Route launches (18 July – 29 July)

Doha to Cebu

Qatar Airways launches Cebu

The Philippines is important to Qatar Airways, with 955,000 seats last year. The relaunch of Cebu, as celebrated in this photo, means the carrier has four destinations in the country.

Qatar Airways launched Doha – Cebu on 24 July, becoming the carrier’s fourth destination in the Philippines.

Served three-weekly, Cebu is operated by 412-seat B777-300ERs. However, the airline’s website shows they’ll be replaced with B787-8s from December.

Technically, Doha – Cebu is a relaunch, given Qatar Airways served it until 2012. Then, as now, it operated thrice-weekly, but by A330-200s and -300s.

Its restarted Cebu service departs Doha at 0145 and returns the same day at 2300. analysis of Qatar Airways’ Doha hub shows – not surprisingly – that the route is scheduled in its top wave, maximising connectivity.

The airline’s Philippine seats reached 955,000 last year, almost double its volume in 2014. This was from big growth to Manila and Clark, with 18 and seven weekly flights respectively in normal times, and launching Davao in 2019.

Qatar Airways starts Cebu, its fourth destination in the Philippines

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Alliance Airlines begins Sunshine Coast – Cairns

Alliance Airlines began Cairns from the Sunshine Coast this month.

Alliance Airlines began Sunshine Coast – Cairns on 17 July.

The service, which operates three-weekly, will primarily use the carrier’s 100-seat Fokker 100s.

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO, Andrew Brodie, said: “It’s a route that has been long anticipated by local people and the strong passenger loads for the first flight certainly confirmed that.”

Brodie added: “This service will also spare locals from making the long drive south to Brisbane to fly north, and will allow us to test the appetite for other regional routes on their wishlist.”

Alliance Airlines begins Sunshine Coast - Cairns

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO, Andrew Brodie, and Steve Padgett, Alliance Airlines co-founder, among many other roles, celebrate this new and important route within Queensland.

Route launches (A – Z by airline name)

British Airways launches Heathrow - Newquay

Newquay’s Managing Director, Pete Downes, and Marketing and Business Development Manager, Amy Smith, welcome British Airways, again connecting London and Cornwall.

British Airways began London Heathrow – Newquay on 24 July on a PSO basis, once again connecting Cornwall with the UK capital following the end of flybe.

British Airways is operating the route five-weekly until September, when it will increase to daily.  

Timings are highly conducive to weekend breaks, arriving into Cornwall at 0940 on Saturdays (or 1915 on Fridays) and departing 1910 on Sundays.

UK CAA data shows that Newquay had just over 461,000 passengers last year, of which 197,000 – or almost 43% – was to/from London.

Pete Downes, Newquay’s new MD, said: “It was a big loss for Cornwall Airport Newquay when flybe collapsed, as they had built up a strong market on their multi-daily service to London Heathrow. It operated with an average seat load factor of nearly 80%, clearly demonstrating its popularity.”

British Airways launches Heathrow - Newquay

Source: UK CAA. Luton not included as it had no Newquay service in this period.


Corendon Airlines starts Basel - Izmir

At Group level, Corendon Airlines now has four destinations from Basel, with a fifth scheduled to begin next May.

Corendon Airlines, at Group level, has grown its route portfolio from Basel with the launch of Izmir.

Izmir began on 23 July and operates twice-weekly.  Another new route, to Kayseri, will start on 7 August.

Kayseri will operate for the absolute peak season, ending 11 September, while Izmir will operate year-round, albeit down to once-weekly.

These routes supplement the Group’s existing twice-weekly servicee from Basel to both Antalya and Hurghada.

These four routes will be complemented by the launch of Heraklion, on the Greek island of Crete, from 1 May 2021.

Düsseldorf welcomes back Etihad Airways

Shown wearing coronavirus-appropriate gear and welcoming the first Etihad Airways flight back at Düsseldorf is the Etihad Airways crew together with, in the centre, Florian Bongard (Senior Manager Airline Marketing, Düsseldorf Airport), Anita Clesle (Airport Manager, Etihad Airways), and Jeremy Lavarias (Duty Supervisor Airport, Etihad Airways).

Etihad Airways has restarted its Abu Dhabi – Düsseldorf service on 16 July using the B787-9.  The carrier has served Dusseldorf since December 2011.

Initially operating twice-weekly in July and four-weekly in August, Etihad’s Düsseldorf route will increase to once-daily from September.  

An estimated 197,000 passengers flew from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi and beyond with the airline last year, OAG Traffic Analyser shows.

An estimated 65% connected over Abu Dhabi, with the top-10 flows shown below. Bangkok was the carrier’s top connecting destination from Düsseldorf.

Düsseldorf welcomes back Etihad Airways (2)

Source: OAG Mapper.


Welcoming back Qatar Airways in the third image is Gerald Ong, right, Director of Aviation Marketing at ISG: Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, and Ferit Aksun, left, Qatar Airways’ Country Manager for Southeastern Europe.

Qatar Airways restarted its Doha – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen service on 25 July after a four-month interruption, with a water arch and celebration to mark its return. 

Initially operating three-weekly, it will increase to once-daily from 1 August as it heads back towards its normal three-daily service.

Airport-pair seats totalled almost 700,000 last year

Airport-pair seats have increased from just 32,000 in 2013 to 691,000 last year, with the MEB3 carrier providing 485,000 of these. 

This was 13% more than the carrier’s seats to/from Istanbul Airport.

OAG Traffic Analyser estimates that Qatar Airways connected more than 181,000 passengers over Doha last year, with Kuwait, Jakarta, Muscat, Bangkok, and Melbourne being the top markets to/from Sabiha Gökçen.

Qatar Airways restarts Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen; Kuwait #1 connecting destination

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.


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