New airline routes launched (18 October 2016 – 24 October 2016)

Iberia’s Madrid to Tokyo Narita

Luis says hola Tokio. Luis Gallego, Iberia CEO was on hand in Madrid to help mark the re-start of flights to Tokyo Narita after an 18-year gap. The thrice-weekly operation began on 18 October.

Iberia reintroduces Tokyo Narita to its network-2

The first flight arrived in Tokyo at 09:35 the next day. While the first two flights are to be operated by Iberia’s A340 fleet, ordinarily the near-11,000-kilometre sector will be flown by its A330-200s.

  • Iberia has resumed operations to Tokyo Narita (NRT) from its Madrid (MAD) hub after an 18-year hiatus. Started on 18 October, the thrice-weekly service will be flown by the oneworld carrier’s A330-200s, although the first two flights were operated by its larger capacity A430 fleet. The 10,766-kilometre sector will face no direct competition. The new service further galvanises Aena’s (operator of Madrid) aspirations to act as a transfer point between Latin America and Asia. See how Tokyo Narita Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Air Canada’s Vancouver to Delhi

On 20 October Vancouver Airport celebrated the start of Air Canada services to Delhi with a ribbon cutting ceremony along with traditional Indian dancing. The airport commissioned a Lotus Temple-themed cake, with the temple in the Indian capital being notable for its flowerlike shape. Samosas were also on offer for passengers to enjoy. Flights between Vancouver and Delhi will operate thrice-weekly on the airline’s 787-9 fleet.

Air Canada debuts second Delhi service

Flight AC072, the number designated for the Star Alliance member’s route between Vancouver and Delhi, arrived 39 minutes ahead of its 01:55 scheduled arrival time into the Indian capital. Flights leave Vancouver at 23:15, arriving into Delhi two days later. Flight AC073 leaves Delhi at 06:55, arriving back into Canada at 08:20 the same morning.

  • Air Canada chose 20 October as the day to launch its second route to India, an 11,133-kilometre link between Vancouver (YVR) and Delhi (DEL). The Star Alliance member will link the two cities with a thrice-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) 787-9 service. “Thanks to Air Canada’s commitment to growth out of its preferred transpacific hub, YVR has a direct link to one of the most iconic cultural centres and economic hubs in India,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “This service has long been requested by our community. The much coveted route opens up access to key markets in business and travel and creates more jobs and opportunities for our communities.” Vancouver becomes the second destination to link to Delhi with Air Canada. On 1 November 2015 the airline inaugurated flights to the Indian capital from Toronto Pearson, a link also flown by the airline’s 787-9s. Currently Air Canada is the only airline offering non-stop flights between India and Canada with a total of nine weekly flights. Jet Airways also offers flight to Canada from Delhi. However, its route to Toronto Pearson is flown via a stop in Amsterdam.

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

Air India Express starts five times weekly service from Chennai to Singapore.

  • Air India Express has introduced its second non-stop service to Singapore (SIN). On 21 October the LCC began five times weekly flights on the 2,923-kilometre route from Chennai (MAA) using its 737-800s. The route is already served on a daily basis by five other carriers; Air India, IndiGo, Jet Airways, Scoot and Singapore Airlines. Air India Express already operates a daily service between Tiruchirappalli and Singapore. This new service means that the airline now accounts for around 4% of the India-Singapore market, ranking it seventh out of nine carriers; well behind Singapore Airlines (34.3%), Jet Airways (16.2%), Tigerair Singapore (12.1%), SilkAir (11.7%), Air India (10.9%) and Scoot (9.8%).

Macau Airport welcomed the arrival of a new carrier, Air Seoul, on 22 October. The low-cost subsidiary of Asiana Airlines began daily flights from Seoul Incheon competing with four other carriers.

  • Air Seoul, which launched international services on 7 October, has added a further five destinations to its international network during the last week, starting on 18 October. Using a second A321 it has added three new routes to Japan, plus Kota Kinabalu (BKI) in Malaysia and Macau (MFM) all from its Seoul Incheon (ICN) base. None of the three Japanese routes, which are all under 700 kilometres in length, face any competition. However, three carriers already operate on the 3,658-kilometre route to Kota Kinabalu while four airlines already link Incheon with Macau.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
18 October Seoul Incheon (ICN) Kota Kinabalu (BKI) A321 (7) Eastar Jet (7), Jin Air (7), Jeju Air (7)
Nagasaki (NGS) A321 (4)
20 October Hiroshima (HIJ) A321 (5)
22 October Macau (MFM) A321 (7) Air Macau (14), Jin Air (7), t’way air (5), Jeju Air (2)
23 October Yonago (YGJ) A321 (3)
Source:’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 25 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Allegiant Air raises the stakes between Kansas City and Las Vegas

To celebrate Allegiant Air’s newest route from Kansas City (to Las Vegas), the former airport commissioned some cupcakes for passengers on the first flight to enjoy. The 1,830-kilometre link is already served by Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

  • Allegiant Air commenced its latest route from Las Vegas (LAS) on 20 October, a 1,830-kilometre connection to Kansas City (MCI). The route will be flown by the airline’s MD-83 fleet and operates twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays). Unlike most of Allegiant’s new routes, which are mainly unserved sectors, its latest city pairing is already well connected. Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines combined already offer 34 weekly flights between Las Vegas and Kansas City according to OAG schedules data. For Allegiant this brings to four the number of destinations it links to Kansas City. The airline already connects the airport to three Floridian destinations, namely Orlando Sanford, St. Pete-Clearwater and Punta Gorda. Allegiant is currently the sixth largest airline at Las Vegas, with 4.9% of the airport’s monthly seat capacity this October.

Interjet becomes fifth carrier to serve LA from Mexico City

  • Interjet has expanded its network in the US by beginning a twice-daily service on 20 October between Mexico City (MEX) and Los Angeles (LAX). The 2,498-kilometre route is already well served by Aeromexico (six daily flights), American Airlines (two daily flights), United Airlines and Volaris (each with one daily flight). Interjet already serves Los Angeles from Cancún and Guadalajara. According to OAG data for this week Interjet now accounts for 6.9% of seat capacity between the US and Mexico ranking it sixth behind American Airlines (21.6%), United Airlines (19.2%), Aeromexico (15.1%), Volaris (10.5%) and Delta Air Lines (8.1%). In total Interjet now operates 16 routes to the US; seven from Mexico City and three each from Cancún, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

OneJet launches fifth route from Pittsburgh

Taking charge of the ribbon cutting in Cincinnati on 19 October is OneJet CEO Matthew Maquire. The airline will link the Kentucky city to Pittsburgh with a twice-daily, weekday service.

  • OneJet chose 19 October as the day to launch its fifth route from Pittsburgh (PIT), a 412-kilometre link to Cincinnati (CVG). The airline will offer a twice-daily weekday service between the two cities on its seven-seat Hawker 400 jets. Currently no other carrier offers this city pair. Cincinnati is the airline’s fifth route from Pittsburgh, with it already linking its home base to Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville and Milwaukee.

Silver Airways adds third Cuban route

  • Silver Airways added a third route to Cuba on 21 October, a 435-kilometre connection between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Cienfuegos (CFG). The airport pairing will be served by the regional carrier twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) on its Saab 340s. No other carrier currently operates this sector. This route follows on from the city pairing of Fort Lauderdale – Camaguey which the airline launched last week.

Singapore Airlines starts its longest non-stop service to San Francisco

Flight SQ32 from Singapore to San Francisco departed on 23 October making it the longest non-stop service flown by Singapore Airlines (previously the 10,876-kilometre route to London Heathrow). The airline will continue to also offer a daily one-stop service via Hong Kong.

  • Singapore Airlines on 23 October began daily, non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and San Francisco (SFO). The Star Alliance carrier already serves the US city with a one-stop service via Hong Kong so technically this is not a new route by’s normal definition. However, we felt that the launch of non-stop service on the 13,575-kilometre route (the airline’s longest) using the Star Alliance carrier’s new A350-900s was worthy of inclusion. The route is already served by fellow Star Alliance carrier United Airlines which started a daily service using its 787-9s on 1 June.

Vistara adds flights from three Indian airports

  • Vistara has played join-the-dots on its domestic network in India with the addition on 18 October of two new non-stop services linking Bengaluru (BLR) and Kolkata (CCU), and Kolkata and Guwahati (GAU). Since these flights are operated by the same aircraft it creates a new one-stop, same plane service between Bengaluru and Guwahati. Competition is intense on all three routes with seven other carriers already serving the 497-kilometre link between Kolkata and Guwahati. The airline’s A320s will operate all of these new services.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
18 October Bengaluru (BLR) Kolkata (CCU) A320 (14) IndiGo (63), Spicejet (15), Jet Airways (9),
Air India (7), JetKonnect (7)
Kolkata (CCU) Guwahati (GAU) A320 (7) IndiGo (29), Jet Airways (26), SpiceJet (19),
Air India (7), GoAir (7), JetKonnect (7), Alliance Air (4)
Bengaluru (BLR) Guwahati (GAU) via CCU IndiGo (14), AirAsia India (7)
Source:’s New Route Database. OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 25 October 2016. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Vueling makes new links from Malaga and Marseille

Vueling commenced its fourth route to Birmingham on 23 October, from Malaga. The UK airport becomes the airline’s 25th route from the Spanish airport and second to the UK after Cardiff. Flown twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays), the airport pairing is already served by Monarch Airlines, Ryanair, Norwegian and Thomson Airways.

  • Vueling has used the last seven days to commence additional flights from Malaga (AGP) and Marseille (MRS). The Spanish airport made a connection to its 25th destination, with the start of twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) services to Birmingham (BHX) – its second UK point, adding to existing flights to Cardiff. The 1,767-kilometre sector will face some intense competition, with Monarch Airlines (12 weekly services), Ryanair (eight), Norwegian (four) and Thomson Airways (two) being the incumbents. Vueling already serves Birmingham from Alicante, Barcelona and Tenerife South. From the French city the airline began flights to Algiers (ALG), and it joins Vueling’s other routes from Marseille – Barcelona, Malaga, Rome Fiumicino and Palma de Mallorca. With its daily operation, the sector immediately becomes the airline’s biggest route at the airport in terms of ASKs. In terms of competition, this is provided by Air Algérie (thrice-daily), Aigle Azur (daily) and Tassili Airlines (weekly). Vueling now serves Algiers from five airports, the other four all being in Spain. Both new routes started on 23 October and will be flown by the LCC’s A320 fleet.


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