New airline routes launched (3 April 2018 – 9 April 2018)

Alitalia Rome Fiumicino to Johannesburg

Alitalia Johannesburg

Alitalia resumed service to Johannesburg on 8 April, ending a 16-year absence for the SkyTeam member on the route from Rome Fiumicino. Seen speaking at the inaugural flight ceremony in the Italian capital is Fabio Lazzerini, CCO of Alitalia. The Italian flag carrier will operate a four times weekly service between the two airports.

Alitalia Johannesburg

Alitalia’s inaugural service, operated by one of the airline’s A330s, touched down in Johannesburg from Rome Fiumicino shortly after 08:00 the following morning. A cake made-up just part of the celebrations which welcomed the SkyTeam carrier back to the country, a market it has not been present in for 16 years.

  • Alitalia returned to South Africa on 8 April, ending a 16-year hiatus of serving the African nation. The airline will now operate a four times weekly service between Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Johannesburg (JNB) using its fleet of 250-seat A330-200s. The route faces no direct competition. Alitalia CCO Fabio Lazzerini said of the new service: “We are delighted to be back in South Africa and especially Johannesburg Airport, which remains the busiest airport in Africa and a gateway to the region. This was always an important market for us and we are pleased that the process of restructuring and realignment of Alitalia has now permitted us to return.” Bongiwe Pityi, GM of Johannesburg Airport, added to Lazzerini’s comments: “The leadership team of the airport is very pleased to welcome Alitalia to South Africa, as well as to one of Africa’s leading hubs. It is such a great pleasure that we can rekindle the relationship we previously shared for many years.” On 3 April, the SkyTeam carrier also commenced flights between Milan Linate (LIN) and Madrid (MAD). The 1,176-kilometre sector is flown 12 times weekly by Alitalia’s E175 fleet and will encounter direct competition from Iberia, which itself operates the airport pair on a four times daily basis. See how this route launch’s FTWA performed against other airports from around the world. 

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth to Oakland

American Airlines Oakland

Oakland Airport commissioned this US-shaped cake to celebrate the start of American Airlines’ daily service from Dallas/Fort Worth on 3 April, with the cake also highlighting the oneworld member’s newest city pair between Texas and California. The airline will operate the 2,338-kilometre route utilising its 150-seat A320s.

  • American Airlines commenced six new US domestic connections on 3 April, with its bases at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), New York JFK (JFK), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Phoenix (PHX) and Washington Reagan (DCA) all gaining at least one new service. Of the six airport pairs which launched, only two face no direct competition, namely the sectors between Phoenix and Amarillo (AMA) and Reagan to Little Rock (LIT). The average sector length of the six services is 949 kilometres, with the distances ranging from the 150-kilometre hop between JFK and Philadelphia (PHL) to the 2,338-kilometre route from Dallas/Fort Worth to Oakland (OAK). See how the Phoenix to Amarillo route launch FTWA performed against other airports from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
3-Apr Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Oakland (OAK) A320 (7) Spirit Airlines (7)
New York JFK (JFK) Philadelphia (PHL) EQV (42) Delta Air Lines (7)
New York LaGuardia (LGA) Portland (PWM) EQV (14) Delta Air Lines (26)
Phoenix (PHX) Amarillo (AMA) CRJ9 (7)  
Oklahoma City (OKC) Southwest Airlines (14)
Washington Reagan (DCA) Little Rock (LIT) E175 (7)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 10 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

Panama City welcomed the inaugural Air China service from Beijing via Houston Intercontinental on 5 April. The Chinese carrier will offer twice-weekly flights on the 14,405-kilometre connection operating on Thursdays and Sundays. It will face no competition on the Beijing-Panama City airport pair, but United Airlines already offers double-daily services between Houston Intercontinental and Panama City.

  • Air China launched a new twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) link from Beijing (PEK) to Panama City (PTY) via Houston Intercontinental (IAH) on 5 April. The Chinese carrier was already operating direct to Houston Intercontinental from Beijing, a route it currently serves with five weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Thursdays and Sundays, the aircraft will now operate Beijing-Houston-Panama City-Houston-Beijing, with seats also available to purchase on the sector to and from Houston Intercontinental and Panama City. All flights will be operated by the Chinese carrier’s 777-300 fleet. It faces no direct competition on the 14,405-kilometre Beijing-Panama City airport pair. However, there is an incumbent carrier operating between Houston Intercontinental and Panama City, with United Airlines offering double-daily services on this airport pair. The new connection to Panama City becomes Air China’s only route to Central America. See how this route launch’s FTWA performed against other airports from around the world.

There were celebrations at Imphal Airport to mark AirAsia India’s first flight to Delhi on 7 April. Guests attending the ribbon cutting ceremony included S.K. Panigrahi, Airport Director, Airports Authority of India, Imphal (cutting the ribbon) and KK Wangkhem, CISF Deputy Commandant. The LCC will operate the airport pair daily with A320s and faces direct competition from Jet Airways and Air India on the 1,717-kilometre sector.

  • AirAsia India launched services on its new domestic connection between Delhi (DEL) and Imphal (IMF) on 7 April. The LCC will operate the 1,717-kilometre airport pair with daily A320 flights. It faces incumbent competition in the form of Jet Airways and Air India, which will provide four weekly and twice-weekly flights on this route respectively during the week commencing 10 April. OAG schedules indicate that Imphal will be one of nine domestic destinations on offer from Delhi with AirAsia India during S18.

Elite Airways commenced flights between Myrtle Beach and Albany on 5 April, with the New York State airport greeting the carrier with a celebratory event. Seen speaking at the podium is Daniel McCoy, Albany County Executive. The airport also baked a cake to mark the airline’s new link to North Carolina.

  • Elite Airways returned to Myrtle Beach (MYR) on 5 April, with the US regional operator having last served the airport in December 2016 when it operated a twice-weekly link from Long Island MacArthur. This time around the airline is flying from the South Carolina airport to Albany (ALB) and Westchester County (HPN). Both launched on the same day and flown twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays), neither 1,101- and 941-kilometre sectors will face any direct competition. Elite will serve the two routes using its CRJ 200s. The return of the carrier to Myrtle Beach is just one of many coups for the airport in recent times. Not only did the facility recently win the top accolade at the Routes Americas 2018 marketing awards, but last year it saw passenger traffic grow by 17% to reach just under 2.28 million passengers. This is a result which is showing no signs of stopping just yet, with passenger numbers for the first two months of 2018 being up 13%. The good news looks set to continue, with the airport also welcoming Sun Country Airlines this week with a route from Minneapolis-St. Paul, while Frontier Airlines will make an appearance at Myrtle Beach in May with a link from Denver.

The delegation for the inaugural flydubai service from Dubai to Krakow was led by Jeyhun Efendi, SVP, Commercial Operations (UAE, Middle East, Europe & CIS) at the LCC. Robert Rostek, the Polish Ambassador to the UAE and Thierry Aucoc, SVP, Commercial (Europe & Russian Federation) at Emirates also joined the delegation. On arrival in Poland, the party was greeted by the UAE Ambassador to Poland, Dr. Yousif Eissa Aisabri, Radosław Włoszek, President of the Krakow Airport Board, and Paweł Galiak, Aviation and Commercial Services Director, Krakow Airport. A cake was also made to celebrate the occasion. flydubai will operate the 4,104-kilometre route daily using its 737 MAX 8s.

  • flydubai launched 737 MAX 8 services to Krakow (KRK) on 8 April, becoming the first UAE carrier to offer direct flights to the Polish city from Dubai (DXB). Facing no direct competition, the airline begins a daily service on the 4,104-kilometre route – its first to Poland. Speaking at a press conference to mark the occasion, Jeyhun Efendi, SVP Commercial Operations, flydubai, said: “As the first carrier to operate daily, direct flights from Dubai to Krakow we are excited about the opportunities that this new route will provide for trade and tourism between the UAE and Poland. Not only does this offer our passengers from Krakow connections to more than 200 destinations [due to an Emirates codeshare on the route] from Dubai we also know that passengers travelling to Krakow will be keen to explore this popular tourist destination.” While Krakow is a brand-new destination for Dubai, the UAE mega-hub is already connected to Poland courtesy of Emirates, with it offering a daily 777-300-operated service to Warsaw Chopin. See how this route launch’s FTWA performed against other airports from around the world.  

Frontier Airlines Colorado Springs

Frontier Airlines commenced four new routes from Colorado Springs this week, with services to Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle-Tacoma starting on 8 April, while flights from San Antonio began the following day. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony before the first departure to Seattle-Tacoma was Greg Phillips, Director of Aviation, Colorado Springs Airport. The only route to face direct competition is Atlanta courtesy of Delta Air Lines’ daily rotation.

Frontier Airlines Tampa Austin

Frontier Airlines commenced flights between Austin and Tampa on 8 April, with the Florida airport once again showing its prowess among the aviation culinary masterpiece marketing world by commissioning this fabulous Texas and Austin-designed calorific cake. Posing with the Lone Star state creation are Tampa Airport’s: Maria Cook, Events Manager; Debbie Stokes, Marketing Coordinator; Trudy Brandvold, Marketing Admin Assistant; and Mark Witt, Airport Operations Manager. Frontier Airlines will operate the 1,489-kilometre route twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays).

Cincinnati Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines launched not one, or two, but five routes from Cincinnati this week, including Austin, Jacksonville, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio and San Jose, with the crew seen cutting the ribbon to officially open the route to Florida. With these launches the carrier now serves 19 destinations from Cincinnati either seasonally or year-round.

Frontier Airlines San Antonio

San Antonio greeted the start of five new routes with Frontier Airlines between 8-9 April, with the quintet of services being celebrated with this very informative cake. The routes launched from the Texan city are Cincinnati, Colorado Springs, Orlando, Raleigh-Durham and San Jose, with only Orlando seeing direct competition.

Frontier Airlines Islip

Frontier Airlines commenced a number of services from Long Island MacArthur this week, including Chicago O’Hare which began on 8 April. Among those posing with the ribbon before its cutting are: Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, Islip Town Councilwoman (second left); Angie Carpenter, Islip Town Supervisor (second right); Shelley LaRose-Arken, Airport Commissioner (right). Other routes launched include Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Juan.

Frontier Airlines Omaha

Frontier Airlines inaugurated a number of services from Omaha this week, including Philadelphia, with the airport baking this colourful cake to herald the new service. Other destinations now linked with Omaha courtesy of Frontier include Austin and Las Vegas. Only Las Vegas will face direct competition, with this coming from Southwest Airlines.

Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
08-Apr Atlanta (ATL) Providence (PVD) A320 (3) Delta Air lines (20)
Austin (AUS) Buffalo (BUF) A320 (2)  
Charlotte Douglas (CLT) A320 (3) American Airlines (31)
Cincinnati (CVG) Allegiant Air (3)
Columbus (CMH) A319 (3)  
Jacksonville (JAX) A320 (2)  
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) A320 (4) Delta Air Lines (18)
Portland (PDX) A320 (3) Alaska Airlines (7)
Tampa (TPA) A320 (2) Southwest Airlines (8)
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) El Paso (ELP) American Airlines (14), United Airlines (14)
Long Island MacArthur (ISP) A320 (7)  
Colorado Springs (COS) Atlanta (ATL) A319 (3) Delta Air Lines (7) 
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) A320 (3)  
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)  
Denver (DEN) Grand Rapids (GRR) A319 (3) United Airlines (13), Southwest Airlines (7)
Jacksonville (JAX) Cincinnati (CVG) A320 (3) Allegiant Air (3)
Long Island MacArthur (ISP) Detroit (DTW)  
San Juan (SJU) A320 (7)  
Omaha (OMA) Las Vegas (LAS) A320 (2) Southwest Airlines (20), Allegiant Air (2)
Orlando (MCO) Albuquerque (ABQ) A320 (3) Southwest Airlines (1)
Tulsa (TUL)  
Philadelphia (PHL) Madison (MSN)  
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) Houston Intercontinental (IAH) United Airlines (26)
Milwaukee (MKE)  
Providence (PVD) A321 (3)  
San Antonio (SAT) Orlando (MCO) A319 (3)  Southwest Airlines (13)
San Jose (SJC) A319 (2)  
San Jose (SJC) Cincinnati (CVG) A320 (3)  
Trenton (TTN) Charleston (CHS)  
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)  
Nashville (BNA)  
09-Apr Atlanta (ATL) Long Island MacArthur (ISP) A320 (4)  
Austin (AUS) Albuquerque (ABQ) A320 (3) Southwest Airlines (4), Allegiant Air (2)
Cleveland (CLE) A320 (2) Allegiant Air (2)
Detroit (DTW) A320 (3) Delta Air Lines (20)
Milwaukee (MKE) A320 (2)  
Omaha (OMA) A319 (2)  
Providence (PVD) A320 (3)  
San Jose (SJC) Southwest Airlines (13), Alaska Airlines (7)
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) A320 (4) Alaska Airlines (12), Delta Air Lines (7)
Denver (DEN) Buffalo (BUF) A319 (4)  
Long Island MacArthur (ISP) Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) A320 (4)  
Omaha (OMA) Philadelphia (PHL) A32S (4)  
Philadelphia (PHL) Grand Rapids (GRR) A320 (2) American Airlines (13)
Indianapolis (IND) American Airlines (38)
Memphis (MEM) A320 (4) American Airlines (20)
Providence (PVD) Charlotte Douglas (CLT) A321 (4) American Airlines (27)
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) Cincinnati (CVG) A319 (4) Delta Air Lines (12), Allegiant Air (2)
Kansas City (MCI) A32S (4) Southwest Airlines (6)
New Orleans (MSY) A320 (2) Allegiant Air (2), Southwest Airlines (2)
San Antonio (SAT)  
San Antonio (SAT) Colorado Springs (COS) A320 (4)  
Cincinnati (CVG) A320 (3)  
San Diego (SAN) Oklahoma City (OKC) A320 (4)  
San Jose (SJC) Atlanta (ATL) Delta Air Lines (20)
Trenton (TTN) Jacksonville (JAX) A320 (3)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 10 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock (second right) and Denver Airport CEO Kim Day (second left) certainly look like they have got the cream, following the inaugural flight of Norwegian’s new service from Paris CDG to the US city.  Prior to the first flight on 9 April, Paris was Denver’s largest unserved market in the world, and the US city ranked as the largest market in North America without non-stop service to Paris.

  • Norwegian, on 9 April, linked Paris CDG (CDG) and Denver (DEN). The LCC’s new service will operate twice-weekly, (Mondays and Fridays) using its 344-seat 787-9 fleet. “The inauguration of non-stop service between Denver and Paris is a tremendous milestone for our airport as Paris is currently the most visited of our unserved international destinations,” said Denver Airport CEO Kim Day. “We couldn’t be happier that Norwegian has chosen to invest in this route, and look forward to working with partners in Denver and Paris to support, promote and grow this new flight.” In 2017, nearly 90,000 people traveled between Denver and Paris, equating to nearly 250 people each day. The demand for travel between Denver and Paris has grown by nearly 75% over the past year, even without non-stop service, and this figure is expected to grow due to Norwegian’s non-stop flight. “Since launching service from Denver to London last September, we’ve seen demand remain strong, so adding more routes from this city was a natural next step,” said Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s CCO. “Not only are we happy to see our relationship with Denver continue with the addition of our Paris service, but we are also pleased to further our mission to make affordable travel a reality for so many.” There is no competition on the 7,829-kilometre city pair. See how this route launch’s FTWA performed against other airports from around the world.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Tofino

Pacific Coastal Airlines became the third carrier to operate flights between Vancouver and Tofino on 3 April, the day which saw it launch daily flights on the city pair. Taking charge of the ribbon cutting at Tofino to officially open the service is the airline’s  Director of Business Development and Corporate Communications Kevin Boothroyd. Among those watching over the ribbon cutting proceedings were Josie Osborne, Mayor of Tofino (second left) and Dianne St. Jacques, Mayor of Ucluelet (third left). Pacific Coastal Airlines will operate the service using its 19-seat Beech 1900s.

  • Pacific Coastal Airlines upped the ante on the short 188-kilometre hop between Vancouver (YVR) and Tofino (YAZ) on 3 April when it inaugurated its daily Beech 1900-operated service. It becomes the third airline to fly between the two British Columbia airports, joining KD Air Corporation and Orca Airways which both already operate three daily services each. While Pacific Coastal Airlines only operates a daily service, its 19-seat aircraft choice for the route means that weekly seat capacity on the airport pair will grow by 68%, as the two rivals choose to serve the sector using their eight-seat Piper PA31s. Pacific Coastal Airlines’ flights will leave Vancouver at 15:15, landing into Tofino at 16:00. Return services then depart at 16:30, touching down back in Vancouver at 17:15. With this launch the carrier now operates to 11 airports non-stop from Vancouver.

Qatar Airways Hatay

A warm welcome was had for Qatar Airways as it touched down for the first time in Hatay on 4 April, marking its fifth gateway to Turkey. The 1,907-kilometre sector from Doha faces no direct competition, and the oneworld carrier becomes the first MEB3 (Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) carrier to serve the destination.

  • Qatar Airways introduced the fifth Turkish destination to its route map on 4 April, with the oneworld member commencing a three times weekly service to Hatay (HTY) from Doha (DOH). The airline already flies to Istanbul Atatürk, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, Ankara and Adana in Turkey, with the latter having just launched back in November. According to OAG schedules for this week, the oneworld carrier becomes only the fourth airline offering scheduled services at the Turkish airport, which handled around 1.28 million passengers in 2017. Facing no direct competition, the city pair is flown by Qatar Airways’ A320 fleet, with it becoming the first MEB3 carrier to serve the airport. Qatar Airways’ next route launch will take place on 1 May, the day when the airline begins a daily 787-8-operated service to Cardiff, with that becoming its fifth gateway to the UK. See how this route launch’s FTWA performed against other airports from around the world. 

SAS Aarhus

SAS made a big commitment to Aarhus Airport on 9 April, the day it stationed a CRJ 900 at the airport, allowing it to open new services to Munich, Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda. Seen cutting the ribbon at the airport to open the Munich route is Peter Høgsberg, CEO Aarhus Airport, watched over by David Surley, Head of Airline Relations, Aarhus Airport (second left). Also present at the launch was Michael Hansen, Head of Sales Denmark, SAS (second right). The airline will add a fourth route from Aarhus using the CRJ 900, a weekly (Saturdays) service to Nice, starting 14 April.

  • SAS enhanced its presence at Aarhus (AAR) this week by choosing to base a CRJ 900 at the Danish airport, allowing the carrier to open services to the Star Alliance hubs at Munich (MUC), Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). The airline already operated a multi-daily link to Copenhagen, along with seasonal services to Malaga and Palma de Mallorca. All launched on 9 April, the 887-kilometre link to Munich will be flown daily, the 431-kilometre sector to Norway 11 times weekly and 568-kilometre hop to the Swedish capital six times weekly. The gap during the schedule at weekends is allowing SAS to open a fourth route from Aarhus, with a weekly (Saturdays) link to Nice being added from 14 April. Of the three routes inaugurated this week, only flights to Oslo are currently scheduled to face direct competition, with SUN-AIR already offering six weekly flights on route from Aarhus. See how the FTWAs for these new routes performed against other airports from around the world.

Cutting the ribbon in Austin to commemorate Southwest Airlines’ inaugural service to San Francisco, one of three new domestic connections from the former city this week, are: Paul Trahan,Austin Chamber Representative and Partner Norton Rose Fulbright; Susana Carbajal, Assistant Director, Austin Airport; Kevin Sullivan, Director of National and Regional Sales, Southwest Airlines; Greg Bentch, Chief of Staff for State Representative Tony Dale; Ernie Saulmon, Austin Airport Advisory Commission; and Kate Messer, Communications Director for Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan. The Texas airport also baked a cake to mark the new routes to Indianapolis, Sacramento and San Francisco.

Sacramento Southwest Airlines

Sacramento, like Austin, also made a cake to toast Southwest Airlines’ new connection, with the Californian city being linked directly to the Texan city, along with St. Louis. Both routes face no direct competition and will be operated by the LCC daily. With these launches, Southwest now offers 21 non-stop routes from Sacramento.

  • Southwest Airlines debuted a dozen US domestic services on 8 April, with the biggest benefiting airports being San Jose (SJC) with six new routes, followed by Austin (AUS) with three and Sacramento (SMF) which has gained two. Commenting on the new links from the Texas airport, Jim Smith, Executive Director of Austin Airport, said: “The new non-stop of Sacramento makes connecting capital to capital easier than ever. With this new daily service, plus another option to San Francisco, Southwest now connects our Central Texas travellers to four airports in Northern California.” In total only five of the 12 routes launched by Southwest this week will face direct competition, with the most hotly contested being the link from Austin to San Francisco (SFO) where United Airlines and Alaska Airlines combined already offer 46 weekly flights. See how the San Jose to Spokane route launch FTWA performed against other airports from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
08-Apr Austin (AUS) San Francisco (SFO) B73W (7) United Airlines (33), Alaska Airlines (13)
Indianapolis (IND) B738 (1) Allegiant Air (2), Frontier Airlines (2)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) Jacksonville (JAX) B737 (21) JetBlue Airways (21)
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) Kansas City (MCI) B73W (6) Frontier Airlines (4)
Sacramento (SMF) Austin (AUS) B737 (7)  
St. Louis (STL)  
San Jose (SJC) Albuquerque (ABQ) B73W (1)  

Boise (BOI)

B73W (7) Alaska Airlines (7)
Houston Hobby (HOU) B73S (7)  
New Orleans (MSY) B738 (1)  
Spokane (GEG) B737 (7)  
St. Louis (STL)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 10 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Sun Country Airlines Myrtle Beach

Sun Country Airlines commenced a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Myrtle Beach on 6 April, with the latter airport celebrating the arrival of its newest carrier with a small gate celebration. Competition on the 1,745-kilometre route comes from Spirit Airlines which will inaugurate services on 12 April. Sun Country’s last flight between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Myrtle Beach is scheduled to operate on 4 June.

  • Sun Country Airlines commenced flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Myrtle Beach (MYR) on 6 April, a seasonal twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) sector that is scheduled to operate until 4 June. The carrier will operate the 1,745-kilometre US domestic city pair using its fleet of 737-800s. Competition will come from ULCC Spirit Airlines, which is poised to start flights between the two airports on 12 April based on its booking engine, with it choosing to serve the sector three times weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays) using its A319s. It will also have a longer season than Sun Country Airlines on the route, with its last non-stop flight currently scheduled for 1 November.

Vladivostok Airport celebrated the arrival of t’way air on 6 April with the Korean carrier launching its inaugural service from Daegu. The LCC will operate the 884-kilometre route three times weekly with its 737-800 fleet and faces no direct competition. This is the airline’s first route to Russia.

  • t’way air introduced its first route to Russia on 6 April with the inaugural service operating between Daegu (TAE) and Vladivostok (VVO). The South Korean carrier will serve the 884-kilometre airport pair three times per week with its 737-800s. There is no direct competition on this service. OAG data shows that the LCC will offer scheduled services to 11 destinations from Daegu during S18, with all but one of these being international links.

Volotea Lyon

Volotea commenced flights between Lyon and Palermo on 6 April, one of three new routes to be launched by the airline from the French city this week, with the others being Alicante and Palma de Mallorca. Seen cutting the ribbon to officially open the Palermo route are: Edo Friart, International Development Director, Volotea; Pierfrancesco Carino, Sales Director, Volotea; and Cédric Fechter, MD Lyon Airport. A fourth route to Cagliari will begin in May.

This fantastic cake welcomed Volotea passengers on the inaugural service from Alicante back to Lyon, one of three route launched by the airline from the French city this week including Palermo and Palma de Mallorca. The 948-kilometre sector will face no direct competition and will be operated by a variety of the LCC’s equipment.

  • Volotea commenced four new routes in the week commencing 3 April, including its first-ever to Lyon (LYS). The carrier will now link the French city to Alicante (ALC), Palermo (PMO) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI), while a fourth route to Cagliari will start in May. “We are happy to inaugurate the first flight with Volotea at Lyon Airport. The arrival of a new company is always important for an airport, and it is even more so when it imposes itself with an offer of creating new destinations. We are pleased to be working with Volotea to make these flights a success and to develop their presence at the airport, which offers great potential for development,” commented Cédric Fechter, MD Lyon Airport about Volotea’s arrival. Along with the carrier’s inaugurals from Lyon, it also introduced its latest service from Bordeaux (BOD) this week. The LCC recently featured in’s review of the top 15 airlines launching services in early S18. The most competitive city pair of the routes launched this week is the one between Lyon and Palma de Mallorca which has six weekly frequencies from three incumbent carriers. See how the Lyon to Palermo and Alicante route launch FTWAs performed against other airports from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
05-Apr Bordeaux (BOD) Funchal (FNC) A319 (1)  
06-Apr Lyon (LYS) Palermo (PMO) EQV (2) Transavia (2), TUI Airlines Belgium (1)
07-Apr Palma de Mallorca (PMI) EQV (1) easyJet (3), Vueling (2), TUI Airlines Belgium (1)
08-Apr Alicante (ALC) EQV (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 10 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Wizz Air Dortmund

Wizz Air returned to Kharkiv Airport on 5 April, ending the carrier’s four-year hiatus of flights from the Ukrainian city. The airline now links Dortmund to Kharkiv twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) using its 180-seat A320s. Pictured with the crew at the German airport is Annika Neumann, Press Spokesperson, Dortmund Airport.

Wizz Air Kharkiv

To celebrate the return of Wizz Air, Kharkiv Airport baked this splendid cake depicting the connection from Dortmund. The ULCC will operate the 2,012-kilometre route twice-weekly on a Wroclaw-based A320.

  • Wizz Air ended a four-year hiatus of serving Kharkiv (HRK) on 5 April, the day which saw the airline return to the Ukrainian city with a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service from Dortmund (DTM). The last time that Wizz Air served Kharkiv (June 2014), it flew routes from Warsaw Chopin and Kutaisi based on OAG data. With neither Dortmund or Kharkiv airports being a Wizz Air base, schedules show that this route will be flown on a Wroclaw-based A320 on both weekly rotations, with the Polish airport having just received its second-based Wizz Air unit. On Thursdays, the aircraft arrives in Dortmund from Wroclaw at 13:10, with it then departing for Kharkiv at 13:35, landing in Ukraine at 17:40. After a 30-minute turnaround in Kharkiv, the aircraft then heads back for Dortmund, touching down at 20:25. It then departs for Wroclaw at 20:50. On Sundays, flights operate earlier in the day, seeing a 12:20 departure from Dortmund and a 16:25 arrival in Kharkiv. The 2,012-kilometre route between Germany and Ukraine faces no direct competition. Wizz Air plans to add more services to Kharkiv in the coming months, with it scheduling flights from Katowice (begins 20 June) and Vienna (25 November). Based on the airline’s booking engine, Dortmund and Vienna will be flown on a year-round basis, while Katowice services are currently only bookable until 24 October. See how this route launch’s FTWA performed against other airports from around the world.


  1. Alan Gluck says:

    Error in the below paragraph. Myrtle Beach is in South Carolina, not North Carolina.

    Elite Airways returned to Myrtle Beach (MYR) on 5 April, with the US regional operator having last served the airport in December 2016 when it operated a twice-weekly link from Long Island MacArthur. This time around the airline is flying from the North Carolina airport to Albany (ALB) and Westchester County (HPN).

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