New airline routes launched (19 March – 25 March 2019)

IndiGo Delhi to Istanbul Atatürk

IndiGo Istanbul

IndiGo launched its first-ever European service on 20 March, with it opening a connection between Delhi and Istanbul Atatürk. Among those cutting the cake in Turkey were William Boulter, CCO, IndiGo (third left) and Purnojyoti Mukherjee, Acting Consul General of India to Istanbul (fourth left). The route will be flown twice-daily using A321neos.

  • IndiGo made history on 20 March as it inaugurated its first-ever service to Europe, with the airline opening a new connection between Delhi (DEL) and Istanbul Atatürk (IST). The airline’s first few flights are presently operating via Doha due to the impact of Pakistan’s airspace closure, however the A321neos that are scheduled to operate this 4,558-kilometre route are able to operate return services non-stop due to geographical advantages. “Istanbul is one of the most attractive tourist cities in the world and the gateway from Asia into Europe. Istanbul holds immense potential for IndiGo, and this launch is part of organic expansion within Europe for us, as we complement our domestic network with international connectivity,” commented William Boulter, CCO of the airline. The carrier in the initial few days of serving the route will perform a daily rotation, with the route growing to a twice-daily frequency on 25 March. Competition on the airport pair comes from Turkish Airlines, with it presently serving the route daily. However, it should be noted that IndiGo will code-share with Turkish Airlines on this route.

Loganair Newcastle to Brussels and Stavanger 

Newcastle Loganair

Loganair launched its first operations from Newcastle Airport on 25 March, with it inaugurating flights to Brussels and Stavanger. In celebration of the services, the UK airport baked a cake to mark the moment. Pictured with the culinary creation on the apron are: Leon McQuaid, Head of Aviation Development, Newcastle Airport; Kay Ryan, Commercial Director, Loganair; Maurice Boyle, COO, Loganair; and Richard Knight, COO, Newcastle Airport.

Loganair Brussels

Loganair’s launch of based operations at Newcastle has also resulted in Brussels joining the carrier’s network. The first flight was met on arrival by Sonja Gehlen, Senior Aviation Development Manager, Brussels Airport, seen here with the crew which operated the inaugural service and Maurice Boyle, COO, Loganair.

Loganair Glasgow

Loganair launched a new daily connection between Glasgow and Düsseldorf on 25 March. Pictured with the enormous cake which visually shows the new connection are: Jonathan Hinkles, MD, Loganair; Sheena Elphick, Cabin Crew, Loganair; Mark Johnston, MD, Glasgow Airport; and Roy Bogle, Director of Revenue, Loganair. The carrier is taking over the route from Eurowings which will end its operation between the two airports on 31 March.

Loganair Dusseldorf

Loganair’s inaugural flight to Düsseldorf was also celebrated when it touched down in Germany on 25 March. Pictured alongside the airline crew which performed the first flight are: Christina Hoffmann,Senior Manager Airline Marketing, Düsseldorf Airport; Ulrich Topp, Director Aviation Marketing, Düsseldorf Airport; Jonathan Hinkles, MD, Loganair; Roy Bogle, Director of Revenue Loganair; and Kathrin Rompf, Sales Manager Germany, Aviareps for Loganair.

  • Loganair launched its first operations from Newcastle (NCL) on 25 March, with it commencing services to Brussels (BRU) and Stavanger (SVG). When referencing OAG Schedules Analyser data, the carrier will operate 10 weekly flights between the UK city and the Belgian capital, while the Norwegian city will see a six times weekly service. Both 616- and 613-kilometre sectors will be flown using the airline’s 37-seat ERJ 135s. Loganair has entered these markets as a result of the unfortunate collapse of bmi regional earlier this year, with UK CAA data showing that the route between Newcastle and Brussels transported 28,248 passengers in 2018, up 18% versus 2017. The link from Newcastle to Stavanger saw 11,232 people fly between the two airports last year, up 12% versus 2017. No other airline presently operates either airport pair. Along with landing in Newcastle to replace bmi regional this week, the  airline also helped to fill the void of another carrier at another UK airport. On 25 March it commenced a daily connection between Glasgow (GLA) and Düsseldorf (DUS). OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that the airline will offer a daily service on the 895-kilometre airport pair using its fleet of 49-seat ERJ 145s, with it taking on additional units of this type from the bmi regional fleet. The entry of Loganair on the route between Scotland and Germany comes as Eurowings ends its operation between the two airports. Again, referring to UK CAA data, the market between Glasgow and Dùsseldorf saw 41,368 passengers in 2018, with Glasgow also supporting German routes to Berlin Schönefeld, Frankfurt and Munich, with the latter two both flown by Lufthansa. Brussels and Düsseldorf become Loganair’s first destinations in Belgium and Germany, while Stavanger is the carrier’s third destination in Norway after Bergen and Oslo Gardermoen. A second route to Stavanger, from Edinburgh, will begin in May. 

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

AirSWIFT Bohol

AirSWIFT launched flights between El Nido and Bohol-Panglao on 25 March, with the regional operator planning to serve the 515-kilometre domestic route four times weekly using its fleet of ATR 72-600s. Cutting the route launch cake at Bohol-Panglao Airport at the inaugural flight ceremony was Alfonso Javier Reyes, President & CEO, AirSWIFT.

  • AirSWIFT launched a domestic link between El Nido (ENI) and Bohol-Panglao (TAG) on 25 March. The Philippine regional airline will operate the 515-kilometre route four times weekly using its fleet of ATR 72-600s, with the airline planning to fly the airport pair on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. No other carrier presently operates between the two airports. When referencing the Republic of the Philippines Department of Transportation Civil Aeronautics Board, AirSWIFT transported 269,511 scheduled passengers in 2018, up from 179,337 in 2017. This means that the carrier’s scheduled traffic grew by 50% last year. The same source indicates that over 27.28 million passengers flew on domestic routes in the Philippines during 2018, with AirSWIFT catering for 0.99% of the market. Cebu Pacific Air is the largest airline in the nation’s domestic market, with it accounting for 51% of intra-Philippine passengers in 2018 (including CebGo services), with Philippine Airlines (including PAL Express) accounting for 30% of traffic. Philippines AirAsia is the third largest airline in the domestic market, as measured by passengers carried, with it accounting for 17% of all traffic in 2018, while AirSWIFT is the fourth biggest operator and SkyJet Airlines fifth.


AnadoluJet launched operations to Erbil in Iraq on 21 March, with it beginning three times weekly flights from Gaziantep and Diyarbakir, both flown using 737-800s. To commemorate the inaugural flights, the Iraq airport baked a cake to celebrate. Among those cutting the cake was Şamil Karakaş, SVP Regional Flights, Turkish Airlines/AnadoluJet (centre right). When referencing OAG Schedules Analyser data, neither route will face direct competition.

  • AnadoluJet, a fully-owned subsidiary of Turkish Airlines, launched two new routes on 21 March, with it connecting Gaziantep (GZT) and Diyarbakir (DIY) with Erbil (EBL) in Iraq. The carrier, which operated the inaugural flights on a Thursday, will offer a three times weekly service on both 583- and 378-kilometre sectors on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays this summer, with neither route poised to face direct competition. The carrier will use its 737-800s on the sectors. When referencing OAG Schedules Analyser data, this is AnadoluJet’s only operation outside of Turkey after North Cyprus.

Garuda Indonesia Nagoya

Garuda Indonesia launched flights to Nagoya on 23 March, with the first flight touching down in Japan the following morning. Among the celebrations for the inaugural flight ceremony was a ribbon cutting. Nagoya becomes the carrier’s third destination in Japan after Tokyo Haneda and Osaka Kansai.

  • Garuda Indonesia launched flights between Jakarta (CGK) and Nagoya (NGO) on 23 March. The carrier will operate the 5,541-kilometre sector four times weekly using its mixed fleet of A330-200s and -300s according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. No other airline currently operates the airport pair. Nagoya becomes the third destination in Japan for the airline, with it already serving Tokyo Haneda and Osaka Kansai from Jakarta. Nagoya is the eighth largest airport in Japan when measured by scheduled departing seat capacity, with the number of departing seats on offer from the airport growing by 1.3% in 2018 to 7.85 million.

Iraqi Airways Munich

Iraqi Airways launched flights to Munich on 20 March, with the European hub becoming the carrier’s fourth station in Germany after Berlin Tegel, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. The carrier will operate a weekly service between Baghdad and Munich on Sundays, although the carrier’s first service on the route was performed on a Wednesday, confirmed by Pictured cutting the ribbon in Munich are Dr. Michael Kerkloh, CEO, Munich Airport (second left) and Abdullah Luaibi, Minister of Transport of Iraq (third left). No other airline currently operates the airport pair.

  • Iraqi Airways launched flights to its fourth German destination on 20 March, with the carrier beginning a weekly service to Munich (MUC). The airline initiated a 3,169-kilometre route from Baghdad (BGW) which will operate on Sundays, although the first flight on the route was flown on a Wednesday, confirmed by data. The carrier will utilise its fleet of A320s on the airport pair, with no other carrier presently linking Baghdad and Munich. With this launch, Iraqi Airways now operates to four airports in Germany, with it operating six routes to the European country from its home nation. It’s five other routes to Germany, which all operate weekly as well, are: Baghdad – Frankfurt; Erbil – Berlin Tegel; Erbil – Düsseldorf; Erbil – Frankfurt; and Sulaymaniyah – Düsseldorf.

Malindo Air Sapporo Chitose

Malindo Air launched services from Kuala Lumpur to Sapporo Chitose on 23 March, a route which will operate via Taipei Taoyuan, with the carrier having traffic rights between the Taiwanese and Japanese airports. To commemorate the route opening, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Sapporo Chitose. Among those taking part in the cutting was Mark Anthony Nathan, GM, Malindo Air (fourth left). AirAsia X already flies non-stop to Sapporo Chitose from Kuala Lumpur, while Malindo Air becomes the fifth operator to serve the airport pair of Taipei Taoyuan and Sapporo Chitose.

  • Malindo Air launched its first operations to Japan on 23 March, with the carrier inaugurating a three times weekly service to Sapporo Chitose (CTS). It will operate services on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from Kuala Lumpur (KUL), with the route operating via Taipei Taoyuan (TPE), a destination which the carrier already serves daily from Kuala Lumpur. It should be noted that the carrier does have traffic rights between Taipei Taoyuan and Sapporo Chitose, confirmed with the airline selling the service as a non-stop option on its website. The 5,950-kilometre airport pair of Kuala Lumpur and Sapporo Chitose is already served non-stop by AirAsia X, with the LCC offering a four times weekly service using its fleet of A330-300s. The 2,712-kilometre route from Taipei Taoyuan is also served, with EVA Airways (twice-daily), China Airlines (daily), Scoot (four times weekly; has traffic rights on the route) and Peach Aviation (three times weekly) already offering a robust schedule between the two airports. Malindo Air will operate the Kuala Lumpur – Taipei Taoyuan – Sapporo Chitose – Taipei Taoyuan – Kuala Lumpur routing using its fleet of 737-800s.

Wizz Air launched two new routes from Skopje this week, with the carrier adding two new German routes to Bremen and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden. As a celebration of the new services, Skopje Airport baked a route launch cake.

Wizz Air Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden

Wizz Air commenced flights between Skopje and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden on 19 March. The carrier will operate the 1,297-kilometre sector twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays). To celebrate the new route, the crew members of the first flight received a 250g pack of the new and exclusive airport coffee called “take off”, which is roasted for the airport by Cofea Adoro. Pictured with the crew is Eric Blechschmidt, Director Aviation, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport (centre). According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, the route will face no direct competition.

Wizz Air Bremen

Wizz Air launched flights to Bremen from Skopje on 20 March. Posing with the crew of the first flight is Sebastian Maurans, Head of Sales, Bremen Airport (third left). Flights will operate twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays).

  • Wizz Air expanded its operations from North Macedonia this week, starting on 19 March with new routes from Ohrid (OHD) to Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Skopje (SKP) to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB). Both of these routes will operate twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with the 1,086-kilometre link to Italy being flown using A320s, while the 1,297-kilometre sector to Germany will be operated using A321s. A third route was launched the following day, with the ULCC linking the capital of North Macedonia with Bremen (BRE). The 1,558-kilometre link will be operated using a mixture of the carrier’s A320s and A321s twice-weekly, with rotations on Wednesdays and Sundays. None of the three routes launched this week will face direct competition.


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