Our winter 2019/20 launch special

Jazeera Airways Kuwait International to Gatwick

Jazeera Airways this week celebrated the launch of direct flights to London Gatwick. At the launch ceremony with the crew were Jazeera Airways’ CEO, Rohit Ramachandran; Chairman Marwan Boodai; HE UK Ambassador Michael Davenport; HE French Ambassador Marie Masdupuy; HE German Ambassador Stefan Mobs and DGCA Eng. Yousef Al Fouzan.

Malta International Airport’s new Trieste flight with Ryanair

Malta International Airport celebrated in style this week with the launch of Paphos, Santiago de Compostela and Trieste flights on 27 October. Ryanair will serve both Trieste and Paphos twice a week, with no other carriers currently operating the route. The LCC will offer 1.3 million seats from Malta in W19, up 23% on the previous year.


Kicking off this week’s Ryanair W19 launches from  Brussels Charleroi is the new four-times-weekly service to Tel Aviv, launched on 28 October. Flights will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with Brussels Airlines and El Al serving Tel Aviv from Brussels Airport.

Budapest Airport has welcomed 11 new routes already in W19, including Ryanair flights to Bordeaux, Gothenburg, Lisbon, Porto, Odesa, Tel Aviv and Toulouse. According to OAG Traffic Analyser, Ryanair offers over 1.6 million seats from BUD in W19, up 31% on last year.

Ryanair added services to Katowice from Cork Airport on 29 October. The twice-weekly service will be operated on Thursdays and Sundays, with no other carriers currently serving the route. Pictured at the launch was Kathleen Walshe, Event Management Cork Airport; Elaine McElligott, Business Development Specialist; Eimear Ryan, Joint Advertising Marketing Manager at Ryanair; Kathryn O’Dwyer, Digital Marketing Specialist at Cork Airport and Brian Gallagher, Head of Aviation & Commercial Business Development at Cork Airport.

Dresden has often suffered from a lack of a London link, with various London airports served – even London City. Following Ryanair ending Leipzig service, the airline now serves Dresden three-weekly from London Stansted. Dresden was previously connected to London in 2015.

Kharkiv Airport saw two new Ryanair flights to Poznan and Vilnius.

Memmingen Airport also added new Ryanair services this week to Lisbon and Amman. Celebrating the launch in traditional Bavarian Lederhosen was Marcel Schütz, Director of Aviation at Memmingen Airport.

Ryanair began a three-weekly service from Vilnius, Lithuania, to London Southend on 29 October. The airline now operates from three London airports to the Lithuanian capital. In 2018, 372,000 people flew all airlines between the two cities.  Wizz Air and Ryanair are increasingly mirroring each other on new routes.  This includes on Southend – Vilnius, with Wizz Air starting this route at the end of November.

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

The crew and Stansted Airport celebrate the launch of three-times-weekly flights to Amritsar.

  • Air India launched its first route from London Stansted on 28 October, with a three-weekly service to Amritsar.  106,000 flew London – Amristar in the past 12 months, with half via Delhi, one-quarter via Doha and 15% via Tashkent. Of course, with low average fares: just USD$158 one-way (excluding taxes and fuel surcharges and averaged across all cabins).  This isn’t surprising when the route is about religious and VFR travel. Currently, most passengers to India from Stansted’s catchment are leaked to London Heathrow, which has 13 non-stop services a day.

Daniel Lyons, BA’s Head of PR & marketing, Greater China and the Philippines talks to the press as the crew celebrate the arrival of the inaugural London Heathrow service into Beijing Daxing. The Zaha Hadid-designed facility holds the title of being the largest single-terminal airport ever built.

  • British Airways on Saturday 26 October moved its daily London Heathrow (LHR) flights to the new Beijing Daxing (PKX) airport. The inaugural service was operated by a 299-seat 777-300ER, although in W19 the route will be served by a 216-seat 787-9. Air China is the only other operator on the London – Beijing city-pair; it offers 17-weekly flights from Heathrow to Beijing Capital (PEK) with A330s and 777-300ERs. In the year to August 2019, the London – Beijing P2P market saw an estimated 510,000 passengers, up from 468,000 YOY.

easyJet launched two new routes from Venice this week. Aqaba will be served twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays, whilst Marrakech will operate Wednesdays and Sundays. Milan Malpensa has also seen new routes to North Africa and the Middle East.

easyJet commenced twice-weekly services between Liverpool and Tenerife, the 33rd route from its Liverpool base. According to LPL, over 8,500 passengers are expected to travel on the route in W19. Paul Winfield, Director of Aviation Development said: “Liverpool John Lennon Airport is delighted to welcome this new service to Tenerife. We are sure that the service will prove popular with passengers from across the North West region, and welcome this latest new route with easyJet.”

Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO Ethiopian Airlines Group speaks to reporters at the launch of the Star Alliance carrier’s four times weekly service to Bengaluru. The inbound flight (ET691) is timed to feed Ethiopian’s first departure bank out of Addis Ababa (07:00-10:00), to destinations across Africa. Equally, the outbound flight to BLR at 23:00 (ET690) is fed by the evening bank (18:00-20:00) of arrivals into ADD.

Eurowings launched services on 27 October from Düsseldorf to Gdanśk (four-times-weekly) and Sofia (three-times-weekly).

One of Eurowings’ stand-out launches this week was to Windhoek, Namibia, from Frankfurt. Present at the launch was Dr André Schulz, General Manager Southern Africa, Lufthansa Group. The carrier serves the route on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with Air Namibia also operating on the route with a daily service. Eurowings also launched flights to Barbados, which came as the governments of Barbados and Germany signed a landmark ASA after the negotiations had stalled for 20 years. To cap off the trio of launches from Frankfurt was a service to Las Vegas. The carrier recently served the airport for the first time from Düsseldorf.

Laudamotion has started begun W19 numerous brand-new routes.  This winter, it will have 2.6 million seats across the season, up 60% on W18. With such growth, its increasing presence in the Ryanair Group as an A320 testbed, and the group’s 737MAXs still on the ground in Seattle, could a large Airbus NEO order be on the horizon? Read on for this week’s launch highlights, and vote in our poll at the end.

Birmingham Airport on 29 October welcomed Laudamotion for the first time with the launch of three times weekly Vienna flights. Pictured with the Lauda crew are Adam Parker, Aviation Strategy, Forecasting and Cargo Manager, and Jonathan Ford, Aviation Development Manager. The route is currently served by Eurowings (soon to be replaced by fellow Lufthansa Group carrier Austrian Airlines) four times a week.

Bordeaux is now connected three times a week from Vienna. The route will be operated on Tusedays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Laudamotion also added Brussels South Charleroi to its portfolio with a six-times-weekly service.

Edinburgh Airport welcomed a new carrier in Laudamotion’s inaugural service to Vienna. The carrier will serve the Scottish and Austrian capitals three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays until 26 March 2020. Gordon Dewar, CEO Edinburgh Airport, said: “We’re bringing yet more choice to our passengers and offering them a variety of ways to get to Vienna, which is one of the world’s most stunning cities, offering everything from skiing holidays, romantic weekends and historical sightseeing. We’re also delighted to welcome Laudamotion as our latest airline partner and look forward to working with them to make this new service a success.” According to OAG Schedules Analyser, easyJet also operates the route with a three-times-weekly service.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport welcomed twice weekly Laudamotion flights this week, starting 28 October. Paul Winfield, Director of Aviation Development at LPL said: “We are delighted to add another new carrier to Liverpool, serving the North West and North Wales market. We are delighted to welcome a new exciting destination from Liverpool, allowing passengers to travel from the North West’s Faster.Easier.Friendlier Airport. We look forward to working with Lauda for years to come”.

Next up on Lauda’s litany of launches from Vienna was a four-times-weekly service to Münster/Osnabrück (FMO). FMO’s CEO Prof. Rainer Schwarz (right) welcomed the crew of the inaugural flight with captain Eduard Inreiter (left), FMO’s VP Marketing and Communication Andrés Heinemann (2. from left) and FMO’s Aviation Marketing Manager Mathias Richter (4. from left).The 774-kilometre flight has a block time of 1h45, and will be operated by a 180-seat A320.

Celebrating the launch of Lauda’s Riga to Vienna flights on 27 October with the check in team and crew were Liene Freivalde, Director of Aviation Services & Business Development and ERIX, Riga Airport’s mascot. The 1,098-kilometre route will be operated by 180-seat A320s on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, airBaltic offers 11 weekly flights between the two capitals in W19, with a 145-seat A220-300.

On Sunday 27 October, Lauda launched twice-weekly services from Stockholm Skavsta to Vienna on Mondays and Fridays. This will increase to four weekly flights from December. Andreas Gruber, CEO Lauda said: “We are delighted to offer our passengers a new non-stop service from Stockholm to my hometown Vienna and expand our route network. Lauda allows passengers to explore the most livable city in the world for an unbeatable price.”

Vilnius Airport also welcomed a Lauda service to Vienna for the first time this week, operating on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Aurimas Stikliūnas, Head of Aviation Services at Lithuanian Airports performed the ribbon cutting and celebrated with the inaugural passengers.

Clr. Michaela Boyle, Mayor of Derry City & Strabane District and Charlene Shongo, Airport Manager at City of Derry Airport celebrated the launch of Southend services on 27 October with the Loganair crew. Shongo commented at the launch: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating Loganair’s inaugural flight from City of Derry Airport to London Southend today. The new London Southend service offers our customers a minimum of 13 departures per week with fares starting from £39.99pp one way, and flight times which are conveniently scheduled for a full working day at either destination.”

  • Loganair this week commenced operations between City of Derry and London Southend. Loganair has served Derry for over 40 years, initially launching at the airport with a Glasgow flight. In W19 it still offers this Glasgow service, as well as a Manchester flight and the new London Southend service. The concession to operate Derry – London flights was awarded via a Public Service Obligation (PSO) tender, and came about following Ryanair ending City of Derry to London Stansted, a route which saw 125,000 passengers in 2015. This PSO was held by flybmi until it ceased operations in February 2019. 

Norwegian this week commenced twice-weekly operations between Palanga and Bergen. The hybrid airline now operates four routes to Lithuanian airports, including an existing Palanga to Oslo service and flights from Vilnius to Oslo and Stockholm.

  • Norwegian this week began a twice-weekly service between Palanga and Bergen. The hybrid airline will operate year-round on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In the past year, the city-pair saw over 6,000 indirect passengers.  Aurimas Stikliunas, Head of Aviation Services Division at Lithuanian Airports said: “Scandinavia and Norway in particular, is one of the most important destinations for passengers traveling from Lithuanian airports. There is a steady growth in demand between Lithuania and Scandinavia and for Norwegians to experience the Lithuanian coastline and its heritage. We are pleased be able to offer Bergen as a new destination from Palanga Airport”.

The crew and Yangon Airport staff celebrate the launch of Ruili Airlines’ first flights between Mangshi and Yangon. The Chinese carrier commenced operations in 2014.

  • Ruili Airlines launched a three-times-weekly service between Mangshi (LUM) and Yangon (RGN). According to OAG Schedules Analyser, the previously unserved route will be operated by a 142-seat 737-700. China is a rapidly growing market for Yangon, with 320,000 passengers in 2019 so far, and 144,000 indirect – suggesting there is still untapped potential. Europe is the biggest unserved region, with 140,000 connecting passengers so far in 2019, with Paris Charles de Gaulle (21,272 pax) and London Heathrow (15,529) the top unserved European destinations. 

The crew and team from Yangon Airport celebrate the arrival of Qingdao Airlines’ inaugural Ningbo flight.

  • Qingdao Airlines on 28 October began direct flights between Ningbo (NGB) and Yangon (RGN). The twice-weekly route will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays using a 180-seat A320neo. Ningbo is Zhejiang Province’s second-largest city, with a population similar to London, and is a major commerce hub with MIT and the University of Nottingham opening overseas facilities in the Chinese city over the past 15 years. Around 4,000 people flew indirectly between Ningbo and Yangon in the year to August 2019, a market that can be easily stimulated.

Virgin Atlantic on 27 October celebrated the launch of Heathrow to Mumbai services, coinciding with this year’s Diwali festival. The carrier announced the route following the collapse of Jet Airways back in April 2019. Total capacity on the route in W19 is 359,000 seats, down 35% on W18 as last winter. Jet Airways alone accounted for 320,000 seats. However, with remaining carriers BA and Air India increasing capacity by 13% and 30% respectively, alongside the Virgin Atlantic launch, it is likely the void will soon be filled (see below).

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser

Wizz Air is once again set for a record winter season. The group has 17.3 million two-way seats in W19, representing a 22% and 3 million seat increase on last year.

  • Wizz Air launched twice-weekly services between Vilnius and Eilat. The 2,876-kilometre route will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays with a 230-seat A321. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, no other carrier currently serves the route.


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