New airline routes launched (10 June – 16 June 2014)

WestJet’s St. John’s to Dublin

On 15 June, St. John’s Airport celebrated the first ever transatlantic flight of WestJet, destined for Dublin, with a special ceremony, including this fantastic cake, a ribbon cutting, Shawn Silver Irish dancers and local musicians. Cutting the celebratory ribbon at the flight’s departure gate are: Keith Collins, CEO, St. John’s Airport; and Gregg Saretsky, CEO, WestJet. 

  • WestJet, which posted a 6.3% increase in passengers last year, commenced its first ever flight to Europe with the addition of two new routes to Dublin (DUB) on 15 June, both of which are to be operated daily until 4 October, utilising its 136-seat 737-700s. The service originates in Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and operates via St. John’s (YYT). While the flights from St. John’s will face no competition, the sector from Toronto Pearson is highly contested by Aer Lingus (7), Air Canada (6) and Air Transat (3).

Wizz Air’s Sibiu to London Luton

Wizz Air’s inaugural flight to London Luton was celebrated with a cake ceremony at Sibiu Airport in Romania on 14 June. Commenting on the launch, Ioan Gardea, GM, Sibiu, said: “I trust that this step is the first in a series that will be the basis of a strong and long lasting partnership which will ensure the connection of the airport with a large number of destinations in Europe and beyond.”

Celebrations continued over the other side of the Romanian border

Celebrations continued over the other side of the Romanian border, with another cake at Budapest, to commemorate Wizz Air’s first flight to Alicante. Marking the achievement is: Balázs Bogás, Head of Airline Development, Budapest (left); along with Wizz Air’s crew of the inaugural flight to Alicante.

  • Wizz Air, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last month, added eight new European links to its offering during the course of last week, half of which were launched from its Bucharest (OTP) base. With the longest sector being the 2,715-kilometre service from Bucharest (OTP) to Malaga (AGP) launched on 15 June, and the shortest being inaugurated on 13 June from Sofia (SOF) to Malta (MLA) at 1,078 kilometres, the low-cost carrier will face competition on two of the newly launched operations from Blue Air and Air Malta. Commenting on the route launch to Alicante, Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest, said: “The new Wizz Air service to Alicante fills a real customer demand and whilst the south-east region of Spain has always been well travelled destination for Northern Europe, given a lack of flight connections in the past, it is not a traditional holiday market for Hungary, so we’re excited to see how it performs. With Madrid and Barcelona already available with Wizz Air all year round we are sure that Alicante will be a hit this season with tourists.” Furthermore, Ioan Cindrea, President of Sibiu County Council, pointed out with regards to the route launch to London Luton: “I congratulate all those who contributed to open this route, thus materializing the desire of Sibiu community. This route is a new beginning that comes after the modernization of the airport. We are now witnessing the inauguration of the first destination, London, with Wizz Air, an important step for advancing new economic and tourism connections from Sibiu to Great Britain. More developments, allowing us to travel to other destinations in Europe should follow.” See how Sibiu Airport’s water arch salute compares to those sent in this week from around the world.
Launch date Origin Destination


A/C Competition (WF)

13 June

Bucharest (OTP) Doncaster Sheffield (DSA)



15 June

Malaga (AGP) Blue Air (4)

12 June

Malmö (MMX)


Malta (MLA) Air Malta (1)

14 June

Budapest (BUD) Alicante (ALC)


Sibiu (SBZ) London Luton (LTN)


13 June

Sofia (SOF) Malta (MLA)



Vilnius (VNO) Corfu (CFU)


Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 17 June 2014.

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

Download all of this week’s new routes as a spreadsheet

Birmingham Airport welcomed the inaugural flight of Aegean Airlines’ twice weekly services from Athens

On 10 June, Birmingham Airport welcomed the inaugural flight of Aegean Airlines’ twice weekly services from Athens. This route will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays until 25 October. Seen taxiing in front of Birmingham’s new control tower, which was built as part of the 400-metres runway extension, is the first flight from Athens.

Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C
12 June Athens (ATH) Amman (AMM) 2 A320
10 June Birmingham (BHX)
Izmir (ADB) 3 DH4
13 June Kalamata (KLX) Paris CDG (CDG) 1 A319
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 17 June 2014.

Air China’s inaugural flight from Beijing to Washington Dulles was celebrated in the US capital with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring: District of Columbia Deputy Mayor Victor L. Hoskins; Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; Chinese Ambassador to the USA Cui Tiankai; Air China Vice Chairman Madame Yinxiang Wang; and MWAA’s President/CEO Jack Potter. The route between the two capital cities is already served by fellow Star Alliance member United Airlines with daily flights.

  • Air China has launched two new international services from the world’s second busiest airport, Beijing (PEK). On 10 June the Chinese flag-carrier began a four times weekly service on the 11,140-kilometre route to Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) using its 777-300s. The route is already served daily by Star Alliance partner United Airlines. The following day Air China initiated four times weekly flights to Jeju (CJU) in South Korea using 737-800s. The 1,140-kilometre route will see frequency increase to daily from 9 July. Competition on this route is provided by Korean Air (daily flights) and China Eastern Airlines (twice-weekly flights). See how Washington Dulles Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

On 16 June, Air Lituanica along with Vilnius Airport celebrated the flag carrier’s first flight to Billund in Denmark with a panda bear.

  • Air Lituanica, the relatively new flag carrier of Lithuania, expanded its presence in Scandinavia, with the addition of two new routes from its Vilnius (VNO) base, both of which are operated by its 77-seat E175s. On 15 June, the carrier launched twice-weekly flights (Wednesdays and Sundays) to Gothenburg (GOT) in Sweden that will be operated until 27 August. One day later, on 16 June, the flag carrier inaugurated the 1,033-kilometre sector to Billund (BLL) in Denmark with thrice-weekly operations until 28 August. There is no competition on any of the two new airport pairs. Commenting on the route launches, Eitvydas Bajarūnas, Lithuanian Ambassador in Sweden, said: “We can often hear people say in our society “Scandinavian style”, “Scandinavian business culture”, etc. testifying to a very good taste, ethics and honesty. Scandinavians are the largest investors in our country; therefore there is no wonder that we draw experience from them and follow their good examples. To ensure a fair, targeted and promising communication with these countries, it is very important to ensure good connections between the countries.”

Captain Sandro Allori

Captain Sandro Allori (left) and First Officer Gaerec Tiscali (right) celebrate with Alitalia Station Manager Giulia Sermoni (centre) in the cockpit of the Air One A320 which was used for the first flight from Palermo to Munich – let’s hope there was nothing but strong black coffee in those beer mugs!

  • Air One has commenced three new services this week. On 13 June it began twice-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Fridays) from Palermo (PMO) to Munich (MUC) with 180-seat A320s. Lufthansa also offers the city pair four times weekly. Starting on 14 June, and planned to operate until 28 September, the carrier began thrice-weekly services from Venice Marco Polo (VCE) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO), again flown by the airline’s A320s. Aeroflot also flies the 2,100-kilometre route double-daily. Finally, launched on 15 June, the airline linked Catania (CTA) with Krasnodar (KRR) in Russia, offering flights every 10 or 11 days (alternating each week). The 2,190-kilometre sector, again flown by A320s, will face no direct competition and will operate until 9 October.

AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya relaxes with his children shortly before joining passengers on the airline’s inaugural service, from Bangalore to Goa. Guests arriving at Bangalore Airport were welcomed by the sight and sounds of a Dollu Kunitha performance. AirAsia India’s second route to Chennai launches on 19 June, while Kochi services begin on 20 July.

On 11 June, Alaska Airlines celebrated its inaugural flight from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles with plenty of Mickey Mouse ears. 

Celebrations continued the next day at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, where Alaska Airlines launched daily services to New Orleans. Following a ribbon cutting ceremony, the first flight departed in true laissez-faire fashion.

On the same day, Alaska Airlines’ 737-800s arrived at New Orleans Airport, where it was greeted with this special cake. Aimee Quirk, representing the City of New Orleans presents a Certificate of Recognition to Matthew Kessi, Alaska Airlines General Manager, Sales from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Iftikhar Ahmad, Director of Aviation pictured next to Kessi gave the welcome on behalf of the New Orleans Aviation Board. 

  • Alaska Airlines added six domestic routes, of which five were launched from Salt Lake City, UT (SLC), to its offering during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 3,357-kilometre service from Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) to New Orleans, LA (MSY) launched on 12 June, and the shortest being inaugurated on 16 June from Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) to Boise, ID (BOI) at 468 kilometres, the carrier will face extensive competition on five of the new services from Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Alaska Airlines is analysed in more detail in this week’s airline analysis.
Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
11 June Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 7 EQV Delta Air Lines (49), American Airlines (28),
Southwest Airlines (20), United Airlines (14)
16 June Boise, ID (BOI) DH4 Delta Air Lines (34)
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) 14 Delta Air Lines (41), Southwest Airlines (34)
10 June San Diego, CA (SAN) EQV Delta Air Lines (35)
13 June San Jose, CA (SJC) 7 B739 Delta Air Lines (34)
12 June Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) New Orleans, LA (MSY) B738

On 11 June, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport celebrated the launch of American Airlines’ daily operations to Hong Kong with a special festivity, including a ribbon cutting, a speech from Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth, and dragon dances in the terminal. 

  • American Airlines expanded its long-haul network from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) on 11 June with the addition of two new routes, both of which are served daily. With the longest sector being the 13,053-kilometre sector to Hong Kong (HKG) operated by its 310-seat 777-300s, and the shortest being inaugurated to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) at 11,830 kilometres utilising its 247-seat 777-200s, the oneworld member will face no competition on either of the new airport pairs. Commenting on the route launches, Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth, said: “I want to commend our great partners at American Airlines for launching these routes, and we pledge to do everything we can to support the success of these vital connections. We’re confident that with our business friendly economic climate in Texas and our rich western history, there will be a lot for us to offer to our visitors from Shanghai and Hong Kong.” See how Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s FTWA compares to the other airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

On 16 June, Cologne Bonn Airport greeted Blue Air’s third route to Germany with three special cakes, in the form of Bucharest Airport’s IATA code. Marking the event are: Natalia Zaragoza, General Sales Manager, Blue Air; Maike Lyssy, Manager Business Development, Cologne Bonn; Mihai Botorog, Consul General of Romanian Consulate in Bonn; Nadine Varghese, Assistant Marketing and Sales, Cologne Bonn; Tudor Constantinescu, CCO, Blue Air; Iulia Muntean, Outstations Sales Manager, Blue Air; and Jan Möller, Head of Business Development, Cologne Bonn.

  • Blue Air, the Romanian low-cost carrier, commenced its third route to Germany with the addition of thrice-weekly operations from Bucharest (OTP) to Cologne Bonn (CGN) on 16 June. The 1,579-kilometre sector will be operated utilising the airline’s 162-seat 737-400s and will face no competition from other operators. The Romanian LCC is also serving the German market with thrice-weekly flights to Stuttgart from both Bucharest and Sibiu. Furthermore, Blue Air previously operated this airport pair between 2007 and 2009. See how Cologne Bonn Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Literally meaning ‘good flight’, start-up LCC Dobrolet began four daily flights from its parent’s (Aeroflot) base of Moscow Sheremetyevo to Simferopol in Ukraine on 10 June. Let’s hope the crew live up to the airline’s name.

  • Dobrolet, Aeroflot’s start-up LCC off-shoot, began operations on 10 June with its new 189-seat 737-800s. Initially linking Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) and Simferopol (SIP) four times daily, the carrier is planned to start flights to St Petersburg and Samara in August. Its parent company provides the only competition on the route, with 70 weekly flights on the 1,239-kilometre sector.

Estonian Air expands with latest seasonal service to Germany

On 16 June, Tallinn Airport celebrated with a cake ceremony the inaugural flight of Estonian Air’s services to Berlin Tegel. The new route will be operated thrice-weekly, Mondays, Wednesdays as well as Saturdays.

  • Estonian Air expanded its summer seasonal offering with the launch of a new route from its Tallinn (TLL) base to Berlin Tegel (TXL) on 16 June. The 1,046-kilometre sector to the primary international gateway of Berlin will be served thrice-weekly until 30 August, utilising the carrier’s 88-seat CRJ 900s. Estonian Air will face no competition on its only service to Germany.

On 13 June, Cleveland Airport celebrated with a cake ceremony the inaugural flight of Frontier Airlines to Atlanta. Preparing to cut the cake’s first slice is “Mr Awesome”.

Launch date Origin Destination WF A/C Competition (WF)
13 June Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) Harrisburg, PA (MDT) 4 A319
15 June Knoxville, TN (TYS) 3
13 June Cleveland, OH (CLE) Atlanta, GA (ATL) 5 A320 Delta Air Lines (46)
14 June Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) 3 United Airlines (7)
13 June Fort Myers, FL (RSW) United Airlines (7)
Orlando, FL (MCO) 6 United Airlines (14)
Phoenix, AZ (PHX) 3
15 June Raleigh-Durham, NC (RDU) Delta Air Lines (7)
Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA)
Tampa, FL (TPA) United Airlines (7)
12 June Denver, CO (DEN) Idaho Falls, ID (IDA) A319 United Airlines (21)
13 June Missoula, MT (MSO) 4 United Airlines (35)
12 June Sioux City, IA (SUX) 3
15 June St. Louis, MO (STL) Portland, OR (PDX) A320
16 June San Francisco, CA (SFO) United Airlines (6)
13 June Trenton, NJ (TTN) A319
Trenton, NJ (TTN) Milwaukee, WI (MKE)
14 June Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (MSP) 4
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 17 June 2014.

Germania crew

Launching it with flowers and the Germania crew are: Torsten Christ, Franziska Gerlach, Uwe Appel and Christian Heineck all from Erfurt Airport. 139 passengers were on board the first Germania flight between Erfurt and Rhodes on 14 June – 94% load factor – not bad going!

  • Germania has started flights from Erfurt (ERF) to Rhodes (RHO) this week, with twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) services beginning on 14 June. A variety of equipment will fly the 2,121-kilometre sector, and it will become the carrier’s ninth route from the German regional airport. The second new route will be operated between Düsseldorf (DUS) and Beirut (BEY), its sixth city pair from the German hub. Launched on 12 June, and expected to operate until 21 September, the airline will utilise its 148-seat 737-700s on the 3,022-kilometre route twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays). Both routes will encounter no direct competition. See how this FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.

At Athens Airport, instead of a ribbon cutting, it has ribbon bonding, symbolically describing the airport-airline new bond. ‘Bonding’ the ceremonial ribbon to mark the start of Gulf Air’s flights from Bahrain are: Ioanna Papadopoulou, Director Communications & Marketing, Athens Airport; H.E. Dr. Theodoros Theodorou, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the State of Kuwait & the Kingdom of Bahrain; Sahar Ataie, Gulf Air Acting CFO; Mohammed Amin Hulaiwah, Gulf Air, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications. 

  • Gulf Air linked Athens (ATH) to Bahrain (BAH) on 16 June, with the new route becoming the third launched so far in 2014, following Sialkot and Tehran earlier in the year, as the Greek capital becomes the airline’s sixth European destination — joining Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Larnaca and London Heathrow. Operated four times weekly by the carrier’s 136-seat A320s, the route will encounter no direct competition. See how this FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.

On 13 June, history was made at Oakland Airport, as Hawaiian Airlines commenced its first ever non-stop flight to Kona. The achievement was marked with dance performers, live Hawaiian music and hula at the gate.

  • Hawaiian Airlines increased its seasonal offering with the launch of a new summer route from Kona, HI (KOA) to Oakland, CA (OAK) on 13 June. The 3,830-kilometre sector will be served four times weekly until 15 August, utilising the carrier’s 259-seat 767-300s. Competition on Hawaiian’s new airport pair is provided by Alaska Airlines, which operates four weekly flights. Starting 15 Jun, Hawaiian will commence a new service from Oakland and Lihue, which will be operated thrice-weekly. Commenting on the route launch, Deborah Ale Flint, Director of Aviation, Port of Oakland, said: “The additional flights to Kona and Lihue come just in time for the peak summer travel season and they combine Hawaiian Airlines award winning onboard service with the convenience and reliability of Oakland in the San Francisco Bay Area. Travellers will experience our shared commitment to customer service excellence with the Aloha Spirit on these flights from Oakland.”

Meridiana is operating scheduled flights in and out of Brussels

“This summer is the very first time Meridiana is operating scheduled flights in and out of Brussels, so we’re very excited to welcome a new name to our growing list of airlines,” says Geert Van Dessel, Brussels Airport. He was present at the launch along with: Justine Piette, Air Agencies (Meridiana’s GSA in Belgium); Luigi Vallero, Meridiana; Adelina Porchedda, Meridiana; and, Pascal Van de Moortel, Air Agencies.


Origin Destination Aircraft (WF) Competition
12 June Cagliari (CAG) London Gatwick (LGW) EQV (1)
13 June Olbia (OLB) Brussels (BRU) Jetairfly (1), Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (1)
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Santorini (JTR) A320 (1) Vueling (3), easyJet (2), Blue Panorama
Airlines (1)
14 June Heraklion (HER) easyJet (2), Vueling (1)
15 June Menorca (MAH) easyJet (3), Vueling (2)
Source: New Route Database. Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 17 June 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies

Pegasus Airlines continues to build its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen hub

Pegasus Airlines continues to build its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen hub, with the start of flights to its seventh destination in the Middle East – Bahrain – on 12 June, celebrated with one of the traditional methods – a new route cake.

  • Pegasus Airlines continues to build up its hub operation from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), with the start of thrice-weekly services to Bahrain (BAH). The route becomes the airline’s seventh service to the Middle East, joining the likes of Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Tehran, Kuwait City and Tel Aviv. Commenced on 12 June, the 189-seat, 737-800-operated flights face no direct competition. However, Gulf Air (seven times weekly) and Turkish Airlines (daily) operate on the city pair, but from Istanbul Atatürk. Mohammed Khalil, VP of Commercial and Marketing at Bahrain Airport Company, commented on the new route: “We are happy to welcome Pegasus’ first flight into Bahrain International Airport. We are confident that it will help spur tourism and bolster business activities between the two countries. The new route reiterates BAC’s commitment to further expand BIA’s network and provide passengers with connectivity options and ease of access to the rest of the world.”

Pictured with the fab cake and crew for the launch of Qatar Airways’ sixth US service are Miami Airport officials: Dan Agostino, Assistant Director for Operations (far left); Joe Napoli, Chief of Staff and Ernesto Rodriguez, Marketing/Air Service Development (both far right). The route utilizes the airline’s 259-seat 777-200LRs.

SCAT Airlines launches its first service to Novosibirsk.

Pictured cutting the cake with Igor Leontiev (left) Head of Aviation Marketing Department at Novosibirsk Airport are inaugural flight passengers Sergey (centre) and one of the delegation of visiting Kazakhstan media (right).

  • SCAT Airlines, the Kazakhstan carrier, has begun flights from Ust-Kamenogorsk (UKK) to Novosibirsk (OVB) on 11 June – its first route to the Russian city. The twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) CRJ 200-operated service will face direct competition on the airport pair from IrAero Airlines, which flies the route on a weekly basis.

SilkAir launched its second route to Myanmar on 10 June with the commencement of services to Mandalay. All passengers on the inaugural flight were given models of an arched harp, widely regarded as a national instrument in Myanmar.

  • SilkAir has added Mandalay (MDL) in Myanmar to its network from Singapore (SIN). On 10 June the Singapore Airlines subsidiary launched thrice-weekly flights on the 2,430-kilometre route, which it operates via Yangon on the outbound service. The airline’s A320s will operate the flights, which face no direct competition. The second largest city in Myanmar, Mandalay is the centre of culture and religion in the country. The city is home to the magnificent royal palace as well as many other attractions built during the Konbuang Dynasty. Bagan, long considered one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites, is also accessible through Mandalay.

Iasi Airport celebrated on 13 June the inaugural flight of TAROM to Milan/Bergamo. The event was marked with a fantastic shopping bag-shaped cake, following a press conference by airport and airline officials. Cutting the celebratory cake’s first slice are (left to right): Sorin Georgescu, Project Manager for Iasi, TAROM; Cristian Adomnitei, President of Iasi County Council; and Marius Bodea, President, Iasi Airport.

Cutting the ceremonial first flight ribbon for new services between Istanbul Atatürk and Bordeaux were: Erol Buyukcicek, Turkish Airlines; Olkan Vural Turk, Consulate General in Bordeaux; Pascal Personne, CEO Bordeaux Airport; Kerem Sarp, Turkish Airlines VP Marketing and Sales South Europe; Cenk Acikgoz, Turkish Airlines Director for Bordeaux; and Alain Juppe, Mayor of Bordeaux.

  • Turkish Airlines has started its sixth destination in France on 12 June, making Bordeaux (BOD) its latest addition to its burgeoning Istanbul Atatürk (IST) hub. The 2,435-kilometre sector will be flown by a variety of equipment on a four times weekly basis and will face no direct competition.

Download all of this week’s new routes as a spreadsheet


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