New airline routes launched (22 August 2017 – 28 August 2017)

Wataniya Airways’ Kuwait City to Bahrain

“This inaugural flight is the beginning of what we hope will be a long and fruitful relationship between Wataniya Airways and Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), which will, at the same time, enhance tourism and trade between our two countries,” said BAC CCO, Ayman Zainal on the launch of the airline’s services from Kuwait on 27 August. “We consider the airline to be a part of the wider BIA family and stand ready to provide it with the support and assistance it requires to offer the best possible passenger experience to its customers.”

  • Wataniya Airways has added two new international sectors from its Kuwait City (KWI) base, with Bahrain (BAH) and Najaf (NJF) commencing on 27 August and 23 August respectively. The former route will be flown on a daily basis and will face direct competition from four incumbents – Gulf Air (42 times weekly), Kuwait Airways (13), Jazeera Airways (seven) and KLM (six). Competition is less evident on the 459-kilometre sector to the Iraqi city, as the three times weekly operation will encounter resistance from Jazeera (five times weekly) and Kuwait Airways (three) again, as well as Iraqi Airways (twice-weekly). Both routes will be flown by Wataniya’s A320 fleet. Wataniya’s Vice Chairman Riyad Al Saeed commented on the Bahrain launch: “We are delighted about our newly added destination, Bahrain, to which Wataniya will fly daily at competitive fares. Bahrain is the first GCC country that Wataniya Airways has touched down in since our launch. The other four destinations we currently fly to are Najaf, Baku, Tbilisi and Sarajevo, and we have plans to launch further services in the future.” 

Nordica’s Tallinn to Gothenburg

Seen cutting the Gothenburg route launch cake in Tallinn are Eero Pärgmäe, Marketing and Business Development, Commercial Director, Tallinn Airport; and Sven Kukemelk, Executive Director, Business Development, Nordica. The airline will operate the 752-kilometre route, its second to Sweden after Stockholm Arlanda, six times weekly on its CRJ 900s.

  • Nordica introduced Gothenburg (GOT) to its network on 28 August, commencing a six times weekly service to the Swedish city from Tallinn (TLL). The 752-kilometre route will be flown by the airline on its fleet of CRJ 900s, with no other carrier currently operating the city pair. With this launch, Nordica now serves two destinations in Sweden, with it also flying to Stockholm Arlanda from Tallinn with 20 weekly flights according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. See how Gothenburg 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 Jose Tuscon

San Jose Airport celebrated the start of Alaska Airlines’ new service to Tucson on 28 August. On the same day the airline also began services to Austin from the Californian airport. Flights to both destinations will be flown daily.

  • Alaska Airlines expanded its operations from four US West Coast airports this week, with six new routes being launched from Portland (PDX), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC) and Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) to destinations in Arizona, Nebraska and Texas. Of the sectors inaugurated by the carrier this week, four of them will face direct competition from Southwest Airlines, while the link from San Diego to Austin (AUS) will also face Frontier Airlines which offers three weekly flights on the route. The average sector length of Alaska Airlines’ new airport pairs is 2,133 kilometres.  
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Aug Portland (PDX) Dallas Love Field (DAL) E175 (7) Southwest Airlines (7)
San Diego (SAN) Austin (AUS) Southwest Airlines (13), Frontier Airlines (3)
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Dallas Love Field (DAL) EQV (14) Southwest Airlines (7)
28-Aug San Diego (SAN) Omaha (OMA) E175 (7)  
San Jose (SJC) Austin (AUS) Southwest Airlines (13)
Tucson (TUS)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 29 August 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

American Airlines Shreveport

Shreveport Airport welcomed the arrival of American Airlines’ new twice-daily service from Charlotte Douglas on 22 August with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Seen taking charge of the cutting duties is Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler.

American Airlines Toledo

Toledo Airport celebrated with this impressive 3D cake, made by the 7 Little Cupcakes company, to celebrate the start of American Airlines’ new twice-daily service from Charlotte Douglas on 22 August.

  • American Airlines has expanded its operations from Charlotte Douglas (CLT) this week with two new domestic routes to Shreveport (SHV) in Louisiana and Toledo (TOL) in Ohio. “This historic inaugural flight provides Toledo travelers with connectivity to American’s second largest hub, and to a multitude of worldwide destinations,” said Paul Toth, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “This flight represents a significant commitment to the Toledo market by American and demonstrates the continued growth of the Toledo economy.” Both launched on 22 August, the 1,226- and 752-kilometre sectors will each see a twice-daily rotation flown on CRJ 200s, with neither route facing any direct competition. As stated by Toth, Charlotte Douglas is indeed American’s second largest hub after Dallas/Fort Worth, with it offering over 540,000 weekly one-way seats this summer on 4,980 flights according to OAG schedules.    

Seen cutting the ribbon in Gothenburg to officially open LOT Polish Airlines’ new service to Warsaw Chopin are: Wieslaw Tarka, Polish Ambassador in Sweden; Charlotte Ljunggren, Director, Gothenburg Airport; Sven Kukemelk, Executive Director, Business Development, Nordica; and Adrian Kubicki, Director of Corporate Communications and Spokesperson, LOT Polish Airlines. Along with a ribbon cutting a cake was also made to herald the occasion.

  • LOT Polish Airlines introduced Gothenburg (GOT) to its network this week, beginning a six times weekly service to Warsaw Chopin (WAW). Launched 28 August, the 824-kilometre route is already flown by Wizz Air three times weekly on A320s. “It is very pleasing for Swedavia to be able to offer more travelers a quick and easy line to the trendy and exciting city of Warsaw. It is also an important line for business travelers in both Poland and Western Sweden,” said Charlotte Ljunggren, Director, Gothenburg Airport. LOT will operate the route using 70-seat CRJ 900s which it flies on behalf of Nordica, which on the same day began services to Gothenburg from Tallinn. Gothenburg becomes LOT’s second route to Sweden from Chopin, with it also serving Stockholm Arlanda with three daily flights.  

On 28 August, Qatar Airways commenced daily flights between Doha and Kiev Boryspil. In celebration, the latter airport greeted the aircraft with traditional Ukrainian dancing, while afterwards a press conference was held, fronted by: Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Infrastructure for Ukraine; Ehab Amin, CCO Qatar Airways; and Pavlo Riabikin, CEO of Kiev Boryspil Airport. Afterwards, a gift exchange took place between Amin and Riabikin.

  • Qatar Airways has introduced Kiev Boryspil (KBP) to its network, launching on 28 August a daily A320-operated service from Doha (DOH). Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker, said of the new route: “We are delighted to launch direct service to Kiev, a much-anticipated addition to our global network. This new route will connect businesses in Kiev and across Ukraine to new business partners from around the globe, while also appealing to leisure travellers, offering them the opportunity to experience this charming city. Kiev is just one of several new European destinations launched by Qatar Airways this summer, including Prague and Skopje, opening new gateways across Eastern Europe and linking these cities to our extensive global network of more than 150 destinations.” The 3,302-kilometre route to the Ukrainian capital will not face any direct competition. As stated, Qatar Airways has recently introduced Prague and Skopje to its network in Eastern Europe. Its next launch to the region is scheduled to take place on 31 October, the day on which the oneworld member will begin serving Sarajevo. See how Kiev Boryspil Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Sun Country Airlines Santa Rosa

Passengers on the first flight between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Santa Rosa were greeted with gift bags as they disembarked the aircraft at the Californian airport. The weekly (Thursdays) seasonal route will run until 3 December.

  • Sun Country Airlines has now added Santa Rosa (STS) to its route map, beginning a weekly (Thursdays) seasonal service from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP). “The addition of Santa Rosa to Sun Country’s destinations gives our passengers access to experience some of the wonders of California, from Wine Country to the beautiful redwoods,” commented Jude Bricker, the new President and CEO of Sun Country Airlines, having previously been at Allegiant Air. The 2,540-kilometre sector will be flown by the carrier on its fleet of 737-800s until 3 December, with no other airlines presently serving the city pair. By adding Santa Rosa to its network, Sun Country now offers connections from Minneapolis-St. Paul to four Californian destinations this summer, with Santa Rosa joining the likes of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.     

Kiev Zhulyany Wizz Air

Wizz Air crew this week celebrated the opening of five new routes from Kiev Zhulyany to Copenhagen, Frankfurt Hahn, Lublin, Nuremberg and Poznan. As a result of these new services, Wizz Air will station a second A320 at the Ukraine capital city airport. With these launches, Wizz Air now serves 18 destinations from Zhulyany on 57 weekly flights.

Wizz Air Nuremberg

Nuremberg Airport welcomed the arrival of Wizz Air’s new route from Kiev Zhulyany on 27 August. Seen welcoming the new service along with the crew is Christian Käser, Head of Aviation Marketing & Business Development, Nuremberg Airport. With this launch, Wizz Air now serves eight destinations from the German city.

Wizz Air Lublin Kiev

On 25 August Lublin Airport welcomed the arrival of Wizz Air’s new service from Kiev Zhulyany, the ULCC’s eighth destination from the Polish airport. Seen cutting the cake, baked to welcome the new service, is Krzysztof Wójtowicz, President of Lublin Airport. Wizz Air will operate the 550-kilometre route twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays).

Along with its expansion from Kiev Zhulyany, Wizz Air introduced a new airport to its network from its second largest base at Budapest, a new twice-weekly service to St. Petersburg, its second destination in Russia after Moscow Vnukovo. Among those on the apron celebrating the new route are Evgeniy Iliyn, CCO St. Petersburg Airport (second-left) and Anna Nikiforova, Head of Aviation Marketing Department, St. Petersburg Airport (third-right). From November, the frequency of the route will increase to three times weekly, while from May next year it will grow even further to four times weekly according to Wizz Air’s online schedule.

  • Wizz Air expanded its presence at Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) this week by stationing a second A320 at the Ukrainian capital city airport, allowing the ULCC to open new routes to Copenhagen (CPH), Frankfurt Hahn (HHN), Lublin (LUZ), Nuremberg (NUE) and Poznan (POZ). The average frequency of Wizz Air’s new routes from Zhulyany is 2.4 and the mean sector length is 1,172 kilometres. Along with its expansion from Zhulyany, Wizz Air has also introduced a new airport to its network from its second largest base – Budapest (BUD) – starting a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) service to St. Petersburg (LED) on 27 August. The latter airport becomes the airline’s second destination in Russia after Moscow Vnukovo. “We are delighted to welcome Wizz Air, the first foreign low-cost carrier to operate at St. Petersburg Airport. Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a greatly desired destination among St. Petersburg passengers. We are certain that the new direct air connection between the two cities and the high-quality and attractive product offered by Wizz Air will be in demand among tourists as well as business travellers from both sides,” noted Evgeniy Iliyn, CCO of St. Petersburg Airport at the launch. The 1,548-kilometre route between the Hungarian capital and the Russian city will see its twice-weekly frequency increase to three times weekly in November, while a fourth weekly flight will be added in May for S18 according to Wizz Air’s online booking engine. None of the six routes launched by Wizz Air this week will face direct competition according to OAG schedules. See how Lublin, Poznan and St. Petersburg airports FTWAs compare to others from around the world
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
25-Aug Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) Copenhagen (CPH) A320 (3)  
Lublin (LUZ) A320 (2)  
Poznan (POZ)  
26-Aug Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) A320 (3)  
27-Aug Budapest (BUD) St. Petersburg (LED) A320 (2)  
Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) Nuremberg (NUE)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 29 August 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.


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