New airline routes launched (4 October 2016 – 10 October 2016)

Allegiant Air’s Orlando Sanford and Fort Lauderdale to Ogdensburg routes

Allegiant Air avoids Hurricane Matthew mayhem by launching seven routes

With Ogdensburg Airport in New York State having recently completed its runway extension, it was time for the facility to welcome its latest carrier – Allegiant Air. To toast its arrival, the airport did not have a route launch cake, but route launch pizza! With it being New York,’s data elves hope the airport stuck to the traditions of the state and went for a thin crust. Allegiant Air will connect Ogdensburg to both Orlando Sanford and Fort Lauderdale with twice-weekly flights.

Passengers at Destin-Fort Walton Beach in Florida were treated to Allegiant Air goodies and a buffet before boarding the carrier’s inaugural flight to Las Vegas on 7 October. The ULCC will link the two airports twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) on the airline’s MD-83 fleet.

  • Allegiant Air managed to avoid the devastating path of Hurricane Matthew late last week, as the ULCC launched seven new routes on the dates it had intended to (confirmed by, with four linking to Florida, a state hit hard by the storm. Unlike many routes which the carrier launches, which are most of the time unique airport pairings, two will face direct competition from multiple carriers. One in particular is the route between Oakland (OAK) and Las Vegas (LAS) which already sees Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines combined offer 75 weekly flights. What is also interesting about Allegiant’s new routes is the welcoming of a new airport to its network – Ogdensburg (OGS). The airline will link the New York State airport to Orlando Sanford (SFB) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL), both operating twice-weekly. The average weekly frequency of Allegiant’s new services is 3.6, while the average sector length is 2,190 kilometres. See how Ogdensburg Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
5 Oct Oakland (OAK) Las Vegas (LAS) EQV (5) Southwest Airlines (61), Spirit
Airlines (14)
Orlando Sanford (SFB) Ogdensburg (OGS) A320 (2)
Punta Gorda (PGD) Concord (USA) A320 (3)
6 Oct Fort Lauderdale (FLL) Ogdensburg (OGS) A320 (2)
Los Angeles (LAX) Albuquerque (ABQ) A319 (2) American Airlines (19), Southwest
Airlines (13), United Airlines (9)
Oakland (OAK) El Paso (ELP) A319 (2)
7 Oct Las Vegas (LAS) Destin-Fort Walton Beach (VPS) MD83 (2)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 11 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

AirAsia X’s Kuala Lumpur to Mauritius

AirAsia X makes Mauritius its first destination in Africa

There was a big turnout to celebrate the launch of AirAsia X’s services to Mauritius. The thrice-weekly, non-stop service competes with Air Mauritius’ thrice-weekly, one-stop service which operates via Singapore.

  • AirAsia X has commenced service to Mauritius (MRU) from its Kuala Lumpur (KUL) base. The 5,441-kilometre route, launched on 4 October, will be flown thrice-weekly by the airline’s A330s facing no direct competition, although Air Mauritius does operate a thrice-weekly, one-stop service via Singapore. Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X, said: “We’re very excited to be here today, charting a new continent on the route map of AirAsia X with a 100% full flight. The strong entry into this market has given us the confidence we need to grow this direct flight between Mauritius and Kuala Lumpur, operated exclusively by AirAsia X. Together with our short-haul affiliate AirAsia Group, our guests can now fly into Mauritius from any of the destinations within our extensive flight network across Asia, Australia and the Middle East via Kuala Lumpur, Asia’s low cost hub.” AirAsia X now serves 20 destinations non-stop in nine countries as well as Auckland in New Zealand via Gold Coast. See how Mauritius Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

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

On 7 October Air Seoul, a subsidiary of Asiana Airlines, started flying internationally. The first route was Takamatsu in Japan, followed a day later by Shizuoka in Japan and Siem Reap in Cambodia. The LCC currently has a single A321 though two more aircraft are expected to join the fleet before the end of October.

  • Air Seoul, a new LCC from Asiana Airlines, has begun operating international services from Seoul Incheon (ICN). On 7 October the carrier began serving Takamatsu (TAK) in Japan with thrice-weekly flights using an A321. The following day service was added to Shizuoka (FSZ) in Japan and Siem Reap (REP) in Cambodia. The new airline currently operates just a single A321 in its own colours, but two more aircraft are expected to be added to the fleet before the end of the month as further new destinations, primarily in Japan, will be added to the airline’s network. Air Seoul launched domestic flights between Seoul Gimpo and Jeju back in July with an A321 borrowed from its parent company and using Asiana’s OZ code. Air Seoul’s IATA code of RS is also currently used by Sky Regional Airlines of Canada, which operates services on behalf of Air Canada under the Air Canada Express banner.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
7 October Seoul Incheon (ICN) Takamatsu (TAK) A321 (3)
8 October Shizuoka (FSZ)
Siem Reap (REP) A321 (4) Eastar Jet (7), Korean Air (4)
Source:’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 11 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Seen celebrating the start of American Airlines’ new daily service between Tucson and New York JFK are: Joseph Hughes, American Airlines Regional Director of Government Affairs; Jonathan Rothschild, Tucson Mayor; Bonnie Allin, President and CEO of Tucson Airport Authority; Tony Finley, Chairman of Tucson Airport Authority Board of Directors; Mike Varney, President and CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber; and Brent DeRaad, President and CEO of Visit Tucson. In celebration of the oneworld member’s new route, passengers were handed goodies while boarding. Launched on 6 October, with the first return flight departing on 7 October, the city link faces no competition.

  • American Airlines commenced two US domestic services this week, starting on 5 October with a link between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Akron-Canton (CAK) in Ohio. The 550-kilometre link between the two airports will be flown by the oneworld member 13 times weekly according to OAG schedules on its ERJ 145s, with United Airlines already offering a 32 times weekly competing service. The second route launched by American commenced on 6 October, a 3,430-kilometre city pairing between New York JFK (JFK) and Tucson (TUS). The route between the two airports will be flown daily on the carrier’s 737-800s facing no incumbent. “What’s most impressive about this celebration today is that it shows what happens when we as a community come together to do something,” Tony Finley, Chairman of Tucson Airport Authority Board of Directors said of the new service. “Now it’s up to us as a community to take this opportunity and make something of it.” According to Tucson Airport’s press release about American Airlines’ new venture from the facility, more than three years of work by Tucson business and community leaders went into securing the direct link to JFK.

The first Jetstar Asia service (flight 3K 881) from Singapore to Sanya departed Changi Airport from Gate D37 at 07:00 on Tuesday 4 October. The twice-weekly service faces no direct competition. Passengers on the inaugural flight all received goody bags.

  • Jetstar Asia launched its first new route of 2016 on 4 October, when it began twice-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Saturdays) on the 1,973-kilometre route from Singapore (SIN) to Sanya (SYX) in China, a sector flown by its A320s. Sanya, located on the southern tip of Hainan Island, is growing in popularity as a holiday destination thanks to its beaches and good weather. Among its sister cities are Cannes in France and Blackpool in the UK. For Jetstar Asia, this becomes the airline’s fourth current route to China joining Haikou (served since December 2009), Shantou (first served in February 2010) and Guiyang (launched last December). However, the LCC has also served Beijing, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Nanning and Ningbo since it launched operations in December 2004. The route between Singapore and Sanya will face no direct competition.

While the first Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Helsinki was operated by one of the airline’s A350-900s, ordinarily the 4,395-kilometre sector will be flown by the oneworld airline’s A320 fleet. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (middle) was joined at the route launch press conference in Helsinki by Finavia President and CEO Kari Savolainen (left) and Qatar Airways SVP Europe, Jonathan Harding (right).

  • Qatar Airways inaugurated its daily service to the Finnish capital of Helsinki (HEL) on 10 October. To celebrate the special occasion, the airline flew one of its A350s from Doha (DOH), but will operate the city pair with a 132-seat A320 going forward. The launch of the new route to Helsinki completes Qatar Airways’ network strategy of serving Nordic capitals, which currently includes Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. To support the new destination launch, the airline also announced a new codeshare with Finnair, expanding Qatar Airways’ presence in the Baltic States and Nordic countries. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “Launching our new route to Helsinki is a proud moment for the airline, completing our strategy of serving the needs of Europe’s Nordic capitals and facilitating connections for businesses, cultures and families between Finns and people throughout the world. With this new service, the people of Helsinki have convenient and world-class air service to more destinations, and we look forward to welcoming our new customers on board.” Finavia President and CEO Kari Savolainen, said: “We want to express our warmest welcome to Qatar Airways and its new route between Helsinki and Doha. This is a fantastic addition to our selection of destinations and thanks to the route launch Helsinki Airport now has even better connections to the world. We ensure that our passengers enjoy their journey before and between their flights at the airport, selected as the best airport in Northern Europe in 2016.” No other airline offers this city pair, and neither of the remaining MEB3 carriers – Emirates or Etihad Airways ‒ flies to Helsinki at this time. See how Helsinki Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

SpiceJet starts six new domestic routes with Q400s

SpiceJet held a press conference to celebrate the airline’s inaugural flights from Silchar and Aizawl. This brings to 38 the number of airports in India that SpiceJet now serves, as well as six airports outside of India.

  • SpiceJet on 4 October launched six new domestic routes using its 78-seat Q400s, of which it currently has 16. Five of the routes are already served by at least one other carrier. Sector lengths range from just 192 kilometres between Guwahati (GAU) and Silchar (IXS), to 676 kilometres between Kolkata (CCU) and Gorakhpur (GOP). The launch of services from Aizawl (AJL), Gorakhpur and Silchar means that SpiceJet now serves 38 airports in India. According to OAG schedules data, the airline’s Q400s currently operate a total of 43 domestic routes and three international. In August SpiceJet’s share of the Indian domestic market was 12.6% according to government statistics. It has also achieved load factors of more than 90% in every month so far this year. See how Aizawl and Silchar airports FTWAs compare to others from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
4 October Delhi (DEL) Gorakhpur (GOP) Q400 (7) Alliance Air (6)
Guwahati (GAU) Aizawl (AJL) JetKonnect (7)
Silchar (IXS) Jet Airways (7)
Kolkata (CCU) Aizawl (AJL) Jet Airways (7), Air India (3)
Gorakhpur (GOP)
Silchar (IXS) Jet Airways (7), Air India (4), Alliance Air (3)
Source:’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 11 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

On 6 October there were celebrations to mark the launch of TransAsia Airways’s new twice-weekly service from Taipei to Sendai in Japan. It is the carrier’s seventh route to Japan.

  • TransAsia Airways has added two routes to its network. On 6 October the airline began its seventh route to Japan with the launch of twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) flights from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Sendai (SDJ). The 2,354-kilometre route is already served by both EVA Air and Tigerair Taiwan with four weekly flights. A total of 15 carriers serve the Taiwan-Japan market with TransAsia Airways ranking eighth with 4.7% of total seat capacity, well behind market leader China Airlines with 30.3%. On the same day TransAsia Airways also started flights, which operate every four days, to Chiang Mai (CNX) in Thailand. This route is not served by any other carrier though it used to be operated by the airline’s in-house LCC V Air. However, that airline suspended service on 1 October and was merged back into the parent company. V Air launched in December 2014 and flew around 600,000 passengers in its time. Both of the new TransAsia Airways routes will be flown using A320s.

VivaAerobus adds another domestic link from Mexico City

  • VivaAerobus has resumed service between Mexico City (MEX) and Huatulco (HUX), located on the Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca. On 7 October, the LCC began four times weekly flights with its A320s on the 504-kilometre route which is already served by Interjet (26 times weekly), Aeromexico (twice-daily) and Volaris (thrice-weekly). This brings to 16 the number of destinations served by VivaAerobus from the nation’s busiest airport. The carrier had previously served the airport pair between 18 March 2011 and 6 January 2013. Huatulco handled almost 620,000 passengers in 2015 making it Mexico’s 25th busiest airport. VivaAerobus currently has a fleet of 22 aircraft, 20 A320s and two 737-300s. Earlier this month it took delivery of its first A320neo. The LCC will take delivery of an additional 39 of the type between now and 2021.

Volaris launches second route to San Francisco

  • Volaris has added another international route to its network with the introduction on 10 October of a four times weekly service on the 3,027-kilometre route between Mexico City (MEX) and San Francisco (SFO). The LCC will use its 174-seat A320s on the new link. The airport pair is already served twice-daily by both Aeromexico and United Airlines. Flights depart Mexico City on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 16:14 arriving in San Francisco at 19:00. The return flight departs California at 20:15 and arrives back into the Mexican capital at 02:29. This is Volaris’ second route to San Francisco as it has been operating 12 times weekly flights from Guadalajara since 1 July.


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