New airline routes launched (5 February – 18 February 2019)

LOT Polish Airlines Budapest to London City

LOT Polish Airlines, Budapest

Cutting the impressive London-themed cake in Budapest to celebrate LOT Polish Airlines’ first flight to London City on 18 February were Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport, and Adrian Kubicki, Executive Director and Spokesperson, LOT Polish Airlines. The carrier will serve this European capital connection 12 times weekly, with a twice-daily service on weekdays, with a single rotations on Saturdays and Sundays.

LOT Polish Airlines, London City

Welcoming the first arrival at London City were Richard Hill, CCO, London City Airport, and David Bentley, Regional Director of Sales, LOT Polish Airlines. The airline acquired four E190s for its operations to London City. It opened a route from Warsaw Chopin in January and will add a further connection in May when it begins flights from Vilnius.

  • LOT Polish Airlines launched flights from Budapest (BUD) to London City (LCY) on 18 February. The carrier will operate 12 weekly flights on the route, with a twice-daily on weekdays and a single rotation on Saturdays and Sundays. The 1,453-kilometre capital connection will be operated by the airline’s E190s, of which it has four in its fleet. There is no direct competition on the airport pair, although Budapest is already linked to London’s five other commercial airports of Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Southend, with Budapest becoming only the fourth European capital to host flights to all six of London’s commercial airports. “Today marks another important milestone in our partnership with LOT Polish Airlines,” commented Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport. The European flag carrier already flies to Krakow, Warsaw Chopin, New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare from Budapest and has recently announced that it will station an E195 at the Hungarian airport from 2 September, allowing for the launch of new multi-daily services to Brussels and Bucharest. The Budapest connection becomes LOT’s second destination from London City after it launched a link to the UK airport from Warsaw Chopin on 7 January. It will also introduce flights to the London airport from Vilnius on 1 May. Peter Downes, Aviation Director, London City Airport, said: “This is the latest staging post in LOT’s growth at London City Airport, coming just five weeks after the highly successful launch of flights to Warsaw and ahead of a new Vilnius connection in May – all made possible thanks to the airline’s investment in four new E190s. This is a really exciting chapter for London City and LOT, transforming our Central European offer, and enabling closer ties for tourism and trade, at an important time for the UK, London, and Hungary.”

American Airlines Philadelphia to Orlando Melbourne

American Airlines San Antonio

American Airlines launched a daily service on the 2,549-kilometre connection between New York JFK and San Antonio on 14 February, with the latter airport holding a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new link. Among those taking part were: Russell Handy, Aviation Director, San Antonio Airport; Daniel Rodriguez, GM San Antonio, American Airlines; Diane Sanchez, CEO/President, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Dale Morris, Senior Consultant/Government Affairs, American Airlines; and Debora Omawale, Member, San Antonio Airport Advisory Commission.

American Airlines Knoxville

As American Airlines’ inaugural service between New York LaGuardia and Knoxville fell on Valentine’s Day, the Tennessee airport went along with the love-theme for the first flight cake, with it baking four heart-shaped cakes, with three depicting the airline’s new connection. The carrier will offer a twice-daily service on the airport pair.

Orlando Melbourne American Airlines

Orlando Melbourne went all-out with its cake to celebrate American Airlines’ first service from Philadelphia. The Rocky-themed cake was the spotlight of the event, with Rocky himself wearing his famous red boxing gloves along with some new gear fit for Orlando Melbourne’s beaches, cruises and theme parks, and then topped with America’s Liberty Bell.

  • American Airlines launched six new US domestic routes between 14 and 16 February. The most significant launches include a daily service between New York JFK (JFK) and San Antonio (SAT), plus a twice-daily connection from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Knoxville (TYS) and a daily rotation from Washington Reagan (DCA) to Oklahoma City (OKC). Of the six routes, four are poised to face direct competition, with the only services not going head-to-head with another carrier being the 1,807-kilometre link from Philadelphia (PHL) to Key West (EYW) and the 1,397-kilometre from the Pennsylvanian hub to Orlando Melbourne (MLB).
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
14-Feb New York JFK (JFK) San Antonio (SAT) B738 (7) Delta Air Lines (7)
New York LaGuardia (LGA) Knoxville (TYS) E175 (14) Delta Air Lines (14)
Washington Reagan (DCA) Oklahoma City (OKC) E175 (7) Southwest Airlines (7)
16-Feb Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Key West (EYW) E175 (1) United Airlines (7)
Philadelphia (PHL)  
Orlando Melbourne (MLB) CRJ7 (1)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 19 February. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

All Nippon Airways, Vienna

There were celebrations in Vienna on 17 February as All Nippon Airways launched its new service from Tokyo Haneda. Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport; Kiyoshi Koinuma, Japanese Ambassador to Austria; and Akira Nakamura, Senior VP, EMEA, All Nippon Airways, took part in a traditional cake cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

  • All Nippon Airways launched flights from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Vienna (VIE) on 17 February. It will serve the 9,138-kilometre sector on a daily basis using 787-9s. “This new destination provides further growth impetus for travelling to the Far East, where we registered a 33% increase in passenger volume last year,” said Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport. “The region is not only an important growth market for Vienna Airport, but also for the entire Austrian business and tourism location. For this reason, the launch of flight service on the new route to Tokyo is a valuable addition to the existing offering of destinations and an important step towards strengthening tourist and economic ties between Japan and Austria which have existed for 150 years”. Akira Nakamura, Senior VP, EMEA, All Nippon Airways, commented: “We are excited to be launching our direct flight between Vienna and Tokyo Haneda today. Our flights from Haneda and Vienna will arrive in the early morning, perfect for both business and leisure travellers to maximise their day. Furthermore, passengers can easily connect to ANA’s extensive domestic network at Haneda Airport and discover varieties of wonderful regional destinations Japan has to offer.” ANA has served Vienna before, having previously offered a connection from the Austrian capital to Tokyo Narita between 1996 and 2002. No other airline currently links the two airports together, with Japan being a new non-stop market from the Austrian capital.

British Airways Munich

British Airways commenced flights between London City and Munich on 16 February, with the first return departure taking place the following day. On hand to cut the ribbon in Munich to officially open the 908-kilometre sector, along with the crew, were: Felipe Quintela, Sales Relationship Manager; British Airways CityFlyer; Martin Laubenthal, Director Traffic Development, Munich Airport; and Olaf Schrems, Sales Manager Germany, British Airways.

  • British Airways launched flights from London City (LCY) to Munich (MUC) on 16 February. The carrier will operate the route with 18 weekly departures, with there being a three times daily service between Mondays and Fridays, with a single rotation on Saturdays and a twice-daily connection on Sundays. No other operator is currently flying between the two airports. The carrier will operate the 908-kilometre sector using its fleet of 98-seat E190s, with the new route creating 3,528 additional weekly two-way seats. Munich becomes the airline’s fourth German service from London City, with it already linking the UK capital’s most central airport to Berlin Tegel, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. BA already serves Munich from London Heathrow, offering 52 weekly departures this winter. Along with London’s City and Heathrow airports, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted also offer flights to Munich, while Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester airports in the UK also have direct services. Bristol was also served until this weekend, with its route being lost as a result of bmi regional ceasing operations. 

easyJet, Dusseldorf

Düsseldorf Airport welcomed the return of easyJet flights from London Gatwick on 9 February. Ulrich Topp, Director Aviation Marketing, Düsseldorf Airport, joined the flight crew on the apron to celebrate the re-launch of services. The LCC previously served this 483-kilometre sector until March 2016 based on OAG data.

  • easyJet introduced flights between London Gatwick (LGW) and Düsseldorf (DUS) on 9 February. It will initially serve the 483-kilometre sector 11 times weekly, but this increases to 13 times weekly in March, with twice-daily flights every day except Saturday, when there will be a one daily rotation. The LCC will deploy a mix of A319s and A320s on the route, and faces no direct competition, although British Airways and Eurowings already link the German airport to London Heathrow, while British Airways and Flybe serve Düsseldorf from London City. OAG schedules show that easyJet previously operated between Gatwick and Düsseldorf before deciding to discontinue the route in March 2016.

Frontier Airlines Burlington

Frontier Airlines commenced flights from Orlando to Burlington on 9 February, a route it will operate twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays). Pictured at the ribbon cutting ceremony are: Karen Paul, Councillor, City of Burlington on the City Council; Gene Richards, Director of Aviation, Burlington Airport; and Jonathan Freed, Director of Corporate Communications, Frontier Airlines. The carrier will add a second route to Burlington, from Denver, on 1 May.

  • Frontier Airlines introduced Burlington (BTV) to its network on 9 February, the day in which it began a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) service from Orlando (MCO). The carrier will operate the 1,923-kilometre connection using its fleet of A320s, with no other airline linking the two US airports. The carrier will add a second route to Burlington on 1 May when it starts operations to the Vermont airport from Denver. Along with the new service linking Orlando and Burlington, the ULCC also launched a new international service from Philadelphia (PHL). As of 10 February, the airline is operating a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service to Montego Bay (MBJ). Also flown using its fleet of A320s, competition on the latter sector comes from American Airlines, with the oneworld member already providing a 12 times weekly service on the 2,388-kilometre airport pair. This becomes the airline’s second route to the Jamaican airport, with it already linking Raleigh-Durham to Montego Bay with a twice-weekly rotation.  

Cebu celebrated the inaugural flight of Philippines AirAsia’s new service to Macau on 8 February. Among those gathered to greet the first departure were Ravishankar Saravu, Chief Commercial Adviser, Cebu Airport (second left), Dexter Comendador, CEO, Philippines AirAsia (third right) and VIPs from the Chinese consulate. An impressive two-tiered route launch cake was also baked to mark the occasion.

  • Philippines AirAsia introduced a new service between Cebu (CEB), the host airport of Routes Asia 2019, and Macau (MFM) on 8 February. The LCC will operate the 1,717-kilometre connection daily using its fleet of A320s. It faces direct competition from Cebu Pacific Air, which already serves this airport pair with four weekly flights. Cebu becomes Philippines AirAsia’s second link to Macau after Manila. The airline is scheduled to begin a third route to Macau on 2 March with the launch of services from Kalibo.

Seaborne Airlines San Juan

Seaborne Airlines launched flights between San Juan in Puerto Rico and Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic on 15 February. Pictured at the ribbon cutting ceremony were: Lisa Pérez, Lead Agent, Seaborne Airlines; Maylene Diaz, Customer Service Agent, Seaborne Airlines; Walter Gomes, Ramp Agent, Silver Airways; and Wesley Pagan, Supervisor, Seaborne Airlines. The route will be operated three times weekly using Saab 340s.

  • Seaborne Airlines, which is owned and cooperatively operated by Silver Airways, launched flights between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on 15 February, with it launching a three times weekly service between San Juan (SJU) and Santiago de los Caballero (STI). “We are thrilled that Seaborne Airlines has returned to the Dominican market,” said Jesus Medina, COO, Seaborne Airlines. “Santiago shares important historical, cultural and economic ties with Puerto Rico and we are delighted to be providing safe, reliable and customer-friendly service for travellers in the region.” The carrier will operate the 494-kilometre sector three times weekly using its fleet of Saab 340s, with departures on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No other carrier currently operates between the two airports.

Spirit Airlines, Tampa

Tampa Airport celebrated the first flight on Spirit Airlines new connection to San Juan, launched 14 February, by baking this impressive four-tier route launch cake. Proudly displaying the baked masterpiece were Tampa Airport’s Jacob Tyler, Marketing Intern, and Debbie Stokes, Marketing Coordinator.

  • Spirit Airlines introduced 13 new routes in the space of just two days from 14 to 15 February. Austin (AUS) saw the most new links, with eight destinations being added from the Texas airport. All of the new sectors will be operated on a daily basis, with the ULCC facing incumbent competition on all routes. The length of the new connections vary from 512 kilometres on the Jacksonville (JAX) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) route, to 2,522 kilometres from San Juan (SJU) to Baltimore/Washington (BWI). The average sector length across the new routes is 1,573 kilometres.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
14-Feb Austin (AUS) Baltimore/Washington (BWI) A320 (7) Southwest Airlines (13)
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) United Airlines (25), American Airlines (20)
Denver (DEN) Southwest Airlines (40), United Airlines (27), Frontier Airlines (7)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) A319 (7) Southwest Airlines (8), JetBlue Airways (7)
Las Vegas (LAS) A320 (7) Southwest Airlines (21), Frontier Airlines (7), Allegiant Air (4)
New Orleans (MSY) Southwest Airlines (19), Frontier Airlines (2)
Orlando (MCO) A319 (7) Southwest Airlines (14), JetBlue Airways (7), Frontier Airlines (2)
Baltimore/Washington (BWI) Jacksonville (JAX) A320 (7) Southwest Airlines (20)
San Juan (SJU) Baltimore/Washington (BWI) Southwest Airlines (16)
Tampa (TPA) JetBlue Airways (14), Southwest Airlines (8)
New Orleans (MSY) Denver (DEN) Southwest Airlines (21), United Airlines (14), Frontier Airlines (5)
15-Feb Austin (AUS) Detroit (DTW) Delta Air Lines (17)
Jacksonville (JAX) Fort Lauderdale (FLL) A319 (7) JetBlue Airways (21), Southwest Airlines (20)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 19 February 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Thai Lion Air, Bangkok Don Mueang

Members of the Thai Lion Air management team and staff, management from Don Mueang Airport and Chubb Travel Insurance were among the dignitaries celebrating Thai Lion Air’s inaugural departure to Fukuoka on 15 February. The LCC now serves two Japanese destinations from Don Mueang and will introduce two more in March.

  • Thai Lion Air added a new node to its network with the introduction of flights from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Fukuoka (FUK) on 15 February. It will operate the 3,718-kilometre sector daily using 737 MAX 9s. There is no direct competition on this airport pair. Fukuoka becomes the LCC’s second destination in Japan after Tokyo Narita. OAG Schedules Analyser shows that it is due to add two further Japanese destinations from Don Mueang in the coming weeks, with flights to Nagoya and Osaka Kansai scheduled to commence on 8 and 28 March respectively. 

United Airlines Asheville

United Airlines launched twice-daily flights to Asheville from Washington Dulles on 14 February, with the former of the two airports baking this exceptional cake to mark the new service, highlighting the many opportunities that passengers have for travel via the airline’s US capital hub. No other airline links the two airports at this time.

  • United Airlines launched two new regional routes from Washington Dulles (IAD) on 14 February, with it offering twice-daily services to Asheville (AVL) in North Carolina and Lexington (LEX) in Kentucky. The Star Alliance member will operate both the 594- and 629-kilometre sectors using its fleet of 50-seat CRJ 200s, which are operated by Air Wisconsin. Neither route will face direct competition. “Our community has asked for the addition of a daily non-stop route to Washington for many years,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority, about its connection to the US capital. “From Dulles Airport, travellers can connect to destinations around the globe. This route also makes Asheville more accessible to domestic and international travellers, opening the region to more opportunities for business, tourism and convention air travel.”

Wizz Air, Sweden

Johan Eidhagen, Chief Marketing Officer, Wizz Air (left), attended a press conference in Stockholm on 14 February ahead of the airline launching three new routes to Sweden. The links from Vienna to Malmö and Stockholm Skavsta both commenced on 15 February. The advertised connection from Ohrid to Malmö is scheduled to start from 18 March.

  • Wizz Air launched four new routes from its Vienna (VIE) base in the space of two days last week. Frequencies on the new links varied from three times weekly on the Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) sector to daily on the Madrid (MAD) service. Sector lengths across the four airport pairs vary from 855 kilometres to 2,929 kilometres. The only route that will face direct competition is the connection to Madrid, with Iberia, Laudamotion and Eurowings already operating. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
15-Feb Vienna (VIE) Madrid (MAD) A321 (7) Iberia (19), Laudamotion (7), Eurowings (6)
Malmö (MMX) A321 (4)  
Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) A32S (4)  
16-Feb Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) A321 (3)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 19 February 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.


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