New airline routes launched (28 May – 3 June 2013)

Norwegian’s Oslo to New York JFK

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos, the Statue Of Liberty, and cabin crew celebrate the launch of Norwegian's long-haul flights from Oslo to New York JFK. On hand to help Bjørn with the ribbon-cutting was Oslo Airport's Managing Director Nic Nilsen.

  • Last week finally saw the launch of Norwegian‘s much anticipated long-haul flights from Oslo (OSL) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to New York JFK (JFK), and from Oslo to Bangkok (BKK). Originally planned to operate with brand new Boeing 787s, the airline will be using an A340-300 from European leasing company HiFly until the 787s are ready, which is now expected to be in late August based on available schedule data. The first 787 is due for delivery later this month, with two more coming in 2013, four in 2014, and one in 2015. CEO Bjørn Kjos speaking at the launch said, “We are very happy for the great reception of our long-haul routes and that we finally – after years of planning – are able to welcome our first New York passengers on board. The market for intercontinental flights has long been characterized by artificially high fares and limited flexibility. The reception of our new long-haul routes shows that many want to fly inexpensively and comfortably to New York, Bangkok and Fort Lauderdale.” Overshadowed somewhat by the launch of long-haul flights, was the start of a new twice-weekly service from Oslo (OSL) to Lisbon (LIS) on Monday 3 June, which competes with TAP Portugal’s daily flights. This is now the airline’s second service to the Portuguese capital, having started flights from Copenhagen back in April.

Icelandair’s Reykjavik to Zurich

“How else, if not with a volcano cake, would you greet an Icelandic crew on their first flight to Zurich at the start of June? With a little help of dry ice, the volcano even produced a small volcanic ash cloud!” (Photo caption courtesy of Nicole Hortobàgyi Brand, Zurich Airport’s Manager Marketing Services)

Icelandair adds St Petersburg and Zurich to its network

St Petersburg welcomed the arrival of Icelandair with the traditional watercannon salute.

  • Icelandair inaugurated services on two European routes last week. Starting 1 June, the carrier operates twice-weekly frequencies to St Petersburg (LED) and Zurich (ZRH). Both destinations are the airline’s first in Russia and Switzerland respectively and are served on a seasonal basis until mid-September using winglet-equipped 757-200s. Initially, there is no competition on either of the routes; however, WOW air plans to launch weekly flights to Zurich on 15 June.

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

  • Aegean Airlines, the Star Alliance member, continues to launch more of the 30 new routes planned for this summer. The last week has seen the carrier start operations from Athens (ATH) to Baku (GYD), the capital of Azerbaijan. The twice-weekly A320 flights depart Athens at 23:15 arriving in Baku at 04:45. The departure from Baku is at 05:30 arriving back in Athens at 07:00. The airline’s two other new routes are both from Greek regional airports to Russia. Kalamata (KLX) gets twice-weekly A319 flights to Moscow Domodedovo (DME) until 1 October, and Alexandroupolis (AXD) gets weekly flights to St Petersburg (LED) until 27 September, which operate during night-time hours. In the first quarter of 2013 Aegean Airlines carried 7% more international passengers than in the same quarter of 2012, while the overall passenger load factor increased 5.2 percentage points to 70.5%.

Cutting first the ribbon and then the celebratory cake to mark Aeroflot’s return to Toronto were Andrey Novokshonov, the airline’s GM US; and John Sharp, GTAA’s Associate Director of Air Service Development.

  • Aeroflot resumed services on two routes, one each domestic and international, which it last served 15 and four years ago respectively. Beginning on 2 June, the carrier operates on the 4,900-kilometre route from its Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) hub to Yakutsk (YKS), the capital of the Far Eastern Russian Sakha Republic. Six weekly frequencies are offered on the route, which will be initially operated using 767-300s. 737-800s will be then introduced on the route in mid-October. While there is no direct competition on the route, daily flights to Yakutsk are offered by S7 Airlines (from Domodedovo) and Yakutia Airlines (from Vnukovo), with further thrice-weekly services offered by Transaero Airlines from Domodedovo. In addition, the airline resumed flights from its Moscow hub to Toronto (YYZ) on the same day, and now serves the Canadian city with a thrice-weekly schedule using 767-300ERs. Indirect competition on the 7,500-kilometre route comes from Transaero Airlines, which operates twice-weekly frequencies from Domodedovo.

  • Aerolineas Argentinas added flights on the 770-kilometre route from Cordoba (COR) to Jujuy (JUJ) in the extreme north-west of the country on 1 June. The thrice-weekly service, which is operated with variable equipment, will significantly improve Jujuy’s connectivity as underlined by Juan José Martearena, Tourism Secretary of the province: “The new service connects Jujuy – via Cordoba – to the country’s main air corridors: the Federal, towards Mendoza or Iguazú; and the Oil Route to Bariloche, Calafate and Río Gallegos.” Also on 1 June, the carrier inaugurated services from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Belo Horizonte (CNF), the capital of the south-eastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Daily flights are operated by Austral using E190s.

  • Aeromexico commenced seasonal flights on the route from Cancun (CUN) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX) on 1 June. The thrice-weekly service is operated using 737-800s until 8 September. Competition on the route comes from United Airlines (7 weekly frequencies), Virgin America (5) and Delta Air Lines (1).

  • Air Canada commenced services on the 10,600-kilometre route from Toronto (YYZ) to Seoul Incheon (ICN) on 2 June. Thrice-weekly frequencies are offered by the Star Alliance carrier in competition with SkyTeam member Korean Air’s five-weekly departures, and operated using 777-300ERs. According to the latest press releases, the service has been downgraded from year-round to seasonal prior to the launch and will terminate on 27 October.

Kiev Zhulyany Airport celebrates the launch of flights from Catania flown by Air One. The service will operate every 10 days until mid-September. For the Ukraine airport this new service is its third Italian destination after Milan Bergamo and Venice Treviso, both of which are served by Wizz Air Ukraine.

  • Air One, part of the Alitalia group of airlines, launched two new routes to St Petersburg (LED) during the last week from Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Pisa (PSA). Both services operate weekly until mid-September, with competition being provided only the Milan route by Rossiya and Transaero. In addition Air One is also launching a seasonal, five-times weekly service between its main base at Venice (VCE) and Olbia (OLB) in Sardinia. Flights operate until 22 September and will face direct competition from Meridiana’s daily flights and Volotea, which operates between five and 11 weekly flights during the summer season. Finally, Air One introduced service between Catania (CTA) and Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) on Monday 3 June. The service will operate every 10-11 days during the summer season until mid-September.

  • airberlin has added another leisure route to its diverse network. It now offers weekly (Tuesday) flights on the 1,700-kilometre route from Dresden (DRS) to Enfidha (NBE), using 737-800s. This summer it will serve the Tunisian airport from no less than eight German airports, with a total of nine weekly frequencies. Enfidha becomes the ninth destination served by airberlin from Dresden this summer.

AirEuropa’s arrival in Montevideo, Uruguay, from Madrid marks the first and only nonstop service between the South American capital and Europe. Celebrating in Montevideo were Liliam Kechichian, Uruguayan Minister of Tourism and Sport; Richard Clarck, AirEuropa's Commercial Director; Danilo Astori, Uruguay's Vice President; Enrique Pintado, Minister of Transport and Public Works; and Eduardo Acosta, Director of Montevideo's Carrasco Airport.

The Uruguayan Embassy in London and AirEuropa’s UK team, represented by Ambassador Julio Moreira Morán and Colin Stewart, the airline’s GM UK, threw a reception for the travel trade representatives to celebrate the addition of Montevideo to the carrier’s network. The carrier now offers connections from London Gatwick to nine destinations in Latin America via Madrid. Check next week for’s interview with Colin Stewart.

Celebratory cake and traditional entertainment were prepared to welcome AirEuropa’s arrival in La Coruña

  • AirEuropa inaugurated services on the 9,900-kilomtere route from its Madrid (MAD) hub to Montevideo (MVD), becoming the only carrier to serve Uruguay nonstop from Europe on 3 June. In fact, the only other carrier to operate in the market is Air France, which offers five-weekly services via Buenos Aires Ezeiza. AirEuropa uses A330-200s to operate the thrice-weekly route. In addition, on the same day, the Spanish carrier inaugurated services from Madrid to La Coruña (LCG) in north-western Spain, and now offers 26 weekly frequencies on the route, which it operates using E190s. Competition comes from Iberia, which serves this domestic market with five more weekly flights than AirEuropa does.

  • Alitalia increased its offering in South-Eastern Europe last week, as it commenced flights on the 600-kilometre route from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Podgorica (TGD) on 1 June. The Italian carrier now operates thrice-weekly schedule to the Montenegrin capital with E190s deployed on the route. Montenegro Airlines provides competition, offering services of the same frequency.

  • Austrian Airlines commenced low-frequency services from its Vienna (VIE) hub to Chios (JKH) in Greece, which it operates via Mytilene (MJT). Beginning on 29 May, the carrier operates weekly flights on the route using Fokker 100s in competition with NIKI’s also weekly service. Austrian Airlines previously offered the service until September 2008.

  • Belavia commenced flights on the 380-kilometre route from Brest (BQT), located at the Belorussian border to Poland, to Kaliningrad (KGD) on 3 June. The carrier, which already offers services to the Russian city from Minsk (twice-daily), Gomel and Grodno (each twice-weekly), added twice-weekly flights on the newly launched route. Belavia uses 50-seater CRJ200s to operate this seasonal service, which it last operated in 2011 and which is scheduled to terminate on 9 September.

Frank Mertens, bmi regional’s Marketing Manager, presented the topical cake baked in Birmingham to mark the airline’s new route to Billund – the home of Lego.

Billund welcomed bmi regional’s new service from Birmingham with the traditional watercannon salute, and a fruity cake.

  • bmi regional continued its growth in Birmingham (BHX) last week with the launch of five-weekly flights on the 800-kilometre route to Billund (BLL) in Denmark on 3 June. The new service is operated using 49-seat ERJ145s. bmi regional already operates to three other destinations from Birmingham – Gothenburg, Lyon and Toulouse, which it inaugurated in mid-May.

  • Cebu Pacific increased its domestic offering from Cebu (CEB) on 1 June with the launch of four weekly frequencies on the 230-kilometre route to Masbate (MBT) located centrally in the Philippine archipelago. The inter-island service is operated using ATR72 turboprops.

  • China Airlines resumed services on the 8,200-kilometre route from its Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) hub to Honolulu, HI (HNL), which it last served three years ago. Beginning on 2 June, the carrier offers twice-weekly departures on the route, on which it deploys A330-200s.

  • Croatia Airlines inaugurated services on the route from Split (SPU) to Belgrade (BEG) on 31 May, currently the airline’s only route to the Serbian capital. Twice-weekly flights are offered in the market in competition with Jat Airways’ four-weekly schedule. Croatia Airlines uses Q400s to operate the service.

Czech Airlines back in the long-haul market with flights to Seoul Incheon; adds services to Munich

Munich Airport’s Alexander Schroll, Director Traffic Development, welcomed the crew operating Czech Airlines’ inaugural service from Prague with traditional gingerbread hearts. The Czech airline last operated to the Bavarian capital more than two years ago.

  • Czech Airlines, which dropped its last long-haul service in October 2009 and last Far Eastern route in May 2006, returned to the long-haul market last week with the launch of twice-weekly services on the route from its Prague (PRG) hub to Seoul Incheon (ICN) on 1 June. A330-300s are used to operate the route, on which Czech Airlines competes with fellow SkyTeam member Korean Air’s four-weekly flights. In addition, on the same day, the carrier commenced flights on the route from the Czech capital to Munich (MUC) in southern Germany, a route it previously served until October 2010. Czech Airlines now offers 18 weekly flights using ATR72s in this market, competing with Lufthansa’s four-daily schedule. 

The cask-breaking ceremony kicked off the inaugural nonstop Delta Air Lines service to Tokyo Haneda, a location that has highly regulated flight slots in which Seattle beat out three other US cities.

  • Delta Air Lines commenced operation on its second route to Tokyo Haneda (HND) on 1 June, and now offers daily flights to the Japanese airport from Seattle, WA (SEA) in addition to the also daily service it operates to Haneda from Los Angeles. Speaking during the launch in Seattle, Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, commented: “We would like to thank the DOT for approval of our new service between Seattle and Haneda Airport, which will link the Pacific Northwest with a key airport for business customers travelling to Japan.” Because of the cap on the number of flights between the US and Japan, Delta had to ask to shift its previous rights from its suspended Detroit to Haneda service. Instead, the DOT put the rights out to bid, which was consequently won by Delta over Hawaiian Airlines (from Kona), American Airlines (Los Angeles) and United Airlines (San Francisco). 767-300s are used to operate the service. Delta serves Tokyo mainly via Tokyo Narita, to which it operates at least daily flights from eight points across mainland US, including both Seattle and Los Angeles.

Two years after the initial launch date for the service, cutting the inaugural ribbon in Toronto were Toby Lennox, GTAA’s VP Strategy Development and Stakeholder Relations; Roshdy Zakaria, Egyptair’s Chairman and CEO; Mississauga Mayor, Hazel McCallion; Amr Omar, Egyptair's GM Canada; Nasser Hamdy, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority; and Wael Aboul-Magd, Ambassador of Egypt.

  • Egyptair grew its offering from its Cairo (CAI) hub last week with the launch of four international destinations, including one extension of an existing service. The latter – four-weekly schedule to Harare (HRE) in Zimbabwe – was last offered by the Egyptian carrier nine years ago and is now operated via Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Moreover, Manchester (MAN) became the carrier’s second point in the UK (it already serves London Heathrow with twice-daily frequencies), while Toronto (YYZ) – the airline’s first gateway to Canada. The latter route was initially planned to commence in 2011, but was cancelled due to political issues.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
01-Jun-13 Cairo (CAI) Gassim (ELQ) 7 A321 AlMasria Universal Airlines (7)
Nile AIr (7)
Harare (HRE) 4 B738
Manchester (MAN) 5 B738
03-Jun-13 Toronto (YYZ) 4 B773
Source: Innovata w/c 10 June 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

Emirates Airlines inaugurates Tokyo Haneda as its third Japanese gateway

Helping to dispatch Emirates’ maiden service to Haneda in Dubai were Daisuke Matsunaga, Consul General of Japan; Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ SVP Commercial Operation Far East and Australasia; and Ravishankar Mirle, Emirates’ VP Cargo Commercial.

  • Emirates, which already operates daily flights to Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai, added Tokyo Haneda (HND) as its third destination in Japan on 3 June. Daily schedule on the 7,900-kilometre route from Dubai (DXB) is now offered and Emirates uses 777-200LRs to operate the service. Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide, commented: “Haneda is our third gateway in Japan and we are confident that the demand in terms of both passengers and cargo is strong enough to warrant Emirates operating non-stop, daily flights to both of Tokyo’s airports, offering our passengers more flexibility on the route to Dubai and onwards.”

Etihad Airways’ first ever commercial flight (destined for Beirut) ten years ago used a wet-leased aircraft operated by Brazilian crew, some of which are still working for the company. A decade and 77 aircraft later, Brazil’s Sao Paulo becomes Etihad’s first gateway to South America.

  • Etihad Airways became the last MEB3 carrier to incorporate South America into its route network last week, as it commenced services on the 12,100-kilometre route from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub to the continent’s busiest airport, Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) on 1 June. Thrice-weekly flights are currently offered on the route, competing for transfer traffic via the Middle East with daily flights from both Emirates and Qatar Airways. A340-500s in a three-class configuration are deployed to operate the new service.

EVA Air launches flights to Inner Mongolia

Cheng Chuan-yi, EVA Air’s GM, said: “Inner Mongolia will expect more Taiwanese tourists between June and September, while Taiwan will receive more travelers from Inner Mongolia in the winter. Nonstop flights will help strengthen cooperation and exchange between the two regions.” Another Inner Mongolian destination, Hailar, was launched by EVA Air on 4 June and will be reported on in the next issue of

  • EVA Air expanded its reach to Inner Mongolia last week, as it commenced services on the 2,000-kilometre route from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Hohhot (HET) on 3 June. Thrice-weekly services are now offered between the two cities, making EVA Air the first Taiwanese airline to offer flights to Inner Mongolia. According to statistics from regional tourism authorities, 11,900 travelers from Inner Mongolia visited Taiwan in 2012 with the figure surpassing 7,200 in the first four months of 2013. A321s are used to operate the new service.

  • Garuda Indonesia inaugurated flights to the sixth destination it offers from Medan (MES), the capital of Indonesian North Sumatra province, on 1 June, and now operates twice-daily flights to Penang (PEN) in the north-western peninsular of Malaysia. CRJ1000s are used to operate the relatively short 260-kilometre service. Typically for the region, competition is intense and Garuda Indonesia faces Indonesia AirAsia (28 weekly flights), Wings Abadi Airlines (15), Firefly (14), AirAsia (7) and Sriwijaya Air (7).

  • IGavion, the brand owned by the Polish charter operator SkyTaxi, replaced DanubeWings on the route from Dole (DLE) to Nice (NCE) on 2 June. Thrice-weekly flights are offered between the two French cities until 27 October. IGavion uses 34-seat Saab 340s to operate the service, which was previously offered by the Slovak DanubeWings prior to January 2013.

  • IndiGo added one domestic destination each to its offering from Chennai (MAA) and Mumbai (BOM) on 30 May. Four-weekly flights from Chennai to Kochi (COK) are now operated in competition with Jet Airways (21 weekly flights), SpiceJet (21) and Air India (7). From Mumbai, daily departures are offered on the 1,500-kilometre route to Jammu (IXJ) in northern India. The service then continues to Srinagar (SXR). IndiGo uses A320s to operate both routes.

  •, which in the previous week inaugurated services from Blackpool (BLK) to Ibiza as well as 10 other routes, launched services from the British airport to Lanzarote (ACE) in the Spanish Canary Islands. Twice-weekly flights are offered on the 2,900-kilometre route and operated using 737-800s.

  • Luxair inaugurated services on the 800-kilometre route from its Luxembourg (LUX) base to Copenhagen (CPH), which it last served six years ago. Beginning on 3 June, the carrier offers six weekly E145-operated flights in competition with 11 weekly departures offered by SAS.

  • Moscovia Airlines, known as Gromov Air prior to rebranding in 2006, commenced seasonal weekly flights from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica (TGD), on 1 June. Low-frequency services on the 2,000-kilometre route are operated using 148-seat 737-700s and scheduled to terminate on 19 October. Direct competition in the market comes from Montenegro Airlines’ eight weekly flights operated on a year-round basis. Furthermore, Transaero Airlines (two weekly flights) and Ural Airlines (one) connect the city pair with seasonal flights.

Philippine Airlines launches 1-stop services to Brisbane and Perth via Darwin

Welcoming Philippine Airlines in Darwin were the airport’s CEO, Ian Kew; the airline’s Assistant VP External Affairs, Josen Perez de Tagle; and Northern Territory Government Minister, Peter Chandler.

  • Philippine Airlines launched two routes from its Manila (MNL) base to Australia last week, both of which operate via Darwin (DRW). On 1 June, the carrier returned to Brisbane (BNE) with thrice-weekly flights, a service it last operated in October 2010. Brisbane Airport’s GM Airline Business Development, Cam Macphee, said: “The return of Philippine Airlines to Brisbane confirms the growing popularity of the Asia Pacific region with Queenslanders. The Filipino community in Queensland is also the fifth largest migrant group and this new link will make travel easier for visiting friends and relatives, as well as the many Filipino workers employed on resources projects throughout the state.” Nonstop weekly flights by Qantas from Manila to Brisbane provide competition on the route. A day later, Philippine Airlines inaugurated four-weekly flights on the 5,800-kilometre routing to Perth (PER). Both services are operated using A320s. 

  • Possibly this week’s most unlikely route is provided by Russian carrier Polet Airlines, which has started weekly (Friday) flights between its home base in Voronezh (VOZ), and Paris Vatry (XCR). Voronezh is located around 450 kilometres south of Moscow, and 300 kilometres north-east of Kharkiv in Ukraine. Making this new route even more special is that it will be operated by the airline’s Antonov AN-148s, an aircraft that is a relative rarity at Western European airports.

Abdul Razzak Faisal, Basra Airport’s GM (second left) welcomed Qatar Airways’ SVP GCC, Levant, Iraq, Iran and Indian subcontinent, Fathi Al Shehab (pictured centre) upon the arrival in the Iraqi city.

  • Qatar Airways inaugurated services to its fourth destination in Iraq on 3 June and now offers four-weekly flights from its Doha (DOH) hub to Basra (BSR), located in the south of the country near Kuwait and Iran. The launch brings the total of weekly flights to Iraq offered by the carrier up to 16, with other points served being Erbil (launched in mid-2012), Baghdad and Najaf. A320s are used to operate the service.

  • Rwandair grew its international offering from its Kigali (KGL) base on 1 June with the launch of two routes. The carrier now offers five-weekly departures to Accra (ACC) in Ghana, which it operates via Lagos (LOS) in Nigeria using 737-800s. Rwandair also commenced four-weekly flights to Douala (DLA) in Cameroon, which it serves using CRJ900s. The routing for this service includes stopovers in Brazaville (BZV) in the Republic of the Congo and Libreville (LBV) in Gabon.

  • Ryanair, which made Chania (CHQ) its first Greek and 55th overall base in late April, added the first domestic route to its offering from the airport on 2 June. Six weekly departures are now offered on the 560-kilometre route to Thessaloniki (SKG), on which the low-cost carrier competes with Aegean Airlines’ thrice-weekly schedule. 737-800s, of which Ryanair has 303 units now, are used to operate the route.

Scoot’s Singapore team celebrated the launch of the carrier’s third route to China. The airline carried one million passengers since its launch on 4 June a year ago.

  • Scoot, the Singapore (SIN) based low-cost, long-haul airline, increased its offering in the Chinese market in the course of last week and now operates to a total of three destinations in the country. Beginning on 3 June, the airline offers thrice-weekly flights to Nanjing (NKG) in eastern China, in addition to the existing four-weekly schedule to Tianjin and thrice-weekly to Qingdao. Scoot uses 402-seat 777-200s in a two-class configuration to operate the route, on which it competes with China Eastern Airlines’ four-weekly departures.

  • Seaborne Airlines started flying on the inter-island route from San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico to Fort-de-France (FDF) in Martinique on 3 June. The carrier, which operates the service using Saab 340s, offers four-weekly frequencies on the route.

  • SmartWings, the low-cost airline operated by tour operator Travel Service, started flying a new weekly service between Prague (PRG) and Dublin (DUB) on 1 June. The service only operates until 21 September (just 17 return flights) and faces significant competition from Aer Lingus’ daily service. The route was also operated by Ryanair between November 2007 and October 2010.  However, the main purpose of the SmartWings service appears to be to position an aircraft in Dublin to enable Travel Service to operate charter flights from Dublin to Agadir, Faro, Heraklion and Palma de Mallorca over the weekend. This explains why Prague – Dublin flights operate very early on Saturday mornings (Prague departure is at 05:00) and the Dublin – Prague flights operate on Monday mornings. SmartWings’ summer 2013 network from Prague now comprises over 30, mostly low-frequency, destinations, but it also offers flights from Brno, Ostrava, and Pardubice in the Czech Republic, as well as Bratislava in Slovakia.

Not scary at all! Passengers arriving on one of Southwest's first flights to Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport on Sunday 2 June, are greeted by Wichita sports teams' mascots. Southwest launched daily flights to Las Vegas and double-daily flights to Chicago Midway and Dallas Love Field.

  • Southwest Airlines added six new routes to its network, of which only one (the route from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) to San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico) was previously served by its subsidiary AirTran Airways. Three new routes have been launched to Wichita, KS (ICT) a destination that AirTran served from Atlanta, with multiple daily flights, until 1 June. The airport, also known as Mid-Continent Airport, handled just over 1.5 million passengers last year.
Launch date From To WF Competition
2 June Baltimore/Washington, MD (BWI) San Juan (SJU) 14
2 June Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 7
2 June Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) Wichita, KS (ICT) 14
2 June Dallas Love Field, TX (DAL) Wichita, KS (ICT) 14
2 June Houston Hobby, TX (HOU) New York La Guardia, NY (LGA) 14
2 June Las Vegas, NV (LAS) Wichita, KS (ICT) 7 Allegiant Air (4)
Source: Innovata w/c 10 June 2013.   *WF: Weekly frequencies at launch.

  • Transaero Airlines commenced operations Japan on 29 May with the launch of services on the 7,500-kilometre route from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Tokyo Narita (NRT). Seasonal weekly schedule is operated until 28 September, down one weekly frequency from the airline’s initial plan. 777-200s are used to operate the route, on which Transaero competes with JAL’s thrice-weekly departures. In addition, the airline added a new destination to its offering from Russia’s sixth largest city, Samara (KUF), when it launched flights on the 2,500-kilometre route to Paphos (PFO) in Cyprus on 30 May. Twice-weekly flights are offered in this market and operated using 737-800s. Samara is the fifth Russian city in Transaero’s network to be linked with Paphos.

TransAsia Airways’ officials cut the ribbon for the airline’s inaugural flight from Kaohsiung to Xuzhou in the Chinese Jiangsu province.

  • TransAsia Airways increased its offering to Mainland China in the course of last week with the launch of two routes from Taiwan. On 2 June, the carrier commenced operations on the 1,200-kilometre route from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Dayong (DYG) in north-western Hunan province, and now offers thrice-weekly frequencies between the two cities. On the following day, twice-weekly flights from Kaohsiung (KHH) in south-western Taiwan to Xuzhou (XUZ) in north-eastern China were inaugurated. A321s and A320s respectively are deployed to operate the new routes. China Southern Airlines provides competition in the market from Taipei to Dayong, which it serves with thrice-weekly frequencies.

Salzburg in Austria is the latest European destination for Turkish Airlines. The route's launch was celebrated on 28 May by the airport's CEO Roland Hermann, and Turkish Airlines' Senior VP Marketing & Sales, Zya Taskent. The inaugural flight was operated by a 737-800 resplendent in a special livery promoting the airline's new sponsorship deal with German football team (and Champions League finalists) Borussia Dortmund.

  • Another week, and two more airports get added to Turkish Airlines‘ vast network of routes from Istanbul Atatürk (IST). This week’s lucky airports are Gassim (ELQ) in Saudi Arabia, and Salzburg (SZG) in Austria. Gassim becomes the airline’s seventh destination in Saudi Arabia, while Salzburg becomes its second Austrian destination (after Vienna). Both routes will be served with four weekly flights operated by the airline’s 737-800s, and, not surprisingly, neither route is served by any other carrier. In addition Turkish Airlines has also expanded at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) with the addition of a new daily service to Milan Malpensa (MXP), and in Antalya (AYT), with the launch of weekly, seasonal flights to Hamburg (HAM).

Ribbon-cutting to the tune of traditional Bavarian songs accompanied the launch of Ukraine International Airlines’ service from Munich to Kiev. The airline already served two points in Germany – Berlin Tegel and Frankfurt – each with daily flights.

  • Ukraine International Airlines continued its international expansion last week with the launch of daily flights on the 1,400-kilometre route from Kiev Borispol (KBP) to Munich (MUC) on 2 June. Initially scheduled to operate using 737-500, flights will be carried out using E190s from 6 July. Lufthansa provides competition on the route, which it serves with twice-daily frequencies. In addition, on 31 May the Ukrainian carrier commenced seasonal services from its Kiev hub to Thessaloniki (SKG), offering twice-weekly flights until 28 September. 737-500s are used to operate flights to this Greek destination.

  • Ural Airlines expanded its seasonal summer offering with six new routes from four Russian airports last week. Four of the newly launched services are scheduled to Montenegro, connecting Moscow Domodedovo (DME), Nizhniy Novgorod (GOJ) and Ufa (UFA) with the capital city Podgorica (TGD), and also Chelyabinsk (CEK) with the country’s Adriatic resort, Tivat (TIV). In addition, the airline launched services to Bourgas (BOJ), located on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, from Nizhniy Novgorod, as well as to Croatian Pula (PUY) from Moscow Domodedevo. All new routes are operated with single weekly frequencies using 159-seat A320s until the end of September.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* Competition
31-May-13 Chelyabinsk (CEK) Tivat (TIV) 1
01-Jun-13 Moscow Domodedovo (DME) Podgorica (TGD) 1 Montenegro Airlines (8)
Transaero Airlines (2)
Moscovia Airlines (1)
Pula (PUY) 1 Transaero Airlines (3)
S7 Airlines (2)
28-May-13 Nizhniy Novgorod (GOJ) Bourgas (BOJ) 1
01-Jun-13 Podgorica (TGD) 1
01-Jun-13 Ufa (UFA) Podgorica (TGD) 1
Source: Innovata w/c 10 Jun 2013.  *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • UTair, which already serves two points in Germany – Hannover from Moscow Vnukovo (daily) and Munich from Tyumen (twice-weekly), inaugurated flights on its third route to the country last week. Beginning 2 June, the Russian carrier offers weekly (Sunday) flights on the 2,300-kilometre route from Rostov (ROV) to Frankfurt (FRA), which it operates using 737-500s.

  • UTair Ukraine commenced operations to the capital of Crimea, Simferopol (SIP), on 1 June with the launch of daily services from Kiev Zhulyany (IEV). Competition on this domestic route comes from Air Onix (thrice-daily flights) and Wizz Air Ukraine (thrice-weely). A day later, the carrier also added weekly services to Simferopol from Lviv (LWO) in western Ukraine. Both newly launched services are operated using ATR72 turboprops.

Vietjetair’s second route to Bangkok received a warm welcome in the Thai capital.

Vietjetair’s second route to Bangkok received a warm welcome in the Thai capital. The carrier faces considerable competition in the market between Hanoi and Bangkok with a total of 48 weekly flights offered by other carriers.

  • Vietjetair added a second route to Bangkok (BKK) on 1 June, and now serves the Thai capital from Hanoi (HAN) in addition to the existing route from Ho Chi Minh City. Daily flights are operated on the route using A320s. Direct competition on the route comes from Vietnam Airlines (20 weekly services), Thai Airways (14) and Qatar Airways (7), with further daily flights from Hanoi to Bangkok Don Mueang operated by Thai AirAsia.

  • vivaAerobus increased its offering to Torreon (TRC) on 1 June, when it inaugurated twice-weekly services on the 1,800-kilometre route from Cancun (CUN). 737-300s are used to operate the route, which is the carrier’s second to Torreon following the daily schedule from Mexico City.

Speaking during the launch event in Ciudad Juarez, José Luis Suárez, Volaris’ Director Customer Service, underlined that the new services correspond with the demand: “Our strategy is to strengthen the connectivity in the north-west of the country, linking Ciudad Juarez with key destinations.”

  • Volaris, which withdrew its presence in Ciudad Juarez (CJS) five years ago owing to local instability, returned to the city last week, making it its fortieth station. Beginning on 31 May, four-weekly flights to Mexico City (MEX) are offered by the airline with further twice-weekly flights to Guadalajara (GDL) launched two days later. Volaris’ CEO, Enrique Beltranena, said: “Those new routes are part of our strategy to keep connecting the northern part of Mexico with the two most important urban destinations in the country, and are a response to our customer’s needs. We now serve 40 destinations in Mexico and the United States which keeps us on a path to growth to offer our services to more people.” Both services are operated using A319s. Volaris faces competition from Aeromexico on both routes (20 and six weekly services respectively) as well as Interjet’s 12 weekly schedule to Mexico City and vivaAerobus’ nine weekly flights to Guadalajara.

The flight and cabin crew of Volotea's first flight from Bordeaux were welcomed on a rather wet and grey Friday (31 May) in Munich by Alexander Schroll, Marketing Director of Munich Airport, and Volotea's station manager in Munich, Thomas Krueger. The twice-weekly B717 flights will operate every Monday and Friday and are the airline's second foray into the Bavarian airport, having launched Nantes services last summer.

Volotea grows in France and Italy with 11 new routes

Asturias Airport welcomed Volotea’s arrival from Valencia with the traditional water cannon salute.

The crew sporting these bright Basque berets.

The Biarritz - Strasbourg route was inaugurated with the crew sporting these bright Basque berets.

  • Volotea, the 717-operating LCC that celebrated its first anniversary of operations in early April, has launched 11 new routes during the last week, mostly involving airports in France and Italy. All 11 routes are launched with just two weekly flights, with Bordeaux (BOD) benefiting most with three new destinations, and Ajaccio (AJA), Florence (FLR) and Genoa (GOA) each gaining two new services. On 16 May the airline reached a major milestone when it carried its one millionth passenger.
Launch date From To WF Country market
1 June Asturias (OVD) Valencia (VLC) 2 Spanish domestic
2 June Bordeaux (BOD) Florence (FLR) 2 France – Italy
31 May Bordeaux (BOD) Munich (MUC) 2 France – Germany
1 June Bordeaux (BOD) Olbia (OLB) 2 France – Italy
1 June Catania (CTA) Ancona (AOI) 2 Italian domestic
2 June Lille (LIL) Ajaccio (AJA) 2 French domestic
31 May Montpellier (MPL) Ajaccio (AJA) 2 French domestic
2 June Nantes (NTE) Florence (FLR) 2 France – Italy
1 June Olbia (OLB) Genoa (GOA) 2 Italian domestic
31 May Reggio di Calabria (REG) Genoa (GOA) 2 Italian domestic
3 June Strasbourg (SXB) Biarritz (BIQ) 2 French domestic
2 June Venice (VCE) Pantelleria (PNL) 2 Italian domestic
Source: Volotea, new route database

Cabin crew on Vueling's first flight from Barcelona to Kiev Zhulyany were greeted with flowers. The three-times weekly service arrives in Kiev at 04:30 (in darkness), and departs 90 minutes later at 06:00 (in daylight).

  • Europe’s fourth biggest LCC, Vueling, added three more new destinations, in two new countries, from its Barcelona (BCN) hub during the last week. Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) airport in Ukraine will be served with three weekly flights, while Minsk (MSQ), the capital of Belarus gets a weekly service. In addition the airline is entering two competitive markets to Morocco, one each from Barcelona and Paris Orly (ORY). The new daily service to Casablanca (CMN) from Paris will go head-to-head with competing services from Air France, Jetairfly, and Royal Air Maroc. Last year Vueling transported almost 15 million passengers on its fleet of A319s/A320s, and traffic in April of this year was up 13%.
Launch date From To WF* Competition (WF)
28 May Barcelona (BCN) Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) 3
2 June Barcelona (BCN) Minsk (MSQ) 1 Belavia (2)
2 June Barcelona (BCN) Nador (NDR) 2 Air Arabia Maroc (4), Ryanair (3)
1 June Paris Orly (ORY) Casablanca (CMN) 7 Royal Air Maroc (34), Air France (7), Jetairfly (3)
Source: Innovata w/c 10 June 2013. *WF: Weekly frequencies at launch.

  • Wizz Air added five new routes to its network, including four from airports in South-Eastern Europe, a region that saw plenty of growth from the carrier in recent months. Katowice (KTW) was the only non-Balkan airport to celebrate the launch of a new Wizz Air service in the course of last week. All new routes are operated with a maximum of thrice-weekly frequencies. Tuzla (TZL) in Bosnia & Herzegovina, is a new destination for Wizz Air.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c
02-Jun-13 Belgrade (BEG) Oslo Torp (TRF) 2 A320
01-Jun-13 Paris Beauvais (BVA) 3 A320
30-May-13 Katowice (KTW) Larnaca (LCA) 1 A320
31-May-13 Skopje (SKP) Gothenburg City (GSE) 2 A320
31-May-13 Tuzla (TZL) Malmo (MMX) 2 A320
Source: Innovata w/c 10 June 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

XL Airways inaugurates flights from Marseille to New York JFK

Upon return from New York, XL Airways France’s inaugural flight was welcomed with the traditional watercannon salute in Marseille.

  • XL Airways France commenced twice-weekly operations on the 6,300-kilometre route from Marseille (MRS) in southern France to New Jork JFK, NY (JFK) on 31 May. The new service is operated using A330-200s in a two-class configuration.


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