New airline routes launched (30 October 2018 – 5 November 2018)

Condor Kuala Lumpur

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Frankfurt Airport on 1 November to officially open Condor’s new long-haul service to Kuala Lumpur, the only direct route between Germany and Malaysia. Taking part in the ribbon cutting along with crew and dancers were: Christian Schmitt, COO, Condor; H.E Sarah Al Bakri Devadason, Malaysian Ambassador to Germany; Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, GM Aviation, Fraport; Mukundan Madavan, Consul General Malaysia in Frankfurt; and Mohamed Amin Bin Yahya, Director of Tourism Malaysia in Frankfurt. Flights will operate three times weekly.

  • Condor launched flights between Frankfurt (FRA) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 1 November, with it becoming the only non-stop service between Germany and Malaysia. The airline will operate the 9,992-kilometre sector three times weekly using its fleet of 767-300s.”We are very proud that Kuala Lumpur is the first and only Southeast Asian destination served by Condor, so this connection also gives German travellers better access to the rest of Southeast Asia, a region that is unique and fast growing,” said H.E Sarah Al Bakri Devadason, Malaysian Ambassador to Germany. “We believe that the new air connection will help to improve the whole range of relations between Malaysia and Germany, including intercultural contacts.” Not only is Kuala Lumpur Condor’s only Southeast Asian destination from Frankfurt, but it has also become the airline’s 90th destination from the German hub. When referring to OAG Traffic Analyser data, some 190,000 passengers travelled indirectly between German and Malaysia in 2017, with just under 53,000 (28%) of those people flying between Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur. Emirates is the leading airline between the two countries, carrying 17% of traffic last year, followed by Qatar Airways (11%) and Etihad Airways (9.1%).

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

Air Arabia Maroc, Birmingham

Birmingham welcomed the arrival of Air Arabia Maroc on 30 October, the day in which the carrier launched flights from Agadir in Morocco. The 2,538-kilometre sector will operate twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays.

  • Air Arabia Maroc introduced a new route from Agadir (AGA) to Birmingham (BHX) on 30 October, its first service to the UK airport. It will operate the 2,538-kilometre connection twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays using its A320s. There is no direct competition on this sector during W18/19. Tom Screen, Acting Aviation Director, Birmingham Airport, said: “Officially welcoming Air Arabia Maroc to Birmingham Airport for the first time ever is fantastic. For us, if the customer demand is there, it’s important we can provide enough choice to be able to meet it – whether this involves the introduction of additional direct services or an increase in the frequency of flights. With its warm temperatures, Agadir is a destination which can be enjoyed during the summer and winter months alike, providing our customers affordable air travel all year round. Air Arabia Maroc is a great addition to our collection of airlines and we look forward to working with them on this popular destination of Morocco.” Adel Al Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia, said: “We are pleased to link Birmingham to our Agadir base. Birmingham is the latest British destination to join Air Arabia Maroc’s existing UK network.” Along with Birmingham, the airline also serves London Gatwick and Manchester.

Air China Huizhou

Air China launched its latest domestic route from Beijing on 1 November, adding a five times weekly service to the city of Huizhou in Guangdong Province. No other airline presently operates the 1,902-kilometre sector according to OAG schedules. This becomes Air China’s third non-stop route to Huizhou, with it already offering flights to the city from Chengdu and Tianjin. The airline did also serve Huizhou from Wuhan, but the route was dropped on 27 October.

  • Air China launched its latest domestic route from its hub at Beijing (PEK) on 1 November, commencing a five times weekly service to Huizhou (HUZ). A city situated in southeast Guangdong Province, Huizhou is home to an urban population of roughly 2.51 million people, and is some 50 kilometres away from the mega-cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The Star Alliance member will serve the 1,902-kilometre route from Beijing using its fleet of A320s, with no other airline presently linking Huizhou with the Chinese capital airport. While there is no direct competition, it should be noted that China United Airlines does provide a twice-daily service between Huizhou and Beijing’s Nanyuan Airport. With this launch, Air China will offer non-stop flights on three routes to Huizhou, with it already offering services to the city from Chengdu and Tianjin according to OAG. The Star carrier used to operate a daily service to Huizhou from Wuhan, but data confirms that the airline ended operations on the route as of 27 October.

Air Malta, Leipzig

Air Malta introduced two new German destinations to its network on 31 October, when it began services to Hamburg and Leipzig/Halle. Both routes will operate weekly on Wednesdays. The Maltese carrier now offers flights to six destinations in Germany, having begun service to Berlin Tegel on 28 October.

  • Air Malta launched two new German links on 31 October, with inaugural flights taking off from Malta (MLA) to Hamburg (HAM) and Leipzig/Halle (LEJ). Both routes will operate weekly on Wednesdays. The 2,004-kilometre Hamburg service and the 1,738-kilometre link to Leipzig/Halle will both be operated by the airline’s A320s and neither will face direct competition. These routes become Air Malta’s fifth and sixth scheduled services to Germany respectively. The Maltese flag carrier commenced services to Berlin Tegel on 28 October, and was already operating flights to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.

Air New Zealand, Taipei

Taipei Taoyuan welcomed Air New Zealand’s first flight from Auckland on 1 November. Flights will operate three times weekly on 787-9s. Among those celebrating the inaugural service were: Cam Wallace, Chief Revenue Officer, Air New Zealand (fourth from left); Dame Therese Walsh, Independent Director, Air New Zealand; Moira Turley, Director, New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office Director and Eric Lin, Chief Secretary, Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

  • Air New Zealand launched its inaugural service between Auckland (AKL) and Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) on 1 November. The flag carrier will operate the 8,884-kilometre connection three times weekly using its 787-9s facing no direct competition. “We’re excited to offer our customers a direct link between New Zealand and Taipei. Demand for the three day a week service has been strong, particularly around the Chinese New Year period,” said Cam Wallace, Chief Revenue Officer, Air New Zealand. “New Zealand already welcomes around 42,000 visitors annually from the Taiwan market and we expect this number will grow further. With a flight time of just over 11 hours, we also expect Kiwis will be keen to check out this new Asian destination.”

AirAsia, Macau

Macau celebrated the start of AirAsia services from Kota Kinabalu on 2 November. Cutting the ceremonial ribbon to launch the new route were: Mandy Huang GM of Air Link Express (Macau); Gigi Wong, Deputy GM of SEMAC Security Company; Dato Dr. Lam Vai Chun; Celia Lao, CEO, AirAsia Hong Kong and Macao; Cristina Gomes da Silva, Director of the Air Transport and International Relations of Civil Aviation Authority Macau SAR; Tan Mei Leng, Director of Tourism Malaysia Hong Kong;  Hoi Io Meng, Acting Director of Macao Government Tourism Office; Tay Shu Lan Senior Marketing Manager of Sabah Tourism Board; Eric Fong, Director of Marketing Department, Macau Airport; Lao Kin Sang, Deputy GM of Nam Kwong Petroleum and Chemicals and Cindy Du, Finance Director of Menzies Macau Airport Services.

AirAsia, Phu Quoc

On the same day, Phu Quoc celebrated the arrival of the LCC’s inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur. Among those welcoming the aircraft on the tarmac were AirAsia Group Board of Director Dato’ Fam Lee Ee (eighth from left), Phu Quoc People’s Committee Vice Chairman Pham Van Nghiep and dignitaries from other local authorities.

  • AirAsia introduced two new connections on 2 November, with the LCC commencing flights from Kota Kinabalu (BKI) to Macau (MFM) and from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Phu Quoc (PQC) on the same day. The former is a 1,819-kilometre sector, while the latter is an 867-kilometre connection. Both routes will operate four times weekly on the airline’s A320s. Neither of the new airport pairs faces any incumbent competition. Commenting on the Kota Kinabalu – Macau sector, AirAsia CEO Riad Asmat said, “With this new route, we now fly to four cities in the Pearl River Delta from our Kota Kinabalu hub. With the enhanced connectivity from the newly opened Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, our guests have the option to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Macau and return from either Hong Kong, Shenzhen or Guangzhou so they can make full use of their trip to really explore the region. Kota Kinabalu is our second largest hub in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and we will continue to grow our network from this city. We have launched three international routes from Kota Kinabalu this year to Bangkok, Kunming and now to Macau. This will help bring more visitors to the state and also help create more business opportunities and boost tourism receipts.” Referring to the Kuala Lumpur – Phu Quoc link, Asmat commented: “We’re proud to be the first airline to connect Malaysia to Phu Quoc, yet another unique route pioneered by AirAsia. It is encouraging to see how well the destination has been well-received, and we hope this direct service, in tandem with Phu Quoc’s visa-free policy, will accelerate international arrivals to the island and boost tourism receipts.”

California Pacific Airlines

A Lego-themed cake was made at Reno-Tahoe Airport on 2 November to celebrate the opening of California Pacific Airlines’ service from Carlsbad. Pictured with the cake are Ted Vallas, CEO of California Pacific Airlines, and Marily Mora, President and CEO of Reno-Tahoe Airport. The airline will operate four weekly flights on the sector.

  • California Pacific Airlines launched its first-ever operations from Carlsbad (CLD) on 1 November, initiating a 12 times weekly service to San Jose (SJC), while the following day it initiated a four times weekly link to Reno-Tahoe (RNO), while it will also begin flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix-Mesa in the coming weeks. “When the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority was presented with the opportunity to enhance our already strong air service options to southern California, we saw Carlsbad as another viable alternative for a growing northern Nevada community and a great complement to Southwest Airlines’ successful flights between Reno-Tahoe and San Diego,” said Marily Mora, President and CEO of Reno Airport. The airline will operate both 631- and 742-kilometre routes to San Jose and Reno-Tahoe using its ERJ 145s, of which it currently operates four. Neither route will face direct competition. 

easyJet Budapest

easyJet started London Southend to Budapest flights on 2 November, with it also adding service from Manchester to the Hungarian capital this week. To celebrate the new UK capital link, the Eastern European gateway baked this London taxi-themed cake. Posing with the crew is Eszter Almási, Airline Development Manager, Budapest Airport.

easyJet Aarhus

easyJet launched a direct service between London Gatwick and Aarhus on 2 November, the airline’s second route to the Danish airport after Berlin Tegel, a route that launched earlier this summer. Among those pictured at the ribbon cutting ceremony were Peter Høgsberg, CEO, Aarhus Airport (left), and Henrik Kleis, Honorary British Consul (centre).

easyJet Bordeaux

easyJet launched flights from Bordeaux to Essaouira in Morocco on 31 October, a route that it will operate twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays). No other carriers presently operate between the two airports.

easyJet Rovaniemi

easyJet commenced a twice-weekly service between London Gatwick and Rovaniemi on 31 October, with the Finnish airport celebrating the launch of the new service with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The latter airport becomes the airline’s second destination in Finland after Helsinki which is served from Berlin Tegel.

easyJet Lanzarote

easyJet launched a twice-weekly service between Venice Marco Polo and Lanzarote on 30 October, with the Italian airport holding a gate ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new service. This is one of 10 routes launched by easyJet this week that is a new city pair currently not flown by another carrier.

  • easyJet has added a further 21 new routes to its network this week, having launched 19 routes during the first weekend of the W18/19 season. The biggest beneficiaries of the LCC’s expansion this week were London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN), with both UK hubs seeing three new routes each. The result of these routes has also meant that two new airports have joined the carrier’s network this week, including the return of services to Jordan, with Aqaba and Rovaniemi becoming new easyJet nodes. The average weekly frequency of the 21 sectors is 2.09, while the mean sector length is 2,371 kilometres. Of the routes, 11 face direct competition.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
30-Oct Basel (BSL) La Palma (SPC) A320 (2)  
Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Gran Canaria (LPA) A320 (1) Germania (2), Ryanair (2)
Glasgow (GLA) Venice Marco Polo (VCE) A320 (2)  
Nice (NCE) Porto (OPO) A320 (3)  
Venice Marco Polo (VCE) Lanzarote (ACE) A320 (2)  
31-Oct Amsterdam (AMS) Fuerteventura (FUE) Transavia (3), Vueling (1)
Belfast International (BFS) (1)
Berlin Tegel (TXL) Agadir (AGA) Germania (1)
Bordeaux (BOD) Essaouira (ESU)  
London Gatwick (LGW) Rovaniemi (RVN) A319 (2) Norwegian (3)
Warsaw Chopin (WAW) A32S (4)  
Lyon (LYS) Agadir (AGA) A32S (2) Transavia France (3), TUI Airlines Belgium (1)
02-Nov London Gatwick (LGW) Aarhus (AAR) A319 (2)  
London Southend (SEN) Budapest (BUD) A320 (2) Flybe (2)
London Stansted (STN) Hurghada (HRG)  
Manchester (MAN) Bordeaux (BOD) A319 (2)  
Faro (FAO) A32S (4) Ryanair (7), (5)
03-Nov Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) Aqaba (AQJ) A320 (1)  
Berlin Tegel (TXL) Hurghada (HRG) Germania (3), Sundair (3), Corendon Dutch Airlines (2), SunExpress Germany (1)
London Stansted (STN) Tel Aviv (TLV) A320 (2) Arkia Israeli Airlines (3)
05-Nov Manchester (MAN) Budapest (BUD) A32S (2) Ryanair (5), (4)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 6 November. WF = Weekly frequencies.

GOL Miami Orlando

GOL returned to the US market on 4 November with it launching new services to Orlando and Miami. Seen taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the airline’s new route from Fortaleza to Orlando were: Sergio Quito, COO, GOL; Eduardo Bernardes Neto, VP Sales & Marketing, GOL; Sabine Trenk, COO, Fortlaeza Airport; and Arialdo Pinho, Secretary of Tourism for Ceará. Flights on this route will operate five times weekly according to OAG.

  • GOL made a return to the US market on 4 November, the day which saw it begin flights to Orlando (MCO) and Miami (MIA), with the airline having last flown to North America in early 2016 when referencing OAG Schedules Analyser data. Flights on the 5,802-kilometre link between Fortaleza (FOR) and Orlando will be flown five times weekly, while the 5,803- and 6,091-kilometre routes from Brasilia (BSB) to both Floridian airports will see a daily rotation, with all flights flown using the airline’s recently acquired 737 MAX 8s. The airline will also start flights from Fortaleza to Miami in the coming days. Only flights from Brasilia to Orlando are poised not to face direct competition, with LATAM Airlines already offering a twice-weekly service from Fortaleza to Orlando, while American Airlines provides a daily service from the Brazilian capital to its hub in Miami.

Jet Airways, Manchester

Manchester celebrated a new connection to India with the arrival of Jet Airways and its inaugural service from Mumbai on 5 November. Andrew Cowan, CEO, Manchester Airport and Marnix Fruitema, EVP, Jet Airways, were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon. Flights will operate five times weekly on the carrier’s 254-seat A330-200s.

  • Jet Airways launched flights from Mumbai (BOM) to Manchester (MAN) on 5 November, its first service to the UK airport. The 7,332-kilometre connection will be flown by the airline five times weekly on A330-200s. UK Aviation Minister, Baroness Liz Sugg said: “Connections like the one being launched between Mumbai and Manchester are key to Britain’s economic future and will help to drive economic growth and trade both here in Manchester and right across the North of the UK.” Andrew Cowan, CEO of  Manchester Airport added: “The launch of this service is an important moment for Manchester Airport and the wider region. India is one of the world’s most important markets and this route will unlock huge opportunities for economic and cultural collaboration with the North. It underlines the importance of direct connectivity, which helps businesses export their goods and services, attracts investors to the UK and encourages tourism in both directions.” Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways, said: “We are happy to be the first airline to offer a non-stop, premium service between Mumbai and Manchester. The UK is a very important destination for Jet Airways and with the addition of Manchester we hope to make a further contribution to boosting tourism and trade between the two countries.” The only other Indian destination served from Manchester in W18/19 is Goa, which is served by Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI Airways. Along with Manchester, the only other airports in the UK to offer regular, non-stop flights to India are London Heathrow and Birmingham.

Norwegian, London Gatwick

Norwegian’s first flight from London Gatwick to Tampa took off on 31 October. The launch was celebrated with the ceremonial cutting of a colourful route launch cake. Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, London Gatwick Airport and Sebastien Pelissier, Head of Strategic Capacity and Slot Capacity at Norwegian, were joined by airline crew members to mark the occasion. Image credit: Iwona Mieszczynska.

Tampa welcomed the arrival of Norwegian’s first flight from London Gatwick on 31 October. Danny Cooper, Acting Director of Marketing, Tampa Airport; Juan Bon, Area Manager USA, Norwegian; Ben Kaufman, Marketing Manager, Norwegian; and Guy Brown, Air Service Development Manager, Tampa Airport, were part of the welcoming committee, as was the impressive multi-tiered, London-themed, route launch cake. The celebrations also involved a ceremonial ribbon cutting, while the Tampa marketing team got into the Halloween ‘spirit’ in their UK-inspired fancy dress costumes.

Norwegian Helsinki Tel Aviv

Norwegian commenced a new weekly (Saturdays) service between Helsinki and Tel Aviv on 3 November. Pictured celebrating the route launch with the inaugural crew is Mikko Komi, Key Account and Business Development Manager, Finavia. The airport pair is already flown by oneworld member Finnair which offers a twice-weekly rotation.

  • Norwegian added a further 10 routes to its winter schedule in the past week. These included more transatlantic sectors, from London Gatwick (LGW) to Tampa (TPA) and from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Madrid (MAD), plus another Caribbean connection to Montreal (YUL). Frequencies on the new airport pairs vary from one to four flights per week. The shortest sector is the 1,439-kilometre link from Fort-de-France (FDF) to Cayenne (CAY), while the longest is the 9,032-kilometre connection from Copenhagen (CPH) to Krabi (KBV). The average sector length across the new airport pairs is 4,963 kilometres. Norwegian will face direct competition on four of its latest routes.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30-Oct Fort Lauderdale (FLL) Madrid (MAD) B789 (2)  
31-Oct Fort-de-France (FDF) Cayenne (CAY) B738 (4) Air France (8)
London Gatwick (LGW) Tampa (TPA) B789 (2) British Airways (2)
Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) Tel Aviv (TLV) B73S (2)  
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Krabi (KBV) B788 (2)  
01-Nov Copenhagen (CPH)  
Fort-de-France (FDF) Montreal (YUL) B738 (3) Air Canada (2)
Pointe-a-Pitre (PTP) Cayenne (CAY) B738 (4)  
03-Nov Helsinki (HEL) Agadir (AGA) B7M8 (1)  
Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (1) Finnair (2)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 6 November 2018. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Ryanair, Lviv

Lviv welcomed it first Ryanair services this week, with the Irish ULCC commencing services from Krakow, Memmingen, Warsaw Modlin, Weeze and London Stansted. Cutting the cake to celebrate the occasion were: Roman Kokotaylo, Acting Director, Road Facilities, Transport and Communication Department, Lviv Regional State Administration; Tetyana Romanovska, Director General of Lviv Airport and Natalia Bunda, Director of the Lviv City Council Department of Development.

Ryanair, Riga

Riga celebrated the launch of Ryanair services to Edinburgh on 1 November. Holding the Scottish-themed cake, baked to mark the occasion are Laura Audariņa, Route Development Manager, Riga Airport and Liene Freivalde, Director of Aviation Service and Business Development, Riga Airport, while the Latvian airport’s mascot ‘ERIX’ holds the board advertising the new destination. The service will operate weekly (Thursdays) and faces no direct competition.

Ryanair, Kaunas

Kaunas celebrated the start of two new Ryanair routes on 30 October, with services commencing to Milan Malpensa and Tel Aviv. The Italian link will operate three times weekly while the Israeli connection will be flown twice-weekly. Neither of the new airport pairs will face incumbent competition according to OAG schedules.

Ryanair, Bordeaux

Bordeaux and Ryanair celebrated the launch of the ULCC’s new route to the French airport from Valencia. The short 592-kilometre connection will be operated twice-weekly facing no direct competition. Ryanair will serve nine destinations from Bordeaux during W18/19, before making the airport a two-aircraft base in S19.

  • Ryanair launched another 45 services in the past week, taking its new route count to more than 100 over the last fortnight. It commenced services on 29 new airport pairs on 30 October, adding a further eight on 31 October, two on 1 November, five on 2 November, plus one on 3 November. Frequencies across the new routes range from one to three flights per week. The shortest sector is the 299-kilometre connection from Krakow (KRK) to Lviv (LWO). The longest is the 3,552-kilometre link between Marrakech (RAK) and Stockholm Skavsta (NYO). The average sector length across the 45 new airport pairs is 1,776 kilometres. Only five of the airline’s new connections will face direct competition from incumbent carriers. The Irish ULCC’s latest tranche of new routes include its first services to Lviv in Ukraine and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with five links opened to the Ukrainian airport between 30 October and 3 November, while three were added to Banja Luka.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
30-Oct Athens (ATH) Palermo (PMO) B738 (2)  
Bologna (BLQ) Amman (AMM) B738 (2)  
Bucharest (OTP) Amman (AMM) B738 (2) Tarom (4)
Pescara (PSR) B738 (2)  
Cologne Bonn (CGN) Aqaba (AQJ) B738 (2)  
Edinburgh (EDI) Memmingen (FMM) B738 (2)  
Edinburgh (EDI) Seville (SVQ) B738 (2) easyJet (2)
Fez (FEZ) Brest (BES) B738 (2)  
Valencia (VLC) B738 (2)  
Kaunas (KUN) Milan Malpensa (MXP) B738 (3)  
Tel Aviv (TLV) B738 (2)  
Krakow (KRK) Lviv (LWO) B738 (3)  
London Luton (LTN) Alicante (ALC) B738 (3) easyJet (11)
Madrid (MAD) Ouarzazate (OZZ) B738 (2)  
Marrakech (RAK) Bratislava (BTS) B738 (2)  
Nuremberg (NUE) B738 (2)  
Marseille (MRS) Budapest (BUD) B738 (2)  
Memmingen (FMM) Banja Luka (BNX) B738 (2)  
Milan Bergamo (BGY) Amman (AMM) B738 (3)  
Pisa (PSA) Prague (PRG) B738 (3)  
Poznan (POZ) Kiev Boryspil (KBP) B738 (2)  
Prague (PRG) Amman (AMM) B738 (2)  
Rome Ciampino (CIA) Aqaba (AQJ) B738 (2)  
Seville (SVQ) Luxembourg (LUX) B738 (2)  
Venice Treviso (TSF) B738 (3)  
Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) Banja Luka (BNX) B738 (2)  
Tenerife South (TFS) Milan Malpensa (MXP) B738 (2) easyJet (3)
Weeze (NRN) Essaouira (ESU) B738 (2)  
Wroclaw (WRO) Kiev Boryspil (KBP) B738 (3)  
31-Oct Cologne Bonn (CGN) Palermo (PMO) B738 (2)  
Liverpool (LPL) Paphos (PFO) B738 (2)  
Marrakech (RAK) Memmingen (FMM) B738 (2)  
Memmingen (FMM) Lviv (LWO) B738 (2)  
Sofia (SOF) Aqaba (AQJ) B738 (2)  
Valencia (VLC) Bordeaux (BOD) B738 (2)  
Warsaw Modlin (WMI) Lviv (LWO) B738 (3)  
Weeze (NRN) Lviv (LWO) B738 (3)  
01-Nov Edinburgh (EDI) Riga (RIX) B738 (1)  
Marrakech (RAK) Oslo Torp (TRF) B738 (1)  
02-Nov Athens (ATH) Aqaba (AQJ) B738 (2)  
Brussels Charleroi (CRL) Banja Luka (BNX) B738 (2)  
London Luton (LTN) Athens (ATH) B738 (3) Wizz Air (7)
London Stansted (STN) Lviv (LWO) B738 (3)  
Marrakech (RAK) Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) B738 (1)  
03-Nov Fez (FEZ) Paris Vatry (XCR) B738 (1)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 6 November 2018. WF = Weekly frequencies.

SAS Oulu

SAS commenced operations between Stockholm Arlanda and Oulu on 5 November, with the latter becoming the airline’s fifth Finnish destination from the Swedish capital. Pictured at the launch ceremony in Finland are: Anders Wahlström,  Head of Sales Sweden & Finland, SAS; Päivi Laajala, Mayor of Oulu; and Jani Jolkkonen, SVP Director of Airport Networks, Finavia. The airline will operate the 698-kilometre sector four times weekly using its CRJ 900s.

  • SAS launched flights between Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) and Oulu (OUL) on 5 November, with the latter becoming the airline’s fifth destination in Finland from the Swedish capital, with it joining existing services to Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa. It should be noted that the airline used to serve the route until early 2015. The Star Alliance member will serve the 698-kilometre sector four times weekly using its CRJ 900s, with no other airline presently operating the airport pair. SAS becomes Oulu’s second hub carrier after Finnair which offers multi-daily flights to Helsinki, while the Finnish capital is also served by LCC Norwegian. Along with these regular services, the latter airline also offers seasonal flights to Gran Canaria and Tenerife South, while various charter flights to the Mediterranean region also operate from the airport. Oulu is Finland’s second busiest airport, and during the first nine months of 2018 a reported 800,542 passengers have travelled from the facility when referencing Finavia statistics, representing a 25% rise in traffic versus the same nine-month period of 2017.

Shenzhen Airlines, Heathrow

Dignitaries gathered at London Heathrow to celebrate the first Shenzhen Airlines flight from Shenzhen on 30 October. John Holland-Kaye, CEO, London Heathrow (sixth left), was among those rolling out the welcome banner. Heathrow’s latest Chinese connection will be operated three times weekly on Shenzhen Airlines’ A330 fleet.

  • Shenzhen Airlines commenced its first operations to London Heathrow (LHR) on 30 October, the say it began services from Shenzhen (SZX). The Chinese carrier will serve the 9,588-kilometre connection three times weekly using its A330-300s. There is no direct competition on this airport pair. Shenzhen becomes Heathrow’s 11th destination in China, with the UK hub more than doubling its links to the Asian powerhouse since the turn of the year. “This year, we have focused on strengthening Heathrow’s role as the UK’s gateway for Chinese trade, commerce and tourism,” said Ross Baker, CCO, Heathrow Airport. “While our passengers and exporters will undoubtedly be pleased with our new Shenzhen connection, along with the other routes we have announced this year, we know that in order to achieve true change for our culture and economy we need the additional capacity for cargo and passengers to reach greater benefits. It is the creation of this extra capacity, achieved through Heathrow expansion, that will allow Britain to trade on a truly global platform whilst providing Britain with a front door that is the best connected in the world.”

Sun Country Airlines Nashville

Sun Country Airlines launched two new routes from Tampa Airport this week, namely to St. Louis and Nashville. Posing with the cake for the launch to St. Louis are the airport’s marketing and operations team.

  • Sun Country Airlines has added nine new routes to its network this week, of which six involve Nashville (BNA), a new airport to the carrier’s network. Along with these routes, the airline has also added two new services from Portland (PDX), while a connection from Tampa (TPA) to St. Louis (STL) has also been inaugurated. Of the routes, only one will not face direct competition during the week of launch, that being from Nashville to Southwest Florida (RSW). However, it should be pointed out that American Airlines and Frontier Airlines both offer a seasonal service on this route. All nine routes will be flown using 737-800s on a twice-weekly basis.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
01-Nov Nashville (BNA) Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) B738 (2) Delta Air Lines (34), Southwest Airlines (7)
Portland (PDX) Las Vegas (LAS) Southwest Airlines (28), Alaska Airlines (20), Spirit Airlines (14)
Palm Springs (PSP) Alaska Airlines (14)
Tampa (TPA) St. Louis (STL) Southwest Airlines (14)
02-Nov Nashville (BNA) New Orleans (MSY) Southwest Airlines (22)
Southwest Florida (RSW)  
03-Nov Miami (MIA) American Airlines (21)
Tampa (TPA) Southwest Airlines (23)
04-Nov Orlando (MCO) Southwest Airlines (34), Frontier Airlines (7)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 21 August. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Urumqi Air

Urumqi Air launched a new Chinese domestic, tri-city service on 1 November, adding flights between Qionghai, Hohhot and Dalian. The airline currently operates 16 737-800s, the aircraft of choice for this latest service, and one E190. Direct competition is only provided on the link between Hohhot and Dalian according to OAG.

  • Urumqi Air launched a new Chinese domestic, tri-city service on 1 November, with it inaugurating a three times weekly Qionghai (BAR) – Hohhot (HET) – Dalian (DLC) operation. The carrier will operate the service using its fleet of 737-800s. No other airline presently links Qionghai with either Hohhot or Dalian, however it should be noted that there are three incumbents on the 853-kilometre sector between Hohhot and Dalian according to OAG Schedules Analyser data, namely Tianjin Airlines (11 times weekly), Hainan Airlines (daily) and Ruili Airlines (four times weekly). Urumqi Air currently operates a fleet of 17 aircraft according to data, consisting of 16 737-800s and one E190.


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