New airline routes launched (28 August 2018 – 3 September 2018)

Korean Air Seoul Incheon to Zagreb

Korean Air this week launched direct services between Seoul Incheon and Zagreb. Those attending included Jacques Feron, CEO Zagreb Airport; Park Won-Sup, Korean Ambassador in Croatia; Damir Kušen, Croatian Ambassador in Korea; Olivera Šarić, Minister Assistant at the Croatian Ministry of Tourism; and Martina Bienenfeld, Head of Zagreb Tourist Board.

  • Korean Air on 1 September commenced year-round operations between its hub at Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Zagreb (ZAG). The 8,441-kilometre route will be operated three times per week using an A330-200, with Korean Air being the sole operator on the route according to OAG Schedules Analyser. In fact, the launch has additional significance for Zagreb; becoming the first direct service between Asia and Croatia. According to the carrier, the outbound service departs Seoul at 11:05, arriving in Zagreb at 15:45. The return leg leaves the Croatian capital two hours later at 17:45, touching down back in Seoul at 11:55 the following morning. See how Zagreb Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Asiana Airlines Seoul Incheon to Barcelona 

Asiana Airlines Seoul Incheon

Asiana Airlines launched flights between Seoul Incheon and Barcelona on 30 August. Present at the launch ceremony in the South Korean capital was Moon Myeong-Young, EVP of Asiana Airlines. The Star Alliance member will offer a four times weekly service on the 9,590-kilometre sector using its fleet of 300-seat 777-200s.

Asiana Barcelona

Asiana Airlines’ first flight to Spain was greeted with this simple but effective cake at Barcelona Airport on 30 August. While the airport also displayed an A350-900 on the cake table at the launch, the Star Alliance member is planning to operate its flights to Barcelona using its 777-200s, equipped with 22 business and 278 economy class seats.

  • Asiana Airlines has launched a four times weekly service from its base at Seoul Incheon (ICN) to Barcelona (BCN), the carrier’s first regular scheduled service to Spain. Inaugurated on 30 August, the 9,590-kilometre route will be operated by the Star Alliance member year-round using its 777-200 fleet, configured with 22 business and 278 economy class seats. The city pair is already served, with incumbent Korean Air operating the service four times weekly according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. The latter carrier started serving the route in April 2017, and Korean Air carried 52,663 passengers between its first service and 31 December, representing an average theoretical load factor during that time of 79%. Barcelona currently serves 210 destinations in 62 countries according to The Route Shop, and has regular services from 90 airlines, with Asiana becoming the latest operator. As well as Barcelona, Asiana offers regular scheduled flights to Frankfurt, Istanbul Atatürk, London Heathrow, Paris CDG, Rome Fiumicino and Venice Marco Polo in Europe from Seoul. See how Barcelona Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

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

easyJet Aarhus

easyJet’s inaugural Berlin Tegel to Aarhus service turned heads with this spectacular low-light water salute on 1 September. The route is one of five being launched this week, of which three have no competitors according to OAG Schedules Analyser. This is easyJet’s first-ever route to Aarhus, its only airport operation in Mainland Denmark.

  • easyJet inaugurated five routes from bases at Berlin Tegel (TXL), Naples (NAP) and Venice Marco Polo (VCE) this week. The longest sector of the five, from Berlin to Granada (GRX), spans 2,160 kilometres, whilst the shortest, Naples to Palermo (PMO), is just 319 kilometres. The new batch of routes also resulted in a new airport joining the European LCC’s network, with Aarhus (AAR) in Denmark seeing the launch of flights from Tegel, with the Danish city becoming the carrier’s first airport operation in Mainland Denmark. Along with this service, the carrier will add flights from London Gatwick to Aarhus on 2 November. Of the five routes inaugurated this week, only two are poised to face direct competition according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. See how Aarhus Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
01-Sep Berlin Tegel (TXL) Aarhus (AAR) A32S (2)  
03-Sep Granada (GRX) A320 (2)  
Naples (NAP) Palermo (PMO) A319 (7) Volotea (18), TUI fly Belgium (2) 
Turin (TRN) Naples (NAP) A320 (7) Blue Air (15) 
Venice Marco Polo (VCE) Seville (SVQ) A319 (4)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Frontier Airlines this week commenced three times weekly services between its Denver hub and Wichita. Pictured are airline and airport officials at Wichita Airport welcoming the inaugural service, with festivities including two designs of ceremonial cake marking the launch.

  • Frontier Airlines on 30 August commenced operations between Denver (DEN) and Wichita (ICT). The 673-kilometre seasonal route will be served three times weekly by the ULCC until 17 January using its A320 family fleet, according to OAG Schedules Analyser. The outbound leg leaves Denver at 15:15, arriving in Wichita at 17:40, with the return service departing at 18:30 to land back in Denver at 19:15 local time. United Airlines currently serves the route four times daily under both its mainline brand and United Express franchise operators SkyWest and Trans States Airlines. See how Wichita Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

LATAM Airlines launched services between Sao Paulo and Lisbon on 2 September, with the route expected to operate year-round. Pictured welcoming the crew of the inaugural flight are João Nunes, Lisbon Airport Director; Thibaud Morand, Commercial Director Spain, Portugal, France & Benelux at LATAM Airlines Group; and Francisco Pita, ANA Airports CCO.

  • LATAM Airlines has launched year-round flights on 2 September between Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Lisbon (LIS). The 7,928-kilometre route is operated five times per week using a 767-300 aircraft, with incumbent TAP Air Portugal offering a total of 18 weekly frequencies according to OAG Schedules Analyser. In Q3 2018, 11 South American destinations are served from Lisbon, according to OAG Mapper, with 10 in Brazil; including the capital Brasilia and Rio de Janerio, and the other being Caracas in Venezuela. See how Lisbon Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world

Dignitaries cut the cake at the launch of services between Warsaw Chopin and Lublin. The route is the Polish flag carrier’s 99th, and operates five times a week.

  • LOT Polish Airlines on 3 September commenced five times weekly services between its hub at Warsaw Chopin (WAW) and Lublin (LUZ). The 156-kilometre domestic route will be operated by a 78-seat Q400, with no competitors currently serving this city pair. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, the Polish flag carrier last operated the route in January 2015, with rival Small Planet serving the city pair until October 2017. The outbound service departs Warsaw at 13:40, touching down in Lublin at 14:25, with the return leg leaving at 15:10 to land back in the Polish capital at 16:00. The year-round service marks the 99th route for LOT. The carrier’s only other direct service from Lublin in S18 is a connection to Tel Aviv, which operates twice-weekly. 

Qantas launched direct services between Melbourne and San Francisco on 1 September. The route is set to be operated four times weekly with a 787-9 aircraft. Pictured are Qantas staff on a promotional shoot for the launch, taking the tram along on San Francisco’s famous hilly streets.

  • Qantas launched  year-round direct flights between Melbourne (MEL) and San Francisco (SFO) on 1 September . The 12,646-kilometre ultra-long-haul route will be operated four times per week using the carrier’s 236-seat 787-9 aircraft. The service will depart Melbourne at 9.40pm, arriving the same day into San Francisco at 7pm. The return flight will depart San Francisco at 10pm, touching down back in Melbourne at 6.30am two days later. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, there are no competitors on the route. Lyell Strambi, CEO, Melbourne Airport, stated at the launch: “This non-stop service demonstrates the strong demand to travel to this popular Californian city. The route also opens up the US market, and provides passengers with further connections into places like New York, Chicago, Seattle and beyond. With a population of 870,000 residents, San Francisco is regarded as one of the world’s most prominent tech hubs. It is home to the world’s most iconic internet giants including Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter. We feel fortunate to now be connected to one of the most important cities in the world for new technology start-ups via a direct air link.” The launch comes in a year where the Australian flag carrier has maximised the opportunities created by the long-and-thin route economics that the 787-9 provides; commencing the first non-stop services between Australia and the UK in March with the 14,500-kilometre Perth-London Heathrow route.

United Airlines this week launched three new regional connections, including two Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes to Prescott in Arizona. Pictured at the ribbon cutting ceremony are Prescott Mayor Billie Orr (centre left) and Prescott Airport Director Robin Sobotta (centre), amongst other dignitaries and staff.

  • United Airlines on 29 August commenced year-round operations from Denver (DEN) and Los Angeles (LAX) to Prescott (PRC); while also launching services between Washington Dulles (IAD) and Plattsburgh (PBG). The shortest route is between Los Angeles and Prescott, at 554 kilometres, with the longest of the three, Denver to Prescott, coming in at 895 kilometres. All three routes are operated year-round by CRJ 200s, with no existing competitors. The two services to Prescott are Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes, with the tender being given to United Airlines (operated by SkyWest Airlines) by the US Department of Transport. These routes from Denver and Los Angeles to Prescott will be operated daily and six times a week respectively, according to OAG Schedules Analyser, with the Plattsburgh – Dulles service being served 12 times per week. 


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