New airline routes launched (1 March 2016 – 7 March 2016)


Qatar Airways’ Doha to Sydney

Qatar Airways launches flights to Newcastle – just kidding – it’s Sydney! From 1 March, the oneworld carrier will fly daily from its Doha hub to its third Australian city. Pint-sized pop princess Kylie was present at the gala event to commemorate the start of the route…no doubt she will have free tickets on the service whenever she needs them!

  • Qatar Airways celebrated its first flight from Doha (DOH) to Sydney (SYD) on 1 March, making this the airline’s third gateway into Australia. The airline now operates a 777-300 daily on the route, and has been serving Australia since 2009 when it commenced flights to Melbourne, later adding flights to Perth in 2012. Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Qatar Airways to Sydney Airport. Qatar Airways is a three-time Skytrax Airline of the Year winner and will provide passengers with more choice, a quality product and seamless connectivity through Doha’s new Hamad International Airport to destinations around the world.” Airline CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “Touching down here in Sydney for the first time today is an important milestone for Qatar Airways and for the people of Australia. We are delighted to be able to offer passengers flying from Sydney the opportunity to connect to more than 150 places on our global network via our state-of-the-art airport in Doha.” While Qatar Airways faces no direct competition, fellow MEB3 carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways both offer multiple daily services from their respective hubs, the former thrice-daily (four times daily when partner Qantas is considered) and the latter 11 times weekly. Find out how Sydney Airport’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Luxembourg

Marcin Van Gijlswijk Regional Director Benelux, LOT Polish Airlines and Johan Vanneste, CEO, Luxembourg Airport cut the new route cake which heralded the re-start of flights between Warsaw Chopin and Luxembourg on 1 March, which were last operated in 1981 by the Star Alliance airline.

Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
1 Mar Warsaw Chopin (WAW) Luxembourg (LUX) E170 (6)
2 Mar Athens (ATH) E17S (4) Aegean Airlines (5)
Kharkiv (HRK) E175 (5)
Ljubljana (LJU) Q400 (5) Adria Airways (3)

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


  • Aerolineas Argentinas has used the last seven days to launch three routes from its Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) and Ezeiza (EZE) hubs. From the former of the two airports, the carrier commenced five times weekly, 737-700-operated services to Belo Horizonte (CNF) in Brazil on 2 March. This 2,182-kilometre city pair will face no direct competition. From the latter of the two Argentinian capital city airports, the SkyTeam carrier began daily 737-800 flights to Guayaquil (GYE) in Ecuador on 1 March, with a stop-over in the capital city Quito (UIO) en-route. While Ecuadorian national carrier tame will provide the competition on the Quito sector with its daily flights, LAN Airlines is the incumbent between Ezeiza and Guayaquil with a twice-weekly operation.

  • Aeromexico has introduced a new domestic service on 7 March between Guadalajara (GDL) and Los Mochis (LMM). The new 822-kilometre route will be served thrice-weekly by the SkyTeam carrier’s ERJ 145s. The route is already served by TAR Aerolineas (six times weekly) and Volaris (twice-weekly). The Mexican flag-carrier now serves 17 destinations from Guadalajara, while Los Mochis is already served with 13 weekly flights from Aeromexico’s main hub in Mexico City.

  • Air Transat commenced its fourth international route from Moncton (YQM), with weekly (Fridays) services to Varadero (VRA) in Cuba joining its existing operations to Orlando (US), Cancún (Mexico) and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic). Started on 4 March the 737-800 operated, 2,972-kilometre sector will face direct competition from Sunwing Airlines, which offers the same city pair on a twice-weekly basis. The seasonal service will run until 6 May.

Karachi and Peshawar

  • airblue has resumed service on two domestic routes from Karachi (KHI) in Pakistan. On 4 March the carrier began twice-weekly (Fridays and Sundays) flights on the 422-kilometre route to Rahim Yar Khan (RYK), which is already served by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) at the same frequency. Then on 7 March airblue restarted daily service on the 1,093-kilometre route to Peshawar (PEW), which is also already served by PIA with eight weekly flights. Both routes will be flown by the airline’s A320s.

American Airlines’ services from Chicago O’Hare with a traditional route launch cake

Albany Airport celebrated the start of American Airlines’ services from Chicago O’Hare with a traditional route launch cake. The oneworld member will offer 21 weekly flights between the two airports.

American Airlines’ service to Cancún on 3 March by handing out fresh pastries and muffins to passengers on the first flight

Kansas City celebrated the start of American Airlines’ services to Cancún on 3 March by handing out fresh pastries and muffins to passengers on the first sector. Flights between the two airports will operate weekly, with the carrier using its 737-800 fleet on the 2,160-Kilometre city pair.

Memphis Airport celebrated the start of American Airlines’ services to Phoenix by bringing out the king of rock and roll Elvis Presley. Inaugural passengers were also handed cactus shaped cookies. Seen posing with the aircraft that operated the first flight is Memphis Airport’s Social Media Manager, Rob Robertson. Flights will operate daily according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.

American airport handed out fresh coffee and donuts to the passengers on the first flight

Before the departure of American Airlines’ inaugural operation to Cancún from Pittsburgh on 5 March, the American airport handed out fresh coffee and donuts to the passengers on the first flight. Services will operate weekly.

Cutting the ribbon in Phoenix at the start of services to Lubbock, Memphis

Cutting the ribbon in Phoenix at the start of services to Lubbock, Memphis, Midland and Roswell are: Ruidoso Councillor Tim Coughlin; American Airlines’ Michael Pontik; Roswell Mayor, Dennis Kintigh; American Airlines MD – Phoenix, John Daly; City of Phoenix Assistant Aviation Director, Deborah Ostreicher; New Mexico Lt. Governor, John Sanchez; Eddy County Commissioner, Stella Davis; Artesia Mayor, Phil Burch; Carlsbad Mayor Pro Tem Richard Doss; and Chaves County Chair, Robert Corn.

  • American Airlines, between the 3 and 5 March, launched a total of 10 routes across its US and Mexico network. The airports to make the biggest gains from the oneworld carrier’s expansion are Phoenix (PHX) and Cancún (CUN), with both gaining four new services from American. Of the 10 sectors four will face direct competition, with Delta Air Lines offering a competing service on three of the four new routes from Cancún. The average frequency of the new services was 5.8. Find out how Midland Airport’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
3 Mar Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Albany (ALB) EQV (21) United Airlines (19)
Dallas Fort/Worth (DFW) Merida (MID) A319 (5)
Phoenix (PHX) Lubbock (LBB) CRJ9 (7)
Memphis (MEM)
Midland (MAF)
Roswell (ROW)
5 Mar Kansas City (MCI) Cancún (CUN) B738 (1)
Nashville (BNA) Delta Air Lines (1)
Pittsburgh (PIT) A319 (1)
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) B738 (1)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 March 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

  • BinterCanarias, the Spanish regional airline, has launched a weekly (Wednesdays) service from Tenerife North (TFN) to the resort city of Agadir (AGA) on the Moroccan southern Atlantic coast on 2 March. The 702-kilometre sector is flown by the carrier’s 72-seat ATR 72 fleet, and will face no direct competition. The city pair is the only Moroccan service Binter currently operates from Tenerife North, according to OAG schedule data.

On 3 March Czech Airlines commenced services between Prague and Helsinki. Initially launching with a four times weekly service, the SkyTeam member will increase the frequency on the route to daily from 27 March. Cutting the ribbon in Helsinki are Czech Airlines’ Marketing Manager, Jitka Hemmerová, and Helsinki Airport’s Key Account and Business Development Manager, Mikko Komi. (Photo credit: Finavia / Helsinki Airport)

  • Czech Airlines on 3 March commenced services between Prague (PRG) and Helsinki (HEL). The 1,318-kilometre city pair will be served by the SkyTeam member four times weekly until 27 March when the frequency of the service will increase to daily. The carrier will operate its A319 fleet on the link between the two capital cities. Commenting on the launch, Mikko Komi, Key Account and Business Development Manager, Helsinki Airport, said: “We warmly welcome Czech Airlines to Helsinki Airport. Thanks to their new flights, traffic to Prague will almost double during the summer, which is a great thing for our passengers.” According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, Czech Airlines will face direct competition from two airlines on the route, with Finnair and Norwegian also offering services between the two airports.

Savannah Airport celebrated the start of Delta Air Lines’ weekly services to Minneapolis-St. Paul by giving passengers on the inaugural flight cupcakes which were decorated in the corporate colours of the SkyTeam member. The 1,756-kilometre sector will be flown by the carrier’s fleet of CRJ 900s and will face no direct competition according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.

  • Delta Air Lines commenced three new services during the past week, starting on 2 March with the 2,926-kilometre sector between Salt Lake City (SLC) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU). The route will be flown by the carrier using its A320 fleet on a daily basis. The SkyTeam member then launched a further two routes on 5 March, with the airline connecting its largest hub Atlanta (ATL) with Santiago (STI) in the Dominican Republic and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) with Savannah (SAV). The 2,091- and 1,756-kilometre sectors will be flown weekly, with the former operated by the airline’s A320 fleet, while the latter will served using the carrier’s CRJ 900s. No incumbent carriers operate on any of Delta’s new routes.

The flight and cabin crew of IndiGo’s inaugural flight to Dehradun

The flight and cabin crew of IndiGo’s inaugural flight to Dehradun (from Delhi) pose in front of the airport’s modern terminal, which was opened in 2009. Last year passenger numbers at the airport grew by 16.4% to 428,436.

  • IndiGo on 1 March extended its domestic footprint by adding Dehradun (DED) to its network. On that day, the LCC began thrice-daily non-stop flights on the short 208-kilometre route from Delhi (DEL) using its A320s. The route is already served by Jet Airways (20 weekly flights), SpiceJet (13 weekly flights) and Alliance Air (12 weekly flights). IndiGo now serves 32 destinations with non-stop service from Delhi, of which only two are outside of India (Dubai and Kathmandu). Overall, Dehradun becomes the 40th airport served by India’s largest domestic airline. Find out how Dehradun Airport’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

On 3 March, Interjet became the latest carrier to begin services at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in Texas with the start of double-daily flights to Mexico City. The Mexican carrier will compete head-to-head with Aeromexico and American Airlines on 1,508-kilometre route.

  • Interjet has added Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to its US network with the launch on 3 March of a 12 times weekly service from its main base at Mexico City (MEX). The 1,508-kilometre route will be flown by the airline’s Superjet 100s and will face direct competition from American Airlines (five daily flights) and Aeromexico (11 weekly flights). Speaking at the route launch, Sean Donohue, CEO, DFW Airport, said: “DFW welcomes Interjet as our newest airline. As travel to Mexico continues to flourish and now represents just over 40% of DFW’s international passenger travel, there’s an even stronger need to provide choices that accommodate flexible schedules and varied price points. Interjet offers travellers low-fare flights to exciting destinations, and DFW is pleased to now be part of that network.” Jose Luis Ramirez Magnani, Deputy Chairman of Interjet, added: “This new route helps to increase tourism and business opportunities between Mexico City and one of the largest and most visited metropolitan areas in Texas. Dallas/Fort Worth represents our third destination in Texas, and combined with Houston and San Antonio, we will offer 90 weekly flights.”

Touchdown in Panama City. These guys know how to put on a new route launch celebration as Lufthansa off-shoot Jump begins its five times weekly service from Frankfurt to the Central American city on 2 March.

  • Lufthansa, to be more precise its long-haul subsidiary Jump (the name for long-haul operations operated by Lufthansa CityLine), has started its new year-round service from Frankfurt (FRA) to Panama City (PTY) operated by its 298-seat, A340-300 on a five times weekly basis. Flight LH 484 departs Germany at 10:15 local time and is scheduled to arrive in Panama at 16:40 local time. Eastbound flight LH 485 leaves Panama City at 18:45 and lands in Frankfurt at 11:35. Commenced on 2 March, the 9,085-kilometre sector faces no direct competition and given the extensive codeshare agreement with home-based Copa Airlines, passengers will be able to access its significant network across Central and South America. Find out how Panama City Airport’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

Malindo Air premiers in Pakistan

  • Malindo Air has added Pakistan to its expanding international route map with the launch on 3 March of a four times weekly service on the route from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Lahore (LHE). The 4,289-kilometre now becomes the airline’s longest, just beating the 4,276-kilometre route to Amritsar in India. Malindo Air will operate its 737-900ERs on the route and face direct competition from Pakistan International Airlines who already serve the route twice-weekly with a mix of A310s and 777s. Malindo Air’s CEO, Chandran Rama Muthy, said: “We are elated to extend our reach to Lahore and for being the only Malaysian-based airline to offer direct services between Kuala Lumpur and Lahore. Malaysians and transiting visitors from neighbouring Singapore can now look forward to a smooth flight to Lahore via Kuala Lumpur whether for business, leisure or religious purposes. Lahore is also an important religious centre as it is home to hundreds of temples, mosques, churches and shrines.” In total Malindo Air is now serving 22 destinations non-stop from KL’s main airport spread across 12 different country markets.

Pobeda MD Andrey Kalmykov and Memmingen Airport MD Ralf Schmid lead the celebrations for the start of the Russian LCC’s new daily services from Moscow Vnukovo on 3 March.

  • Pobeda started its second German service on 3 March, commencing daily services from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) to Memmingen (FMM), following last month’s introduction of Cologne Bonn daily operations. Flown by the LCC’s 180-seat 737-800s, the airport pair faces no direct competition. However, Lufthansa, S7 Airlines and Ural Airlines offer a combined 30 weekly frequencies between nearby Munich and Moscow Domodedovo, with Aeroflot flying four times daily from Moscow Sheremetyevo to the German hub. Find out how Memmingen Airport’s FTWA does in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

  • Volaris has added three new Mexican domestic routes at the beginning of March, involving four airports. All face direct competition from between one and three carriers. All routes will be flown by the airline’s A320s with either twice- or thrice-weekly flights. The two routes involving Toluca were previously served by the airline.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
1 Mar Monterrey (MTY) Leon (BJX) A320 (2) Aeromexico (26), Interjet (12), VivaAerobus (4)
3 Mar Toluca (TLC) A320 (3) Interjet (14), Aeromexico (11)
Toluca (TLC) San Jose del Cabo (SJD) A320 (2) Interjet (7)
Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 March 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Comments

  1. Oscar says:

    Hi, u r missing the EVA Air TPE-IST launched on Mar 5.

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