New airline routes launched (8 March 2016 – 14 March 2016)


Airnorth Brisbane West Wellcamp to Melbourne

Boarding is ready to start on Airnorth’s new service from Brisbane West Wellcamp to Melbourne on 14 March. The Australian airline becomes the third scheduled carrier at the airport, joining existing services operated by Qantas (Sydney) and Regional Express (Brisbane and St George). Seen celebrating the start of Airnorth’s services at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport by posing on the aircraft steps are: Airnorth CEO, Daniel Bowden; Toowoomba Mayor, Paul Antonio; and Wagner Director, Denis Wagner.

  • Airnorth started a seven times weekly service between Brisbane West Wellcamp (WTB) and Melbourne (MEL) on 14 March. The Australian airline becomes the third scheduled carrier at the airport, joining existing domestic services operated by Qantas (Sydney) and Regional Express (Brisbane and St George). The 1,297-kilometre sector is flown by Airnorth’s 76-seat ERJ 170s. While there is no direct competition on this airport pair, there are 246 weekly flights operated between Brisbane and Melbourne by Jetstar Airways, Qantas, Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia Airlines. See how Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport’s FTWA compared to others from around the world.

Icelandair Reykjavik/Keflavik to Aberdeen

Aberdeen Airport, which becomes Icelandair’s sixth UK destination, welcomed the arrival of the carrier’s new service from Reykjavik/Keflavik on 9 March with a cake that fantastically depicts the iconic landscape of the north Atlantic island. Pictured celebrating the start of services at the Scottish facility are: Árni Gunnarsson, MD of Air Iceland (which operates the flight on behalf of Icelandair); Carol Benzie, MD of Aberdeen Airport; Andres Jónsson, GM UK & Ireland for Icelandair; and the inaugural crew. Services on the 1,334-kilometre sector will operate four times weekly.

  • Icelandair on 9 March inaugurated flights to its sixth UK destination by launching services from its Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) base to Aberdeen (ABZ). The carrier also serves Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, as well as London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports from the Icelandic capital. The 1,334-kilometre sector will be served four times weekly by Air Iceland, which will use its 74-seat Q400s on the route. Commenting on the launch, Andres Jónsson, GM UK & Ireland for Icelandair, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to announce services to Aberdeen in the same year we celebrated 70 years of flying to Scotland. We see great opportunities in connecting this market to our route network of North American destinations. Travel times will be shortened and we’re confident customers will appreciate the easy connections through our hub in Iceland”. Also speaking at the inaugural flight ceremony, Carol Benzie, MD of Aberdeen Airport, added: “We are very excited about the arrival of Icelandair at Aberdeen and we’re confident that the new service is going to be incredibly popular, both amongst our leisure and our business travellers. Aberdeen is an enticing destination for the North American market, and this new route opens up new links to cities such as New York, Toronto and Chicago. Aberdeen Airport looks forward to developing a fruitful partnership with Icelandair and to ensuring the airline’s success and growth at Aberdeen over the years ahead.” The city pair will face no direct competition. See how Aberdeen Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

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


Aer Lingus Regional on 14 March commenced services between Cork and Southampton, a 504-kilometre sector that will face no direct competition. The UK airport celebrated the launch with Irish dancing, a champagne toast and traditional route launch cake. Celebrating along with the crew and dancers (as well as attempting a champagne water arch) are David Lees, MD of Southampton Airport, and Martin Saxton, CCO of Stobart Air.

Cork Airport celebrated the start of Aer Lingus Regional’s services to Southampton with a traditional route launch cake

Cork Airport celebrated the start of Aer Lingus Regional’s services to Southampton with a traditional route launch cake. Services will operate five times weekly between the UK and Irish airports.

Aer Lingus Regional’s new UK routes were also celebrated in Vilnius at the CONNECT conference this week

Aer Lingus Regional’s new UK routes were also celebrated in Vilnius at the CONNECT conference this week. Pictured with the giant leprechaun Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford’s Aviation Development Director, were: Anita Gackowska, Head of Aviation Marketing, Cork Airport; Jan Halliday, Director of Marketing & Communications, Southampton Airport; and Ciarán Smith, Network Development Manager, Stobart Air.

  • Aer Lingus Regional on 14 March commenced a five times weekly service between Cork (ORK) and Southampton (SOU). The 504-kilometre sector will be flown by Stobart Air, which will use its 72-seat ATR 72s on the route facing no direct competition. Commenting on the inaugural flight at Southampton Airport, Martin Saxton, CCO of Stobart Air said: “Since announcing the new route, bookings have been strong among both leisure and business passengers. As one of Ireland’s main cities for business, culture and tourism, Cork is a perfect destination for a short break or longer holiday from Southampton.” David Lees, MD, Southampton Airport added: “It is wonderful to see the launch of this new route to Cork from Southampton. Cork is the most requested route in Ireland from here, with the exception of Dublin and Belfast which are already served.” Aer Lingus Regional already offers services from Cork to Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle in the UK according to OAG Schedules Analyser data, with an eighth route to Leeds Bradford starting later this week. The carrier also offers seasonal services from the Irish gateway to Jersey. See how Southampton Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Air Transat route

Air Transat on 8 March commenced services from St. John’s and Fredericton to Cancún. The weekly (Tuesdays) service will be flown by the carrier’s 737-800 fleet. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data no incumbent carriers serve either airport pair.

  • Air Transat added services from St. John’s (YYT) and Fredericton (YFC) to Cancún (CUN) on 8 March. The weekly (Tuesdays) flights leave the former Canadian airport at 07:00 arriving into the latter at 08:35. Services then depart for Mexico from Fredericton at 09:35, arriving into Cancún after a 3,322-kilometre journey at 13:45. Return flights arrive back into Fredericton at 21:10, with the final stop of St. John’s seeing an arrival time of 23:35. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data there are no competing carriers on either airport pair. Air Transat will use its 737-800 fleet on the sector.

Saudi Arabia Riyadh to Al Jouf in the north of the country

A tasty looking cake was baked for the start of flynas’ services from Riyadh to Al Jouf in the north of the country on 8 March. The day before, the LCC had also started another domestic city pair from the Saudi Arabian capital to Al Qurayyat.

  • flynas started a new domestic city pair from the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh (RUH), to Al Jouf (AJF) in the north of the country on 8 March. The Saudi Arabian LCC started another domestic route with its A320 fleet from Riyadh to Al Qurayyat the day before. The 842-kilometre sector from the capital to Al Jouf will be flown thrice-weekly, and faces direct competition from flag carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines, which flies the city pair 24 times weekly. The new route becomes the 21st domestic service offered by the airline.

  • Lucky Air on 14 March introduced weekly (Mondays) flights on the 2,103-kilometre route between Lijiang (LJG) and Taipei Taoyuan (TPE). Frequency will increase to three flights per week from the beginning of April. The route will be flown by the airline’s A320s with no other carrier currently serving the market with direct flights. It is Lucky Air’s 12th route from Lijiang, and first to Taipei.

NIKI commenced weekly (Saturday) services between Vienna and Faro

  • NIKI on 12 March commenced services on the 2,340-kilometre sector between Vienna (VIE) and Faro (FAO). The airport pair will be flown weekly (Saturdays) and faces no direct competition from incumbent carriers. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, NIKI will utilise its 212-seat A321s on the route between the Austrian capital and Faro. In total NIKI now serves 27 routes year-round from Vienna, of which 15 are served either weekly or twice-weekly.

SA Airlink commenced services from Cape Town to Maun in Botswana

On 11 March, SA Airlink commenced services from Cape Town to Maun in Botswana, a 1,624-kilometre sector that will be served by the carrier five times weekly using its ERJ 135 fleet. Cape Town becomes the second destination from SA Airlink from Maun, with it already offering connections to Johannesburg from the Botswanan facility.

  • SA Airlink on 11 March commenced services from Cape Town (CPT) to Maun (MUB) in Botswana. The 1,624-kilometre sector will be served by the carrier five times weekly onboard its 37-seat ERJ 135 fleet. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, Cape Town becomes the second connection for SA Airlink from Maun, with it already serving Johannesburg with a daily operation. The latest route for SA Airlink from Cape Town will face no direct competition.

On 14 March SAS commenced services from Stockholm Arlanda to Los Angeles, a route which the Star Alliance member will operate on a daily basis with a mixture of its Airbus wide-body fleet. The Swedish facility celebrated the route launch with a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony while passengers got to experience fresh juices from Joe & The Juice company, a complimentary buffet and yoga.

  • SAS on 14 March commenced services from its Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) base to Los Angeles (LAX). The 8,859-kilometre sector will be flown by the Star Alliance carrier daily, using a mixture of its A330-300s and A340-300s on the route according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. Karl Wistrand, CEO of Swedavia, commented on the launch by saying: “Air links to the US west coast are important for both tourism and business exchanges between the countries of Sweden and the US. The route also means increased productivity for companies that work or want to start working in the Swedish-US market. So it is of great value that SAS is now launching a non-stop service to Los Angeles from Stockholm.” Although the route currently faces no direct competition it should be noted that LCC Norwegian does offer a seasonal summer operation between the two airports, with its services planned to resume on 31 March.

A press conference was held to celebrate the first non-stop flights between Almaty (the former capital of Kazakhstan) and Xi’an in China. The weekly service will operate every Thursday using one of the airline’s 737-500s.

  • SCAT Airlines of Kazakhstan began a new weekly (Thursday) service between Almaty (ALA) and Xi’an (XIY) using its 737-500s. According to flightradar24.com the inaugural flight touched down just four minutes late. However, the inaugural return flight landed back in Almaty over two hours late. The 2,896-kilometre route is not served by any other carrier. According to OAG Schedules Analyser SCAT Airlines serves a further 10 destinations from Almaty, all of which are in Kazakhstan.

On 10 March Pittsburgh Airport celebrated the inaugural flight of Southwest Airlines to St. Louis with a cake which used the famous St. Louis arch to show the new connection between the two cities. The non-stop service will be flown by the carrier daily, facing no direct competition.


Omaha Airport celebrated the start of Southwest Airlines services to Washington Reagan with a traditional route launch cake. Flights on the 1,622-kilometre sector between the two airports will be operated daily.

  • Southwest Airlines on 10 March introduced three US domestic city pairs to its already extensive network. The carrier firstly commenced services between Pittsburgh (PIT) and St. Louis (STL), an 890-kilometre sector which will be flown daily. The second route introduced was between Washington Dulles (IAD) and Atlanta (ATL). The 856-kilometre pairing between the US capital and the nation’s busiest airport will be offered by Southwest twice-daily. The final route which was inaugurated this week was also from the capital, this time from Washington Reagan (DCA) to Omaha (OMA) in Nebraska. The 1,622-kilometre route will be served daily. Of the three services, the two routes from Washington will face direct competition, with the airport pair of Dulles to Atlanta already seeing Delta Air Lines and United Airlines offering between them 63 weekly services. Southwest will also see competition from Delta six times weekly between Reagan and Omaha. The three routes will all be flown by the carrier’s fleet of 737-700s according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. See how Pittsburgh Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

  • Uzbekistan Airways has started a new weekly (Mondays) service between Tashkent (TAS) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). The 6,041-kilometre route, the longest flown by the airline, will be operated by one of the carrier’s several 767-300ERs. Frequency will double to two flights per week from the end of March. No other carrier currently operates the route. This summer the national carrier of Uzbekistan will serve 48 destinations non-stop from its main base in Tashkent, including 10 domestic points and 14 in Russia.

: V Air’s mascot V Bear was there to celebrate the airline’s seventh route launch

V Air’s mascot V Bear was there to celebrate the airline’s seventh route launch and fourth to a Japanese destination when the LCC began thrice-weekly flights from Taipei Taoyuan to Tokyo Haneda on Friday 11 March. The airline has carried over 250,000 passengers since it began operations in December 2014.

  • V Air has begun thrice-weekly A320 flights on the 2,121-kilometre route between Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) and Tokyo Haneda (HND). The airport pair is already served by Peach Aviation (daily flights) and Tigerair Taiwan (with four weekly flights). In addition, there are 11 (yes, 11) carriers operating a total of 17 flights per day between Taipei Taoyuan and Tokyo Narita. There were 137 passengers on V Air’s inaugural flight, resulting in a load factor of over 70%. This becomes the LCCs seventh route in all and fourth to Japan, with two more routes (to Ibaraki and Manila) scheduled to launch before the end of March. According to the airline it has carried over 250,000 passengers since its first route launched in late 2014. This new service departs Taiwan at 22:00 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arriving in Tokyo the following morning at 02:00. Return flights depart Japan at 03:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays getting back into Taipei at around 06:00 the same day.

On 11 March, Wizz Air commenced services from Budapest to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Nice, both new stations on the ULCC’s network and also unserved routes from the Hungarian capital. Budapest Airport celebrated the launch of services to the latter destination with a sports shoe-styled cake. Tucking into a medal along with the inaugural crew is Budapest Airport’s Head of Airline Development, Balázs Bogáts. Both routes will operate on Mondays and Fridays.

Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden celebrated the arrival of its latest carrier, Wizz Air, with a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, while passengers on the first flight were handed airport branded lanyards and individual cupcakes. Flights from Budapest will operate twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays. A further two Wizz Air routes will launch later this month from the German facility to Belgrade and Tirgu Mures.

  • Wizz Air on 11 March commenced two new connections from Budapest (BUD) to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) and Nice (NCE), both of which are new stations on the Wizz Air network. The 842- and 1,825-kilometre sectors will be served by the ULCC twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays, with neither route facing direct competition. Commenting on the launch of services to Nice from Budapest, Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest Airport, said: “It’s always a great pleasure to celebrate the start of new routes with our largest carrier. There has been clear demand for more connections between Budapest and more regions of France. By welcoming Wizz Air’s service to Nice we are strengthening our network range within the country, which can only build upon the exceptional yearly growth we have been experiencing.” Wizz Air’s new routes to Germany and France will be flown by its fleet of A320s. Wizz Air will further expand its network from Budapest in March by opening connections to Liverpool, Malta, Reykjavik/Keflavik and Baku before month end, with all three currently scheduled to be served twice-weekly. Further routes from Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden will also be added later this month to Belgrade and Tirgu Mures. See how Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

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