New airline routes launched (24 July 2018 – 30 July 2018)

Copa Airlines Panama City to Salvador de Bahia

Copa Airlines Salvador

Copa Airlines launched a twice-weekly service between Panama City and Salvador de Bahia on 24 July. Pictured celebrating the new service by cutting the ribbon to officially open the route were: Marc Gordien, CCO, Salvador de Bahia Airport; José Alves, Secretary of Tourism, Bahia State; Emerson Sanglard, GM Brazil, Copa Airlines; Margareth Menezes, one of Bahia’s dearest singers and Ambassador of Copa Airlines in Bahia; and Christophe Didier, VP Global Sales, Copa Airlines. The Brazilian gateway also baked a splendid cake to mark the Star Alliance member’s inaugural flight.

  • Copa Airlines launched year-round flights from Panama City (PTY) to Salvador de Bahia (SSA) on 24 July. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, the 5,148-kilometre route will be operated twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays using a combination of its 124-seat 737-700s and 160-seat 737-800s. The outbound service leaves Panama at 15:24, arriving in Salvador de Bahia at 00:30 the following morning. The return leg then departs the Brazilian city at 01:45 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, touching down back in Panama’s capital at 06:45. No other carrier currently operates on the route. With the arrival of the carrier at Salvador de Bahia, it means that it is now the third Star Alliance member to serve the Brazilian airport, with Copa joining TAP Air Portugal, which serves the city from Lisbon six times weekly, and Avianca Brazil on the departure boards. See how Salvador de Bahia Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

easyJet Naples to Faro 

Naples celebrated the launch of flights to Faro with this easyJet-coloured surfing-themed cake. The LCC also launched a three times weekly service to Alghero from Naples on the same day.

Pictured in Liverpool to celebrate easyJet’s expansion are: Robert Carey, Chief Commercial & Strategy Officer, easyJet; Ali Gayward, UK Country Manager, easyJet; and Paul Winfield, Aviation Director, Liverpool Airport. Regarding the launch, Winfield commented: “The arrival of easyJet’s eighth based aircraft here at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and the four new routes that this brings, further demonstrates its commitment to the Liverpool market. easyJet has also upgraded two of its A319 aircraft already based here to the larger A320 model, further increasing seat capacity, which along with these latest new routes gives more passengers from across the North West and North Wales, the opportunity to experience our best in class, faster, easier friendlier customer experience.” easyJet’s expansion at Liverpool means it now has five A320s and three A319s based this summer, serving 29 routes. It should be noted that although Liverpool and easyJet also promoted the recently announced service to Toulouse, this does not begin until the W18/19 season.

easyJet Southend

On 25 July easyJet launched flights from London Southend to Bordeaux, one of four routes to be launched by the airline from the London airport this week. Pictured at the first flight ceremony on the apron along with some based crew are Sophie Dekkers, Director of UK Market, easyJet, and Jon Horne, COO of London Southend Airport.

The crew, dignitaries and CEO of Bordeaux Airport, Pascal Personne (right), also celebrated the launch of services by easyJet from London Southend. Along with Southend, easyJet also serves Bordeaux from its bases at London’s Gatwick and Luton this summer. Southend services will operate three times weekly this summer.

  • easyJet commenced a three times weekly service to Bordeaux (BOD) from London Southend on 25 July, as well as adding a seasonal sector to Dubrovnik (DBV), operated twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) until 1 September, and year-round services to Prague (PRG) (four times weekly) from the UK capital city airport. Furthermore, year-round flights were also launched from Southend to Pula (PUY), operating twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays). As part of this expansion, the UK’s largest LCC by passenger numbers also launched services from Liverpool (LPL) to Dalaman (DLM), Palermo (PMO) and Pula (PUY), plus it expanded from its base at Naples (NAP) by adding routes to Alghero (AHO) and Faro (FAO). The longest route, Liverpool to Dalaman, clocks in at 3,055 kilometres, with the shortest, Naples to Alghero, at just 505 kilometres. At the launch Southend’s latest routes, the airport’s CEO, Glyn Jones, said: “Our successful partnership with easyJet continues to go from strength to strength, and the addition of a new aircraft at Southend brings four exciting new routes – Bordeaux, Prague, Pula and Dubrovnik – and further choice to passengers using our airport. We are now London’s fastest growing airport, and it is great to see that the airline is expecting to carry over one million passengers to and from the airport for the first time this year.” See how Faro Airport’s FTWAs compare to others from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
24-Jul Naples (NAP) Alghero (AHO) A32S (3)  
Faro (FAO) A320 (3)  
25-Jul London Southend (SEN) Bordeaux (BOD) A319 (3)  
26-Jul Pula (PUY) A319 (3)  
27-Jul Dubrovnik (DBV) A320 (2) Flybe (2)
Prague (PRG) A319 (4) Flybe (7)
28-Jul Liverpool (LPL) Palermo (PMO) A320 (2)  
29-Jul Pula (PUY) A319 (2)  
30-Jul Dalaman (DLM) A320 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 31 July. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

Arkia Israeli Airlines Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

Nir Dagan, CEO of Arkia Israeli Airlines (left), recently hosted a number of dignitaries and VIPs, including Penprapa Vongkovit, Ambassador of Thialand to Israel (second left) at a party to celebrate the start of the carrier’s twice-weekly service between Tel Aviv and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, a route which began on 24 July.

  • Arkia Israeli Airlines launched flights between Tel Aviv (TLV) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) on 24 July. The carrier will operate the 6,943-kilometre sector twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) using its sole 767-300, currently on lease from Italian operator Neos Air since 18 July. The city pair is already served by an existing operator, with OAG schedules confirming that El Al offers a six times weekly rotation using its fleet of 747-400s, although data shows that sometimes the service is flown using the Israeli flag carrier’s fleet of 777-200s and 767-300s. Mainly focused on flights into Europe, Bangkok becomes Arkia Israeli Airlines’ only destination in Asia. Along with Bangkok, the carrier is also scheduled to use its leased 767-300 on flights to Barcelona, Larnaca and Paris CDG, with recent flight data also showing that the aircraft has been used on flights to Rhodes, Geneva and Oslo Gardermoen in recent days.

Dignitaries welcome the launch of IndiGo’s new service to Tuticorin from Chennai on 26 July. The route is operated three times per week using an ATR 72. The Indian low cost carrier also launched services to Kozhikode from Chennai on the same day.

  • IndiGo, India’s largest carrier by one-way seat capacity in 2018 according to OAG Schedules Analyser, has commenced year-round operations from its base in Chennai (MAA) to Kozhikode (CCJ) and Tuticorin (TCR) on 26 July. The routes span a distance of 502 and 528 kilometres respectively, and both are operated by the LCC’s 74-seat ATR 72s. Kozhikode will be served daily, with Tuticorin being connected three times a day. SpiceJet is the sole competitor on both routes, operating six weekly frequencies to the former and twice-daily to the latter. At the launch, N. Subramanian, Airport Director at Tuticorin, outlined the target demographic for the route: “The airport caters to passengers from Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanniyakumari districts. As flight tickets cost around ₹3,000, it would attract passengers taking second class (seats in trains) and omni buses.” 

LEVEL Malaga

Parked on stand at Malaga Airport, just in front of the control tower, on 30 July is LEVEL’s inaugural service from Vienna. The IAG in-house LCC will offer a three times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) service on the 2,132-kilometre city pair using its A321s, and will initially have four of the type based in the Austrian capital.

  • LEVEL launched flights on its latest route on 30 July, a three times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) link between its new short-haul base in Vienna (VIE) and Malaga (AGP). This becomes the carrier’s third route to Spain from the Austrian capital after Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, and its fourth overall, having also introduced services to London Gatwick on 17 July. The carrier will serve its Malaga route using its fleet of A321s, with it becoming the fourth operator on the 2,132-kilometre city pair. LEVEL joins Eurowings, Wizz Air and Laudamotion on the route, with three carriers combined already offering eight weekly services. Along with Malaga and the three other routes that have already launched, LEVEL will also commence services from Vienna to Alicante, Bilbao, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Larnaca, Milan Malpensa, Olbia, Paris CDG, Valencia and Venice Marco Polo before mid-August, with 84 weekly departures being offered from the Austrian capital.

Tigerair Taiwan

Among those present at the launch of Tigerair Taiwan’s new service from Taipei Taoyuan to Saga in Japan were Zhang Hongzhong, Chairman, Tigerair Taiwan (back left) and Yamaguchi Xiangyi, Governor of Saga (back centre). The service will be operated twice-weekly using A320s, with the LCC being the sole operator on the city pair.

  • Tigerair Taiwan commenced a year-round operation to the Japanese city of Saga (HSG) from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) on 29 July. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, the 1,255-kilometre route will be operated twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) using the LCC’s fleet of 180-seat A320s. Currently, no other carrier operates between the two airports. On Thursdays, the service departs Taipei Taoyuan at 07:00, arriving in Saga at 10:25 local time. The return leg then leaves Saga at 11:25, touching down back in the Taiwanese capital at 12:55. On Sundays, the outbound flight leaves at 08:05, arriving at 11:25 before the return service departs at 12:30, arriving back in Taipei at 14:00. With this launch, it now means that in S18 Tigerair Taiwan is offering 14 Japanese destinations from Taipei Taoyuan, with a total of 137 weekly departures being provided.


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