New airline routes launched (18 July 2017 – 24 July 2017)

Wizz Air’s new Varna base

On 21 July Wizz Air opened its 28th base in Varna, the Bulgarian city on the Black Sea coast. The opening ceremony included flash mob dancers and a cake cutting ceremony which was conducted by Owen Jones, Chief Corporate Officer, Wizz Air, and Ulrich Heppe, CEO of Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD (Fraport Bulgaria). With the stationing of one A320 in Varna, Wizz Air has been able to open new routes to Dortmund, Eindhoven, Larnaca, Memmingen, Milan Bergamo and Tel Aviv. The carrier already serves Varna from London Luton and Sofia.

Wizz Air Varna

Seen celebrating the opening of Wizz Air’s new route from Varna in Dortmund on 21 July are Annika Neumann, Press Officer, Dortmund Airport and the captain of the first flight. The 1,770-kilometre route will be served by Wizz Air twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays). Wizz Air now serves 18 destinations from Dortmund on 75 weekly flights.

Wizz Air Varna

Memmingen Airport welcomed the arrival of Wizz Air’s new route from Varna on 22 July. Seen chilling out with the first flight crew in Germany are the airport’s Marcel Schütz, Director of Aviation, and Alica Ulrich, Aviation Marketing & Sales Manager. Wizz Air will operate twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) between Varna and Memmingen.

Wizz Air Varna

On 22 July Milan Bergamo’s Aviation Sales Director, Giacomo Cattaneo, welcomed the airport’s newest Wizz Air route – Varna. With this launch, Wizz Air now serves a total of 16 destinations from Milan Bergamo.

  • Wizz Air on 21 July opened its 28th base in the Black Sea city of Varna (VAR). Stationing one A320 at the airport, the carrier has opened six new routes to Dortmund (DTM), Eindhoven (EIN), Larnaca (LCA), Memmingen (FMM), Milan Bergamo (BGY) and Tel Aviv (TLV). Commenting on the base opening, Ulrich Heppe, CEO of Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD, said: “The 21 July, the most pink, blue and brightest day, is very emotional for us, as it marks the opening of the 28th Wizz Air base here at Varna Airport. As well as the launch of six year-round destinations, meaning eight now served in total, the day also marks the successful end of a three-year negotiation and meeting schedule with our Wizz Air partner and friends, and our whole team will work hard to help make the base a success and give a good reason for the airline to base even more aircraft here and open new destinations.” The carrier currently serves Varna from London Luton daily, soon increasing to 10 times weekly, and Sofia, also flown daily. Of the six routes launched by Wizz Air this week, only the 1,390-kilometre link to Tel Aviv will face direct competition, with Bulgaria Air already serving the city pair three times weekly according to OAG schedules, the same frequency that Wizz Air will operate on the route. Wizz Air’s remaining new routes will operate twice-weekly. See how Varna and Milan Bergamo airports FTWAs compare to others from around the world.  
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
21-Jul Varna (VAR) Dortmund (DTM) A320 (2)  
Tel Aviv (TLV) A320 (3) Bulgaria Air (3)
22-Jul Memmingen (FMM) A320 (2)  
Milan Bergamo (BGY)  
23-Jul Eindhoven (EIN)  
Larnaca (LCA)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 25 July 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

easyJet’s Manchester to Granada

easyJet Granada Manchester

Granada Airport baked this cake to toast the start of easyJet’s new twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) service from Manchester. The 1,799-kilometre route will not face any direct competition.

  • easyJet has added two further destinations to its Manchester (MAN) network. On 21 July the LCC began twice-weekly flights to Granada (GRX) in Spain. The 1,799-kilometre route is not served by any other carrier. easyJet only added the Spanish airport to its network in February when it began flights from London Gatwick. This was followed at the end of March by services from Milan Malpensa. easyJet’s second new route from Manchester launched in the last week was to Dubrovnik (DBV) in Croatia. A twice-weekly service on the 1,931-kilometre route began on 22 July. However, this route faces significant competition with (four weekly flights), Monarch Airlines (three) and Thomson Airways (two) already serving the market. This bring to 16 the number of airports that easyJet links with the Croatian destination. In total easyJet now serves 47 airports from Manchester this summer, up from 43 in S16. Apart from these two new routes, it has also added Krakow in Poland and Preveza in Greece to its Manchester schedule in the past year. See how Granada Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

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

Alaska Airlines San Francisco

Cutting the ribbon to open Alaska Airlines’ new route between San Francisco and Minneapolis-St. Paul are Alaska Airlines’ Minneapolis-St. Paul Station Manager, Haku Kaiminaauao, and Executive Director/CEO of Metropolitan Airports Commission, Brian Ryks. Launched 18 July the route will be flown twice-daily using E175s.

  • Alaska Airlines commenced flights between San Francisco (SFO) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) on 18 July. The 2,551-kilometre sector will be served by the airline twice-daily, with it utilising its fleet of E175s on the city pair. Alaska Airlines becomes the fourth carrier to connect the Californian and Minnesotan airports, with Delta Air Lines, Sun Country Airlines and United Airlines already linking the two cities, with the three incumbents combined offering 87 weekly flights. San Francisco becomes Alaska Airlines’ third connection to Minneapolis-St. Paul, with the carrier already serving the city from Seattle-Tacoma and Portland. From 18 November a fourth route will be added to the carrier’s schedule from Minneapolis-St. Paul, with the airline planning a daily service from San Diego. According to OAG schedules data the carrier now serves eight destinations in total from San Francisco with a total of 164 weekly departures. This makes it the airline’s eighth busiest airport for flights behind Seattle-Tacoma, Portland (Oregon), Anchorage, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and Spokane.  

IndiGo Doha

  • IndiGo has increased its presence in Doha (DOH) by launching daily flights to the Qatari capital from Chennai (MAA) and Kozhikode (CCJ), adding to its existing services to Doha from Delhi and Mumbai. Both inaugurated on 20 July, the 3,285- and 3,003-kilometre sectors will see direct competition from Qatar Airways, with the oneworld member already serving both cities daily. Flights to Kozhikode will also go head-to-head with Air India Express and Jet Airways, with both Indian carriers also serving the city pair daily. IndiGo will use its A320s on both routes. IndiGo now operates 13% of all weekly seats between Qatar and India, with the leading airline in the market being Qatar Airways (62% of weekly seats), followed by Jet Airways (19%). Air India Express sits behind IndiGo with a 6.5% market share. 

LATAM Airlines Cuzco

Seen celebrating the launch of LATAM Airlines’ new service between Cuzco and Trujillo are: Gonzalo Bonifaz Mejía, Senior VP Business Development, Aeropuertos del Perú; Antonio Olórtegui, Corporate Affairs Manager, LATAM Airlines Peru; Eduardo Ferreyros, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism; Elidio Espinoza, Mayor of Trujillo; and Miriam Gayoso, Manager of Tourism of the Municipality of Trujillo. LATAM Airlines will operate the route three times weekly on A319s.

  • LATAM Airlines on 18 July began flights between the Peruvian cities of Cuzco (CUZ) and Trujillo (TRU). Flown on A319s three times weekly, the 988-kilometre link between the two airports will face no direct competition when referring to OAG schedules. This becomes LATAM’s second service to Trujillo, with it already serving the city from Lima, a connection that it offers 24 times weekly this summer, with those services flown on A319s and A320s. Located in northern Peru Trujillo handled just over 560,000 passengers in 2016.

Lucky Air Bandar Seri Begawan shows that Lucky Air’s inaugural service between Kunming and Bandar Seri Begawan on 18 July landed 36 minutes ahead of its scheduled 16:00 arrival time. The U-FLY Alliance carrier will operate the 2,580-kilometre route twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) on its fleet of A320s, with no other airline offering competition.

  • Lucky Air launched its latest route from Kunming (KMG) on 18 July, a 2,580-kilometre connection to Bandar Seri Begawan (BWN) in Brunei. The U-FLY Alliance member will offer twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) flights on the connection between the Chinese city and the Sultanate of Brunei capital, with no other carrier offering direct competition when referring to OAG schedules. Flights will depart Kunming at 11:15, arriving into Bandar Seri Begawan at 16:00. Return flights then leave at 17:00, landing back into China at 20:55. This becomes Lucky Air’s second route to Bandar Seri Begawan, with it having begun flights to the city from Nanning last week on 15 July, a route it also offers twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays).  

Seaborne Airlines Antigua

Passengers can be seen disembarking Seaborne Airlines’ first flight to Antigua from San Juan on 21 July, a route it has not operated for 13 months. The carrier will fly the 468-kilometre route four times weekly on Saab 340s.

  • Seaborne Airlines has resumed service on 21 July to Antigua (ANU) after a 13-month hiatus, operating four times weekly with a Saab 340 from San Juan (SJU). The 468-kilometre link, last served by the airline on 2 June 2016, is currently not served by any other carrier, with LIAT, a regional airline based in Antigua, ending its services on the route on 14 June when analysing OAG schedules. With this launch, Seaborne Airlines now serves 11 non-stop destinations from San Juan on 139 weekly flights. 


On 19 July TAROM added a weekly (Wednesdays) service between Suceava and Turin, with the inaugural flight seen here being prepared for departure to the Italian city. With this route, which will be flown on the Romanian flag carrier’s 737-300s, it marks the only service that the airline operates from Suceava on a jet aircraft, with its Bucharest service flown on a mixture of the carrier’s ATRs. The Romanian flag-carrier already serves Turin from Iasi, a route it operates three times weekly.

  • TAROM on 19 July began a weekly (Wednesdays) service between Suceava (SCV) and Turin (TRN), a 1,455-kilometre route that is not served by another carrier. TAROM will operate the city pair on its fleet of 737-300s, with this becoming its second route to Turin, with the Italian city already being served by Romania’s flag carrier from Iasi three times weekly, also on 737-300s. With this launch, it marks the only jet aircraft operation for TAROM from Suceava, with its existing route to Bucharest being flown on a mixture of its ATR family aircraft. Suceava is set to handle a record number of passengers this year with the airport also welcoming five routes from Wizz Air, four of which are to destinations in Italy with the other being to London Luton. See how Suceava Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world


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