New airline routes launched (27 March 2018 – 2 April 2018)

Delta Air Lines Orlando to Amsterdam 

Delta Orlando Amsterdam

Delta Air Lines commenced non-stop services between Orlando and Amsterdam on 30 March, with the route officially being opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the US-end. The SkyTeam member will operate the 7,287-kilometre route daily using its 767-300s, with this being the airline’s only transatlantic sector from Orlando.

  • Delta Air Lines began a daily service between Orlando (MCO) and Amsterdam (AMS) on 30 March, with this route becoming the SkyTeam member’s only transatlantic service from the Florida airport. For Amsterdam, it means that it is served from nine US cities courtesy of Delta, with the USB3 carrier also connecting the Netherlands hub to Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York JFK, Portland, Salt Lake City and Seattle-Tacoma. A tenth route from Los Angeles will begin in June. Meanwhile, the 7,287-kilometre sector between Orlando and Amsterdam will be flown using Delta’s fleet of 767-300s, with the carrier not facing any direct competition on the airport pair. However it should be noted that TUI Airlines Netherlands provides a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service between Amsterdam and Orlando Sanford. 

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

Adria Airways Ljubljana

Adria Airways launched flights between Ljubljana and Bucharest on 27 March, with the route being officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the latter airport. Conducting the honour by carrying out the ribbon cutting was Christian Schneider, CCO of Adria Airways (left). The route will be flown four times weekly.

  • Adria Airways added two more spokes to its Ljubljana (LJU) network this week, following on from the launch of flights to Geneva and Sofia last week. On 27 March the carrier commenced services to Bucharest (OTP), marking the first route between the European nations of Slovenia and Romania. The airline will operate the 935-kilometre capital connection four times weekly. The second route to be inaugurated was a 882-kilometre sector to Hamburg (HAM). Like Bucharest, services to Hamburg will also be flown four times weekly. Neither route faces direct competition and both are scheduled to be flown on the carrier’s fleet of CRJ 700s.

Air Malta St. Petersburg

Air Malta commenced flights to St. Petersburg on 28 March, with the airline planning to operate a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) service between its Malta base and the Russian airport. Among those to welcome the airline to its second Russian destination after Moscow Sheremetyevo was Anna Nikiforova, Head of Sales, Aviation Marketing Department, St. Petersburg Airport (second right). No other airline currently operates this airport pair.

  • Air Malta commenced operations between Malta (MLA) and St. Petersburg (LED) on 28 March, with this route following on from the four services that the carrier launched last week. Its latest route to St. Petersburg, the carrier’s second destination in Russia after Moscow Sheremetyevo, will be flown twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays), with the carrier using its A320s on the 2,892-kilometre airport pair. No other carrier presently operates this route. Back in June 2016, this city pair was an and Skyscanner Unserved Route of the Week. The data at the time showed that between June 2015 and May 2016 some 76,000 searches took place as a result of people wanting to fly this route, with 75% of the searches coming from the Russian-end of the sector. With this, it is clear that Air Malta has launched flights in a market where there is sufficient demand to sustain a twice-weekly operation. 

Air Prishtina

Air Prishtina, in partnership with Germania, commenced flights between Pristina and Paris CDG on 28 March, with the Kosovo capital airport celebrating the new service with cake and champagne. The route will be served twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Satudays) using Germania’s fleet of A319s. No other airline serves the city pair.

  • Air Prishtina, in partnership with Germania, commenced flights between Pristina (PRN) and Paris CDG (CDG) on 28 March. The 1,596-kilometre route will be served twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and flown using Germania’s 150-seat A319 fleet. No direct competition is offered on the city pair. 

airBaltic Gdansk

airBaltic launched flights to Gdansk on 27 March, a route for which Riga Airport baked a naval-inspired cake. Carrying out the cutting are: Laura Audariņa, Route Development Manager, Riga Airport; Wolfgang Reuss, SVP Network Management, airBaltic; and Liene Freivalde, Director of the Aviation Service and Business Development Department, Riga Airport. airBaltic will operate the route between Latvia and Poland three times weekly using its fleet of Q400s.

airBaltic Lisbon

airBaltic also inaugurated flights to Lisbon from Riga on 27 March. Liene Freivalde, Director of the Aviation Service and Business Development Department, Riga Airport and Mantas Vrubliauskas, Network Development Manager at airBaltic had the pleasure of carrying out the ribbon cutting to officially open the 3,135-kilometre link between the capitals of Latvia and Portugal. airBaltic will operate flights on the city pair twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) using its CS300s.

airBaltic Tallinn Gatwick

Tallinn Airport also welcomed expansion with airBaltic for the start of the S18 schedule, with the carrier launching a new twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) service to London Gatwick. Present at the launch on 27 March were Wolfgang Reuss, SVP Network Management, airBaltic and Eero Pärgmäe, CCO of Tallinn Airport.

  • airBaltic inaugurated its S18 schedule with the launch of four new routes. The carrier now links Riga (RIX) to Gdansk (GDN), Lisbon (LIS) and Malaga (AGP), while Tallinn (TLL) has gained a connection to London Gatwick (LGW). Apart from the 446-kilometre route between the Latvian capital and Gdansk which will be operated three times weekly, the remaining three routes, which have an average sector length of 2,676 kilometres, will see a twice-weekly rotation. Only flights between Tallinn and Gatwick will face direct competition, with easyJet offering a twice-weekly service (increasing to three times weekly during peak summer). Indirect competition is also provided on the Estonian–UK capital connection, with British Airways offering a twice-weekly link to London Heathrow, while Ryanair provides four weekly flights from Tallinn to London Stansted. airBaltic will launch more routes in the coming weeks from Riga, namely Almaty, Bordeaux, Kaliningrad, Sochi/Adler and Split.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Mar Riga (RIX) Gdansk (GDN) Q400 (3)  
Lisbon (LIS) CS30 (2)  
Tallinn (TLL) London Gatwick (LGW) B737 (2) easyJet (2)
28-Mar Riga (RIX) Malaga (AGP) CS30 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 3 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Avianca Lima Mendoza

Avianca commenced flights between Lima and Mendoza on 1 April. Among those to take part in the inaugural flight ceremony were: María Elena Cardenas Valenzuela, Director Airports South America, Avianca; Martín Torres, Sales Manager Argentina, Avianca; and Gabriela Testa, President of Ente Mendoza Turismo.

  • Avianca commenced flights between Lima (LIM) and Mendoza (MDZ) on 1 April, with this becoming the airline’s only route to the latter airport. The Star Alliance member will operate a daily service between the Peruvian capital and the Argentinean city, with it scheduled to fly the 2,461-kilometre link using its fleet of A320s. Competition on the city pair comes from LATAM Airlines, with it already offering four weekly flights when referencing OAG schedules.  

The cake for the inauguration of the route between Stockholm Arlanda and Turin was cut by Vlad Cristescu, Senior Network Development Executive at Blue Air and Ole Wieth Christensen, Director European Route Development, Swedavia. The Italian route joins the hybrid carrier’s existing service from Bucharest to the Swedish capital city.

  • Blue Air, the Romanian hybrid carrier, has added its second service into Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), commencing a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) connection from Turin (TRN), joining its existing operation from Bucharest. Flown by the airline’s 737 fleet, the 1,745-kilometre sector will face no direct competition. According to this week’s OAG schedules, the Swedish service is the 16th route operated by Blue Air from its Italian hub.

Vaxjo Airport

Vaxjo Airport heralded the start of Braathens Regional Airlines flights to Berlin Tegel with a ribbon cutting ceremony on 30 March. Having the honour of officially opening the route by conducting the ribbon cutting are Ulf Axelsson, CEO of Vaxjo Airport and Johannes Jarz, Vaxjo Station Manager, Braathens Regional Airlines.

  • Braathens Regional Airlines inaugurated flights between Vaxjo (VXO) and Berlin Tegel (TXL) on 30 March. The airline will offer a twice-weekly (Fridays and Sundays) service between the Swedish and German airports using its fleet of ATR 72-600s. This becomes the airline’s second service from Vaxjo, with it already operating a domestic service to Stockholm Bromma. No other airline currently operates between Vaxjo and Tegel. 

Almeria greeted British Airways’ first service from London Heathrow with a cake cutting on 27 March. BA will offer twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) flights on the route. The 1,632-kilometre sector faces no direct competition, although easyJet and Ryanair serve the Spanish city from London’s Gatwick and Stansted airports respectively.

Passengers on the inaugural British Airways flight from London Gatwick were welcomed by Las Vegas showgirls at the Nevada airport on 27 March. BA has returned with three weekly flights to an airport pair it previously served as recently as S16. The British flag carrier will face competition from Virgin Atlantic Airways.

  • British Airways launched two new routes from London on 27 March, beginning services from Gatwick (LGW) to Las Vegas (LAS) and from Heathrow (LHR) to Almeria (LEI). The first flight from Gatwick to Las Vegas marks a return to a sector that the airline last operated in S16. BA will serve the 8,430-kilometre transatlantic route three times weekly using its fleet of 777-200s. It faces direct competition from Virgin Atlantic Airways which provides daily flights on the airport pair. BA already serves Las Vegas from Heathrow, with OAG schedules showing that the carrier provides 10 weekly flights. BA will offer twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) flights on the 1,632-kilometre link between Heathrow and Almeria. It will use A320s on the airport pair and faces no direct competition, although it should be noted that there is indirect competition from LCCs easyJet and Ryanair, with both offering flights to Almeria from Gatwick and Stansted respectively. 

Cobalt commenced daily services to London Heathrow from Larnaca on 27 March. Pictured on the ground at the UK airport with the crew is the airline’s CEO Andrew Madar. Inside Heathrow’s Terminal 3, where Cobalt flights will operate from, the crew were then joined by the carrier’s Commercial Director Paul Simmons.

  • Cobalt commenced three new routes for the start of S18, with two being from Larnaca (LCA) to Copenhagen (CPH) and London Heathrow (LHR). The third route launch marked the carrier’s first non-Cypriot service, a connection between Athens (ATH) and London Gatwick (LGW). Both Larnaca routes launched on 27 March, with services on the 2,805-kilometre link to the Danish capital being flown twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays). The 3,275-kilometre connection to Heathrow sees a daily rotation. Athens to Gatwick services commenced on 31 March, with the 2,390-kilometre sector between the Greek capital and London’s second busiest airport seeing a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) operation. All of the routes launched this week will face direct competition, with Copenhagen services going head-to-head with Norwegian which also operates the route twice-weekly. Heathrow flights will face British Airways, with the oneworld member operating a twice-daily service, with one of these being flown on 767-300s. Finally Athens to Gatwick flights will go up against easyJet, with the UK LCC offering up to 11 weekly flights. Both routes to London will be flown on the carrier’s fleet of A320s, while Copenhagen services will see a mixture of A319 and A320 rotations.

Cyprus Airways Athens

Cyprus Airways commenced flights between Larnaca and Athens on 29 March, with a route launch party being hosted at the Greek capital airport to welcome its newest airline. The carrier will initially link the two cities twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) using its A319 fleet, with it poised to face direct competition coming from four airlines on the 930-kilometre sector, namely Aegean Airlines, Cobalt, Blue Air and TUS Airways.

  • Cyprus Airways, taking its name from the former bankrupt airline which closed down in 2015, doubled its route count from Larnaca (LCA) this week, adding services to Athens (ATH) and Beirut (BEY). The carrier already flies to St. Petersburg and Tel Aviv from its Cypriot base. Both Athens and Beirut routes began on 29 March and will initially be flown by the carrier twice-weekly. The 930-kilometre link to Athens will operate on Mondays and Thursdays, with Cyprus Airways going head-to-head against Aegean Airlines, Cobalt, Blue Air and TUS Airways. The quartet of carriers combined already offer 72 weekly flights on the city pair. Beirut sees a Thursday and Sunday rotation, with the 206-kilometre hop over the Mediterranean Sea expecting to see direct competition from Middle East Airlines (eight times weekly) and Cobalt (four weekly). Currently Cyprus Airways has one A319, with this being the aircraft schedule to serve Athens and Beirut. By the peak of S18, Cyprus Airways expects to also be flying to Munich, Prague, Stuttgart, Verona and Zurich from Larnaca, with schedules showing that the airline will acquire a second A319 to operate these services.

One of three new sectors which were commenced from London Luton this week by easyJet was the 1,197-kilometre route to Reus. Flown on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the twice-weekly airport pair is operated by the LCC’s A319 fleet. The new route was welcomed in Spain by this cloud-inspired cake.

  • easyJet has started seven new sectors in the last seven days, adding to the four the LCC commenced in the first week of S18. The longest sector is the 2,969-kilometre (up from 2,836 kilometres from last week’s route launches) route from Lyon (LYS) to Tel Aviv (TLV), whereas the shortest city pair is the UK domestic route from Edinburgh (EDI) to Jersey (JER), at 753 kilometres (up from 576 kilometres). The average sector length of all seven services is 1,488 kilometres (down on last week’s average of 2,003 kilometres), while the average frequency is just 2.1 (again down from 2.5 in the previous seven days) flights per week. Only one of the seven airport pairs will see any direct competition.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Mar London Luton (LTN) Genoa (GOA) A319 (2)  
Palermo (PMO) A32S (2)  
Reus (REU) A319 (2)  
29-Mar Lyon (LYS) Tel Aviv (TLV) A320 (3) Israir (2), Transavia (2)
Manchester (MAN) Genoa (GOA)  
31-Mar Edinburgh (EDI) Jersey (JER) A320 (2)  
Nice (NCE) Seville (SVQ) A320 (1)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 3 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Edelweiss Air Zurich Dubrovnik Paphos

Edelweiss Air commenced services between Zurich and Dubrovnik on 30 March, with the Croatian airport greeting its newest carrier with this water arch salute. The airline will link the two airports twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays). Along with Dubrovnik, Edelweiss Air launched services to Paphos from its Zurich base this week.

  • Edelweiss Air commenced flights from Zurich (ZRH) to Dubrovnik (DBV) and Paphos (PFO) on 30 March, with both 937- and 2,438-kilometre sectors scheduled to be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) on the airline’s fleet of A320s. At present neither route faces any direct competition, however it should be noted that Croatia Airlines will resume its seasonal link between Dubrovnik and Zurich from the end of April, with the Star Alliance member serving the city pair five times weekly on its Q400 fleet. 

Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines inaugurated three new destinations from Addis Ababa on 27 March, namely Kisangani, Mbuji-Mayi and Nosy-Be. The trio of airports will all be served three times weekly. Among those at the launch was Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines (centre) who can be seen helping to cut the route launch cake.

  • Ethiopian Airlines added three African destinations to its network this week, with the carrier now serving Kisangani (FKI) and Mbuji-Mayi (MJM) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, plus Nosy-Be (NOS) in Madagascar. All launched on 27 March from Addis Ababa (ADD), the Star Alliance member will operate flights to the former two destinations on a triangular routing of Addis Ababa–Kisangani–Mbuji-Mayi–Addis Ababa. This route will be flown three times weekly facing no direct competition. Services to Nosy-Be will also be flown three times weekly, also facing no direct rivalry, with this service operating via the carrier’s existing link to Moroni in Comoros, a destination that joined Ethiopian Airlines’ network in November 2016. All three destinations will be served by the carrier’s fleet of 737-800s based on OAG schedules data.

What a spread! Passengers on the first Eurowings flight from Alicante to Stuttgart were given a fantastic send off at the gate in Spain. Operated by the German LCC’s A320 fleet, the 1,397-kilometre city pair will be flown three times weekly, the highest rotation intensity of the airline’s five routes commenced over the last seven days.

Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Mar Stuttgart (STR) Alicante (ALC) A32S (3)  
28-Mar Cologne Bonn (CGN) Monastir (MIR) A320 (1)  
Nuremberg (NUE) Olbia (OLB) B738 (2)  
31-Mar Palma de Mallorca (PMI) Weeze (NRN) A320 (1) Ryanair (13)
01-Apr Düsseldorf (DUS) Corfu (CFU) A319 (1)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 3 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Marking the start of Flybe’s new sector to Venice Marco Polo with this handsome-looking cake were Spencer Birns, Commercial Director, Cardiff Airport and Paul Willoughby, Regional Sales Manager, Flybe. Also to mark the occasion, the airport surprised passengers with a gate celebration, featuring popular Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn, who created a stunning Venetian mask live in the terminal. Flybe will operate its newest Italian route twice-weekly. 

Cake of the Week? Nah…its Slate of the Week! Flybe’s Willoughby flew to Venice on the first flight from Cardiff, where he handed over a commemorative piece of Welsh slate to Camilo Bozzolo, Aviation Development Director of SAVE Group Venice Airport. Remarking on the very different piece of cabin baggage he carried from Wales, Willougby said: “the commemorative slate was a heavy item to carry all the way to Venice!”

  • Flybe started operating its S18 programme from Cardiff (CWL) this week, which now features 17 routes with a choice of up to 75 flights a week as a result of the introduction of a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) operation to Venice Marco Polo (VCE). The city becomes the airline’s fourth Italian route from Cardiff, joining existing services to Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Verona. Launched 27 March and operated by Flybe’s E170 and E195 fleet, the sector will face no competition. Roy Kinnear, Flybe’s CCO, who will be speaking at the Heathrow HubLAB, commented: “We are delighted to include yet another new route to Italy from our Cardiff base this summer and look forward to welcoming many passengers on board. We are passionate about connecting people and communities and offering the widest choice of destinations possible with time saving, punctual and affordable travel.” Deb Barber, Cardiff Airport CEO added: “It’s been a hugely exciting moment with a great buzz in the terminal. The start of Flybe’s new Venice route is a welcome addition to their ever expanding choice of destinations available from Cardiff and to see a busy first flight out is testament to this. What a great way to mark the start of Flybe’s third summer season at Wales’ national airport.” 

Flybondi Jujuy

Flybondi commenced operations on the 1,296-kilometre sector between Buenos Aires El Palomar and Jujuy on 28 March. Pictured with the aircraft at the latter airport are: Federico Posadas, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Jujuy; Julian Cook, CEO of Flybondi; and Diego Valdecantos, Provincial Secretary of Tourism. The airline will initially operate between the two airports five times weekly on its fleet of 737-800s. The route faces no direct competition.

  • Flybondi, the recently formed Argentinean LCC, has inaugurated a further two routes from its Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) base. On 28 March the carrier commenced flights to Corrientes (CNQ) and Jujuy (JUJ). The 797-kilometre link to the former destination will be flown daily, while the 1,296-kilometre sector to the latter will initially be flown five times weekly. Both routes will be flown by the carrier’s growing fleet of 737-800s, with it hoping to be operating 10 of the type by the end of the year. Neither service will face direct competition. With these launches, Flybondi now operates seven routes from El Palomar, with a further four scheduled to launched by the end of May. 

Frontier Airlines Boise

Frontier Airlines commenced flights between Denver and Boise on 27 March, with the latter airport holding a ribbon cutting ceremony to declare the 1,041-kilometre domestic route open. The ULCC will operate the city pair three times weekly using its fleet of A319s and A320s, with it facing competition from United Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

  • Frontier Airlines launched its latest route from Denver (DEN) on 27 March, with the ULCC now offering a three times weekly connection from the Mile High City to Boise (BOI). Scheduled to be flown on a mixture of the airline’s fleet of A319s and A320s, Frontier will face direct competition on the 1,041-kilometre airport pair from United Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The Star Alliance member offers a four times daily service, while the US’ leading LCC provides a twice-daily rotation. Frontier is no stranger to this city pair however, with the ULCC having last flown between Denver and Boise in September 2011. During that year, Frontier flew 56,133 passengers between the two airports, based on data retrieved from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Georgian Airways Cologne Bonn

Georgian Airways commenced services to Cologne Bonn on 27 March, with the German airport greeting the new route from Tbilisi with a wine-inspired cake, with Georgia being one of the oldest wine-growing nations on earth, ranging back 8,000 years. Among those present at the launch was Tobias Lyssy, Director Business Development, Cologne Bonn Airport (second right). The carrier will operate flights between Tbilisi and Cologne Bonn using its fleet of E190s.

  • Georgian Airways, which last week inaugurated flights from Tbilisi (TBS) to Barcelona, Bratislava, Brussels, Berlin Schönefeld and Kazan, this week started serving Bologna (BLQ), Cologne Bonn (CGN) and Paris CDG (CDG) from the Georgian capital. “We are very pleased about the new commitment of Georgian Airways in Cologne Bonn. With Tbilisi, we offer our passengers an exciting and unusual destination,” commented Athanasios Titonis, MD of Cologne Bonn Airport about the new connection. Flights to the German and French airports began on 27 March, while the Italian city was introduced to the airline’s route map the following day. The three routes launched this week from Tbilisi will all be flown twice-weekly on the carrier’s fleet of E190s, with none of them scheduled to face direct competition. The expansion of Georgian Airways from Tbilisi is not yet finished for S18, with the carrier still planning to launch services to Athens and Thessaloniki on 10 and 11 April respectively.

Iran Air has intensified the competition between the French and Iranian capital cities this week, introducing a twice-weekly operation. The crew on the inaugural service from Paris CDG were treated to a gate reception featuring route launch cakes and drinks.

  • Iran Air introduced more capacity between the French and Iranian capital cities on 27 March. Joining incumbents Air France (three times weekly) and Mahan Air (four times weekly), the Iranian national carrier will fly from Tehran Imam Khomeini (IKA) to Paris CDG (CDG) twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays). The 4,194-kilometre sector will be flown by Iran Air’s A330 fleet.

Jetstar Airways Wellington Queenstown

Jetstar Airways commenced services between Wellington and Queenstown on 27 March, a route that the carrier last flew in August 2013. The airline this time around will offer three weekly flights on the 641-kilometre domestic connection. To celebrate the route, the New Zealand capital airport gave away goodies to the first passengers.

  • Jetstar Airways re-introduced services between Wellington (WLG) and Queenstown (ZQN) on 27 March, a route that the airline last flew in August 2013. This time around, the carrier will operate the 641-kilometre domestic link three times weekly using its A320s. It will face direct competition from Air New Zealand, with the national carrier operating 14 weekly flights according to OAG schedules. This becomes Jetstar’s fifth domestic link from Wellington and its fourth to the nation’s South Island after Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin.

Passengers on Jetstar Asia’s first flight from Osaka Kansai to Clark on 27 March were greeted by Jetta the red panda mascot in the check-in area. The LCC will operate between Clark and Kansai three times per week, using A320s on the 2,593-kilometre sector. There is no incumbent competition on this airport pair.

  • Jetstar Asia began services between Clark (CRK) in the Philippines and Osaka Kansai (KIX) on 27 March. The LCC will operate the 2,593-kilometre airport pair three times per week with A320s and faces no direct competition on the route. “We know from experience that low fares stimulate demand and increase the number of people taking flights,” said Bara Pasupathi, CEO, Jetstar Asia. “As more and more Japanese businesses establish themselves in Clark, Jetstar is well positioned to support travel between the two countries. With the Philippine government’s ongoing infrastructure programme to convert and develop the New Clark City metropolis, this will present Jetstar, the opportunity to be a key aviation partner for change here.” Alexander Cauguiran, President and CEO of Clark Airport said: “Clark International Airport is now being aggressively pushed by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte as Asia’s next premier gateway. The new Jetstar Clark-Osaka flights will not only boost our operations, but validate Clark Airport’s marketability and viability as an international hub.”

There were celebrations at Siem Reap to mark Lanmei Airlines’ inaugural service to Shijiazhuang on 2 April. The Cambodian carrier will offer three flights per week on the 2,964-kilometre airport pair. This is currently the airline’s only link from Siem Reap to China.

  • Lanmei Airlines commenced operations on a new link between Siem Reap (REP) in Cambodia and Shijiazhuang (SJW) in China on 2 April. It will serve the 2,964-kilometre airport pair with its A320 family fleet and faces no direct competition. Flights depart Siem Reap at 09:55 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. OAG schedules show that this is currently the only connection the airline is due to offer to Shijiazhuang during S18. It is also the airline’s only scheduled service from Siem Reap to China this summer. 

Lviv Airport

Among those cutting the cake, made for LOT Polish Airlines’ latest link to Lviv from Olsztyn-Mazury on 27 March were Marcin Kuchciński, Chairman of the Olsztyn Civic Platform (left) and Tetyana Romanovska, Director of Lviv Airport (centre). The Star Alliance carrier will operate between the two airports twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

  • LOT Polish Airlines launched its fourth route to Lviv (LWO) on 27 March, a short 457-kilometre hop from Olsztyn-Mazury (SZY) in Poland. The Star Alliance member already serves the Ukrainian city from Bydgoszcz, Poznan and Warsaw Chopin. Its latest route to Lviv will be flown twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) on its fleet of Q400s, with no direct competition being provided on the sector.

Norwegian Austin

Music was in the air at London Gatwick as passengers on the inaugural Norwegian flight to Austin experienced the sounds of the city before they took off. The ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ is famed for its live music and to celebrate the first flight from Gatwick, passengers enjoyed a live acoustic performance from local Austin artist Julian Acosta on the ground and in the skies before landing in Texas. Posing with Acosta along with the crew, while raising the flags of the UK and US, were Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, London Gatwick and Julie Chase, VP and Chief Marketing Officer at Visit Austin. Photo credit: Tony Pick Photography.

The celebrations continued in Texas, with a ribbon cutting and of course live music. Conducting the cutting of the ribbon in Austin were: Karen Bell, British Consul General; Norwegian flight crew members; Anders Lindström, Director of Communications, Norwegian; Erin Nemeth, Visit Britain PR & Marketing Manager, US; and Austin City Council Member, Jimmy Flannigan. Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Austin said: “The new service from Gatwick will provide opportunity for additional visitors connecting from throughout the world and from the UK. With year-over-year increases in visitors from the UK and beyond, we anticipate this flight will be very successful. The addition of this route is also a direct reflection of how our city continues to evolve as a premier destination for travellers.”

  • Norwegian continued its global expansion on 27 March by launching the UK’s first low-cost route to Texas, with the only non-stop service from London Gatwick (LGW) to Austin (AUS). The new route to the US comes just two days after the airline launched flights to Chicago O’Hare. The year-round, three times weekly, 787-9-operated service faces no direct competition, although it should be noted that British Airways links London Heathrow to Austin. Gatwick CCO, Guy Stephenson said of the Austin route: “This service – Norwegian’s second new long-haul route to launch from Gatwick in the space of a week – connects our passengers to a particularly exciting new destination and famous cultural hub. Austin has so much to offer British tourists, including the incredible live music scene with which it has become synonymous. We’re delighted that our passengers can now take advantage of a direct route to this remarkable city – which is one of more than 60 in Gatwick’s flourishing long-haul network.” The day after, the LCC commenced a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) between Copenhagen (CPH) and Pristina (PRN). Operated by Norwegian’s 737-800 fleet, the 1,571-kilometre sector will face direct competition from Germania which offers a weekly service.

Traditional Greek dancing welcomed the arrival of Qatar Airways new route from its Doha hub to Thessaloniki in Greece. The oneworld carrier already offers a three times daily connection from its base to Athens, flown with a mixture of its A330 and A320 fleets.

  • Qatar Airways commenced its second Greek destination in its network on 27 March, with the addition of a four times weekly operation to Thessaloniki (SKG). The 3,141-kilometre service from the airline’s Doha (DOH) hub will be flown by its A320 fleet. While this route faces no direct competition, the oneworld carrier already flies to the Greek capital city of Athens three times daily.

Ryanair Bourgas

Ryanair officially opened its 87th base at Bourgas on 27 March, allowing the carrier to inaugurate 11 new routes from the Black Sea airport for S18. Seen carrying out the ribbon cutting proceedings, officially opening Ryanair’s new base in Bourgas, were: Adriana Troanska, Head of PR & Corporate Communication, Fraport Bulgaria; Valcho Cholakov, Bourgas District Governor; Dimitar Nikolov, Mayor of Bourgas; Denis Barabas, Sales and Marketing Executive CEE, Ryanair; Olga Pawlonka, Sales & Marketing Manager for CEE, Ryanair; Ulrich Heppe, CEO Fraport Bulgaria; Georgi Chipilski, Director of Bourgas Airport; Nikolay Sekalov, CCO Fraport Bulgaria; Rossen Philipov, CFO Fraport Bulgaria; and Kristina Neykova, PR Expert, Fraport Bulgaria. Take a closer look at’s live report of Ryanair’s Bourgas base opening.

Ryanair launched flights from Memmingen to Bourgas on 27 March, flying Tuesdays and Fridays to Bulgaria. Welcoming the crew in traditional Bavarian Lederhose was Marcel Schütz, Director Aviation and in traditional Bavarian Dirndl was Franziska Spannagel, Aviation Marketing & Sales Manager, both from the German airport.

Ryanair Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta Airport greeted the arrival of Ryanair’s inaugural service from Milan Bergamo on 28 March. Seen on hand ready to welcome the first flight with the welcome banner are Lappeenranta Airport CEO Eija Joro and Board Member Tom Christides. The carrier plans to launch a second route to the Finnish airport – Athens – in May.

Ryanair Riga

Ryanair added flights between Bourgas and Riga on 28 March, with the Latvian capital airport welcoming the new service with this splendid three-tiered seaside-themed cake. Posing with the calorific concoction are the airport’s Route Development Manager, Laura Audariņa, and Director of the Aviation Service and Business Development Department, Liene Freivalde. Ryanair will operate the 1,614-kilometre sector twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays).

Ryanair used the last seven days to launch a further six routes from Malta, having started five the previous week. The Mediterranean airport was particularly pleased with the addition of Tallinn to its network, with the Ryanair cabin crew seen here promoting the fresh connection to the Estonian capital city.

Ryanair Shannon

Ryanair commenced flights between Shannon and Reus on 27 March. The ULCC will operate the 1,492-kilometre sector twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) facing no direct competition. With this launch, it means that Ryanair will operate seven Spanish routes from Shannon this summer. The airline’s expansion from the Irish airport does not stop here though, with Ryanair adding Bristol and Liverpool services from Shannon in May.

At the Spanish end of the same route, celebrations were also held at Reus too. According to current OAG schedules data, the Irish ULCC also offers a daily service from Dublin to the Spanish airport in addition to its new Shannon service.

Ryanair Amman

Ryanair introduced its second Middle Eastern market after Israel to its network this week, with Jordan joining the ULCC’s route map. The carrier inaugurated a four times weekly service from Paphos to Amman on 27 March, with the airline planning to add a further 13 routes to the nation towards the start of the W18/19 season.

Ryanair Rimini

Ryanair celebrated its return to Rimini on 27 March, ending its six-year hiatus of flying to the Italian airport. The carrier added the Adriatic sea city to its London Stansted and Kaunas networks this week, while Warsaw Modlin flights began on 26 March. In total the carrier will be offering five departures from Rimini this summer. Seen at the launch of Stansted flights are: John Alborante, Sales & Marketing Manager Italy, Ryanair; Laura Fincato, President of AIRiminum (the company that runs Rimini Airport); and Leonardo Corbucci, CEO of AIRiminum.

Ryanair Weeze

Ryanair added flights between Bourgas and Weeze on 30 March, a route that was celebrated at the German-end of the route. The ULCC will operate the 1,893-kilometre route twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays). Seen at the launch along with the crew is Ludger van Bebber, MD of Weeze Airport (second right).

  • Ryanair used the second week of S18 to start another 35 routes, adding to the 29 it started last week. The longest sector is the 3,119-kilometre route from Venice Treviso (TSF) to Gran Canaria (LPA), whereas the shortest city pair is Paphos (PFO) to Amman (AMM), at just 465 kilometres, with this also being the carrier’s first route to Jordan. The average sector length of all 34 services is 1,495 kilometres (less than last week’s average of 1,534 kilometres), while the average frequency is just 1.91 (down from last week’s tally which was 2.6 flights per week). Only two of the 35 airport pairs will observe any direct competition – just 5.7% (last week it was 14%). Take a closer look at’s live report of Ryanair’s base opening at Bourgas this week.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Mar Bologna (BLQ) Mykonos (JMK) B738 (2)  
Bourgas (BOJ) Bratislava (BTS)  
Krakow (KRK)  
Memmingen (FMM)  
Budapest (BUD) Paphos (PFO) B738 (3)  
Copenhagen (CPH) Seville (SVQ) B738 (2)  
Edinburgh (EDI) Szczecin (SZZ)  
Frankfurt (FRA) Kefalonia (EFL)  
Marseille (MRS) B738 (3) Lufthansa (21)
Perugia (PEG) B738 (2)  
Rijeka (RJK)  
London Stansted (STN) Rimini (RMI)  
Malta (MLA) Paris Beauvais (BVA)  
Pescara (PSR)  
Milan Bergamo (BGY) Poznan (POZ)  
Tangier (TNG)  
Paphos (PFO) Amman (AMM) B738 (4)  
Riga (RIX) B738 (2)  
Pescara (PSR) Malta (MLA)  
Shannon (SNN) Reus (REU)  
Valencia (VLC) Palermo (PMO)  
28-Mar Bourgas BOJ) Riga (RIX)  
Rzeszow (RZE) B738 (1)  
Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (2) Bulgaria Air (2)
Malta (MLA) Seville (SVQ)  
Milan Bergamo (BGY) Lappeenranta (LPP)  
29-Mar Bourgas (BOJ) Frankfurt Hahn (HHN)  
Kaunas (KUN) B738 (1)  
Warsaw Modlin (WMI)  
Kaunas (KUN) Rimini (RMI)  
Malta (MLA) Tallinn (TLL)  
30-Mar Bourgas (BOJ) Milan Bergamo (BGY) B738 (2)  
Weeze (NRN)  
Venice Treviso (TSF) Gran Canaria (LPA) B738 (1)  
31-Mar Malta (MLA) Gothenburg (GOT)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 3 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Tenerife South Airport welcomed the arrival of the first SmartWings service from Tel Aviv on 27 March. Celebrations included a ceremonial cake cutting and a fire truck water arch for the arriving 737 MAX 8. The carrier will operate the 4,923-kilometre airport pair weekly (Tuesdays) facing no direct competition.

  • SmartWings commenced flights between Tel Aviv (TLV) and Tenerife South (TFS) on 27 March. The carrier will operate the 4,923-kilometre sector weekly (Tuesdays) using its 737 MAX 8s. There is no direct competition on the airport pair. SmartWings already serves Prague from Tel Aviv and intends to introduce a new twice-weekly link from the Israeli airport to Madrid on 26 April, with flights schedule to operate to the Spanish capital on Thursdays and Sundays.

Cutting the cake to herald the start of Volotea’s service from Bilbao to Vienna were Nikolaus Gretzmacher, SVP Operations Vienna Airport and Carlos Cerqueiro, Corporate Development and Communications Director, Volotea. The Spanish airline will offer a twice-weekly service on the route, with the aircraft departing from Bilbao at 06:45 and landing in Vienna at 09:15. The return flight will leave Austria at 09:40 and arrive in Spain at 12:30.

  • Volotea ventured into Vienna (VIE) from Bilbao (BIO) this week, commencing a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) on 29 March. “Bilbao is the third destination served by Volotea in the current flight schedule in addition to Marseille and Nantes. We are delighted with the expansion of the Spanish airline in Vienna. This puts new flight connections to popular holiday destinations at the disposal of our passengers. On balance, 105 weekly flights to Spain are now being operated from Vienna Airport,” says Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport. “We are pleased to offer this new direct connection from Vienna to one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in Northern Spain. We are proud to add this new destination to Vienna’s airport line-up that is being very well received at both ends, allowing touristic and business liaisons between both dynamic cities,” states Carlos Cerqueiro, Corporate Development and Communications Director of Volotea. The following day the carrier added a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service between Genoa (GOA) and Madrid (MAD).The Spain-Austria link will be flown by Volotea’s 717 fleet, while the Italy-Spain city pair is operated by its A319s. Both routes will face no direct competition.

The inaugural Vueling service from Bilbao to Jerez was a given a water arch salute by the former airport’s fire tenders while departing on 27 March. The Spanish LCC will serve this 777-kilometre domestic airport pair three times per week with A320s and faces no direct competition.

  • Vueling introduced a Spanish domestic double last week, introducing a new service from Bilbao (BIO) to Jerez (XRY) on 27 March, before adding a link from A Coruña (LCG) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) on 28 March. The 1,012-kilometre A Coruña-Palma de Mallorca route will be operated twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays), while the shorter 777-kilometre Bilbao-Jerez sector will be flown three times per week. Both airport pairs will be operated with A320s and neither faces any direct competition. According to OAG data, when these new routes are included, Vueling is scheduled to serve six domestic destinations from A Coruña and 14 from Bilbao during S18.

Wizz Air Wroclaw

Wizz Air based a second A320 at Wroclaw in Poland this week, with one of its five new routes from the airport being Bari. Along with the Italian city, the ULCC also inaugurated flights from Wroclaw to Basel, Gothenburg, Kutaisi and Porto this week. Overall the added based unit means Wizz Air will offer up to 41 weekly departures from Wroclaw in S18.

Wizz Air Athens Vilnius

Along with adding extra capacity at Wroclaw, Wizz Air also began four more routes across its network this week, including a connection between Vilnius and Athens. Seen posing with the authentic Greek dancers in the Lithuanian capital are Lithuanian Airports’ Agnė Mažeikytė, Communications Project Manager and Aurimas Stikliunas, Head of Aviation Services. Wizz Air will operate the 1,859-kilometre route three times weekly on its A320 fleet.

Wizz Air Bordeaux

Wizz Air commenced its second route to Bordeaux on 27 March, a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) service from Warsaw Chopin. The French city is already served by the airline from Budapest. Among those at the launch are Catherine Caraglio, Head of Routes Development, Bordeaux Airport (sixth left) and Jean-Luc Poiroux, VP Business Development, Bordeaux Airport (fifth right). The 1,782-kilometre sector faces no direct competition.

  • Wizz Air, having launched 13 routes during the first week of S18, added a further 10 services to its summer schedule this week, with this further expansion resulting in it basing a second aircraft in Wroclaw (WRO). As a direct result of the additional capacity at the Polish airport, Wizz Air inaugurated flights from Wroclaw to Bari (BRI), Basel (BSL), Gothenburg (GOT), Kutaisi (KUT) and Porto (OPO). Along with this, the carrier has also commenced new services from its Poznan (POZ), Sofia (SOF), Vilnius (VNO) and Warsaw Chopin (WAW) bases this week. Overall the average weekly frequency of its new routes this week is 2.3 (down from an average of 3.4 generated from last week’s route launches), while the mean sector length is 1,860 kilometres (up from 1,109 kilometres last week). Only the two routes launched from Sofia will face direct competition.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
27-Mar Sofia (SOF) Lisbon (LIS) A320 (2) Bulgaria Air (2)
Malaga (AGP) Bulgaria Air (2)
Vilnius (VNO) Athens (ATH) A320 (3)  
Warsaw Chopin (WAW) Bordeaux (BOD) A320 (2)  
30-Mar Poznan (POZ) Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) A320 (3)  
Wroclaw (WRO) Gothenburg (GOT) A320 (2)  
31-Mar Bari (BRI)  
Basel (BSL) A320 (3)  
Kutaisi (KUT) A320 (2)  
Porto (OPO)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 3 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.


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