Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Banjul
Turkish Airlines commenced operations to The Gambia on 26 November, launching a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service to Banjul, with the route operating via the airline’s existing service to Dakar. To open the new route, a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony took place at the African airport. Among those taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony was Kerem Sarp, SVP Sales, Turkish Airlines (fifth right). Flights to Banjul will be operated using 737 MAX 8s.
- Turkish Airlines launched flights to The Gambia on 26 November, beginning a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service between Istanbul Atatürk (IST) and Banjul (BJL), a route that will operate via the airline’s existing Dakar operation on the outbound leg, with return flights on the 5,441-kilometre link back to Turkey operating non-stop. It should be noted that the carrier does not have the rights to sell tickets between Dakar and Banjul according to its booking engine. No other airline presently links Banjul with the Turkish hub, with the Star Alliance member scheduled to use its new 737 MAX 8s on its new link to The Gambia. With this launch, Turkish Airlines now operates to 54 destinations in Africa based on OAG schedules for November.
Wizz Air Vienna to Kharkiv
Kharkiv Airport celebrated Wizz Air’s inaugural flight on its new route from Vienna on 25 November with this impressive cake. The 1,447-kilometre connection will be flown twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) facing no direct competition. The LCC will deploy A320s on this service between the Ukrainian and Austrian cities.
- Wizz Air commenced operations on nine new routes between 20 and 26 November. It opened seven new services from Vienna (VIE) alone in the space of two days. The majority of routes will be flown twice-weekly, but the highest-frequency link, between Vienna and Dortmund (DTM), will operate six times weekly. The longest sector length among the new airport pairs is the 2,303-kilometre connection from Vienna to Lisbon (LIS). The shortest route is the 745-kilometre link from the Austrian capital to Dortmund. The average sector length across the nine new airport pairs is 1,417 kilometres. Five of the nine routes will face direct competition.
||easyJet (7), Germania (2)
||Air Malta (2)
||Austrian Airlines (9), Laudamotion (2)
||TAP Air Portugal (12)
||Austrian Airlines (7)
|Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 27 November 2018. WF = Weekly frequencies.
The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)
- SpiceJet introduced its first flights to Hong Kong (HKG) on 22 November, launching a daily service to the Asian mega-hub from Delhi (DEL). The carrier will operate the 3,743-kilometre sector daily, with flights leaving the Indian capital at 22:45, touching down in Hong Kong at 06:40 the following morning. Return services then depart from Hong Kong at 07:40, arriving back in Delhi at 10:50 the same day. The carrier will serve the route using its 737 MAX 8s. Along with SpiceJet, a further three airlines already link these two global cities, with Cathay Pacific Airways offering a twice-daily service, with Air India and Jet Airways each providing a daily rotation. With this launch, it means that SpiceJet now serves eight international airports outside of India. It also offers flights to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Colombo, Dhaka, Dubai, Kabul, Male and Muscat.
There were celebrations at Newcastle Airport on 22 November as the Australian city welcomed the arrival of its first international link since 2012. Virgin Australia Airlines’ first flight to Auckland departed one day later than planned on 23 November. Inger Nieuwkamp, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources; Russell Shaw, GM, Network, Revenue Management and Alliances, Virgin Australia; Peter Cock, CEO, Newcastle Airport; and Danielle Yannopoulos, Australian Border Force, were on hand to cut the cake and officially open the airport’s new international gate. An impressive route launch cake was also baked to mark occasion.
- Virgin Australia Airlines commenced services on a new route from Newcastle (NTL) in Australia to Auckland (AKL) on 23 November. Flights on the 2,137-kilometre trans-Tasman sector will be operated three times weekly until 17 February on the airline’s 737-800s facing no direct competition. This becomes Newcastle Airport’s first scheduled international route since services to Norfolk Island, an Australian territory in the Pacific Ocean, were discontinued back in 2012. At the time, flights between the island and Australia were classified as international operations, although this changed in 2016 with Norfolk Island subsequently being considered a domestic destination. Virgin Australia will serve three destinations from Newcastle during W18/19, with the carrier also offering domestic links to Brisbane and Melbourne.