New airline routes launched (18 December 2018 – 7 January 2019)


Qatar Airways Doha to Da Nang

Qatar Airways Da Nang

Qatar Airways held a press conference at the InterContinental Hotel Da Nang to discuss the airline’s new service to the city on 19 December. Taking charge of the proceedings were: Marwan Koleilat, SVP Asia Pacific, Qatar Airways; Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO, Qatar Airways; and Nguyen Xuan Binh, Deputy Director, Da Nang Department of Tourism.

  • Qatar Airways launched its third route to Vietnam on 19 December, the day in which the oneworld member commenced a four times weekly service between Doha (DOH) and Da Nang (DAD), adding to its existing services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The airline will operate the 5,932-kilometre sector to Da Nang using its fleet of 787-8s, with no other airline connecting the Middle Eastern hub with the South China Sea Coast city. “Qatar Airways is very pleased to extend its reach into Vietnam by launching our third gateway into this beautiful country,” commented Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO, Qatar Airways, on the airline’s newest route. “The addition of Da Nang to our global network further demonstrates our commitment to the Far East region, a highly important market for Qatar Airways. We are excited for passengers travelling to and from central Vietnam to experience our award-winning service and product for themselves. With 56 weekly passenger flights to and from Vietnam, we take great pride in in our role in bringing passengers to and from this beautiful county and also being a trade enabler and connector for Vietnamese and international businesses.” Da Nang becomes the 14th new route to be launched by Qatar Airways in 2018 from Doha, with this latest launch coming off the back of the airline inaugurating services to Gothenburg in Sweden last week. The airline’s next route launch is planned to take place on 4 June 2019, with that being a link to Malta. While the carrier has confirmed its intentions to serve several new cities, it has not yet confirmed launch dates for these services.

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare to Aruba

Aruba Airport has taken the Cake of the Week competition to a new level with this creation that it made for American Airlines’ inaugural flights from Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth, with it using a festive virtual cake mapping video to highlight the new services on the baked wonder.

American Airlines Oaxaca

American Airlines commenced flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Oaxaca on 19 December, with a press conference being held at the Mexican airport on the day of the route launch. Among those taking part in proceedings were: Juan Pablo García Luna Gutiérrez, Administrator of the Airport of Oaxaca (left); Juan Carlos Rivera Castellanos, Secretary of Tourism of Oaxaca (second left); Alejandro Ismael Murat Hinojosa, Governor of Oaxaca (third right); and José María Giraldo, Director Mexico and Canada, American Airlines (second right). The 1,765-kilometre route will operate daily.

American Airlines Buenos Aires Ezeiza

American Airlines launched a three times weekly service between Los Angeles and Buenos Aires Ezeiza on 19 December, with the first flight touching down in Argentina the following morning. On arrival, a gift exchange took place, which was conducted by: Gonzalo Schames, Manager of Operations Argentina, Chile & Uruguay, American Airlines; Martin Eurnekian, President, Aeropuertos Argentina 2000; Guillermo Dietrich, Minister of Transport of Argentina; and Andrés Duncan Paterson, Sales Manager Argentina and Uruguay, American Airlines. No other airline operates the city pair.

  • American Airlines launched 26 routes between 18 December and 6 January, with the airline’s Charlotte Douglas (CLT), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Forth Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Phoenix (PHX) and New York LaGuardia (LGA) hubs all seeing new services. The carrier has also begun a route from Las Vegas (LAS) to Tokyo Narita (NRT), although this route will only operate on a daily basis for the duration of the technology show CES 2019, taking place in Las Vegas between 8-12 January. The route is also operated by Delta Air Lines during this period. Of the other 25 routes launched, six face direct competition. See how the FTWAs from Oaxaca and North Eleuthera compare to other entries from around the globe.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
19-Dec Charlotte Douglas (CLT) Champaign (CMI) E145 (7)  
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Honolulu (HNL) B788 (7) United Airlines (7)
Sarasota (SRQ) E175 (7) United Airlines (14)
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Buffalo (BUF) A319 (7)  
Oaxaca (OAX) E175 (7)  
Sarasota (SRQ) CRJ7 (7)  
Wilmington (ILM) CRJ9 (7)  
Los Angeles (LAX) Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) B789 (3)  
Miami (MIA) Grand Rapids (GRR) E175 (7)  
Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP) E145 (14)  
Houston Hobby (HOU) E175 (7)  
Knoxville (TYS) E145 (14)  
Providence (PVD) A319 (7)  
Southwest Florida (RSW) E175 (14)  
Phoenix (PHX) Grand Rapids (GRR) A319 (7) Frontier Airlines (2)
22-Dec Charlotte Douglas (CLT) Ithaca (ITH) CRJ2 (1)  
Marsh Harbour (MHH) E175 (1)  
New Haven (HVN) CRJ2 (1)  
North Eleuthera (ELH) CRJ9 (1)  
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Aruba (AUA) B738 (1) United Airlines (2)
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)  
New York LaGuardia (LGA) Nassau (NAS) A319 (1)  
Vail (EGE)  
04-Jan Las Vegas (LAS) Tokyo Narita (NRT) B788 (7) Delta Air Lines (2)
06-Jan Charlotte Douglas (CLT) Guadalajara (GDL) A319 (7) Volaris (2)
Phoenix (PHX) Madison (MSN) CRJ9 (7) Frontier Airlines (2)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 8 January 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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


Air Algérie Brussels

Air Algérie commenced operations between Algiers and Brussels Charleroi on 18 December, with a press conference being held at the Belgian airport to discuss the new twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Sundays) service on the day of the launch. Taking part in proceedings were: Jean-Jacques Cloquet, CEO, Brussels Charleroi Airport; Tommy Leclercq, Governor of the Province of Hainaut; Jean-Luc Crucke, Belgian Minister of Budget, Finance, Energy, Climate and Airports; representative of his Excellency the Ambassador of Algeria to Brussels; and Mohamed Abdou Bouderbala, CEO of Air Algérie.

  • Air Algérie commenced services between Algiers (ALG) and Brussels Charleroi (CRL) on 18 December. The carrier will operate the 1,532-kilometre route twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Sundays) using its mixed fleet of 737s according to OAG schedules. Competition on the route is provided by TUI Airlines Belgium, with it also operating a twice-weekly service on the airport pair this winter. It should be noted that Air Algérie is already serving the Belgian capital, offering a three times weekly service from Algiers to Brussels’ main airport in W18/19. Along with this service, the airline also launched a domestic route before the end of 2018, beginning a weekly (Wednesdays) service between Tamanrasset (TMR) and In Guezzam (INF). The latter 362-kilometre route faces no direct competition, and will be flown by the airline’s fleet of ATR 72-500s. See how Brussels Charleroi Airport’s FTWA compares to other entries from around the globe.

Alaska Airlines Sacramento

Alaska Airlines launched flights between Sacramento and Kona on 20 December, with the Californian airport celebrating the new connection with this fabulous Hawaiian-styled cake. The airline, which faces no direct competition on the 3,914-kilometre sector, will serve the airport pair three times weekly using its fleet of 737-800s.

  • Alaska Airlines commenced flights between Sacramento (SMF) and Kona (KOA) on 20 December, with this becoming the airline’s second link to Hawaii from the Californian airport after Kahului. While the latter route is flown daily this winter, the carrier will offer a three times weekly service on its new connection between Sacramento and Kona, offering departures on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The carrier will operate the 3,914-kilometre sector using its fleet of 737-800s based on OAG schedules, with no other airline presently linking the two US cities. During the first nine months of 2018, Sacramento Airport handled just under 9.95 million passengers, up by nearly 11% versus the 8.99 million passengers that it handled during the same period of 2017. Of the 9.95 million passengers using the airport between January and October this year, 641,555 flew on Alaska Airlines services, based on data published by the airport, with this up 13% versus the 569,832 that the carrier transported during the first three-quarter period of the previous year.

Flybe, Newcastle

Newcastle celebrated the launch of Flybe’s new route to London City on 7 January buy bringing in an iconic London Routemaster bus to see off the first departure. Flights are operated by Flybe franchise partner Eastern Airways. Eileen McBay, Sales Manager, Eastern Airways, joined Leon McQuaid, Head of Aviation Development, Newcastle Airport on the Apron ahead of the inaugural departure.

Flybe, London City

At the other end of the route, Eileen McBay was welcomed by Peter Downes, Aviation Director, London City Airport. Flights on the 409-kilometre sector will be operated by Saab 2000s, with business-focused departure times from Newcastle. The sector will be served  twice-daily on weekdays and once on Sunday evenings.

  • Flybe introduced a new UK domestic service between Newcastle (NCL) and London City (LCY) on 7 January. Flights on the 409-kilometre connection will operate twice-daily on weekdays, with one flight on Sundays and none on Saturdays. The weekday flights have business-focused departure times, leaving Newcastle at 08:05 and 17:50 and arriving at London City at 09:15 and 19:00 respectively. Return flights leave London City at 09:45 and 19:30, arriving in Newcastle at 10:50 and 20:35 respectively. A Sunday evening service departs Newcastle at 17:50. The new service is operated by Flybe’s franchise partner Eastern Airways using its fleet of Saab 2000s and there is no direct competition, although British Airways offers up to four flights per day from Newcastle to London Heathrow. Richard Knight, COO, Newcastle Airport, said: “London City is a fantastic new service to add to our list of destinations, and we expect that it will particularity popular with busy business commuters heading down to the capital. We expect this service to deliver an increase of tourist traffic to and from the region.” Peter Downes, Aviation Director at London City Airport, said: “Journeys between the north east and central London are now easier and faster than ever, thanks to the new service operated by Eastern Airways. The convenience of London City Airport, just a few miles from major attractions and business districts, will appeal to all types of traveller.”

GOL Sao Paulo Quito

GOL commenced flights between Sao Paulo Guarulhos and Quito on 27 December. As part of the celebrations to commemorate the new route, a cake was baked along with a cutting of a ribbon, declaring the route open. Taking part in the ribbon cutting along with the first flight crew were Eduardo Bernardes, VP Sales and Marketing, GOL (second right), and João Pita, Head of Airlines Business, Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport (right). Flights will operate three times weekly.

  • GOL launched flights to Ecuador on 27 December, the day which saw the airline begin flights between Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) and Quito (UIO). Flown using the airline’s fleet of 737 MAX 8s, the 4,305-kilometre route will be served three times weekly, facing no direct competition. Flights depart from Sao Paulo at 19:35 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, touching down in the Ecuadorian capital, which was the host destination of last year’s Routes Americas, at 22:30. Return services then depart at 23:30, arriving back in Brazil at 08:20 the following morning, with the sector poised to take 5 hours and 50 minutes. Along with this service, GOL also commenced two short-season routes at the start of 2019, including services from Floranopolis (FLN) to Montevideo (MVD) in Uruguay, launched 3 January, plus a 1,474-kilometre link between Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) and Asunción (ASU) in Paraguay. The latter service will operate twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) until 28 January, while the 1,063-kilometre city pair between Floranopolis and Montevideo will be served three times weekly until the same date, based on OAG schedules. The latter link is presently flown by LATAM Airlines twice-weekly, while the connection between Brazil and Paraguay is flown four times weekly by Paranair, formerly known as Amaszonas Paraguay. See how Quito Airport’s FTWA compared to others from around the globe.

There were celebrations at Paris CDG on 19 December to mark the launch of Hainan Airlines’ new route from Chongqing. The launch ceremony included a cake cutting by the assembled dignitaries. Two days later the Chinese carrier added another link to Paris, this time from Shenzhen.

  • Hainan Airlines launched three new routes in late December, commencing operations from Chongqing (CKG) and Shenzhen (SZX) to Paris CDG (CDG) on 19 and 21 December respectively, before adding a link between Xi’an (XIY) and Los Angeles (LAX) on 31 December. There is no incumbent competition on any of the three routes, which will all be served twice-weekly. The 8,489-kilometre connection between Chongqing and CDG will be flown by 787-8s on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while the 9,551-kilometre sector from Shenzhen to the French capital will operate on 787-9s on Mondays and Fridays. The 10,960- kilometre Xi’an – Los Angeles route will be served by 787-8s on Mondays and Thursdays. These new routes mean that Hainan Airlines currently offers flights to Los Angeles and CDG from four and three Chinese airports respectively. See how the FTWA from Paris CDG for the inaugural flight from Chongqing compared to others from around the globe.

Jeju Air, Philippines

Cebu Airport celebrated the inaugural Jeju Air departure on the South Korean carrier’s new route to Muan on 22 December. Flights will operate five times weekly on this 2,754-kilometre sector facing no direct competition. This was one of six new routes launched by the LCC between 19 December and 23 December 2018.

  • Jeju Air launched six new routes in the space of four days in late December, including two new links each from its home market of South Korea to the Philippines and Taiwan, and one each to Malaysia and Thailand. Frequencies on the sectors range from two weekly flights to daily services. All flights are operated by the South Korean LCC’s 737-800s. Only the two routes from Muan (MWX) will see no direct competition. The longest of the new sectors is the 3,397-kilometre connection between Muan and Kota Kinabalu (BKI), while the shortest is the 1,395-kilometre link from Daegu (TAE) to Taipei Taoyuan (TPE). The average sector length across the six routes is 2,482 kilometres. See how Cebu Airport’s FTWA compares to other entries from around the globe.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
19-Dec Seoul Incheon (ICN) Chiang Mai (CNX) B738 (7) Korean Air (7)
21-Dec Muan (MWX) Cebu (CEB) B738 (5)  
22-Dec Cheongju (CJJ) Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) B738 (4) Eastar Jet (3)
Daegu (TAE) B738 (7) Air Busan (7), t’way air (7), Tigerair Taiwan (2)
Seoul Incheon (ICN) Clark (CRK) B738 (7) Asiana Airlines (7), Jin Air (7), Philippine Airlines (7), t’way air (7)
23-Dec Muan (MWX) Kota Kinabalu (BKI) B738 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 8 January 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Jetstar Japan Kōchi

Jetstar Japan launched operations to Kōchi on the Japanese island of Shikoku on 19 December, beginning daily services from Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai. Pictured at the launch celebration on the apron at Kōchi Airport are Masaru Kataoka, CEO of Jetstar Japan, and Ozaki Masaaki, Governor of Kōchi Prefecture. Neither route faces competition.

  • Jetstar Japan launched its latest routes on 19 December, the day in which the LCC began daily services from both Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Osaka Kansai (KIX) to Kōchi (KCZ), an airport situated on the southern Japanese island of Shikoku. The 661-kilometre route from Narita and short 174-kilometre hop from Kansai to Kōchi will both be flown using the airline’s fleet of 180-seat A320s, with OAG Schedules Analyser data indicating that neither route will face direct competition. It should be noted however that Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways already offer five daily flights each between Tokyo Haneda and Kōchi. All Nippon Airways also offers six daily flights from Osaka Itami to  Kōchi using its fleet of Q400s. Jetstar Japan’s new routes will add an extra 5,040 weekly two-way seats to the Kōchi market. Overall, there are now six routes on offer from Kōchi, with services to Nagoya and Fukuoka are also available. See how Tokyo Narita Airport’s FTWA compared to others from around the globe.

LOT Polish Airlines, London City

London City welcomed LOT Polish Airlines and its inaugural arrival from Warsaw Chopin on 7 January. Martyn Holmes, VP for Commercial Aviation at Embraer; Richard Hill, CCO, London City Airport and Adrian Kubicki, Director of Communications for LOT Polish Airlines were on the apron to see off the first departure back to Poland. Flights will operate twice-daily on weekdays and daily on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • LOT Polish Airlines introduced two new connections from Warsaw Chopin (WAW) in the past few weeks, beginning with the inaugural flight to Turin (TRN) on 29 December 2018, followed by the launch of a new connection to London City (LCY) on 7 January. The Turin sector will operate once per week on Saturdays during the peak ski season. The 1,242-kilometre Italian link will be flown by the carrier’s 737 MAX 8s, and OAG data shows there is incumbent competition in the form of Travel Service and Wizz Air, which both already serve this airport pair with weekly flights. The 1,432-kilometre London City connection will operate 12 times per week, with double-daily flights on weekdays and single rotations on Saturdays and Sundays. Richard Hill, CCO at London City Airport, said: “Today, for the first time in a decade, a regular service between London City and Poland has commenced, strengthening the ties between our countries, encouraging tourism and fostering business links between London and Warsaw – now and in the future. Warsaw is another major European capital city to add to our route network, boosting our Central European offer, and providing onward connections to Asia through LOT Polish Airlines’ extensive network.” LOT Polish will add further connections to London City from Budapest (begins 18 February) and Vilnius (1 May). The airline acquired four new 106-seat E190 aircraft from Embraer towards the end of 2018 to allow it to operate into London City.

NokScoot Delhi

NokScoot commenced operations to Delhi from Bangkok Don Mueang on 18 December, a route it will operate four times weekly. To celebrate the new service, a lamp lighting ceremony took place at the Indian airport. Taking charge of the proceedings was Giam Ming Toh, Deputy CEO, NokScoot, being watched by Jitendra Singh, VP & Head Airline Marketing & Route Development, Delhi Airport. The route will be flown using the carrier’s 777-200s.

  • NokScoot launched flights between Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) and Delhi (DEL) on 18 December. The carrier will operate the 2,918-kilometre route four times weekly using its 777-200s, with no other airline presently connecting the two airports. While there is no direct competition, it should be noted that Jet Airways (three times daily), Thai Airways (19 times weekly), Air India (twice-daily) and SpiceJet (daily) already connect Delhi with Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Delhi becomes the first route that NokScoot operates from Don Mueang that heads in a westerly direction, with its other routes from the airport being to destinations in China, Japan and Taiwan. 

Shandong Airlines Singapore

Shandong Airlines commenced operations to Singapore on 20 December, the day in which it began a three times weekly service from Jinan in China. A cake cutting ceremony was held in Singapore to herald the new route.

  • Shandong Airlines commenced flights between Jinan (TNA) and Singapore (SIN) on 20 December, with this becoming the airline’s first route to the latter Asian hub. The airline will operate the 4,171-kilometre sector three times weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) using its fleet of 170-seat 737 MAX 8s. No other airline currently links the two airports. In January, Shandong Airlines is operating six international routes from Jinan, including Singapore, with its other non-Chinese destinations from Jinan being Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong, Osaka Kansai, Seoul Incheon and Taipei Toayuan based on OAG schedules.

Sun Country Airlines St. Kitts

Among those on hand to greet Sun Country Airlines’ inaugural flight to St. Kitts from Minneapolis-St. Paul were: Nick Menon, Chairman, St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Lindsay Grant, Minister of Tourism; Carlene Henry Morton, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs for St Kitts and Nevis; Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Transport; and Greg Phillip, CEO, Nevis Tourism Authority. Launched 22 December, the airline will operate the 4,173-kilometre sector weekly (Saturdays).

Sun Country Airlines Belize City

Sun Country Airlines commenced a new weekly (Saturdays) seasonal service between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Belize City on 22 December. Among those on hand to greet the inaugural flight was Karen Pike, Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Belize Tourism Board (right). The carrier will operate the 3,071-kilometre sector using its fleet of 737-800s.

  • Sun Country Airlines launched two new international routes from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) on 22 December, with both poised to operate on a seasonal basis. The carrier now links the Minnesota airport to Belize City (BZE) and St. Kitts (SKB). Both the 3,071- and 4,173-kilometre routes will be operated by the airline weekly (Saturdays) using its fleet of 737-800s, with OAG Schedules indicating that neither route is expected to face direct competition during the time in which they will operate.

Thai Lion Air Denpasar

Thai Lion Air commenced flights between Bangkok Don Mueang and Denpasar on 21 December, a route that the carrier will operate daily using 737-800s. The first flight was welcomed in Indonesia with big celebrations.

  • Thai Lion Air commenced flights from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Denpasar (DPS), on the island of Bali in Indonesia, on 21 December. The carrier will operate the 2,984-kilometre route daily using its fleet of 737-800s. Competition on the sector comes from AirAsia Group operators Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, with the former offering a twice-daily service, while the latter operates the sector four times weekly. Denpasar becomes the second destination in Indonesia for Thai Lion Air, with it already serving the nation’s capital, Jakarta, with a three times daily service using a mixture of its 737-800s and -900s based on OAG schedules. The gateway to Bali, Denpasar Airport handled over 21 million passengers in 2017 based on statistics from Angkasa Pura, with this climbing from a total of 8.47 million in 2008, meaning Denpasar’s annual traffic throughput has increased by 148% during the past 10 years.

Birmingham celebrated TUI Airways’ first flight to Langkawi, Malaysia on 19 December, with the service due to operate bi-weekly through the winter season. Tom Screen, Acting Aviation Director, Birmingham Airport was joined by Stephanie Harvet, Product Manager at TUI to mark the occasion. A special cruise-themed cake was also baked, with the new link being used for fly-cruise connections.

  • TUI Airways added 10 new routes to its schedule in the past few weeks including new long-haul links to Langkawi (LGK) in Malaysia and Utapao (UTP) in Thailand, from each of Birmingham (BHX), London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN). These six long-haul connections are all operated once every two weeks. The other four routes, including services from Dublin (DUB) to Salzburg (SZG) and Toulouse (TLS), from Gatwick to Lyon (LYS) and from London Luton (LTN) to Chambery (CMF), are not available for booking on the airline’s website, suggesting they are part of ski-season charter programmes.The longest sector amongst TUI Airways’ 10 new routes is the 10,223-kilometre connection from Manchester to Langkawi, while the shortest is the 715-kilometre link from Gatwick to Lyon. There is no direct competition on the six new long-haul sectors, but three of the four European airport pairs are already served by other carriers.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
19-Dec-18 Birmingham (BHX) Langkawi (LGK) B788 (<1)  
London Gatwick (LGW)  
20-Dec-18 Manchester (MAN)  
22-Dec-18 Dublin (DUB) Salzburg (SZG) B738 (1) Ryanair (2), Aer Lingus (1)
London Luton (LTN) Chambery (CMF)  
23-Dec-18 Dublin (DUB) Toulouse (TLS) Aer Lingus (3)
London Gatwick (LGW) Lyon (LYS) easyJet (13), British Airways (1)
26-Dec-18 Birmingham (BHX) Utapao (UTP) B788 (<1)  
London Gatwick (LGW)  
27-Dec-18 Manchester (MAN)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 8 January 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.

ViaAir Columbia Orlando

Columbia Airport in South Carolina baked this suitcase and Disney-inspired cake to toast the start of ViaAir’s inaugural service to Orlando Sanford on 21 December. The route will operate four times weekly.

  • ViaAir launched flights between Orlando Sanford (SFB) and Columbia (CAE) on 21 December. The US regional operator will serve the 573-kilometre route four times weekly, with departures on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The carrier will operate the sector using its fleet of 30-seat EMB 120s, with no other airline currently flying the airport pair. Situated in South Carolina, Columbia Airport handled 1,077,188 passengers in 2017. During the first eight months of 2018, 772,614 people have used the airport, up 8.6% versus the same period of 2017 based on statistics published by the airport. ViaAir becomes the airport’s fourth operator, with it already served by the USB3 carriers of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

VivaColombia Miami

VivaColombia commenced operations between Santa Marta and Miami on 18 December, with a ribbon cutting ceremony taking place to mark the new service. Among those carrying out the honour were Marcel Di Muzio Baro, Commercial Director, Aeropuertos de Oriente S.A.S (left), and Daniel Lozano Escobar, Airport Manager, Aeropuertos de Oriente S.A.S (second left). The airline will operate the 1,749-kilometre route three times weekly using its A320s.

  • VivaColombia launched flights between Santa Marta (SMR) and Miami (MIA) on 18 December. The carrier will operate the 1,749-kilometre route three times weekly using its A320s, offering departures on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. No other airline presently links the North and South American airports according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.

Xiamen Airlines

Xiamen Airlines operated its inaugural flight between Quanzhou and Davao on 18 December with a press ceremony taking palce before departure. This becomes the first non-stop flight between Mainland China and the Philippines city. The SkyTeam member will operate the 2,100-kilometre twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) using 737-800s.

  • Xiamen Airlines launched flights between Quanzhou (JJN) and Davao (DVO) on 18 December. The SkyTeam member will operate the 2,100-kilometre sector twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) using its fleet of 737-800s. No other airline presently connects the two cities with direct flights, with this route becoming the first non-stop service between Mainland China and the Philippines city. However, it should be noted that Cathay Dragon operates five weekly flights from Davao to Hong Kong, a route that launched on 28 October. OAG Traffic Analyser data shows that around 2,800 people travelled indirectly between the two cities in 2017. However, while the point-to-point demand between the airports is low, 17,500 passengers travelled one-stop between Davao and China in 2017, with the top three destinations from Davao being Shanghai–Hongqiao, Xiamen and Quanzhou itself. With the second most popular destination of Xiamen being within an hour’s drive of Quanzhou Airport, and the Shanghai airport being one of the most popular routes for the airline from its Quanzhou base, the airline is entering a market with great stimulation potential for both connecting and O&D traffic. See how Cebu Airport’s FTWA compares to other entries from around the globe.

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