New airline routes launched (10 April 2018 – 16 April 2018)

Air France Paris CDG to Taipei Taoyuan

Taipei Taoyuan this week welcomed the Air France;s inaugural flight from Paris CDG. The first service departed the French capital on 16 April, before arriving in Taiwan the following day. The SkyTeam member will operate the 9,872-kilometre sector three times weekly and faces direct competition from EVA Air which presently flies the route daily.

  • Air France launched services between Paris CDG (CDG) and Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) on 16 April. The French flag carrier will deploy its 280-seat 777-200s on the 9,872-kilometre sector, with the SkyTeam carrier planning to operate the route three times weekly. Flights will depart CDG on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Air France will face direct competition on the route from EVA Air, with it already offering a daily service between the two airports. See how this route launch FTWA performed against other airports from around the world. 

Frontier Airlines Austin to Reno-Tahoe

Talk about having your cake and eating it! Reno-Tahoe went all out for Frontier Airlines’ inaugural flight from Austin, baking this fantastic Texas-inspired guitar cake. Conducting the cutting is Richard Oliver, Corporate Communications, Frontier Airlines, watched over by Reno-Tahoe Airport’s President and CEO, Marily Mora, plus Board Chair, Shaun Carey. Frontier Airlines will operate the 2,256-kilometre route twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays).

Austin Airport Frontier Airlines

Reno-Tahoe was not the only airport displaying culinary skills this week, as Austin brought the chefs in to produce this splendid cake depicting all of the ULCC’s new connections. While the airline launched a total of 16 routes from the airport last week, this week it added a further three, namely Charleston, Indianapolis and Reno-Tahoe. The cake was displayed at the launch celebration of Charleston services, a route that faces no direct competition.

Tulsa Frontier Airlines

Ground crew and first flight passengers helped to cut the ribbon at Tulsa to officially open Frontier Airlines’ new link from San Jose. Flown twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) on the ULCC’s fleet of A319s, the 2,313-kilometre city pair faces no direct competition and is one of six routes launched this week that was previously unserved.

  • Frontier Airlines has upped its route count for S18 by adding a further 10 services to its network this week, adding to the 56 routes it inaugurated last week. It means that so far in 2018 the airline has launched 73 new routes. Of the 10 launched this week, only four will face direct competition, while the 10 services started this week also incorporate a new airport on the airline’s network – Birmingham (BHM). The largest city in Alabama is now connected to Philadelphia (PHL), Denver (DEN) and Orlando (MCO), with all three poised to face direct competition. The average weekly sector length of Frontier’s new routes this week is 1,624 kilometres, while the average weekly frequency is 2.1. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
10-Apr Austin (AUS) Charleston (CHS) A320 (2)  
Indianapolis (IND) Allegiant Air (2), Southwest Airlines (1)
Reno-Tahoe (RNO)  
11-Apr Philadelphia (PHL) Birmingham (BHM) American Airlines (14)
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) Buffalo (BUF)  
San Juan (SJU)  
San Jose (SJC) Tulsa (TUL) A319 (2)  
Washington Dulles (IAD)  
12-Apr Denver (DEN) Birmingham (BHM) A320 (3) United Airlines (12)
13-Apr Orlando (MCO) A320 (2) Southwest Airlines (14)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 17 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

airBaltic Kaliningrad

Among those present at the launch party of airBaltic’s new service between Riga and Kaliningrad were: Laura Audariņa, Route Development Manager, Riga Airport; Liene Freivalde, Director of the Aviation Service and Business Development Department, Riga Airport; and Wolfgang Reuss, SVP Network Management, airBaltic. While the trio are beautifully displaying a model of one of the airline’s CS300s, it should be noted that this city pair will be flown using Q400s.

  • airBaltic, a carrier which over the past few weeks has launched routes from Riga (RIX) to Gdansk, Lisbon and Malaga, has now added Kaliningrad (KGD) in Russia to its route map. Situated at the administrative centre of Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania, the airport will be served from Riga by airBaltic six times weekly on the carrier’s fleet of 73-seat Q400s. Inaugurated on 16 April, the 307-kilometre link faces no direct competition, with this becoming the Russian airport’s third year-round European service (excluding domestic links), with it joining LOT Polish Airlines’ service from Warsaw Chopin and Belavia’s route from Minsk. The airport also supports summer seasonal services from Barcelona (Vueling), along with summer seasonal routes to regional Belorussian airports. It also offers flights to Berlin Tegel, with the latter flown by RusLine according to OAG schedules.

Allegiant Air Sarasota

The first Allegiant Air passengers to arrive in Sarasota were greeted with this fantastic cake as the airline’s inaugural service from Indianapolis, one of three routes launched to the Florida airport by the ULCC this week. Services to Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh face no direct competition, with all routes poised to be flown twice-weekly.

  • Allegiant Air made Sarasota (SRQ) its seventh destination in Florida on 11 April, with the airport adding to the ULCC’s existing operations at Destin-Fort Walton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando Sanford, Punta Gorda and St. Pete-Clearwater. On the day of the inauguration at Sarasota, Allegiant Air started twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) services on a 1,413-kilometre link from Indianapolis (IND) and 1,471-kilometre connection from Pittsburgh (PIT). Two days later, a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) rotation on the 1,308-kilometre airport pair with Cincinnati (CVG) was added to the airline’s schedules. The latter route will be flown using the carrier’s A320 fleet, while the former two will see A319 services. None of the three routes launched this week will face direct competition. See how the Indianapolis and Cincinnati to Sarasota route launch FTWAs performed against other airports from around the world.

Braathens Regional Airlines

Braathens Regional Airlines commenced operations between Malmö and Helsinki on 16 April. Seen cutting the ribbon, officially declaring the 863-kilometre Nordic city pair open, is Peter Weinhandl, MD of Malmö Airport and Marita Nilsson, Station Manager, Braathens Regional Airlines. The carrier will fly the route six times weekly.

  • Braathens Regional Airlines, which recently inaugurated flights between Vaxjo and Berlin Tegel, has connected another Swedish regional city to a European capital this week, with the operator now offering six weekly flights between Malmö (MMX) and Helsinki (HEL). Launched on 16 April, the carrier will operate the 863-kilometre hop between the Swedish and Finnish cities using a mixture of its 112-seat Avro RJ100s and 95-seat Avro RJ85s according to OAG schedules, with it currently having a combined total of 13 in its fleet. The airport pair faces no direct competition. Helsinki becomes Braathens Regional Airlines’ fourth scheduled route from Malmö and its first international link. It also offers services to Stockholm Bromma and Visby year-round, while seasonal services to Åre Östersund are also operated. The airline also offers some charters from Malmö during the summer season.


EGYPTAIR sent a special Egypt national football team livery to Moscow Domodedovo on 12 April, the day which ended a 28-month hiatus for the carrier on its route from Cairo. The Russian airport greeted the carrier’s return with a water arch salute. Along with EGYPTAIR, Aeroflot also resumed flights between the two capitals this week.

  • EGYPTAIR commenced flights between Cairo (CAI) and Moscow Domodedovo (DME) on 12 April, ending the carrier’s 28-month hiatus of serving the 2,857-kilometre Egypt–Russia capital connection. Like it did last time round, the carrier will offer a three times weekly service between the two airports, operating the route using a mixture of its 737-800s and short-haul Airbus fleet. Currently no other carrier operates between the two airports, however Aeroflot has also resumed flights between Moscow and Cairo this week, operating three weekly flights between Moscow Sheremetyevo and the Egyptian capital airport. See how this route launch FTWA performed against other airports from around the world.

Dubrovnik welcomed the arrival of flydubai’s inaugural service from Dubai on 10 April. Among those cutting the specially-baked cake to mark the event were Tonči Glavina, State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism (left); Frano Luetić, MD of Dubrovnik Airport (second right); and Martin Gross, Country Manager, Austria and Croatia for Emirates (right).

Five days later it was Kinshasa’s turn to welcome flydubai’s first service from its home hub, with traditional dancers and the obligatory route launch cake. Among those toasting the launch was Sudhir Sreedharan, SVP, Commercial Operations (UAE, GCC, Indian Subcontinent & Africa) for flydubai (right). The LCC will operate this new airport pair daily via Entebbe.

  • flydubai launched new services from Dubai (DXB) to Dubrovnik (DBV) on 10 April, followed by the introduction of flights from its home base to Kinshasa (FIH) via Entebbe on 15 April. The 3,880-kilometre Dubrovnik route will be flown three times per week, while the 5,678-kilometre one-stop Kinshasa connection will be operated daily. Both links will be served by the airline’s 737-800s and neither faces direct competition. flydubai will operate Dubrovnik as a seasonal summer route, offering four flights a week between 10 April and 25 October 2018. Jeyhun Efendi, SVP Commercial Operations UAE, Middle East, Europe & CIS at the LCC, said: “flydubai is the first airline to offer passengers convenient, direct flights from Dubai to Dubrovnik. Our new service reflects flydubai’s commitment to open up 71 previously underserved markets on our network of more than 90 destinations. Frano Luetić, MD of Dubrovnik Airport, commented on the inaugural: “We welcome the launch of flydubai flights from Dubai to Dubrovnik. This is a significant milestone both for our airport and the entire Dubrovnik region. Connectivity is of paramount importance in today’s global world and this new route will make Dubrovnik more accessible for tourists from the Middle East, Asia and Australia and contribute to the further development of the region’s tourism sector.” See how the two route launch FTWAs performed against other airports from around the world.

La Rochelle had this impressive cake baked to celebrate the launch of daily services from Paris Orly with HOP! on 13 April. The carrier will deploy ATR 72s on this 388-kilometre sector and faces no direct competition. It already operates to La Rochelle from Poitiers.

Jazeera Airways Madinah

Jazeera Airways commenced services between Kuwait City and Madinah on 12 April, with the latter airport baking this gigantic cake to greet its newest carrier. The airline will operate the 969-kilometre Middle Eastern city connection three times weekly, with it facing direct competition from Kuwait Airways, flynas and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

  • Jazeera Airways, which in January added flights from its Kuwait City (KWI) base to Ahmedabad and Kochi, has now introduced Madinah (MED) to its network. Launched on 12 April, the 969-kilometre link between Kuwait and the Saudi Arabian city will be flown by Jazeera Airways three times weekly using its fleet of A320s, of which it presently has seven. Competition comes from three incumbents, namely Kuwait Airways (four weekly flights), flynas and Saudi Arabian Airlines (both twice-weekly). Jazeera Airways’ next route launch will take place on 9 May when it will begin services between Kuwait City and Mumbai, a route currently expected to be flown on a daily basis. 

Norwegian Paris CDG

Paris CDG produced this cake to celebrate the launch of Norwegian’s inaugural service to Oakland on 10 April. The LCC will operate the 8,940-kilometre sector four times weekly using its 787-9 fleet. 

There were celebrations in Oakland at the launch of Norwegian’s inaugural flight from Paris CDG on 10 April, with an impressive Eiffel Tower-themed cake which was made to mark the occasion. The European carrier will operate the 8,940-kilometre airport pair four times weekly using its 787-9s. The route will dace no direct competition.

  • Norwegian added it latest California connection on 10 April, launching flights between Paris CDG (CDG) and Oakland (OAK). The European carrier will operate the 8,940-kilometre airport pair four times weekly using its 787-9 fleet. “We’re especially delighted to welcome this new non-stop flight between Paris and Oakland,” said Bryant Francis, Director of Aviation, Port of Oakland. “Since its arrival at Oakland in 2014, Norwegian has continued to be a key partner in growing the city as a major gateway between Europe and the San Francisco Bay Area. This new Paris route brings Oakland Airport even more into focus as an easy and convenient choice for travellers both locally and abroad.” There is no direct competition on the route, which follows hot on the heals of Norwegian’s inaugural flight Rome Fiumicino in early February, a route flown twice-weekly. CDG becomes Norwegian’s seventh route to Oakland, with Paris and Rome flights joining existing Barcelona, Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda services.

Pobeda Leipzig/Halle

On 16 April Pobeda introduced Leipzig/Halle to its network. Seen posing on the aircraft at the route launch are Andrey Kalmykov, CEO of Pobeda Airlines and Markus Kopp, CEO of Leipzig/Halle Airport. The Russian carrier will operate the 1,706-kilometre route three times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) facing no direct competition.

  • Pobeda introduced flights between Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) and Leipzig/Halle (LEJ) on 16 April, with the latter airport becoming the airline’s fourth destination in Germany after Cologne Bonn, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Memmingen. The airline will operate the 1,706-kilometre route to its newest destination three times weekly using its fleet of 737-800s, with no other carrier presently operating the same airport pair. Pobeda’s new service is currently the only scheduled route between Russia and the German city. 

Ruili Airlines

Ruili Airlines commenced a three times weekly service between Jinghong in China and Chiang Rai in Thailand on 11 April, with the latter airport pulling out all the stops to welcome its newest airline. The short 241-kilometre hop between the two airports faces no direct competition, and will be flown on the Chinese airline’s 737-700s.

  • Ruili Airlines added services between Jinghong (JHG) and Chiang Rai (CEI) on 11 April. The short 241-kilometre hop between the Chinese and Thai airports will be flown by the carrier three times weekly, with no other airline presently flying between the two cities. The carrier is scheduled to operate its newest route using its fleet of 737-700s, of which it currently has seven. 

Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale

Spirit Airlines added two routes to its Fort Lauderdale network on 12 April, Cap-Haitien and Seattle-Tacoma. The former is a new addition to the airline’s network and breaks American Airlines’ US route monopoly from Haiti’s second busiest airport. The oneworld member current operates between Cap-Haitien and Miami. The route to Cap-Haitien will be flown by Spirit three times weekly, while Seattle-Tacoma sees five weekly flights.

Spirit Airlines Tampa

Tampa produced these fabulous movie and casino-inspired cakes for Spirit Airlines’ launch of flights to Los Angeles and Las Vegas this week. Both routes will be flown daily using the carrier’s fleet of A319s.  

  • Spirit Airlines strengthened its network this week by introducing 10 new routes, including its first to Cap-Haitien (CAP) in Haiti, with the ULCC’s inauguration of services from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) breaking American Airlines’ monopoly of connecting Haiti’s second busiest airport and the US. Presently American links Cap-Haitien with Miami. Along with the new Caribbean connection, Spirit has introduced nine extra US domestic services this week, with only one – Atlantic City (ACY) to New Orleans (MSY) – expected to face no direct competition. The average sector length of Spirit’s new routes this week is 2,867 kilometres, more than the 1,624-kilometre average recorded by Frontier Airlines’ 10 new services launched this week. Spirit’s average weekly frequency on its latest connections is 5.4, more than double of Frontier Airlines’ 2.1. The airline’s next route launches will occur on 23 April, the day it will start daily summer seasonal services from Detroit to Portland and San Diego.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
12-Apr Fort Lauderdale (FLL) Cap-Haitien (CAP) A319 (3)  
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) A320 (5) Alaska Airlines (10)
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Myrtle Beach (MYR) A319 (3) Sun Country Airlines (1)
Orlando (MCO) Las Vegas (LAS) A320 (7) Southwest Airlines (14), Frontier Airlines (7)
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) Chicago O’Hare (ORD) United Airlines (34), Alaska Airlines (27), American Airlines (26), Delta Air Lines (19)
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) A319 (6) American Airlines (54), Alaska Airlines (21)
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Delta Air Lines (41), Alaska Airlines (20), Sun Country Airlines (7)
Tampa (TPA) Las Vegas (LAS) A319 (7) Southwest Airlines (13), Frontier Airlines (7)
Los Angeles (LAX) Delta Air Lines (13)
13-Apr Atlantic City (ACY) New Orleans (MSY) A319 (4)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 17 April. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Olbia celebrated Transavia’s first flight from Paris Orly on 11 April, with a special cake baked to mark the occasion. The LCC will operate this 1,035-kilometre airport pair with three flights per week during S18. It faces direct competition from easyJet on this route.

Several days later it was the turn of Alicante to welcome Transavia’s inaugural arrival from Paris Orly. A selection of baked goods were on offer to celebrate. The LCC will provide three weekly frequencies on this 1,184-kilometre airport pair and faces direct competition from Vueling.

  • Transavia has launched three new routes from Paris Orly (ORY), adding services to Olbia (OLB) on 11 April, Rabat (RBA) on 12 April and Alicante (ALC) on 15 April. Transavia’s French arm will serve all three routes with three weekly frequencies using its 737-800s. It faces incumbent competition on each new connection. On the 1,184-kilometre Alicante link the LCC will compete with Vueling which already operates double-daily flights. The 1,035-kilometre Olbia route is served twice-weekly by easyJet, while Royal Air Maroc and TUI Airlines Belgium will offer 11 and three flights respectively on the 1,794-kilomtre Rabat sector during the week commencing 17 April. See how the route launch FTWAs for these new services performed against other airports from around the world.


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