New airline routes launched (20 September 2016 – 3 October 2016)

Singapore Airlines’ Singapore – Canberra – Wellington route

In Singapore Campbell Wilson, Acting SVP of Sales & Marketing at Singapore Airlines, gave a speech to customers on the inaugural Singapore Airlines ‘Capital Express’ flight, SQ291. There was also a ribbon-cutting and a toast for the new route linking the capitals of Australia and New Zealand.

At Canberra Airport the weather was a bit damp to say the least. However, the arrival of Singapore Airlines marked a milestone in the airport’s history as it was the first ever international service to grace the facility.

Touchdown in Wellington! Having made it to the kiwi capital there were two different cakes on show to celebrate the arrival of the new service from Singapore via Canberra.

  • Singapore Airlines on 20 September began a new service from Singapore (SIN) to Canberra (CBR) in Australia with an onward sector to Wellington (WLG) in New Zealand. The four times weekly service will be flown by the Star Alliance carrier’s 266-seat 777-200s. Surprisingly maybe this service is the only international route currently operated from Canberra and the first to connect the capitals of the two relatively close near neighbours. The service is being promoted by Singapore Airlines as the Capital Express. The new Canberra services will add to Singapore Airlines’ already extensive Australia network, which includes flights between Singapore and Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Regional arm SilkAir also serves Cairns and Darwin, while low-cost subsidiary Scoot serves the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The new Wellington services will complement existing services between Singapore and both Auckland and Christchurch. See how Wellington Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Jetstar Airways’ Adelaide to Sunshine Coast

Jetstar Airways links South Australia with Queensland

If you need to know what to do at either end of Jetstar Airways’ new route between Adelaide and Sunshine Coast, then look no further than this fab cake! The 1,667-kilometre sector is the LCC’s 10th route from the South Australia airport.

  • Jetstar Airways commenced a new route between Adelaide (ADL) and Sunshine Coast (MCY) on 30 September. The 1,667-kilometre sector is the LCC’s 10th route from the South Australia airport. The A320-operated route, which will be flown thrice-weekly, will face no direct competition. Jetstar Group CCO Catriona Larritt said demand for the new Adelaide-Sunshine Coast flights has been strong. “Our customers love visiting the Sunshine Coast, so we’re excited to now offer direct connections from three interstate capitals with the launch of our Adelaide flights today, in addition to our popular Sydney and Melbourne services. We now offer three times more flights into the Sunshine Coast than any other airline and we’re proud to support local travellers and tourism with another direct, low fares route.” See how Sunshine Coast Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

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

Aer Lingus connects with Connecticut

On 28 September Dublin Airport welcomed the arrival of Aer Lingus’ latest transatlantic venture, a 4,937-kilometre route to Hartford in the state of Connecticut. To commemorate the service, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the Irish capital. Fronting the cutting along with the crew are Declan Kearney, Director of Communications, Aer Lingus, and Paul O’Kane, Chief Communications Officer, DAA (Dublin Airport Authority).

Aer Lingus connects with Connecticut-2

To celebrate the start of Aer Lingus flights from Dublin, Hartford Airport also had a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the route. Aer Lingus will initially operate four weekly flights on the airport pair, with the frequency increasing to daily from 5 October for the remainder of the summer season, with flights reducing back to four times weekly in time for the start of W16/17.

  • Aer Lingus launched its latest transatlantic venture from Dublin (DUB) on 28 September, a 4,937-kilometre route to Hartford (BDL). Initially launched with a four times weekly frequency, the 757-200 operated sector will increase to a daily rotation from 5 October for the remainder of the summer season, with flights reducing back to four times weekly for the beginning of W16/17 when referring to OAG schedules. Hartford becomes Aer Lingus’ ninth US destination from Dublin, and tenth in North America. The airline already links the Irish capital to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, New York (JFK and Newark), Orlando, San Francisco and Washington Dulles in the US along with Toronto Pearson in Canada. The link faces no direct competition and becomes Hartford’s first transatlantic service in over a decade. Take a closer look at’s live report from the inaugural flight between Dublin and Hartford. See how Hartford Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Aeromar makes Tucson its second US destination

A press conference was held to celebrate the launch of Aeromar’s new route between Tucson in Arizona and Hermosillo in Mexico. The four times weekly service marks a return of international services at the US airport after an eight-year wait and is only Aeromar’s second US destination after McAllen in Texas.

  • Aeromar has begun a new route connecting Hermosillo (HMO) in Mexico with Tucson (TUS) in Arizona. The new four times weekly service on the 335-kilometre route will be operated by the Mexican regional carrier’s ATRs. Launched on 3 October, the new route marks the return of regular international commercial services at the US airport. Bonnie Allin, President and CEO of the Tucson Airport Authority, welcomed the new service, saying: “Re-establishing non-stop and direct air service into Mexico has been one of our highest priorities. It’s an important economic link for our region’s trade and logistics sectors. Eight years later we have success. Now it will be vitally important for travellers to use these flights.” Aeromexico used to operate the same route until the end of October 2008. Last year Tucson International Airport handled almost 3.2 million passengers, down 2% on the previous year. Aeromar’s only other US route is from Mexico City to McAllen International Airport in Texas, which operates six times weekly. As a result of this new service, Aeromar now accounts for a very modest 0.2% of the US-Mexico market in terms of seat capacity. The biggest carriers in this market are American Airlines (21.7%), United Airlines (17.8%) and Aeromexico (16.0%). Mexican carriers currently account for only one-third of capacity between the two neighbouring countries.

Warsaw Chopin Airport welcomed Air China’s inaugural service from Beijing. There were celebratory photos on the apron and in the terminal as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a suitcase-themed cake. Fellow Star Alliance carrier LOT Polish Airlines also serves the route with three weekly flights.

  • Air China has joined fellow Star Alliance carrier LOT Polish Airlines in operating non-stop flights between Beijing (PEK) and Warsaw Chopin (WAW). The four times weekly service (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays) will be operated by the airline’s A330-200s. LOT flies the 6,941-kilometre route thrice-weekly. For the Polish airport this is the first scheduled service from any Asian carrier. The inaugural flight carried a total of 193 passengers. Air China now serves 14 destinations in Europe with non-stop flights from Beijing. Poland becomes the 11th European country market served non-stop from Beijing after Austria (Vienna), Belarus (Minsk), France (Paris), Germany (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich), Italy (Milan and Rome), Russia (Moscow), Spain (Madrid), Sweden (Stockholm), Switzerland (Geneva) and the UK (London). According to OAG data for the first week of October, Air China has a 23% share of the China-Europe market in terms of seat capacity, well ahead of its nearest rivals Lufthansa (11%) and China Eastern Airlines (9%). A total of 26 airlines currently offer scheduled flights between Europe and China, compared with 23 a year ago and 19 in 2011. See how Warsaw Chopin Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Air Macau launches 16th route to China-1

  • Air Macau has expanded its Chinese network with the launch on 23 September of a thrice-weekly service (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) between Macau (MFM) and Guiyang (KWE). The 842-kilometre route is not flown by any other carrier and will be operated by the airline’s A320-series aircraft. This brings to 25 the number of destinations Air Macau serves non-stop from Macau of which 16 are in China. It also operates three routes to Japan, two routes each to Taiwan and Vietnam, and one each to South Korea and Thailand. In August, Macau Airport handled over 630,000 passengers, the most ever in a single month in its 21-year history.

AirAsia India starts three new domestic routes

  • AirAsia India has added three new domestic routes to its fledgling network. Two of the routes are from its main base at Bengaluru (BLR). All of the routes, which all began on 22 September, are already served by other carriers, with IndiGo, India’s biggest domestic carrier present in all markets. This winter the LCC will be operating a total of 15 routes across India. So far in 2016, AirAsia India has carried 2.2% of all Indian domestic air travellers according to government figures. The airline launched operations in June 2014 and will operate a fleet of eight A320s this winter.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
22 September Bengaluru (BLR) Hyderabad (HYD) A320 (7) IndiGo (66), SpiceJet (27), Jet Airways (21), Air India (17), Air Costa (7), Trujet (7)
Guwahati (GAU) IndiGo (14)
Hyderabad (HYD) Goa (GOI) IndiGo (14), Trujet (11), SpiceJet (7)
Source:’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 4 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Flying four times a week to Chisinau from its Istanbul Atatürk base, Atlasglobal has started its 36th destination from its biggest airport in terms of weekly seats on 21 September.

Beijing Capital Airlines used an A330-200 to start its first service to Australia on 29 September. The 8,591-kilometre sector from Qingdao to Melbourne is the airline’s second longest route after its 10,261-kilometre service from Hangzhou to Madrid, which launched last December. Celebrating the arrival of the first flight with an impressive cake were: Simon Gandy, Chief of Aviation, Melbourne Airport; Mr Xu Jun, CEO of Capital Airlines; Lyell Strambi, CEO, Melbourne Airport; Mr Bai Minjie, VP, Capital Airlines; and Mr Hong Qiyue, Director of Maintenance Engineering Department of Capital Airlines. (Photos: SDP Media)

  • Beijing Capital Airlines has added Australia to its network coverage with the introduction on 29 September of a thrice-weekly service from Shenyang (SHE) to Melbourne (MEL) via Qingdao (TAO). The route will be operated by one of the airline’s A330-200s and faces no direct competition. The carrier, which is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, now serves 13 destinations outside of China in eight countries. However, none of the 15 international routes it operates are served with more than thrice-weekly frequencies. Beijing Capital Airlines joins Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines in serving Melbourne. Lyell Strambi, CEO of Melbourne Airport, said: “It is my great pleasure to welcome the arrival of Beijing Capital Airlines to Australia and to Victoria today. Servicing the cities of Shenyang and Qingdao, Beijing Capital Airlines will provide new and exciting travel destinations for Victoria and also continue to grow our relationship with China, the success of which is evident in the number of passengers that visit our state each year.”

On 3 October, Blue Air introduced flights between Turin and Pescara. The 608-kilometre sector will be flown thrice-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) facing no direct competition.

The second Italian connection launched by Blue Air this week was inaugurated on 1 October, a 721-kilometre connection between Turin and Naples, with the latter airport celebrating with not one, but two cakes. The city pair will face direct competition from Alitalia.

Blue Air commences Romanian and Italian domestic connections

Iasi Airport celebrated with this three-tiered Romanian flag-themed cake the start of Blue Air’s new triangular domestic route that will operate Iasi – Cluj-Napoca – Timisoara – Iasi. The first non-capital city Romanian domestic links, launched on 1 October, will be flown daily.

  • Blue Air further enhanced its route network with the introduction of new domestic links in Italy and Romania. The significance of Blue Air’s new route in its home nation is important as it is currently the only non-capital city domestic connection in Romania. On 1 October the airline inaugurated an Iasi (IAS) – Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) – Timisoara (TSR) link, a routing that will be operated daily on the carrier’s 737-500 fleet according to OAG schedules. On the same day the airline introduced a new Italian domestic link from Turin (TRN), a 721-kilometre sector to Naples (NAP). This is the only one of the five new routes launched by Blue Air this week that will face direct competition. Two days later the airline also launched a second domestic route from its Italian base, a 608-kilometre pairing with Pescara (PSR). The average sector length of the five new sectors is 469 kilometres. See how Iasi, Turin and Pescara airports FTWAs compare to others from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
1 Oct Iasi (IAS) Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) B735 (7)
Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) Timisoara (TSR)
Timisoara (TSR) Iasi (IAS)
Turin (TRN) Naples (NAP) B735 (12) Alitalia (15)
3 Oct Turin (TRN) Pescara (PSR) B73S (3)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 4 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

China Eastern Airlines grows in San Francisco-1

China Eastern Airlines’ new service from Kunming via Qingdao arrived in San Francisco on 29 September. The SkyTeam carrier already serves SFO from Shanghai Pudong with non-stop flights.

On 25 September Cebu Airport celebrated the launch of China Eastern’s new four times weekly service from Chengdu. Preparing to cut the panda-themed cake were: Ms. Aines Librodo, Airline Marketing and Tourism Development Head, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation; Mr. Allan Rillera, Assistant GM / Head of Sales, China Eastern Airlines; pilot of inaugural flight; and Ms Chen Li Wei, Country Manager, China Eastern Airlines.

  • China Eastern Airlines has expanded its presence in the US with the launch of a new service to San Francisco (SFO). The new thrice-weekly service was launched on 29 September, originating in Kunming (KMG) and stopping off in Qingdao (TAO). The SkyTeam carrier will use an A330-200 on the route which faces no direct competition. China Eastern already serves San Francisco from Shanghai Pudong and now operates a total of seven US routes involving three Chinese airports and five in the US. In terms of market share the leading carriers in the US-China market are: Air China (22%), United Airlines (21%), China Eastern (17%), China Southern Airlines (13%) and Hainan Airlines (9%). In terms of alliances, Star Alliance has 43%, SkyTeam 40% and oneworld just 8%. Chinese carriers account for 62% of seat capacity. For San Francisco, Qingdao becomes the eighth Chinese airport to be served with non-stop flights following Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Wuhan and Xi’an. Among the 13 US airports with non-stop flights to China, San Francisco ranks second for weekly flight with 51, beaten only by Los Angeles with 72, but significantly ahead of Chicago O’Hare (39) and New York JFK (38). Another new routes launched by the carrier recently was a four times weekly service between Chengdu (CTU) and Cebu (CEB) in the Philippines. The 3,058-kilometre was started on 25 September using the carrier’s A319s and faces no direct competition.

easyJet starts three new Canaries connections

Simon Harley, Head of Business Development at London Luton Airport and Neil Slaven, Commercial Manager at easyJet, shake hands to mark the commencement of the LCC’s third route in recent times from the London airport. 

  • easyJet, the largest airline at London Luton (LTN), celebrated the launch of the final sector of three new routes started from the airport in the past few weeks. The inaugural flight of the twice-weekly service to Tenerife South (TFS) departed the London airport on 20 September. The LCC now has 55 destinations in its Luton network and it has also received delivery of its 20th and 21st aircraft at the airport to support the new routes. Across the new sectors, which included the recent launches to Gran Canaria and Toulouse, easyJet is expected to fly an extra 1,100 passengers a week from the airport, and it is anticipated to fly over six million passengers from Luton this year, an increase of 500,000 in the last 12 months. Simon Harley, Head of Business Development at London Luton Airport, said: “The new routes launched by easyJet are a great addition to the growing list of over 130 destinations available from London Luton (LLA). The announcement comes at an exciting time for LLA against a backdrop of record passenger numbers and the largest development in the airport’s history, which will transform the passenger journey and increase capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year. We look forward to working with easyJet to further develop its network from LLA.” Neil Slaven, Commercial Manager at easyJet, said: “We’re pleased to be continuing to deliver an unrivalled network of destinations for our passengers flying from the airport. This underlines our commitment to both leisure and business passengers in the region. It is safe to say we are seeing significant growth at the airport in increasing the choice of winter holiday destinations for our passengers.” The 2,971-kilometre sector will face direct competition from Monarch Airlines (thrice-weekly), Ryanair and Thomson Airways (both twice-weekly). Additionally, the airline started new routes from Bristol (BRS) to Gran Canaria (LPA) on a weekly basis from 28 September, as well as twice-weekly from London Gatwick (LGW) and La Palma (SPC) from 1 October. In terms of competition, the former route will encounter opposition from Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson, while the latter service will see the LCC face competition from Thomson again. All three new routes are flown by the LCC’s A320 aircraft family.

Edelweiss Air commenced flights on its latest long-haul route on 30 September, an 8,995-kilometre sector between Zurich and Mauritius. The twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) service will face no direct competition. 

  • Edelweiss Air launched its latest long-haul route from Zurich (ZRH) on 30 September, an 8,995-kilometre link to Mauritius (MRU). Flights on the airport pair will operate twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) on a mixture of the carrier’s A330-200s and -300s, facing no incumbent. Mauritius becomes the airline’s eighth long-haul route from Zurich, with the carrier also linking the Swiss city to Cape Town, Havana, Las Vegas, Male, Punta Cana, Rio de Janeiro Galeao and Tampa based on OAG schedules.

Fly Blue Crane makes it to Mthatha

Fly Blue Crane touched down in Mthatha on 1 October and was greeted with a water arch salute as it taxied to stand. The carrier will link the South African regional airport with Johannesburg 12 times weekly, facing direct competition from South African Airways’ thrice-daily operation.

  • Fly Blue Crane commenced flights between Johannesburg (JNB) and Mthatha (UTT) on 1 October. The 600-kilometre South African domestic connection will be flown by the carrier 12 times weekly on its ERJ 145 fleet. Competition on the route comes in the form of South African Airways which already provides a thrice-daily operation. “I think what we are offering is an alternative for travellers who are flying to Mthatha with a product which is good and at a reasonable fare. I think that is important because we are trying to encourage more people to fly,” commented Fly Blue Crane CEO Sizakele Mzimela, in reference to offering an alternative service to passengers who have only had the option of using South African before. Mthatha becomes the third route which the airline operates from Johannesburg, with it already linking the city to Bloemfontein and Kimberley. It also links the latter two destinations to Cape Town. See how Mthatha Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Huntsville Airport welcomed GLO’s first flight from New Orleans on 30 September with a Mardi Gras-themed cake. Flights on the 612-kilometre sector will be flown thrice-weekly (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) on the carrier’s Saab 340 fleet

  • GLO commenced its fourth year-round route from New Orleans (MSY) on 30 September, a short 612-kilometre link to Huntsville (HSV) in Alabama. The city pair will be flown by the regional US airline thrice-weekly (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) on its 34-seat Saab 340s. The Louisiana-Alabama city pairing will face no direct competition. GLO already connects New Orleans to Little Rock, Memphis and Shreveport year-round based on OAG schedules, while it also offers seasonal flights between the Louisianan city and Destin – Fort Walton Beach. See how Huntsville Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

IndiGo adds Port Blair to its network

This is the flight crew for the inaugural IndiGo service from Chandigarh to Dubai which took place on 26 September. IndiGo now serves Dubai non-stop from nine Indian airports.

On 28 September IndiGo began service to Port Blair with flights from Kolkata. Two days later it began daily non-stop flights from Chennai.

  • IndiGo has added three new routes during the last week. On 28 September it made Port Blair (IXZ) the 41st airport on its network when it began daily flights from Kolkata (CCU). Two days later it started daily flights from Chennai (MAA). Both Port Blair routes are well served by other carriers. On 26 September the LCC had started daily flights from Chandigarh (IXC) to Dubai (DXB), the Indian airport’s second international route. IndiGo already serves Dubai non-stop from eight other Indian airports, offering a total of 13 daily flight from India to Dubai. IndiGo now has a 7% share of the India-UAE market, well behind Emirates (28%), Etihad Airways (16%) and Jet Airways (14%).
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
26 September Chandigarh (IXC) Dubai (DXB) A320 (7)
28 September Kolkata (CCU) Port Blair (IXZ) Air India (7), GoAir (7), JetKonnect (7), SpiceJet (7),
Vistara (7)
30 September Chennai (MAA) Air India (7), GoAir (7), Jet Airways (7), SpiceJet (7)
Source:’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 4 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

LATAM Airlines commenced flights between Sao Paulo Guarulhos and Johannesburg on 2 October, the carrier’s only destination in Africa. The 7,434-kilometre route will be operated by the carrier’s 767-300s thrice-weekly (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) in direct competition with South African Airways.

  • LATAM Airlines commenced operations to Africa on 2 October with the inauguration of flights between Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Johannesburg (JNB). The route, 7,434 kilometres in length, will be served by the oneworld member thrice-weekly (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) on its 767-300s. “We strive to take our customers further and with this new Johannesburg service we will connect four continents and passengers on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Claudia Sender, President of LATAM Airlines Brazil. The airline already serves Europe, North and South America, meaning that with this Johannesburg launch the airline has completed the continent quartet that borders the Atlantic. The airline also serves Australia and New Zealand in Oceania, while the carrier currently does not serve Asia. This latest route to Johannesburg will face direct competition from South African Airways which offers a 10 times weekly service. Three days previous to the airline’s latest long-haul venture, it commenced a Peruvian domestic link between Lima (LIM) and Jaen (JAE). The short 738-kilometre service will be flown by the carrier daily on its A319s facing no incumbents, and becomes the latter airport’s only scheduled flight.

Qatar Airways makes Windhoek African destination #23

Qatar Airways CCO Hugh Dunleavy (pictured right) with Qatar’s Ambassador to South Africa, Salem Abdullah Sultan Al Jaber, after the touchdown of the airline’s inaugural flight to Windhoek on 28 September.

  • Qatar Airways began flights to the capital of Namibia, Windhoek (WDH) from its Doha (DOH) hub on 28 September. Windhoek is the first city in Namibia to be served by the carrier, which will fly to the destination four times weekly with its 254-seat 787-8 fleet. The city will be the 23rd destination in Africa served by the oneworld airline, and the route faces no direct competition. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to extend our network within Africa by adding the premium leisure and business destination of Windhoek to our route map. Africa remains one of our key target areas for growth and we have identified Namibia as an important African nation to include in our expansion plans. With the launch of this service we look forward to strengthening our ties with the people of Namibia, who we are pleased to connect with more than 150 global destinations via our hub in Doha, while supporting the country’s growing tourism industry by flying in tourists from all around the world.” Qatar Airways is the first of the MEB3 carriers to serve Windhoek as neither Emirates nor Etihad Airways currently serves Namibia. Windhoek is also not yet on Turkish Airlines’ network of African routes.

Cutting the cake in Miami to celebrate the start of SAS’ services from Copenhagen and Oslo Gardermoen are: Norwegian Ambassador to the US, Kåre Aas; SAS CEO, Rickard Gustafson; Miami-Dade Aviation Director, Emilio T. Gonzalez; and Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau VP, Rolando Aedo. Along with cake, a ribbon cutting ceremony was also performed to officially declare the new city pairings open.

SAS serenades Miami with Scandinavian city duo

To celebrate the launch of flights to Miami, Oslo Gardermoen had live music to serenade passengers before they boarded the inaugural flight to the Floridian city. SAS will operate the 7,612-kilometre sector from the Norwegian capital four times weekly on its A330-300s.

Celebrations were also had in Copenhagen to celebrate its new connection to Miami, with festivities including a ribbon cutting ceremony. Flights from the Danish capital to its latest US destination will operate thrice-weekly (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays).

  • SAS commenced two routes to Miami (MIA) during the course of the last two weeks, starting on 28 September with a 7,612-kilometre link from Oslo Gardermoen (OSL). The following day a 7,841-kilometre sector from Copenhagen (CPH) was also inaugurated. Flights to the Norwegian capital will operate four times weekly when referring to OAG schedules, while flights from Danish capital will operate thrice-weekly (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays). “Miami Airport is proud to welcome another world-class airline like SAS to its community, and to begin serving its passengers from the Scandinavian countries of Norway and Denmark,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. He continued: “I congratulate SAS on their launch into the Miami market, and I wish them continued success.” Both routes will be flown by the Star Alliance member’s A330-300s facing no incumbent. These latest launches mean that Miami is now connected to 20 European destinations served with a combined total of 158 weekly flights. See how Oslo Gardermoen and Miami airports FTWAs compare to others from around the world

Scoot starts new routes to India and Japan

Celebrating the launch of Scoot’s new service to Jaipur with a lamp-lighting ceremony are: Lim Thuan Kuan, High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore to India; Smt. Krishnendra Kaur, Honorable Civil Aviation Minister and Minister of Tourism, Rajasthan; and Bharath Mahadevan, Country Head India, Scoot.

  • Scoot has grown its network in India and Japan with the launch of new routes from Singapore (SIN) to Jaipur (JAI) and Sapporo Chitose (CTS), the latter operated via its existing service to Taipei (TPE). Jaipur becomes the carrier’s third destination in India after Amritsar and Chennai which were both launched back in May. Sapporo becomes Scoot’s third destination in Japan following in the footsteps of Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Narita, both of which are also served with intermediate stops. Both of these new routes from Singapore will be operated thrice-weekly using the long-haul LCC’s 787-8s. Neither route faces direct competition. Launched back in June 2012, Scoot now serves over 20 destinations across Asia with a fleet of 12 787s, six -8s and six -9s. It will launch its first route to Europe next summer when it begins flights to Athens in June. See how Sapporo Chitose Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

SmartWings showcases second Dubai service

On 23 September, SmartWings launched its second route to Dubai, a 4,191-kilometre link from Ostrava. The airline already links the Middle East hub with Prague. To celebrate the new service, the Czech Republic airport commissioned this cake for the inaugural passengers to enjoy.

  • SmartWings showcased its second route to Dubai (DXB) on 23 September, a 4,191-kilometre connection from Ostrava (OSR) in the Czech Republic. Initially launched with a weekly (Friday) frequency, a second weekly (Tuesday) rotation will commence from 25 October according to OAG schedules. Flown on the carrier’s 737-800s, the route will face no direct competition. This latest city pair launched by Smartwings is the carrier’s second connection to Dubai, with it already serving the UAE city from Prague. See how Ostrava Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Thai Airways takes off for Tehran

On 1 October Thai Airways began its first new route from Bangkok in almost four years with the launch of a four times weekly service to Tehran. Mahan Air already serves the route with six weekly flights.

  • Thai Airways has started serving Tehran Imam Khomeini (IKA) in Iran. The Star Alliance carrier began a four times weekly service from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) on 1 October using its 777-200s. The 5,491-kilometre route is already served by Mahan Air with six weekly flights. According to’s New Route Database this is the first new destination for Thai Airways from Bangkok since it began serving Sapporo Chitose in October 2012. In total the airline now serves 56 international destinations in 31 countries non-stop from Bangkok’s main airport. For comparison, Malaysia Airlines serves 38 in 21 countries from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Airlines 53 in 30 from its home base.

Vistara makes Port Blair its 18th Indian airport

Vistara welcomed its first passengers to Port Blair Airport on 30 September. The full service carrier will operate a daily service to Delhi via Kolkata. The Kolkata route is already served daily by five other carriers.

  • Vistara has become the second airline this week (after IndiGo) to launch service to Port Blair (IXZ) in India. The full service carrier began daily non-stop service from Kolkata (CCU) on 30 September and one-stop service from Delhi (DEL) via Kolkata. The 1,305-kilometre sector from Kolkata is already served daily by five other carriers; Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, JetKonnect and SpiceJet. Vistara now serves 18 destinations across India. According to the airline, Port Blair, with a population of 110,000, is a perfect fit for Vistara’s growing network for leisure and business travellers alike. Commenting on the launch of the new services, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said: “We are delighted to add Port Blair to our fast-growing network with a daily direct flight from Delhi via Kolkata. The Andamans are a beautiful part of India with rich history and breath-taking natural beauty. We are pleased to offer both the visitors, and the wonderful residents of this region, the chance to experience ‘the new feeling’ of flying Vistara, an airline that is setting new standards of service excellence, when they travel to and from Port Blair.” Mr. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, added: “Delivering on our brand promise to provide seamless, thoughtful and personalized services, we are pleased to introduce a variety of attractively priced packages in cooperation with top travel entities to offer our customers the most convenient travel in the Andamans. While Port Blair itself offers a lot to see and do, including the historic Cellular Jail and an excursion to the neighbouring Ross Island, we have also timed our flights to offer the most convenient connections to and from the most popular inter-island ferries such as to Havelock Island.” The new route was operated by the airline’s newest A320, the 12th in its growing fleet. According to Indian government statistics, Vistara has carried 2.4% of all Indian domestic air travellers (or about 1.52 million) in the first eight months of 2016.

Kutaisi Airport became base #25 for Wizz Air on 23 September. The carrier has one A320 stationed at the airport with the new asset allowing the carrier to open up an additional seven routes from the Georgian airport, giving a total of 11 destinations. To celebrate, passengers were treated to a selection of Wizz Air- and Kutaisi Airport-branded cupcakes, while entertainment was also provided. Once festivities had been completed, a press conference was conducted, with the event being fronted by Owain Jones, CCO of Wizz Air, and Ketevan Aleksidze, CEO of United Airports of Georgia.

Seen welcoming the arrival of Wizz Air’s first flight from Kutaisi to Memmingen on 23 September are the German airport’s Alica Ulrich, Aviation Marketing & Sales Manager, and Marcel Schütz Head of Aviation. Flights will operate twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) facing no direct competition. Wizz Air now links Memmingen to 13 destinations, with this latest launch being the longest sector, replacing Kiev Zhulyany.

Wizz Air opens base #25 in Kutaisi-3

Dortmund celebrated the start of Wizz Air’s route from Kutaisi on 25 September by greeting the inaugural crew with flowers. The 2,813-kilometre sector will be flown twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) facing no direct competition.

Wizz Air opens base #25 in Kutaisi-5

On 21 September, Wizz Air introduced flights between the capitals of Hungary and Romania. Flights on the 616-kilometre city pair between Budapest and Bucharest will be flown four times weekly on the ULCC’s A320 fleet in direct competition with TAROM.

  • Wizz Air commenced operations from its 25th base during the course of the last two weeks, with it stationing one A320 at Kutaisi (KUT) in Georgia. Along with the aircraft, the airline also opened up routes from the airport to seven destinations, namely: Berlin Schönefeld (SXF), Memmingen (FMM), Larnaca (LCA), Sofia (SOF), Thessaloniki (SKG), Dortmund (DTM) and Milan/Bergamo (BGY). It should be noted that from 5 October the route to Bergamo will switch to Milan Malpensa. Wizz Air, before opening its Kutaisi base, already linked the Georgian airport to Budapest, Katowice, Vilnius and Warsaw Chopin. As well as the base opening, Wizz Air has also added a further two routes to its network, with the most significant being the hub connection between Budapest (BUD) and Bucharest (OTP). Launched on 21 September, this is the only route that links the Romanian base with another Wizz Air base, as confirmed by’s recently analysis of the hub. It is also the only one of Wizz Air’s latest routes that will face direct competition. The average sector length of the new routes is 1,855 kilometres, with the average weekly frequency being 2.3. See how Kutaisi Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
Launch date From To Aircraft (W/F) Competition
21 Sep Budapest (BUD) Bucharest (OTP) A320 (4) TAROM (15)
22 Sep Kaunas (KUN) Eindhoven (EIN) A320 (2)
23 Sep Kutaisi (KUT) Berlin Schönefeld (SXF)
Memmingen (FMM)
24 Sep Larnaca (LCA)
Sofia (SOF)
Thessaloniki (SKG) A320 (3)
25 Sep Dortmund (DTM) A320 (2)
Milan/Bergamo (BGY)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 4 October 2016.

Xiamen Airlines launches first US service -1

Seattle-Tacoma Airport has become the first US destination for SkyTeam member Xiamen Airlines. On 26 September it began thrice-weekly flights from Xiamen via Shenzhen using its 787-8s.

  • Xiamen Airlines has finally launched its first ever service to the US. On 26 September the airline which operates an all-Boeing fleet, began services to Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). The thrice-weekly service (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), operated by the airline’s 787-8s, begins in Xiamen (XMN) and passes through Shenzhen (SZX) on its way to the home of Boeing. Xiamen Airlines Chairman and GM Che Shanglun, said: “The launch of the Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service is an important reflection of the results of the meeting between Chinese and American leaders in 2015. On the heels of these events, a Fuzhou-New York and a Xiamen-LA service will also be initiated, making air travel, and, by consequence, exchanges between the two countries much easier.” Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, said: “Sea-Tac Airport is one of the most connected gateways to Asia and it is an honour that Xiamen chose Seattle to launch its US service. Shenzhen is known as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of China and this new destination will be a tremendous opportunity for both business and leisure travellers to experience our shared values. We commend Xiamen for using the state-of-the-art Boeing 787, which furthers the Port of Seattle’s goals of being the greenest and most energy efficient port while advancing our region as a business and tourism hub.” The Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service is the sixth long-haul and first US route that Xiamen Airlines has launched. The SkyTeam carrier already serves Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and Vancouver in Canada from its Xiamen base. It also serves Sydney from Fuzhou. See how Seattle-Tacoma Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.


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