New airline routes (27 February – 04 March)

Transavia Rotterdam to Edinburgh

A traditional Scottish pipe band marks the launch of Transavia’s new Rotterdam to Edinburgh flights on 27 February. The route will operate twice weekly.

Rotterdam – Edinburgh will operate initially on Thursdays and Sundays, before moving to four times weekly in April, with no direct competition on the route. However, Amsterdam Schiphol sees a total of 42 weekly flights from Edinburgh, with KLM (28 weekly flights) and easyJet (14 weekly) both operating on the route. The catchment area covering Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam is Europe’s fourth-largest by GDP, with Rotterdam home to the largest port in Europe. 

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

Bogotá El Dorado International Airport’s Stephane Marcoux, Aviation Marketing Director (second left), leads the celebrations with the team following Air Canada’s announcement. The new Montréal to Bogotá service will operate three times weekly.

  • Air Canada has announced direct services to Bogotá from Montréal Trudeau. The three-weekly service will be operated by the B767-300ER on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 2 June. According to OAG Traffic Analyser, ~38,000 travelled between Montréal and Bogotá in 2019, up 9% year-on-year. Air Canada is the top carrier, with a 57% share, and Toronto Pearson is the top connecting airport with a 51% share. See Air Canada’s top 20 connecting markets here.

  • Air Canada has announced the latest step in its transborder expansion with a new daily Vancouver International to Orange County service. The Star Alliance carrier joins WestJet’s existing daily on the route, which saw 66,300 passengers in 2019 – of which 19,600 were indirect. Mark Galardo, VP Network Planning and Alliances at Air Canada said: “We are very pleased to announce new daily, year-round flights from Vancouver to Orange County as we strategically expand our transborder network into the populous greater Los Angeles area…our new flights will link the increasing start-up, tech and innovator businesses that both Vancouver and Southern California are home to”.

Signing the MoU for Bamboo Airways’ Munich flights were Bui Quang Dung, Deputy General Director at Bamboo Airways and Andreas von Puttkamer, SVP Aviation at Munich Airport, accompanied by: Pham Thi Thanh Phoung, Marketing Manager Bamboo Airways; Oliver Dersch, VP Traffic Development, Munich Airport and Melanie Fürsich, Director Traffic Development – Asia Pacific & Southern Europe, Munich Airport.

Bamboo Airways today announced intentions to launch Munich flights from July. The Bavarian city is expected to be served from Hanoi weekly, and Ho Chi Minh City twice-weekly. Both routes will be operated by Bamboo’s new 787-9 fleet. Combined O&D demand between Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City and Munich was over 47,000 est. passengers in 2019, up 16% year-on-year. Over 452,000 total est. passengers flew between Vietnam and Germany in 2019, up 9% YOY, yet 71% were indirect.

Despite these large volumes, the current Vietnam – Germany connecting market is highly fragmented, with six carriers having at least 10% market share. This gives Bamboo Airways strong potential with this direct Munich offering from Vietnam’s two main cities. Only Vietnam Airlines currently has a direct service to Germany, operating to Frankfurt four-weekly from Ho Chi Minh City, and six-weekly from Hanoi.

  • Delta has announced an expanded flying programme out of Seattle this week. From 08 June, Delta will add new routes to Dallas/Fort Worth (three times daily) and Columbus (daily), with a second daily service to Austin and Orlando International.
  • In addition, the Skyteam carrier has announced daily flights to London Heathrow from 2021; complimenting JV partner Virgin Atlantic. According to OAG Traffic Analyser, over 227,000 estimated passengers travelled between Seattle and London (on a local basis) in 2019. See below for an overview of the coming Seattle – London market, which will have 41 weekly flights, i.e. nearly six-daily.
Carrier Arrival airport Weekly flights
American Airlines** London Heathrow 7
British Airways London Heathrow 13
Delta** London Heathrow 7
Norwegian* London Gatwick 3
Virgin Atlantic London Heathrow 11
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser *Operates seasonally **Launching 2021

  • easyJet this week announced a new Copenhagen to Amsterdam Schiphol route. The capital connection will launch on 29 March, operating daily. According to OAG Traffic Analyser, over 634,000 estimated passengers travelled on the route in 2019, with only 8,200 indirect. This is, however, sufficient remaining demand pre-stimulation to sustain additional flights on a sector this short. Furthermore, with a CASK lower than rivals on the route, easyJet will likely gain some of the existing price-sensitive market.
Carrier Weekly flights
KLM 48
SAS 29
Norwegian 8
easyJet 7
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser

GoAir announce Colombo from Delhi and Bangalore

GoAir will begin a five-weekly service from both Bangalore and Delhi to Colombo from next month.

GoAir has announced service between to Colombo, Sri Lanka, from both Bangalore and Delhi, with the first flights to both taking off on 20 March, not long away.  In 2019, Colombo – Delhi – Colombo had 227,200 passengers (average fare USD113 one-way excluding taxes, ancillaries and fuel surcharges), while Bangalore saw 147,600 ($53).  “When we started our international operations, Sri Lanka was very much a part of our growth plan,” said GoAir Vice President Sales Ruchika Singh. 

To Colombo from… Start date Weekly frequency Competition (weekly frequency)
Bangalore 20 March 5 IndiGo (7), SriLankan (14)
Delhi 20 March 5 Air India (14), SriLankan (21)
Source: GoAir’s website and OAG Schedules Analyser.

On a capacity basis, India – Sri Lanka had 3.2 million seats in 2019.  SriLankan was by far the largest operator with a 68% share of seats. 

IndiGo celebrates the launch of daily flights between Guwahati and Aizawl on 29 February.

  • IndiGo on 29 February launched daily flights between Guwahati and Aizawl. The 272-kilometre route will be operated by a 78-seat ATR 72. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, GoAir also serves the route daily, having launched in October 2019 with a 180-seat A320. Prior to its collapse in 2019, Jet Airways was the sole operator on the route. 

  • Silver Airways is set to launch Charleston services on May 21. South Carolina’s largest city will be served from Tampa International (three-weekly), Orlando (daily) and Fort Lauderdale (four-weekly). Tampa and Orlando are unserved from Charleston yet had 32,000 and 29,000 passengers last year respectively, while Fort Lauderdale has a daily JetBlue service. San Juan, Aruba and Cancun are the JetBlue’s top destinations from Charleston over Fort Lauderdale.

Spirit began daily Cancun flights from Philadelphia on 01 March. The ULCC joins American Airlines and Frontier on the route.

  • Spirit on 01 March began daily services between Philadelphia and Cancun. The 2,366-kilometre route is operated by 182-seat A320s. According to OAG Schedules Analyser, American Airlines (twice daily) and Frontier (daily) also operate on the route. Over 246,000 estimated passengers travelled between the two (both ways) in 2019.


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