New airline routes launched (06 – 11 December)

Emirates’ new Dubai to Mexico City route

A Mariachi band marks the launch on 9th December of Emirates’ new daily service to Mexico City. It connects a huge underserved market (Asia – Latin America) with over 500,000 indirect passengers in the year to October 2019, and is a deserved route of the week. The route was thrown into doubt earlier in the year when a Mexican court ruled that the agreement between the UAE and Mexico to launch air services was not valid, after a complaint from Aeromexico. However, this was overturned last month, paving the way for flights to launch as planned.

  • Emirates on 9th December commenced daily operations between Dubai and Mexico City. The fifth-freedom flight operates via Barcelona, with a 266-seat 777-200LR. Emirates is the sole operator between Dubai and Barcelona, with 16 weekly flights. Between Barcelona and Mexico City, Aeromexico operates five weekly flights alongside Emirates’ daily service.  In the year to October 2019, over 20,000 passengers flew indirectly between the UAE and Mexico, of which 12,800 were between Dubai and Mexico City. However, connections will be the main driver for the route, with 697,000 indirect passengers between Asia and Central America; 78% of total traffic. 

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

Brussels Charleroi staff wave off Air Belgium’s inaugural service to Fort-de-France, Martinique, and Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, on Saturday 7 December.

Air Belgium connected the Caribbean with Brussels Charleroi for the first time this week uising an A340-300.  It operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays, initially non-stop to Fort-de-France and then onto Pointe-à-Pitre.  Neither destination is otherwise served from Belgium.  Air Belgium has had a turbulent existence since commencing in 2018. The airline initially intended to operate scheduled services to Hong Kong, before scrapping the plans and operating wet leases on behalf of carriers including British Airways. 

Fastjet CEO João Oliveira e Sousa speaks at the launch of the LCC’s Bulawayo to Johannesburg service.

  • Fastjet on 5th December launched an 11-weekly flight between Bulawayo and Johannesburg. The  route will be served by the carrier’s 50-seat Embraer 145s. Fastjet operates six routes in W19 with its all-ERJ fleet, having right-sized operations and implemented a turnaround plan. This came after the airline initially launched with A319s, which ultimately proved too large for the market. 1H2019 has seen an improvement for the carrier, with RASK up 39%. South African Airways and Air Zimbabwe also operate between Bulawayo and Johannesburg, with a summary of competition on the route below. In response to Fastjet’s launch, South African Airways added seven frequencies on the route compared with November’s schedule.
Airline Weekly flights Equipment
South African Airways (op. by Airlink) 19 E170/190, DH8D
Fastjet 11 E145
Air Zimbabwe 4 B762
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser

A delegation including His Excellency U Phyo Min Thein, Chief Minister of Yangon Region; Her Excellency Daw Nilar Kyaw, Minister of Electricity, Industry, Roads and Transport; U Htun Myint Naing, Chairman of Asia World Group and Mr. Jose Angeja, COO Yangon Aerodrome Company Limited welcomed the inaugural flydubai service to Yangon. Also present was Sudhir Sreedharan, SVP Commercial Operations UAE, GCC, Subcontinent and Africa at flydubai (centre): “We are delighted to start our new daily service to Yangon, as we see flydubai’s network expand further East,” Sreedharan said. “The new service will not only support the trade links between the UAE and Myanmar but become a popular route for passengers travelling from the UAE and GCC, and for those connecting to Europe and the USA with Emirates.”

  • flydubai on 10 December commenced operations between Dubai International and Yangon. The hybrid airline will replace sister carrier Emirates on the route, offering a daily 737-800 service compared to Emirates’ four-weekly 77Ws. This represents a 10% drop in weekly two-way seats.  However, passengers will ultimately benefit from greater choice with the introduction of daily flights. No other carrier operates on the route. In the past year, the top-five destinations from Yangon via Dubai were London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris, and Amsterdam.

Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran speaks with’s James Pearson ahead of the airline’s London launch back in October.

Celebrations all round as Volaris connects Monterrey with Mazatlán. The route operates four times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

  • Volaris commenced four-weekly operations between Monterrey and Mazatlán on 07 December. The service is operated by a 138-seat A319. Vivaaerobus also serves the route with daily flights. Volaris has seen capacity grow significantly in W19 with 11 million two-way seats, up 13% YOY.  In the past year, Monterrey – Mazatlán saw over 80,000 passengers.


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