New airline routes launched (8 May 2018 – 14 May 2018)

Ethiopian Airlines Abidjan to New York Newark

Ethiopian Airlines Abidjan New York Newark

Ethiopian Airlines commenced services between Abidjan and New York Newark on 12 May, a route that originates in Addis Ababa. Seen cutting the cake onboard the first flight from the Ivory Coast to the US are Ivory Coast Government Ministers Siandou Fofana and Amadou Koné. The Star Alliance member will use its 787-8s on the route.

  • Ethiopian Airlines commenced operations between Abidjan (ABJ) and New York Newark (EWR) on 12 May, a service that originates in Addis Ababa. The carrier will operate the 7,963-kilometre route three times weekly, with the Star Alliance member utilising its fleet of 787-8s on the Africa-North America city pair. Based on OAG schedules, no other carrier presently links the two countries non-stop. By adding this service to its schedule, it means that Ethiopian Airlines offers a daily departure from Addis Ababa to Newark, with it also offering a four times weekly operation to the New Jersey airport via Lomé, the capital of Togo. See how Abidjan Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

WOW air Reykjavik/Keflavik to Cincinnati

Wow indeed! Cincinnati certainly went to town to celebrate the arrival of WOW air’s first flight from Iceland, producing this brilliant cake showstopper. Along with cake, a ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted to officially open the new route from Reykjavik/Keflavik. The low-cost airline will operate the route four times weekly.

  • WOW air has introduced Cincinnati (CVG) to its ever-growing North American network, with it now linking its Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) hub to the US city four times weekly. Launched 9 May, the LCC will operate the uncontested 4,833-kilometre airport pair using its fleet of 220-seat A321s. “Connecting the Tri-State community with additional international destinations has been a priority for Cincinnati,” commented Candace McGraw, CEO of Cincinnati Airport. “We’re excited that WOW air is now providing local travellers with the opportunity to travel non-stop from Cincinnati to Iceland, as well as a one-stop, low-cost service to more than 20 destinations across Europe, Israel and the Canary Islands.” This becomes the US airport’s second transatlantic service, with it joining Delta Air Lines in the European arena. The SkyTeam member presently offers a daily service to Paris CDG, a route that it flies using its 767-300s according to OAG schedules.  See how Cincinnati Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

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

Aegean Airlines Zagreb

Aegean Airlines commenced operations to Zagreb on 14 May, with the Croatian capital airport greeting its newest airline partner with a cake decorated in the carrier’s logo. Seen conducting the prestigious cake cutting are: Jacques Feron, CEO of Zagreb Airport; Sergios Diplarakos, Airport Services Manager, Aegean Airlines; and Stavros Tsiepa, Ambassador of Greece to Croatia. The Star Alliance member will operate the 1,083-kilometre capital connection twice-weekly.

  • Aegean Airlines has added Zagreb (ZAG) to its vast Athens (ATH) network, launching a twice-weekly (Mondays and Saturdays) service on the 1,083-kilometre European capital connection. The route will be flown on the carrier’s Q400s which are operated by Olympic Air, with the Star Alliance member expecting to face no direct competition on the city pair. According to OAG Traffic Analyser data, some 14,800 passengers travelled indirectly between the two cities in 2017, with 51% of passengers originating at the Croatian-end of the route. Based on the same source, the most popular airport for connecting traffic was Belgrade, with it capturing 44% of the market courtesy of Air Serbia. The second most popular connecting airport for transfer traffic between Zagreb and Athens in 2017 was Vienna. See how Zagreb Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

airBaltic Sochi/Adler

With Sochi being one of the cities that will host matches during the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup, Riga Airport commissioned this football-inspired cake to commemorate airBaltic’s inaugural service to Sochi/Adler on 14 May.

  • airBaltic added its latest route from Riga (RIX) on 14 May, a 1,870-kilometre link to Sochi/Adler (AER). A sector to be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays), with the airline choosing to serve the Russian city using its fleet of 737-500s according to OAG schedules, it will face no direct competition. Along with Sochi/Adler, the Latvian-based operator also serves Kaliningrad, Kazan, St. Petersburg and Moscow Sheremetyevo in Russia from Riga. 

Cobalt Geneva

Cobalt commenced its second route to Switzerland after Zurich on 13 May, a 2,625-kilometre link from Larnaca to Geneva. According to, the first flight landed just four minutes behind its scheduled arrival time of 13:50. Cobalt is the only carrier flying scheduled services between Larnaca and Geneva this summer.

  • Cobalt commenced operations on a 2,625-kilometre route between Larnaca (LCA) and Geneva (GVA) on 13 May, with it becoming the only carrier to offer scheduled services between the two European cities this summer. Operating weekly (Sundays), flights will leave Cyprus at 11:00, landing in Switzerland at 13:50. Return services will depart at 14:50, touching down back in Larnaca at 19:20. Based on OAG schedules, the airline will serve Geneva using its fleet of A319s, of which it presently operates two alongside its four A320s. As well as Geneva, the Cypriot-based operator already flies to Switzerland courtesy of its route to Zurich. The airline’s next route launch is scheduled to take place on 3 June, the day on which it begins services to Mykonos from Larnaca.

Finnair Nanjing

Finnair commenced operations to Nanjing in China on 13 May, its sixth route to China after Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai Pudong and Xi’an. The oneworld member also serves Hong Kong from its hub in Helsinki. The airline will operate its newest Chinese destination three times weekly using its A330-300 fleet.

  • Finnair launched its newest Chinese route from Helsinki (HEL) on 13 May, inaugurating a three times weekly service to Nanjing (NKG). Facing no direct competition, the airline will utilise its fleet of A330-300s on the 7,184-kilometre link. Presently the carrier also serves Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai Pudong and Xi’an in China, with the oneworld member also flying to Hong Kong from its Finnish hub. Finnair becomes only the second European carrier to operate into Nanjing, with Star Alliance member Lufthansa already serving the Chinese city, which has an estimated population of 8.34 million people, from Frankfurt.  See how Nanjing Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

There was definitely a flavour of the South Pacific in Paris this week, when French Bee commenced its twice-weekly service from the city’s Orly Airport to Papeete on 11 May. The A350-900-operated flights make a stop in San Francisco en route to Tahiti.

  • French Bee caused a buzz this week when it commenced its twice-weekly (Fridays and Sundays) operation from Paris Orly (ORY) to Papeete (PPT) in Tahiti. While the A350-900 operating the service certainly has some long-haul legs, the 15,733-kilometre non-stop sector is clearly beyond its capabilities, thus necessitating a stop in San Francisco (SFO) en route (just a 8,974-kilometre jaunt). Started on 11 May, neither part of the route faces any direct competition. French Bee’s only other route from Orly is its daily service to St. Denis de la Reunion.

Claus-Dieter Wehr, MD Friedrichshafen Airport; Reza Reuter, Captain Germania; Steffi Streussel, Stewardess Germania; Nayana Schenk, Stewardess Germania; Michelle Johannesson, Stewardess Germania; Max Lamwers, Co-Pilot Germania; and Andreas Humer-Hager, Marketing Director & Communication Friedrichshafen Airport all celebrate the start of the airline’s 11th route from the German airport to Faro on 10 May.

  • Germania has added a weekly (Thursdays) service from Friedrichshafen (FDH) to Faro (FAO) on 10 May. The 1,852-kilometre sector will be flown by a variety of the airline’s equipment, but predominantly its 737-700 fleet, and faces no direct competition. In addition to Faro, Germania currently offers flights from Friedrichshafen to 10 other destinations in Egypt, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain and Turkey in its S18 schedule from the German airport.

Germania Flug Zadar

Zadar Airport produced this cake to commemorate the arrival of Germania Flug’s new service from Zurich. Launched on 12 May, flights will operate weekly (Saturdays) according to OAG schedules, with services increasing to twice-weekly (Wednesdays added) from 27 June. No other carrier links the two cities this summer.

  • Germania Flug commenced services between Zurich (ZRH) and Zadar (ZAD) on 12 May. Initially operating weekly (Saturdays), the 644-kilometre link will increase to a twice-weekly rotation from 27 June (Wednesday departure added). All flights are poised to be operated on the airline’s A319 fleet, with no other carrier presently flying between the Swiss and Croatian cities. See how Zadar Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Beat Iseli of Belpmoos Reisen and Mathias Gantenbein, Director of Bern Airport, duly opened the maiden flight. The Spanish region of Andalusia is now served every Friday (except in August) directly from Bern this summer.

  • Helvetic Airways has commenced two new routes in the last seven days, linking Bern (BRN) with Jerez (XRY) on 11 May, as well as Zurich (ZRH) to Calvi (CLY) on 13 May. The former sector, will be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays), with the latter operated weekly (Sundays). Consulting OAG schedules for this week, the carrier now flies to five destinations from Bern – with the Spanish city being added to existing flights to Palma de Mallorca, Heraklion, Kos and Rhodes. Both city pairs will be flown by Helvetic’s Fokker 100 fleet and neither faces any direct competition.

Icelandair Dublin

Pictured at the launch of Icelandair’s Dublin service are: Paul O’Kane, Chief Communication Officer, Dublin Airport; Örnólfur Jónsson, Captain, Icelandair; Angie Condon, Area Station Manager UK & Ireland, Icelandair; and Bogi Nils Bogason, CFO, Icelandair. The carrier will serve the Irish capital city six times weekly using its 757-200s.

  • Icelandair added Ireland to its European network on 8 May, initiating a six times weekly link from Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) to Dublin (DUB). “We are thrilled to welcome Icelandair to Dublin Airport,” said Vincent Harrison, MD Dublin Airport. “Iceland is growing in popularity as a destination for short breaks and this new service expands connectivity to Iceland and also offers Irish customers an additional choice when travelling to and from North America via Iceland. The new route also provides North American-based travellers with more options to get to Ireland, which is great news for the Irish tourism sector and the many businesses that it supports throughout the country.” The carrier will serve the 1,497-kilometre sector using its fleet of 757-200s. Competition is provided by WOW air which presently serves the route daily, however it will increase its frequency between the Icelandic and Irish capital cities to 11 times weekly from 14 May. The airline’s next route launch will take place on 16 May, the day which sees it begin operations to Cleveland. It’s next European route inauguration will be on 25 October, having recently announced that it will serve Düsseldorf from the start of W18/19.

As well as tasty-looking cake, there was a ribbon cutting to mark the start of Jazeera Airways’ new service from Kuwait City to Mumbai. Doing the honours were: Rethah Almousawi, VP Ground Services, Jazeera Airways; Raveen Pinto, VP, Mumbai Airport; Abdullah Ansari, Airport Manager India, Jazeera Airways; Rafik Bogdady, VP Sales, Jazeera Airways; and Savio Gomes; Training and Quality Manager Ground Operations, Jazeera Airways.

  • Jazeera Airways has added a new daily operation from its base at Kuwait City (KWI) to Mumbai (BOM). The route becomes the LCC’s fourth sector into India, and joins its existing flights to Ahmedabad, Kochi and Hyderabad. Flown by Jazeera’s A320 fleet, the 2,757-kilometre sector will face direct competition from Jet Airways and Kuwait Airways, who both offer double-daily flights.

KLM Vaxjo

Seen speaking at the press conference for KLM’s new service between Amsterdam and Vaxjo is Paul Terstegge, GM North Europe for Air France/KLM. The new route will be flown daily on the airline’s E175 fleet.

  • KLM commenced operations on a route between Amsterdam (AMS) and Vaxjo (VXO) on 14 May. The SkyTeam member will operate a daily service on the 819-kilometre sector from its hub to the Swedish city according to OAG schedules, with it planning to fly between the two cities utilising its fleet of E175s. No other carrier flies between Amsterdam and Vaxjo, while KLM has become the only airline to link the latter airport to a major European hub. See how Vaxjo Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Kay Ryan, Loganair Commercial Director, Faith MacIntyre, Loganair Cabin Crew and Graeme Bell, Inverness Airport’s MD are getting ready to tuck into the Loch Ness-inspired cake baked to herald the start of Loganair’s flights from Inverness to Bergen. The service originates in Manchester, and provides the airport with a fresh one-stop connection to Norway too.

  • Loganair used the last seven days to commence operations to Bergen (BGO) from Manchester (MAN), via Inverness (INV) on 10 May. The flights are flown by the airline’s sole ERJ 145 (not the pictured Saab 340) on a three times weekly basis. In addition to the regional jet, the UK airline has an eclectic fleet, operating three DHC-6 Twin Otters, two Dornier 328s, five Saab 2000s and 16 Saab 340s, according to ch-aviation’s listing for Loganair. While there is no competition on the sector from Inverness to Norway, SAS does offer direct flights from Manchester to Bergen on a twice-weekly basis. Graeme Bell, Inverness Airport MD said: “The Highlands are a popular destination for Scandinavian visitors. These additional services further increase connectivity between Scotland and Norway. We have been working with local businesses, in Scotland and Norway, to provide routes that best meet their needs.This new Bergen route is a result of that hard work. Scandinavia is a valuable market for business and leisure travellers, we look forward to supporting the new service and we are continuously looking for additional routes.”

Norwegian Amman

Norwegian commenced operations to Amman in Jordan on 8 May, starting a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) service from Copenhagen. To celebrate the route, the Jordan capital airport baked an airline-branded cake.

  • Norwegian has introduced Jordan to its ever-growing global network this week, starting a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) connection between Copenhagen (CPH) and Amman (AMM). Launched on 8 May, the LCC will operate the 3,217-kilometre connection between the Danish and Jordanian capitals using its fleet of 737-800s, with no other airline presently serving the city pair.

On 10 May Cebu welcomed the inaugural Philippines AirAsia arrival from Shenzhen, with a musical accompaniment. The first outbound flight to the Chinese city had departed late the previous night. The LCC will operate this 1,745-kilometre sector daily and faces no incumbent competition.

Two days later on 11 May, Cebu celebrated Philippines AirAsia’s first flight to Clark. This domestic link will be operated daily with A320s and faces incumbent competition in the form of Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines, which both offer 10 flights per week.

  • Philippines AirAsia commenced two new links in the past week with the launch of flights from Cebu (CEB) to Shenzhen (SZX) on 9 May, and from Clark (CRK) to Cebu on 11 May. The LCC will operate daily services with A320s on both the 1,745-kilometre Chinese sector, and on the 657-kilometre domestic link. There is no direct competition on the Cebu-Shenzhen route, but Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines both already operate 10 weekly flights on the Clark-Cebu connection. OAG schedules show that Philippines AirAsia will operate to three Chinese destinations from Cebu this summer, with Shanghai Pudong and Hangzhou also being served. It will provide seven domestic destinations from Clark in S18.  See how Cebu Airport’s two FTWAs for these routes compare to others from around the world.

Primera Air Birmingham

Primera Air opened its Birmingham base on 14 May, with its first two routes form the UK airport being connections to Palma de Malloca and Malaga, with it soon beginning its first transatlantic operations from Birmingham to New York Newark. Among those at the launch was Tom Screen, Acting Aviation Director, Birmingham Airport (third right).

  • Primera Air inaugurated operations from its new base in Birmingham (BHX) on 14 May, with its first two routes being Spanish links to Malaga (AGP) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI). The first two routes come ahead of the airline’s transatlantic debut from the city to New York Newark on 18 May, with Toronto Pearson flights following soon after in June. Anastasija Visnakova, CCO of Primera Air, said of the Birmingham base opening: “It was a pleasure to welcome our passengers on the inaugural service to Malaga. The range of destinations, both European and transatlantic, at fantastic prices creates more choice for passengers travelling from Birmingham Airport. We have growth plans for Birmingham and we look forward to working with the airport and serving the region’s leisure and business travellers throughout 2018 and beyond.” While both Spanish routes are new to Primera Air, both are already well served from Birmingham. The 1,767-kilometre sector to Malaga is already flown by (nine times weekly), Ryanair (nine), TUI Airways (four) and British Airways (one). The 1,473-kilometre jaunt to Palma de Mallorca is already flown by (eight), TUI Airways (eight), Ryanair (daily), Thomas Cook Airlines (four) and British Airways (two). Along with its new routes from Birmingham, Primera Air also began services from Aalborg (AAL) to Athens (ATH) this week. Initiated on 10 May, the route between the Danish and Greek cities will be flown by the airline weekly (Thursdays) facing no direct competition. The 2,366-kilometre connection, along with the airline’s Birmingham services, will be flown by 737-800s. No other airline currently links Aalborg to Athens.  See how Birmingham Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world. 

Ryanair Athens Vilnius

Ryanair introduced flights between Athens and Vilnius on 10 May, with the Lithuanian capital airport celebrating the new service in true Ancient Greek fashion. Seen celebrating the service alongside the imposing soldiers are: Chris Lundshøj, Sales and Marketing Executive for Nordics and Baltics, Ryanair; Jūratė Baltrušaitytė, CCO, Lithuanian Airports; and Agnė Mažeikytė, Communications Project Manager, Lithuanian Airports.

Another airport which greeted a new service from Athens with Ryanair was Lodz, a route launched on 12 May. The Polish airport celebrated the connection with cake, while a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to officially open the route. Seen conducting the ribbon cutting are: Anna Midera, CEO, Lodz Airport; Olga Pawlonka, Sales & Marketing Manager for CEE, Ryanair; and Joanna Skrzydlewska, Vice Marshal from the Lodz Region Office.

Ryanair Zadar

Along with welcoming a new route from Athens this week with Ryanair, Memmingen also gained a Zadar connection, a sector that the airline launched on 8 May, and will operate three times weekly. Posing alongside the very chilled out crew on the German airport apron are Memmingen Airport’s Aviation Marketing & Sales Manager, Alica Ulrich (second left), and Head of Aviation, Marcel Schütz (third right). The Athens route will operate twice-weekly.

  • Ryanair expanded its operations from the Greek capital this week, launching a total of six new routes from Athens (ATH), namely to Gdansk (GDN), Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB), Lodz (LCJ), Memmingen (FMM), Vilnius (VNO) and Wroclaw (WRO). “Greece has always been a very popular holiday destination for Lithuanians and we are very happy that there are now regular flights to one of the oldest capitals in Europe,” commented Jūratė Baltrušaitytė, CCO of Lithuanian Airports, about the connection between Athens and Vilnius. “Lithuanian Airports have been working on a Vilnius to Athens route for more than three years and we really believe that both Lithuanians and Greeks will enjoy it.” Along with the Athens launches, Ryanair this week also opened a connection from Memmingen to Zadar (ZAD). Overall the average weekly frequency of the new routes is twice-weekly, while the mean sector length is 1,539 kilometres. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
8-May Memmingen (FMM) Zadar (ZAD) B738 (3)  
10-May Athens (ATH) Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) B738 (2)  
Vilnius (VNO) Wizz Air (3)
11-May Gdansk (GDN)  
Wroclaw (WRO)  
12-May Lodz (LCJ) B738 (1)  
Memmingen (FMM) B738 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 15 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Wizz Air Dortmund

Wizz Air launched its latest route to Dortmund on 14 May, a 925-kilometre sector from Olsztyn-Mazury in Poland. Seen welcoming the inaugural flight crew to the German city is Guido Miletic, Head of Marketing & Sales, Dortmund Airport. The ULCC will operate the route twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) facing no direct competition.

  • Wizz Air introduced two routes from regional Poland on 14 May, one from Olsztyn-Mazury (SZY) and the other from Szczecin (SZZ). The former is now linked to Dortmund (DTM), while the latter has gained a connection to Stockholm Skavsta (NYO). Both 925- and 591-kilometre routes will be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) on the airline’s A320 fleet, with neither facing direct competition.  See how Stockholm Skavsta Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.


  1. Parker West says:

    I’m pleased that Phoenix has non-stop service to German once again. I hope the traffic will allow Condor to increase the number of flights. When LTU flew their excellent TriStars into Sky Harbor, it was so much easier to fly to the center of Western Europe missing Heathrow in the process. Whether DUS or FRA, German train service makes it simple to continue on to your favorite places.
    We would love to see Norwegian add our city, if I’m not asking for too much.

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