New airline routes launched (26 February – 4 March 2019)

Alaska Airlines’ first operations from Everett Paine Field

Alaska Airlines Paine Field

Alaska Airlines initiated operations from Everett Paine Field on 4 March, launching its first three routes to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Portland. Pictured cutting the ribbon alongside some of the airline’s crew were Gary Beck, President & CEO, Horizon Air, and Andrew Harrison, EVP & CCO, Alaska Airlines. A further five routes are to be launched from the airport over the coming days, namely Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

  • Alaska Airlines launched its initial operations from Everett Paine Field (PAE) on 4 March, the day in which it began services to Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX) and Portland (PDX). The 1,440- and 1,823-kilometre links to Las Vegas and Phoenix will be flown daily, while the 259-kilometre hop to Portland will grow from a singular rotation to a four times daily operation, a frequency which will be in full force from 11 March, based on OAG schedules. Along with these three routes, the carrier plans to add services to Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose in the coming days, with the carrier planning a schedule of 18 daily departures from the US’ newest airport from 12 March. The initial schedule indicates that five aircraft will night-stop at the facility. A second carrier will begin services from Everett Paine Field on 31 March, with United Airlines adding services from Denver and San Francisco.

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth to Gainesville 

American Airlines Gainesville

Gainesville Airport baked this very elaborate cake to celebrate American Airlines’ inaugural flight from Dallas/Fort Worth. Along with promoting the connection and the global links that it brings, the cake is also adorned by the airport’s mascot and yellow lab sniffer dog, Beamer, named for Todd Beamer from United Airlines flight 93 on 9/11 with his widow Lisa’s permission. Her vest says “Let’s Roll” and she is alert to 17 different explosives according to the airport.

American Airlines Harlingen

American Airlines launched services from Dallas/Fort Worth to Harlingen on 3 March, an inter-state service which will operate three times daily. Among those pictured at the launch ceremony which took place at Harlingen Airport were: Victor Leal, Commissioner, District 5, City of Harlingen (left); Michael Mezmar, Commissioner, District 3, City of Harlingen (second left); Chris Boswell, Mayor, City of Harlingen (third left); Dale Morris, Senior Consultant/Government Affairs, American Airlines (centre); Marv Esterly, Director of Aviation, Harlingen Airport (third right) and Tudor Uhlhorn, Commissioner, District 2, City of Harlingen (right). No other airline connects the two airports according to OAG schedules.

  • American Airlines expanded its reach of domestic services from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) on 3 March with the launch of five new routes. The oneworld member now links the Texan hub to Augusta (AGS), Bakersfield (BFL), Gainesville (GNV), Harlingen (HRL) and Yuma (YUM). None of the five routes faces direct competition and each is flown using regional aircraft types. The average sector length of the links is 1,454 kilometres. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition
03-Mar Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Augusta (AGS) E175 (7)  
Bakersfield (BFL) CRJ9 (7)  
Gainesville (GNV) E145 (7)  
Harlingen (HRL) E140 (21)  
Yuma (YUM) CRJ9 (7)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 5 March. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

AirAsia X Fukuoka

AirAsia X launched operations between Kuala Lumpur and Fukuoka on 28 February. Pictured cutting the ribbon, flanked by airline crew, are: Representative Director and President & CEO Fukuoka Airport, Tetsuya Nagasao; Deputy Mayor of Fukuoka, Masanao Nakazono; Board Director of AirAsia X, Dato’ Fam Ee Lee; CEO of AirAsia X, Benyamin Ismail; Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture, Hiroshi Ogawa; Administrator of Fukuoka Airport, Osaka Regional Civil Aviation Bureau, Fumito Ohya; and Deputy Director Tourism Malaysia Tokyo, Shahrul Aman Sabir Ahmad. The carrier will serve the route four times weekly using its fleet of A330-300s.

  • AirAsia X launched its fourth Japanese route from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 28 February, beginning a four times weekly service to Fukuoka (FUK). The carrier already flies from the Malaysian hub to Osaka Kansai, Sapparo Chitose and Tokyo Haneda in Japan. The airline will operate the 4,545-kilometre route using its fleet of A330-300s, with it being the only carrier to fly the airport pair. “More than 156,000 seats per year will be available on this new route, providing guests with the opportunity to book low-cost travel to yet another amazing destination in Japan,” commented Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X. “This new service signifies our commitment to accelerating our growth story in Japan, and we’re confident the route will deliver a significant boost to the local economy. We wish to thank our airport, tourism and local government partners and authorities for making this new route a reality.”

La Crosse Airport Delta

La Crosse Airport heralded the launch of Delta Air Lines’ inaugural service from Detroit on 2 March. On hand to celebrate the launch was Miss Onalaska 2018 Maddie Adickes. The carrier will operate the 666-kilometre route daily.

  • Delta Air Lines launched two new routes from Detroit (DTW) on 2 March, starting services to La Crosse (LSE) and Bozeman (BZN). Services on the 666-kilometre route to La Crosse will be flown daily using CRJ 200s based on OAG schedules, while the 2,245-kilometre hop to Bozeman will be served weekly (Saturdays) using E175s. A third route was also inaugurated by the airline on 2 March, with it initiating a weekly (Saturdays) service on a 1,963-kilometre airport pair between Boston (BOS) and Sarasota (SRQ), a route already flown by JetBlue Airways eight times weekly. Delta will utilise its fleet of E175s on the latter airport pair as well. Neither route from Detroit will face direct competition.

GoAir Kannur

GoAir commenced two international routes from Kannur this week, with one of those being Abu Dhabi. To celebrate the airline’s new service, the UAE hub held a celebration which included cake and a ribbon cutting ceremony. The carrier, which also added flights to Muscat from Kannur, will operate four weekly flights on the route to Abu Dhabi.

  • GoAir commenced international operations from Kannur (CNN) on 28 February, the day in which it began a three times weekly service to Muscat (MCT). A second international route to Abu Dhabi (AUH) was inaugurated the following day. “India is a key travel market for Abu Dhabi Airport, and we are always eager to strengthen our connectivity to the Indian Subcontinent, enhancing further our services extended to our dear customers,” commented Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airport.   The 2,237-kilometre link to Oman will be operated three times weekly facing no direct competition. The 2,601-kilometre sector to the UAE hub will be flown four times weekly, with the airport pair already being flown by Air India Express three times weekly using its 737-800s. GoAir will serve both routes using its fleet of A320s. With these route openings, it means that the airline is presently operating six routes from Kannur, with its four other routes being domestic sectors to Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.


JetBlue Airways’ inaugural flight to Guayaquil from Fort Lauderdale was met with a water arch salute as it touched down at the Ecuadorian airport. The airline already links the US airport with the South American nation’s capital, Quito. JetBlue becomes the third airline to serve this airport pair after Spirit Airlines and tame.

  • JetBlue Airways launched its second route to Ecuador from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) on 28 February, with the carrier commencing a daily service to Guayaquil (GYE), adding to its existing daily rotation to Quito. The carrier will operate the 3,125-kilometre route using its fleet of A320s. JetBlue becomes the third airline to enter this airport pair, with it already being flown by Spirit Airlines on a daily basis, while tame offers a three times weekly rotation on the route.

Budapest Airport celebrated with this impressive cake, showcasing the automotive sector of Stuttgart, the arrival of Laudamotion and its new twice-weekly service from the German city. Pictured with the cake and two crew members are Eszter Almási, Airline Development Manager, Budapest Airport and Mario Schöll, Ground Operations Manager, Laudamotion (right).

  • Laudamotion launched based operations from Stuttgart (STR) this week, with seven new destinations being added from the German airport between 27 February and 3 March. All seven links will be served by the carrier’s fleet of A320s, with frequencies ranging from twice-weekly flights to Budapest (BUD) and Kraków (KRK), to six times weekly on services to Milan Bergamo (BGY). Frequencies on services to Krakow and Venice Treviso (TSF) will increase to three and four time weekly by the beginning of April. Frequencies on services to Bologna (BLQ), Copenhagen (CPH) and Naples (NAP) will increase to six weekly by April, while the Bergamo connection will increase to nine flights per week. Sector lengths range from 336 kilometres on the Bergamo connection, to 953 kilometres on flights to Naples. The average sector length across the seven new airport pairs is 646 kilometres. Three of the new routes will face competition. Prior to these route launches, Laudamotion’s only service to Stuttgart was a four times weekly link from Vienna, operated by a Vienna-based aircraft, plus a summer service to Palma de Mallorca which resumed on 27 February. According to’s New Routes Database, the carrier is scheduled to launch 10 more routes from Stuttgart by 2 April. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
27-Feb-19 Stuttgart (STR) Bologna (BLQ) A320 (4)  
Copenhagen (CPH) A320 (4) SAS (19)
Milan Bergamo (BGY) A320 (6)  
28-Feb-19 Budapest (BUD) A320 (2) Eurowings (11)
Naples (NAP) A320 (3) Eurowings (4)
Venice Treviso (TSF) A320 (3)  
03-Mar-19 Krakow (KRK) A320 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 5 March 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Loganair, ABZ

Loganair began operations from Aberdeen to Bristol on 3 March, followed by links to Esbjerg and Oslo Gardermoen the following day. Celebrating the new routes at the Scottish airport on 4 March were: Greig White, Sales Manager, Loganair; Steve Szalay, MD, Aberdeen Airport and Sam Talbot, Marketing Manager, Loganair.

City of Derry Loganair

City of Derry celebrated the start of Loganair services to London Stansted on 27 February, with it taking over from bmi regional on the PSO route as a result of the latter carrier collapsing last month. Pictures in Northern Ireland toasting the new service  are Charlene Shongo, Manager, City of Derry Airport, and Jonathan Hinkles, MD, Loganair.

  • Loganair began operations on four new routes in the past week, commencing operations from City of Derry (LDY) to London Stansted (STN), followed by links from Aberdeen (ABZ) to Bristol (BRS), Esbjerg (EBJ) and Oslo Gardermoen (OSL). The airline was awarded the Public Service Obligation (PSO) contract to operate the City of Derry – Stansted link following the news that previous operator bmi regional had entered insolvency last month. It will serve the airport pair 13 times weekly with ERJ145s, with twice-daily services every day except Saturday, when a daily flight operates. Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s MD said: “We’re extremely pleased to be selected to operate the essential Derry to Stansted air service following completion of a competitive tender process. I know the news about bmi regional created great uncertainty, so we’re focused on recommencing operations as quickly as possible. The route is an important link to London and the South East with a schedule which has been tailored to the needs of the business community – enabling a full day of work in the capital before an evening flight home. The weekend services will also be attractive to leisure passengers who can chose the length of a short break.” The three new services from Aberdeen also replace former bmi regional operations. The Bristol connection will be flown seven times weekly, with daily weekday services, double-daily links on Sundays and no flights on Saturdays, while the Esbjerg and Oslo routes will be served five and six times weekly respectively. There is no direct competition on the Aberdeen – Bristol sector, but Danish Air Transport (DAT) already offers four weekly flights from the Scottish airport to Esbjerg, having only launched the route on 25 February, while the Oslo connection is offered six times weekly by SAS. Loganair will begin services on another two former bmi regional routes when it begins flights from Newcastle to Brussels and Stavanger later this month. It will also launch a new connection from City of Derry to Manchester in May.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
27-Feb City of Derry (LDY) London Stansted (STN) E145 (13)  
03-Mar Aberdeen (ABZ) Bristol (BRS) E145 (7)  
04-Mar Esbjerg (EBJ) E145 (5) Danish Air Transport (4)
04-Mar Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) E145 (6) SAS (6)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 5 March 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Nouvelair Tunisie

Nouvelair Tunisie launched flights between Tunis and Istanbul Atatürk on 3 March, with the route being celebrated with a small ceremony at check-in before the inaugural departure. The route will be flown by the carrier three times weekly using its fleet of A320s, while competition will be provided by Tunisair and Turkish Airlines.

  • Nouvelair Tunisie launched flights from Tunis (TUN) to Istanbul Atatürk (IST) on 3 March. The carrier will operate the 1,667-kilometre route three times weekly, with rotations on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays. The carrier, which faces direct competition on the route from Tunisair and Turkish Airlines on the route, both offering a twice-daily service, will utilise its fleet of A320s on the airport pair. Istanbul is the airline’s only destination in Turkey.

SalamAir Borg el Arab

SalamAir launched flights between Muscat and Borg el Arab in Egypt on 2 March, with this marking the 12th country market which the airline now serves. It will operate the 2,929-kilometre route three times weekly using its fleet of A320s. To celebrate the route opening, a cake cutting ceremony was held at the Omani hub. Among those cutting the cake were: Dagmo Jama Ahmed, Aviation Marketing Manager, Oman Airports (second left); Captain Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir (centre left); and Mohamed Ghoneim, Egyptian Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman (centre right).

  • SalamAir made Egypt its 12th country market on 2 March, the day on which the carrier commenced its first flight to Borg el Arab (HBE), the airport serving Alexandria, the African nation’s second largest city. The airline will operate a three times weekly service to the airport from Muscat (MCT), with the carrier poised to operate the 2,929-kilometre route using its fleet of A320s. Along with Egypt, SalamAir offers scheduled flights to the international markets of Bangladesh, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and UAE on a year-round basis, while also offering scheduled seasonal services to Azerbaijan and Georgia. The airline also serves its home market of Oman. 

SkyUp Airlines Kharkiv

SkyUp Airlines launched operations between Kharkiv and Sharjah on 2 March. The Ukrainian start-up carrier will operate the 3,194-kilometre route weekly (Saturdays) using its 737-800s. The route will face no competition.

  • SkyUp Airlines, a recently launched airline based in Ukraine, launched flights between Kharkiv (HRK) and Sharjah (SHJ) on 2 March. The route will be flown by the airline weekly (Saturdays) using its fleet of 737-800s, The seasonal route, which faces no direct competition, will run until mid-May according to the airline’s booking engine. The carrier will add a second scheduled route from Kharkiv to Odessa in Ukraine from 2 June, with flights scheduled to operate twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays). The airline operates numerous charter flights from Kharkiv too. 

WestJet Atlanta

WestJet launched operations between Calgary and Atlanta on 3 March, with a ribbon cutting ceremony being held at the Canadian airport to toast the route opening. Among those pictured cutting the ribbon are: Arved von zur Muehlen, CCO, WestJet (second left); Michael Hayward, VP Marketing & Guest Experience, Calgary Airport (centre right); and Harry Taylor, EVP Finance & CFO, WestJet (second right). The route will operate six times weekly.

  • WestJet launched operations to Atlanta (ATL) on 3 March, with it launching a six times weekly service to the world’s busiest airport from Calgary (YYC). The airline will operate the 3,074-kilometre route using its 737-800s, with it being the only airline operating the airport pair. “This flight between Calgary and Atlanta marks another significant milestone in WestJet’s continued investment into Alberta while supporting strong business and tourism ties,” commented Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet’s CCO on the route opening. “We are thrilled to offer our guests this service, along with access to 111 unique routes between Atlanta and points across North America served by both WestJet and our codeshare partner, Delta Air Lines.”

Wizz Air launched flights to Riga from Kiev Zhuliany on 2 March, with the Latvian airport baking a cake with colourful Kiev print to celebrate. Riga Airport’s Liene Freivalde, Director of the Aviation Service and Business Development Department, and Laura Audariņa, Route Development Manager, welcomed the first arrival alongside Wizz Air Ambassadors. Wizz Air will operate the route between Latvia and Ukraine twice-weekly.

  • Wizz Air launched four new routes from Ukraine in the past week, including a hat-trick of services from Kiev Zhulyany (IEV), plus its ninth connection from Lviv (LWO). The service from Zhulyany to Riga (RIX) will be served three times weekly, with the other three airport pairs operating twice-weekly. All of the routes will be flown by the ULCC’s fleet of A320s and there is no direct competition on any of the airport pairs. Sector lengths vary from 838 kilometres on the Zhulyany  to Riga route to 1,532 kilometres from Zhulyany to Billund (BLL). The average sector length across the four new routes is 1,220 kilometres.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
01-Mar Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) Bremen (BRE) A320 (2)  
02-Mar Billund (BLL) A320 (2)  
Riga (RIX) A320 (3)  
03-Mar Lviv (LWO) Copenhagen (CPH) A320 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 5 March 2019. WF = Weekly frequencies.


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