New airline routes launched (17 June – 23 June 2014)

Thai AirAsia X’s Bangkok Don Mueang to Seoul

Thai AirAsia X celebrated the launch of its first flight on 17 June. Sharing the moment on the apron at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport were Siva Ramanathan, Director of Business Development, AirAsia X Berhad; Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X Berhad; Ms. Vilaiwan Nadvilai, Senior Executive VP, Airports of Thailand Public Co. Ltd; Flying Officer Chaturongkapol Sodmanee, General Manager of Don Mueang Airport; and Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia. On board the flight, Nadda Buranasiri, CEO of Thai AirAsia X personally congratulated a lucky winner who was the first person to check-in at the counter for the inaugural flight of XJ700 on 17 June 2014. The lucky winner received two round-trip tickets from Bangkok (DMK) to Seoul (ICN).

  • Thai AirAsia X launched operations on Tuesday 17 June. Its first route is a daily service from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Seoul Incheon (ICN). The 3,680-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s A330-300s and will face no direct competition. However, eight airlines operate between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Seoul Incheon; Korean Air (thrice-daily flights), Thai Airways (18 weekly flights), Jeju Air (twice-daily flights), and Asiana Airlines, Business Air, Eastar Jet, Jin Air, and t’way air who all operate daily flights. Thai AirAsia X’s A330s have been configured with 377 seats; 12 Business Class Premium flatbed seats, and 365 Economy Class seats. For comparison Lufthansa’s A330-300s operate with between 217 and 221 seats.

Condor’s Frankfurt to Fortaleza

Marking the start of Condor’s weekly Frankfurt to Fortaleza service, along with the Samba dancing group and Condor flight attendants were: Jens Boyd, Head of Long-Haul, Condor; Dominique Prümm, SVP Aviation Fraport AG; and Marco Martin, Regional Manager Frankfurt, Condor. Seemingly, the cake was almost the same size as South America

  • Condor added the Brazilian World Cup venue of Fortaleza (FOR) on 20 June to its programme as a year-round destination just in time for the game between Germany and Ghana, which finished 2-2. Flying from Frankfurt (FRA) on weekly basis (Fridays) utilising the carrier’s 259-seat 767-300 aircraft, this makes Fortaleza Condor’s third non-stop destination in Brazil in addition to its established destinations of Recife and Salvador da Bahia. There are no competing airlines offering this city pair. “We are delighted to be expanding our long-haul offer in Central and South America. And now, as the World Cup is being held in Brazil, is the perfect time to offer our passengers the opportunity to experience the atmosphere at one of the venues live. But apart from that, Fortaleza is also a lovely and relaxing holiday destination,” explains Jens Boyd, Head of Long-Haul at Condor. Dominique Prümm SVP Aviation Fraport AG is also pleased that a further South American destination is being added from Frankfurt: “A new destination has been added to the schedule for those of us here at Frankfurt airport in Fortaleza. We are especially proud that Condor – our second-biggest client – is offering this destination.”

easyJet’s six seasonal routes

easyJet starts six seasonal services including Glasgow to Split

Will these routes make money? In a new feature this week, we invite our readers to examine each easyJet route in more detail using the interactive route economic calculator from Aviation Analytics. Each route can be selected from “Bookmarks” and using the sliders you can vary either average revenue or load factor to observe the break even position.

  • easyJet will start six seasonal routes this week, with all routes due to finish by the end of September. Only one of the routes faces any sort of competition, which is the Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Menorca (MAH) sector, which will see the UK LCC up against Vueling (four times weekly) and Meridiana (weekly). The longest route is the 2,401-kilometre sector from Faro (FAO) to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF), while the shortest is the 581-kilometre hop from Basel (BSL) to Bastia (BIA).

Click here to see if any of these routes are going to contribute to the easyJet coffers

Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
22 Jun Basel (BSL) Bastia (BIA) A319 (2)
21 Jun Mykonos (JMK) A32S (2)
21 Jun Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Faro (FAO) A319 (2)
22 Jun Glasgow (GLA) Split (SPU)
23 Jun Hamburg (HAM) Kalamata (KLX)
17 Jun Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Menorca (MAH) A319 (3) Vueling (4), Meridiana (1)
Source: New Route Database. Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c  24 Jun 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

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

On 19 June, Milan Malpensa Airport celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a press conference the inaugural flight of Air Canada to Toronto Pearson.

  • Air Canada, the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada, commenced its fourth service to Italy, this time linking Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Milan Malpensa (MXP) on 18 June. The 6,629-kilometre sector to the primary gateway of Milan will be served five times weekly, utilising the Star Alliance member’s 209-seat 767-300s. However, during the winter period this service will see a frequency decrease to thrice-weekly. There is no competition on Air Canada’s new airport pair. See how Milan Malpensa Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

On 21 June, Lisbon Airport welcomed the inaugural flight of Air Canada rouge to Toronto Pearson with a special ceremony at the gate. Cutting the celebratory cake’s first slice are: Nuno Costa, Head of Business Development, ANA; Vijay Bathija, VP Commercial, Air Canada Rouge; David Gébot, GM, Air Canada; Luís Ribeiro, CEO, Portway; and José Manuel Santos, Member of the Board, Portway. 

  • Air Canada rouge, the new venture leisure airline from Air Canada that was launched in July 2013, added its 11th European route with the addition of seasonal services from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Lisbon (LIS) on 21 June. The 5,755-kilometre sector to the capital of Portugal will be served thrice-weekly until 21 September, utilising the airline’s 280-seat 767-300s. Air Canada rouge will face direct competition on its latest addition from Air Transat’s thrice-weekly flights and SATA International’s weekly operations. See how Lisbon Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

On 17 June, Vilnius Airport celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and again the famous panda bear from last week, the inaugural flight of Air Lituanica to Malmö in Sweden.

  • Air Lituanica, which in the previous week added two services to Gothenburg and Billund, continued to expand its presence in the Scandinavian market with the launch of a new route from Vilnius (VNO) to Malmö (MMX) on 17 June. The 766-kilometre sector to the third largest city in Sweden will be served twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) until 29 August, utilising the carrier’s 77-seat E175. There is no competition on the new airport pair.

On 17 June, Toronto Pearson Airport celebrated the launch of Air Transat’s seasonal flights to Prague with a ribbon cutting and a cake ceremony in the terminal. The new route will be operated weekly until 15 October.

  • Air Transat, the Canadian holiday travel airline, expanded its seasonal offering with the addition of a new route from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Prague (PRG) on 17 June. The new route will be operated weekly (Tuesdays) via Montreal until 15 October, utilising the airline’s 342-seat A330-300s. There is no competition on the new airport pair.

On 20 June, Seattle-Tacoma Airport celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony the inaugural flight of Alaska Airlines to Tampa, which will be operated daily utilising the carrier’s 737-800s. 

Later that day, celebrations continued at Tampa Airport with a Seattle themed cake featuring a giant chocolate space needle and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Cutting the ribbon are: Joe Lopano, CEO, Tampa; Robert Watkins, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tampa; along with Alaska Airlines’ crew on the inaugural flight.

  • Alaska Airlines, which in the previous week added nine US services, continued to strengthen its domestic network with the addition of two new routes. Firstly, on 19 June, the carrier inaugurated the 964-kilometre sector from Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) to San Francisco, CA (SFO) with daily operations utilising a mixed fleet of its 124-seat 737-700s, 144-seat 737-400s and 163-seat 737-800s. Secondly, one day later, Alaska launched daily flights from its Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) hub to Tampa, FL (TPA) utilising its 163-seat 737-800s. While the 4,056-kilometre sector to Florida faces no competition, the route to San Francisco is already flown by United Airlines (34 weekly flights) and Delta Air Lines (32 weekly flights). Commenting on the route launch to Tampa, Joe Sprague, SVP Communications and External Relations, said: “We’re excited to offer Seattle residents a nonstop trip to the beach. The Tampa Bay Area is the perfect place for people who love to explore whether they want to play along the shore or seek urban adventure in vibrant neighbourhoods. Of course, simply relaxing on a warm beach this weekend sounds pretty nice, too.”

Brussels Airlines resumes services to Malta and Cagliari

Malta Airport celebrated on 20 June the inaugural flight of Brussels Airlines’ twice-weekly flights to the European capital with this fantastic cake.

  • Brussels Airlines expanded its seasonal offering with two new services from Brussels (BRU), both of which are operated twice-weekly using its 132-seat A319s. On 20 June, the carrier inaugurated the 1,857-kilometre sector to Malta (MLA), which will be served (Fridays and Sundays) until 12 September. Two days later, on 22 June, Brussels launched flights (Wednesdays and Sundays) to Cagliari (CAG), which will be operated until 31 August. While the service to Italy was last served in November 2008, flights to Malta were resumed following a 24-year hiatus. The flag carrier will face competition only on the operations to the Mediterranean island, from Air Malta’s daily flights.

Canadian North increases domestic seasonal offering

On 20 June, Halifax Airport’s fire crew celebrated the launch of Canadian North’s weekly flights to Iqaluit with the traditional water arch salute.

  • Canadian North introduced three domestic seasonal services on 20 June, all of which will be operated weekly (Fridays), utilising the airline’s 128-seat 737-300s. Firstly, it inaugurated the 2,124-kilometre sector from Halifax (YHZ) to Iqaluit (YFB), followed by flights on the 884-kilometre route from St. John’s (YYT) to Halifax (YHZ). Lastly the carrier launched operations from St. John’s (YYT) to Iqaluit (YFB) via Halifax (YHZ). Canadian North will face direct competition only on the St. John’s-Halifax airport pair from Air Canada (42), Porter Airlines (18) and WestJet (14). See how Iqaluit Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

Germania goes to Greece from Hamburg

Hamburg Airport’s Alexandra Ringel, Manager Traffic Development & Sales (left) was present to celebrate the launch of Germania’s weekly service to Rhodes with the aircraft’s crew.

  • Germania has continued its S14 expansion with the addition of weekly (Tuesdays) A319 services between Hamburg (HAM) and Rhodes (RHO). Started on 17 June, the route will face competition from a couple of incumbents, with Condor offering thrice-weekly flights and TUIfly operating weekly.

Hainan Airlines has made Boston its third US destination (after Chicago O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma) with the introduction of four weekly flights on 20 June. Celebrating the route launch, Thomas P. Glynn, CEO of Massachusetts Port Authority receives an airplane model from Xie Haoming, President of Hainan Airlines.

  • Hainan Airlines has expanded its presence in the US with the launch on 20 June of a four times weekly service to Boston (BOS) from Beijing (PEK) using the airline’s 787-8s. The 10,840-kilometre route will be the first linking China with Massachusetts. Hainan Airlines already serves Chicago O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma in the US and Toronto in Canada. Xie Haoming, President of Hainan Airlines, said: “We have had our sights on Boston for a long time, and we are thrilled to finally be able to bring Hainan Airlines’ famous five-star service to New England. The new flight provides the fastest way to get to Beijing, the capital of China. The new flight saves about three hours off existing routings.” Boston becomes the 10th city on the US mainland to get direct air services from Beijing. See how Boston Logan Airport’s fire truck water arch compares to others from around the world.

JetBlue Airways’ inaugural flight to Washington Reagan, VA was celebrated at Charleston on 19 June with a cake ceremony. Marking the achievement are: Paul Campbell, Director, Charleston Airport; Larry Richter, Vice Chairman of the Board, CCAA; and Cynara Charles-Pierre, Director Corporate Communications, JetBlue.

  • JetBlue Airways expanded its network with three new routes launched from Washington Reagan, VA (DCA) on 19 June, all of which are operated by its 100-seat E190s. Firstly, the US carrier launched twice-daily flights to Charleston, SC (CHS), a sector which is already flown by US Airways with 34 weekly flights. Secondly, it inaugurated the 504-kilometre sector to Hartford, CT (BDL) with twice-daily services as well. This airport pair is currently operated by US Airways (42). Lastly, JetBlue commenced daily flights to Nassau (NAS). The 1,532-kilometre sector to the capital and largest city of the Bahamas will face direct competition from US Airways’ twice-weekly operations.

MIAT Mongolian Airlines’ inaugural flight to Frankfurt arrived in Germany on 19 June. At the gate there was a ribbon-cutting event featuring: Ambassdor Tsolmon Bolor, Mongolia’s Ambassador to Germany (in Berlin); Jargalsaikhan Gungaa, President & CEO of MIAT Mongolian Airlines; Dr. Stefan Schulte, CEO Fraport AG; Martin Bien, Fraport AG’s Senior Executive VP, Ground Handling Division; Achim Kümpel, Senior Manager Sales, Fraport AG; and Winfried Hartmann, SVP Sales & Customer Relations, Fraport AG. An impressive cake, souvenir mugs and music accompanied the route launch, which becomes the airline’s third destination in Europe after Berlin Tegel and Moscow Sheremetyevo.

  • MIAT Mongolian Airlines has selected Frankfurt (FRA) as its third destination in Europe. On 19 June the airline began twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) services on the 6,640-kilometre route from Ulaanbator (ULN) using the airline’s 767-300s. The new service will operate until mid-September and faces no direct competition. The airline’s other destinations in Europe are Berlin Tegel and Moscow Sheremetyevo, while Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka Kansai, Seoul Incheon and Tokyo Narita complete the airline’s international network.

Some of the passengers from the inaugural flight between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Prague seem to have opted for the ‘large’ boarding pass option when checking in on-line. Others simply enjoyed the Turkish delight. The airline also started operations to Geneva this week. 

  • Pegasus Airlines added two more destinations to its burgeoning Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) hub this week, with the start-up of operations to Prague (PRG) on 19 June and Geneva (GVA) on 21 June.  The former will be flown four times weekly, while the latter, the carrier’s third Swiss destination (after Basel and Zurich), will be operated thrice-weekly. Interestingly, the growing presence of the LCC’s new A320s is being felt on these routes, as both routes are flown with a mixture of equipment, including its more regular 737-800 operations. Both routes face no direct competition. However, Turkish Airlines offers both points from its Istanbul Atatürk hub, with Prague served double-daily and Geneva thrice-daily.

Qatar Airways touches down at Tokyo Haneda

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (centre), is joined by SVP President, South East Asia and South West Pacific, Woo Yew Seong (right), and Country Manager – Japan, Tomohiko Matsumoto (left), at a press conference held to announce the airline’s new daily direct flight to Tokyo Haneda, which adds to the airline’s existing daily service to Tokyo Narita.

  • Qatar Airways began the 8,274-kilometre sector to Tokyo Haneda (HND) from its Doha (DOH) hub on 18 June – its third Japanese destination, adding to Tokyo Narita (operated since 2010) and Osaka Kansai (since 2005), and its 143rd globally. Flown daily by the oneworld carrier’s 254-seat 787-8s, the route is currently flown against no competition. Speaking at the launch event, the airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is thrilled that we have further expanded our operations to the dynamic city of Tokyo. This new route will provide our passengers, both in Japan and throughout the rest of our network, with even more options and flexibility when travelling, whether it be for business or leisure.”

A warm red carpet welcome at Münster/Osnabrück Airport was received by: Tekin Ekinci, General Manager of Turkish Airlines; Ziya Taskent, VP Sales and Marketing Central Europe, Turkish Airlines; Ahmet Olmustur, Chief of Marketing and Sales, Turkish Airlines; Markus Lewe, Mayor of the City of Münster; Wolfgang Griesert, Mayor of the City of Osnabrück; Prof. Gerd Stöwer, CEO, Münster/Osnabrück Airport; and Peter Vennemeyer, Mayor of the City of Greven.

  • Turkish Airlines has started its 13th destination in Germany on 18 June from its Istanbul Atatürk (IST) base, and world’s 18th busiest airport (2013 figures), namely to Münster/Osnabrück (FMO). The four times weekly 2,028-kilometre service, operated by a mix of equipment, will face no direct competition on the city pair. Five days later the Star Alliance carrier also started four times weekly triangular flights to Abidjan (ABJ) in the Ivory Coast and Cotonou (COO) in Benin. The 737-900-operated, 4,648-kilometre outbound sector operates to the largest commercial city in Benin first, before continuing onto the Ivory Coast’s biggest economic hub. There is no competition on either sector. See how Münster/Osnabrück Airport’s FTWA compares to the others sent in this week from around the world.

Started on 20 June, Vueling began a twice-weekly service from Barcelona to Tallinn celebrated with a Gaudi-inspired cake, which was cut by Capt. Jaime Morera and Erik Sakkov, Member Management Board, Tallinn Airport.

Pictured handing out goodie bags and then with the crew from the inaugural thrice-weekly Vueling flight between Barcelona and Krakow is Michal Kocma, Charter Transport Specialist, helped at the bottom of the aircraft steps by Artur Staniszewski, Airlines Relation Specialist, both from Krakow Airport.

Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
22 Jun Alicante (ALC) Menorca (MAH) A320 (2)
20-Jun Santander (SDR)
22 Jun Asturias (OVD) Ibiza (IBZ) A320 (3) Volotea (2)
20-Jun Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Iberia (3), Volotea (3), Air Europa (1)
21-Jun Barcelona (BCN) Bastia (BIA) A32S (2)
20-Jun Belgrade (BEG) A320 (3)
Krakow (KRK)
21-Jun La Palma (SPC) A320 (1)
20-Jun Tallinn (TLL) A320 (2)
Tunis (TUN) A32S (2) Tunisair (5)
21-Jun Florence (FLR) Ibiza (IBZ) A319 (2)
Mykonos (JMK)
23-Jun Santorini (JTR)
21-Jun Ibiza (IBZ) Lisbon (LIS) A320 (3)
20-Jun Zurich (ZRH) airberlin (7)
Malaga (AGP) Lanzarote (ACE) A320 (2) Air Europa (1)
22-Jun Paris Orly (ORY) Bologna (BLQ) A320 (6)
21-Jun Menorca (MAH) A320 (3)
20-Jun Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Bastia (BIA) A320 (2)
23-Jun Heraklion (HER) easyJet (3), Meridiana (1)
18-Jun Rhodes (RHO) easyJet (3), Alitalia (2)
21-Jun Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)
Zadar (ZAD) A320 (1)
Zakinthos (ZTH) A320 (2) Blue Panorama Airlines (1)
Source: New Route Database. Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c  24 Jun 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies

On 19 June, Wizz Air celebrated the opening of its 17th base at Riga Airport, with the launch of services to Barcelona, Doncaster Sheffield and Paris Beauvais. Cutting the celebratory ribbon are: Anrijs Matīss, Minister of Transport of Latvia; György Abrán, CCO, Wizz Air; and Aldis Mūrnieks, Chairman of the Board, Riga Airport.

Firstly, the Hungarian LCC launched on 19 June the thrice-weekly operations to Paris Beauvais. Cutting the Eiffel Tower-shaped cake are: György Abrán, CCO, Wizz Air; Aldis Mūrnieks, Chairman of the Board, Riga Airport; and Daniel de Carvalho, Corporate Communications Manager; Wizz Air.

Secondly, on 20 June, the airport celebrated with this great cake the launch of twice-weekly flights on the 1,630-kilometre sector to Doncaster Sheffield. Marking the event are: Aldis Mūrnieks, Chairman of the Board, Riga Airport; and Ewa Danecka, Нead of Riga Base, Wizz Air.

Wizz Air adds nine new routes

However, celebrations continued at the other end of the route, where the LCC was welcomed by the Yorkshire gateway with a traditional Latvian honey cake.

Finally, on 22 June, Riga celebrated Wizz Air’s inaugural flight to Barcelona, with another fantastic cake. The 2,351-kilometre sector will be served twice-weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Besides the launch of the Riga base, Wizz Air added twice-weekly flights from Gdansk to Malta, using its A320s. The inaugural flight was celebrated with this excellent cake at the Maltese gateway on 20 June.

  • Wizz Air, which in the previous week expanded its European offering with eight new routes, opened its 17th base in Riga (RIX), with three new routes launched from the Latvian capital to Barcelona (BCN), Doncaster Sheffield (DSA) and Paris Beauvais (BVA) during the course of last week. Moreover, on 31 August, Wizz Air will launch its fourth route from Riga with twice-weekly operations to Dortmund. Besides this, the Hungarian LCC inaugurated services from Gdansk (GDN), Poznan (POZ) and Warsaw Chopin (WAW) in Poland, Tuzla (TZL) in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as from Vilnius (VNO) in Lithuania. Overall, all routes are between 800 kilometres and 2,400 kilometres in length, and will be served with an average weekly frequency of 2.1. Out of the 10 new services, Wizz Air will face competition only on the 1,603-kilometre sector to the Yorkshire gateway, from airBaltic’s eight weekly operations. Commenting on the opening of the Riga base, György Abrán, CCO, Wizz Air, said: “I am delighted to open Wizz Air’s 17th operating low-cost base with one stationed aircraft in Riga today. This is an important milestone for our presence in the Latvian market and indicates our commitment to offer Latvian consumers and their visitors truly affordable fares from just €14.99, coupled with an excellent travel experience. Beyond further enhancing the travel opportunities on the Latvian market, we also create a number of local jobs with Wizz Air and our local business partners.”
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
20 Jun Gdansk (GDN) Malta (MLA) A320 (2)
Poznan (POZ) Eindhoven (EIN)
22 Jun Riga (RIX) Barcelona (BCN) airBaltic (8)
20 Jun Doncaster Sheffield (DSA)
19 Jun Paris Beauvais (BVA) A320 (3)
Tuzla (TZL) Dortmund (DTM)
22 Jun Eindhoven (EIN) A320 (2)
Vilnius (VNO) Larnaca (LCA)
21 Jun Warsaw Chopin (WAW) Corfu (CFU) A320 (1)
Heraklion (HER)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 24 June 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Xiamen Airline launched its first international service

Xiamen Airlines launched its first international service from Quanzhou Jinjiang Airport to Jeju in South Korea on 17 June. The route will operate thrice-weekly using the airline’s 737-800s.

  • Xiamen Airlines has introduced its first international route from Jinjiang (JJN) to Jeju (CJU) in South Korea. The 1,225-kilometre service was launched on 17 June and will operate thrice-weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays using the airline’s 737-800s. The first flight reportedly carried 169 passengers. Quanzhou Jinjiang Airport was ranked 47th last year among Chinese airports, handling 2.63 million passengers, up 22% on the previous year.

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


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