New airline routes launched (23 April – 6 May 2019)

FlyArystan Almaty to Karaganda, Nur-Sultan, Taraz and Uralsk.


FlyArystan launched its first operations on 1 May, commencing links from Almaty to Nur-Sultan and Taraz. Flights to Uralsk and Karaganda were inaugurated on 2 and 3 May respectively from Almaty. Pictured at the inaugural flight press conference are Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the Board of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund; Peter Foster, CEO of Air Astana; and Roman Sklar, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development in Kazakhstan.

  • FlyArystan launched its first commercial operations on 1 May. The LCC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Astana, has opened its first base at Almaty (ALA), with data showing that it is currently operating its four initial routes using two A320s which have been transferred from Air Astana’s fleet. The carrier will also use Air Astana’s flight code of KC on its services. The first two routes to launch on the start day of operations were Nur-Sultan (TSE) and Taraz (DMB), with routes to Uralsk (URA) and Karaganda (KGF) being inaugurated on 2 and 3 May respectively. Taraz services are the only ones which will face no direct competition at present, with the average sector length of the four routes being 1,070 kilometres. The carrier will add more routes to its network in the coming weeks from Almaty, with it planning to serve Pavlodar and Shymkent from 30 May, routes which will both see a daily rotation.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
01-May Almaty (ALA) Nur-Sultan (TSE) A320 (14) Air Astana (50), SCAT Airlines (21), Bek Air (19), Qazaq Air (14)
Taraz (DMB) A320 (7)  
02-May Uralsk (URA) Bek Air (2)
03-May Karaganda (KGF) SCAT Airlines (7)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Wizz Air Katowice to Fuerteventura 

Wizz Air Fuerteventura

Katowice Airport baked this beach-themed cake to celebrate Wizz Air’s inaugural flight to Fuerteventura on 25 April. The carrier will offer a weekly (Thursdays) service on the airport pair. Direct competition comes from Smartwings Poland. According to OAG schedules, Katowice is the only airport in Poland with a direct link to Fuerteventura.

Wizz Air Turku

One of the six routes launched by Wizz Air from its new base at Krakow was Turku in Finland. Pictured at the inaugural flight press conference is Antti Kirkkola, Liaison Manager of the City of Turku.

Wizz Air Doncaster Sheffield

Doncaster Sheffield benefited from Wizz Air’s base opening at Krakow, with it seeing a new three times weekly being inaugurated on 3 May. Pictured with the crew celebrating the route launch is John Huddleston, Communications & Corporate Affairs Manager, Peel Airports. This is Wizz Air’s 12th route to Doncaster Sheffield.

  • Wizz Air launched operations between Katowice (KTW) and Fuerteventura (FUE) on 25 April, a service it will operate weekly (Thursdays) using A320s, with this being the only new route launched by the ULCC over the past two weeks which involves the smallest aircraft in its fleet. The other seven routes inaugurated between 23 April and 3 May are flown using A321s. Launched on 25 April, the 3,684 kilometre-sector distance will be flown using an A320. The largest number of routes opened by the carrier was from its new base at Krakow where it stationed the first of three A321s on 1 May. Its initial routes, joining recently launched flights from London Luton and Kiev Zhuliany, were to Nice (NCE), Turku (TKU), Bari (BRI), Billund (BLL), Catania (CTA) and Doncaster Sheffield (DSA). More details about the new routes are shown in the following table. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
23-Apr Bucharest (OTP) Santander (SDR) A321 (2)  
25-Apr Katowice (KTW) Fuerteventura (FUE) A320 (1) Smartwings Poland (1)

Krakow (KRK)

Nice (NCE) A321 (2)  
02-May Turku (TKU)  
03-May Bari (BRI) A321 (3) Ryanair (3)
Billund (BLL) A321 (2)  
Catania (CTA) Ryanair (2)
Doncaster Sheffield (DSA) A321 (3)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

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

Aer Lingus Cork

Aer Lingus launched operations between Cork and Dubrovnik on 4 May, one of two new routes to be launched by the carrier from Cork this summer. Flights to Dubrovnik will operate twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

  • Aer Lingus has expanded its international network from Cork (ORK) with the introduction of flights to Dubrovnik (DBV) and Nice (NCE). The 1,477-kilometre route to the French Rivera airport was last flown by Aer Lingus in S14 on a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) basis. It has returned to the airport pair after four and a half years, launching services on 1 May, again operating a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) frequency, albeit on different days of the week. Along with this route, the Irish flag carrier inaugurated a 2,250-kilometre sector to Dubrovnik on 4 May. Flown twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays), the Croatian link becomes the airline’s 15th non-UK route to be flown from Cork on either a seasonal or year-round basis based on OAG schedules. Dubrovnik and Nice services will be flown using A320s and face no direct competition. 

It was all smiles at Vienna Airport last week, with Air Canada beginning a daily service to the airport from Toronto Pearson. To celebrate, a cake cutting ceremony took place, with the baked masterpiece shaped perfectly into a maple lead. Conducting the cake cutting honours were Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO, Vienna Airport; Heidi Alberta Hulan, Canadian Ambassador to Austria; and Mark Galardo, VP Network Planning, Air Canada. A ribbon cutting ceremony also took place on the apron in front of the aircraft. No other carrier serves the route.

  • Air Canada launched flights between Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Vienna (VIE) on 29 April. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, the route will be served daily this summer, reducing to a  five times weekly rotation during W19/20. The city pair will be operated using a mixture of the carrier’s 787-8 and 9s. No direct competition will be provided on the 6,944-kilometre airport pair. Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport, commented on the new route by saying: “Flights linking Vienna and North America have grown enormously in popularity. With Air Canada, we welcome an ideal long-haul partner for this region, which will continue to grow in 2019.” The Star Alliance member replaces fellow alliance member Austrian Airlines on the city pair, with the Austrian flag carrier utilising the 767-300 which used to fly the route on a new service to Montreal which launched the same day.

AirAsia X Lanzhou

AirAsia X launched its latest route to China from Kuala Lumpur on 1 May, commencing a four times weekly service to Lanzhou. A celebration party was held for the new route at the Chinese airport before the first flight arrived.

  • AirAsia X commenced its latest route from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 1 May. It inaugurated a four times weekly service to Lanzhou (LHW) in China. The airline will serve the 3,764-kilometre sector using its fleet of A330-300s, with no other airline presently connecting the two cities. When referencing OAG Traffic Analyser data, an estimated 3,800 passengers travelled indirectly between the two airports in 2018. However, the new service does open up an array of new connection possibilities for passengers via Kuala Lumpur. This becomes only the third scheduled international route to be flown by an airline to/from Lanzhou. China Eastern Airlines and Spring Airlines both presently operate a weekly service to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, while China Eastern (twice-weekly) and Hainan Airlines (three times weekly) link Lanzhou to Taipei Taoyuan this summer. Lanzhou becomes the tenth route to mainland China for AirAsia X from Kuala Lumpur when looking at OAG Schedules Analyser data.

Alitalia Washington

Alitalia launched a five times weekly service between Rome Fiumicino and Washington Dulles on 2 May. Pictured cutting the route launch cake are Yil Surehan, VP Airline Business Development, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the US; and Fabio Lazzerini, Chief Business Officer, Alitalia.

  • Alitalia launched its latest US route on 2 May, adding Washington Dulles (IAD) to its network. The SkyTeam member will operate a five times weekly service from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) using its fleet of A330-200s. Competition on the 7,228-kilometre transatlantic route comes from United Airlines. The Star Alliance member is operating the airport pair daily this summer using 767-400s according to OAG schedules. “Alitalia’s service to Rome is especially important to meet the needs of the business community and the Italian-American community, who have long expressed support for additional service throughout much of the year,” commented Yil Surehan, VP Airline Business Development, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, about the arrival of the Italian flag carrier. “The inauguration of a non-stop flight operated by Alitalia between Rome and Washington represents another positive development in growing bilateral relations between Italy and the US,” added Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the US.

American Airlines Chicago Athens

American Airlines launched flights between Chicago O’Hare and Athens on 3 May, with the first flight touching down in the Greek capital the following morning. This is American’s second route to Athens after Philadelphia. Pictured cutting the cake in Athens are Elena Kountoura, Greek Minister of Tourism (third right), and Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece (second right). Also present at the launch were Ioanna Papadopoulou, Communications and Marketing Director, Athens Airport (fifth right)) and Richard Muise, Director, Europe & Canada Operations, American Airlines (fourth right).

American Airlines Asheville

American Airlines celebrated three new routes to Asheville this week, launching services to the airport from Dallas/Fort Worth, New York LaGuardia and Philadelphia. Asheville toasted the occasion with this impressive four-tiered cake. Note that while adorned with a model A321, all routes to Asheville will be flown using regional aircraft.

Orlando Melbourne Airport celebrated American Airlines’ new link from Washington Reagan with an airline-themed cake, while cupcakes were presented either side of the main baked wonder spelling out the IATA codes of the two airports.

  • American Airlines expanded its network on 3 and 4 May by introducing 11 new routes to its network, with the most significant being a 8,766-kilometre sector between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Athens (ATH). The transatlantic service will be flown daily this summer using a mixture of 787-8s and 787-9s. The only other international route launched by American during this period was from Miami (MIA) to Santiago de Cuba (SCU). Of the 11 routes launched by American, only one will face direct competition, with that being the 627-kilometre hop from Chicago O’Hare to Erie (ERI) in Pennsylvania. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
03-May Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Athens (ATH) B78S (7)  
Erie (ERI) E145 (7) United Airlines (14)
Charlotte-Douglas (CLT) E145 (14)  
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Asheville (AVL) CRJ9 (7)  
Miami (MIA) Santiago de Cuba (SCU) A319 (7)  
Philadelphia (PHL) Asheville (AVL) E145 (7)  
Chattanooga (CHA) E145 (7)  
04-May New York LaGuardia (LGA) Asheville (AVL) E175 (2)  
Daytona Beach (DAB)  
Washington Reagan (DCA) Hilton Head Island (HHH)  
Orlando Melbourne (MLB)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Austrian Airlines launched operations between Vienna and Montreal on 29 April, a route it will operate daily this summer. Pictured at the route launch party in Canada along with some of the airline crew are Hans Dehaan, Senior Director Canada, Lufthansa Group; Dr. Stefan Pehringer, Austrian Ambassador to Canada; and Stéphane Lapierre, VP Airport Operations and Air Services Development, Aéroports de Montréal. A cake was also made to celebrate the arrival of Montreal’s newest international carrier. Flights will be operated by 767-300s.

  • Austrian Airlines launched flights between Vienna (VIE) and Montreal (YUL) on 29 April, with the carrier having switched its only Canadian route from Toronto Pearson, with Air Canada having taken up the route between Toronto and Vienna on the same day. The Austrian flag carrier will serve the 6,458-kilometre airport pair using its fleet of 767-300s, with no other carrier presently serving the airport pair. “We are pleased to feature this additional destination in our North American offering, which complements our dense route network in Central and Eastern Europe. Until the end of the year, we expect to transport approximately 75,000 passengers between Montreal and Vienna,” said Wolfgang Jani, CFO of Austrian Airlines.

Hamburg Condor

Hamburg Airport baked this very elegant cake to celebrate Condor’s inaugural flight to Kalamata on 3 May, a route that the leisure operator will serve weekly (Fridays) this summer using its fleet of A320s.

  • Condor launched six new routes between 1 and 4 May to destinations in Italy and Greece, with Düsseldorf (DUS) gaining three new services, Hamburg (HAM) two and Hannover (HAJ) one. Of the six routes launched, three will face head-to-head competition from Eurowings, while all services will be flown by A320s on either a weekly or twice-weekly basis. The average sector of the six routes is 1,675 kilometres.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
01-May Düsseldorf (DUS) Cagliari (CAG) A320 (1) Eurowings (3)
02-May Kefalonia (EFL)  
03-May Hamburg (HAM) Kalamata (KLX)  
Hannover (HAJ) Lamezia Terme (SUF) A320 (2) Eurowings (1)
04-May Düsseldorf (DUS) Volos (VOL) A320 (1)  
Hamburg (HAM) Olbia (OLB) A320 (2) Eurowings (3)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

easyJet Sylt

easyJet launched operations between Berlin Tegel and Sylt on 4 May, with the latter airport becoming a new destination on the airline’s route network. To celebrate the service, Sylt Airport baked this easyJet colour-themed cake. The carrier will operate the 417-kilometre route weekly (Saturdays) this summer using its fleet of A320s.

  • easyJet introduced Sylt (GWT) to its network on 4 May, launching a weekly (Saturdays) service to the German island from Berlin Tegel (TXL). The LCC will serve the 417-kilometre route using its fleet of A320s, with no other carrier present on the airport pair when referencing OAG schedules. Along with adding Sylt to its network, easyJet launched flights to Kos (KGS) from Tegel, a 2,055-kilometre route which was inaugurated on the same day. Flown by A320s on a twice-weekly (Mondays and Saturdays) basis, the airport pair is already flown by Ryanair (three times weekly) and TUIfly (weekly). As well as expanding from Tegel, the carrier launched its latest route from its biggest base at London Gatwick (LGW) on 30 April. The airline now offers a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) link to Zadar (ZAD) from the UK airport. This becomes the carrier’s fifth route to Zadar, as it is already serving the Croatian airport on a summer seasonal basis from Berlin’s Schönefeld and Tegel airports, plus London Luton and Milan Malpensa. No other airline currently operates the 1,395-kilometre route between Gatwick and Zadar. According to UK CAA data, some 440,770 passengers travelled on routes from Gatwick to Dubrovnik, Split and Pula in 2018.

Eurowings Berlin

Eurowings launched a operations between Berlin Tegel and Munich on 1 May, a route which will operate 28 times weekly. In celebration, Munich Airport hosted a small gate ceremony. Eurowings becomes the third carrier to serve the airport pair, with Lufthansa already offering 105 weekly departures, while easyJet provides 50 based on OAG data.

Eurowings Nuremberg

Eurowings launched flights between Nuremberg and Split on 2 May, with the German airport baking this gigantic cupcake-styled creation to celebrate the new service. The route will operate twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays).

  • Eurowings launched a domestic connection between Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Munich (MUC) on 1 May. The carrier will operate the 478-kilometre airport pair 28 times weekly, becoming the third airline to serve the route. It joins Lufthansa which offers 105 weekly departures, while LCC easyJet is offering 50 weekly rotations. Eurowings will operate the route using its fleet of A319s based on OAG Schedules Analyser data. Along with this high-frequency city pair, the carrier has launched two new leisure routes during the past two weeks. On 28 April it commenced a weekly (Sundays) service from Hamburg (HAM) to Jerez (XRY), joining Condor on the sector, with the latter operating a twice-weekly service. On 2 May Eurowings also launched its latest route from Nuremberg (NUE), initiating a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service to Split (SPU). No other airline presently operates the latter airport pair. The 2,247-kilometre link between Germany and Spain, plus the 771-kilometre hop from Germany to Croatia, will both be flown using the airline’s fleet of 737-800s. At present, the LCC has seven 737-800s in its fleet according to data.

Finnair Hannover

Finnair launched operations to Hannover on 30 April, with the German city’s airport – recently the home of Routes Europe 2019 – baking this splendid cake to welcome the arrival of the oneworld member. The carrier plans to operate the 1,279-kilometre route five times weekly using its fleet of E190s, with the frequency increasing to daily from 1 June.

  • Finnair launched its latest connection from Helsinki (HEL) on 30 April. It has started a five times weekly service to Hannover (HAJ), recent host of Routes Europe 2019. Flown using E190s, the carrier will increase the frequency on the 1,279-kilometre sector to daily from 1 June. “The flights by Finnair to Helsinki generate many new connections to Asia, US and Canada. The options these flights give are great for tourism traffic, plus they are attractive options for business travellers, helping strengthen the business location of Lower Saxony,” commented Raoul Hille, MD, Hannover Airport. Finnair is the only operator flying between Helsinki and Hannover. With the launch of this route, the Helsinki-based operator now serves seven airports in Germany. Its other destinations in Germany are Berlin Tegel, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.

Georgian Airways Tbilisi

Georgian Airways’ inaugural flight from Tbilisi to Voronezh was greeted with a water arch salute as it taxied to the gate at the latter airport. The route between Georgia and Russia will be operated using E190s.

  • Georgian Airways launched operations from its base at Tbilisi (TBS) to Voronezh (VOZ) in Russia on 26 April. The carrier will serve the 1,207-kilometre route twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) using its fleet of E190s. No other airline presently links the Georgian and Russia cities. While the market between the two cities has not been flown before, OAG Traffic Analyser data shows that around 300 people flew indirectly between the two cities last year, suggesting that Georgian Airways will be looking to stimulate the new market by generating demand for the airport pair, or passengers are leaking to other markets for direct flights. With Istanbul having been the preferred connecting point for these two cities, it suggests that connection options were not great between the two destinations. A further look at the carrier’s booking engine shows that bookings are not too bad on the first initial services in May, with many of the basis economy fares showing as sold out. However, tickets are still up for purchase between €100 and €170. Birmingham celebrated the launch of flights between Birmingham and Bourgas on 6 May by handing out cupcakes, branded in airport and airline logos, to the inaugural flight passengers. Along with Bourgas, new routes by from Birmingham this summer include Bergerac, Chania, Izmir, Pula and Verona.


Bourgas Airport in Bulgaria welcomed the first flight by from Birmingham on 2 May, baking an impressive cake to toast the new service. Along with Birmingham, flights from Manchester and London Stansted launched on the same day. Along with these three routes, another six routes will also be added by the carrier to Bourgas.

  • launched its first flights to Bourgas (BOJ), Chania (CHQ) and Izmir (ADB) last week, while it also added a new connection from Glasgow (GLA) to Naples (NAP) on 29 April. Of the new routes, five will face direct competition at the time of launch, however, it should be noted that competition will also be seen on other routes later in the summer season according to OAG schedules. will add more routes to Bourgas in the coming days from Belfast International, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Newcastle.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
29-Apr Glasgow (GLA) Naples (NAP) B738 (1) TUI Airways (2)
01-May Manchester (MAN) Izmir (ADB) Thomas Cook Airlines (2), TUI Airways (1)
02-May London Stansted (STN) B738 (2) Pegasus Airlines (4)
03-May Chania (CHQ) B738 (1) Ryanair (2)
06-May Birmingham (BHX) Bourgas (BOJ) B738 (2)  
London Stansted (STN)  
Manchester (MAN) BH Air (2), TUI Airways (1), Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

KLM Amsterdam

Cutting the cake at the inauguration party of KLM’s new link to Wroclaw from Amsterdam are Dariusz Kuś, President and CEO, Wroclaw Airport; Ron van Dartel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Poland; and Warner Rootliep, MD of KLM Cityhopper. The carrier will serve the 845-kilometre route from Amsterdam daily using E175s.

  • KLM has made Wroclaw (WRO) its fourth destination in Poland after Gdansk, Krakow and Warsaw Chopin. On 6 May, the carrier inaugurated a daily service to Wroclaw from Amsterdam (AMS). The SkyTeam member will serve the 845-kilometre sector daily using its fleet of E175s, with no other airline currently linking the two airports. In 2018, an estimated 15,600 passengers travelled indirectly between Wroclaw and Amsterdam, making it one of the top unserved markets from the Polish city. However, KLM will also be picking up connecting traffic via the hub too. When referencing OAG Traffic Analyser data, top unserved markets from Wroclaw at present include Brussels, London Heathrow and Milan Malpensa in Europe, plus Chicago O’Hare, Seoul Incheon and Toronto Pearson on the long-haul front, with these likely to be leading connecting markets for KLM from Wroclaw-originating passengers. The Amsterdam-based airline becomes the sixth hub carrier to serve Wroclaw, with it joining Air France (Paris CDG), LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw Chopin), Lufthansa (Frankfurt and Munich), SAS (Copenhagen) and SWISS (Zurich).

La Compagnie Nice New York

La Compagnie launched its inaugural service from New York Newark to Nice on 5 May, with the aircraft touching down in the French Riviera the following morning. The route will soon be operated by the carrier’s A321LRs. However, as the two aircraft that it has on order with the European manufacturer have not yet been delivered, the new link will be flown using the airline’s existing 757-200s which are configured in an all-business 74-seat layout.

  • La Compagnie, the all-business class airline, has launched its second non-stop service between France and the US. On 5 May, the company inaugurated flights between New York Newark (EWR) and Nice (NCE). shows that the aircraft which will serve this 6,428-kilometre airport pair will operate a Paris Orly – New York Newark – Nice – New York Newark – Paris Orly rotation. The route will soon be operated by the carrier’s A321LRs. However, as the two aircraft that it has on order with the European manufacturer have not yet been delivered, the new link will be flown using the airline’s existing 757-200s which are configured in an all-business 74-seat layout. The route will operate four times weekly. The launch of this service by La Compagnie breaks the monopoly of services to Nice from New York, with Delta Air Lines currently offerings a summer seasonal, daily service from New York JFK to the French airport.

Loganair Cake

Loganair is the newest airline to serve Bournemouth Airport, with it having launched a twice-weekly service to Jersey on 29 April. To celebrate the new route, the airport baked this impressive cake. A second link to the channel islands, in the form of a weekly connection to Guernsey, will begin on 13 May based on OAG data.

  • Loganair launched its first route from Bournemouth (BOH) on 29 April, starting a connection to Jersey (JER). The carrier will serve the 175-kilometre route twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) using its fleet of 37-seat E135s. No other airline currently links the two airports, with the last commercial service between the two destinations having been in January 2016 when Flybe offered a four times weekly link using Q400s. This was during the time that Flybe had a base at the South UK airport. Loganair will commence a second route from Bournemouth on 11 May when it initiates a weekly (Saturdays) service to Guernsey. This airport pair was last flown by Blue Islands in 2013 when the carrier offered a three times weekly link using 19-seat Jetstream 31s which have since left its fleet. 

LOT Polish Airlines Krakow

LOT Polish Airlines launched a domestic connection between Krakow and Olsztyn-Mazury on 25 April. Pictured cutting the ribbon along with the inaugural flight captain at Krakow Airport are Radosław Włoszek, CEO, Krakow Airport, and Łukasz Smółka, Deputy Marshal of Małopolska Province. The route will be operated using Q400s.

LOT Polish Airlines London City

LOT Polish Airlines added services between Vilnius and London City on 1 May, a route that the carrier will operate 12 times weekly, offering a twice-daily service on weekdays, with a daily rotation on Saturdays and Sundays. This becomes Vilnius’ third link to London, with Ryanair and Wizz Air serving London’s Stansted and Luton airports.

  • LOT Polish Airlines has introduced two new routes to its network, starting on 25 April with a twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service on a domestic link between Krakow (KRK) and Olsztyn-Mazury (SZY). Flown using Q400s, no other airline presently offers non-stop flights between the Polish airports. The second route inaugurated by the Polish flag carrier did not involve its home market. On 1 May, the Star Alliance member launched a 12 times weekly service between Vilnius (VNO) and London City (LCY). Flown using E190s, no other carrier currently serves the 1,711-kilometre airport pair, however, Ryanair links the Lithuanian capital airport to London Stansted, while Wizz Air connects Vilnius to London Luton. Take a closer look at the launch party that took place for the new route between Vilnius and London City here, with in attendance.

Norwegian Madrid

Norwegian launched a three times weekly service between Madrid and Boston on 2 May, with the Spanish capital airport baking this airline-themed cake to toast the new service. Flights will go head-to-head with Iberia.

  • Norwegian launched flights between Madrid (MAD) and Boston (BOS) on 2 May. The LCC will serve the 5,847-kilometre route three times weekly using its 787-9s. Competition on the airport pair comes from Iberia, with it serving the city pair daily using its A330-300s. When referencing statistics from Aena, some 123,570 passengers travelled non-stop between Madrid and Boston in 2018. A further analysis using OAG Traffic Analyser data shows that the top connecting markets for Boston-originating passengers using Iberia’s service via Madrid in 2018 included Barcelona (estimated 3.6% of total traffic on route in 2018), Casablanca (2.8%), Athens (2.0%), Malaga (1.7%) and Porto (1.6%). 

Ryanair launched operations on a new route between Dublin and Kiev Boryspil on 2 May, a service it will operate twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays). Among those pictured at the launch in Dublin was Eimear Ryan, Sales Marketing Executive UK & Ireland, Ryanair (right). No other carrier links the Irish and Ukrainian capital cities.

Ryanair Bodrum

Ryanair introduced flights between Dublin and Bodrum on 4 May, with the Turkish airport becoming the carrier’s second destination in the country after Dalaman. Flights on the airport pair will be flown twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) this summer, facing no direct competition. Bodrum Airport baked this cake to toast the service.

Ryanair Budapest

Budapest Airport also upped its baking game on 2 May, producing this bullfighting-inspired cake to celebrate the start of Ryanair’s new twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service to Seville. Along with Seville, Ryanair has also begun flights from Budapest to Bari, Cagliari and Rimini this week. Only Bari services face direct competition.

  • Ryanair launched nine new routes between 2 and 4 May, including its first-ever flights to Bodrum (BJV). It becomes the carrier’s second destination in Turkey, having added flights to Dalaman last summer from Dublin (DUB), the origin of the new route to Bodrum, and Bratislava. Along with the arrival of Bodrum to the network, a further eight routes have been launched, with four of these involving Budapest (BUD), with the Hungarian gateway welcoming new services by the airline to Bari (BRI), Cagliari (CAG), Rimini (RMI) and Seville (SVQ). Four of the routes also involve Dublin, including the Bodrum connection. Details of all nine new routes for Ryanair can be seen in the table below.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)


Budapest (BUD) Cagliari (CAG)



B738 (2)

Seville (SVQ)  
Dublin (DUB) Kiev Boryspil (KBP)  


Budapest (BUD) Bari (BRI) Wizz Air (5)
Rimini (RMI)  
Dublin (DUB) Thessaloniki (SKG)  


Bologna (BLQ) Heraklion (HER) B738 (1)  
Dublin (DUB) Bodrum (BJV) B738 (2)  
Gothenburg (GOT)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

St. Petersburg Airport S7 Airlines

S7 Airlines launched operations between St. Petersburg and Palma de Mallorca on 26 April, with the Spanish airport baking this striking cake to celebrate the new service. Flights on the 2,953-kilometre sector will operate twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) using the carrier’s fleet of A319s. No other airline currently links the two airports.

Olbia S7 Airlines

Olbia was another Mediterranean airport to welcome a new route with S7 Airlines from St. Petersburg, with the carrier launching a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service on 29 April, a route flown using A319s. Olbia greeted the service with cake. This is Olbia Airport’s second route with the carrier after Moscow Domodedovo.

  • S7 Airlines has launched four new routes from St. Petersburg (LED) as part of its S19 flight schedule, with it now linking the Russian city to Anapa (AAQ), Barcelona (BCN), Olbia (OLB) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI). Along with expansion from Russia’s Northern Gateway, the carrier has also expanded its flight schedule from Moscow Domodedovo (DME), adding flights to Nice (NCE). Of the five routes launched by the airline, only two will face direct competition. The average sector length of the route quintet is 2,513 kilometres.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
26-Apr St. Petersburg (LED) Anapa (AAQ) A319 (3) Rossiya Airlines (7)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) A319 (2)  
28-Apr Barcelona (BCN) A319 (3) Vueling (3), Rossiya Airlines (2), Azur Air (1)
Moscow Domodedovo (DME) Nice (NCE) A320 (5)  
29-Apr St. Petersburg (LED) Olbia (OLB) A319 (2)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Sichuan Airlines Istanbul

Sichuan Airlines has become the first ‘new’ airline to serve the new Istanbul Airport, with it becoming the first carrier to inaugurate flights to the airport having not served the former Istanbul Atatürk. The Chinese carrier will serve the 6,663-kilometre route between Chengdu and the Turkish mega-hub three times weekly.

  • Sichuan Airlines has become the first ‘new’ airline to serve the recently opened Istanbul (IST) Airport, with it becoming the first carrier to inaugurate flights to the airport having not served the former Istanbul Atatürk. On 30 April, the Chinese airline launched a three times weekly service from Chengdu (CTU). It plans to operate the 6,663-kilometre route using its fleet of A330-200s and -300s, with no other carrier presently serving the airport pair.

SWISS Heringsdorf

SWISS launched a weekly (Saturdays) service between Zurich and Heringsdorf in Germany on 4 May. Pictured welcoming the flight crew which operated the first flight are Dirk Zabel, MD, Heringsdorf Airport; Michael Steuer, Executive Director, Usedom Tourism; and Lars Petersen, Mayor of Heringsdorf. Flights will be operated using A220-100s.

  • SWISS launched its latest route from Zurich (ZRH) on 4 May, commencing a weekly (Saturdays) service to Heringsdorg (HDF). The airline will serve the 814-kilometre airport pair using its fleet of A220-100s, with the seasonal service scheduled to run until 28 September based on OAG schedules. No other carrier currently links the two airports. Looking at current scheduled data for S19, this will be the only international service operating to/from the North Germany airport this summer.

TUI Airways Cardiff

TUI Airways launched operations between Cardiff and Naples on 1 May, while brand-new routes for the Welsh airport to Dubronvik and Hurghada were also added by the carrier on 2 and 6 May respectively. The airline also introduced flights from Cardiff to Antalya and Endifha this week, routes also flown by Thomas Cook Airlines. Pictured celebrating the three brand-new destinations for the airport by cutting the cake is Debra Barber, CEO, Cardiff Airport (right).

TUI Airways Doncaster

TUI Airways introduce long-haul services from Doncaster Sheffield on 4 May, launching operations to Orlando Sanford, a route it will operate weekly (Saturdays) this summer using 787-8s. This marks the airline’s first regular, scheduled long-haul operation from the airport, having done several cruise flights to the Caribbean in the past. The airline will expand long-haul operations in 2020 from the airport with flights to Cancún. The airline has also added five more routes from Doncaster Sheffield this week, including Antalya, Bodrum, Enfidha, Kos and Pula, all of which will see a weekly rotation.

  • TUI Airways has introduced an array of new routes to its network as part of its S19 schedule, including the introduction of its first regular, scheduled long-haul service from Doncaster Sheffield (DSA). The carrier now offers a weekly (Saturdays) service to Orlando Sanford (SFB) from the Yorkshire airport, a county home to over five million people, with this being its only regular long-haul connection. TUI Airways already offers flights to Sanford from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle. Last year, the carrier transported 167,000 passengers between the UK and Sanford, a figure which is down 3.8% versus 2017. While its traffic fell from Sanford in 2018, two routes which showed signs of growth included Gatwick, with passenger numbers climbing 1.3%, while Birmingham was the star of the show. The route between Birmingham and Sanford saw a 13% increase in numbers last year, with this likely being part of the decision as to why the airline will add a second weekly service between the two airports from summer 2020. Along with Doncaster Sheffield, Aberdeen (ABZ), Birmingham (BHX), Bournemouth (BOH), Cardiff (CWL), East Midlands (EMA), Exeter (EXT), Glasgow (GLA), London Luton (LTN) and Newcastle (NCL) welcomed new routes by TUI Airways. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
01-May Doncaster Sheffield (DSA) Kos (KGS) B738 (1)  
Aberdeen (ABZ) Rhodes (RHO)  
Cardiff (CWL) Naples (NAP)  
02-May Antalya (AYT) Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Dubrovnik (DBV)  
East Midlands (EMA) Santorini (JTR)  
London Luton (LTN) Thessaloniki (SKG)  
Newcastle (NCL) Antalya (AYT) (3), Thomas Cook Airlines (2)
03-May Bournemouth (BOH) Heraklion (HER)  
Cardiff (CWL) Enfidha (NBE) Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
London Luton (LTN)  
Newcastle (NCL) Thomas Cook Airlines (2)
04-May Birmingham (BHX) Izmir (ADB) (1)
Doncaster Sheffield (DSA) Antalya (AYT)    
Orlando Sanford (SFB) B788 (1)  
Pula (PUY) B738 (1)  
Glasgow (GLA) Antalya (AYT) Thomas Cook Airlines (5), (4)
05-May East Midlands (EMA) Faro (FAO) Ryanair (13), (7)
06-May Birmingham (BHX) Thessaloniki (SKG) (1)
Cardiff (CWL) Hurghada (HRG)  
Doncaster Sheffield (DSA) Bodrum (BJV)  
Enfidha (NBE)  
Exeter (EXT) Zakynthos (ZTH)  
Glasgow (GLA) Enfidha (NBE) Thomas Cook Airlines (3)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 7 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.


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