New airline routes launched (4 September 2018 – 10 September 2018)


JetBlue Airways New York JFK to Ontario

JetBlue Airways Ontario

At the launch of JetBlue Airways’ New York JFK to Ontario route on 5 September, this impressive New York/California-themed cake was laid on as part of the festivities at Ontario Airport. In addition, the carrier also launched services between Boston and Burbank this week, with JetBlue being the sole operator on both airport pairs.

  • JetBlue Airways has launched daily services between Boston (BOS) and Burbank (BUR), along with services between New York JFK (JFK) and Ontario (ONT). Both routes commenced on 5 September, with neither airport pair expected to face direct competition. The North America transcontinental routes span 4,173 kilometres and 3,899 kilometres respectively, and both are scheduled to be operated using the airline’s fleet of A320s. JetBlue previously operated the JFK to Ontario route between early 2000 and September 2008, with it having flown just over 93,000 passengers from Ontario during 2007 according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the last full-year of operations for the carrier at the California airport during its previous stint.

Alaska Airlines Seattle-Tacoma to Pittsburgh

Alaska Airlines Seattle-Tacoma

Alaska Airlines launched services between Seattle-Tacoma and Pittsburgh on 6 September. This striking cake revealed at the launch reflects Seattle’s reputation as the US’ coffee capital, with a cup of Starbucks spilling the (marzipan) beans on top of the famous Seattle Market Center sign. The route will face no direct competition.

  • Alaska Airlines launched daily flights between Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) and Pittsburgh (PIT) on 6 September. The 3,410-kilometre route will be served using the airline’s 178-seat 737-900s, with no other carrier competing on the city pair according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. The outbound flight leaves Seattle at 08:00, touching down in Pittsburgh at 15:53. The westbound return leg departs the Steel City at 17:00, arriving back in Washington State at 19:03. Pittsburgh becomes Alaska Airlines’ second Pennsylvanian connection from Seattle, joining its existing connection to Philadelphia.

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


Pictured at the launch of Aigle Azur’s first departure to Beijing from Paris Orly were: Liu Jichun, VP Marketing, Hainan Airlines; Tiago Martins, Sales & Marketing Director, Aigle Azur; Gérard Houa, President, France China Foundation; and Frantz Yvelin, CEO, Aigle Azur. A cake was also baked to mark the route inauguration.

  • Aigle Azur launched year-round services between Paris Orly (ORY) and Beijing (PEK) on 5 September. The 8,217-kilometre service will be operated three times weekly using the carrier’s mixed fleet of A330-200s and -300s, with Hainan Airlines’ brand being on the route under a code-share agreement with the French operator. This latest service is the second code-share flight launched by Hainan Airlines and Aigle Azur, following the roll-out of their shared Xi’an to Paris CDG route which began on 3 September 2014, and still operates today on a three times weekly basis using Hainan Airlines’ fleet of A330-200s. Outbound flights on the new service from Orly to Beijing will depart France on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 13:45, touching down in Beijing at 06:30 the following morning. The return leg leaves the Chinese capital at 09:10, arriving back in Paris at 15:20 the same day. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, no other carrier currently operates between Paris Orly and Beijing, however Air China and Air France operate twice-daily services to the Asian mega-hub from Paris CDG.

Air Italy Bangkok

Pictured cutting the cake at the launch of Air Italy’s new service between Milan Malpensa and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi on 9 March are Neil Mills, CCO Air Italy, and Aldo Schmid, Aviation Marketing Manager, SEA. The carrier becomes the second operator to serve the airport pair, with Thai Airways already offering four weekly flights using A350-900s.

Air Italy Bangkok

Some 9,075 kilometres away at the Thai-end of the route, a ribbon cutting was held to officially open the carrier’s route between Milan Malpensa and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. Pictured cutting the ribbon in the Thai capital are Rossen Dimitrov, Chief of Passenger Experience, Air Italy, and Khata Vinin, Director of Air Cargo Business Division, Airports of Thailand. Air Italy will offer four weekly flights between Milan and Bangkok using its fleet of A330-200s. 

  • Air Italy launched year-round, non-stop operations between Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) on 9 September, the carrier’s first route to Thailand. The airline plans to utilise its fleet of A330-200s on the 9,075-kilometre sector up to four times weekly. At the launch, Air Italy COO Neil Mills stated: “With the opening of this third new international route this year to Bangkok, Air Italy is delighted and proud to fly for the first time to Thailand, a country famed for its beauty and one which is sure to prove popular with our ever-expanding customer base. We have had an extremely good summer thanks to the goals achieved on our new US flights to New York JFK and Miami, which reached more than 90% load factors. Added to this, more than half of our customers choose Air Italy to fly them from, and to, the South and the Centre of Italy via Milan. This confirms that our business plan is proving to be successful and that we are already delivering on our promise of providing our customers with a new choice for their worldwide travel.” While Air Italy maybe new to the Thailand market from Milan, it should be noted that the airport pair is already served, with Star Alliance member Thai Airways already offering four weekly flights using its fleet of 321-seat A350-900s. The carrier’s next long-haul route launches from Milan will be to India, with the Qatar Airways-backed operator planning to add Delhi and Mumbai to its network from the 28 and 30 October respectively.

On 5 September, easyJet celebrated the launch of twice-weekly services between Naples and Granada, with the Spanish city becoming the 40th destination served by the LCC from its Italian base. At Naples a cake celebrating the launch was created, and on the return flight from Granada passengers were served sfogliatelle (traditional neapolitan pastries).

easyJet and aena celebrated their latest route launches in style with this impressive multi-faceted cake; which marked the inauguration of both Naples – Granada and last week’s Berlin Tegel – Granada service. Pictured are Ana Fernández , Director for Jaen Tourism Promotion; Manuel Fernández Palomino, Jaen Tourism Promotion; Jaime Fernández Clarke, Director of Ground Operations, easyJet; Julián Torres Santos-Olmo, Director, Granada Airport; Francisco Cuenca Rodríguez, Mayor of Granada City; Raquel Ruz Peis, Councillor for Granada Tourism (Granada City Council); Inmaculada López Calahorro, Sub-Delegate of Granada Government; Sandra García Martín, Delegate of Granada Government (Regional Government of Andalusia) and José Miguel Teruel Gil, Councillor of Government (Santa Fe City Council).

  • easyJet launched seasonal services from Naples (NAP) to Granada (GRX) and Nice (NCE) to Tenerife South (TFS) on 5 September. Both routes are set to be operated twice-weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays using the carrier’s 180-seat A320s. Naples – Granada is a 1,608-kilometre sector whilst Nice – Tenerife South is 2,737 kilometres in length. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data there is no direct competition on either route. easyJet is the second largest airline in France by one-way frequencies after Air France in Q3 2018. It was Italy’s third largest carrier and Spain’s fifth largest over the same period.

Jetstar Japan Nagasaki

Jetstar Japan introduced Nagasaki to its Tokyo Narita network on 6 September, with the carrier planning to link the two Japanese airports with a daily rotation using its fleet of 180-seat A320s. A greeting ceremony was held at Nagasaki as the inaugural flight pulled onto stand, with airline and airport staff posing for a photo with the aircraft for the media.

  • Jetstar Japan inaugurated its latest domestic route on 6 September, launching a daily service from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Nagasaki (NGS), with the latter becoming a new destination on the airline’s network. The carrier will serve the 1,011-kilometre airport pair using its fleet of 180-seat A320s, with OAG schedules indicating that the low-cost carrier will be the only operator between the two points. While no direct competition is offered on the route, it should be noted that Japan Airlines (six times daily), All Nippon Airways (30 times weekly) and Solaseed Air (three times daily) already connecting Nagasaki to Tokyo Haneda in the capital. With this launch, Jetstar Japan now offers 11 domestic routes from Narita, plus it serves international cities including Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai Pudong and Taipei Taoyuan.

Tampa Airport celebrated the launch of Spirit Airlines’ inaugural services to Asheville and Greensboro in North Carolina by baking two special cakes. One was in the style of the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in America, built by George Vanderbilt, situated in the former North Carolina city, while the latter route launch saw a suitcase-inspired design. Pictured with the cake for the Asheville launch were: Chris Minner, EVP of Marketing and Real Estate, Tampa Airport; Edward Garduno, GM, Spirit Airlines; and Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa Airport. Posing with the Greensboro cake were the Floridian airport’s: Kelly Figley, Marketing Manager; Debbie Stokes, Marketing Coordinator; Maria Cook, Events Manager; and Trudy Brandvold, Marketing Specialist. Both cities are new destinations for Tampa.

Spirit Airlines Asheville

Spirit Airlines launched three new Floridian connections to Asheville this week, namely from Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. To commemorate flights, the North Carolina airport baked this fabulous four-tier wonder to herald the start of the ULCC’s three new services from the airport, with the routes being new links on the departure boards.

  • Spirit Airlines has launched nine new routes, of which five were previously unserved, with these routes also including the airline’s first flights to Asheville (AVL) and Greensboro (GSO) in North Carolina. The longest route, Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to San Salvador (SAL), spans 1,949 kilometres, whilst the shortest – Asheville to Orlando (MCO) – comes in at 787 kilometres. Spirit is certainly a carrier which is in expansion mode, having flown over 23.81 million passengers in 2017, up 13% versus the 21 million that it flew in 2016. What makes last year’s passenger total more impressive is that back in 2012 the carrier only transported 10.18 million people according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, under half the size of the airline’s traffic count in 2017.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
6-Sep Ashevillle (AVL) Tampa (TPA) A320 (2)  
Greensboro (GSO) Fort Lauderdale (FLL)  
Tampa (TPA)   
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) San Salvador (SAL) A319 (3) United Airlines (14), Avianca (7)
New York Newark (EWR) Atlanta (ATL)  A32S (7) Delta Air Lines (77), United Airlines (50)
7-Sep Ashevillle (AVL) Fort Lauderdale (FLL) A320 (3) Allegiant Air (6)
Orlando (MCO)  
Greensboro (GSO)  
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) Guatemala City (GUA) A319 (3) United Airlines (14)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 11 Sep. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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