New airline routes launched (15 January – 22 January 2019)


Silver Airways Fort Lauderdale to Daytona Beach

Silver Airways Daytona Beach

Among those cutting the ribbon to officially open Silver Airways’ new daily connection between Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach were: Daytona Tortugas President, Ryan Keur; Silver Airways’ Director Airport Operations, Dawn Cilley; Silver Airways’ Manager Alliances & Strategic Relationships, Katie Loughlin; Volusia County Councilman, Ben Johnson; Silver Airways’ CEO, Steve Rossum; Silver Airways’ Area Station Manager, Jessica Cevallos; Daytona Tortugas Mascot, Sheldon; Volusia County Council Chairman, Ed Kelly; Silver Airways’ SVP Ground Operations, Kurt Brulisauer; Volusia County Councilwoman, Barbara Girtman; Daytona Airport’s Deputy Director, Karen Feaster; Volusia County Councilwoman, Heather Post; and Daytona Beach Airport’s Director, Rick Karl.

  • Silver Airways launched a new route between two Floridian airports on 16 January, the day it began a daily service between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Daytona Beach (DAB). “We are extremely excited to launch this unique partnership with the ‘best of the best’ in Daytona and the surrounding communities along the Atlantic Coast,” said Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum. “Our new partners here share our love of Central Florida and her beauty and have a kindred spirit of innovation, customer service and civic involvement. With the combination of Florida’s most convenient airport, the heart and soul of the Daytona Tortugas, and Silver Airways, North America’s premier regional airline, the possibilities in Daytona are limitless.” The carrier will operate the 356-kilometre route using its fleet of 34-seat Saab 340s. Flights will depart Fort Lauderdale at 18:30, arriving in Daytona Beach at 20:00. The aircraft will then night-stop in Daytona Beach, with return services departing at 08:20, arriving into Fort Lauderdale at 09:45, allowing for passengers to book a day-return trip from Daytona Beach and its catchment to Fort Lauderdale. No other airline currently connects the two airports. Fort Lauderdale becomes the third, scheduled non-stop service that is operated from Daytona Beach, with it joining American Airlines’ 31 times weekly service from Charlotte Douglas, and Delta Air Lines’ 26 times weekly operation from Atlanta. Another new route joining the airport very soon is an international link from Toronto Pearson, a route that will be launched by Sunwing Airlines on 28 January. From 4 May, a fifth route will be added to the airport’s route map, with American Airlines poised to launched a twice-weekly (Saturdays and Sundays) operation from New York LaGuardia.

Pakistan International Airlines Sialkot to Paris CDG and Barcelona 

Pakistan International Airlines Sialkot

Pakistan International Airlines launched long-haul services to Europe from Sialkot on 19 January, with the first flight to Pakistan touching down the following day. To celebrate, Sialkot Airport baked a cake. Among those taking part in the cake cutting proceedings were: Usman Dar, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs (second left); Chaudhry Muhammad Akhlaq, Provincial Minister for Special Education (centre); Mian Muhammad Soomro, Pakistan’s Minister for Aviation (second right); along with Nadeem Anwar Qureshi, Chairman, Sialkot Airport. Operated using the carrier’s fleet of 777-200s, schedules show that an Islamabad-based aircraft aircraft will perform this itinerary on a weekly basis.

  • Pakistan International Airlines launched weekly long-haul services to Europe from Sialkot (SKT) on 19 January, with the airline now linking the city to Paris CDG (CDG) and Barcelona (BCN). An analysis of data shows that the route will be performed by an Islamabad-based aircraft, operating Islamabad – Paris CDG – Barcelona – Sialkot – Paris – Barcelona – Islamabad, with the operation taking two-days for the 777-200s that will operate these sectors to perform. No other airline flies the 6,074- and 6,312-kilometre connections from Sialkot to Paris or Barcelona at this time. As stated, the airline already operates to both European cities from Islamabad, while the carrier also links Lahore to the French capital airport. Based on OAG schedules, Pakistan International already has a number of routes from Sialkot, with it linking the city to Dammam, Jeddah, Karachi, Muscat, Riyadh and Sharjah during the week commencing 22 January. 

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

There were celebrations in Mumbai on 15 January to mark the first flight on AirAsia India’s new daily link from Bengaluru. Aditya Pansari, Assistant GM, Aero Commercial, Mumbai Airport and Sunil Bhaskaran, MD & CEO, AirAsia India, joined the inaugural flight crew to cut the route launch cake. The assembled dignitaries also took part in a traditional lamp lighting ceremony.

  • AirAsia India introduced its first flights to Mumbai (BOM) on 15 January, with the launch of a new daily service from Bengaluru (BLR). The LCC will operate the 834-kilometre sector using its A320s. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that it will face substantial direct competition on the route from IndiGo (83 flights during the week commencing 22 January), Jet Airways (77 – including seven flights operated under JetKonnect code), Air India (28), GoAir (28) and SpiceJet (18). Commenting on the new connection, Sunil Bhaskaran, MD & CEO, AirAsia India said: “We at AirAsia India are excited to make our mark in the commercial capital, and I am certain that we will be able to cater to the burgeoning base of flyers in Mumbai, and bolster connectivity to and from the city.” AirAsia India currently flies to 19 destinations with hubs in Bengaluru, New Delhi and Kolkata.

HK Express Nagasaki

HK Express launched flights between Hong Kong and Nagasaki on 19 January. Among those at the opening ceremony in Japan promoting the low-cost fares, were Hidenori Tashiro, Policy Manager of the International Department of Tourism, and Jonathan Hutt, Commercial Director, HK Express. The route will operate three times weekly using A320s.

  • HK Express launched its newest route from Hong Kong (HKG) on 19 January, the day in which it began its latest Japanese link, a three times weekly service to Nagasaki (NGS). The airline will operate the 1,963-kilometre route on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays using its fleet of A320s, of which it currently has 13 in operation, including five neo variants. It becomes the only carrier to offer non-stop services on the city pair. With this launch, it means that the LCC now serves 11 destinations in Japan from Hong Kong, accounting for 125 weekly departures from the Asian hub. Along with Nagasaki, the airline serves Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Ishigaki, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Nagoya, Osaka Kansai, Takamatsu, plus Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports. In 2017, Nagasaki Airport handled just under 3.17 million passengers according to data from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, with this representing a growth rate of 6.7% versus the 2.97 million passengers that flew from the airport in 2016, based on the same source.

Philippines AirAsia Clark Seoul

Philippines AirAsia launched flights from Clark to Seoul Inchon on 19 January, with the former airport baking this highly impressive cake to mark the new service. The route will operate three times weekly.

  • Philippines AirAsia introduced a new route between Clark (CRK) and Seoul Incheon (ICN) on 19 January. It will operate the 2,543-kilometre airport pair three times weekly using A320s. There is a considerable amount of incumbent competition on the sector, with Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Philippine Airlines and t’way air all already offering daily services. “We are staying true to our commitment to provide the much needed international connectivity and convenience for travellers in Metro Manila, Central, and Northern Luzon,” said Gomer Monreal, Director of Flight Operations, Philippines AirAsia. “The future of aviation, travel, and tourism is taking shape in Clark. Now more than ever, Clark is truly saving us from air traffic congestion, and enabling airlines and travellers to enjoy the convenience of travelling. This inaugural flight is a fantastic opportunity for Filipino travellers to explore and experience winter in Korea.” According to OAG Schedules Analyser, Philippines AirAsia also offers flights from Clark to seven domestic destinations during W18/19. Its only other international link from Clark this winter is to Taipei Taoyuan.

Turkish Airlines Ankara Tbilisi

Turkish Airlines launched a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service between the capitals of Turkey and Georgia on 18 January, with the Star Alliance member now linking Ankara with Tbilisi. Posing with the cake at the launch at the Georgian capital airport are Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Turkish Ambassador to Georgia, and Giorgi Janjgava, Georgian Ambassador to Turkey. The route will be operated by 737-800s, with no other airline linking the two capitals.

  • Turkish Airlines launched its latest international route from Ankara (ESB) on 18 January, with the Star Alliance member launching a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service to Tbilisi (TBS), with this becoming the only non-stop service between the capitals of Turkey and Georgia. The carrier will operate the 1,019-kilometre route using its 737-800s, with flights leaving Ankara at 00:30, arriving in Tbilisi at 03:15 local time. Return services will depart Georgia at 04:15, touching back down in Turkey at 05:15. Ankara becomes Turkish Airlines’ fourth route to Tbilisi, with the airline already linking it to Istanbul’s Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports, while Tbilisi was one of the first destinations to be flown by the hub carrier from the new Istanbul Airport. Other routes recently launched by Turkish Airlines from Ankara include Rome Fiumicino and London Gatwick


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