New airline routes launched (8 January – 14 January 2019)


Turkish Airlines Ankara to London Gatwick

Turkish Airlines Ankara

Turkish Airlines launched a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) service between Ankara and London Gatwick on 9 January. Pictured at the launch ceremony in the UK are Celal Baykal, GM London, Turkish Airlines, and Guy Stephenson, CCO, London Gatwick. This becomes the airline’s fourth route to Gatwick, with a fifth starting in April.

  • Turkish Airlines launched a new capital connection between Turkey and the UK on 9 January, the day in which the Star Alliance member began a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) service from Ankara (ESB) to London Gatwick (LGW). The airline also launched flights from Ankara to Rome Fiumicino on 7 January.  “Gatwick is delighted to further strengthen the airport’s short-haul connections and welcome this brand new route to Ankara,” commented Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, London Gatwick Airport. “This new route to the Turkish capital brings the number of capital cities served from the airport to 48, part of the extensive 228 destinations in 74 countries already flown to from Gatwick.” No other airline currently operates the 2,821-kilometre sector, although indirect competition is provided by SunExpress which offers a weekly summer seasonal service between the Turkish capital and London Luton. Ankara is the fourth destination to be served non-stop by Turkish Airlines from Gatwick. The airline currently operates year-round services to Istanbul’s Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports, while last year it launched a summer seasonal service from Bodrum to the UK capital airport. The carrier will add a fifth route to Gatwick from 4 April when it adds a twice-weekly service to Antalya to its schedules. Along with this route launch, Turkish Airlines has also introduced nine additional services from Istanbul New Airport (ISL) this week as it steadily begins to transfer hub operations to the new facility from the current Atatürk site. However it should be noted that these routes are still being flown from the latter airport at this time as well. A breakdown of all routes launched by Turkish Airlines this week is shown in the following table.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
09-Jan Ankara (ESB) London Gatwick (LGW) B738 (2)  
10-Jan Istanbul New Airport (ISL) Ashgabat (ASB) B738 (4)  
Diyarbakir (DIY) A320 (3)  
Frankfurt (FRA) B738 (7)  
Hatay (HTY) B738 (3)  
Munich (MUC) B738 (5)  
Paris CDG (CDG) A321 (7)  
Tbilisi (TBS)  
11-Jan Kuwait City (KWI) B738 (4)  
Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) B738 (5)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 15 January 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.

SUN-AIR Friedrichshafen to Hamburg

Claus-Dieter Wehr, CEO Friedrichshafen Airport; Kristian Tvergaard Commercial Director, SUN-AIR; and Andreas Humer-Hager, Head of Marketing & Communication, Friedrichshafen Airport, took part in ceremonial ribbon and cake cutting ceremonies to mark SUN-AIR’s first flight from Friedrichshafen to Hamburg on 14 January. Flights will operate twice-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays.

  • SUN-AIR, the Scandinavian franchise partner of British Airways, added a new route between Friedrichshafen (FDH) and Hamburg (HAM) on 14 January. The 661-kilometre German domestic link will be operated twice-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays, with no flights on Saturdays. There is no direct competition on the airport pair, which SUN-AIR will serve with its fleet of Dornier 328s. This is the carrier’s second route from Friedrichshafen, after it introduced flights to Düsseldorf last June. In addition to SUN-AIR’s domestic links, British Airways’ mainline unit flies to Friedrichshafen from London Gatwick on a winter seasonal basis.

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

VietJet Air, Tokyo Narita

Tokyo Narita welcomed the arrival of VietJet Air and its first flight from Hanoi on 11 January. Makoto Natsume, President & CEO,  Narita International Airport Corporation; Do Xuan Quang, VP VietJet Air; Vu Hong Nam, Ambassador of Vietnam to Japan; and Yasuo Ishii, Administrator of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, were among those taking part in the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

  • VietJet Air introduced a new route from Hanoi (HAN) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) on 11 January, it’s third between Vietnam and Japan. It will operate the 3,718-kilometre connection daily using A321s. The carrier will face incumbent competition from Japan Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, which are both already serving the airport pair with daily flights. Do Xuan Quang, VP, VietJet Air, said of the route opening: “We are delighted to launch a third direct route from Vietnam to Japan following the opening of the Hanoi-Osaka and Ho Chi Minh City-Osaka routes. The launch of this new route brings a new travel option for people – especially travellers from Tokyo and the Kanto Region in general, to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, from where they have easy access to many other world famous destinations in Vietnam such as Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Trang An and Son Doong cave. Travellers from both countries, as well as international tourists, can also effortlessly transit to other ASEAN countries or destinations across the North Asia region with VietJet’s comprehensive and continually expanding flight network.”


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