This week Madrid Airport celebrated winning the prestigious anna.aero Route of the Week award, given to the Spanish capital city airport for the new Air India connection from Delhi, the only non-stop service between India and Spain. Seen celebrating with the award are: Neha Salwan, Accounts Manager Spain, Air India; Cecilio Sanchez, Head of Invoicing and Treasury Department, Madrid Airport; Simon Ramos, Security Department, Madrid Airport; K.B.Jaidev, Aircraft Engineer, Air India; Krishnakumar V Kunjappan, Country Manager Spain, Air India; Diana Gracia, Airport Marketing, Madrid Airport; Laura Lopez, Head of Scheduling and Statistics, Madrid Airport; and Yolanda Rubio, Maintenance Department, Madrid Airport. The Star Alliance member will operate the 7,252-kilometre link, which launched on 1 December, three times a week on its 256-seat 787-8s.
Following an impressive 15% growth in passenger traffic for November, Budapest Airport on 13 December welcomed its 11 millionth passenger for 2016, the first time this milestone has been reached in the airport’s 66-year history. Setting a new record for annual passengers for a third year running, the Hungarian gateway has experienced an average 10% growth in passenger traffic this year. Celebrating alongside the lucky passenger, Hangonyi Nagy Hajnalka and her daughter, are: Sándor Saly, Senior Airline Development Manager, Budapest Airport; Bálazs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport; Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest Airport; Sándor Sali, Sales Manager for Hungary, airberlin; Mohammed Nasr, Area Manager Eastern Europe, airberlin; and Máté Ritter, Airline Development Manager, Budapest Airport. The airport also commissioned a cake to mark the celebration.
On 12 December Prague Airport celebrated the 25-year anniversary of El Al flights from Tel Aviv. To toast the occasion, the Czech Republic airport baked an impressive El Al-themed cake. Seen cutting the calorific centrepiece are: Tomáš Kaufman, GM Czech Republic and Slovakia, El Al and Jiří Vyskoč, Director of Aviation Business, Prague Airport.
On 7 December Savannah Airport was gifted an early Christmas present from Air Canada when it announced that from 1 May it will begin a six times weekly link from Toronto Pearson. The summer seasonal service will run until 15 October. “Getting a direct route to Canada has been one of our top priorities for some time now and it is rewarding to see that our hard work has finally paid off,” said Savannah Airport Commission Executive Director Greg Kelly. “Our air service development partners at Visit Savannah, Hilton Head Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Chamber of Commerce and SEDA were all part of the effort that led to this announcement. We appreciate Air Canada for giving us a chance and we know that this connection to Toronto will be very successful.”
On 9 December airBaltic operated its new CS300, the first in the world of the type, to Helsinki where it received a water arch salute on its arrival. The aircraft was unveiled at a welcoming ceremony on 1 December at Riga Airport. During December the airline will operate the aircraft type on some of its services to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Munich, Stockholm Arlanda, Tallinn, Vienna and Vilnius according to OAG schedules, along with flights to Helsinki.
On 13 December KLM announced that from 18 February it will increase its flights to St. Petersburg from daily to twice-daily. A new morning service will be introduced and flown on a mixture of the SkyTeam member’s 737s. KLM has been operating scheduled flights to St. Petersburg since November 1987. For the period between January and November this year, the carrier has served some 98,000 passengers from the Russian airport, representing a 16% year-on-year increase.