New airline routes launched (23 – 29 July 2013)

SilkAir’s Singapore to Semarang

Semarang became Silk Air’s 10th Indonesian (and 43rd overall) destination last week.

Semarang became Silk Air’s 10th Indonesian (and 43rd overall) destination last week. Leslie Thng , the airline’s CEO, commented: "We believe the route offers good growth potential and we anticipate strong demand for this new service from business and leisure travellers alike."

  • SilkAir commenced operations on the 1,200-kilometre route from its Singapore (SIN) base to Semarang (SRG) in Indonesia on 29 July. Three weekly flights are offered on the route using A320s, and competition is provided by Indonesia AirAsia’ six weekly services. SilkAir now serves a total of 11 points in Indonesia from Singapore.

British Airways Cityflyer’s Granada to London City

While much of the celebration in Granada was cancelled in memory of the victims of the train accident in Santiago, a press conference took place with the participation of the Granada Airport’s Director, Marta Torres; BA Cityflyer’s Commercial Director, Luke Hayhoe; and local government representatives.

The UK’s only non-stop service to Granada in southern Spain is operated by British Airways CityFlyer and operates from London City Airport with four weekly flights.

  • British Airways CityFlyer commenced operations on the 1,600-kilometre route from London City (LCY) to Granada (GRX) in southern Spain on 25 July. Five-weekly frequencies are operated using ERJ190s, but the frequencies will be reduced to four-weekly from 26 August. The last scheduled airline to serve the London – Granada market was Ryanair, who operated the route daily from London Stansted until July 2010. Monarch also served the market between 2005 and 2007 with year-round flights from London Gatwick. Last year Granada airport handled 730,000 passengers, down 16.5% from the previous year.

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

  • Asia Atlantic Airlines commenced operations on the 4,200-kilometre route from Bangkok (BKK) to Osaka Kansai (KIX) on 27 July, making it its second Japanese destination following the launch of services to Tokyo Narita on 19 July. Daily flights are operated on the route using 767s until 27 September. Asia Atlantic Airlines faces competition from Thai Airways (17 weekly flights) and Japan Airlines (seven).

  • Asiana Airlines, which in the previous week resumed services to Jakarta, started flying on the 5,200-kilometre route from its Seoul Incheon (ICN) hub to Denpasar (DPS) on the Indonesian island of Bali. Beginning on 25 July, the carrier offers a twice-weekly schedule connecting the two points and uses 767-300s to operate it. Competition in the market from comes from Korean Air (nine weekly frequencies) and Garuda Indonesia (six).

  • flydubai increased its offering on routes from Dubai (DXB) to Saudi Arabia on 25 July, when it commenced flights to Madinah (MED), making it its 10th destination in the country, and the 15th new destination launched this year. Daily 737-800-operated services face competition from Emirates (seven weekly flights) and Saudia (four). flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “The holy month of Ramadan is a perfect time to commence flights to the holy city of Madinah and we are most grateful to the Saudi authorities for their support and assistance in enabling us to establish a direct air link from Dubai.”

  • Iberia, which last week connected Asturias (OVD) and Gran Canaria, added its second destination to the Canary Islands from the northern Spanish airport on 23 July. Twice-weekly services are offered on the route to Lanzarote (ACE) and operated using Air Nostrum’s CRJ900s until 28 August. AirEuropa provides competition in the market which it also serves with twice-weekly flights.

  • Indonesia AirAsia commenced operations on the 1,600-kilometre route from Denpasar (DPS) in Bali to Kota Kinabalu (BKI) on 27 July. Thrice-weekly flights are operated using 180-seat A320s. This brings to 10 the number of destinations served by Indonesia AirAsia from Denpasar, of which five are domestic and five are international.

  • Jet Airways increased its offering from Bangalore (BLR) in the course of last week with the launch of two domestic routes on 25 July. Six weekly flights are operated by the airline to Tiruchirapally (TRZ) in the state of Tamil Nandu and carried out using ATR72s via Kochi, while Vijayawada (VGA) is served using the same equipment, but with a daily frequency. The latter route will be operated in competition with SpiceJet’s six weekly flights.

JetBlue Airways’ new service from Boston touched down in Houston Hobby.

JetBlue Airways’ new service from Boston touched down in Houston Hobby with a water cannon salute in the Texas sun.

  • JetBlue Airways, whose recent network developments we have analysed this week in more detail, commenced service on the 2,600-kilometre route from Boston, MA (BOS) to Houston Hobby, TX (HOU) on 25 July. Twice-daily flights are operated using E190s in competition with Southwest Airlines’ daily service. In addition to the direct competition, United Airlines connects Boston and Houston via Houston Intercontinental (IAH) with between five and seven daily flights. This is only JetBlue’s second route to Houston. It has been serving the Texas city from its New York JFK base since September 2006.

Nagasaki became Jin Air’s third Japanese gateway from Seoul Incheon

Nagasaki became Jin Air’s third Japanese destination from Seoul Incheon, which makes it the fourth airline in the market from the South Korean Airport to Japan in terms of destinations offered. Read more about Seoul Incheon’s Japanese connections in’s airport feature this week.

  • Jin Air grew its coverage of the Japanese market last week, as it launched services from Seoul Incheon (ICN) to Nagasaki (NGS) on 24 July. Thrice-weekly flights are operated on the 600-kilometre route using 737-800s. Initially, there is no competition on the route, although Korean Air plans to launch a weekly service on 10 August. Jin Air already offers daily flights to Okinawa and Sapporo Chitose from Seoul Incheon.

  • Lufthansa increased its seasonal offering from Düsseldorf (DUS) on 26 July and a day later also from Munich (MUC) with the launch of one and two new destinations respectively. Flights from Düsseldorf will terminate on 30 August, while the seasonal services from Munich are scheduled to operate until 7 September. Tunis Airport is also featured this week on
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
26 July Düsseldorf (DUS) Varna (VAR) 1 A320 Germania (4)
27 July Munich (MUC) Menorca (MAH) 1 A321 TUIfly (2)
airberlin (1)
27 July Tunis (TUN) 1 A319 Tunis Air (3)
source: Innovata w/c 5 August 2013.   *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Philippine Airlines commenced operations on the 2,300-kilometre route from Manila (MNL) to Muan (MWX) on 25 July. Twice-weekly flights on the newly launched route are operated using the airline’s fleet of A320s. According to schedule data, Muan Airport (which opened in 2007) handles on average just three departing flights per day.

An increasingly popular business and tourism hub, St Petersburg is the latest destination by SWISS from Geneva.

  • tigerair Mandala, formerly known as Mandala Airlines, commenced operations on the 3,200-kilometre route from Jakarta (CGK) to Hong Kong (HKG) on 24 July, making it its fourth international destination from the Indonesian capital. Five weekly flights are initially offered on the new route and operated using A320s in competition with Cathay Pacific (25 weekly frequencies), China Airlines (24) and Garuda Indonesia (14). From 2 August, Mandala Airlines will increase the frequencies to daily.

  • Transaero Airlines inaugurated a new domestic route from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) on 26 July. In addition to the Yerevan service, which had launched in the previous week, it now offers five weekly flights to Vladivostok (VVO) in the Russian Far East. Long-range 767-300s are deployed to operate the 6,500-kilometre route. While there is no direct competition on the route, Aeroflot operates 19 weekly flights to Vladivostok from Moscow Sheremetyevo, while Transaero itself provides daily flights from Moscow Domodedovo.

  • Turkish Airlines added Bingol (BGG) in East Anatolia to its domestic network from Istanbul Ataturk (IST) on 25 July. Thrice-weekly services are offered on the domestic route using variable equipment. Bingol Airport was opened on 12 July this year by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not surprisingly, Turkish Airlines became the first carrier to use the airport.


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