New airline routes launched (21 – 27 May 2013)

JetBlue Airways’ Boston to Philadelphia

Mummers All Stars Band, Bassetts Ice Cream, Yummy Pretzels and a Rocky Balboa impersonator could not miss from JetBlue Airways’ launch in Philadelphia.

  • JetBlue Airways further solidified its business travel offering in Boston, MA (BOS) with the launch of services on the 450-kilometre route to Philadelphia, PA (PHL) on 23 May. Five daily flights are offered on the route, competing with US Airways’ 121 weekly frequencies. JetBlue Airways’ SVP Marketing and Communications, Marty St. George, commented: “We are thrilled to bring our enhanced product and award-winning service to Philadelphia and to connect two iconic cities that share such deep and meaningful history.”

US Airways’ Shannon to Philadelphia

Accompanied by Jim Tyrrell, Philadelphia Airport’s Deputy Director Aviation Property Management and Business Development; Suzanne Boda, US Airways’ SVP Airport Customer Service, International and Cargo, cut the inaugural ribbon and cake in Philadelphia…

…then hopped the Pond on the maiden service to do the same thing again in Shannon!

Posing with the Liberty Bell cake in Shannon were also Mary Kennedy, Declan Power and Isabel Harrison, Aviation Development, Shannon Airport.

Posing with the Liberty Bell cake in Shannon were also Mary Kennedy, Declan Power and Isabel Harrison, Aviation Development, Shannon Airport.

  • US Airways resumed services on the 5,100-kilometre route from Philadelphia, PA (PHL) to Shannon (SNN) on 22 May. The service, which was last operated by US Airways four years ago, returns to the airline’s network with daily frequencies, and is offered on a seasonal basis until 2 September. Mark Gale, Philadelphia Airport’s CEO, said: “The seasonal service to Shannon nicely complements the year-round flights to Dublin, and we are pleased to have this convenient service available to travellers in the region again.” US Airways deploys a 176-seat 757-200 in a two-class configuration to operate this seasonal link.

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

  • Aegean Airlines further expanded its summer offering with the launch of three new low-frequency routes in the course of last week. On 25 May, the Greek carrier commenced twice-weekly services on the route from Athens (ATH) to Manchester (MAN), while two days later weekly (Monday) services were added from Thessaloniki (SKG) to Hannover (HAJ) and Nuremberg (NUE). All newly launched routes are operated using A320s and each presents Aegean Airlines with competition from one other carrier.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
25-May-13 Athens (ATH) Manchester (MAN) 2 easyJet (3)
27-May-13 Thessaloniki (SKG) Hannover (HAJ) 1 germanwings (1)
Nuremberg (NUE) 1 airberlin (3)
Source: Innovata w/c 3 June 2013.   *WF: Weekly frequencies at launch.

  • Aeroflot improved the domestic coverage from its Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) base on 24 and 25 May, when it resumed services on routes to Novokuznetsk (NOZ) in south-western Siberia, and Magnitogorsk (MQF), located on the eastern side of southern Urals. Both destinations had been operated to by Aeroflot in the past: Novokuznetsk last in June 1996, while Magnitogorsk – 16 years ago from Moscow Domodedovo. Daily flights are offered on both routes, and operated using A320s and Sukhoi SuperJet 100s respectively.

  • Air Arabia added Abha (AHB) in south-western Saudi Arabia as the eighth destination it offers in the country from its Sharjah (SHJ) base. Beginning on 25 May, the carrier offers twice-weekly flights on the 1,500-kilometre route, which it operates using one of its 33 A320s.

Minneapolis/St Paul, MN, welcomed the arrival of Air France from Paris CDG last week. Posing with the flags of France and Minnesota were the crew operating on the inaugural flight.

  • Air France, which already offers 10 US destinations from its Paris CDG (CDG) hub, added a seasonal link between the French capital and Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) on 21 May. Five-weekly departures are initially offered on the 6,800-kilometre route, with further twice-weekly flights to be added from 17 June. The service is operated using A340-300s until 1 September in cooperation with Delta Air Lines, which itself offers daily flights on the route. Patrick Roux, AF-KLM’s SVP Americas, commented: “The rich domestic opportunities via Minneapolis/St Paul provide strong feed for the Air France service, making the hub a natural choice for Air France.”

  • Air One increased its seasonal offering in the market from Italy to Russia last week as it launched two A320-operated routes on 25 May. Pisa (PSA) and Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) are now connected with twice-weekly services, which Air One operates until 29 September. In addition, weekly flights on the 2,700-kilometre route from Catania (CTA) to St. Petersburg (LED) are offered until 13 October.

  • airberlin enriched its summer offering from Frankfurt (FRA) last week, when it launched weekly (Tuesday) services on 21 May, on the 1,600-kilometre route to Enfidha (NBE) in Tunisia. Competition on the route, which airberlin operates using 737-800s, comes from SunExpress Germany, TUIfly and Tunis Air, who all operate weekly flights. airberlin has in recent seasons cut the number of destinations served from Germany’s busiest airport and will operate scheduled services to just 10 airports this summer, compared with 16 last summer.

  • Austrian Airlines resumed low-frequency services on two Greek routes. On 26 May, the carrier inaugurated flights from Vienna (VIE) to Araxos (GPA) in northern Peloponnese, which it last served in September 2009, and now offers with weekly frequencies using Fokker 70s. Competition on the 1,200-kilometre route comes from another Austrian carrier, NIKI, which offers services of the same frequency. Also on 26 May, Austrian Airlines launched services from Graz (GRZ) to Santorini (JTR). Flights on the 1,400-kilometre route depart with weekly frequencies and Austrian Airlines deploys A319s on the route. On the inbound leg, there is a stopover in Linz.

  • Cayman Airways, the national flag carrier of Cayman Islands, returned on the 2,200-kilometre route from its Grand Cayman (GCM) base to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) on 25 May. The carrier, which offered the service last year on a seasonal basis (June-September), has now upgraded it to year-round, offering twice-weekly flights. 737-300s are deployed to operate the service.

  • Condor inaugurated seasonal services on the 1,400-kilometre route from Munich (MUC) to Skiathos (JSI), a small Greek island in the northwest Aegean Sea and a popular beach destination. Beginning on 23 May, the airline offers weekly departures on the route, which it operates using A320-family aircraft until 3 October.

  • flybe, in addition to the resumption of services on three domestic routes from Newquay (to Newcastle, Norwich and Glasgow), inaugurated flights on the 350-kilometre route across the Irish Sea, connecting Manchester (MAN) and Waterford (WAT) in Ireland, with four-weekly flights. Beginning 22 May, the airline operates the route using 78-seat Q400s. This is flybe’s second service at the Irish airport, having begun flights from its Birmingham base last summer.

flydubai launches flights to Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Salalah in Oman

The arrival of flydubai to Salalah was welcomed with the traditional watercannon salute from the airport’s fire and rescue brigade.

  • flydubai increased the number of international destinations it offers from its Dubai (DXB) base to a total of 60 last week, as it commenced operations on new routes to Oman and Sri Lanka on 21 May. The carrier, which already offers four-daily flights to Muscat in Oman, expanded its offering in the country with thrice-weekly services to Salalah (SLL), Oman’s second-largest city and a popular tourist destination during hot summer months owing to its cooler climes. Hamad Obaidalla, flydubai’s CEO, commented: “With Oman just next door to the UAE, there is a long history of tourism and trade between our countries. Through this new service we hope to further enhance these ties and make it easier and more convenient to travel between Dubai and Salalah.” Competing on the route is Oman Air, which offers four-weekly flights from Dubai to Salalah. In addition, flydubai began scheduled operations to Hambantota (HRI), Sri Lanka’s second international gateway, following a special flight in March on the opening day of the airport. Thrice-weekly flights are offered in the market and are operated as an extension of the airline’s twice-daily Colombo service. All newly launched services are carried out using the airline’s fleet of now 30 737-800s.

A representative; Isabel Sepulveda, Head of Cabinet of Ibiza Airport; captain on the inaugural flight; Roberto Llamas, Ibiza Airport’s Director; Carmen Sanchez, Consell Insular de Ibiza; and Virginia Zazo, the airport’s Head of Planning, assisted the cake-cutting ceremony for’s inaugural flight from Ibiza to Blackpool. launches new summer destinations from Blackpool, East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester and Belfast

Performing the cake-cutting ceremony in Reus were Julie Munton,’s GM Spain and Portugal; and the airport’s Director, Vicente Pallarés, accompanied by Woody from the nearby PortAventura resort. launches new summer destinations from Blackpool, East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester and Belfast

Another Aena-managed airport, Murcia, prepared this colourful cake to mark’s maiden departure to Glasgow.

Welcome drinks and home-made cakes awaited passengers travelling on’s inaugural service from Croatian Pula to Leeds/Bradford. launches new summer destinations from Blackpool, East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester and Belfast

The captain of’s inaugural flight from Gran Canaria to Leeds/Bradford; and the Spanish airport’s Director, Alberto Martín, cut the inaugural cake.

  • added a total of 11 new routes to its offering across six British airports in the course of last week. Glasgow (GLA) was the largest beneficiary with four new destinations launched between 23 and 25 May. East Midlands (EMA), which saw increased interest from following the demise of bmibaby, welcomed two routes from the UK carrier. All services are offered with low frequencies and the majority faces competition from other UK leisure and low-cost carriers.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
23-May-13 Blackpool (BLK) Ibiza (IBZ) 1 B737
24-May-13 East Midlands (EMA) Ibiza (IBZ) 2 B733 Monarch Airlines (5)
Ryanair (4)
Thomson Airways (3)
Thomas Cook Airlines (2)
25-May-13 Larnaca (LCA) 1 B738 Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Thomson Airways (1)
23-May-13 Glasgow (GLA) Bodrum (BJV) 2 B73H Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Thomson Airways (1)
24-May-13 Murcia (MJV) 2 B733
25-May-13 Gran Canaria (LPA) 1 EQV Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Thomson Airways (1)
25-May-13 Menorca (MAH) 1 B733 Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Thomson Airways (1)
22-May-13 Leeds/Bradford (LBA) Zakinthos (ZTH) 1 B733
26-May-13 Pula (PUY) 1 B733
22-May-13 Manchester (MAN) Zakinthos (ZTH) 1 B73H Thomas Cook Airlines (4)
Thomson Airways (4)
27-May-13 Belfast (BFS) Reus (REU) 1 B733 Thomas Cook Airlines (2)
Thomson Airways (1)
Source: Innovata w/c 3 June 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Jetairfly doubled its offering in northern Italian Bologna (BLQ) on 22 May, when it inaugurated weekly services on the 2,200-kilometre route to Marrakech (RAK). The carrier, which already offers services of the same frequency from the Italian airport to Casablanca, deploys 737-800s to operate the newly launched service. The two Moroccan destinations are the only services currently offered by Jetairfly from Bologna.

Monarch Airlines adds two destinations from Birmingham; launches Ibiza from East Midlands

Birmingham Airport and Monarch Airlines celebrated the launch of two new routes with “golden tickets” and a glass of bubbly for lucky passengers. The rich wine-making traditions of both Bordeaux and Split served as inspiration for the inaugural cake. Kevin George, Monarch Airlines’ MD, said, “We are delighted to be celebrating the start of these new routes from Birmingham Airport giving our customers in the Midlands an even greater range of summer sun destinations and bringing the total number of Monarch destinations for 2013 from Birmingham Airport to 28.”

Tasting the inaugural cake prepared in Bordeaux were Russell Ison, Monarch Group’s Head of Group PR and Communications; James Massey, the airline’s Head of Marketing; and Pascal Personne, Bordeaux Airport’s Director.

  • Monarch Airlines further grew its offering from Birmingham (BHX) last week with the launch of competition-free services to Bordeaux (BOD) and Split (SPU). In addition, on 23 May, the carrier inaugurated flights on its second Balearic route from East Midlands (EMA), where it already offers a daily schedule to Palma de Mallorca (and a further four destinations, as detailed in this week’s airport analysis of East Midlands).
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
22-May-13 Birmingham (BHX) Bordeaux (BOD) 3 A320
22-May-13 Split (SPU) 3 A320
23-May-13 East Midlands (EMA) Ibiza (IBZ) 5 EQV Ryanair (4)
Thomson Airways (3) (2)
Thomas Cook Airlines (2)
Source: Innovata w/c 3 June 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Myanmar Airways International inaugurated flights on the 500-kilometre domestic route from Yangon (RGN) to Mandalay (MDL) on 26 May, becoming the fifth carrier to operate in this market. Thrice-weekly frequencies are now offered on the route using A320s. Myanmar Airlines International faces competition from Air KBZ (9 weekly flights), Yangon Airways (9), Air Bagan (7) and Golden Myanmar Airlines (7). You can read all about the booming Myanmar market in’s country analysis this week.

  • Norwegian, which opened its base at London Gatwick (LGW) at the start of the summer season, increased the number of non-Scandinavian destinations it offers from the London airport. On 25 May, the carrier commenced operations on the 1,400-kilometre route to Ibiza (IBZ) in the Balearic Islands, which it offers with weekly frequencies using winglet-equipped 737-800s. Competition in this popular summer market is significant with services already offered by British Airways, easyJet (each daily), Thomson Airways (six weekly departures), Monarch Airlines (five) and Thomas Cook Airlines (two).

Celebrating Qatar Airways' inaugural departure from Salalah to Doha were the airline’s Adnan Al Banna, Regional Manager Airport Services GCC, Africa, Levant and Iran; Ali Abdul Khaliq Ibrahim, Country Manager Oman and Yemen; Salem Awad Al Yafaey, the airport’s GM; Abdullah Bin Saif Al Mahrooqi, Deputy Governor of Dhofar; and Qatar Airways’ SVP GCC, Levant, Iran, Iraq & Indian Sub-Continent, Fathi Al Shehab. Entertainment in the gate area included the performance by traditional Omani folk dancers.

  • Qatar Airways became the second middle-eastern carrier this week to launch services connecting its home base and Salalah (SLL), the second-largest city of Oman. On 22 May, a day after flydubai commenced its service from Dubai, Qatar Airways inaugurated flights from its Doha (DOH) base. With the Omani capital Muscat already served with 31 weekly frequencies and the new four-weekly services to Salalah, Qatar Airways now offers a total of 35 flights to the Sultanate each week. Akbar Al Baker, the airline’s CEO, commented on the new launch: “We are extremely delighted to have added the highly popular leisure destination of Salalah to our international network and extend our award-winning service to the people of Salalah and the Dhofar region. As one of the most beautiful places in the Gulf, affectionately known as the Perfume Capital of Arabia, Salalah has tremendous appeal for visitors across the Gulf, Europe, the United States and many other countries, steeped in history, culture and natural beauty.”

  • RusLine brought up the number of domestic destinations offered from Chelyabinsk (CEK) up to six last week with the launch of services to Gelendzhik (GDZ) and Nizhnevartovsk (NJC). Beginning on 25 May, the airline operates twice-weekly services on both routes from Chelyabinsk, located just east of the Urals. CRJ200s are deployed to both destinations and services are scheduled to operate until 21 September.

  • Transaero commenced operations on the 1,000-kilometre route from St Petersburg (LED) to Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) on 22 May. Twice-weekly frequencies are offered on the route, which is served using 737-500s in competition with UTair Ukraine’s daily service. Transaero already serves Kiev Zhuliany from five other Russian airports.

  • TransAsia Airways commenced services on the 310-kilometre route from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Ishigaki (ISG), the largest of the Yaeyama Islands, making the latter its eighth destination in Japan. Beginning on 23 May, the carrier operates twice-weekly schedule using A320s. 

Malta is the 100th country in Turkish Airlines’ network: Celebrating in the Mediterranean island were Malta Tourism’s CEO, Josef Formosa Gauci; the airport’s CEO, Markus Klaushofer; Turkish Ambassador to Malta, Refika Nihal Çevik; Malta’s Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella; and a high-level delegation of Turkish Airlines officials led by the airline’s SVP Sales and Marketing, Sezgin Sağlam.

Luis Rey, Santiago Airport’s Director and officials from the local tourism authorities received Turkish Airlines’ SVP Sales and Marketing, Sezgin Sağlam, and his team with a special cake and cocktails.

Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
22-May-13 Adana (ADA) Stuttgart (STR) 1 A320 Germania (1)
21-May-13 Istanbul Ataturk (IST) Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) 3 B738
25-May-13 Malta (MLA) 3 EQV Air Malta (2)
Source: Innovata w/c 3 June 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Nazmi Kiknadze, BTA Georgia; Mert Kandiyeli, Batumi Airport’s Manager; Konstantin Iaskov, Captain on the inaugural flight; Temur Buzaladze; GM, LTD Discovery; and Yasar Baltaci, the airport’s Finance and Administrative Chief, celebrated the return of a nonstop link from Batumi to Kiev Borispol.

Nazmi Kiknadze, BTA Georgia; Mert Kandiyeli, Batumi Airport’s Manager; Konstantin Iaskov, Captain on the inaugural flight; Temur Buzaladze; GM, LTD Discovery; and Yasar Baltaci, the airport’s Finance and Administrative Chief, celebrated the return of a nonstop link from Batumi to Kiev Borispol.

  • Ukraine International Airlines added two international services to its offering from its Kiev Borispol (KBP) hub last week. On 21 May, the carrier commenced seasonal operations on the 3,000-kilometre route to Nizhnevartovsk (NJC), the centre of the Western Siberian oil-producing region. Initially, twice-weekly flights are offered, with additional three weekly flights to be operated between 24 June and 14 September when the route is scheduled to terminate. In addition, on 23 May, Ukraine International Airlines launched daily flights to Batumi (BUS), the capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic within Georgia. Ukraine International Airlines is currently the only carrier in this latter market, which remained unserved since Georgian Airlines withdrew its presence last February. AeroSvit also operated the service prior to December 2012. 737-500s are deployed on both newly launched routes.

  • Ural Airlines increased its domestic coverage from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) last week, as it launched six-weekly services to Nizhnevartovsk (NJC), the second-largest city of the oil-rich Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region, on 26 May. The carrier deploys A321s to operate the 2,300-kilometre route, on which it faces competition from S7 Airlines’ daily offering.

  • UTair added Odessa (ODS) as the fourth destination it serves in the Ukraine from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) on 24 May. The airline, which already operates daily flights to Kiev Zhulyany, Lviv and Simferopol, now offers services of the same frequency to the country’s third-largest city, located on the northern shore of the Black Sea. Transaero’s nine weekly departures on the 1,100-kilometre route offer competition to UTair’s 737-500-operated service.

Austin Mayor, Lee Leffingwell, and Virgin America’s CEO, David Cush, led the celebrations for the airline’s inaugural route from San Francisco, CA. Cush commented: “Austin and San Francisco share deep cultural and economic ties, so it made perfect sense for us to expand our network into this area that deserves not only increased flight options, but a better brand of service. As the only airline serving Austin with WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America allows business travelers flying between Silicon Valley and the Silicon Hills to stay connected and productive at 35,000 feet.”

  • Virgin America inaugurated daily services on the 2,400-kilometre route from San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Austin, TX (AUS) on 21 May. The new service, which commenced to the tune of the award-winning Austin-based psychedelic rock band The Bright Light Social Hour, is the airline’s first route to Austin and offered using A320s, in competition with United Airlines’ 41 and JetBlue Airways’ 14 weekly departures.

Pasta-cake was among treats prepared for passengers travelling on Wizz Air’s inaugural service from Katowice to Naples.

Posing for a commemorative picture to mark WOW Air’s arrival in Düsseldorf were Eva Nabrings, Flughafen Düsseldorf Ground Handling GmbH, Marketing and Sales; crew operating on the inaugural flight; Christina Knicker, the airport’s Manager Airline Marketing; and Björn Hartmann, Station Manager, AHS Düsseldorf Aviation Handling Services.

  • WOW air introduced modifications to its offering in Germany this summer and will serve a total of three points in the country. In addition to the existing thrice-weekly schedule to Berlin Schoenefeld, the carrier reinstated the twice-weekly service from Reykjavik (KEF) to Stuttgart on 23 May. The latter service returns as a triangular route with Düsseldorf (DUS) becoming WOW air’s third destination in Germany. Twice-weekly flights are initially offered on the route, going up to thrice-weekly from 18 June. Lufthansa and airberlin provide competition in the market from Düsseldorf to Keflavik, which they operate with thrice- and twice-weekly frequencies respectively. WOW air uses its fleet of four A320s to operate in the market.


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