New airline routes launched (10 – 16 December 2013)

airBaltic’s Riga to Abu Dhabi

airBaltic celebrated with a cake on 16 December the launch of its four weekly flights from Riga to Abu Dhabi, which are operated utilising leased-in A319 equipment from Czech Airlines.

  • airBaltic, the flag carrier of Latvia, expanded its international network on 16 December, with a new service from Riga (RIX) to Abu Dhabi (AUH). The airline’s third route outside Europe is scheduled to be operated four times weekly, utilising leased-in 125-seat A319 equipment from Czech Airlines. The 4,373-kilometre sector will face no direct competition from other carriers. Commenting on the launch, Valdis Dombrovskis, Prime Minister of Latvia, said: “Today marks the first time Riga has been linked by air with Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s fastest growing cities, and a global hub for our airBaltic’s codeshare partner Etihad Airways. This direct flight will open up a range of business and leisure opportunities, which hitherto never existed. It will support trade development between Latvia and the rest of the world, increase tourism in both directions, and result in a range of new connection options for customers of both airlines.”

easyJet’s Seville to Basel

Read all about it! One of seven new routes started by easyJet in the past seven days was the Seville to Basel service. Cutting the cake with easyJet’s crew, were Seville’s Airport Director, Jesús Caballero (second right), and Juanjo Domínguez Labrador, Deputy Director of Seville Tourism Board.

easyJet enters seven new routes in seven days

Celebrating the launch of easyJet’s twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) Bristol to Marrakech service were (left to right): easyJet crew Louise Mehrotra and Faye Chambers; with Kokosa (the camel) and First Officer Phillip Towns. The LCC also started twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) flights to Keflavik/Reyjavik from the south-west UK airport.

Passengers on the inaugural twice-weekly easyJet service from Keflavik/Reykjavik to Bristol were treated to pre-flight snacks (major loss of inflight revenue on that flight then) — including pancakes. Cutting the inaugural flight ribbon were (left to right): Bjorn Oli Hauksson, CEO of Isavia; easyJet Cabin Crew member; and Capt. John Gardner.

easyJet enters seven new routes in seven days

Using two tonnes of sand to create a beach outside the terminal and inviting The Only Way is Essex (UK reality TV show) star Pascal Cramer to come along to make some sandcastles and eat ice cream was London Southend Airport Operations Director David Lister. easyJet will fly to Tenerife Sur twice-weekly from the London airport.

  • easyJet has had a prolific seven days, launching seven routes from six of its bases in four countries. Notably, the average weekly frequency across the seven new routes is just under 2.3. Only Bristol (BRS) received more than one new service, with twice-weekly rotations begun to both Marrakech (RAK) and Keflavik/Reykjavik (KEF). In terms of promotion of the individual new routes, the efforts made by easyJet in collaboration with Seville Tourism board, is worth mentioning. It has launched a contest on its Facebook site for all Sevillians (, with the prize being two tickets to Basel for the person that demonstrates the most “salero” — which is apparently a mixture of artistic and funny. See what score Seville Airport’s FTWA received in the final Arch of Triumph of 2013.
Launch date Origin Destination Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
10-Dec-13 Lisbon (LIS) Luxembourg (LUX) A319 (3) TAP Portugal (8)
11-Dec-13 Basel (BSL) Seville (SVQ) A32S (2)
12-Dec-13 Bristol (BRS) Keflavik/Reykjavik (KEF) A320 (2)
14-Dec-13 Marrakech (RAK) A32S (2)
13-Dec-13 London Southend (SEN) Tenerife Sur (TFS) A320 (2)
14-Dec-13 Manchester (MAN) Lyon (LYS) A320 (1)
12-Dec-13 Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Salzburg (SZG) A319 (4)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 17 December

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

Aerolineas Argentinas launched its inaugural flight from New York JFK, NY to Buenos Aires Ezeiza on 15 December. The daily services will be served utilising the SkyTeam member’s A330s.

  • Aerolineas Argentinas once again serves New York JFK, NY (JFK), the carrier’s 22nd international destination, with the resumption of daily flights from its Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) hub. The 8,499-kilometre sector was last served five years ago, but on 15 December, the SkyTeam member restarted operations utilising its 272-seat A330s. The airline’s second route to the US will face direct competition from American Airlines’ daily services.

  • Aeromexico started three new international routes in the last week, including linking Guanajuato (BJX) and Guadalajara (GDL) with San Francisco (SFO). The latter, a daily route, started on 12 December, and will be flown in competition with United Airlines’ five times weekly service, while the former thrice-weekly operation began a day later on 13 December, but faces no direct competition. The last of the new route trio commenced on 16 December, and will see the capitals of Mexico and Ecuador linked by the SkyTeam carrier, operating a daily service between Mexico City (MEX) and Quito (UIO), currently against no competition. All three city-pairs will be flown by the airline’s 124-seat 737-700 fleet.

There was a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony for the start of Air Busan's new four times weekly service from Busan to Kaohsiung.

To celebrate the launch of the airline’s second destination in Taiwan (it already serves Taipei), there was a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony for the start of Air Busan’s new four times weekly service from Busan to Kaohsiung on 11 December.

  • Air Busan, an airline in which Asiana Airlines owns a major share, has added Kaohsiung (KHH) in Taiwan to its route network from Busan (PUS) in South Korea. The four times weekly service began on 11 December and will be operated by the airline’s A321s. No other carrier serves this 1,640-kilometre route. Air Busan now operates to 11 international destinations from Busan, including twice-daily flights to Fukuoka and Osaka Kansai. The airline operates a mixed fleet of 10 737s and A320-series aircraft, and recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.

Air Canada's new, weekly seasonal service from Toronto Pearson Airport to Eagle County Regional Airport in Colorado, serving the Vail ski region, was welcomed on Saturday 14 December by (almost) clear blue skies, a ribbon-cutting and some cookies.

  • Air Canada is offering its passengers two new seasonal routes, one for ski enthusiasts and one for winter sun lovers. On Saturday 14 December the airline launched weekly flights on the 2,310-kilometre route from Toronto (YYZ) to Eagle/Vail, CO (EGE), and on the 2,565-kilometre route from Halifax (YHZ) to Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL). An A319 is used on the Colorado route which operates until 5 April, while an E190 serves the Florida route until 26 April. No other carrier serves either route. This year Eagle County Regional Airport expects to handle around 350,000 passengers, up around 3% on last year’s figure.

  • Air Costa, the Indian regional airline, inaugurated daily flights on 10 December between Hyderabad (HYD) and Chennai (MAA) and Jaipur (JAI). The 507-kilometre route to Chennai is already hotly contested, with the four incumbent airlines, Air India (10), IndiGo (35), Jet Airways (19) and SpiceJet (42), providing over 100 weekly competing frequencies between them. The 1,093-kilomtere sector to Jaipur, will see Air Costa face less competition, but again coming from Indian LCCs IndiGo (daily) and SpiceJet (weekly). Both routes will be flown by the airline’s 72-seat E170s.

Air Serbia's landing in Ljubljana was celebrated with a ribbon cutting on 10 December by (left to right) Zoran Hudak, Route Manager of Air Serbia; Dimitri Christopher Courtelis, CFO of Air Serbia; Zmago Skobir, President of the Management Board of Ljubljana Airport; and Aleksandar Radovanović, Ambassador of Republic Serbia in Ljubljana.

  • Air Serbia, the former JAT Airways, continued to expand its European network with two new routes on 10 December. Both services are operated daily from the airline’s main base at Belgrade (BEG) to Bucharest (OTP) and Ljubljana (LJU). The two airport-pairs are operated by the carrier’s 62-seat ATR 72s and face direct competition on both services. The 460-kilometre sector to Romania’s capital will face direct competition from TAROM’s daily services, while the 483-kilometre route to Slovenia’s capital will be flown in direct competition with Adria Airways’ five weekly flights. Commenting on the launch of the service to Slovenia, Dane Kondić, Air Serbia’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to announce the addition of Ljubljana to the Air Serbia flight network, a move that will create significant benefits for our passengers, as well as the economies of Serbia and Slovenia. While we believe that there is great potential for tourism flows between the two countries with this new route, business and leisure travellers alike can now take advantage of convenient daily flights.”

Certainly a contender for the biggest cake of the week, was the offering from Madrid Airport to celebrate the first flight by AirEuropa to Sao Paulo Guarulhos. Clapping the cake’s arrival along with the crew for the flight were: Elena Mayoral, Airport Director; and Juan José Hidalgo, CEO of Globalia, parent company of AirEuropa.

  • AirEuropa has started its second service to Brazil from Spain’s capital Madrid (MAD), with its five weekly operation to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) joining its existing service to Salvador in Bahia state. The flights, which began on 16 December, will be operated by the SkyTeam carrier’s 299-seat A330-200s. AirEuropa will slug it out against three existing airlines plying the route already — namely Air China (twice-weekly), Iberia (12) and TAM Airlines (daily). The Air China service originates in Beijing, stops in Madrid, before continuing on to Sao Paulo. See how Madrid Airport’s FTWA compares to the other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

  • BQB Líneas Aéreas, the unofficial flag carrier of Uruguay, launched three new services from Montevideo (MVD), now serving a total of eight routes from its main base. The airline inaugurated on 14 December a seasonal service to Florianopolis (FLN) in Brazil, which will be operated weekly (Saturdays) until 8 March, utilising its 151-seat A320s. On 15 December, BQB began six weekly flights to Santiago (SCL) in Chile, using its 151-seat A320s, while on 16 December a new service was launched to Curitiba (CWB) in Brazil, which is served four times weekly by the carrier’s 68-seat ATR 72s. Only the 1,370-kilometre sector to the busiest airport in Chile faces direct competition, from LAN Airlines’ twice-daily services.

Airline and airport officials celebrating the launch of China Southern's flights from Changi Airport to Guilin and Nanning.

Celebrating the launch of China Southern’s flights from Singapore Changi Airport to Guilin and Nanning are (from left to right): Ms. Aileen Wong (Sales Manager, China Southern Airlines Singapore Office); four members of China Southern flight and cabin crew; Mr. Alex Hungate (Executive Director, SATS); Mr. Jiang Shi Jing (Director of Marketing & Sales, China Southern Airlines Guangxi Branch); Mr. Luo Zeng Quan (GM, China Southern Airlines Singapore Office); Ms. Mao Ya Ling (Deputy Director of Marketing & Sales, China Southern Airlines Guangxi Branch); Mr. Damon Wong (AVP, Changi Airport Group); and Ms. Christine Law (Station Manager, China Southern Airlines Singapore Office).

  • China Southern Airlines has added two new routes from Nanning (NNG) in Southern China. On 10 December the airline resumed four times weekly flights on the 1,280-kilometre route to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK), a route it had served in the summer of 2010. Hainan Airlines already serves the market with thrice-weekly flights. On 11 December China Southern added thrice-weekly flights to Singapore (SIN), a 2,420-kiometre route that is already served thrice-weekly by China Eastern Airlines. The service originates in Guilin enabling same aircraft, one-stop service between Singapore and Guilin. Both routes will be operated by 737-800s, and will complement the airline’s existing international service from Nanning to Taipei. In 2012 Nanning Wuxu International Airport handled just over seven million passengers, ranking it 27th among Chinese Airports.

Looking really pleased about Copa Airlines' new non-stop service between Panama City and Tampa in Florida are Tampa Airport CEO Joe Lopano and Copa Airlines Regional Manager, North America, Fernando Fondevila. The route will be served four times weekly and Tampa becomes Copa's ninth US destination, and 66th in total. Joe and Fernando were then joined by some Panamanian dancers to cut the ribbon celebrating the first flight. Getting ready to enjoy a spectacular Panama-themed cake are (left to right): Chris Minner, VP of Marketing, Tampa International Airport; Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of the City of Tampa; and Justin Meyer, Director of Air Service and Development, Tampa International Airport.

  • Copa Airlines has started four times weekly flights from its Panama City (PTY) hub to Tampa, FL (TPA), its ninth destination in the US and its 66th destination overall. The 2,120-kilometre sector will be operated using a mix of the airline’s 737-700s and 737-800s. The first flight operated on 16 December, and no other carrier serves the route. Copa already serves two other airports in Florida; Miami, with up to six daily flights, and Orlando, with four daily flights. Joe Mohan, Senior VP Commercial and Planning, said: “Copa Airlines is pleased to offer the first-ever non-stop service between Latin America and Tampa Bay, a city with strong commercial ties to Panama, numerous area tourist attractions, and a growing Hispanic population.” To see how Tampa’s fire truck water arch salute compares with this week’s rivals.

Czech Airlines' inaugural flight to Bratislava in Slovakia was celebrated with a cake and a ribbon cutting by (left to right) Marcel Škarohlíd, ex-airline steward; Ivan Trhlík, CEO of Bratislava Airport; and Stanislav Zeman, the airline's Director of Sale.

Košice Airport celebrated with a cake and a ribbon cutting the inaugural flightof Czech Airlines' daily service to Bratislava. On hand to cut the celebratory cake's first slice and the launch ribbon were (left to right) Karl Dandler, Executive Director of Košice Airport; Renáta Lenártová, Vice-Mayor Košice; and Jozef Sinčák, Vice-President of Czech Airlines for Sales and Marketing.

  • Czech Airlines entered the Slovakian market on 11 December with the launch of a new service from its Prague (PRG) hub to Bratislava (BTS) and a new Slovak domestic route linking Košice (KSC) with the capital of Slovakia. The SkyTeam member will be serving the two destinations six times weekly, utilising its 48-seat ATR 42s. Both services face no direct competition and will see a frequency increase to 10 weekly flights with the start of the summer season. Commenting on the launch of the services to Slovakia, Stanislav Zeman, the airline’s Director of Sale, said: “By introducing new flights in Slovakia, including a stable and highly frequented air-link between Košice and Bratislava, connecting to other flights to Prague, Czech Airlines hopes to contribute to improving connections between the regions and making them more attractive to domestic and foreign investors. The Prague – Bratislava route is the oldest in the history of Czech Airlines.” Czech Airlines is examined in more detail in this week’s airline profile.

  • Ethiopian Airlines, which in the previous week commenced thrice-weekly services to Singapore (SIN), launched a new route from Addis Ababa (ADD) on 14 December, this week’s service being inaugurated to Semera (SZE) via Mek’ele. The domestic sector will be served thrice-weekly, utilising the airline’s 69-seat Q400s, and will face no competition. Commenting on the launch, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said: “As the national carrier of Ethiopia, we have a duty to establish extensive domestic network and air connectivity that enables the flow of tourism, business, investment and trade to all parts of the country. Today, Ethiopian Regional Services covers 18 domestic points, the largest domestic network in Africa. Now that Semera airport is ready, we are very happy to start our flights and to support the region’s economic development.”

EVA Air celebrated the launch of flights from Kaohsiung to Tokyo Narita with an elaborate show. It is the airline's first Japanese route from Kaohsiung though it already serves 10 Japanese destinations from Taipei. If anyone can tell us what's going on in the final picture, we would love to know!

  • EVA Air now flies daily between Kaohsiung (KHH) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). Flights on the 2,430-kilometre route began on 11 December and will be operated by the airline’s A321s. Competition is provided by Japan Airlines (daily flights) and China Airlines (twice-weekly flights). Although EVA Air already serves 10 destinations in Japan from Taipei’s two airports, this is its first Japanese destination from Kaohsiung.

Celebrating the launch of flynas’ six new routes from Madinah Airport in Saudia Arabia by cutting the new route cake were (left to right): Sofiene Abdessalem, General Manager Medinah Airport; Capt. Abdulrahman Al Doghayem, flynas A320 Captain; Wan Hasmar, COO flynas; and Capt. Nawaf Al Onezi, flynas A320 Captain.

  • flynas, the Saudi Arabian LCC formerly known as NAS Air, has commenced six new routes from Madinah (MED), three international and three domestic. The longest of the six new routes is the thrice-weekly international connection to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), while the shortest sector is almost the most competitive, namely the 341-kilometre domestic route to Jeddah (JED).
Launch date Origin Destination Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
12-Dec-13 Madinah (MED) Dammam (DMM) A320 (7) Saudi Arabian Airlines (16)
12-Dec-13 Gizan (GIZ) A320 (3)
12-Dec-13 Jeddah (JED) A320 (14) Saudi Arabian Airlines (61)
15-Dec-13 Amman (AMM) A320 (3) Royal Jordanian (4)
16-Dec-13 Hatay (HTY) A320 (3)
15-Dec-13 Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) A320 (3)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 17 December 2013

Some impressive traditional headgear and a cake welcomed the inaugural twice-weekly Germania service between Karlsruhe-Baden and Moscow Domodedovo on 12 December.

  • Germania connected its second regional German airport to Moscow Domodedovo (DME) in as many weeks, this time from Karlsruhe-Baden (FKB). Beginning on 12 December, the twice-weekly service will be operated by the carrier’s 148-seat 737-700s on Mondays and Thursdays. Germania also began weekly (Saturdays) flights between Bremen (BRE) and Salzburg (SZG) on 14 December. The 657-kilometre sector will be flown by the airline’s 150-seat A319s. Both routes will face no competition.

  • germanwings transferred in another ex-Lufthansa city-pair this week, assuming responsibility for the Hamburg (HAM) to Zurich (ZRH) route on 11 December. The in-house LCC will fly the route 20 times weekly with a mixture of CRJ 900s and A319s, replacing the 17 times weekly A319 and A320 operation flown by its mother company. SWISS will provide stiff competition on the connection to its main hub, with thrice-daily services flown by its A320/A321 fleet. germanwings already flies to Zurich from Cologne Bonn.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Gulf Air service from Bahrain was attended by Thiruvananthapuram Airport officials, headed by Airport Director V. N. Chandran; Gulf Air Country Manager, India, Hussain A. Rahman; and joined by the Gulf Air captain who flew the inaugural flight.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Gulf Air service from Bahrain was attended by Thiruvananthapuram Airport officials, headed by Airport Director V. N. Chandran; Gulf Air Country Manager, India, Hussain A. Rahman; and joined by the Gulf Air captain who flew the inaugural flight.

  • Gulf Air is plotting new route growth again after a period of network consolidation, launching its fifth Indian destination (after Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi and Chennai) on 15 December, Thiruvananthapuram (TRV), from its home-hub of Bahrain (BAH). The five times weekly, 3,404-kilometre sector will be operated by the carrier’s 136-seat A320s, and will be flown uncontested. “We are delighted to be strengthening Gulf Air’s network and boosting our Indian operations. The addition of Thiruvananthapuram to our network supplements the airline’s product offering and increases customer convenience — which is our ultimate goal. Importantly, with both our first inbound and outbound flights operating at full capacity it is clear that we are meeting passenger demand — we are starting as we mean to go on!” Hussain A.Rahman, Gulf Air Country Manager, India commented at the event. 

  • IndiGo made another Indian domestic connection possible this week, linking Hyderabad (HYD) with Goa (GOI) on 15 December to become the LCC’s 14th route from the capital and largest city of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The route will be flown daily by IndiGo’s 180-seat A320s in competition with SpiceJet’s existing 12 weekly flights. IndiGo previously operated the route in the from October 2007 to March 2008.

  • IrAero Airlines started weekly CRJ 200 flights from Novosibirsk (OVB) to Manzhouli (NZH) in China on 12 December. The flight will operate each Thursday and will face no competition.

Jetstar Airways kicked-off its own services between Adelaide and Auckland with a traditional water cannon salute.

Flying in competition with Air New Zealand’s daily service, Jetstar Airways kicked-off its own services between Adelaide and Auckland on 16 December. Find out how Adelaide Airport’s FTWA got on in the last Arch of Triumph of 2013.

  • Jetstar Airways, the Qantas off-shoot, launched low-cost services between Adelaide (ADL) and Auckland (AKL), using its ubiquitous 180-seat A320s on the 3,259-kilometre sector. The thrice-weekly operation, which began on 16 December, will face legacy carrier competition in the form of Air New Zealand, with its own daily flights. Two days earlier on 14 December, Jetstar also commenced A330-200 services between Melbourne (MEL) and Phuket (HKT). The twice-weekly operation, flown on Saturdays and Sundays, will face no direct competition.

Jetstar Japan has adds Takamatsu to its Tokyo Narita network.

Jetstar Japan has added Takamatsu to its Tokyo Narita network with the introduction of twice-daily flights on 10 December. Celebrating the launch (seated) are (left to right); Mr. Yuzuru Ogasawara, Director, Takamatsu Airport Office, Osaka Regional Civil Aviation Bureau, MLIT; Mr. Katsunori Mizumoto, Chair of Kagawa Prefectural Assembly; Mr. Keizo Hamada, Governor of Kagawa Prefecture, Chairman of Takamatsu Airport Promotion Committee; Ms. Miyuki Suzuki, President & CEO, Jetstar Japan; Mr. Hideto Onishi, Mayor of Takamatsu City; and Mr. Motoshi Kamada, Chair of Takamatsu Municipal Assembly. The mascot’s name is Jetta (standing, far left).

  • Jetstar Japan has added another domestic route from its base at Tokyo Narita (NRT). On 10 December it launched twice-daily flights on the 600-kilometre route to Takamatsu (TAK) using its 180-seat A320s. This brings to eight the number of domestic destinations served by Jetstar Japan from Tokyo Narita. No other carrier serves this airport-pair. However, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines both operate six daily flights from Tokyo Haneda to Takamatsu.

  • Jetstar Pacific Airlines has added two new domestic routes in Vietnam to its network. From 16 December it started operating daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to both Nha Trang (CXR) and Phu Quoc (PQC). Both routes are only just over 300 kilometres in length and are already served by both Vietnam Airlines and VietJetAir with multiple daily flights.

  • MASwings, the regional subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, has introduced three new domestic routes all of which are under 150 kilometres in length. The Lawas (LWY) to Limbang (LMN) route is just 45 kilometres, while the Mukah (MKM) to Sibu (SBW) route is 68 kilometres. All three routes began operating on 16 December and are served with 19-seat Twin Otters.
Launch date Origin Destination WF Aircraft Competition
16 December Lawas (LWY) Limbang (LMN) 2 DHT
16 December Mukah (MKM) Sibu (SBW) 4 DHT
16 December Mukah (MKM) Tanjung Manis (TGC) 7 DHT
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 17 December 2013

  • Norwegian, the third largest LCC in Europe, added two new routes to its offering during the course of last week, both using its 186-seat 737-800s. With the longest sector being the 4,160-kilometre seasonal service from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Lanzarote (ACE) launched on 13 December, and the shortest being inaugurated on 10 December from Gran Canaria (LPA) to Munich (MUC) at 3,256-kilometre, both routes are served weekly (Fridays and Tuesdays respectively). The service to Lanzarote will compete with TUIfly Nordic’s twice-weekly flights, while the route to the third largest city in Germany will face extensive competition from airberlin (twice-weekly), Condor (thrice-weekly) and TUIfly (six times weekly). Norwegian’s Munich route is set to increase to twice-weekly (Saturdays) from April 2014.

  • Pegasus Airlines launched domestic destination #28 and #72 overall from its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) hub this week, flying thrice-weekly to Edremit (EDO), situated on the Turkish western coast in Balikesir Province. With no competition on the 243-kilometre sector, the route, which commenced on 16 December, will be flown by the airline’s 189-seat 737-800s.

Regent Airways' first arrival in Singapore from Dhaka.

Regent Airways’ first arrival in Singapore from Dhaka on 14 December was welcomed by rain. The service will operate five times weekly using the airline’s 737-700s and will bring to four the number of airlines serving the market.

  • Regent Airways has selected Singapore (SIN) as its fourth international destination from Dhaka (DAC). On 14 December the airline began operating five weekly flights on the 2,880-kilometre route using 737-700s. There is plenty of competition on the route provided by; Tigerair Singapore (10 weekly flights), Singapore Airlines (seven) and Biman Bangladesh Airlines (six). Regent Airways’ other international routes from Dhaka are Bangkok, Kolkata and Kuala Lumpur.

Scoot's arrival in Perth was celebrated by Campbell Wilson (CEO, Scoot), Stephanie Buckland (CEO, Tourism WA), Glenys Godfrey MLA (Member for Belmont) and Brad Geatches (CEO, Perth Airport). Scoot's five weekly flights from Singapore will face competition from Jetstar Asia, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Tigerair Singapore.

  • Scoot has become the fifth airline to offer non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Perth (PER), the Western Australian city where the England cricket team recently surrendered The Ashes back to Australia. The 3,895-kilometre route is already served by Singapore Airlines (four daily flights), Tigerair Singapore (two daily flights), Jetstar Asia (13 weekly flights) and Qantas (daily flights). On 12 December Scoot joined the battle with its five times weekly service using 777-200s. Perth becomes Scoot’s third Australian destination after Gold Coast and Sydney.

  • Seaborne Airlines, the US Virgin Islands headquartered carrier, launched a new route on 12 December from San Juan (SJU) to La Romana (LRM). The 311-kilometre sector to the Dominican Republic will be operated twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays), utilising the airline’s 34-seat Saab 340s, but the service is set to increase to daily from 15 March. Seaborne’s 10th route from San Juan currently faces no competition.

  • Sunwing Airlines, the in-house airline of Sunwing Travel Group in Canada, has launched two new seasonal ‘winter sun’ routes in the last week. On Sunday 15 December the airline commenced weekly flights on the 3,640-kilometre route between Toronto (YYZ) and Curaçao (CUR) in the Dutch Antilles, facing competition from both Air Canada and WestJet who also operate weekly flights. On Monday 16 December Sunwing Airlines started weekly flights between Montreal (YUL) and Aruba (AUA), a 3,670-kilometre route that no other carrier serves. Both routes will be operated by the airline’s 189-seat 737-800s, of which it currently has 19. According to the airline’s on-line booking tool it offers flights from 33 Canadian airports.

SWISS’ new service from London Gatwick Airport was inaugurated with a ribbon cutting on 14 December. The thrice-weekly services will be operated on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The launch of SWISS’ four weekly services from Stockholm Arlanda to Geneva was marked by a senior delegation, the airline’s flight crew and officials on 15 December at the Swedish airport’s gate.

  • SWISS, which is part of the Lufthansa Group, added four new routes to its offering during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 1,687-kilometre service from Geneva (GVA) to Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), and the shortest being again from the airline’s hub, but this time to London Gatwick (LGW) at 716 kilometres, the Star Alliance member faces direct competition on three out of the four new services.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
14-Dec-13 Geneva (GVA) Gothenburg (GOT) 2 A32S
London Gatwick (LGW) 3 A320 easyJet (52), British Airways (20), Thomas Cook Airlines (1), Thomson Airways (1)
Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) Norwegian (2)
15-Dec-13 Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) 4 A32S SAS (6), easyJet (4)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mio for w/c 17 December 2013

Mr. Wisoot Buachoom, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Mai Office; Thananrath Prasertsree, Vice President, Deputy General Manager of Chiang Mai International Airport; and Onanong Netsawasdi, Chiang Mai Station Head for Thai AirAsia, welcomed passenegrs to Chiang Mai Airport.

Passengers on Thai AirAsia’s inaugural Krabi-Chiang Mai flight were welcomed at Chiang Mai Airport by: Mr. Wisoot Buachoom, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Mai Office; Thananrath Prasertsree, Vice President, Deputy General Manager of Chiang Mai International Airport; and Onanong Netsawasdi, Chiang Mai Station Head for Thai AirAsia. The inaugural flight for Thai AirAsia’s daily direct flights between Krabi and Chiang Mai took place on 15 December 2013.

  • Thai AirAsia has added a new domestic route from Krabi (KBV) to Chiang Mai (CNX). The 1,190-kilometre route will be operated daily using the airline’s 180-seat A320s, and is not served by any other carrier. This is the airline’s third route from Krabi (the others being Bangkok Don Mueang and Singapore), while AirAsia also links Kuala Lumpur to Krabi. Mr. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, explained that this year, AirAsia was focused on creating connections between high potential provinces, which led to the launch of the Chiang Mai-Krabi daily direct flight, saying: “We are confident that the launch will spur tourism and spending for both provinces during the holiday season.”

  • THAI Smile has become the third carrier to offer non-stop flights between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Luang Prabang (LPQ) in Laos. On 15 December the airline began four times weekly flights on the 680-kilometre route, which is already served by Bangkok Airways (twice-daily) and Lao Airlines (daily). A320s will be used to operate the route, which becomes the airline’s seventh international destination from Thailand’s busiest airport. Luang Prabang has become popular with tourists for its ancient culture and relaxed lifestyle and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Passengers were greeted by this banner on arrival at the airport.

Passengers on Tigerair Mandala’s inaugural flights to Hong Kong, from Denpasar and Surabaya in Indonesia, were greeted by this banner on arrival at the airport. Both flights will be operated daily and join Tigerair Mandala’s existing Hong Kong service from Jakarta.

  • Tigerair Mandala has added two more routes to Hong Kong (HKG). It already serves the airport from Jakarta but on 15 December it began daily flights from Denpasar (DPS) in Indonesia, followed the next day by daily flights from Surabaya (SUB). The 3,440-kilometre route from Denpasar is already served by Hong Kong Airlines (17 weekly flights), Cathay Pacific Airways and Garuda Indonesia (both with daily flights), while Cathay Pacific also serves the 3,270-kilometre Surabaya route with daily flights. Tigerair Mandala will operate both routes with its fleet of A320s, which currently number 10, with a further 25 on order, according to Airbus data.

Pictured at a frosty looking Kokshetau Airport in Kazakhstan is the inaugural Transaero Airlines service from Moscow Vnukovo.

Pictured at a frosty looking Kokshetau Airport in Kazakhstan is the inaugural Transaero Airlines service from Moscow Vnukovo. The twice-weekly route faces no direct competition from any airline operating from Moscow’s three main airports.

  • Transaero Airlines began services to its eighth destination in Kazakhstan, Kokshetau (KOV) on 14 December, and its seventh in the country from its Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) hub, joining existing routes to Almaty, Shymkent, Atyrau, Karaganda, Aktau and Astana. Uniquely, not only is there no competition on the specific airport-pair, but notably there is also no competition on the city-pair from Moscow’s two other main airports — Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo. The 2,081-kilometre sector will be flown by the unaligned carrier’s 128-seat 737-700s twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

  • TUIfly Nordic, which is part of the TUI Airlines charter group, launched its seventh route from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) on 16 December. The 8,571-kilometre service to Montego Bay (MBJ), the second largest city in Jamaica, will be served weekly (Mondays), utilising Thomson Airways’ 291-seat 787-800s. No other carrier serves this route.

  • Turkish Airlines added another spoke to its burgeoning Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub this week, this time to the capital and largest city in Chad, N’Djamena (NDJ). The Star Alliance carrier’s 236th (one-stop and non-stop) route, will be flown four times weekly with no direct competition by a mixture of 737-800 and 737-900 equipment via Kano in Nigeria. This route was ‘leaked’ by just over a year ago.

Celebrating the launch of Volaris' new service between Guadalajara and San Antonio are (left to right): Jose Luis Garcia International Aviation Marketing Manager, San Antonio Airport System; Barbara Prossen, AAE, Marketing & Community Relations Director; Miguel Aguñiga, Volaris Senior Sales Manager for Mexico and the US; Frank R. Miller, Aviation Director of the San Antonio Airport System; and Volaris staff. Cutting the ribbon in Guadalajara was Miguel Aguñiga.

  • Volaris continues to expand its network with one new domestic route and one new international route. On 12 December the airline began seasonal (until 16 January) twice-weekly flights (Thursdays and Sundays) between Cancun (CUN) and Mexicali (MXL), a distance of 3,110 kilometres. Mexicali is located adjacent to the US border in the Mexican state of Baja California. The airport handled just over 500,000 passengers in 2012. On 14 December it also launched its first ever flights to San Antonio, TX (SAT) from Guadalajara (GDL). The 1,110-kilometre route will be served twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) and will compete directly with Interjet’s recently launched twice-weekly flights. San Antonio becomes Volaris’ 12th destination in the US and 10th to be served from Guadalajara, of which six are in California. Both routes are served by a mix of the airline’s A319s and A320s.

  • Winair, a government owned regional airline founded in 1961, launched three new routes during the course of last week from its main base at St. Maarten (SXM). With the longest sector being the 696-kilometre service to Santo Domingo (SDQ), and the shortest being to Anguilla (AXA) at 19-kilometre, Winair faces direct competition on all three services from at least one carrier.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
15-Dec-13 St. Maarten (SXM) Anguilla (AXA) 11 DHT Anguilla Air Services (21)
Tortola (EIS) 14 LIAT (21), Air Sunshine (21), BVI Airways (2)
16-Dec-13 Santo Domingo (SDQ) 3 AT7 Insel Air (2)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mio for w/c 17 December 2013

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  1. Abhijith says:

    Guys, slight correction, Air Baltic will operate RIX-AUH using Czech AIrlines’s A319, not Etihad’s

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