New airline routes launched (09 – 15 July 2019)

Indigo Chennai to Kuala Lumpur

The crew and officials celebrate the launch of Indigo’s double daily flights between Chennai and Kuala Lumpur. The low cost carrier is now the largest domestic operator in India, with growth increasing even more rapidly since the collapse of rival Jet Airways.

  • IndiGo on 15 July launched year round services between Chennai (MAA) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL). The Indian low cost carrier will operate the 2,626-kilometre route twice weekly, with Air Asia and Malaysian Airlines also offering double daily services, along with Batik Air’s daily flight. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, IndiGo uses a 180-seat A320 on the route, and will serve the two cities year-round. 

Wizz Air Hamburg to Varna

VAR, not the football one: the crew of Wizz Air’s inaugural Hamburg to Varna service celebrate with this tasteful cake. The route comes as Wizz Air recently celebrated its 15 millionth passenger in Bulgaria alone, a remarkable achievement for a carrier that only commenced operations 15 years ago.

  • Wizz Air on 16 July commenced twice weekly operations between Hamburg (HAM) and Varna (VAR). The 1,741-kilometre route will be operated year-round on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with SunExpress also serving the city pair three times per week. Wizz Air is the largest carrier serving Bulgaria, according to OAG Schedules Analyser, with over 900,000 departing seats in summer 2019. 

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

Asiana Airlines CEO Han Chang-Soo (centre) and airline staff celebrate the launch of the Star Alliance carrier’s three times weekly service between Seoul and Ulaanbaatar.

  • Asiana Airlines on 09 July commenced thrice weekly operations between its Seoul Incheon (ICN) hub and Ulaanbataar (ULN). The 1,968-kilometre service will be operated using the carrier’s 290-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft, with MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Korean Air offering a 13 times weekly and 10 times weekly service respectively. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, Asiana will operate the seasonal route on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays until 26 October.

The crew of BA’s inaugural Heathrow – Montpellier service celebrate amidst the festivities as the oneworld carrier launches two routes this week, including the return of flights to Ljubljana. According to the Slovenian Tourist Board, British tourists had over 470,000 overnight stays in 2018, up 10% year-on-year.

  • British Airways on 11 July launched four times weekly services from London Heathrow (LHR) to Montpellier (MPL). The 935-kilometre seasonal route will be operated by the carrier’s A320 and A321neo aircraft until 02 September. No other operator currently serves the French Mediterranean city from Heathrow, although EasyJet offers up to 18 weekly services from Gatwick and Luton. In addition, this week saw BA’s return to Ljubljana (LJU). The 1,233-kilometre route will also run until 02 September, operating on Mondays and Fridays. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, EasyJet serves the route 13 times a week from London’s Gatwick and Stansted airports, whilst Wizz Air offers a four times weekly service from London Luton. Speaking at the launch was Zmago Skobir, MD Fraport Slovenia: “The return of British Airways to our airport is the fruit of years of hard work on the part of Ljubljana’s airport and Slovenia’s tourism sector. We firmly believe that the arrival of one of the most trusted names in air travel will further boost the recognisability and popularity of Slovenia as a destination in the British market. The choice of Heathrow is a significant added value, in that Heathrow is a springboard to all global destinations”.

The Qingdao Airlines crew and ground staff pose by the A320 that operated the inaugural flight. According to OAG, some 21 airlines operate between China and Cambodia in S19, up four on the previous year.

  • Qingdao Airlines this week commenced three times weekly operations on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between Zhanjiang (ZHA) and Sihanoukville (KOS). According to OAG Schedules Analyser, no other carrier currently operates on the 1,381-kilometre route, with Qingdao Airlines serving the Cambodian city with 157-seat Airbus A320s until 26 October.


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