last operated over four years ago. The new service will operate until mid-October using A320s.

  • Lufthansa reinstated services from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Ibiza (IBZ) on 4 May, which it last operated in October 2008. The carrier, which now offers flights to a total of five Spanish destinations from the Berlin airport, has scheduled single weekly flights to the Balearic island, which it operates using A320s. Until the route disappears from Lufthansa’s flying schedule in early September, the airline faces competition from airberlin’s thrice-weekly departures.

Monarch Airlines’ arrival in Menorca from Leeds/Bradford was welcomed with a sweet 3D representation of the carrier’s aircraft. Leading the celebration was the airport’s Director, Thomas Melgar (pictured second left).

  • Monarch Airlines expanded its seasonal summer offering from two northern English airports last week. Leeds/Bradford (LBA) and Manchester (MAN) saw the launch of a combined number of seven routes with most of them being launched at the former facility. All flights are operated using A320s except for the Manchester to Almería (LEI) service, for which the slightly larger A321 is deployed. Only one route is void of any competition.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
01-May-13 Leeds/Bradford (LBA) Heraklion (HER) 2 (2)
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 2 (4)
02-May-13 Antalya (AYT) 2
03-May-13 Barcelona (BCN) 2 (4)
Ryanair (3)
Menorca (MAH) 2 (2)
Thomson Airways (1)
04-May-13 Dalaman (DLM) 2 (2)
Thomson Airways (2)
04-May-13 Manchester (MAN) Almería (LEI) 2 Thomas Cook (1)
Thomson Airways (1)
Source: Innovata w/c 13 May 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • nasair grew its domestic coverage last week, as it started flying on the 1,100-kilometre domestic route from Dammam (DMM) to Taif (TIF) in the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia. Beginning on 1 May, the carrier offers a thrice-weekly schedule between the two destinations. The E190-operated service faces competition from Saudia’s daily flights.

  • Norwegian added another low-frequency destination to its offering from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) on 4 May, and now operates weekly (Saturday) flights to Ajaccio (AJA) on the French island of Corsica. Flights are carried out using the airline’s fleet of 737-800s.

  • Oman Air increased its international coverage from Salalah (SLL), located in southern Oman, on 2 May. The carrier, which already operates four-weekly flights to Dubai in the UAE, now offers twice-weekly services to Jeddah (JED) in Saudi Arabia. 737-800s are deployed to operate the 1,700-kilometre route.

  • PAL Express, previously known as AirPhil Express, inaugurated flights on the 700-kilometre domestic route from the Philippine capital, Manila (MNL), to Basco (BSO), located in the Batanes Islands. Beginning on 1 May, the carrier operates thrice-weekly flights on the route using Q400s.

  • Philippine Airlines returned to the market from Manila (MNL) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 1 May, following an absence of seven years. The carrier, which last operated the service in February 2006, now offers four weekly departures on the 2,500-kilometre route, all of which will be served using A319s. Malaysia Airlines (28 weekly flight), Cebu Pacific (14) and PAL Express (3) provide competition in the inter-capital market.

Ryanair’s 737-800 heading for the first time from Brussels Charleroi to Rabat had an impressive load factor of 96%. Upon arrival at the gate, all 181 passengers were given a taste of what was waiting for them after arrival by offering them real Moroccan pastries.

  • Ryanair, the #1 airline for new route launches this summer, continues to add new routes to its network, closing last week with a total of 13 new services. Brussels Charleroi (CRL), East Midlands (EMA), Essaouira (ESU) in Morocco, and Marseille (MRS) were among the airports, which saw more than one service commence. None of the low-frequency routes presents the carrier with any competition.
Launch date Origin Destination WF*
30-Apr-13 Birmingham (BHX) Perpignan (PGF) 2
30-Apr-13 Bristol (BRS) Szczecin (SZZ) 2
30-Apr-13 Brussels Charleroi (CRL) Targu Mures (TGM) 2
01-May-13 Essaouira (ESU) 2
02-May-13 Rabat (RBA) 3
01-May-13 Chania (CHQ) Vilnius (VNO) 1
30-Apr-13 East Midlands (EMA) Poznan (POZ) 2
01-May-13 Girona (GRO) 2
01-May-13 Marseille (MRS) Essaouira (ESU) 2
30-Apr-13 Rabat (RBA) 3
30-Apr-13 Oslo Rygge (RYG) Rzeszow (RZE) 2
30-Apr-13 Paris Beauvais (BVA) Rabat (RBA) 3
02-May-13 Pisa (PSA) Targu Mures (TGM) 2
Source: Innovata w/c 13 May 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Saudia, the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, added Al-Ahsa/Hofuf (HOF), located in the east of the country, as the 27th domestic destination it offers from its base in Riyadh (RUH). Beginning on 4 May, the carrier offers twice-weekly departures on the route in addition to the existing thrice-weekly schedule it offers from Jeddah. E170s are deployed to operate the 300-kilometre route.

Burbank Bob Hope welcomed the arrival of SeaPort Airlines with the traditional watercannon salute.

In San Diego, crew operating the inaugural flight and airport staff had a commemorative photograph taken to mark the new arrival.

In San Diego, the crew operating the inaugural flight and airport staff had a commemorative photograph taken to mark the new arrival.

  • SeaPort Airlines inaugurated services on two intrastate routes from El Centro/Imperial County, CA (IPL) on 1 May, as it launched flights to San Diego, CA (SAN) and Burbank Bob Hope, CA (BUR). 12 weekly frequencies are offered on each route and operated using Cessna Caravans. The new services were launched within the US Department of Transportation’s Essential Air Service (EAS) scheme. SeaPort Airlines’ CEO, Rob McKinney, said “We’re very pleased to be adding these new services to our growing route map. We expect that customers will embrace the high frequency and customer friendly service that has been a pillar of the ‘SeaPort Experience’ since our very first flight.”

SkyWork’s crew operating on the inaugural flight from Berne was welcomed to Munich with (empty of course) beer mugs.

Ready for the Octoberfest: SkyWork’s crew operating on the inaugural flight from Bern was welcomed to Munich with (empty of course) beer mugs.

  • SkyWork Airlines commenced flights on the fourth route to Germany that it offers from its Bern (BRN) base in Switzerland. Beginning on 6 May, the dynamically growing turboprop operator offers 11 weekly flights to Munich (MUC) in southern Germany. Flights on the 360-kilometre route are operated using Dornier 328s. On the same day the airline also introduced weekly (Monday) flights to Brindisi (BDS) in Italy.

The arrival of SunExpress from İzmir was welcomed with the traditional watercannon salute in the south-eastern Turkish Batman.

The arrival of SunExpress from İzmir was welcomed with the traditional water cannon salute in the south-eastern Turkish town of Batman.

  • SunExpress inaugurated services on two new routes last week from İzmir (ADB), one domestic and one international. On 2 May, the carrier commenced flights from Turkey’s third most populous city to Oslo (OSL) in Norway. The service, which was last operated by the airline in October 2010, is offered with a weekly frequency. On 6 May, SunExpress added a domestic service to its offering from Izmir, as it started flying to Batman (BAL) located in south-eastern Turkey. Flights on the 1,200-kilometre route are performed with thrice-weekly frequencies. The airline uses 737-800s to operate both routes.

  • TAROM, Romania’s national carrier, commenced daily flights on the 2,500-kilometre route from Bucharest (OTP) to Dublin (DUB) on 1 May, using 737-800s. Aer Lingus had previously operated this route between October 2007 and 30 April this year, with between two and three weekly frequencies.

Thomson Airways’ inaugural flight from London Gatwick was received in Jerez by José Loaiza, President of the Diputación of Cadiz; Inmaculada Olivero, responsible for Tourism at the Diputación de Cádiz; Deputy Mayor of the Government at Cádiz, Javier de Torre; representative of the Junta de Andalucía, Manuel Cárdenas; Mayor of Jerez, María José García-Pelayo; Mayor of Chiclana, Ernesto Marín; and the airport’s Director, Rafael Reyna. Water arch, performance of the traditional Spanish dance – Sevillanas, and of course a glass of local Sherry awaited passengers upon landing.

  • Thomson Airways inaugurated weekly services on the seasonal route from London Gatwick (LGW) to Jerez (XRY), the Sherry capital of Spain, on 3 May. The carrier, which offers a total of 13 Spanish routes this May from London’s second busiest airport, operates the newly launched service using 737-800s.

  • inaugurated services on the route from Amsterdam (AMS) to Catania (CTA) via Lamezia-Terme (SUF) on 1 May, which it last served in October 2011. The carrier, which already operates the route from Amsterdam to Catania via Palermo in Sicily, now offers weekly schedule via Lamezia-Terme, which it operates using 737-800s.

  • Tunisair commenced services on the fifth Italian route it offers from its Tunis (TUN) base on 3 May. The carrier, which already operates services to Rome Fiumicino (14 weekly flights), Milan Malpensa (10), Venice (6) and Palermo (3), added Bologna (BLQ) to the list of Italian airports it has on offer from the Tunisian capital. Thrice-weekly flights are offered on the 900-kilometre route and operated using A320 family aircraft.

  • UNI Air, the regional subsidiary of EVA Air, added three routes to its offering in the course of last week. On 1 May, the airline launched services on the 1,600-kilometre route from Kaohsiung (KHH) in southern Taiwan to Jinan (TNA) in the eastern Chinese Shandong Province, while on 4 May, flights from Taichung (RMQ) to Changsha (CSX) and Guangzhou (CAN) commenced. All services are operated with single weekly frequencies and carried out using MD90s.

Virgin America’s 149-seat A320 nicknamed #nerdbird performed the inaugural flight to San Jose. The airline’s CEO, David Cush, and Sir Richard Branson posed onboard to mark the new route. In the meantime, Virgin America’s network planning team is busy drawing expansion plans at San Jose with new, longer routes in the pipeline.

  • Virgin America, the recent winner of’s Route of the Week prize, added the 15th destination to its offering in Los Angeles, CA (LAX) on 1 May, as it launched a new intrastate service. The airline offers 27 weekly frequencies on the 500-kilometre route to San Jose, CA (SJC), which it operates using A320s. Sir Richard Branson commented on the new route: “Compared with San Francisco International Airport, San Jose is nicer, more tech-friendly and easier to get to for Silicon Valley-based passengers. If we can give them the routes, also in longer markets, they will fly with us.” Competition is significant, as Southwest Airlines (66 weekly flights), American Airlines (42), Alaska Airlines (20) and United Airlines (12) are already present in the market connecting the two Californian locations.

Bundaberg, also known as “Bundy”, welcomed the arrival of Virgin Australia with a day’s celebration for the local community.

  • Virgin Australia inaugurated services on the 300-kilometre route from Brisbane (BNE) to Bundaberg (BDB), which is also located in Queensland. Beginning on 4 May, the carrier offers daily flights, which it operates using ATR72s. Competition comes from Qantas, which flies the route with 27 weekly frequencies. Merren McArthur, the airline’s Alliances, Network and Yield Group Executive, said: “Bundaberg has been a monopoly market for over 10 years and the local community and tourism operators have told us that they would welcome competition in the region. The midday flight is convenient for holiday makers and business travellers, as there are 11 domestic and international connections within three hours of the flight landing in Brisbane.” 

  • Vueling continued to expand its presence in North Africa last week, this time by launching its first two routes to Algeria. On 1 and 2 May respectively, the carrier inaugurated services from its Barcelona (BCN) base to Algiers (ALG) and Oran (ORN), the country’s two largest cities. While both routes are operated with A320s, the Algerian capital is served with four weekly flights and only half the frequencies are available on the second route. Air Algerie provides competition in both sectors, which it serves with 12 and two weekly frequencies respectively.

  • WestJet added Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) as the ninth US destination it offers from Toronto (YYZ) on 2 May. A low-frequency schedule is offered on the 1,100-kilometre route, on which weekly flights are operated using 737 narrow-bodies.

  • Wizz Air inaugurated Skopje (SKP) as the second south-eastern European destination it offers from Stockholm Skavsta (NYO). Beginning on 3 May, the carrier, which already offers thrice-weekly flights to Belgrade in Serbia, commenced twice-weekly schedule to the Macedonian capital. 


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