New airline routes launched (9 January 2018 – 15 January 2018)

XL Airways France Nantes to Fort-de-France 

XL Airways Nantes

XL Airways France commenced flights between Nantes and Fort-de-France on 9 January. The carrier will operate the 6,523-kilometre route bi-weekly, with departures occurring every other Tuesday from the French city. This service becomes Nantes’ second transatlantic operation, with Air Transat offering a summer seasonal service from Montreal.

  • XL Airways France commenced flights between Nantes (NTE) and Fort-de-France (FDF) on 9 January, a service which originates at Paris CDG. The carrier will operate the 6,523-kilometre sector bi-weekly, with departures from the French airport occurring every other Tuesday. Flights, which will be operated by the carrier’s A330-200s, are scheduled to depart from Nantes at 17:20, with the aircraft having touched down from CDG at 16:10. The flight then arrives into the Caribbean airport at 21:00 local time. data shows that the first service on this non-competed route departed 47 minutes late from Nantes. This becomes the second transatlantic link from the regional French city, with Air Transat already offering a summer seasonal service from Montreal. 

Aeromexico Guadalajara to Salt Lake City

Aeromexico launched flights to Salt Lake City from Guadalajara on 15 January, with a mariachi band being present at the US airport to serenade the first flight’s passengers. Among those posing with the band, while also holding the cake made to celebrate the launch, is Aeromexico Station Manager Alejandra Alfaro.

  • Aeromexico has introduced Salt Lake City (SLC) to its Guadalajara (GDL) network, with the Mexican national carrier starting a daily service on the 2,396-kilometre city pair. Launched on 15 January, the airline replaces fellow SkyTeam member Delta Air Lines on the sector, with Salt Lake City becoming the carrier’s eighth US route from the Mexican city. Aeromexico is already present at Salt Lake City, operating a weekly (Saturdays) service to the Utah airport from Mexico City, a seasonal route that is scheduled to run until 31 March. During H1 2017, Aeromexico flew over 1.46 million passengers between its home market and the US, an increase of 1.3% over the same period the year before, having transported a little under 1.45 million people in the first six months of 2016 according to data published by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.   

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

JetSMART Valdivia

JetSMART’s new service between Santiago and Valdivia was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the latter airport on 12 January. Among those carrying out the cutting proceedings were: Victor Mejia, CCO JetSMART (fourth right); Ricardo Millán, Los Ríos Mayor (third right); and Regional Director of Sernatur, Pedro Burgos (second right). The carrier will operate the 724-kilometre route four times weekly using A320s, with competition coming from two airlines.

  • JetSMART launched flights between Santiago (SCL) and Valdivia (ZAL) on 12 January, the carrier’s 11th route from the Chilean capital since beginning commercial operations on 25 July. The 724-kilometre link will be flown by the airline four times weekly using its fleet of A320s, of which it currently has five according to ch-aviation. Competition on the sector comes from Sky Airline and LATAM Airlines, with the former offering a twice-daily service on the route, while the latter offers a nine times weekly service. “We are proud to be specifying the desire of many Valdivianos to be able to fly smart, that is to say at ultra-low prices, in the newest airplanes of America, and also delivering more connectivity to an area with the enormous touristic potential that the Los Ríos Region has,” commented Victor Mejia, CCO JetSMART about the new service. See how Valdivia Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Philippines AirAsia Jakarta

Seen posing with the cake which was made to greet the arrival of Philippines AirAsia to Jakarta are: Ketut Ferry Utameyasa, Senior Manager of Aeronautical Commercial Division, Angkasa Pura; Adji Gunawan, CEO PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta; Captain Dexter Comendador, CEO of Philippines AirAsia; Marianne Ludwina, CFO PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta; Maan Hontiveros, Chairwoman of Philippines AirAsia; Dendy Kurniawan, CEO of the AirAsia Group in Indonesia; and Hon. Budi Dhewajani, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia in Manila.

  • Philippines AirAsia launched flights between Manila (MNL) and Jakarta (CGK) on 9 January. The carrier will operate the 2,784-kilometre airport pair daily using its fleet of A320s. The route is already well served, with Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines also offering daily services. Philippines AirAsia CEO, Captain Dexter Comendador, said of the new service: “AirAsia is a product of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and we are so proud to be part of this region we call home. We are thrilled to add another ASEAN destination into our ever growing network.” With this launch, Philippines AirAsia now serves 17 destinations from Manila, with an 18th to Denpasar launching on 19 January, a route that the carrier will operate four times weekly. See how Jakarta Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Pobeda St. Petersburg

Pobeda launched its latest route from St. Petersburg on 12 January, a 2,084-kilometre domestic link to Magas. The carrier will operate the route weekly (Fridays), with no other carrier linking the two cities. data shows that the first flight touched down in Magas three minutes ahead of its scheduled 12:40 arrival time.

  • Pobeda premiered its eighth route from St. Petersburg (LED) on 12 January according to OAG schedules, with the carrier commencing a link from Russia’s second-largest city to Magas (IGT). The airline will offer a weekly (Fridays) 737-800-operated service on the 2,084-kilometre link, with no other carrier presently flying between the two cities. Pobeda already has a presence at Magas, with a daily rotation to the southern Russian airport from Moscow Vnukovo.


  1. Emilio Cortes says:

    New routes by Philippine Airlines from Clark to CGY, WNP not in your routes summary

    • Nick Preston says:

      Hi Emilio, thanks for your note. We recorded Philippine Airlines’ service from CRK to CGY as commencing back in mid December which is why it doesn’t appear in this week’s summary. Thank you for highlighting the new service from CRK to WNP which we did not have in our records and was scheduled to begin operating on 16 January. Flightradar24 data only confirms one rotation as operating on this route so far, but OAG schedules show that it was due to go double-daily from 23 January.

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