New airline routes launched (2 January 2018 – 8 January 2018)

easyJet’s Berlin Tegel base 

Andrew Findley, CFO, easyJet (third left); Rainer Bretschneider, Chairman of the Board, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (fourth left); Thomas Haagensen, MD, easyJet Europe (third right); Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (second right); along with the inaugural flight crew herald the opening of the LCC’s new Berlin Tegel base. A special welcome gift was presented by Daldrup to Haagensen – a two metre tall and 50 kilogram ‘Buddy Bear’, produced by Berlin artist Andrej Wolff for easyJet Europe. This cheery ambassador for Berlin represents tolerance and peace and so suits flying from Berlin better than any other symbol.

The easyjet crew was welcomed to Düsseldorf by the airport’s Lutz Honerla, Head of Marketing & Strategy (left) and Ulrich Topp, Head of Aviation Marketing (right). The LCC commenced a multiple daily service from its new Berlin Tegel base on 7 January.

  • easyJet celebrated its inaugural flight from Berlin Tegel base (TXL) on 5 January, and its first ever domestic flight in Germany. Flight EZY5569 to Munich (MUC) left the LCC’s second Berlin base at 10:30 that day and was joined by three other domestic routes to Düsseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA) and Stuttgart (STR) which all launched on 7 January, with up to eight flights per day. Ultimately in this initial launch phase the airline will offer services to 15 international destinations including the nine which started this week. As soon as easyJet is in full operation at Tegel, the airline anticipates transporting a total of 18 million passengers to and from Germany – to 116 destinations from its nine German airports. To achieve this, the LCC will station 37 aircraft in Germany in 2018, with one in every five easyJet passengers either starting or ending their journey in Germany. Thomas Haagensen, MD easyJet Europe said: “We are very happy that we’re able to expand our network from Berlin with the launch of our first routes from Tegel. Since the opening of our base in Schönefeld in 2004, 50 million people have already flown with us. We bring more Europeans to Berlin than any other airline. We’re looking forward to pooling our activities in Berlin at Berlin Brandenburg Airport as soon as the airport is open in October 2020. Then, Berlin will be the second largest easyJet base, twice the size of any other base, with the exception of London Gatwick.” See how Berlin Tegel and Düsseldorf airports FTWAs compare to others from around the world
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
05-Jan Berlin Tegel (TXL) Munich (MUC) A320 (51) Lufthansa (119)
07-Jan Copenhagen (CPH) A320 (14) SAS (3)
Düsseldorf (DUS) A320 (40) Eurowings (57)
Frankfurt (FRA) A320 (34) Lufthansa (102)
Madrid (MAD) A320 (7) Iberia (16)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) A320 (14) TUIfly (1), Eurowings (1)
Paris CDG (CDG) A320 (7) AirFrance (39)
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Alitalia (10)
Stuttgart (STR) A320 (27) Eurowings (47)
Vienna (VIE) A32S (22) Austrian Airlines (36)
Zurich (ZRH) A32S (21) SWISS (57)
08-Jan Budapest (BUD) A320 (7)  
Catania (CTA)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 9 January. WF = Weekly frequencies.

GOL’s Salvador de Bahia to Santiago 

Salvador de Bahia celebrated the start of GOL’s latest route on 5 January, a 3,994-kilometre connection to Santiago. Among the festivities was live music, while a cake was also made to mark the new service. OAG schedules indicate that GOL will operate the route twice-weekly (Fridays and Saturdays) on its 737-800s.

  • GOL commenced its latest route from Salvador de Bahia (SSA) on 5 January, a 3,994-kilometre link to Santiago (SCL) in Chile, the carrier’s third international link from the Brazilian airport after Buenos Aires Ezeiza and Cordoba in Argentina. The carrier will operate the route twice-weekly (Fridays and Saturdays) according to OAG schedules, with no other airline currently offering flights on the city pair. Along with these three international routes, GOL operates 16 non-stop routes in the domestic market from Salvador de Bahia this January. See how Salvador de Bahia Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

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

Cutting the ribbon as a symbol of the start of Air Europa’s operations from its Madrid base to Quito on 2 January in Ecuador were: Ambassador of Ecuador in Spain, Cristóbal Roldán; Director of Operations and Maintenance, Quito Airport, Yves Gautier; and Commercial Manager, Air Europa, Germania Salme.  The SkyTeam carrier now operates to 15 destinations in Central and South America.

  • Air Europa has commenced operations to its second destination in Ecuador, and upcoming Routes Americas host city, Quito (UIO). The outbound 8,731-kilometre sector to the country’s capital city is flown direct, whereas the inbound service to its Madrid (MAD) hub is operated via the SkyTeam carrier’s existing Ecuadorian destination of Guayaquil, the port city on the nation’s Pacific Ocean coast. Started on 2 January, the route will be operated five times weekly by Air Europa’s A330-200 fleet and faces competition from Iberia, which offers the same city pair six times weekly. See how Quito Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Syracuse Airport greeted JetBlue Airways’ inaugural Boston passengers with cream pie cookies to enjoy before boarding, while balloons displaying the airports’ IATA codes were inflated to promote the new service. The airline will offer a daily flight on the 423-kilometre sector, which becomes its fourth route from the New York State airport.

  • JetBlue Airways launched its fourth route to Syracuse (SYR) on 4 January, with the airline now linking the New York State city to Boston (BOS), joining existing year-round services to New York JFK and Orlando, along with a seasonal link to Fort Lauderdale. The carrier will operate a daily rotation on the 423-kilometre sector between Boston and Syracuse using its fleet of 100-seat E190s. Competition comes from oneworld giant American Airlines, with the USB3 member already serving the city pair six times weekly on ERJ 145s. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, between January and September last year, JetBlue carried 184,412 passengers to/from Syracuse, a drop of 3.6% when compared to the 191,807 passengers it flew from the city in the same period of 2016. 

Jin Air Johor Bahru

Jin Air commenced flights between Seoul Incheon and Johor Bahru on 2 January, with the service being marked with cake. The carrier will serve the 4,612-kilometre route twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) on its 777-200s.

  • Jin Air commenced its latest route on 2 January, a 4,612-kilometre link from its Seoul Incheon (ICN) base to Johor Bahru (JHB) in Malaysia, currently the airline’s only route to the latter nation from the South Korean capital. The carrier will serve the city pair using its fleet of 393-seat 777-200s, with no other airline serving the sector. Last year, Jin Air provided just under 4.61 million seats from Incheon according to OAG schedules, representing a massive 47% increase from the 3.13 million it offered from the airport in 2016.

LATAM Airlines Lima San Jose

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to officially open LATAM Airlines’ new service between Lima and San Jose in Costa Rica on 2 January. The carrier, which will compete directly with Avianca’s daily service on the 2,567-kilometre route, will offer three weekly (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) flights using its A319s.

  • LATAM Airlines has kick-started its 2018 operations by commencing three new routes across South America, starting on 2 January with a link between Lima (LIM) and San Jose (SJO). The 2,567-kilometre connection between Peru and Costa Rica will be flown by the oneworld member three times weekly on its A319s, with competition coming in the form of Avianca which already offers a daily service on the city pair. LATAM’s second route launch occurred on 4 January in Santiago (SCL), with the airline starting a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service to Punta del Este (PDP). The 1,450-kilometre link between Chile and Uruguay will be served by the airline’s A320 fleet, with competition on the route coming from Sky Airline which also provides a twice-weekly rotation. The final route launch of the week took place on 6 January, when the carrier created a new airport pairing between Florianopolis (FLN) and Montevideo (MVD). Facing no incumbents, the 1,065-kilometre sector between Brazil and Uruguay will be served weekly (Saturdays) by the carrier’s A320s according to OAG schedules. See how San Jose Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Southwest Airlines Tampa

The first creative cake produced by Tampa Airport in 2018 was made to greet the start of Southwest Airlines’ new daily service to San Diego. Launched on 8 January, this becomes the carrier’s 38th destination from Tampa, and its only US West Coast service from the Floridian airport. Seen posing with the route launch showstopper are the airport’s: Adam Bouchard, Airport Operations Manager; Ann David, VP of Finance; Justin Edwards, Manager of Brand & User Experience; Kenneth Strickland, Director of Air Service Development; Maria Cook, Events Manager; Debbie Stokes, Marketing Coordinator; Trudy Brandvold, Marketing Admin Assistant; and Al Illustrato, EVP of Facilities and Administration. 

  • Southwest Airlines started its 2018 route launch campaign by beginning flights between Tampa (TPA) and San Diego (SAN), the airline’s only US West Coast route from the Floridian airport. Inaugurated on 8 January, the carrier will offer a daily service on the city pair using a mixture of its 737-700s and -800s according to OAG schedules. No other airline currently operates the 3,329-kilometre sector, with San Diego becoming the airline’s 38th non-stop destination from Tampa. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Southwest carried just shy of 3.60 million passengers from Tampa during the first sixth months of 2017, an increase of 4.8% when compared to the 3.44 million passengers it transported during H1 2016 from the Gulf Coast airport.

Celebrations were organised by Macau Airport to welcome the arrival of Thai AirAsia’s inaugural flight from Phuket on 8 January. A ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Celia Lao, CEO of AirAsia Hong Kong and Macau (fifth left). The new service will be operated daily with A320s and faces no direct competition.

  • Thai AirAsia launched daily services between Phuket (HKT) and Macau (MFM) on 8 January. The 2,258-kilometre airport pair will be served by A320s facing no direct competition. Celia Lao, CEO of AirAsia Hong Kong and Macau, revealed that the new route has seen strong demand since going on sale in October. Santisuk Klongchaiya, Director of Commercial for Thai AirAsia, said, “I am ecstatic that AirAsia has begun flying directly from Phuket to Macau. I believe this will be another popular route as it bridges the two popular tourist destinations.” Thai AirAsia already offers direct flights to Macau from Thailand, including services from Bangkok Don Mueang, Chiang Mai and Utapao.  


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