New airline routes launched (25 June – 1 July 2013)


Ethiopian Airlines’ Addis Ababa to Sao Paulo

Ethiopian Airlines launches the delayed service to Brazil

History in the making: Ethiopian Airlines became the first East African carrier to serve South America. Cutting the celebratory cake were Isabel Cristina de Azevedo Heyvaert, Brazil’s Ambassador to Ethiopia; Deriba Kuma, Ethiopian Minister of Transport; Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO and Brazilian Captain, Ivo Antonio Da Silveira.

  • Ethiopian Airlines became the first East African carrier to serve South America last week, when it commenced services on the route from its Addis Ababa (ADD) hub to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and Sao Paulo (GRU) on 1 July. The service, which was initially planned to begin in December 2012, but was postponed owing to unfavourable slots at the Brazilian airports, operates vie Lome in Togo, the hub for Ethiopian Airlines’ subsidiary ASKY Airlines. Thrice-weekly services are offered on the 10,300-kilometre route, which is operated using 787s.

Air Lituanica’s Brussels to Vilnius

Jos Stroobants, Brussels Airport’s Commercial Director; and Erikas Zubrus, CEO of Air Lituanica, attended the launch ceremony in Belgium - cutting both the cake and route opening ribbon.

Cutting the inaugural ribbon in Vilnius were the city's Mayor, Arturas Zuokas; Minister of Transport, Rimantas Sinkevicius; and Air Lituanica's CEO, Erikas Zubrus.

  • Air Lituanica, Europe’s newest airline, which aims at filling the gap between low-cost and full-service carriers in Vilnius (VNO), took off to the skies with the launch of services on the 1,500-kilometre route from the Lithuanian capital to Brussels (BRU). The route, which is expected to benefit from the country’s Presidency of the Council of European Union starting this July, is offered with six weekly frequencies using a single 76-seat E170 leased from Estonian Air.

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


  • Air China became the second carrier to offer services between Hohhot (HET) in Inner Mongolia and Taipei (TPE), following EVA Air’s launch earlier this month. Beginning on 25 June, the Chinese carrier operates thrice-weekly schedule on the 2,000-kilometre route using 737-800s. EVA Air provides competition with services of the same frequency.

  • Air Méditerranée commenced operations on the route from Marseille (MRS) to Oujda (OUD) in Morocco on 26 June. The carrier, which offers twice-weekly 737-500-operated services on the route, faces competition from Ryanair (three weekly frequencies) and Royal Air Maroc (two). In addition, on the same day Air Méditerranée launched services on the 1,400-kilometre route from Lyon (LYS) to Lisbon (LIS). A321s are deployed to operate the route on a twice-weekly basis in competition with TAP (19 weekly flights) and easyJet (five).

  • airberlin returned on the 2,400-kilometre route from Düsseldorf (DUS) to Karpathos (AOK) in Greece on 25 June. The carrier offers weekly A319-operated services on the route, which are scheduled to terminate on 24 September.

  • Alitalia commenced seasonal services on the 900-kilometre route from its Rome Fiumicino (FCO) hub to Djerba (DJE) in Tunisia on 29 June. The carrier offers twice-weekly departures to the popular leisure destination using A321s, and intends to terminate this seasonal service in mid-September.

  • Azerbaijan Airlines inaugurated operations on the route from Baku (GYD) to Dalaman (DLM) in Turkey on 29 June, making Dalaman the seventh destination it serves in the country. Weekly 757-operated flights are offered until the end of August.

  • Binter Canarias started operating its second route to Marrakech (RAK) in Morocco on 1 July, when it launched weekly (Monday) ATR72-operated service from Tenerife North (TFN). The airline, which already serves Marrakech with twice-weekly frequencies from Las Palmas, plans to operate the newly launched service until 23 September.

  • British Airways added Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus to its growing network of summer destinations from London Gatwick (LGW). Beginning on 30 June, the flag carrier will operate three flights each week on the 3,300-kilometre route using A319s. Competition comes from easyJet (six weekly frequencies), Thomson Airways (four), Monarch Airlines (three) and Thomas Cook (two).

  • Carpatair inaugurated services on the 1,300-kilometre route from Bacau (BCM) in north-eastern Romania, to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) on 28 June. Services are carried out with thrice-weekly frequencies using Fokker 100s, which will be upgraded to 737-300s in the near future. Competition on the route comes from Blue Air’s daily flights.

China Airlines challenges China Southern Airlines on the route from Taipei to Urumqi

Traditional water arch accompanied China Airlines’ maiden departure from Taipei Taoyuan to Urumqi.

  • China Airlines became the second Chinese carrier to operate the 3,700-kilometre route from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Urumqi (URC), when it launched its thrice-weekly service on 25 June. The A330-300 operated service faces competition from China Southern Airlines’ also thrice-weekly flights.

  • China Eastern Airlines increased its offering from Tibetan Lhasa (LXA) with the launch of its fifth route to the city on 1 July and now offers seasonal services of variable frequency from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) in addition to the existing routes. A330s are deployed to operate the route.


  • CityJet inaugurated services on the 700-kilometre route from Dublin (DUB) to Brest (BES) on 29 June, which it operates with weekly frequencies using Avro RJ800s until the end of August. Christine Ourmières, CEO of CityJet, said: “Brest is a popular summer destination, so we are delighted to be able to offer Dublin based passengers direct access to the heart of this stunning region – one of France’s best-loved destinations.” Also on the same day, CityJet commenced flights from Amsterdam (AMS) to Perpignan (PGF), also operated with a weekly schedule.

  • Darwin Airline commenced operations on the 500-kilometre route linking Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Bolzano (BZO) in northern Italy. Beginning on 30 June, the airline offers 22 weekly frequencies on the route, which it operates using Saab 2000s.


  • Delta Air Lines commenced operations on its second route to San Jose (SJO) in Cost Rica on 1 July and, in addition to twice-daily services from Atlanta, it now also offers daily flights from Los Angeles, CA (LAX). Flights on the 4,400-kilometre route are carried out using 757s.

  • Egyptair inaugurated services on the route from its Cairo (CAI) hub to Abidjan (ABJ) in Côte d’Ivoire on 1 July, a service which it operates via Accra (ACC) in Ghana. Thrice-weekly flights are operated on the 4,700-kilometre route using 737-800s.

  • Frontier Airlines inaugurated services to Wilmington (ILG) in Delaware from both Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) and Houston, TX (IAH) on 1 July. Thrice-weekly schedule is offered on both routes and operated using A320s. The airline, which will add a further three routes to Wilmington in the next week, is the only scheduled operator to offer services to Wilmington.

  • Germania commenced operations on its sixth route from Erfurt (ERF) on 25 June, when it started flying weekly to Corfu (CFU) in Greece using 737-700s. In addition, on 29 June, the airline launched twice-weekly A319-operated services from London Gatwick (LGW) to Pristina (PRN). Flights on the first route are seasonal and scheduled to terminate on 24 September.

  • germanwings commenced operations on its only Greek route from Hamburg (HAM) on 30 June, when it started flying to Heraklion (HER). Weekly (Sunday) flights are offered on the 2,400-kilometre route using A319s. germanwings faces competition from Condor (four weekly frequencies), TUIfly (four) and airberlin (one).

The launch event for Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural service to Sendai, showcasing the dancing traditions of both Hawaii and Japan, was organised in Honolulu.

  • Hawaiian Airlines started flying on the 6,100-kilometre route from its Honolulu, HI (HNL) base to Sendai (SDJ) in Japan, making it its fifth destination in the country. Beginning on 25 June, the carrier offers thrice-weekly schedule on the route using 767-300s, and the flight is scheduled to return via Sapporo (CTS), which was previously served with non-stop flights. Hawaiian Airlines also flies daily to Fukuoka, Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Haneda from Honolulu.


Indonesia AirAsia inaugurates its eighth route to Singapore; returns to Darwin with flights from Bali

Indonesia AirAsia resumed services to Darwin after 14 months this week. The airline’s CEO, Dharmadi, said: “We have been delighted with the response to our return, and have recorded strong sales since officially releasing fares to Bali in April. Territorians have welcomed us back with open arms and we thank them for their support.”

Indonesia AirAsia inaugurates its eighth route to Singapore; returns to Darwin with flights from Bali

Singapore shopping vouchers were the prize in a contest organized by Indonesia AirAsia and the Singapore Tourism Board during the airline’s inaugural flight from Makassar.

  • Indonesia AirAsia, which already operates to Singapore (SIN) from seven Indonesian airports, added services to the city from Makassar (UPG) in South Sulawesi on 1 July. Four-weekly A320-operated flights are offered on the 1,900-kilometre route. In addition, on the same day the airline returned on the 1,800-kilometre route from Denpasar (DPS) in Bali to Darwin (DRW) in northern Australia, which it operates also with four-weekly frequencies. Jetstar Airways provides competition with eight weekly flights.

With a few months’ worth of delay, Japan Airlines commenced the long-awaited 787 service from Tokyo Narita to Helsinki.

  • Japan Airlines commenced services on the 7,800-kilometre route from its Tokyo Narita (NRT) hub to Helsinki (HEL) on 1 July. Daily flights are offered on the newly launched route and operated using 787s. Finnair, a fellow member of the oneworld alliance, provides direct competition in the market with its also daily service. Japan Airlines initially planned to launch flights on the route from Tokyo to Helsinki on 25 February, but then had to postpone the launch due to the grounding of all 787s.

  • JetBlue added Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) as the second (after Orlando) US city in its network to enjoy non-stop services to San Jose (SJO) in Costa Rica. Beginning on 27 June, the carrier commenced daily A320-operated flights on the 1,800-kilometre route, facing competition from Spirit Airlines’ 10 weekly frequencies.

Kenya Airways’ inaugural arrival in Abu Dhabi was welcomed with a water cannon salute and a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by the airline’s CEO, Titus Naikuni; a Cabinet Member of the Kenyan Government; Ahmad Al Haddabi, ADAC’s COO; and Mohamed Gello, Kenyan Ambassador to the UAE.

  • Kenya Airways commenced services on the 3,400-kilometre route from its Nairobi (NBO) hub to Abu Dhabi (AUH) on 1 July, increasing the connectivity to the hub of its codeshare partner, Etihad Airways. The East African carrier offers thrice-weekly departures on the route which it operates using 737-800s. Etihad also operates flights in the market from Abu Dhabi to Nairobi, offering daily frequencies.


  • Malindo Air, the Malaysian subsidiary of Lion Air, added Tawau (TWU) as the fifth destination it offers from its Kuala Lumpur (KUL) base. Beginning on 26 June, the airline offers daily flights on the 1,800-kilometre route which it operates using 737-900s. Competition in the market comes from two Malaysian operators, AirAsia (35 weekly frequencies) and Malaysia Airlines (14).

  • Mandarin Airlines inaugurated its eighth route to China from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) last week, when it commenced scheduled operations on the 2,100-kilometre route to Lijiang (LJG) in the north-west of the Yunnan province, on 26 June. Thrice-weekly services are offered on the route and operated using 737-800s. Initially, there is no competition on the route; however, China Eastern Airlines plans to launch its own service in the market on 26 July.

  • Norwegian added six new routes to its summer schedule in the course of last week. On 25 June, the Nordic airline commenced weekly services on the route from Copenhagen (CPH) to Sarajevo (SJJ), its second service to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it operates in competition with B&H Airlines’ thrice-weekly schedule. All of these new routes only operate until mid-August.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
25-Jun-13 Copenhagen (CPH) Sarajevo (SJJ) 1 B737 B&H Airlines (3)
28-Jun-13 Corfu (CFU) 1 B737
25-Jun-13 Oslo (OSL) Catania (CTA) 1 B738
29-Jun-13 Stavanger (SVG) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 1 B738 SAS (1)
25-Jun-13 Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Bourgas (BOJ) 2 B738 TUIfly Nordic (1)
25-Jun-13 Trondheim (TRD) Corfu (CFU) 1 B738
Source: Innovata w/c 8 July 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Olympic Air grew its seasonal offering to Santorini (JTR) on 30 June, as it connected the popular Greek destination with Heraklion (HER) and Mykonos (JMK). Thrice-weekly frequencies are offered on each route and operated using Q400s until 15 September. Jetairfly and Sky Express provide competition on the route from Heraklion, which they both serve with weekly flights.

Pegasus adverts on the sides (and insides) of Athens' trams.

Historic low cost daily links by Pegasus between Athens and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport start at less than €50. Reminders are painted on the sides (and insides) of Athens' trams.

  • Pegasus Airlines commenced flying on the 600-kilometre route from its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) base to Athens (ATH) on 29 June. Daily flights are offered on the newly launched route and operated using the airline’s fleet of 737-800s. Indirect competition between Istanbul Atatürk and Athens is provided by Turkish Airlines (25 weekly flights), Olympic Air (13) and Aegean Airlines (seven).

SAS launched a twice-weekly Stockholm to Madrid service on 1 July. Passengers were invited by Madrid Airport to enjoy a cake, that was cut by the captain of the flight and the Airport Director, Elena Mayoral.

  • SAS commenced operations on 11 routes in the course of last week. In addition to multiple destinations launching from the airline’s three main hubs, Copenhagen (CPH), Oslo (OSL) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), the carrier also inaugurates new routes from Bergen (BGO) and Trondheim (TRD). All but one – the relaunched service from the Swedish capital to Madrid (MAD) – are operated on seasonal basis.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
01-Jul-13 Bergen (BGO) Dubrovnik (DBV) 1 B738 Norwegian (1)
25-Jun-13 Copenhagen (CPH) Pula (PUY) 1 A320
28-Jun-13 Biarritz (BIQ) 2 A319
01-Jul-13 Alanya Gazipasa (GZP) 3 A319
26-Jun-13 Oslo (OSL) Pula (PUY) 1 B73H Norwegian (2)
27-Jun-13 Athens (ATH) 3 B73H Norwegian (3)
27-Jun-13 Malta (MLA) 2 EQV Norwegian (2)
29-Jun-13 Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Cagliari (CAG) 1 B736
29-Jun-13 Palermo (PMO) 1 B73H Norwegian (2)
01-Jul-13 Madrid (MAD) 2 B73W
26-Jun-13 Trondheim (TRD) Split (SPU) 1 B738
Source: Innovata w/c 8 July 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Skymark Airlines commenced operations on the 930-kilometre route from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Asahikawa (AKJ) on 1 July. Also on the same day, the carrier connected Ibaraki (IBR) on the main island of Honshu and Okinawa (OKA) in the south of the country. Both routes are offered with daily frequencies and operated using winglet-equipped 737-800s. JAL (28 weekly flights), AirDo (21) and ANA (21) provide competition on the route from Tokyo.

Tom Stastny, Chicago Midway’s Operations Manager; Erin O'Donnell, the airport’s Managing Deputy Commissioner; and John Fredericksen, Sun Country Airlines’ CEO, led the launch event for the airline’s new service to Minneapolis/St Paul.

  • Sun Country Airlines started flying on the 560-kilometre domestic route from Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) to Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) on 1 July. A total of 13 weekly frequencies are offered on the route and operated using 737-700s, facing substantial competition from Southwest Airlines (52 weekly flights) and Delta Air Lines (47).

  • SWISS increased its seasonal summer offering from Geneva (GVA) last week with the launch of services to Porto (OPO) and Ajaccio (AJA) in Corsica on 28 and 29 June respectively. Both routes are offered with twice-weekly frequencies until 7 September, and operated using variable equipment. Competition on the route to Portugal comes from easyJet (three daily flights) and TAP (twice-daily); the former also offers a daily schedule to Ajaccio.

  • Tiger Airways commenced operations on its fourth Indonesian route from Singapore (SIN) on 1 July when it launched services to Yogyakarta (JOG). The carrier, which already serves Jakarta (thrice-daily flights) and Denpasar (four-weekly) from Singapore, offers daily frequencies on the newly launched route. Indonesia AirAsia provides competition on the route, which it operates with services of the same frequency.

Luxembourg’s Minister of Middle Classes and Tourism and Equality, Françoise Hetto-Gaasch; Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade, Etienne Schneider; and Turkish Minister of Economy, Zafer Çaglayan, cut the inaugural ribbon in Luxembourg.

  • Turkish Airlines started operations on the 2,000-kilometre route from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) base to Luxembourg (LUX) on 25 June. The airline, which has already launched a number of new routes to Europe this year, most recently to Tallinn and Vilnius, offers four-weekly flights on the newly launched service, which it operates using variable equipment.

  • Ural Airlines commenced operations to Mirny (MJZ) in Yakutia on 28 June when it launched weekly services from Ekaterinburg (SVX). A320s are operated on the 3,000-kilometre route, which is operated by Ural Airlines as the lone carrier.

  • Vietnam Airlines linked Da Nang (DAD) to Seoul Incheon (ICN), making it the third Vietnamese city in its network to be linked to the South Korean capital with non-stop services. Beginning on 1 July, the carrier offers thrice-weekly flights on the 3,000-kilometre route which it operates using A321s. Vietnam Airlines faces competition from Korean Air’s four and Asiana Airlines’ twice-weekly frequencies.

  • Volaris commenced operations on the 2,100-kilometre route from Cancun (CUN) to Chihuahua (CUU) on 1 July. Twice-weekly services are operated between the two Mexican cities using A320s. Volaris already flies to Chihuahua from Mexico City (11 weekly flights) and Guadalajara (three).

  • Vueling inaugurated operations in Lebanon last week, as it launched twice-weekly seasonal services on the 3,000-kilometre route from its Barcelona (BCN) base to Beirut (BEY) on 28 June. Two days prior to that, the airline also connected the Catalan capital with weekly services to the Greek island of Kos (KGS). Both routes are offered on a seasonal basis and operated using A320s.

  • Wizz Air Ukraine, which last week announced its new base in Donetsk, inaugurated services on its third route from the Ukraine to Kutaisi (KUT) in Georgia on 1 July. The airline, which already operates to Kutaisi from Kiev Zhulyany (daily) and Donetsk (twice-weekly), offers twice-weekly schedule on the newly launched route from Kharkiv (HRK). A320s are deployed to operate the service.

The traditional water cannon salute awaited XL Airways' maiden arrival in Florida.

Bienvenue à Miami: The traditional water cannon salute awaited XL Airways France's maiden arrival in Florida.

  • XL Airways France added Miami, FL (MIA) as the fourth destination it offers in the US from Paris CDG (CDG). Beginning on 28 June, the airline operates thrice-weekly flights on the 7,400-kilometre transatlantic route using A330-200s. Until it terminates in late September, the service faces competition from daily frequencies from both Air France and American Airlines.

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