New airline routes launched (27 June 2017 – 03 July 2017)

Norwegian’s Cork to Providence

Norwegian Cork

Celebrations were in full swing at Cork Airport to celebrate the start of Norwegian’s first flight to Providence, the Irish airport’s first-ever scheduled transatlantic service. Among the celebrations were cheerleaders and American football team the Cork Admirals. Seen with them, and Uncle Sam, is Niall MacCarthy, MD of Cork Airport and Tore Jenssen, CEO of Norwegian International. Flights will operate between Cork and Providence year-round. Click here to take a closer look at the festivities that took place at Cork Airport where was live covering the launch.

Shannon Norwegian

Norwegian commenced two US routes from Shannon this week, one to Providence and the other to Stewart, with both scheduled to operate twice-weekly. Seen on the apron at Shannon Airport, along with another Uncle Sam, are Andrew Murphy, MD of Shannon Airport and Tore Jenssen, CEO of Norwegian International.

Norwegian Belfast International

Belfast International baked a cake to celebrate the start of Norwegian’s first flights to Providence and Stewart. Seen posing with the cake alongside the first flight crew is Graham Keddie, MD of Belfast International Airport.

Along with its foray of new long-haul routes to the US this week, Norwegian has also begun a weekly (Saturdays) service between Helsinki and Varna in Bulgaria. The Finnish airport celebrated the new service with a beach party at the gate, along with a chocolate bake being the selected calorific wonder of choice for passengers to tuck into before boarding. The 1,909-kilometre route is the only one launched by Norwegian this week that will face direct competition.

  • Norwegian between 1 and 3 July commenced part II of its low-cost long-haul 737-800-operated venture across the Atlantic, following on from the launch of three routes from Edinburgh in June. The carrier now links Belfast International (BFS), Cork (ORK), Dublin (DUB) and Shannon (SNN) airports to the US, while links from Bergen (BGO) to Providence (PVD) and Stewart (SWF) have also begun. Along with these transatlantic services, back in Europe it has added a 1,909-kilometre link between Helsinki (HEL) and Varna (VAR). This is also the only route launched this week that will face direct competition. Take a closer look at’s live coverage of Norwegian’s launch between Cork and Providence, the Irish airport’s first scheduled transatlantic flight. See how Cork Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
01-Jul Belfast International (BFS) Providence (PVD) B738 (2)  
Stewart (SWF) B738 (3)  
Cork (ORK) Providence (PVD)  
Dublin (DUB) Stewart (SWF) B738 (7)  
Helsinki (HEL) Varna (VAR) B738 (1) Finnair (1), Thomas Cook
Airlines Scandinavia (1)
02-Jul Bergen (BGO) Providence (PVD) B738 (2)  
Dublin (DUB) B738 (5)  
Shannon (SNN) Stewart (SWF) B738 (2)  
03-Jul Bergen (BGO)  
Shannon (SNN) Providence (PVD)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 04 July 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

Fiji Airways’ Nadi to Adelaide

Seen welcoming the arrival of the inaugural Fiji Airways flight from Nadi to Adelaide with Fijian warriors were: John Nickel, Regional General Manager Australia, Fiji Airways; Mark Young, MD, Adelaide Airport; Fijian Warrior; Welcome to Country Performer; Rodney Harrex, CEO, South Australian Tourism Commission; Nick Jones, Executive Director, Destination Development, South Australian Tourism Commission; and Jonathan Cheong, Head of Aviation Business Development, Adelaide Airport. A themed cake was baked to celebrate the inaugural flight – a Fiji Airways boarding pass surrounded by icons from Fiji (ukulele, kava and a coconut tree) and South Australia (wine, kangaroo and koala).

  • Fiji Airways commenced twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) direct services from Nadi (NAN) to Adelaide (ADL) on 30 June. This route marks the fourth Australian destination for the airline after Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. As well as giving South Australians direct access to Fiji, the new route will also act as a gateway via Nadi to the US (Los Angeles and San Francisco). Furthering this, South Australians will be able to connect to the South Pacific region with the airline’s flights to Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu via Nadi. “We’re delighted to launch our fourth Australian route, which will allow us to bring our unique Fijian hospitality to South Australia and will provide an alternative route to the US via Nadi,” said Andre Viljoen, MD and CEO of Fiji Airways. The new service will also be good news for the sizeable Fijian community living in South Australia. “South Australia’s strong Fijian community will benefit from a direct connection to Nadi to bring them closer to family and friends,” said Mark Young, MD, Adelaide Airport. The airline will face no direct competition on this airport pair, which is operated by its 164-seat 737-800 fleet. See how Adelaide Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

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

Aeromexico launches Mexico City to Seoul Incheon service

Flowers were a big part of the celebrations at Seoul Incheon Airport to mark the first flight of Aeromexico to Mexico City. Among those with bouquets were Bruno Figueroa Fisher, Mexican Ambassador to Korea (fourth from left) and Anko van der Werff, Aeromexico’s Chief Revenue Officer (fifth from left). The new service will be flown four times weekly using the SkyTeam carrier’s 787-8s. It should be noted that outbound flights have a tech-stop in Monterrey.

  • Aeromexico began two new international routes at the beginning of July. The more significant was the carrier’s four times weekly service from Mexico City (MEX) to Seoul Incheon (ICN) which launched on 2 July. The service, which involves a tech-stop at Monterrey on the outbound flight, will be flown using the airline’s 787-8s. No other carrier serves this route and it becomes the first link from South Korea to a destination in Central or South America. Seoul becomes the SkyTeam carrier’s third destination in Asia, joining Shanghai Pudong and Tokyo Narita. Aeromexico’s other new route this week was from Guadalajara (GDL) to San Jose (SJC) in California. The route, launched 1 July, will be flown six times weekly by Aeromexico. Competition on the 2,593-kilometre sector comes from Alaska Airlines and Volaris which both operate the service on a daily basis. 

Air Astana launches Astana to Delhi service

Air Astana’s second route to Delhi becomes the 130th for the Indian airport. Flights from the Kazakhstan capital of Astana will initially operate twice-weekly on the airline’s fleet of A320s.

  • Air Astana on 3 July commenced a twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) service from Astana (TSE) to Delhi (DEL) using its A320s. The 2,540-kilometre route is not served by any other carrier. Air Astana already serves Delhi from Almaty (since 2004) with daily flights. This brings to 21 the number of international destinations served by the Kazakhstan carrier from the country’s capital, of which five are in Russia. This new service will make it easier for Indians to visit EXPO 2017 which is currently taking place in Astana with the theme of “Future Energy”. For Delhi, Astana becomes the airport’s 130th destination. 

The first flight crew pose with the cake made to celebrate Air Canada’s inaugural service from Toronto Pearson. The Star Alliance member will offer four weekly flights on the 12,488-kilometre sector on its 787-9s. The route is now the third longest on the Air Canada network after Pearson-Hong Kong and Vancouver-Sydney.

  • Air Canada now serves two destinations in India following the launch of flights between Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Mumbai (BOM) on 1 July. The Star Alliance member will operate the 12,488-kilometre sector four times weekly on its fleet of 787-9s. “Air Canada is always excited to launch a new route and this is particularly gratifying given Mumbai is India’s largest city and regarded as its financial, commercial and entertainment capital. This flight is the third route we have started to India in less than two years, demonstrating our commitment to this vibrant market as well to our continuing international expansion strategy. This is the only non-stop service between Canada and Mumbai and positions Air Canada as offering the best coverage of any carrier operating between Canada and India,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. The airline already links Pearson, as well as Vancouver, to Delhi. The route between Pearson and Mumbai is now the third longest on the Air Canada network, with it falling just short of the airline’s link from Pearson to Hong Kong (12,545 kilometres) and Vancouver to Sydney (12,493) according to OAG schedules. As stated by Smith, no other carrier currently links Mumbai to Canada, with this service now a monopoly for Air Canada. The Canadian flag carrier serves 10 destinations in the Middle East and Asia from Pearson following the commencement of services to Mumbai, with it already serving Beijing, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul Incheon, Shanghai Pudong,Tel Aviv and Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports.  

AirAsia X links Kuala Lumpur and Honolulu

Among those celebrating AirAsia X’s arrival in Hawaii from Kuala Lumpur were: Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X; Mike McCartney, State of Hawaii Chief of Staff; Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Chairperson; H.E Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique, Malaysian Ambassador to the US; and George Szigeti, President and CEO of Hawaii Tourism Authority. The four times weekly service, which operates via Osaka in Japan, is the carrier’s first foray into the US market.

  • AirAsia X has flown its first service to the US. On 28 June flight D7 001 took off from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) heading for Honolulu (HNL) in Hawaii, stopping off en-route at Osaka Kansai (KIX). The new service will be flown four times weekly by the airline’s A330-300s. Competition exists on the sector between Osaka and Hawaii with Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines all operating daily flights on the 6,611-kilometre route. The inaugural service had a load factor of over 90%. AirAsia X Chairperson, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, said: “We are here to democratise air travel for everyone, so flying long-haul would no longer be a luxury only a few could enjoy. This landmark route to Hawaii is a bold new chapter in that quest to help more people travel further for less. But this is just the beginning, and soon our guests will be able to enjoy flights to even more destinations in the US as we continue to grow our international footprint.”

Blue Air Liverpool Larnaca

The Beatles made an appearance in Larnaca to celebrate the start of flights to their home city of Liverpool on 27 June. Blue Air will operate the route twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays), with easyJet already serving the city pair.

Blue Air Larnaca Liverpool

At the UK-end of the 3,500-kilometre route, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to open the new service. Seen cutting the ribbon alongside the flight crew is Paul Winfield, Aviation Director, Liverpool Airport.

On 30 June Blue Air commenced its fourth route to Brussels in the form of a weekly (Fridays) 1,928-kilometre connection from Constanta, with the Belgian airport baking a classic two-tiered cake to celebrate the new route. Seen cutting the culinary delight are: Jan Van De Reyd, Senior Aviation Development Manager, Brussels Airport; Luciana Paunescu, Executive Manager, Blue Air; and the first flight Captain. A ribbon cutting ceremony was also conducted along with members of the Romanian Embassy and flight crew.

Blue Air Turin Trapani

Trapani Airport baked this cake to welcomed the arrival of its newest carrier Blue Air. The airline will link the Sicilian airport to Turin four times weekly, with no other airline currently providing direct flights between the two cities.

  • Blue Air, which has just announced that it will purchase six 737 MAX 8s, with a further agreement to lease six 737 MAX 8s and six 737-800s, has added three new routes to its network this week. The first of the trio of routes to be launched was a connection between the airline’s bases of Larnaca (LCA) and Liverpool (LPL), with the LCC basing a third aircraft at the Cypriot hub. Launched 27 June, the 3,500-kilometre city pair will operate twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) on a mixture of the carrier’s 737-700s and -800s. The next inauguration was the 904-kilometre connection from Turin (TRN) to Trapani (TPS), a new airport for the airline. Commencing on 29 June, Blue Air will offer four weekly flights between the Italian and Sicilian airports on a mixture of 737-400s and -500s. The third and final launch of the week occurred on 30 June, with the carrier now linking Constanta (CND) to Brussels (BRU), the airline’s fourth route to the Belgian capital. Operated weekly (Fridays), the summer seasonal 1,928-kilometre link will be flown on its 737-500s. The only service of the three that will face direct competition is the Cyprus-UK connection, with easyJet already offering twice-weekly flights, also operated on the same days as Blue Air. See how Trapani Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.   

Cathay Pacific Airways begins Barcelona service

Cutting the cake at Barcelona Airport to welcome Cathay Pacific Airways’ new four times weekly service from Hong Kong are: Mario Rubert, Promotion and Development Director, Barcelona Town Hall; Emilio Ablanedo, Delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalunya; Jansen Stafford, Country Manager Spain, Cathay Pacific; Josep Rull, Conseller de Territori i Sostenibilitat, Generalitat de Catalunya; Sonia Corrochano, Airport Director, Barcelona El Prat Airport.

  • Cathay Pacific Airways has launched its second new route of 2017, having launched Tel Aviv services in March, with the commencement on 2 July of a four times weekly service from Hong Kong (HKG) to Barcelona (BCN). The 10,054-kilometre route will be operated during the summer period by the oneworld carrier’s A350-900s and complements the existing four times weekly service to Madrid which began last June. No other carrier operates the route and Barcelona becomes the airline’s 12th destination in Europe, which includes three in the UK, two each in Germany and Italy and one each in France, the Netherlands and Switzerland respectively. Ivan Chu, CEO, Cathay Pacific Airways said: “Barcelona is a great city for its tourism and rich culture that attracts visitors from around the world. We’re excited to offer the first-ever direct link between Hong Kong and Barcelona, which follows the launch of our Madrid service last year. This new summer service reflects our commitment to grow the Cathay Pacific network and offer customers more choice. This further strengthens Hong Kong’s status as one of the world’s most important aviation hubs.” The airline’s RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometres) to Europe are up 14% in the first five months of 2017 while overall RPKs are up just 1.5%.

Waving the large destination banners at Berlin Schönefeld to mark the start of three new destinations were: Jana Friedrich, Aviation Marketing, FBB; Vincent Pinto, Co-Pilot, easyJet; and Rebekka Hinze, Marketing, easyJet. These additional routes mean easyJet serves 48 different summer destinations from Berlin.

  • easyJet has used the last week to commence 12 new routes to destinations in Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, Montenegro and Spain. The average sector length of the new city pairs is 924 kilometres, with the shortest airport pair being the 463-kilometre service from Geneva (GVA) to Calvi (CLY), while the longest is the 1,757-kilometre operation from Hamburg (HAM) to Valencia (VLC). The average weekly frequency of the 12 new routes is 2.2. Just four of the 12 new routes will see any direct competition for the airline, all from a single incumbent. Talking about the LCC’s three new routes from Berlin Schönefleld was Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, FBB CEO: “easyJet is continuing its expansion in Berlin. This clearly acknowledges the importance of our location. In the last 14 months, the carrier has stationed three new aircraft at Schönefeld, as well as adding eleven new destinations to its Berlin flight plan. With a total of 48 destinations, there is hardly a region in Europe that cannot be reached by flying easyJet from Berlin.”
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Jun Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Pula (PUY) A319 (3)  
London Luton (LTN) Biarritz (BIQ) A32S (2)  
Milan Malpensa (MXP) Zadar (ZAD) A32S (3)  
Venice Marco Polo (VCE) Palma de Mallorca (PMI) A319 (3) Volotea (3)
28-Jun Basel (BSL) Biarritz (BIQ) A32S (2)  
Dubrovnik (DBV) A319 (2)  
Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Varna (VAR)  
Geneva (GVA) Calvi (CLY) A32S (2) SWISS (1)
Hamburg (HAM) Valencia (VLC) A319 (2) Ryanair (3)
Venice Marco Polo (VCE) Alghero (AHO) A32S (2) Volotea (2)
29-Jun Toulouse (TLS) Valencia (VLC) A319 (2)  
01-Jul Geneva (GVA) Tivat (TIV) A32S (1)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 4 July. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Phnom Penh became the first destination in Cambodia to be served by Emirates on 1 July. As well as being the country’s largest city and the most important commercial centre, it is also the gateway to the world famous Angkor Wat temple complex. Badr Abbas, Emirates’ SVP, Commercial Operations Far East, was on board the inaugural flight with a number of senior airline executives and prominent business leaders.

  • Emirates recently expanded its presence in Southeast Asia with the launch of a new daily service from Dubai (DXB) to Phnom Penh (PHN) in Cambodia, via its existing service to Yangon in Myanmar. This new service, launched on 1 July and operated with its 777-300s, broadens the airline’s network in Southeast Asia to 13 cities in eight countries. It also marks the first time since 2014 that Phnom Penh and Yangon have been connected by a direct air link, serving increasing demand for travel between the two fast-developing cities. Flights to Phnom Penh (on EK388) will depart daily from Dubai at 09:15, arriving in Yangon at 17:25. It will then depart Yangon at 18:55, before arriving in Phnom Penh at 21:25. On the return segment, flight EK389 will depart Phnom Penh at 23:10, and will arrive in Yangon at 00:40. It will then set off to Dubai‎ at 02:10, arriving in the UAE at 05:40. No other carriers operate this city pair, although fellow MEB3 carrier Qatar AIrways has a one-stop service from its Doha hub (via Ho Chi Minh City) to the Cambodian city also. See how Phnom Penh Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Jackie Chan, martial arts master and Hollywood actor, was on hand to celebrate the launch of the new route along with Vancouver Airport’s President & CEO, Craig Richmond. There was also a ceremonial karate chopping ceremony and a gift exchange to herald the arrival of Hong Kong Airlines’ first service to North America.

Hong Kong Airlines launches Vancouver service

There were also celebrations in Hong Kong for the start of the new service. Hong Kong Airlines joins Air Canada and Cathay Pacific Airways in connecting the two cities with daily flights.

  • Hong Kong Airlines has launched its first route to North America. On 30 June the carrier began a daily service to Vancouver (YVR) from Hong Kong (HKG) using its 264-seat A330-200s. The 10,266-kilometre route is already flown 17 times weekly by Cathay Pacific Airways and daily by Air Canada. Hong Kong legend Jackie Chan was on the inaugural flight. Craig Richmond, President & CEO of Vancouver Airport decided to ‘get in shape’ to meet the martial arts master and his exploits can be seen here. Richmond said: “We are thrilled to welcome Hong Kong Airlines, an award-winning company with a great growth story. Hong Kong Airlines’ new year-round service will further link Vancouver and Canada with one of the world’s most dynamic cities. This service presents more options for passengers and businesses, while spurring economic growth and trade.” George Liu, Chief Marketing Officer, Hong Kong Airlines said: “The launch of this new route from Vancouver represents an exciting new chapter for Hong Kong Airlines as we expand our services into Canada with the intention of cultivating a global audience. To commemorate our official entry into the North American market, we are thrilled to have renowned Hong Kong-born martial artist, Academy Award-winning Hollywood actor and world traveller Jackie Chan on board the inaugural flight as our Hong Kong Airlines brand ambassador. He offers an opportunity to further establish an East-meets-West, cross-cultural connection for our new customers, and complements our truly Hong Kong brand that bridge our new routes into Western gateways.”

Cutting the ribbon in Krakow, officially opening the airport’s sole long-haul route to Chicago O’Hare, are: Rafał Milczarski, President of LOT Polish Airlines; Radosław Włoszek, President of the Krakow Airport Management Board; Piotr Ćwik, Governor of Małopolska; Andrzej Kulig, Deputy Mayor of Krakow; Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister of Infrastructure and Construction; Walter Braunohler, US Consul General in Krakow; Jacek Krupa, Marshal of the Małopolska Region; and Stanisław Kogut, Senator of the Republic of Poland. A jazz-inspired cake was also baked to mark the new US service.

  • LOT Polish Airlines added its only long-haul route from Krakow (KRK) on 3 July, launching a weekly (Mondays) year-round service to Chicago O’Hare (ORD), a 7,604-kilometre city pair it last served in October 2010. The Star Alliance member’s only other routes from Krakow are to Gdansk and Warsaw Chopin. Not only is this the sole long-haul route now on offer from Krakow, but it is also the airport’s exclusive wide-body service, with LOT Polish Airlines using its three-class 787-8s on the route. When it last operated between Krakow and O’Hare, the Polish national carrier used its 767-300s. With this launch, it means that LOT Polish Airlines now offers six routes across the Atlantic on 38 weekly flights according to OAG schedules, with it also serving O’Hare, Los Angeles, New York’s JFK and Newark, plus Toronto Pearson from Warsaw Chopin. There are now 54 airports across Europe with at least one weekly flight to the US. See how Krakow Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Assisted by the inaugural crew on the Plus Ultra service launch between Barcelona and Havana were: Lourdes Pajon, Commercial Director Cubana de Aviacion; Julio Martínez, EVP Plus Ultra; and Antonio Lara Rueda, Executive Deputy Director, Barcelona Airport.

  • Plus Ultra launched a weekly (Saturdays) operation from Barcelona (BCN) to Havana (HAV) on 1 July. The 7,899-kilometre sector will be flown by the airline’s A340-300 fleet and faces no direct competition. Barcelona becomes the 15th European airport (and second in Spain) to have direct air links with the Cuban capital. Madrid has direct flights to Havana with Air Europa, Cubana, Evelop Airlines and Iberia according to OAG schedule data for this week. Between them these four carriers offer a total of 19 weekly flights, more than from any other European city.

Leon Verhallen, Head of Aviation Marketing at Brussels Airport (left) led proceedings on behalf of the Belgian airport to mark the start of Qeshm Air’s new service from Tehran Imam Khomeini. He was joined by a large delegation from the airline and the Ambassador of Iran.

  • Qeshm Air, the Iranian airline, has begun a weekly (Tuesdays) A319 service from Tehran Imam Khomeini (IKA) to Brussels (BRU), its first scheduled destination in Western Europe (apart from some ad-hoc operations to Larnaca). The 4,083-kilometre sector began on 27 June and the airline will face no direct competition on the city pair. Airport sources have indicated that the carrier will increase its frequency as the route develops, particularly because Belgium has a large community of Iranians. See how Brussels Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

SA Airlink Victoria Falls

SA Airlink commenced flights to Victoria Falls from Cape Town on 2 July, with the route being officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Zimbabwe airport. Flights will operate six times weekly.

  • SA Airlink has now begun flights to Victoria Falls (VFA), with it starting services from Cape Town (CPT). It should be noted that South African Airways, which has a codesharing and schedule co-ordination agreement with SA Airlink, already serves Victoria Falls with flights from Johannesburg. Flights from Cape Town were inaugurated on 2 July and will be flown six times weekly on the airline’s fleet of ERJ 135s. The 1,904-kilometre connection is already flown by Kenya Airways, with it operating twice-weekly flights, increasing to three times weekly from 13 July, on its Nairobi–Victoria Falls–Cape Town route, with the airline having local traffic rights on the Zimbabwe–South Africa part of the sector when referring to the carrier’s booking engine. See how Victoria Falls Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Presiding over the cake-cutting to mark the start of SunExpress’ new service from Antalya to Moscow Zhukovsky were: Officer of the Court of Zhukovsky City, Dmity Kuska; General Director, Ramport Aero, Tomas Vaisvila; Deputy General Director, Ramport Aero, Evgheniy Solodilin; CEO, Kidy Tour Russia, Natalia Voronkevich; and Senior Aviation Marketing Manager, Ramport Aero, Galina Telpiz.

  • SunExpress has used the last week to commence four new routes to destinations in Austria, Germany and Russia. The average sector length of the new city pairs is 2,204 kilometres, with the shortest airport pair being the 1,576-kilometre service from Ankara (ESB) to Vienna (VIE), while the longest is the 2,725-kilometre operation from Elazig (EZS) to Frankfurt (FRA). The average weekly frequency of the four new routes is just 1.25. Just one of the four new routes will see any direct competition for the airline. All routes will be flown by the leisure carrier’s 737-800s. See how Moscow Zhukovsky Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Jun Antalya (AYT) Moscow Zhukovsky (ZIA) B738 (1)  
28-Jun Elazig (EZS) Frankfurt (FRA)  
Samsun (SZF) Hannover (HAJ)  
30-Jun Ankara (ESB) Vienna (VIE) B738 (2) Pegasus Airlines (3), Turkish Airlines (3)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 4 July 2017. WF = Weekly frequencies.

TAP Portugal Budapest

Seen cutting the cake in Budapest to celebrate the resumption of TAP Portugal’s seven times weekly service to Lisbon are: Péter Szolnok, Sales Manager, TAP Portugal; Her Excellency Maria José Morais Pires, Ambassador of Portugal to Hungary; David Jacinto, Head of Central and Eastern European and USA Sales, TAP Portugal; and Jost Lammers, CEO, Budapest Airport. During winter the Star Alliance member will operate six weekly flights.

  • TAP Portugal returned to Bucharest (OTP) and Budapest (BUD) on 2 July, with the carrier having last served the Hungarian and Romanian capitals at the end of W15/16. Both are now connected to Lisbon (LIS) once again by the Star Alliance member, with services on the 2,478-kilometre link to Budapest operating seven times weekly (twice-daily Saturday, no Friday flight), and the 2,971-kilometre connection to Bucharest being served six times weekly. “We experienced a 5.9% increase in Portuguese tourists last year,” informs Jost Lammers, CEO, Budapest Airport. Lammers added: “It’s a great moment for us to welcome back TAP Portugal into our portfolio as well as giving us the opportunity to offer our customers the carrier’s excellent onward connections to Morocco, Brazil, Cape Verde and the Azores.” TAP Portugal also confirmed at the Budapest launch that its services to the gateway of Hungary will continue into W17/18 with six weekly flights. Both capital connections are already served by Hungarian-based ULCC Wizz Air, while Blue Air also flies between Bucharest and Lisbon. See how Budapest Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Unfortunately Paramaribo Airport was unable to conduct a water arch for the arrival of TUI Netherlands because of a KLM flight that was preparing for departure, so the airport’s ARFF category would have been downgraded. However, it is fantastic that they managed to showcase the water baptism in their cake. Seen on the tarmac with the first flight are: Vijay Chotkan, General Director of Airport Management; Denny van Ommeren, Station Manager of Surinam Airways in the Netherlands; Robbi Lachmising, CEO Surinam Airways; Arjan Kers, GM TUI Netherlands; Ernst Noorman, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Suriname; Ferdinand Welzijn, Minister of Trade, Industry & Tourism; Roy Lieuw A Sie, Consul General of Suriname in The Netherlands; and Brian De Souza, Act. Director of Civil Aviation Safety Authority Suriname. A gift giving ceremony was also performed, with Chotkan receiving a 787-8 model from Kers.

  • TUI Netherlands became the third carrier to link Amsterdam (AMS) with Paramaribo (PBM) when it began weekly (Mondays) flights on 3 July. Using its own 787-8s, TUI Netherlands will operate the route in codeshare with Surinam Airways. The seasonal route will run until 30 October. However after this date the Netherlands carrier will still codeshare with Surinam Airways on its Wednesday and Saturday flights. The 7,519-kilometre sector is already operated by Surinam Airways four times weekly this summer according to OAG schedules, with KLM also offering four weekly flights.   

Seen cutting the ribbon in Stokmarknes to officially open Widerøe’s three times weekly service to Oslo Gardermoen are: Tove Mette Bjørkmo, Mayor of Sortland; Siv Dagny Aasvik, Mayor of Hadsel; and Karianne B. Bråthen, Mayor of Øksnes. Unfortunately the photographer did not get to the cake in time to get the key shot, as it had already been cut up ready to serve to passengers. Widerøe will not face direct competition on the 950-kilometre route.

  • Widerøe has expanded its route offering from Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) by launching a three times weekly link to Stokmarknes (SKN) in Nordland in Northern Norway. Launched 27 June, the carrier will operate the 950-kilometre domestic sector on its fleet of 39-seat DHC-8-100s. No other carrier currently operates this route. With this launch, Widerøe now offers 14 connections from Gardermoen this summer according to OAG schedules, with its only international route being to Gothenburg. By launching Stokmarknes services, it becomes the airline’s longest sector from Gardermoen, with it beating the previous longest sector, Gardermoen-Svolvær, by 41 kilometres. For Stokmarknes Airport, which handled just over 100,000 passengers last year, this link to the Norwegian capital becomes its fourth route with Widerøe, with it also being connected by the carrier to Bodø, Tromsø and Leknes, with the latter having launched on 1 April. See how Stokmarknes Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Seen cutting the ribbon and cake in Bratislava to officially celebrate the start of Wizz Air’s new capital links to Sofia and Warsaw Chopin are: Bulgarian Ambassador to Slovakia, Yordanka Chobanova; Piotr Samerek from the Polish Embassy to Slovakia; Wizz Air Communications Manager, Sorina Ratz; and Bratislava Airport CEO, Jozef Pojedinec.

Wizz Air Warsaw Chopin

This week Wizz Air stationed its seventh aircraft at Warsaw Chopin, with the additional unit allowing the airline to open seven new routes from the Polish capital to Agadir, Bratislava, Bucharest, Kiev Zhulyany, Lamezia Terme, Lyon and Nice. With these launches, Wizz Air now serves 44 routes from Chopin this summer.

  • Wizz Air saw double sevens at Warsaw Chopin (WAW) this week, with the carrier not only adding a seventh based aircraft at the airport, but the ULCC has also commenced seven new routes. The airline now links the Polish capital to Agadir (AGA), Bratislava (BTS), Bucharest (OTP), Kiev Zhulyany (IEV), Lamezia Terme (SUF), Lyon (LYS) and Nice (NCE), with Agadir and Lyon being new airports on the carrier’s route map. With these additions, Wizz Air now links Chopin to 44 destinations in S17. Away from Wizz Air’s expansion from Poland, the airline has also begun a four times weekly service between the capitals of Bulgaria and Slovakia. The 777-kilometre link from Sofia (SOF) to Bratislava will be flown on the airline’s A320s facing no direct competition. The average sector length of the carrier’s new routes from Chopin is 1,407 kilometres, while the average weekly frequency is 2.9. Three of the routes see direct competition from Polish national carrier LOT Polish Airlines. See how Agadir Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
30-Jun Sofia (SOF) Bratislava (BTS) A320 (4)  
Warsaw Chopin (WAW) Agadir (AGA) A321 (2)  
Bratislava (BTS) A320 (4)  
Bucharest (OTP) LOT Polish Airlines (21)
Lyon (LYS) A320 (2)  
01-Jul Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) A320 (3) LOT Polish Airlines (7)
Nice (NCE) LOT Polish Airlines (7)
02-Jul Lamezia Terme (SUF) A320 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 4 July 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

Xiamen Airlines launches Xiamen to Los Angeles route.

We think there are a total of 27 people who were persuaded to line-up behind this banner at Los Angeles Airport to welcome the first flight from Xiamen with Xiamen Airlines. The SkyTeam carrier will operate the route three times weekly with 787-9s.

  • Xiamen Airlines on 27 June launched its third US service. It now connects its home base of Xiamen (XMN) with Los Angeles (LAX). The 11,185-kilometre route will be operated three times weekly using the SkyTeam carrier’s 787-9s and faces no direct competition. The carrier already links Shenzhen with Seattle-Tacoma and Fuzhou with New York JFK. All of these US routes are currently operated with three weekly flights. Thanks to this new route, Los Angeles now has 13 non-stop services to China flown by nine different carriers to 10 Chinese cities. This new route means that Xiamen Airlines now ranks eighth out of 10 carriers connecting the US and China with non-stop flights. According to OAG Schedules Analyser the airline has 2.4% of seat capacity, well behind the market leaders Air China (20.2%) and United Airlines (20.0%). Chinese airlines currently account for just over 60% of seat capacity between the two super powers.


  1. John Wang says:

    Cell C108 should be “Baotou” instead of “Baotao”

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