New airline routes launched (11 September 2018 – 24 September 2018)

Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong to Washington Dulles

There were celebrations at Washington Dulles on 25 September to mark Cathay Pacific Airways’ new route from Hong Kong, which commenced operations 10 days earlier. Among the dignitaries present at the ribbon cutting were Jack Potter, President and CEO, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (fourth from left) and Rupert Hogg, CEO Cathay Pacific (fifth from right). Cake cuttings are normally a staple part of route launch events, but on this occasion (and in a first for there was a ceremonial roast pig cutting, which symbolises good luck and prosperity.

  • Cathay Pacific Airways launched the longest link in its network on 15 September when it commenced flights between Hong Kong (HKG) and Washington Dulles (IAD). It will serve the 13,097-kilometre connection four times weekly and faces no direct competition. The route will be operated by the carrier’s brand new fleet of A350-1000s. Dulles becomes Cathay Pacific’s seventh destination in the US. “The US is a key market for Cathay Pacific, and this route will cater to the growing demand for travel to the US capital region, while providing US-based passengers with more convenient access to key destinations in Asia and beyond through the airline’s home in Hong Kong,” said Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg. “We have been encouraged by the market response so far. Establishing new direct air links to destinations that aren’t already served from Hong Kong enhances our city’s status as Asia’s largest international hub and allows us to secure new and important sources of revenue.” Jack Potter President and CEO, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, commented: “As the international gateway to the region, Dulles International Airport is proud to welcome Cathay Pacific and the more than 100,000 passengers they will carry between the US capital region and Hong Kong annually. Their reputation for exceptional service offers travellers through Dulles International a valuable, new non-stop link to the entirety of the Asia-Pacific region.” According to Destination DC, the official marketing organisation for Washington, D.C., Asian travellers now account for 32% of the district’s overseas visitors.

ViaAir Orlando Sanford to Baton Rouge

Celebrations were held at Orlando Sanford on 13 September to mark the departure of the inaugural ViaAir service to Baton Rouge. A ribbon cutting ceremony and an impressive suitcase-shaped cake helped get the new connection off to a flying start. The airport pair will operate twice-weekly on Mondays and Thursdays.

Baton Rouge welcomed two new ViaAir services on the same day, when the carrier began flights to the Louisiana airport from Austin and Orlando Sanford on 13 September. Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President, Baton Rouge, was on hand to perform the ribbon and cake-cutting duties.

ViaAir, Austin

Is this the way to Amarillo? Celebrating ViaAir’s inaugural flight to Amarillo at Austin on 19 September with a traditional ribbon cutting, were: Tyrell Washington, Austin Customer Service Agent, ViaAir; Leonard Pruitt, Director of Maintenance, Austin, ViaAir; Thomas Jones, Austin Station Manager, ViaAir; Austin Futch, South Terminal Director – ClearedDirect; and musician Aaron McDonnell. A route launch cake was also on display.

  • ViaAir introduced three new domestic US routes in the space of a week, beginning with links to Baton Rouge (BTR) from Austin (AUS) and Orlando Sanford (SFB), which both commenced on 13 September. It then added a connection from Austin to Amarillo (AMA) on 19 September. All three routes will be operated by 50-seat ERJ 145s and there is no direct competition on any of the new airport pairs. The 975-kilometre Sanford – Baton Rogue link will be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays), while the 626-kilometre Austin – Baton Rouge sector will operate three times per week. The highest frequency among the new routes will be seen on the 674-kilometre Austin – Amarillo connection, which will be flown six times per week. Speaking about the two new routes for Baton Rouge, Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President, Baton Rouge said: “The Baton Rouge community has been asking for additional non-stop flights, and we are thrilled to have landed service to these two key business and leisure destinations. Our hope is that people will take advantage of the ViaAir flights and make the new routes successful. By showing the aviation industry that Baton Rouge can support new non-stop service, we will improve prospects for new routes to even more markets.” Matthew Macri, VP of Operations, ViaAir commented on the new Austin to Amarillo service: “Both Austin and Amarillo are amazing cities and we’re excited about the opportunity to serve both of their business and leisure travellers alike with non-stop jet service as part of our 2018 expansion. Via Airlines takes pride in being the airline of the hospitality industry. Our jet service between Austin and Amarillo will move travellers far faster and more economically than existing airline options or travelling by car.”

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

Dignitaries and Disney princesses joined the celebrations at Huntsville on 13 September to mark the launch of Silver Airways new daily services from Orlando. Pictured left to right at the ribbon cutting are: Dale Strong, Madison County Commissioner; Rapunzel; Rick Tucker, Executive Director, Huntsville Airport ; Steve Rossum, CEO, Silver Airways; Kurt Brulisauer, SVP, Silver Airways; Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville; Betty Fletcher, Board of Directors Chairman, Huntsville Airport; Barbie Peek, Director of Business Development, Huntsville Airport; Trey Bentley III, Board Member, Huntsville Airport; Cinderella and Mulan.

  • Silver Airways introduced its first flights to Alabama on 13 September, operating the inaugural service between Orlando (MCO) and Huntsville (HSV). The carrier will offer daily flights on the 863-kilometre domestic connection which it will initially operate with Saab 340s, ahead of receiving its new fleet of ATR 42-600 aircraft. It will not face any direct competition on the route. “We are very excited to start this highly-requested non-stop service for business and leisure travellers from Alabama and the Tennessee Valley travelling to the attractions, beaches and businesses of Central Florida, including NASA and Florida’s Space Coast,” said Alabama native and Silver Airways VP David LeNoir. “Attracting and sustaining new air service is a community-wide matter that affects each and every one of us – both the leisure traveller and the business traveller,” said Rick Tucker, Executive Director, Huntsville Airport. “Launching this service from Huntsville to Orlando is an excellent step to providing all of the citizens of the Tennessee Valley more air travel options and savings. Support from the business community and our residents is integral to attracting and sustaining service like this in Huntsville and so we encourage everyone to fly HSV and Silver Airways so that we can continue to provide more air travel options to more destinations and with lower fares.”

Virgin Australia Airlines, Hobart

Virgin Australia Airlines added its fourth domestic link to Hobart in Tasmania on 17 September when it operated its inaugural flight from Perth. It will serve the 3,013-kilometre sector three times weekly with 737-800s and there is no direct competition. The first arrival is pictured here, having just received the traditional water arch welcome from Hobart’s firefighters.

  • Virgin Australia Airlines added a new domestic connection on 17 September, when it introduced three times weekly services between Perth (PER) and Hobart (HBA) in Tasmania. The airline will deploy 737-800s on the 3,013-kilometre airport pair and there is no direct competition. Debra Blaskett, Chief Corporate Service Officer, Perth Airport, said the new route creates an important connection between the two state capitals. “It will save passengers at least an hour of travelling time, giving them extra time to explore the unique attractions of each city. It’s great news for Western Australians wanting to discover Tasmania; it’s also great news for Tasmanians wanting to come to WA.” Perth becomes Virgin Australia’s fourth domestic link to Hobart, with the carrier already operating to the Tasmanian airport from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. See how this route does in the weekly Arch of Triumph competition.


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