New airline routes launched (24 October 2017 – 30 October 2017)

United Airlines’ Los Angeles to Singapore

United Airlines

Singapore Airport baked an impressive cake to welcome the arrival of United Airlines’ non-stop service from Los Angeles which launched 27 October. The carrier will operate the 14,096-kilometre link from the Californian hub daily on its 787-9s. By launching flights to Singapore, this becomes the airline’s longest route from Los Angeles.

  • United Airlines launched its longest route from Los Angeles (LAX) on 27 October, a 14,096-kilometre link to Singapore (SIN), beating the airline’s current route to Melbourne from the Californian hub which has a sector length of 12,751 kilometres. Flown on the Star Alliance member’s 787-9s with a daily rotation, this becomes United’s second non-stop route to Singapore from the US after San Francisco. Another long-haul sector launched by United this week is the 8,541-kilometre link from New York Newark (EWR) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), a route that will be served by carrier’s fleet of 767-400s when referring to OAG schedules. Launched on 28 October, the daily connection from Newark down to Argentina will face no direct competition, with the airline’s new US-Asia service also not facing any incumbents. It should be noted that United already offers daily flights to Ezeiza from Houston Intercontinental on its 777-200s.     

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

Celebrating Air Europa’s launch of services to Tenerife North at Gran Canaria Airport on 30 October were: Pablo Rodríguez, VP and Counsellor of Public Works and Transport;  Antonio Morales, President of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria; Juan José Hidalgo, President, Air Europa; Mercedes Roldós, Delegate of the Government in the Canary Islands; and Santiago Martínez-Cava, Gran Canaria Airport Director.

  • Air Europa commenced three new services from Gran Canaria (LPA) to Fuerteventura (FUE), Lanzarote (ACE) and Tenerife North (TFN) on 30 October. OAG schedules for the week commencing 31 October show that the 161-kilometre Gran Canaria-Fuerteventura sector will be served by 18 weekly frequencies, the 208-kilometre Lanzarote route will be served by 20 weekly flights and the 111-kilometre Gran Canaria-Tenerife North airport pair will be operated 46 times per week. Each of these short intra-island hops will be flown by Air Europa’s ATR 72s. The SkyTeam carrier will face direct competition from Binter Canarias and Canaryfly on all three routes.

Montpellier Airport celebrated the launch of a new Air France route to Algiers on 30 October. To mark the occasion, a special two-tiered cake was produced featuring the Algerian flag. Air France will serve the new airport pair twice-weekly and will compete with incumbent carrier Air Algérie.

  • Air France began services from Montpellier (MPL) to Algiers (ALG) on 30 October. The 769-kilometre sector will be served twice-weekly (Mondays and Saturdays) using the French national carrier’s A319s and A320s. Air France faces direct competition on this sector in the form of Air Algérie, which also operates two flights per week.

Cutting the cake to celebrate the launch of airBaltic’s new route to Abu Dhabi on 29 October are: Pauls Cālītis, SVP Flight Operations, airBaltic; Hanan Al Aleeli, UAE Ambassador to Latvia and Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board at Riga Airport. Along with cake, a ribbon cutting ceremony was also held to officially open the new route.

  • airBaltic opened a new route between Riga (RIX) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) on 29 October. The 4,368-kilometre sector, which will be operated four times weekly by the carrier’s new CS300s, will face no direct competition. OAG schedules show that Abu Dhabi will be airBaltic’s only destination in the UAE during W17/18, and marks the return of the carrier on the route after a three and a half year hiatus, with it last serving Abu Dhabi at the end of W13/14 after just one season of operation. Last time around, airBaltic also operated a four times weekly frequency.   

Austrian Airlines launched flights to Mahé in the Seychelles on 25 October, with the island airport celebrating the launch with ribbon- and cake-cutting ceremonies. Seen having the honour of conducting both cutting performances are Ambassador Maurice Lousteau-Lalanne, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Seychelles and Austrian Airlines’ GM for Sales, Regional East Africa of the Lufthansa Group, Tobias Ernst.

  • Austrian Airlines launched its latest long-haul route from Vienna (VIE) on 25 October, a weekly  (Wednesdays) 6,978-kilometre link to Mahé (SEZ) in the Seychelles. “Direct flights from Europe are very important for our tourism industry,” informed Ambassador Maurice Lousteau-Lalanne, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Seychelles. “It will fill an important gap, especially with the high-end tourism which we market for Seychelles. The arrival of Austrian Airlines is very promising for Seychelles, in terms of exchanges between our two people, in trade and most importantly our tourism industry,” Lousteau-Lalanne added. Facing no direct competition, the Star Alliance member will operate its fleet of 767-300s on the service. As a result of this launch, it means that Austrian Airlines now serves 10 scheduled destinations in Africa and Asia from Vienna this winter, with Mahé joining Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Beijing, Cairo, Colombo, Hong Kong, Malé, Marrakech, Mauritius, and Shanghai Pudong. 

Celebrating Bangkok Airways’ inaugural service from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Phu Quoc on 29 October were: Nguyen Quoc Hung, Vice Director, Phu Quoc Airport; Nguyen Minh Dong, Director, Phu Quoc Airport; Huynh Quang Hung, Vice Chairman of Phu Quoc District People’s Committee; Dinh Khoa Toan, Chairman of Phu Quoc District People’s Committee; Varong Israsena Na Ayudhya, VP Sales, Bangkok Airways; Nguyen Hai Bang, Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand; and Peter Wiesner, Advisor, Network Management, Bangkok Airways. 

  • Bangkok Airways began services between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Phu Quoc (PQC) on 29 October. The 521-kilometre sector will be operated four times weekly by the airline’s ATR 72s. There is currently no direct competition on this sector. OAG Schedules Analyser shows that this will be the second destination in Vietnam to be served by the airline in W17/18. It already operates daily services from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Da Nang.

Sydney Airport welcomed the arrival of Beijing Capital Airlines’ first flight from Qingdao on 30 October. The inaugural service landed at 06:02 local time, having departed China on the afternoon of 29 October. The carrier becomes the Australian hub’s seventh operator from mainland China.

  • Beijing Capital Airlines began services from Qingdao (TAO) to Sydney (SYD) on 29 October. The 8,428-kilometre sector will operate twice during the first week of service, but will increase to four times weekly during November. The route will be operated by Beijing Capital Airlines’ A330s and there is no direct competition. Sydney Airport MD and CEO Kerrie Mather said the new airline would boost business and tourism to Sydney. “As a world-leading airport for Chinese long-haul routes, we’re very proud to welcome this new airline and new route. We’re thrilled that Beijing Capital Airlines’ new service is expected to bring an additional 24,000 Chinese visitors annually and generate $100 million in additional visitor expenditure per year for New South Wales.”

Celebrating BinterCanarias’ new service to Lisbon are Sergio Millanes, Director, Tenerife North Airport, Alberto Bernabé, Cabildo de Tenerife Tourism Counsellor, Isaac Castellano, Canary Islands Government Tourism Counsellor and Candelaria Umpiérrez, Director General of Planning and Tourism Promotion, Canary Islands Government.

  • BinterCanarias opened a new route from Tenerife North (TFN) to Lisbon (LIS) on 29 October. It will serve the 1,323-kilometre sector twice-weekly with its CRJ series aircraft. The Spanish regional airline will face no direct competition on the new route.

Lanzarote Airport welcomed the launch of Brussels Airlines’ new link from the Belgian capital which began on October 28. Celebrating the route launch were: Cristina Villalon, Aviapartner delegate; Javier Armas, Tourism Lanzarote; Manuel Vinagre, Lanzarote Airport Director; the captain of the inaugural Brussels Airlines’ departure; and Zurine Urrutia, Head of Operations, Brussels Airlines. Passengers were welcomed by the group Pal Porron who serenaded them with local songs.

  • Brussels Airlines commenced services from Brussels(BRU) to Agadir (RAK), Enfidha (NBE), Hurghada (HRG) and Lanzarote (ACE) on 28 October. It launched another new route on 30 October when it began flying from Brussels to Marsa Alam (RMF). The average sector length on the five new airport pairs is 2,875 kilometres. All of the new routes face direct competition from TUIfly Belgium.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
28-Oct Brussels (BRU) Agadir (RAK) A319 (1) TUIfly Belgium (2)
Enfidha (NBE) A319 (1) TUIfly Belgium (1)
Hurghada (HRG) A320 (2) TUIfly Belgium (1)
Lanzarote (ACE) A320 (3) TUIfly Belgium (2)
30-Oct Brussels (BRU) Marsa Alam (RMF) A320 (2) TUIfly Belgium (2)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 31 October.

Cobalt London Gatwick

Cobalt launched flights to London Gatwick from Larnaca on 30 October, with the South London airport becoming the carrier’s second operation in the UK capital after London Stansted. Seen cutting the cake on the apron at Gatwick on the day of the inauguration are Simon Edwards, Airline Business Development Manager, Gatwick Airport and Andrew Madar, Cobalt CEO. The airline will offer six weekly flights between Larnaca and Gatwick.

Cobalt Moscow Sheremetyevo

Cobalt launched flights between Paphos and Moscow Sheremetyevo on 29 October, with it becoming the carrier’s first-ever service to Russia. Seen at the launch of flights to the Russian capital airport are: Alexander Nikonov, Head of Foreign Airlines Division, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport; Paul Simmons, Commercial Director, Cobalt; and Kostas Kostantinou, Country Representative for Russia, Cobalt. The airline will operate the 2,395-kilometre route twice-weekly (Sundays and Thursdays). This route becomes Cobalt’s second link from Paphos after Athens.

  • Cobalt this week launched two new European capital connections, starting on 29 October with flights from Paphos (PFO) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO), becoming the airline’s first-ever service to Russia. The following day the carrier commenced its second link to London, starting a six times weekly service from Larnaca (LCA) to London Gatwick (LGW), adding to its existing London Stansted operation. The 2,395-kilometre route between Cyprus and the Russian capital will be flown twice-weekly (Sundays and Thursdays) on the airline’s A320 fleet according to OAG schedules, with services on the 3,244-kilometre sector from Larnaca to Gatwick seeing a six times weekly operation, also flown on A320s. While no direct competition is offered between Paphos and Sheremetyevo, with this being the first scheduled link between the two airports since 2014, flights from Larnaca to the UK capital’s second largest airport will go head-to-head with easyJet which offers a daily service and Thomas Cook Airlines which operates a weekly rotation.  

easyJet Lublin

Among those present at the launch of easyJet’s new link between Milan Malpensa and Lublin, the carrier’s second Polish destination after Krakow, was Krzysztof Wójtowicz, President of Lublin Airport (second left). The airline will operate the 1,201-kilometre link between the two cities twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays).

  • easyJet launched flights to its second destination in Poland on 29 October – Lublin (LUZ) – starting a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) 1,201-kilometre service from Milan Malpensa (MXP), a route that will not face any direct competition. The airline’s only other destination in Poland presently is Krakow, however in the past easyJet has served Warsaw Chopin and Gdansk. Along with adding its latest destination, easyJet has also commenced a further four routes this week, with only one of those services facing a head-to-head battle with another carrier. The average sector length of easyJet’s five new routes is 1,850 kilometres.  
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
29-Oct London Luton (LTN) Seville (SVQ) A32S (3)  
London Southend (SEN) Malta (MLA) A320 (2)  
Milan Malpensa (MXP) Lublin (LUZ)  
30-Oct Bristol (BRS) Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) A319 (2)  
Milan Malpensa (MXP) Fuerteventura (FUE) A320 (2) Meridiana (1)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 31 October 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

London Southend Airport held a party to celebrate the launch of three new Flybe routes on 30 October, with first flights taking place the previous day. The airport produced an impressive multi-themed cake to mark its three new links to Dublin, Glasgow and Manchester. Paul White, Business Development Manager at Glasgow Airport celebrated with the Scottish airport’s own cake, to mark the launch of its latest connection to London. Another sweet treat was on offer as Manchester Airport’s Patrick Alexander, London Southend Airport’s Andrew Lewis and Manchester Airport’s Lois Robertson welcomed the launch of services between their respective airports.

Flybe crew were joined for the inaugural Leeds Bradford to Düsseldorf flight by Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford City Council; James Lewis Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council; Henri Murison, Director of Northern Powerhouse Partnership; and Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Leeds Bradford Airport. At the other end of the route, Christina Knicker, Manager Airline Marketing, Düsseldorf Airport, celebrates the launch of services to the Yorkshire destination with the Flybe crew.

  • Flybe began services from London Southend (SEN) to Dublin (DUB), Glasgow (GLA) and Manchester (MAN) on 29 October, along with a new route from Leeds Bradford to Düsseldorf. The average sector length of the three Southend services is 458 kilometres, while the Leeds Bradford-Düsseldorf sector is 634 kilometres in length. None of the four new routes will face any direct competition, however Flybe will see many indirect competitors on its new domestic and Irish links from the UK capital airport. with the five other London airports all connected to Dublin and Glasgow with various airlines, while British Airways serves Manchester from London Heathrow multiple times daily and London City weekly throughout the summer.  
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
29-Oct London Southend (SEN) Dublin (DUB) E195 (15)  
Glasgow (GLA) E195 (9)  
Manchester (MAN) ATR7 (18)  
Leeds Bradford (LBA) Düsseldorf (DUS) Q400 (6)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 31 October. WF = Weekly Frequencies. 

Frontier Airlines Albuquerque

Frontier Airlines returned to Albuquerque on 24 October, marking the end of a four-year hiatus on the 562-kilometre link from Denver. Seen cutting the ribbon at the New Mexico airport are Sean Morahan, Director of Stations, Frontier Airlines and Jim Hinde, Aviation Director, Albuquerque Airport.

  • Frontier Airlines returned to Albuquerque (ABQ) on 24 October, marking the end of the carrier’s four-year hiatus of services from Denver (DEN). The ULCC inaugurated a daily service on the 562-kilometre airport pair, a route that it will operate using its A320s. When referring to OAG schedules, the carrier will increase the frequency of the route to twice-daily from 16 December for the Christmas period, with it returning to a daily service on 4 January. Competition on the sector comes in the form of United Airlines and Southwest Airlines which offer between them 48 weekly flights. 

Hou Wei, VP Hainan Airlines; Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport; Charles Michel, Belgian Prime Minster; Kris Peerters, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister; and Qu Xing, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium were among the dignitaries celebrating the launch of Hainan Airlines’ route from Shanghai Pudong to Brussels on 25 October.

  • Hainan Airlines began services from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to Brussels on 25 October, and from Chengdu (CTU) to New York JFK (JFK) and Shenzen (SZX) to Luang Prabang (LPQ) on the following day. None of the three routes faces any direct competition. joined the celebrations at Brussels Airport on 25 October and witnessed the departure of the first flight on the 9,020-kilometre sector to Shanghai Pudong. This service will operate twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The 12,088-kilometre Chengdu-JFK sector will be flown three times per week. The Brussels and New York JFK links will be operated by 787-9s, while the 1224-kilometre Shenzen-Luang Prabang route will be flown by 737-800s twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays). recently examined Hainan Airlines capacity growth over the past 10 years, including its increase in international seats. 

Christina Knicker, Manager Airline Marketing, Düsseldorf Airport, Frédéric Alory GM, Air France, Wilfried Krug, General Consul Bordeaux, Christoph Labitzke, Business Account Manager, Air France and Virginie Arnaud, Air France Deputy Station Manager Düsseldorf, are joined by flight crew to celebrate the launch of HOP! services from Bordeaux to Düsseldorf.

  • HOP!, Air France’s regional arm, began services from Bordeaux to Düsseldorf and from Nantes to Hamburg on 30 October. Both airport pairs will be operated three times per week, and neither faces any direct competition. The 906-kilometre Bordeaux-Düsseldorf route and 1,088-kilometre Nantes-Hamburg link will be served by a mix of aircraft types. Nantes-Hamburg will be operated by E170s or CRJ series aircraft, while Bordeaux-Düsseldorf will be flown by E170s or A320s. OAG schedules show that parent airline Air France is the operating carrier for those services performed by A320s.

Interjet began services to its third destination in Canada on October 26, with inaugural flights from Mexico City and Cancún to Vancouver. Both routes will operate four times weekly and each will face competition from multiple incumbent carriers. Interjet already links its home country with Toronto and Montreal.

  • Interjet began two new services to Vancouver (YVR) on 26 October, from Mexico City (MEX) and Cancún (CUN). Both routes will operate four times per week on A320s and both face direct competition. OAG schedules data for the week commencing 31 October show that the 3,941-kilometre Mexico City-Vancouver airport pair will also be served by Aeromexico and Air Canada with 14 and seven weekly frequencies respectively. For the same week, the 4,472-kilometre Cancún-Vancouver sector will also be operated by WestJet and Sunwing Airlines with seven and five frequencies respectively, while Air Canada and Air Transat will also serve this route with one weekly frequency each. Interjet already serves Toronto and Montreal from Mexico.

Amsterdam welcomed the inauguration of Jet Airways services from Bengaluru on 29 Ocotber. Cutting the ceremonial ribbon were André van den Berg, CCO Amsterdam Airport and Samir Chada, GM Benelux, Jet Airways. The route will be served on a daily basis by A330-300s.

The first flight on the return leg of Jet Airways’ new service from Chennai to Paris CDG was celebrated at the French hub on 29 October. Cutting the ribbon to welcome in the new link were: Sarjeet Soodan, Head of Economic & Commercial Wings of the Indian Embassy; Michel Simiaut, Jet Airways GM, France; and Franck Goldnadel, CCO, Paris CDG Airport.

  • Jet Airways began services from Bengaluru (BLR) to Amsterdam (AMS), Chennai (MAA) to Paris CDG (CDG) and Delhi (DEL) to Riyadh (RUH) on 29 October. The Chennai-Paris CDG sector is the longest of the new routes at 8,018 kilometres. It will be operated five times a week by A330-300s. The 7,691-kilometre Bengaluru-Amsterdam airport pair will be flown by daily A330-300 services. Neither of these two new European links faces any direct competition. The 3,037-kilometre Delhi-Riyadh route will be operated daily with 737-800s. Jet Airways faces direct competition from Saudi Arabian Airlines and Air India on this airport pair, with the incumbent carriers operating four and three frequencies respectively during the week commencing 31 October. was on hand to witness the launch ceremonies at the Dutch hub.

JETGO Australia Wollongong

Speaking at the launch of JETGO Australia flights from Melbourne Essendon to Wollongong is Paul Bredereck, MD JETGO Australia, with Chris Cowan, CEO of Melbourne Essendon Airport stood next to him. The carrier will offer 11 weekly flights on the 634-kilometre link using its ERJ 135s.

  • JETGO Australia has introduced the airport of Wollongong (WOL) to its network this week, beginning 11 times weekly flights from Melbourne Essendon (MEB) and a daily connection from Brisbane (BNE) on 30 October. Speaking about the first flight from Essendon, Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said: “The aircraft was well occupied and there were a lot of excited people. It was a real mixture of people – some for business, some for pleasure, some visiting families. One or two of them were just taking it because it was the first flight and they wanted to be on it.” Saliba also mentioned that 3,000 tickets have been sold since the routes went on sale. “JETGO Australia are also considering other routes. They’ve talked about the Gold Coast and about going to other areas. There is also an opportunity for us to take on other service providers, to come in and provide flights to other areas,” added Saliba. JETGO Australia MD Paul Bredereck mentioned that ticket sales for the new direct service to Essendon had exceeded the airline’s expectations. Both 634- and 826-kilometre routes launched by the carrier this week will be flown on its fleet of ERJ 135s when referring to OAG schedule, with neither link facing direct competition.   

KLM Mumbai

Among those in Mumbai to celebrate the start of KLM’s three times weekly service from Amsterdam was the SkyTeam member’s CEO Pieter Elbers (second left). As result of this launch, KLM, along with Jet Airways, will offer a combined 10 weekly flights between Amsterdam and Mumbai, with the Dutch carrier using its 787-9s on the 6,857-kilometre sector.

  • KLM has expanded its long-haul offering to Asia and Africa from Amsterdam (AMS) this week, beginning flights on 29 October to Mumbai (BOM), while services to Mauritius (MRU) started the following day. Both 6,857- and 9,559-kilometre routes will be flown by the SkyTeam member on its fleet of 787-9s. With the launch of flights to Mumbai, there are now 10 weekly rotations to the Indian city from Amsterdam, with KLM’s new service joining Jet Airways’ existing daily 777-300-operated service. At present no other airline currently flies between Amsterdam and Mauritius when referring to OAG schedules, although Air Mauritius will begin flights in partnership with KLM from the start of S18, with it expected to use its A340-300s on the route. 

Lufthansa Cluj-Napoca

Lufthansa launched daily flights to Cluj-Napoca on 29 October, with the launch being celebrated the following day at the Romanian airport with this lederhosen-themed cake which was the star of the show. Flights on the 1,168-kilometre route will operate daily on the airline’s fleet of E190s when referring to OAG schedules.

  • Lufthansa launched four new routes from its Frankfurt (FRA) hub this week to destinations in Romania and Italy, namely Bari (BRI), Catania (CTA), Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) and Timisoara (TSR). Services on the two Italian sectors will operate between two to three times weekly, with both Romanian routes seeing a daily service. Only Catania flights will witness head-to-head competition, with Ryanair already providing three weekly services on the airport pair. The average sector length of Lufthansa’s four new routes from Frankfurt is 1,221 kilometres. As a result of these launches, the airline now serves three destinations in Romania from Frankfurt, with Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara joining Bucharest, while the Star Alliance member links the German city to 13 Italian destinations this winter. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
29-Oct Frankfurt (FRA) Catania (CTA) A320 (2) Ryanair (3)
Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) E190 (7)  
Timisoara (TSR)  
30-Oct Bari (BRI) CRJ9 (3)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 31 October 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

Poznan Airport’s marketing and route network team and its CEO Mariusz Wiatrowski, welcome the launch of Ryanair services to Madrid on 30 October. From 1 November Ryanair will base one aircraft at Poznan and it will serve 14 destinations from the Polish airport over the course of W17/18. Picture by Arnold Kozlowski.

Celebrating the launch of Ryanair’s new twice-weekly flights from Malta are: Laura Audariņa, Route Development Manager Riga Airport; Chris Lundshø, Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Executive for Scandinavia & the Baltics; and Liene Freivalde Director of Aviation Services and Business Development, Riga Airport. The 2,446-kilometre service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays.

Varna Airport got into the Halloween spirit as it welcomed the first arrival of Ryanair’s new service from Brussels Charleroi on 29 October. Flights will operate twice-weekly on Thursdays and Sundays. Along with the spooky costumers and music, arriving and departing passengers were treated to complimentary cookies.

Paul White, Business Development Manager at Glasgow Airport celebrates the launch of Ryanair routes to Krakow and Madrid on 29 October. The new Polish connection will operate twice-weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays, while flights to the Spanish capital will depart four times weekly. There is no direct competition on either airport pair.

Cologne Bonn Airport’s Jan Moeller, Head of Busines Development & Aviation Marketing (left) and Astrid Thüssing, Business Development & Aviation Marketing (right), celebrate five new destinations with Ryanair for W17/18. The Irish carrier will directly link the German airport to Bristol, Vitoria, Vilnius, Seville and Venice Treviso for the first time.

Heidi Barlow, Head of Marketing, East Midlands Airport and Ryanair crew, celebrate the Irish LCC’s inaugural flight to Seville, the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region, on 29 October. Ryanair will serve the 1,746-kilometre route twice-weekly and now offers 23 destinations from East Midlands.

Budapest Airport’s Head of Airline Development Balázs Bogáts (centre) celebrates the gateway’s first year-round service to Marrakech which launched on 30 October. The service is Budapest’s first direct link to Morocco and joins Ryanair’s five other new services for W17/18 to Palermo, Valencia, Edinburgh, Prague and Naples.

Weeze Airport welcomed Ryanair’s inaugural service from Eliat Ovda on 30 October. Celebrating the new link to Israel with Ryanair crew are: Rolf Hörster, Deputy Mayor of Weeze; Ludger van Bebber, MD, Weeze Airport; and Martin Wielinga, Ryanair Base Captain, Weeze Airport.

Mette Jensby, Passenger Services Agent, Aarhus Airport, welcomes the launch of services to Gdansk with Ryanair crew on 29 October. Flights on this airport pair will operate year-round on Thursdays and Sundays. According to the airport, the Greater Aarhus area has a large Polish population, in the region of 15,000.

  • Ryanair opened a raft of new services to kick off its W17/18 schedule, starting 52 new airport pairs on 29 October and a further 31 the following day. Frequencies vary from weekly on the Edinburgh (EDI) to Katowice (KTW) route, to double-daily on the Dublin (DUB) to Munich (MUC) sector, although the former link does increase to twice-weekly during November. More than 70% of the new routes will be operated twice-weekly. Sector lengths on the new routes vary from the 394-kilometre Krakow (KRK) to Prague (PRG) service to the 3,405-kilometre Brussels Charleroi (CRL) to Eliat Ovda (VDA) airport pair. The average sector length is 1,705 kilometres. Only 17 of the Irish LCC’s new routes face direct competition.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
29-Oct Barcelona (BCN) Krakow (KRK) B738 (2)  
Luxembourg (LUX) B738 (4) Luxair (6)
Prague (PRG) B738 (7) Vueling (10), Czech Airlines (7)
Brussels Charleroi (CRL) Eilat Ovda (VDA) B738 (2)  
Lisbon (LIS) B738 (7)  
Varna (VAR) B738 (2)  
Budapest (BUD) Palermo (PMO) B738 (2)  
Prague (PRG) B738 (5) Czech Airlines (19)
Cologne Bonn (CGN) Bristol (BRS) B738 (4)  
Manchester (MAN) B738 (7) Eurowings (6)
Seville (SVQ) B738 (2)  
Dublin (DUB) Munich (MUC) B738 (14) Aer Lingus (13), Lufthansa (12)
Edinburgh (EDI) Katowice (KTW) B738 (1)  
Toulouse (TLS) B738 (2)  
Fez (FEZ) Seville (SVQ) B738 (2)  
Frankfurt (FRA) Barcelona (BCN) B738 (6) Lufthansa (49)
Lisbon (LIS) B738 (6) TAP Portugal (26), Lufthansa (20)
Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Eilat Ovda (VDA) B738 (2)  
Gdansk (GDN) Aarhus (AAR) B738 (2)  
Glasgow (GLA) Krakow (KRK) B738 (2)  
Madrid (MAD) B738 (4)  
Hamburg (HAM) Marrakech (RAK) B738 (2)  
Seville (SVQ) B738 (2)  
Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) Seville (SVQ) B738 (2)  
Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (2)  
Katowice (KTW) Milan Malpensa (MXP) B738 (2)  
Krakow (KRK) Berlin Schonefeld (SXF) B738 (7)  
Prague (PRG) B738 (2)  
Seville (SVQ) B738 (2)  
Lisbon (LIS) Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) B738 (2)  
London Luton (LTN) Bydgoszcz (BZG) B738 (3)  
Madrid (MAD) Prague (PRG) B738 (4) Czech Airlines (5), Iberia (5)
Malta (MLA) Riga (RIG) B738 (2)  
Marrakech (RAK) Venice Treviso (TSF) B738 (2)  
Milan Bergamo (BGY) Eilat Ovda (VDA) B738 (2)  
Plovdiv (PDV) B738 (2)  
Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (4)  
Milan Malpensa (MXP) Katowice (KTW) B738 (2)  
Lamezia Terme (SUF) B738 (7) easyJet (16)
Palermo (PMO) B738 (13) easyJet (19)
Valencia (VLC) B738 (7)  
Naples (NAP) Bologna (BLQ) B738 (7)  
Dublin (DUB) B738 (2) Aer Lingus (1)
Porto (OPO) B738 (2)  
Prague (PRG) Malaga (AGP) B738 (2) Travel Service (4)
Rome Ciampino (CIA) Seville (SVQ) B738 (7)  
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (7) Alitalia (21), El Al (11), Vueling (3)
Seville (SVQ) East Midlands (EMA) B738 (2)  
Valladolid (VLL) B738 (2)  
Thessaloniki (SKG) Naples (NAP) B738 (2)  
Warsaw Modlin (WMI) Eilat Ovda VDA) B738 (2)  
Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) B738 (2)  
30-Oct Berlin Schonefeld (SXF) Eilat Ovda (VDA) B738 (2)  
Bratislava (BTS) Bologna (BLQ) B738 (2)  
Brussels Charleroi (CRL) Plovdiv (PDV) B738 (2)  
Budapest (BUD) Marrakech (RAK) B738 (2)  
Valencia (VLC) B738 (2)  
Cologne Bonn (CGN) Vitoria (VIT) B738 (2)  
Edinburgh (EDI) Budapest (BUD) B738 (2) (2)
Nantes (NTE) B738 (2)  
Venice Treviso (TSF) B738 (3)  
Eilat Ovda (VDA) Bremen (BRE) B738 (2)  
Weeze (NRN) B738 (2)  
Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Plovdiv (PDV) B738 (2)  
Gdansk (GDN) Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (2) LOT Polish Airlines (1)
Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) Eilat Ovda (VDA) B738 (2)  
Krakow (KRK) Lisbon (LIS) B738 (2)  
Marrakech (RAK) B738 (2)  
Nuremberg (NUE) B738 (3)  
Leeds Bradford (LBA) Wroclaw (WRO) B738 (2)  
Malta (MLA) Belfast International (BFS) B738 (2)  
Naples (NAP) B738 (2)  
Marrakech (RAK) Cologne Bonn (CGN) B738 (2)  
Santander (SDR) B738 (2)  
Milan Malpensa (MXP) Alicante (ALC) B738 (2) Vueling (1)
Poznan (POZ) Athens (ATH) B738 (2)  
Madrid (MAD) B738 (2)  
Seville (SVQ) Bari (BRI) B738 (2)  
Manchester (MAN) B738 (2)  
Verona (VRN) B738 (2)  
Warsaw Modlin (WMI) Venice Treviso (TSF) B738 (2)  
Wroclaw (WRO) Naples (NAP) B738 (2)  
Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (2) LOT Polish Airlines (2)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 31 October. WF = Weekly frequencies.

SAS Eilat Ovda

On 28 October SAS commenced operations between Stockholm Arlanda and Eilat Ovda in Israel. Seen cutting the ribbon at the inaugural flight from the Swedish capital airport are Elizabeth Axtelius, Director Aviation Business, Stockholm Arlanda, and Anders Wahlström, ‎Head of Sales Sweden & Finland, SAS.

SAS Miami

SAS started services to Miami from Stockholm Arlanda on 29 October, with the Floridian airport officially opening the new route with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Carrying out the proceedings were: Max Knagge, GM Americas, SAS; Ken Pyatt, Deputy Director, Miami Airport; and Bill Talbert, President & CEO, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. SAS will operate the 7,992-kilometre route from the Swedish capital weekly (Sundays).

  • SAS launched three new services from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) this week, starting with flights to Eilat Ovda (VDA) and Funchal (FNC) on 28 October, while services to Miami (MIA) commenced the following day. Along with launching the US flights on 29 October, SAS also linked the Danish capital of Copenhagen (CPH) with Tenerife South (TFS). Commenting on the route launch to Miami, Emilio González, Aviation Director, Miami Airport, said: “We are thrilled that SAS has chosen to expand its presence at Miami and add to the Copenhagen and Oslo Gardermoen routes it launched just a year ago. In addition to all the Nordic countries, Miami now serves 25 destinations throughout Europe – the most ever in the airport’s history.” Of the airline’s services which launched this week, two face direct competition, with all four operating at just a weekly frequency, with Eilat Ovda and Funchal seeing Saturday rotations, while Miami and Tenerife South routes will see a Sunday service.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
28-Oct Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Eilat Ovda (VDA) A320 (1)  
Funchal (FNC) Norwegian (1), TUIfly Nordic (1)
29-Oct Copenhagen (CPH) Tenerife South (TFS) Norwegian (5), Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (1), Primera Air (1), Ryanair (1), TUIfly Nordic (1)
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Miami (MIA) A333 (1)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 21 October 2017. WF = Weekly Frequency.

The start of Saudia’s new route from Jeddah to Baghdad on 30 October was celebrated with two route launch cakes. This one was cut in the Alfursan Lounge at Jeddah Airport. Another celebratory cake cutting ceremony was performed on the aircraft. The second cake can be seen in’s cake of the week competition. The new Jeddah-Baghdad airport pair will see double-daily services from 15 November.

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines commenced a new service between Jeddah (JED) and Baghdad (BGW) on 30 October. The carrier’s connection between the two countries resumes after a 27-year hiatus. The 1,381-kilometre route will be flown daily by the airline’s A330s before increasing to double-daily from 15 November. Saudia will face direct competition on its new service to the Iraqi capital from flynas, which began its own service between the two cities on 24 October.

Melbourne Airport welcomed the arrival of SriLankan Airlines’ inaugural service from Colombo on 30 October. Among the VIP guests attending the launch celebrations were Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Sri Lankan State Minister of Public Enterprise Development and cricket legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

  • SriLankan Airlines launched a new route from Colombo (CMB) to Melbourne (MEL) on 29 October. The 8,351-kilometre link from the Sri Lankan capital will operate daily on the carrier’s A330s. There is no direct competition on the airport pair. The Colombo-Melbourne link is SriLankan Airlines’ only route to Australia in W17/18.

SWISS Wroclaw

Seen taking part in the press conference at Wroclaw Airport, held to talk about SWISS’ new service to the Polish city from Zurich, are: Peter Pullem, Head of Sales Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Lufthansa Group; Dariusz Kuś, President of Wroclaw Airport; Andrej Motyl, Ambassador of Switzerland to Poland; and Wojciech Adamski, VP Wroclaw. When referring to OAG schedules, the Star Alliance member will operate Wroclaw flights three times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) on a mixture of its CS100s and E190s. No other airline currently serves the route.

  • SWISS has made Wroclaw (WRO) its third destination in Poland after Warsaw Chopin and Krakow, starting a three times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) connection from Zurich (ZRH). “This is a route we have been pursuing for years,” said Dariusz Kuś, President of Wroclaw Airport. “In Wroclaw, there are many Swiss companies, including Credit Suisse and UBS. Therefore their representatives and customers will be very happy with the new flights. In addition, Zurich is an important link, also because of the possibility of a convenient transfer to North America or Asia, including Boston, Delhi or Dubai,” Kuś added. Launched 30 October, the Star Alliance member will operate the 727-kilometre route using a mixture of its CS100s and E190s when referring to OAG schedules, with no other airline currently serving the route. With this launch, SWISS will now provide 27 weekly flights between Zurich and Poland.   

Transavia Dakhla

Among those in Dakhla to greet Transavia’s first flight from Paris Orly on 26 October, posing in front of the aircraft with the inaugural crew, were: Ynja Khattat, Chairman of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region (left); Abderrafie Zouitene, Director General of the Moroccan National Tourist Office (third-left); and Lamine Benomar, Wali of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region (third-right). Transavia will operate flights from the French capital weekly (Thursdays).

  • Transavia has made Dakhla (VIL) its latest African destination, with the carrier beginning flights to the city from Paris Orly (ORY). Launched 26 October, Transavia will operate the 3,206-kilometre link from the French capital weekly (Thursdays) on its fleet of 737-800s. On the same day as the Dakhla inauguration, the airline commenced a 1,791-kilometre sector between Eindhoven (EIN) and Seville (SVQ). The latter route will be flown by Transavia three times weekly, also on its fleet of 737-800s. While the link from Orly to Dakhla faces no direct competition, it should be noted that the route between the Netherlands and Spain is already served by Ryanair, with the Irish LCC offering twice-weekly flights. In 2016 Dakhla encountered a 21% increase in annual traffic when compared to 2015 according to statistics published by Office National des Aéroports (ONDA), with the airport seeing 154,451 passengers travel through its terminal.  

Rashmi Soni, VP & Head of Corporate Communications and Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, both from Vistara, address a press conference at Ranchi to discuss the airline’s launch of services from the Indian capital. Vistara commenced double-daily services on the route on 29 October.

  • Vistara began double-daily domestic services between Delhi (DEL) and Ranchi (IXR) on 29 October. The Indian full service carrier will operate A320s on the 1,006-kilometre sector. It will face direct competition from four incumbent airlines. OAG schedules data for the week commencing 31 October shows that the route will also be served by IndiGo, Go Airlines, AirAsia India and Air India with 28, 19, 14 and seven weekly frequencies respectively. “We are delighted to add Ranchi to our network,” said Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer at the carrier. “Vistara’s double-daily direct flights between the city and the national capital reflects our strong commitment to the market, and we’re confident that many business travellers and tourists will be delighted to fly their favourite airline to and from Ranchi.”


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