New airline routes launched (24 March– 30 March 2015)


Air France’s Paris CDG to Vancouver

On 29 March, Air France’s 777-200 touched down at Vancouver Airport from Paris CDG. The route will be served thrice-weekly, however starting on 4 May, the frequency will increase to five weekly departures.

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  • Air France expanded its transatlantic offering with a new route from Paris CDG (CDG) to Vancouver (YVR) on 29 March. The 7,923-kilometre sector will be served thrice-weekly, using the SkyTeam member’s 309-seat 777-200s; however, starting on 4 May, the service will see a frequency increase to five weekly departures. No other airline serves this airport pair.

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


On 29 March, Adria Airways introduced its second route to Amsterdam, this time from Lodz Airport in Poland. The sector will be served six times weekly.

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On the same day, Amsterdam Airport welcomed Adria Airways’ inaugural flight from Lodz with tulips. Cutting the ribbon are: Luka Rojsek, GM Network and Sales Support, Adria Airways; and Marcel Lekkerkerk, Director Aviation Marketing, Amsterdam Airport.

  • Adria Airways launched a new service to Amsterdam (AMS), this time from Lodz (LCJ) in Poland on 29 March. The Star Alliance member will serve the 1,001-kilometre sector with six weekly flights, using its 81-seat CRJ 900s. No other carrier operates this link, while Adria Airways already flies to Amsterdam from Ljubljana with thrice-weekly departures.

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Aeromexico

Miami has become Aeromexico’s fifth US destination from Monterrey (after Houston, Las Vegas, New York JFK and San Antonio), with flights operating daily using the airline’s 76-seat Embraer 170s.

  • Aeromexico made Miami (MIA) its fifth US destination from Monterrey (MTY) with the launch on 26 March of daily flights on the 1,981-kilometre route. The SkyTeam carrier already serves Houston, Las Vegas, New York JFK and San Antonio directly from Monterrey. No other carrier operates Monterrey-Miami route at present, though American Airlines will start operating the same airport pair with six weekly flights from 4 June. Aeromexico will operate the route with its 76-seat Embraer 170s. Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González, said “Congratulations to our longtime partners at Aeromexico on launching new daily service to Monterrey. The Monterrey-Miami route further expands our Latin American network and is just the latest way that MIA is connecting our community to the world.”

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Air Astana

Passengers on Air Astana’s inaugural service from Paris to Astana were given special commemorative gifts. Paris becomes the airline’s third destination in the EU served non-stop from Astana after Frankfurt and London (Heathrow).

  • Air Astana has made Paris CDG (CDG) its newest destination in Western Europe, with the launch on 29 March of thrice-weekly flights from the Kazakh capital Astana (TSE). The 4,744-kilometre route will be flown by the airline’s 228-seat 757s and will face no direct competition. Air Astana already serves Frankfurt and London Heathrow with its 757s. The start of the summer season also saw the airline start a new domestic route from Astana to Uralsk (URA). The 1,387-kilometre route will be flown daily by a mix of the airline’s A320s and E190s, and faces no competition. Air Astana already serves Uralsk with daily flights from the country’s former capital in Almaty.

Posing for a commemorative picture are some of the crew of the first AirAsia Zest flight from Cebu to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. Passengers on the inaugural flight were greeted with leis, caps and goody bags. The new service will operate four times weekly and faces no direct competition.

  • AirAsia Zest on 27 March launched four times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) flights on the 996-kilometre route between Cebu (CEB) in the Philippines and Kota Kinabalu (BKI) in Malaysia. No other carrier serves this airport pair, which will be operated by the airline’s A320s. AirAsia Zest already serves Kota Kinabalu with four weekly flights from Manila. From Cebu this becomes the airline’s second international destination as it already serves Seoul Incheon in South Korea with daily flights.

On 29 March, Venice Marco Polo Airport welcomed its first intercontinental service, with the addition of Alitalia’s daily flights to Abu Dhabi. Celebrating the route launch are: Peter Baumgartner, CCO, Etihad Airways; Silvano Cassano, CEO, Alitalia; Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman, Alitalia; and Enrico Marchi, Chairman, Venice Marco Polo Airport.

Alitalia Skyteam

On the same day, the SkyTeam member celebrated the start of daily flights from Milan Malpensa to Abu Dhabi, a route operated by its 777-200s. Marking the achievement are: Ariodante Valeri, CCO, Alitalia; and Jim Mueller, SVP Global Sales, Etihad Airways.

  • Alitalia expanded its international network with four new routes during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 4,712-kilometre route from Milan Malpensa (MXP) to Abu Dhabi (AUH), and the shortest being inaugurated from Pisa (PSA) to Berlin Tegel (TXL) at 1,009 kilometres, the SkyTeam member will face competition only on two of the new additions. Interestingly, Alitalia launched its first intercontinental service from Venice Marco Polo (VCE) on 29 March, to Abu Dhabi (AUH) with daily flights, using its 250-seat A330s. Commenting on the new route from Venice, Silvano Cassano, CEO, Alitalia, said: “The Veneto region is the second wealthiest area of Italy, and the North Eastern part of the country is one of the large motors in the European economy. Connections to the Indian Subcontinent and East Asia have been in the hands of Alitalia’s competitors for many years. This is about to change, and our strength, together with the strength of Etihad Airways, will allow us to offer destinations, flight frequencies, connections and services that are unrivalled by competitors.”
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30 Mar Milan Linate (LIN) Copenhagen (CPH) EQV (5) SAS (4)
29 Mar Milan Malpensa (MXP) Abu Dhabi (AUH) B772 (7) Etihad Airways (7)
Pisa (PSA) Berlin Tegel (TXL) A32S (2)
Venice Marco Polo (VCE) Abu Dhabi (AUH) A330 (7)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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On 30 March, Liege Airport celebrated with a cake the launch of bmi regional’s 12 weekly flights from Munich. Marking the achievement are: Luc Partoune, CEO, Liege Airport; Jean-Claude Marcourt, Wallonia’s Minister of Economy; and Jose Happart, President, Liege Airport.

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Rotterdam airport bmi

Celebrations took place at Rotterdam Airport with another cake, being cut by: Eveline Jansens, Sales Representative Netherlands, bmi regional; Ingeborg Gillegot, Sales Director, bmi regional; and Desiree Breedveld, Marketing Manager, Rotterdam Airport.

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On the same day, Munich Airport commemorated the launch of bmi regional’s 12 weekly departures to Liege, with a cake served to passengers on the inaugural flight.

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  • bmi regional expanded its presence at Munich (MUC) with the addition of three new routes on 30 March. Firstly, the carrier introduced 17 weekly flights using its 37-seat ERJ 135s to Bern (BRN), a route served by SkyWork Airlines’ eight weekly departures. On the same day, bmi regional also started 12 weekly ERJ 135 flights on the 523-kilometre sector to Liege (LGG). Lastly, the airline expanded to Rotterdam (RTM) with 17 weekly operations, using its 49-seat ERJ 145s. The new routes to Liege and Rotterdam will face no direct competition from any other carrier.

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On 29 March, Billund Airport celebrated the arrival of Brussels Airlines from Brussels, a sector served 11 times weekly. Passengers on the inaugural flight were delighted with chocolate cookies.

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  • Brussels Airlines expanded its European network with three new airport pairs from its Brussels (BRU) base during the course of last week. Firstly on 29 March, the Star Alliance member added 11 weekly flights to Billund (BLL) using its 74-seat Q400s (operated by Flybe), while on the same day it introduced thrice-weekly departures on the 777-kilometre sector to Bordeaux (BOD), utilising its 133-seat A319s. Secondly, on 30 March, the airline started thrice-weekly flights to St Petersburg (LED), using its 133-seat A319s. While this route will face no direct competition, the service to Denmark is already flown by British Airways’ (SUN-AIR) four weekly flights and the link to France is operated by easyJet’s four weekly departures.

Cathay Pacific Airways’ first flight in over 14 years from Hong Kong to Zurich departed late on Sunday 29 March. As a result the first return flight from Zurich left the Swiss city on Monday 30 March.

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  • Cathay Pacific Airways has resumed non-stop flights to Zurich (ZRH) in Switzerland thanks to the introduction on 29 March of daily flights from Hong Kong (HKG). The 9,276-kilometre route will be operated by the oneworld carrier’s 777-300ERs and will face direct competition from Star Alliance member SWISS, who also operate daily flights. Speaking when the route was announced last May, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “We are very pleased to be able to add Zurich to our growing international network. Zurich and Hong Kong are two of the world’s leading financial centres, where people appreciate high standards of service, and we are seeing considerable demand for a quality travel experience, especially on long-haul routes.” The route was last operated by Cathay Pacific in October 2001.

Cebu Pacific Airways celebrated the launch of its new service from Cebu to Tokyo on 26 March with a cake and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Preparing to cut the ribbon are: GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, Chief Executive Advisor, Andrew Acquaah-Harrison; Department of Tourism Central Visayas; Chief Tourism Officer, Judy Gabato; Counselor of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Hon. Shigeyuki Hirakawa; CEB VP for Airport Services Jomar Rodriguez; and Director Ayumi Takahashi Japan National Tourism Organization.

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  • Cebu Pacific Airways on 26 March began four times weekly flights between Cebu (CEB) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). The 3,277-kilometre sector will be flown by the airline’s A320s departing Cebu at 05:55 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The return flight departs Tokyo at 12:05 on the same days. The route is already flown twice-daily by Philippine Airlines. Cebu Pacific operates two other international services from Cebu, to Hong Kong and Singapore, while the carrier already serves Tokyo Narita with daily flights from Manila. “We look forward to welcoming even more Japanese tourists to Cebu, which is located at the centre of the Philippines. It is an island destination known for its beaches, mangoes, snorkelling, diving, food and culture,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.

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On 29 March, Billund Airport celebrated with a ribbon cutting at the gate the arrival of Czech Airlines from Prague with four weekly flights. This service continues to Oslo Gardermoen with thrice-weekly departures. Cutting the ribbon are: Johnny Schou, GSA and Country Manager for Denmark, Czech Airlines; and Jesper Klausholm, Marketing Manager, Billund Airport.

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  • Czech Airlines expanded its European offering with the addition of three new routes from its Prague (PRG) base during the course of last week. On 29 March, the SkyTeam carrier introduced four weekly flights to Billund (BLL), utilising a mixed fleet of its 43-seat ATR 42-500s and 60-seat ATR 72-500s. In addition, this service continued to Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) the following day, with thrice-weekly flights. Besides this, the carrier commenced four weekly departures on the 658-kilometre sector to Bologna (BLQ) on 29 March, utilising its 60-seat ATR 72-500s. The SkyTeam member will face competition only on the direct sector from Prague to Gardermoen from Norwegian’s nine weekly services.

To celebrate the launch of Dragonair’s new daily service between Hong Kong and Tokyo Haneda, there was a special celebration at the Japanese airport involving flowers, a splendid cake and gifts for passengers on the inaugural flight. Although the maiden flight from Hong Kong was on Sunday 29 March, the first flight in the other direction took place early on Monday 30 March.

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  • Dragonair, the regional subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, on 29 March launched daily flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Tokyo Haneda (HND). The 2,902-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s A320s and will face considerable competition. Cathay Pacific and HK Express already serve the route twice-daily while All Nippon Airways operates nine weekly flights, and Japan Airlines a further seven. Tokyo becomes Dragonair’s third destination in China as it already operates daily flights to Fukuoka and Okinawa. In addition, parent company Cathay Pacific also flies from Hong Kong to Nagoya, Osaka Kansai, Sapporo Chitose and Tokyo Narita.

easyjet cake

On 29 March, Lyon Airport celebrated with a cake the launch of easyJet’s thrice-weekly flights to Krakow in Poland.

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Celebrations continued at the other end of the route in Krakow, with a special event in the terminal. This airport pair is the first one between the regions of Małopolska and Rhone-Alpes, attractive for business passengers as well as tourists fascinated by history and culture of both cities.

After the establishment of easyJet’s base in Porto last week, the airport celebrated with a cake in the terminal the airline’s new route to Nantes on 30 March, served four times weekly. Cutting the cake are Márcia Canêdo and Paula Barbosa, both from the airport’s marketing team.

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easyjet Stuttgart

Celebrating the launch of easyJet’s 12 weekly flights to London Gatwick on 29 March are Stuttgart Airport’s: Wolfgang Müller, Director Aviation; Jörg Im Wolde, Senior Director Sales and Marketing Aviation; Russ Smith, Ground Operations Manager Germany and Austria; along with easyJet’s flight crew on the inaugural flight.

  • easyJet has further expanded its robust network with the addition of 12 airport pairs this week. Weekly frequencies range between two and 12, while competition will be faced on six of the 12 routes. The shortest of the new routes is between London Gatwick (LGW) and Stuttgart (STR) at just 728 kilometres, while the longest sector is the 3,288-kilometre route from Paris CDG (CDG) to Tel Aviv (TLV).
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
29 Mar Amsterdam (AMS) Toulouse (TLS) A320 (3) KLM (27)
30 Mar Hamburg (HAM) Alicante (ALC) A32S (2) Norwegian (3)
29 Mar Bologna (BLQ) A319 (3)
Paris Orly (ORY) A32S (7)
30 Mar Pisa (PSA) A319 (2)
29 Mar Lisbon (LIS) Ponta Delgada (PDL) A320 (3) SATA International (12), Ryanair (11), TAP Portugal (7)
London Gatwick (LGW) Stuttgart (STR) A319 (12)
Lyon (LYS) Krakow (KRK) A319 (3)
30 Mar Naples (NAP) Athens (ATH) A319 (3)
Paris CDG (CDG) Tel Aviv (TLV) A320 (3) El Al (25), Air France (20), Arkia (4), Air Méditerranée (2)
Porto (OPO) Nantes (NTE) A320 (4) transavia.com France (1)
29 Mar Toulouse (TLS) Seville (SVQ) A319 (3) Iberia (6)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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On 25 March, Germania touched down at Paphos with three seasonal routes from Berlin Schönefeld, Bremen and Hamburg, all of which are served weekly.

  • Germania added four new seasonal routes on 25 March, of which three are operated to Paphos (PFO) in Cyprus. With the longest sector being the 3,383-kilometre service from Kassel-Calden (KSF) to Hurghada (HRG), and the shortest being inaugurated from Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) to Paphos (PFO) at 2,470 kilometres, Germania will face no direct competition on any of the four new additions. Commenting on the arrival at Paphos, Wes Porter, CEO, Hermes Airports, said: “We are very happy with the airline’s decision and we look forward to working with Germania to make this operation a success. We are certain that the travelling public will appreciate and take advantage of the unique offers of Germania.”
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
25 Mar Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Paphos (PFO) B73W (1)
Bremen (BRE)
Hamburg (HAM) A319 (1)
Kassel-Calden (KSF) Hurghada (HRG)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

holidayJet Zurich

On 26 March, HolidayJet – Germania’s subsidiary established in brand cooperation with Swiss tour operator Hotelplan – celebrated with a cake the launch of a new seasonal route to Antalya from Zurich.

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  • HolidayJet, Germania’s subsidiary brand established in cooperation with Swiss tour operator Hotelplan, started operations from Zurich (ZRH) with the addition of five new routes during the course of last week, using its 150-seat A319s. On 26 March, the carrier launched twice-weekly (Thursdays and Saturdays) flights until 31 October on the 2,169-kilometre sector to Antalya (AYT), an airport pair already flown by Edelweiss Air (four times weekly), SunExpress (four times weekly) and Belair (weekly). On the same day, the airline started weekly (Thursdays) departures until 29 October to Hurghada (HRG), competing with Edelweiss Air (thrice-weekly), Belair (twice-weekly) and Helvetic Airways (weekly). On 30 March, HolidayJet commenced weekly (Mondays) flights until 26 October to Djerba (DJE). This route is flown by Tunisair with weekly flights. Moreover, on 28 March, the carrier also introduced weekly (Saturdays) flights to Larnaca (LCA), competing with Edelweiss Air (twice-weekly). Lastly, HolidayJet started weekly (Mondays) departures to Sharm El Sheikh (SSH), a route served by Belair and Edelweiss Air, both with weekly flights.

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Jet Airways Abu Dhabi

Celebrating the launch of not one, not two, but three new services from Abu Dhabi with Jet Airways were: Mr. Wasim Zaidi, GM – Gulf Sales; Mr. Biju George Varghese, Area Manager – Abu Dhabi & Al Ain; Mr. Sarvotham Shetty, President – Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha; Mr. Shekhar B. Shetty, Managing Director – Arab Udupi Group of Hotels; Mr. CA Sudhir Kumar Shetty Y, President – UAE Exchange; Mr. Shakir Kantawala, VP Gulf, Middle East & North Africa; Mr. Ganesh Ullal, Director of Marketing, Omeir Travel Agency (GSA); and Mr. Najib Faissal Chehade, Head of Partner & Customer Airline, Etihad Airways. Ahmedabad, Mangalore and Pune will now all be serve daily with Jet Airways’ 737-800s.

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  • Jet Airways has launched three new routes to Abu Dhabi (AUH), home hub of its major investor Etihad Airways. On 29 March, daily flights were launched by the carrier from Ahmedabad (AMD), Mangalore (IXE) and Pune (PNQ) using the airline’s two-class 168-seat 737-800s. It is the first time that Jet Airways has offered international flights from Ahmedabad and Pune. Raj Sivakumar, Jet Airways’ CCO, said: “It is a proud moment for Jet Airways to launch these new daily services from Ahmedabad, Pune and Mangalore to Abu Dhabi, a renowned international hub which will open up access to dozens of key destinations around the world. The new services will help ensure Jet Airways is the preferred carrier by air travellers in these cities given our unparalleled domestic network and an ever-expanding international footprint.” Jet Airways already operates daily flights from Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi and Lucknow to Abu Dhabi and double daily from Mumbai.

Jetstar airways

On 30 March, Wellington Airport welcomed Jetstar Airways’ four weekly flights from Melbourne with a suitcase-shaped cake. Getting ready to cut the cake’s first slice are: Grant Kerr, Head of New Zealand, Jetstar; and Matt Clarke, CCO, Wellington Airport.

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  • Jetstar Airways introduced three new routes, all of which are flown utilising its 180-seat A320s. On 29 March, the Australian LCC, commenced services from Cairns (CNS) to Denpasar (DPS) and from Gold Coast (OOL) to Perth (PER) with thrice-weekly and six times weekly departures respectively. On both routes, Jetstar will face no direct competition from any other operator. Moreover, on 30 March, the airline commenced four weekly flights on the 2,588-kilometre sector from Melbourne (MEL) to Wellington (WLG), a route already flown by Air New Zealand and Qantas, both with daily departures. Commenting on the New Zealand route, Steve Sanderson, CEO, Wellington Airport, said: “Melbourne is Wellington’s fastest growing and now most competitive route. It has extensive onward connections throughout Australia, Asia and Europe. The stronger link with Melbourne’s four million residents and two cities renowned for their events will be great for travellers. The market between Wellington and Melbourne has been growing at 6% per annum over the last eight years. The new service will add 75,000 seats to Wellington’s international market.”

On 30 March, Aalborg Airport celebrated with a special event (including an impressive cake) the arrival of Lufthansa from Frankfurt. The Star Alliance carrier becomes the airport’s fourth biggest airline in terms of weekly seats, behind SAS, Norwegian and KLM.

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Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30 Mar Frankfurt (FRA) Aalborg (AAL) EQV (14)
29 Mar Bydgoszcz (BZG) E190 (4)
26 Mar Seville (SVQ) A320 (3)
29 Mar Verona (VRN) E190 (14)
Munich (MUC) Seville (SVQ) A320 (1) Vueling (1)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Monarch airlines

On 30 March, Leeds Bradford Airport celebrated with a pizza the launch of Monarch Airlines’ twice-weekly flights to Naples in Italy. Marking the event are: the airline’s cabin crew; John Dammone from Salvo’s; and Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development Director, Leeds Bradford.

  • Monarch Airlines increased its Leeds Bradford (LBA) offering with the addition of a new routes, which is operated by its 180-seat A320s. On 30 March, Monarch commenced twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) departures on the 1,865-kilometre sector to Naples (NAP). The link to the capital of the Italian region Campania is not served by any other operator. Commenting on the route launch to Italy, Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development Director, Leeds Bradford, said: “Leeds Bradford Airport welcomes the introduction of Monarch’s new summer flights to Naples. With the amazing Amalfi coast and the sensational resort of Sorrento close by we are confident that this service will become a firm favourite for Yorkshire leisure travellers looking for a short break or holiday to Italy.”

On 29 March, Birmingham Airport welcomed a new carrier with a cake and a water arch salute, namely Norwegian, which will operate to Madrid and Malaga both with thrice-weekly departures. On 1 June, Norwegian will commence its third route from Birmingham, this time to Barcelona with twice-weekly flights.

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  • Norwegian continued to expand rapidly with four new routes during the course of last week, including another transatlantic route, namely the addition of weekly (Tuesdays) departures from Copenhagen (CPH) to Orlando (MCO). This is the airline’s third route to Orlando, as it already flies from Oslo Gardermoen and London Gatwick to the US destination. In addition, the carrier connected Madrid (MAD) to Birmingham (BHX) and Nice (NCE) on 29 March, while the following day it added flights from Malaga (AGP) to Birmingham (BHX). Commenting on the new route launches to Birmingham, Thomas Ramdahl, CCO, Norwegian, said: “We’re very happy to celebrate the new routes from Birmingham to several destinations in Spain. Now travellers in the greater Birmingham area can take advantage of Norwegian’s low fares and award-winning service. Our crew is looking forward to welcoming new customers on board our brand new and more environmentally friendly fleet of 737-800s with free Wi-Fi.”
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30 Mar Copenhagen (CPH) Orlando, FL (MCO) B788 (1)
29 Mar Madrid (MAD) Birmingham (BHX) B738 (3)
Nice (NCE) B738 (2) Iberia (19)
30 Mar Malaga (AGP) Birmingham (BHX) B738 (3) Monarch Airlines (9), Ryanair (7), Thomson Airways (1)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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Peach Aviation increased its presence at Tokyo Narita with the launch on 29 March of daily flights to both Fukuoka and Sapporo Chitose. Direct competition on both routes is intense, notably from rival LCC Jetstar Japan, while there is also massive indirect competition from airlines operating from Tokyo Haneda.

  • Peach Aviation, the Japanese LCC with its main base at Osaka Kansai, expanded its presence at Tokyo Narita (NRT) with the launch of two new routes on 29 March. On that day the airline began twice-daily flights on the 938-kilometre route to Fukuoka (FUK) and daily flights on the 787-kilometre route to Sapporo Chitose (CTS). Both routes will be operated by the airline’s fleet of A320s. Competition is intense on both routes; on the Fukuoka route Peach faces direct competition from Jetstar Japan (49 weekly flights), All Nippon Airways (14) and Japan Airlines (seven), while on the Sapporo Chitose route Jetstar Japan (45 weekly flights), Vanilla Air (35), All Nippon Airways (14) and Japan Airlines (seven) already provide service. In addition there is considerable indirect competition from All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Skymark Airlines who all operate from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka and Sapporo Chitose.

Pegasus Istanbul cake

On 28 March, Lyon Airport welcomed with this fantastic cake the arrival of Pegasus Airlines’ thrice-weekly flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen.

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  • Pegasus Airlines expanded its European offering from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) with two new airport pairs during the course of last week. The LCC introduced four weekly flights to Milan Malpensa (MXP) on 28 March, using its 189-seat 737-800s. One day later, on 29 March, the airline started thrice-weekly services on the 2,023-kilometre sector to Lyon (LYS), using a mixed fleet of its 180-seat A320s and 189-seat 737-800s. Pegasus will face direct competition only on the route to Italy from Turkish Airlines’ six weekly departures.

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Philippine Airlines Cebu

Celebrating the (re-)launch of six domestic routes by Philippine Airlines from Cebu Airport on Sunday 29 March were: Philippine Airlines’ Manager for Airport Standards and Compliance, Benedict Yap;
Philippine Airlines’ Area Head for Visayas Sales and Services, Chris Lebumfacil; GMR Megawide
Cebu Airport Corporation’s Chief Operations Advisor, Gug Sastry; GMR Megawide
Cebu Airport Corporation’s Beltran Gador.

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  • Philippine Airlines has started a batch of domestic routes, several of which it has operated before. Most of them launched on Sunday 29 March using PAL Express’ A320s. All of the routes are already served by Cebu Pacific Air, ranging from the 116-kilometre route between Cebu (CEB) and Bacolod (BCD) to the 591-kilometre route between Ilo Ilo (ILO) and General Santos (GES).
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30 March Cebu (CEB) Bacolod (BCD) A320 (3) Cebu Pacific Air (22)
29 March Butuan (BXU) A320 (4) Cebu Pacific Air (13)
Cagayan de Oro (CGY) A320 (7) Cebu Pacific Air (27), AirAsia Zest (14), Tigerair Philippines (2)
Davao (DVO) Cebu Pacific Air (35), AirAsia Zest (14), SilkAir (3), Tigerair Philippines (2)
Ilo Ilo (ILO) Cebu Pacific Air (23)
Tacloban (TAC) Cebu Pacific Air (17)
Ilo Ilo (ILO) General Santos (GES) A320 (4) Cebu Pacific Air (4)
Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies

On 30 March, Regional Express (REX) celebrated the start of a new domestic route from Cairns to Bamaga. Exchanging gifts are: Warrick Lodge, GM Network Strategy and Sales, Regional Express (REX); and Kate McCreery-Carr, GM Operations, Cairns Airport.

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  • Regional Express (REX) introduced a new domestic route on 30 March, from Cairns (CNS) to Bamaga (ABM). The 747-kilometre sector will be served five times weekly by the airline’s 34-seat Saab 340s and will face no direct competition from any other airline. Commenting on the route launch, Warrick Lodge, the airline’s GM Network Strategy and Sales, said: “The Northern Peninsula Area service launched today is the start of a commitment by the Rex Group to bring safe, reliable and affordable air services to remote and regional communities, who depend upon sustainable regional air services. This is our way of recognising the significant trust placed in the company by the Queensland State Government through the recently awarded regulated routes.”

On 29 March, Ryanair opened a new base at Bratislava Airport coinciding with the launch of its thrice-weekly flights to Madrid the following day. The base opening was welcomed by a performance from the Freerun Slovakia Group in the terminal and a ribbon cutting by: Ivan Trhlík, CEO, Bratislava Airport; Colm O’Shea, Marketing and Sales Manager for Austria Germany Netherlands Switzerland, Ryanair; Anne-Marie Callan, Irish Ambassador to Slovakia; and Dusan Matulay, Slovak Ambassador to Ireland.

  • Ryanair started the summer season with the addition of 21 new routes during the last seven days. A total of 30 airports have benefitted from the additional services, with only six of the routes facing direct competition. Three of the 21 routes will be served with twice-daily departures, namely Copenhagen (CPH) to London Luton (LTN), Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Bari (BRI) as well as Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Brindisi (BDS). Notably, the average weekly frequency across the 21 new routes is around 6.2.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
29 Mar Alicante (ALC) Gdansk (GDN) B738 (1)
Athens (ATH) Warsaw Modlin (WMI) B738 (7)
Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Madrid (MAD) B738 (10)
30 Mar Bratislava (BTS) B738 (3)
29 Mar Brindisi (BDS) Perugia (PEG) B738 (2)
Cologne Bonn (CGN) Barcelona (BCN) B738 (7) germanwings (9)
26 Mar Copenhagen (CPH) London Luton (LTN) B738 (14) easyJet (13)
Milan Bergamo (BGY) B738 (7)
Warsaw Modlin (WMI)
30 Mar East Midlands (EMA) Malta (MLA) B738 (2)
Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Vilnius (VNO) B738 (4)
Lisbon (LIS) Warsaw Modlin (WMI) B738 (2)
29 Mar Madrid (MAD) Bucharest (OTP) B738 (7) TAROM (9), Wizz Air (6), Blue Air (2), Vueling (1)
Vilnius (VNO) B738 (4)
28 Mar Manchester (MAN) Chania (CHQ) B738 (2)
29 Mar Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Gothenburg (GOT) SAS (1)
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Bari (BRI) B738 (14) Alitalia (32)
Brindisi (BDS) Alitalia (23)
Comiso (CIY) B738 (7)
Marseille (MRS) Alitalia (7), easyJet (7), Vueling (5)
Seville (SVQ) Vueling (6)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

On 29 March, Edinburgh Airport welcomed SAS’ four weekly flights from Copenhagen, a route served by a mixed fleet of the airline’s A319s and A320s. Celebrating the achievement are: Mats Jannson, Duty Station Manager UK, SAS; and Jane Montgomerie, Key Account Manager, SAS.

On 29 March, celebrations continued at Riga Airport with a cake and a ribbon cutting on the apron, this time for SAS’ 11 weekly flights from Stockholm Arlanda. This route is already operated by airBaltic and Norwegian.

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On 30 March, Gothenburg Airport celebrated with a great cake and a ribbon cutting at the gate the launch of SAS’ twice-weekly flights to Bergen.

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  • SAS continued to expand its European network with the addition of four routes during the course of last week. With the longest sector being the 1,360-kilometre route from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Budapest (BUD), and the shortest being launched again from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), but this time to Riga (RIX) at 465 kilometres, the Star Alliance member will face competition on three airport pairs from easyJet, Norwegian and airBaltic. Commenting on the route launch from Copenhagen, Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport, said: “Scandinavia is proving to be an increasingly popular destination for Scottish passengers and we’re delighted to welcome SAS back to Edinburgh to launch this new service to Copenhagen, as well as the return of services to Oslo and Stockholm. We’re about to commence with our summer schedule and it looks set to be our busiest yet. These new services from SAS offer passengers convenience, comfort and choice and we’re looking forward to working closely with the airline to give our customers the very best choice of how they can travel to Scandinavia and beyond.”
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
29 Mar Copenhagen (CPH) Edinburgh (EDI) A32S (4) easyJet (5), Norwegian (5)
30 Mar Gothenburg (GOT) Bergen (BGO) EQV (2)
29 Mar Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Budapest (BUD) B73S (4) Norwegian (5)
Riga (RIX) AT7 (11) airBaltic (25), Norwegian (3)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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On 29 March, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport greeted the arrival of SmartWings from Prague with a special ceremony, including a ribbon cutting by Lukas Dvorak, SmartWings’ representative in Moscow.

  • SmartWings, the subsidiary of Travel Service Airlines, introduced a new route to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) from its Prague (PRG) base on 29 March. The 1,667-kilometre sector to the Moscow gateway will be served daily by SmartWings’ 189-seat 737-800s. Competition on the sector is provided by Aeroflot (four times daily) and Czech Airlines (18 times weekly).

South African Airways

On 29 March, South African Airways was greeted with a water arch salute upon arrival at Abu Dhabi Airport, a route which originated from Johannesburg.

  • South African Airways increased its intercontinental offering with the addition of daily flights from its Johannesburg (JNB) base to Abu Dhabi (AUH) on 29 March, a route served by its 222-seat A330-200s. The 6,293-kilometre sector to the capital of the UAE is already flown by Etihad Airways with daily flights. Commenting on the route launch, Nico Bezuidenhout, acting CEO, SAA, said: “The addition of Abu Dhabi to our international route network delivers not only an important new destination for our customers, but also sees SAA increase its Asian network substantially. The codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways, as well as the twice-daily frequency on the route, should generate significant volume and positive returns for both South African and UAE business and tourism travel volumes, with onward network end points increasing greater reach.”

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On 26 March, Tampa Airport celebrated Spirit Airlines’ inaugural flight to Houston Intercontinental with a fabulous cake, a DJ, prize wheel and giveaways for the passengers. Celebrating the route launch are: Al Illustrato, VP Facilities and Administration, Tampa Airport; Edward Garduno, General Manager, Spirit Airlines; and John Tiliacos, VP Operations and Customer Service, Tampa Airport.

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  • Spirit Airlines expanded its presence at Houston Intercontinental (IAH) with the addition of two new daily flights during the course of last week. On 26 March, the LCC started flights to Tampa (TPA), while the following day it commenced operations to Baltimore/Washington (BWI), both airport pairs being served by its 145-seat A319s. Spirit will face competition on the Floridian route from United Airlines’ five daily flights, while the Star Alliance member is also flying between Houston Intercontinental and Baltimore/Washington with 13 weekly departures.

Spring Airlines

Spring Airlines’ first flight from Xi’an to Osaka Kansai departed the Chinese airport at just before 22:00 with a full load of passengers. It was one of three new routes to Osaka launched by the airline that day, the others being from Chengdu and Jinjiang.

  • Spring Airlines has considerably enhanced its connections to Japan with the launch of five new routes during the last week, four of them to Osaka Kansai (KIX). All routes are served with between two and four weekly flights using the airline’s fleet of A320s. None of the four routes to Osaka face direct competition. However, the airline’s new route from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to Asahikawa (AKJ) is already served by China Eastern Airlines. According to the airline’s website, Spring Airlines now serves Osaka from 10 airports in China.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30 March Chengdu (CTU) Osaka Kansai (KIX) A320 (4)
Jinjiang (JJN) A320 (3)
Shanghai Pudong (PVG) Asahikawa (AKJ) A320 (2) China Eastern Airlines (3)
Xi’an (XIY) Osaka Kansai (KIX) A320 (3)
29 March Zhengzhou (CGO) A320 (4)
Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies

Celebrating Tigerair Philippines’ third domestic route from Cebu (to Puerto Princesa) are: GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation Terminal Operations Supervisor, Faith Michelle Marino; Tigerair Philippines Administration Manager, Rosanna Cruz; First Passenger to Check-in Winner; and GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation Terminal Operations Supervisor Yasmin Lambatan.

Ms. Sonia Tehon was the first passenger to check-in for the maiden Manila to Legazpi service with Tigerair Philippines on Sunday 29 March. She was rewarded with a free round-trip ticket by Mr. Eduardo C. Novillas, Director of Operations for Tigerair Philippines. Mount Mayon, an active volcano, makes an impressive backdrop for aircraft departing from Legazpi Airport.

  • Tigerair Philippines, which is now a subsidiary of Cebu Pacific Air, has launched five times weekly flights between Cebu (CEB) and Puerto Princesa (PPS). Service on the 573-kilometre route began on Monday 30 March. Competition, of sorts, is provided by Cebu Pacific which already operates the route with 13 weekly flights. In addition, the day before Tigerair Philippines also started a new domestic route between Manila (MNL) and Legazpi (LGP). The 328-kilometre route is already served by Cebu Pacific (17 weekly flights) and Philippine Airlines (13 weekly flights).

On 29 March, Prague Airport welcomed the arrival of Transaero Airlines’ daily flights from Moscow Vnukovo. Celebrating the new route launch are: Martin Randus, Airline Marketing, Prague Airport; Andrey Staritsyn, Representative for Austria and Czech Republic, Transaero Airlines; Kseniia Zhukova, Representative for Czech Republic, Transaero Airlines; Tomas Kucera, Sales Representative, Czech Airlines Handling.

  • Transaero Airlines increased its Moscow offering with the addition of two new routes during the course of last week. On 29 March, the carrier introduced daily flights from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) to Prague (PRG), using its 158-seat 737-800s. In addition, on 30 March, Transaero commenced twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) flights on the 6,082-kilometre sector from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KXK), using its 182-seat Tu-214s. Nonetheless, this service will see a frequency increase to four times weekly starting from 23 May. No other airline serves any of Transaero’s new additions.

Virgin Australia Airlines connects three domestic points

On 30 March, Virgin Australia Airlines’ inaugural flight from Darwin was welcomed with the traditional water arch salute at Alice Springs. The thrice-weekly services continues onto Adelaide.

  • Virgin Australia Airlines increased its domestic network with the addition of two new routes on 30 March, both of which are operated by its 176-seat 737-800s. The airline introduced thrice-weekly flights from Darwin (DRW) to Alice Springs (ASP), which continue onto Adelaide (ADL). While the 1,305-kilometre sector from Darwin to Alice Springs is flown twice-daily by Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia is also providing direct competition on the Alice Springs-Adelaide route, as it flies daily. Interestingly, Qantas (daily) and Jetstar Airways (six times weekly) are flying directly between Darwin and Adelaide. Commenting on the route launches, Ian Kew, CEO, Northern Territory Airports, said: “Adding services on this important route creates options for Territory travellers, as well as inbound tourism and business segments. With a total of 41 weekly return services to the Northern Territory, Virgin Australia Airlines and its partner airlines are now well positioned to enhance international visitor opportunities to the Northern Territory.”

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On 28 March, Budapest Airport welcomed with a Coliseum-shaped cake Vueling’s new route from Rome Fiumicino, which is operated four times weekly. Getting ready to taste the cake’s first slice are: Eszter Almási, Airline Development Specialist, Budapest Airport; and Vueling’s cabin crew.

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Vueling cake

Celebrations took place at Lyon Airport as well on 27 March, when Vueling touched down with five weekly flights from Rome Fiumicino.

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  • Vueling added a total of 12 new routes from Barcelona (BCN), Bilbao (BIO), Lanzarote (ACE) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO) during the course of last week, all of which are operated by its 180-seat A320s. Interestingly, 11 of the airport pairs are already served by other carriers, notably easyJet who will compete head-to-head on four of the routes.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
28 Mar Barcelona (BCN) Basel (BSL) A320 (4) easyJet (15), SWISS (8)
27 Mar Dublin (DUB) A320 (2) Ryanair (14), Aer Lingus (11)
Rotterdam (RTM) A320 (4) transavia.com (8)
29 Mar Verona (VRN) A320 (2)
28 Mar Bilbao (BIO) Brussels (BRU) Brussels Airlines (13)
29 Mar London Gatwick (LGW) A320 (4) Vueling (9)
28 Mar Lanzarote (ACE) Paris Orly (ORY) A320 (1) Jetairfly (1)
27 Mar Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Gran Canaria (LPA) Meridiana (1)
29 Mar Nice (NCE) A320 (6) Alitalia (14), easyJet (12)
27 Mar Vienna (VIE) A320 (7) NIKI (13), Alitalia (12), Austrian Airlines (7), easyJet (3)
Lyon (LYS) A320 (5) HOP! (12), easyJet (11)
28 Mar Budapest (BUD) A320 (4) Alitalia (9), Wizz Air (7)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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On 30 March, Budapest Airport celebrated with a cake on the apron the start of Wizz Air’s twice-weekly flights to Lisbon. Marking the achievement are: Joaquim F. L. Pimpão, CCO of the Portuguese Embassy; Petra Spengler, Wizz Air Ambassador; Pedro Sousa, First Officer of the inaugural flight; Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport; Henrique Sousa, Short-Term Planning Engineer, Wizz Air; and Gábor Vásárhelyi, Communications Manager, Wizz Air.

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  • Wizz Air added seven new European links to its offering during the course of last week, three of which were launched from its Warsaw Chopin (WAW) base to Dortmund (DTM), Larnaca (LCA) and Lisbon (LIS). The Hungarian ULCC will face competition on three of the seven new additions, with TAP Portugal directly competing on the two Lisbon (LIS) services. Following the launch from Budapest (BUD) to the capital and the largest city of Portugal, the carrier also announced that it will start new services to Bologna and Glasgow on 5 and 13 June respectively from its Hungarian HQ.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30 Mar Budapest (BUD) Lisbon (LIS) A320 (2) TAP Portugal (7)
Gdansk (GDN) Molde (MOL)
Poznan (POZ) Malmö (MMX)
28 Mar Timisoara (TSR) Turin (TRN)
29 Mar Warsaw Chopin (WAW) Dortmund (DTM) A320 (7)
Larnaca (LCA) A320 (2) LOT Polish Airlines (3)
30 Mar Lisbon (LIS) TAP Portugal (6)
Source: OAG for w/c 31 March 2015. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Comments

  1. Pablo says:

    Where’s KLM and it flight to Bogotá? No cake, nor arch, no nothing? Shame on this.

    • Don’t worry Pablo. This route will be covered next week as it launched on Tuesday 31 March, the day after our cut-off point for this week’s analysis.

      • Pablo says:

        Actually the route was launched Saturday 28th of March. So it should be on this report and not on the next one.

Comments are closed