Africa World Airlines on 08 October signed an interline agreement with Brussels Airlines. The partnership will offer a historic opportunity for Ghana’s up-and-coming carrier, enabling Brussels and AWA passengers to access each other’s respective short haul route networks, including AWA’s nine African destinations from its Accra hub and Brussels Airlines’ 73 European routes. Pictured at the signing was (left to right) Pierre Declerck, Lufthansa Group Regional Manager and Sean Mendis, COO Africa World Airlines.
*ADD GRAPHIC BEFORE PUBLISHING* Air Transat began daily A321LR operations from London Gatwick this week on its Toronto route. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, the type will replace A330-300s during the winter season. This comes in a bonanza of next-gen aircraft between the two cities as BA launched A350-1000s on Heathrow – Toronto last week, and WestJet is set to add 787-9s on its daily Gatwick service from 24 October. Click here to see our thoughts on the next-generation takeover of this market.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines celebrated its 100th birthday on Monday 07 October, making it the oldest airline to still operate under its original name. anna.aero Assistant Editor James Davis was on one of the centenary flights that day, a KLM Cityhopper service to London City. Amsterdam – London as a city pair holds special meaning, being the world’s oldest airline/route combination still operating, with the two cities having a KLM connection since 17 May 1920. The festivities on board included a special “KLM 100” branded F&B offering – with the centenary beer a personal favourite – a centenary edition of KLM’s Holland Herald magazine and a Dutch house model complete with a thank-you letter for each passenger. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, the Skyteam carrier serves some 164 destinations in S19, across six continents.
Uzbekistan Airways from summer 2020 will connect Munich and Tashkent with a twice-weekly service. The flights to Uzbekistan’s capital will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays, and provide connections to the CIS countries, as well as Asia. “We’re delighted with the launch of this new service to Uzbekistan, which will also enable passengers to catch connecting flights via Tashkent,” said Ulrich Theis, Director Traffic Development, Munich Airport. He added: “These flights will provide access from and via Munich to this fast-growing business and tourism region and will meet the rapidly growing demand for flights to central Asia.”
Birmingham Airport is set to welcome Austrian Airlines from 01 January 2020 with four times weekly services from Vienna, using a 120-seat Embraer 195. The flights, increasing to daily from S20, come as part of Lufthansa Group’s recent rationalisation, which will see Austrian Airlines expand its hub position at Vienna, replacing Eurowings’ based operation in the Austrian capital.
Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: “It’s great news that Austrian Airlines will become our newest carrier in January with services to Vienna, Austria’s beautiful capital city…we look forward to welcoming yet another Star Alliance carrier to Birmingham Airport which will provide more choice to onward destinations across Asia and Eastern Europe.”
Melbourne Airport this week celebrated the announcement of Jetstar’s new domestic service to Busselton, Western Australia. The route will commence in March 2020, and operate three times weekly. Asiana Airlines will also be operating weekly charters from Seoul Incheon over the winter period, between 26 December 2019 and 21 February 2020. Andrew Gardiner, Chief of Aviation, Melbourne Airport, told anna.aero: “There is an untapped opportunity between Melbourne and South Korea as there are close to 100,000 people annually travelling between the two, and tourism is backed by the VFR market as Victoria is home to the third-largest South Korean population within Australia.” Pictured at World Routes last month were Melbourne Airport’s Ted Knight, SVP and Head of Commercial Aviation; Nicky Eakins, Marketing Manager Aviation; Andrew Gardiner, Chief of Aviation; Susan Su, VP Aviation Development, International (North Asia) and Lorie Jardine Argus, Executive Leader.
Air Astana this week began A321LR operations from Nur-Sultan to Moscow Domodedovo. The route is the first for the Kazakh carrier’s long range variant of the A321neo, with CEO Peter Forster expressing interest in deploying it to destinations such as Singapore and Shanghai. The type will eventually replace Air Astana’s 757s on its portfolio of seven long haul destinations, including London Heathrow, Seoul and Hong Kong.
Cabo Verde Airlines and IATA visited Lagos this week for a travel agency workshop ahead of CVA’s launch to the city on 09 December from its Sal Island hub. Present amongst local agents was Cabo Verde Airlines’ VP and Sales Manager Raul Andrade. The airline will also connect Luanda on the same day, as part of the carrier’s increasing focus on connecting Africa with South America, Europe and the US East Coast. In total, Cabo Verde Airlines will serve three African cities in W19, including a Dakar route launched in W18.
Thai Air Asia X has announced charter flights between Bangkok and Tbilisi from 28 December. The LCC will operate these services three times weekly for three months, using an A330, according to a Tbilisi Airport statement.