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New airline routes launched (22 – 28 October 2013)


Saudia’s Riyadh to Toronto

The national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia launched its first ever flights to Canada using its 777-200ERs to fly from Riyadh to Toronto via Jeddah. Seen cutting the ribbon at Toronto Pearson Airport are: Abdullah Alhuwaivi, General Manager North America, Saudia Airlines; His Excellency, the Director General Khalid Abdullah Almolhem, Saudia Airlines; Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga; and Howard Bohan, Vice President Aviation Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. The second photo shows the Saudia crew posing for a commemorative snap.

  • Saudia has launched its first ever flights to Canada, with the introduction of flights from Riyadh (RUH) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ), operating via Jeddah (JED). The thrice-weekly service (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays) will be flown with the airline’s 777-200ERs, which are needed as the route (from Jeddah) is almost 10,500 kilometres long. This makes it longer than the airline’s service to New York (10,260 kilometres), but still just short of the airline’s longest route to Washington Dulles, which clocks in at 10,630 kilometres. Check here to see how Toronto’s welcoming water cannon salute performed in our weekly competition.

Click to vote for your favourite cake

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


  • Aer Lingus added Lanzarote (ACE) in the Canary Islands as the only Spanish destination it offers from Shannon (SNN) in western Ireland. Beginning on 26 October, the Irish carrier operates weekly (Saturday) flights to the new destination using A319s. Competition on the 2,700-kilometre route comes from Ryanair, which serves Lanzarote from Shannon also with a weekly service.

Leon McQuaid, Newcastle Airport’s Aviation Development Manager, and Simon Fagan, Aer Arann’s CCO, cut the celebratory cake for Aer Lingus Regional’s inaugural service to Dublin.

  • Aer Lingus Regional commences operations on the 350-kilometre route from Dublin (DUB) in Ireland to Newcastle (NCL) in the north of the United Kingdom. Beginning on 24 October, the carrier offers 13 weekly frequencies between the two cities in competition with Ryanair’s nine-weekly schedule. Turboprop ATRs will be deployed to operate the service.

  • Air China has launched four new domestic routes at the start of the winter season, involving a total of seven different airports. The only airport to gain more than a single route is Hangzhou (HGH) where two new domestic service have been launched. All four routes are already served by between one and five other carriers.
Date From (Code) To (Code) WF (type) Competition (WF)
27 October Hangzhou (HGH) Haikou (HAK) 7 (A320) Beijing Capital Airlines (7), China Southern Airlines (7), Sichuan Airlines (7), Xiamen Airlines (5), Hainan Airlines (4)
27 October Hangzhou (HGH) Lijiang (LJG) 7 (A319) Beijing Capital Airlines (7), Xiamen Airlines (4)
27 October Shanghai (PVG) Kunming (KMG) 7 (B738) China Eastern Airlines (18), China Southern Airlines (7), Lucky Air (7)
27 October Wenzhou (WNZ) Guiyang (KWE) 4 (A319) Sichuan Airlines (7)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 29 October 2013

The water arch ceremony for the arrival of Air Serbia at Abu Dhabi Airport.

Ahmad Al Haddabi, Abu Dhabi Airports’ CEO, welcomed the arrival of Air Serbia in the Middle-Eastern airport: “Abu Dhabi Airports welcomes Air Serbia to Abu Dhabi as we look to strengthen our links with major European cities. The use of Abu Dhabi as a connection between Europe and the Middle East reinforces the capital’s position as an international aviation hub, and Abu Dhabi Airports looks forward to offering its world-class services to yet another strategic airline partner.”

  • Air Serbia expanded its international network as it refreshed its image under the new partnership with Etihad Airways. Beginning on 27 October, the carrier added services from its Belgrade (BEG) base to both Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) and Abu Dhabi (AUH). 737-300s are deployed on the Turkish route, while A319s will serve the Middle-Eastern hub of Etihad Airways. Services to Istanbul, which will see a frequency increase to daily from 1 January 2014, face competition from Pegasus Airlines’ four weekly schedule. On the route to Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways already provides daily frequencies . Dane Kondiæ, Air Serbia’s CEO, welcomed the launch of Abu Dhabi services: “The new Air Serbia is good news for travellers, increasing route network choices regionally and across the globe. It is good news for the business, with new investment and a strict commercial mandate that will secure the airline’s long-term future. And it is good news for the Serbian economy, helping to develop tourism and trade routes over the long term.” Air Serbia also plans to launch another seven new routes between January and April 2014, in addition to rescheduling existing operations to optimise connections via its hub in Belgrade.

  • Ak Bars Aero, the Russian regional airline, is embarking on a significant expansion this winter season, with 13 new routes all starting on either 27 or 28 October. While some routes, like Ekaterinburg(SVX) to Novosibirsk (OVB) will face competition from five airlines with a combined 20 weekly operations versus the twice-weekly service being offered by Ak Bars Aero, five city pairs will be uncontested for the regional carrier. Not all of the routes are direct, with some airports, namely Krasnojarsk (KJA) being flown via Omsk (OMS) and Kemerovo (KEJ) operating via Ekaterinburg.
Origin Destination WF Aircraft Competition (WF)
Moscow Domodedovo (DME) Cheboksary (CSY) 7 CR2 RusLine (6)
Magnitogorsk (MQF) 4 Transaero Airlines (2)
Kazan (KZN) 6 S7 Airlines (22), Tartarstan Airlines (14) Transaero Airlines (5), Ural Airlines (1)
Kazan (KZN) Omsk (OMS) 2
Krasnojarsk (KJA) via OMS 2
Ekaterinburg (SVX) 2 RusLine (7)
Kemerovo (KEJ) – via SVX 2
St Petersburg (LED) Perm (PEE) 5 Izhavia (2), Rossiya Airlines (7)
Ufa (UFA) 7 Rossiya Airlines (11)
Magnitogorsk (MQF) 3
Samara (KUF) 4 Rossiya Airlines (14)
Naberevnye Chelny (NBC) Krasnodar (KRR) 1
Ekaterinburg (SVX) Novosibirsk (OVB) 2 Alrosa Mirny Air (1), NordStar Airlines (4), RusLine (5), Ural Airlines (3), Yamal Airlines (7)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • Alitalia began a new connection to Vienna (VIE) from Milan Linate (LIN) on 28 October. Italy’s biggest airline will begin operations with a 10 times weekly service on the route. However, it will quickly increase this to 11 weekly flights after the first week. Using an 88-seat E175, the 629-kilometre route currently has no direct competition, but NIKI offers an 11 times weekly operation into nearby Milan Malpensa, with Austrian Airlines also operating from Vienna to Malpensa up to four times daily.

Ribbon-cutting, candy buffet and finally, a water cannon salute were prepared in Tulsa for the inaugural departure of Allegiant Air’s new service to Orlando Sanford.

  • Allegiant Air further expanded its presence in Orlando Sanford (SFB) in Florida, as it launched two domestic services from the airport on 25 October. A twice-weekly schedule is now offered to Portsmouth, NH (PSM) and Tulsa, OK (TUL), two destinations that previously were not in Orlando Sanford Airport’s network. Allegiant Air is the sole operator on both new routes, which it serves using MD80s. See how Allegiant Air’s FTWA compares to its global peers.

  • Avianca Brazil commenced operations on the 1,900-kilometre domestic route from Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) to Maceio (MCZ) in the coastal Brazilian state of Alagoas. Beginning on 27 October, the carrier offers daily services connecting the two cities, which it operates using A318s. Competition in the market comes from GOL and TAM Airlines, which each offer a twice-daily schedule.

Waving the Norwegian flag for the inaugural Aberdeen to Oslo bmi regional service were Cathal O’Connell, CEO of the airline, along with Carol Benzie, Managing Director for the Scottish airport. Afterwards, they both tucked into the fabulous launch cake.

  • bmi regional introduced a six times weekly service between Aberdeen (ABZ) and Oslo (OSL) as part of its winter season schedule. The 838-kilometre route uses the airline’s fleet of four 37-seat ERJ 135s. Having launched operations between Aberdeen and Kristiansund in Norway at the end of August, the airline has no competition on direct flights between Aberdeen and the Norwegian capital. Cathal O’Connell, CEO of bmi regional said: “We are delighted to be launching a direct scheduled service between the cities of Aberdeen and Oslo. Both locations are strategic hubs for oil and gas activity which will offer significant time and efficiency savings for businesses in the north-east of Scotland and Norway.”
bmi regional adds Oslo to Norwegian network

A cake was also present at the other end of the new route...but it looked like the cook had a few samples...or there were just five passengers on the first flight...


British Airways’ inaugural from London Heathrow arriving at Gran Canaria Airport.

British Airways’ inaugural from London Heathrow arrived at Gran Canaria Airport where it was received by a traditional fire truck water arch.

  • British Airways introduced direct weekly flights from London Heathrow (LHR) to Gran Canaria (LPA), utilising its 162-seat A320s. The new winter sun route will be served weekly (Saturdays) on the 2,898-kilometre sector until 29 March 2014. While there is no direct competition linking Heathrow to the third-largest of the Canary Islands, easyJet flies five times weekly, as well as Norwegian also offering a four times weekly service, both from London Gatwick; Ryanair operates flights to Gran Canaria from London Luton (twice-weekly) and London Stansted (six); Thomas Cook flies from London Stansted (one) and London Gatwick (two); while Thomson Airways operates from the same London airports with weekly and four times weekly services respectively. See how Aena’s latest FTWA offering does against its global peers.

  • Cathay Pacific Airways now serves Male (MLE) in the Maldives from its Hong Kong (HKG) hub. The four times weekly service launched on 27 October, and will be operated by the airline’s A330-300 aircraft. The 4,820-kilometre route is already served by Hong Kong Airlines and Mega Maldives Airlines, who both operate thrice-weekly flights between the two airports. Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar, said: “The Maldives is the perfect getaway for holidaymakers from Hong Kong and around the world. Cathay Pacific is a premium service airline and our passengers will enjoy the best products and services when they fly with us to the Maldives. The continued expansion of our network highlights our commitment to boosting Hong Kong’s place as one of the world’s great international aviation hubs.” This is Cathay Pacific’s first new route of 2013. Its last new destination was Hyderabad, which it began serving in December 2012.

  • China Southern Airlines has resumed flights between Guangzhou (CAN) and Fukuoka (FUK) in Japan. Flights on the 2,044-kilometre route re-started on 28 October after a one year hiatus, and will operate thrice-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using an A319. No other carrier operates the route at present. From Guangzhou the airline already serves two other destinations in Japan; Osaka Kansai (twice-daily) and Tokyo Narita (daily).

  • Citilink, the low-cost subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, has launched daily flights on Sunday 27 October between Surabaya (SUB) and Kupang (KOE). The airline recently acquired its first sharklet-enhanced A320, bringing to 23 the number of narrowbody Airbus aircraft it operates. Competition on this new 1,250-kilometre route is provided by Lion Air (three daily flights), Sriwijaya Air (10 weekly flights) and Garuda Indonesia (daily flights).

Dragonair celebrating the launch of direct flights between Hong Kong and Siem Reap in Cambodia on Sunday 27 October.

Dragonair celebrated the launch of direct flights between Hong Kong and Siem Reap in Cambodia on Sunday 27 October. A320s will operate the service four times weekly.

  • Dragonair now serves Siem Reap (REP) in Cambodia from its Hong Kong (HKG) base. On 27 October the airline began seasonal four times weekly flights on the 1,480-kilometre sector using its A320s. In addition to being the closest city to the famous complex of temples centred on Angkor Wat, a UNESCO heritage site, Siem Reap is a popular tourist destination in its own right, charming tourists with a unique blend of Chinese and French architecture and various cultural attractions. Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung, said: “We are delighted to add Siem Reap to our ever-expanding network in Asia. Our new service to this increasingly popular tourist destination will further strengthen Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs and further promote tourism and business ties between Hong Kong and Cambodia.” No other carrier currently serves this route.

Posing for a commemorative picture in Conakry were Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates’ VP Commercial Operations Northern and Western Africa; Khalid Ghanem Al Ghaith, UAE Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs; AlHassane Souare, Guinean Ambassador to the UAE; Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional SVP Commercial Operations West; and Duncan Christopher Watson, Emirates’ VP Cargo Commercial.

Posing for a commemorative picture in Conakry were Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates’ VP Commercial Operations Northern and Western Africa; Khalid Ghanem Al Ghaith, UAE Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs; AlHassane Souare, Guinean Ambassador to the UAE; Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional SVP Commercial Operations West; and Duncan Christopher Watson, Emirates’ VP Cargo Commercial.

  • Emirates continued to expand its coverage of the African continent, as it launched services to its 24th gateway there last week. Beginning on 28 October, the carrier commenced four times weekly flights on the 7,500-kilometre route from its Dubai (DXB) hub to Conakry (CKY) in the Republic of Guinea. Situated on the Atlantic coast of Africa, Conakry is the nation’s economic, financial and cultural centre, home to an estimated population of two million people, almost a quarter of Guinea’s total population. Emirates’ Conakry service, which is linked to its existing Dakar operation, provides new opportunities for business and leisure travellers in Guinea and Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional SVP Commercial Operations West, commented: “We are confident our new service can contribute to Guinea’s continued economic growth and development by opening new conduits for trade and investment, through our growing worldwide network. We would like to thank the Guinean authorities for their support and look forward to working with our partners and suppliers here in Conakry.” A340-300 in a three-class configuration is deployed to operate the new African link.

  • flybe added its third new service to Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC) following the continued success of its services from Manchester and Edinburgh, this time from Birmingham Airport (BHX). The carrier now serves the route four times weekly using its 78-seat Q400s. At this time there is no contention on the direct 500-kilometre route, however Knock is already served by Ryanair from London Stansted (nine times weekly), London Luton (seven), Liverpool (seven), East Midlands (five) and by Aer Lingus from London Gatwick (seven). Commenting on the announcement, flybe’s Head of PR, Niall Duffy said: “flybe is absolutely delighted to launch this new route to Birmingham at the start of the 2013-14 winter season. Given that we are already the biggest airline at Birmingham Airport, when we learnt of the opportunity to offer the route it was an obvious and natural extension to our network. We look forward to welcoming thousands of new passengers onto the service and are pleased to be able to step into the breach.” The airline effectively replaces Aer Lingus on the route, which terminated its Birmingham to Knock service on 26 October.

  • Garuda Indonesia expanded its domestic operations on 27 October with the launch of services on three new domestic routes, one each from Denpasar (DPS), Jakarta (CGK) and Ujung Pandang (UPG). All three services are operated with daily frequencies and face competition from at least one airline.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c Competition
27-Oct-13 Denpasar (DPS) Semarang (SRG) 7 CRJ1000 Wings Abadi Airlines (7)
Jakarta (CGK) Palu (PLW) 7 B738 Lion Air (14)
Ujung Pandang (UPG) Jayapura (DJJ) 7 CRJ1000 Lion Air (14)
Wings Abadi Airlines (14)
Sriwijaya Air (7)
Source: Innovata w/c 4 November 2013  *WF: Weekly frequencies at launch.

  • Germania, the privately-owned airline which was once better known for its charter and ad-hoc operations, continues to refine its scheduled flying activity with the launch of flights between Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) and Beirut (BEY). The new service, to be operated twice-weekly by a mixture of A319s and 737-700s, is being switched from Berlin Tegel to Berlin Schönefeld. While there is no direct competition on the 2,718-kilometre route, Lufthansa will be operating from Berlin Tegel to Beirut until 3 November. The airline has no other scheduled flights to Beirut from Germany.

  • germanwings, the LCC wholly-owned by Lufthansa, continues to replace its parent, this time on a further ten new routes from the start of the winter season, all from Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Hamburg (HAM). While the four Berlin routes are all A319-operated and all at less than daily frequency, the Hamburg routes utilise the CRJ 900s brought in from the eurowings fleet, with all six new services being flown with at least a daily operation. The routes will operate in a relatively uncontested environment, with three different airlines providing the competition on three separate routes — airberlin, KLM and Norwegian.
Origin Destination WF Aircraft Competition (WF)
Berlin Tegel (TXL) Malaga (AGP) 1 A319 airberlin (4)
Birmingham (BHX) 6 A319
Bologna (BLQ) 6 A319
Geneva (GVA) 5 A319
Hamburg (HAM) Amsterdam (AMS) 16 CR9 KLM (35)
Geneva (GVA) 12 CR9
Madrid (MAD) 7 CR9
Milan Malpensa (MXP) 17 CR9
Oslo (OSL) 12 CR9 Norwegian (3)
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) 17 CR9
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • GOL commenced operations on four new domestic routes from Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP) on 27 October. All four services face competition from at least one carrier and are operated using the carrier’s 100+ strong mixed fleet of 737-700s and 737-800s. Commenting on the new development was Eduardo Bernardes, GOL’s CEO: “With the expansion project at Campinas airport, we identified an opportunity for the company to grow in the region, absorbing the demand from cities such as Limeira, Jundiai, Piracicaba, Itu and Sorocaba, among others.”
Launch date Destination WF* A/c Competition
27-Oct-13 Belo Horizonte (CNF) 6 B738 Azul Airlines (70)
Brasilia (BSB) 8 EQV Azul Airlines (38)
TAM Airlines (13)
Curitiba (CWB) 7 B73G Azul Airlines (69)
Rio de Janeiro (GIG) 13 EQV Azul Airlines (47)
TAM Airlines (14)
Source: Innovata w/c 4 November 2013  *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Iberia Express has replaced its parent company Iberia on the capital city pairing of Madrid (MAD) to Berlin Tegel (TXL) this week, with the latter having withdrawn from the route at the end of the W12/13 season. The route will be operated thrice-weekly by the carrier’s A320s. Competition on the route is limited to just one airline, namely airberlin, which offers 11 weekly services on the 1,856-kilometre sector.

  • Iberia Regional began four new routes at the start of the winter season, including two domestic routes in Spain, and two new international routes to Bologna (BLQ) in Italy. Two routes will face direct competition, with both rivals offering significantly more uplift than the incoming Spanish regional operator. The longest sector is the Bilbao (BIO) to Bologna route at 1,149 kilometres, while the shortest of the four new routes is also from Bilbao, this time to Palma de Mallorca, at just 629 kilometres.
Origin Destination WF Aircraft Competition (WF)
Asturias (OVD) Seville (SVQ) 2 CRJ1000
Valencia (VLC) Bologna (BLQ) 2 CRJ1000 Ryanair (8)
Bilbao (BIO) 3 CRJ1000
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 3 EQV airberlin (7)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

Icelandair’s maiden arrival In New York Newark

Icelandair’s maiden arrival in New York Newark was greeted with a water cannon salute.

  • Icelandair further increased the number of destinations it offers across the US with the launch of services from its Reykjavik (KEF) hub to New York Newark, NJ (EWR) on 28 October. The new destination, which is the carrier’s second in New York and eighth in the US, is offered with four weekly frequencies. Winglet-equipped 757-200s are deployed on the 4,200-kilometre route.

  • JetBlue Airways added two new domestic links to its offering from Hartford, CT (BDL) and now operates to a total of six destinations from the airport. Both new routes began on 27 October and involve destinations in Florida – Fort Myers (RSW) and Tampa (TPA). Daily flights are offered on both routes and operated using A320s. Southwest Airlines provides competition in both markets which it serves respectively with daily and twice-daily schedule.

  • KLM launched operations on its fifth route from Amsterdam (AMS) to Italy as it replaced Alitalia’s A319-run operation to Florence (FLR). Beginning on 27 October, the Dutch operator offers 12 weekly flights to the northern Italian city and will operate the 1,100-kilometre route using E190s.

  • Livingston introduces direct flights from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Alghero (AHO) as part of its winter season schedule. With its main hub at Milan Malpensa, the privately-owned Italian airline added this domestic route using its chosen fleet of 180-seat A320s. With a thrice-daily services on the 357-kilometre route there is presently no rivalry between Italy’s largest airport and Alghero in northern Sardinia. However, Ryanair does operate four times weekly from Rome Ciampino.

Malaysia Airlines' new service from Kota Kinabalu to Tokyo Narita is highlighted at the Japanese airport with this digital light box display.

Malaysia Airlines' new service from Kota Kinabalu to Tokyo Narita is highlighted at the Japanese airport with this digital light box display. The new service will operate thrice-weekly using 737-800s.

  • Malaysia Airlines has introduced international service between Kota Kinabalu (BKI) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). On Sunday 27 October the airline began thrice-weekly flights on the 4,130-kilometre route using its 737-800s. Up until the start of the winter season Malaysia Airlines had been serving Osaka Kansai twice-weekly from Kota Kinabalu. However, this route appears to be making way for the new Tokyo Narita service, and maintains a non-stop link between Kota Kinabalu and Japan. The airline does not face any direct competition on the route. Last year Kota Kinabalu International Airport handled over 5.8 million passengers, an increase of 50% since 2004.

Pictured along with the fabulous route launch cake and the inaugural Norwegian crew were (second from right) Tobias Lyssy, Head of Business Development and Airline Marketing and (third from left) Chi Mee Yuen, Manager Business Development and Airline Marketing, both from Cologne Bonn Airport.

Aena celebrated the launch of Norwegian’s new twice-weekly service from Gran Canaria to Cologne/Bonn with an aircraft-themed cake and a fire-truck salute. The Airport Director and Norwegian’s Station Manager Angel Medina were on hand to enjoy the cake.

  • Norwegian has used the start of the winter season to begin another four routes this week, with all of them originating in the Canary Islands. The majority of routes touch Germany, with Hamburg (HAM) benefitting from two and Cologne Bonn (CGN) from one new service. The last of the four connects the Atlantic Ocean hot-spots to Trondheim (TRD) in Norway. Special mention to Cologne Bonn Airport which crafted this route launch cake for the occasion, as it will benefit from four new routes from the LCC in the coming weeks, building upon Norwegian’s existing thrice-weekly service from Oslo to the German airport.
Origin Destination WF Aircraft Competition (WF)
Tenerife Sur (TFS) Hamburg (HAM) 2 B738 airberlin (1), Condor (3), TUIfly (1)
Trondheim (TRD) 1 B738
Gran Canaria (LPA) Hamburg (HAM) 2 B738 airberlin (3), Condor (3), Germania (1)
Cologne Bonn (CGN) 2 B738 airberlin (3), Condor (3), Germania (1)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

Shinoda Mariko, the Brand ambasador of Peach, travelled onboard the airline’s inaugural service from Osaka Kansai to Tokyo Narita. Celebrations included an in-flight lottery.

  • Peach, the fast-expanding Japanese LCC, has finally started its first service to Tokyo Narita (NRT) from its base at Osaka Kansai (KIX). Flights on the 490-kilometre route began on 27 October with the carrier operating twice-daily using its 180-seat A320s. A third daily frequency will be added early in 2014. This bring to 12 the number of destinations served by Peach from Osaka Kansai, eight domestic and four international. Direct competition is provided by Jetstar Japan which operates the same route with four daily flights. Indirect competition comes from a combination of ANA, Japan Airlines and StarFlyer who operate a total of 16 daily flights between Kansai and Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Qatar Airways SVP Commercial Operations, Woo Yee Seong, presented a Oryx Stone as a token of appreciation to Clark International Airport Corporation’s President and CEO, Victor Jose Luciano shortly after Qatar Airways's inaugural arrival at the Philippine airport.

  • Qatar Airways inaugurated services on the 7,200-kilometre route from its Doha (DOH) hub to Clark (CRK) on 27 October. Clark, the airline’s second destination in the Philippines after Manila, is now linked to the Middle-Eastern hub with daily flights. A330-300s are deployed on the route, on which Qatar Airways is the sole operator. Qatar Airways’ SVP Commercial Operations, Woo Yew Seong, commented during the launch: “Qatar Airways has reached yet another key milestone in the Philippines, with the launch of additional daily flights to this fast-growing country.”

  • SAS increased its European offering from Copenhagen (CPH) in the course of last week, as it commenced operations on two routes – one each to Germany and the United Kingdom – from the Danish airport. On 27 October, the airline inaugurated daily flights to Bremen (BRE) in northern Germany, while on the following day a six-weekly schedule to Humberside (HUY) commenced. Both new routes are operated using CRJ 200s.

  • Shandong Airlines has launched 10 new domestic routes across China, involving a total of 13 airports. Seven of the routes have been launched as daily services operated by the airline’s fleet of over 50 737-800s. Only three of the new services link airports that are not currently connected by other carriers. Chongqing (CKQ) is the only airport to gain more than two new services from the airline.
Date From (Code) To (Code) WF (type) Competition (WF)
27 October Chongqing (CKG) Guilin (KWL) 7 (B738) Xiamen Airlines (14), Hainan Airlines (7), China Southern (6)
27 October Chongqing (CKG) Shijiazhuang (SJW) 7 (B738) Hebai Airlines (7), Spring Airlines (7)
27 October Chongqing (CKG) Wenzhou (WNZ) 7 (B738) Chongqing Airlines (14), Air China (10), China Eastern Airlines (7), Hainan Airlines (7)
27 October Guilin (KWL) Fuzhou (FOC) 7 (B738) Xiamen Airlines (7)
28 October Haikou (HAK) Zhengzhou (CGO) 4 (B738) China Southern Airlines (21), Hainan Airlines (14), Beijing Capital Airlines (7), Shenzhen Airlines (7), Tianjin Airlines (3),
27 October Shijiazhuang (SJW) Yantai (YNT) 7 (B738)
27 October Taiyuan (TYN) Baotao (BAV) 7 (CR2)
27 October Wenzhou (WNZ) Nanjing (NKG) 5 (B738)
27 October Zhuhai (ZUH) Guiyang (KWE) 7 (B738) China Southern Airlines (7)
27 October Zhuhai (ZUH) Wuhan (WUH) 7 (B738) China Southern Airlines (10)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 29 October 2013

Leading the launch ceremony was SpiceJet’s SVP Ground Services, Kamal Hingorani, who commented: "Bangkok is our tenth international destination; the strategy going forward will be to expand as much internationally as possible within the five hour flying radius of India. Hopefully we will be adding 3 to 4 international destinations in the next year.”

  • SpiceJet commenced operations to Bangkok on 27 October, as it launched four weekly services from both Bangalore (BLR) and Pune (PNQ) to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK). Bangkok, the carrier’s 10th international destination will be served using 737-800s. The Indian carrier faces competition from Thai Airways on the 2,500-kilometre route from Bangalore, which the Thai carrier operates with daily frequencies. Commenting on the new service was the airline’s SVP Ground Services, Kamal Hingorani: “We already operate to 10 international stations and are exploring a few more as we go along. We have already announced the Madurai to Dubai service, which starts next month on 22 November. We are also looking at connecting Kuala Lumpur to a few cities in the country.”

  • Spirit Airlines altered its offering from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) last week as it moved its Phoenix operation from Phoenix Mesa to the city’s main airport. Beginning on 24 October, the carrier offers daily flights from the Texan airport to Phoenix (PHX). The new service is operated using A320s and faces competition from American Airlines’ 60 and US Airways’ 37 weekly flights.

  • Spring Airlines, the Chinese LCC which now operates a fleet of 38 A320s (Source: Airbus), has started its first-ever cross-straits service, linking Shanghai Pudong (PVG) with Kaohsiung (KHH) in Taiwan. The thrice-weekly service operates on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Competition on the 960-kilometre route is provided by China Airlines, EVA Air and Juneyao Airlines, who each operate twice-weekly services.

The return of SWISS to Kiev was greeted with a special celebration in the Ukrainian capital, including the Swiss cake cutting ceremony and a water cannon salute.

  • SWISS reinstated services on the 1,700-kilometre route from Zurich (ZRH) to Kiev Boryspil (KBP) on 27 October. The route, which was last operated by the Swiss carrier in 2003, is now offered with daily frequencies using A320s. Competition in the market is provided by Ukraine International Airlines, which matches SWISS by also offering a daily service between the two airports.

  • TAP Portugal added two new African routes to its network from Lisbon (LIS) on 27 October, as it launched services to Boa Vista (BVC) in Cape Verde and to Tangier (TNG) in northern Morocco. TAP Portugal, which already operates six weekly flights to Sal, five weekly to Praia and twice-weekly to Sao Vincente in Cape Verde, now offers twice-weekly schedule to Boa Vista using A319s. Competition on the 2,800-kilometre route comes from TACV Airlines’ single weekly flights. Five weekly flights to Tangier are TAP Portugal’s third service to Morocco (it already operates six weekly flight to Casablanca and four weekly to Marrakech) and are operated using Beech 1900D Airliner.

  • TAROM resumed service on the 1,100-kilometre route from Bucharest (OTP) to Prague (PRG) in the Czech Republic, which it last operated more than six years ago. Beginning on 27 October, the carrier offers four weekly flights connecting the two European capitals using 737-700s. Czech Airlines is the only other carrier to operate in the market, in which it offers daily services.

The banner displayed by the Thai AirAsia, to celebrate the launch of the new route, reflects the Buddhist calendar

Thai AirAsia began twice-daily domestic flights between Bangkok Don Mueang Airport and Khon Kaen on 28 October 2013. The banner displayed by the airline, to celebrate the launch of the new route, reflects the Buddhist calendar, where the year is currently 2556.

  • Thai AirAsia has added a further route to its hub at Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK). On 28 October it began twice-daily domestic flights to Khon Kaen (KKC) using its A320s. The 370-kilometre Khon Kaen route faces indirect competition from Thai Airways’ five times daily flights to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. Thai AirAsia now operates over 100 daily departures from Don Mueang, across a network of some 35 routes.

Khun Chokchai Panyayong, Thai Airways’ SEVP; Komate Kamalanavin, Consul-General, Royal Thai Consulate Chengdu; Tang Wen, Deputy Director, Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Chongqing Municipal People's Government; and Wang Dingguo, Chongqing Tourism Bureau’s VP, were amongst the guests celebrating the launch of Thai Smile’s new routes into China.

  • THAI Smile, the Thai Airways subsidiary that operates a fleet of two-class 174-seat A320s, has added two new Chinese destinations to its Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) network. On 27 October the airline started serving Changsha (CSX) and Chongqing (CKG), both with thrice-weekly flights. Competition on the Changsha route is provided by China Southern Airlines’ daily flight, while Business Air offers twice-weekly flights to Chongqing. This winter THAI Smile will be operating from Bangkok to 12 destinations in total, of which six are in Thailand.

  • Tianjin Airlines now connects its home base at Tianjin (TSN) in China to Phnom Penh (PNH) in Cambodia. The four times weekly service on the 3,300-kilometre sector is flown by the airline’s A320s. Tianjin Airlines now serves 29 destinations from its Tianjin hub, but this is only the second international route for the airline, the other being Seoul Incheon. Last year Tianjin Binhai International Airport handled 8.14 million passengers, an increase of 7.8% on the previous year, and ranking it as the 24th busiest airport in China.

  • Transaero Airlines began seven new routes at the start of the winter season, all originating in Moscow, six of which were international across five different countries, while one route was domestic. Six out of seven routes will face direct competition, and even the seventh, namely from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) to Paphos (PFO), will probably be up against numerous charter services. The longest sector is the Vnukovo to Paphos route at 2,348 kilometres, while the shortest of the seven new routes is also from Vnukovo, this time to Donetsk in Ukraine, at just 835 kilometres.
Origin Destination WF Aircraft Competition (WF)
Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) Berlin Tegel (TXL) 3 EQV Lufthansa (7)
Istanbul Ataturk (IST) 7 EQV Turkish Airlines (28)
Donetsk (DOK) 6 EQV UTair Ukraine (14)
Paphos (PFO) 7 EQV
Rostov-on-Don (ROV) 7 B73G UTair (25)
Moscow Domodedovo (DME) Odessa (ODS) 3 EQV S7 Airlines (7)
Vienna (VIE) 4 EQV Austrian Airlines (21), NIKI (14)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

Cutting the detail-filled cake (it had flaps, slats, ailerons, winglets, windows and front and rear doors) were: Fuerteventura Tourist Board Managing Director, Moisés Jorge Naranjo; Island Director of Fuerteventura, José Agustín Medina González; TUIfly Crew; Tourism Councilor for the Cabildo, Blas Acosta; and Airport Director, Sergio Millanes.


  • Turkish Airlines continues its expansion from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) this week, with three new services, all operated daily by the Star Alliance carrier’s 737-800 fleet. Operations to Düsseldorf (DUS) will be flown against three competing airlines: Pegasus Airlines (11 weekly), SunExpress (one) and SunExpress Germany (one). The former provides double-daily rivalry on the second of the three new routes to Tel Aviv (TLV) also. While there is no direct competition on the final new route to Frankfurt (FRA), both SunExpress and SunExpress Germany have withdrawn from the city pair at the end of the summer season, with the former having operated the service last winter. It is therefore worthy of note that Turkish Airlines is parent company to both withdrawing carriers.

Celebrating the arrival of UTair’s twice-weekly Moscow Domodedovo to Dresden service with the aircraft’s crew were: Dr. Michael Hupe, MD Dresden Airport (left); and Natalya Nikolaeva, UTair Head of Promotion (right).

Celebrating the arrival of UTair’s twice-weekly Moscow Vnukovo to Dresden service with the aircraft’s crew were: Dr. Michael Hupe, MD Dresden Airport (left); and Natalya Nikolaeva, UTair Head of Promotion (right).

  • UTair has begun a new link to Germany, this time to Dresden (DRS) from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO). The twice-weekly service will be flown by the carrier’s 737-800s, with no direct competition on this particular airport-pair. UTair will predominantly be flying Russian tourists to and from Dresden. “The city of Dresden is one of the main centres of European culture,” adds UTair Head of Promotion Natalya Nikolaeva. See how Dresden Airport’s FTWA compares to its global peers.

  • Vueling began five new routes at the start of the winter season, including four domestic routes in Spain, and a domestic route in Italy. Only two routes will face any sort of competition, ranging from flag carriers to LCCs. The longest sector is the A Coruña to Gran Canaria route at 1,817 kilometres, while the shortest of the five new routes is also from A Coruña, this time to Bilbao, at just 443 kilometres.
Origin Destination WF Aircraft Competition (WF)
Alicante (ALC) Bilbao (BIO) 3 A320 Iberia Regional (7)
A Coruña (LCG) 5 A320
Gran Canaria (LPA) 2 A320
Tenerife Norte (TFN) 2 A320
Florence (FLR) Catania (CTA) 8 A319 Volotea (3)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi

  • WestJet Encore has replaced parent company WestJet on the route from Calgary (YYC) to Kamloops (YKA) in British Columbia. On 27 October, WestJet’s daily 737 service was replaced by WestJet Encore’s twice-daily Q400 service on the 450-kilometre connection. Competition is provided by Air Canada, who also operate twice-daily flights using turboprop aircraft, operated by Jazz Air.

Cutting the ribbon to celebrate the inaugural service from Miami to Calgary with WestJet were (from left to right): GMCVB President and CEO William Talbert; MDAD Deputy Director Ken Pyatt; MDAD Director Emilio T. González; Canada Border Services Agency Liaison Officer Mary-Teresa Glynn; and WestJet Station Manager Annastasha Storr. Although the Miami-Calgary service only started on 29 October, the Calgary-Miami service launched on 28 October, enabling it to be covered in this week's new routes round-up.

  • WestJet has begun serving Miami, FL (MIA) from its main base in Calgary (YYC). The 4,000-kilometre route will initially be served with four weekly flights using the airline’s 737-700s, rising to six in mid-December. No other carrier serves this route at present. This will be WestJet’s second service to the Florida airport, as it already operates daily flights from Toronto. Miami becomes WestJet’s thirteenth route to the US from Calgary, as it already serves six destinations year-round, as well as six destinations (Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Maui, Newark, San Francisco) on a seasonal basis.

Budapest Airport’s celebration of Wizz Air’s inaugural service to Dubai Al Maktoum was led by Patrick Bohl, the airport’s Head of Airline Business Development, who commented: “We anticipate this new route – first ever to Dubai’s brand new airport – will become extremely popular.”

In Dubai, Wizz Air’s arrival was welcomed during a special celebration in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.  A full news round-up of the event can be viewed here .

Look out for camels! In a truly Middle Eastern spirit, young passengers travelling on Wizz Air’s inaugural service from Kiev Zhulyany to Dubai Al Maktoum could try their camel riding skills prior to boarding.

  • Wizz Air inaugurated three new services in the course of last week. On 27 October, the carrier became the world’s first carrier to offer scheduled services to the new Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) airport, as it inaugurated services from Budapest (BUD). On the following day, it also launched flights from Kiev Zhulyany to the new airport. Also on 27 October, Wizz Air inaugurated its fourth route to Tel Aviv (TLV), which it now serves with twice-weekly flights from Vilnius (VNO) in Lithuania in addition to daily flights from Budapest, and thrice-weekly from Bucharest and Katowice.
Launch date Origin Destination WF* A/c
27-Oct-13 Vilnius (VNO) Tel Aviv (TLV) 2 A320
Budapest (BUD) Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) 4 A320
28-Oct-13 Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) 4 A320
Source: Innovata w/c 4 November 2013. *WF: Weekly Frequencies at launch.

  • Xiamen Airlines, one of several Chinese members of the SkyTeam alliance, has resumed flights from its home base of Xiamen (XMN) to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) after a seven year gap. The four times weekly service restarted on 28 October using 737-800s, having last been flown on 18 April 2006. Competition is provided by Star Alliance member Thai Airways, who also operate the route with four weekly flights.

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