New airline routes launched (28 November 2017 – 04 December 2017)

Air Canada Vancouver to Melbourne

Air Canada introduced service to Melbourne from Vancouver on 1 December adding to its impresive roll call of new routes from the Canadian airport this year to Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Taipei Taoyuan, Nagoya, Frankfurt and London Gatwick. Cutting the ribbon for the new Australian route were: Ty Speer, President and CEO, Tourism Vancouver; Anne Murray, VP, Marketing and Communications, Vancouver Airport Authority; Kevin Howlett, SVP, Regional Markets and Government Relations, Air Canada; Captain Derek Stobbs, 787 pilot, Air Canada; Kevin Lamb, Post Manager & Honorary Consul of Australia in Vancouver; Duncan Bureau, VP, Global Sales, Air Canada; with Air Canada crew members.

The celebrations continued in Australia, albeit two days later due to the time difference, with inaugural flight passengers treated to check-in activities, traditional local entertainment and goodies. Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Simon Gandy said: “This seasonal service is a win for all Victorian travellers especially those that have a passion for hitting the slopes. Thousands of people worldwide will be travelling to Canada during the winter season to experience world renowned skiing and snowboarding and it’s great to finally offer that connection through Melbourne.”

  • Air Canada commenced a connection between Vancouver (YVR) and Melbourne (MEL) on 1 December, marking the first ever direct, non-stop flight from Canada to this Australian city. The new route offers a seasonal four times weekly service until 4 February, before beginning a year-round service in June 2018. “We have a lot to celebrate at YVR this month. With the new Air Canada services to Melbourne, Orlando and Yellowknife in December, passengers have even more travel options this winter season,” said Craig Richmond, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “We are also thrilled that Air Canada has announced year-round service to Melbourne, prior to the start of the seasonal service. This is an incredible achievement for our airline partner and showcases Air Canada’s commitment to growing their transpacific hub at YVR.” With existing services to Sydney and Brisbane, this new Melbourne service, operated on its 298-seat 787-9 fleet and facing no direct competition, becomes Air Canada’s third route to Australia from Vancouver. See how this route performs in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

Qantas Adelaide to Kingscote

Waiting to tuck into this fine looking cake in Adelaide, baked to herald the start of Qantas’ new service to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island were: Jonathan Cheong, Head of Aviation Business Development at Adelaide Airport; John Gissing, QantasLink CEO; and Rick Sawicki, Regional Manager South Australia, Qantas

  • Qantas launched year-round flights between Adelaide (ADL) and Kingscote (KGC) on Kangaroo Island on 4 December. This 124-kilometre domestic service is operated by QantasLink’s 50-seat Q300s, beginning three times per week year-round and increasing to five times weekly over the peak summer season through to Easter. Regional Express also flies on the airport pair, with an 18 times weekly service. Qantas also intends to start a service from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island later this month.


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

Aigle Azur now connects Paris Orly with Berlin Tegel four times weekly. Jana Friedrich, Aviation Marketing Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (right), welcomes the crew of the first flight at Tegel Airport.

  • Aigle Azur, the French airline, now connects Berlin Tegel (TXL) with the city of love. Four times a week, the airline’s A320s operate the 877-kilometre route from Paris Orly (ORY). No other carriers operate the airport pair, which commenced on 1 December.

There were celebrations in Johor Bahru to mark AirAsia’s inaugural flight arrivals from Kolkata and Macau on 28 November. Marking the occasion were (fifth from left): Zamani Bin Mohd Rafique, Director of Government Relations, AirAsia; Abdul Malik bin Hj Ismail, Director of Tourism Johor; YB Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee Chairman; Md Derick Basir, CEO of Senai Airport Terminal Services; and Spencer Lee, Head of Commercial, AirAsia.

  • AirAsia commenced operations on new links from Johor Bahru (JHB) to Kolkata (CCU) and Macau (MFM) on 28 November. The 2,855-kilometre Johor Bahru-Kolkata service will operate five times weekly, while the 2,517-kilometre Macau sector will be a daily operation. Both routes will be served by the LCC’s A320s and neither faces any direct competition. These are the fourth and fifth new routes launched by AirAsia from Johor Bahru in 2017, with the airline having already added services to Jakarta, and two domestic Malaysian links to Kuala Terengganu and Langkawi. “AirAsia is pleased to connect more international cities into Johor Bahru and increase the number of existing direct flights to further boost foreign tourist arrivals into the southern state of Malaysia, in line with our long-term plan to grow the hub and the state government’s plan of improving direct connectivity,” explained Spencer Lee, Head of Commercial, AirAsia. Derick Basir, CEO of Senai Airport Terminal Services said: “We have been working closely with AirAsia for quite some time to develop these two new routes for Senai Airport. We are very pleased and excited that it has finally materialised. The direct connectivity between the two cities and Johor Bahru will be good for Johor and Iskandar Malaysia, since it will further spur economic and tourism activities in the state. We are also expecting to capture more travellers from mainland China and Hong Kong through Macau, as well as to tap the travellers from other metropolitan cities in India, Bangladesh and Nepal by linking to Kolkata.” 

Launch celebrations, including a cake and ribbon cutting ceremony, were held in London on 1 December to mark the arrival of China Airlines’ first flight on its new route from Taipei Taoyuan to London Gatwick. Cutting the ribbon were Guy Stephenson, CCO, London Gatwick; Lord Richard Faulkner; Nuan-Hsuan Ho, Chairman of China Airlines; Ambassador David Lin, Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK; and Nigel Evans MP.

  • China Airlines launched a new link from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to London Gatwick (LGW) on 1 December. The Taiwanese flag carrier will operate the 9,786-kilometre route four times per week with A350-900s and faces no direct competition. It will increase frequency on the service to five flights per week in March 2018. “As the only non-stop service between the two countries, we want to highlight to travellers the benefits to travelling to Taipei, for business or leisure purposes,” said Nuan-Hsuan Ho, Chairman of China Airlines. “In addition, our extensive route network offers destinations throughout Asia and onward to Australia for British travellers to enjoy.” Guy Stephenson, CCO of London Gatwick said: “We welcome China Airlines to Gatwick for the launch of this new service that will provide a vital link between the UK and Taiwan at a critical time in our economic history. The new route will boost trade between our two enterprising economies and help our businesses to get goods to market as quickly and efficiently as possible.The airport is increasingly connecting the UK to more and more long haul destinations across the globe and our 60+ long-haul network now includes destinations in China, the Far East, Africa, South America and across the US.” China Airlines last served the UK capital from Taoyuan in 2012, when it operated into London Heathrow. See how this route performs in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

easyjet London Luton Alghero

A ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted at Alghero Airport on 28 November to officially open easyJet’s new service from London Luton. The year-round link will operate twice-weekly (Tuesdays ad Saturdays).

  • easyJet added its seventh Italian sector from London Luton (LTN), its fifth largest base (behind London Gatwick, Milan Malpensa, Geneva and Amsterdam), on 28 November. The year-round, twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) route to Alghero (AHO) joins its existing Italian network from the London airport to Rome Fiumicino, Naples, Milan Malpensa, Catania, Pisa and Venice Marco Polo. Operated by the LCC’s A319 fleet, the route faces no direct competition.

Some people have come dressed for the route launch party to celebrate the start of flydubai’s service to Moscow Sheremetyevo, and some haven’t. The LCC now operates 47 flights a week to Russia, growing to 58 flights for the New Year holiday season.

  • flydubai launched a 737-800 service to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on 29 November, marking the start of a new daily route from the carrier’s second point in Moscow. With existing operations to Moscow Vnukovo, the LCC is now offering 14 weekly flights to the Russian capital from its Dubai (DXB) hub. Earlier this autumn, the carrier launched flights to Makhachkala and Voronezh, resumed services to Ufa and increased capacity on existing routes: Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg. Denis Pashkovskiy, Deputy General Director, Commercial Activities at the Russian airport said: “Sheremetyevo is pleased to welcome flydubai, the new partner from the UAE. Partnering with flydubai will be mutually beneficial and will open new opportunities for passengers and customers.” Jeyhun Efendi, flydubai SVP, Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) said: “Partnering with Sheremetyevo was a strategic decision as flydubai will be the first UAE airline to offer direct scheduled services from Dubai to the busiest airport in Russia. Next year passengers from Sheremetyevo will be among the first to enjoy our new 737 MAX 8 aircraft, as we are the first airline in our region to take delivery of this newest aircraft type.” Aeroflot provides direct competition (three times daily) on the airport pair, with Emirates, Azur Air and Ural Airlines offering indirect competition from Moscow Domodedovo, and Rossiya Airlines flying twice-weekly from Moscow Vnukovo. In addition, Red Wings Airlines operates twice-weekly from Domodedovo to Dubai Al Maktoum.

Celebrations were held at the gate for flynas’ new weekly (Thursdays) operation to Dubai from Abha on 30 November. The LCC now offers 11 city pairs from its fourth biggest operation in terms of weekly seats.

  • flynas has now added its second international route from Abha (AHB) in south-west Saudi Arabia, with it beginning a weekly (Thursdays) A320-operated service to Dubai (DXB) on 30 November. The 1,524-kilometre sector joins the airline’s only other non-domestic route to Cairo, and the nine inter-Saudi Arabian services it also flies from the airport. Fellow LCC flydubai provides robust competition on the city pair, with it already operating an 18 times weekly rotation from the UAE mega-hub. 

Jetstar Asia’s CEO Bara Pasupathi (wearing Jetstar top), was part of the welcoming committee at Clark Airport on 28 November to greet passengers arriving on the carrier’s inaugural flight from Singapore. The new 2,380-kilometre service will be operated three times per week on the airline’s A320s.

  • Jetstar Asia commenced services on a new route from Singapore (SIN) to Clark (CRK) on 28 November. The Singapore-based LCC will operate the 2,380-kilometre link three times per week with A320s. It faces direct competition from incumbent carriers Cebu Pacific Air and Scoot. Clark is the second destination to be served by Jetstar Asia in the Philippines, with the carrier already operating to Manila. “Low fare carriers like Jetstar have been operating in the Philippines for many years and have changed how often and the way people travel,” said Bara Pasupathi, CEO Jetstar Asia. “The accessibility afforded to travellers has also opened up new destinations that they may never
    have previously considered.” Alexander Cauguiran, president and CEO of Clark International Airport Corp (CIAC) welcomed the new route saying that Jetstar’s decision to launch flights at Clark recognises the airport’s marketability and its increasing number of local destinations. See how this route performs in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.

LOT Polish Airlines now connects the German and Polish capitals again. Cutting the ribbon to celebrate the new route were: Kataryna Stankiewicz, First Officer, LOT Polish Airlines; Adrian Kubicki, Head of Corporate Communication and Company Spokesperson, LOT Polish Airlines; Michał Fijoł, CCO LOT Polish Airlines; Lars Wagner, Head of Press Office, Berlin Brandenburg Airport; Ray Amit, Regional Director DACH Markets, LOT Polish Airlines; and Agata Milkowska-Okonsua, Purser, LOT Polish Airlines.

  • LOT Polish Airlines now flies 12 times weekly to Berlin Tegel (TXL) from its Warsaw Chopin (WAW) hub, having ceased operations to the German capital in July 2013. The route, which started on 4 December, is operated by the Star Alliance carrier’s Q400s and E170s, and a third daily flight will be added from June 2018. Tegel is the sixth airport in Germany that LOT Polish Airlines operates to, with Nuremburg soon to become the seventh. “LOT Polish Airlines is back in Berlin. We are pleased that the airline is resuming its connection to Warsaw,” says Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of Berlin Brandenburg Airport. “We share a long history: LOT was one of the first airlines at Schönefeld Airport. It is good to know that they are once again securing this important route into the economic centre of our neighbours.” There is no competition on the airport pair.

Cutting the ribbon to welcome Philippine Airlines’ four new domestic services from Cebu on 1 December were: Harry Inoferio, Area Head-Visayas and Mindanao, Philippine Airlines; Josen Perez de Tagle, VP Corporate Communication, Philippine Airlines; Dina May Flores, VP-RM, Philippine Airlines; Maria Luisa Romualdo, Governor of Camiguin; Reyani Romano, PAL Area Head for Visayas Sales, Philippine Airlines; Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, Mayor of Camiguin; Benedicto Yap, AVP Visayas/Mindanao Station, Philippine Airlines; Gelena Asis-Dimpas, Senior Tourism Operations Officer, Department of Tourism Region 7; Alfredo Coro II, Mayor of Del Carmen, Siargao and Ravishankar Saravu, Chief Commercial Advisor, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation. There was also a route launch cake and cake cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

There were also celebrations on 2 December to mark Philippine Airlines’ new service from Cebu to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi including another impressive, tiered cake. Performing the ceremonial ribbon cutting were; Josen Perez de Tagle, VP Corporate Communication, Philippine Airlines; Dina May Flores, VP-RM, Philippine Airlines; Joshur Judd Lanete, Regional Director,Department of Tourism, Region 7; Agnes Magpale, Vice-Governor, Province of Cebu; Harry Inoferio, Area Head-Visayas and Mindanao, Philippine Airlines; Ravishankar Saravu, Chief Commercial Advisor, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation; Khun Kajorndet Apichartrakul, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand for Singapore and Philippines; Benedicto Yap, AVP Visayas/Mindanao Station, Philippine Airlines; Reyani Romano, Area Head for Visayas Sales, Philippine Airlines and Victor Suarez, Area Head for Mindanao Sales, Philippine Airlines.

  • Philippine Airlines launched four domestic links on 1 December, from Cebu (CEB) to Camiguin (CGM), Del Carmen (IAO), Legazpi (LGP) and Ozamiz (OZC). These were followed by the introduction of a service from Cebu to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) on 2 December. All of the domestic links operate daily and face direct competition from Cebu Pacific Air subsidiary, Cebgo. The average sector length on the new domestic routes is just 231 kilometres. The Philippines’ flag carrier will not experience any competition on its 2,552-kilometre Bangkok Suvarnabhumi service. See how this route performs in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
01-Dec Cebu (CEB) Camiguin (CGM) Q300 (7) Cebgo (10)
Del Carmen (IAO) Q400 (7) Cebgo (14)
Legazpi (LGP) Q300 (7) Cebgo (11)
Ozamiz (OZC) Q400 (7) Cebgo (14)
02-Dec Cebu (CEB) Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) A32S (3)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 05 December. WF = Weekly frequencies.

This impressive cake was baked for Vueling’s four new routes from Granada. Sectors to Paris CDG, Bilbao, Tenerife South and Gran Canaria will join its existing domestic services to Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona.

  • Vueling commenced a quartet of new routes from Granada (GRX) over the course of the last seven days. Of the four sectors, the shortest is the 682-kilometre route to Bilbao (BIO), while the longest is a 1,567-kilometre city pair to Tenerife South (TFS) in the Canary Islands, with an average sector length of 1,287 kilometres. The average weekly frequency of these four airport pairs is just 2.25, and none of them will encounter any incumbent carriers. See how this route performs in this week’s Arch of Triumph competition.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
01-Dec Granada (GRX) Bilbao (BIO) A320 (3)  
02-Dec Paris CDG (CDG) A320 (2)  
04-Dec Gran Canaria (LPA)  
Tenerife South (TFS)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 5 December. WF = Weekly frequencies.


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