Latest route launches (30 September – 7 October)
Kiev to Zagreb
Windrose began Kiev Borispol to Zagreb on 4 October, the first time in three decades that the Ukraine and Croatia capitals have been linked non-stop.
Over 11,000 flew indirectly between the two last year, booking data via OAG Traffic Analyser indicates, mainly via Vienna and Warsaw. Zagreb was Kiev’s largest unserved market in CEE, other than Russia. Ljubljana is now Kiev’s largest unserved.
The Ukrainian carrier used the ATR-72-600 on the 1,215-kilometre service to Zagreb. This took 3h 5m out and 2h 36m back, Flightradar24 shows.
Windrose won’t be using the ATR-72 for long, however, with the twice-weekly link to be replaced by Embraer 145s.
This will cut flight and block time but also capacity, from 78 seats to 48/49 each way.
“This is the first time in recent history that Kiev and Zagreb have been linked with nonstop flights. We are delighted that our joint efforts have resulted in the arrival of a new airline and the launch of a new destination in these tough times for the aviation industry”, said Julien Pierre Coffinie, a member of Zagreb Airport’s management team.
Denver to Rochester (MN)
United Express began Rochester (MN) to Denver on 1 October. The 1,104-kilometre service operates once-daily using 50-seat CRJ-200s by SkyWest.
Rochester is now connected with four hubs: Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Denver, and Minneapolis.
All three US3 are represented at Rochester, with Denver supplementing United’s existing O’Hare service. This is normally 21-weekly by SkyWest but is currently 14-weekly.
Last year, United had 179 destinations from Denver, one of the US’ fastest-growing hubs.
John Reed, Rochester’s Executive Director, said: “The new Denver flight offers nonstop access to the great outdoors of Colorado or to connect beyond for your travel needs. And with measures in place to offer safe travel, we look forward to welcoming you back at Rochester.”
Booking data, obtained from OAG Traffic Analyser, shows that over 70,000 flew from Rochester last year to/from core states that will be targeted by United over Denver. Phoenix was by far the single-largest destination, mainly for snowbirds.
Route launches (A – Z by airline name)
These are the carrier’s fifth and sixth new routes from Northern Ireland’s downtown airport, with both replacing flybe.
flybe’s Belfast City – East Midlands had 139,091 passengers last year while Leeds Bradford saw 155,918, according to the UK’s CAA.
Both new routes initially operate 11-weekly, before rising to 16 later this month. They will then have up to three daily services, with day trips possible in both directions.
Ellie McGimpsey, Belfast City’s Aviation Development Manager, said:
“East Midlands and Leeds Bradford have always been popular routes served from Belfast City Airport and we have no doubt that their return will be welcome news for many.
“These inaugural flights complete the series of new routes with Aer Lingus Regional following launches to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter and Manchester.”
John Cunliffe, Aviation and Commercial Director at Leeds Bradford Airport, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the inaugural service with Aer Lingus Regional to Belfast City Airport.
“The connection between the two great cities of Leeds and Belfast is an important one for all travellers, simultaneously providing a reliable day return product for passengers and supporting access to the breadth of tourism opportunities available both in Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.”
Jazeera Airways began Kuwait – Dhaka on 1 October, with the 4,247-kilometre service operating twice-weekly using 162-seat A320neos.
225,000 flew between Kuwait and Dhaka on a point-to-point basis last year, MIDT booking data via OAG Traffic Analyser indicates. This was down by 6% YOY as a result of a 3% increase in average one-way base fare to $177 (excluding taxes and 20-30% fuel surcharge each way).
This week last year, Kuwait – Dhaka was served 14-weekly: 11 by Kuwait Airways using B777-300ERs and three by Biman Bangladesh with B787-8s.
For now, however, Jazeera is the only operator.
In normal times, Kuwait Airways revolves around connections over Kuwait to/from the Bangladeshi city. In the calendar year 2019, over 230,000 connected with it – led by Saudi Arabia by a very significant margin. Jeddah was by far the carrier’s top O&D.
United Express began Chattanooga (TN) – Houston Intercontinental on 30 September.
The 1,104-kilometre service, operating once-daily, uses 50-seat CRJ-200s from SkyWest.
With this inauguration, United now serves Chattanooga from both its Chicago and Houston hubs.
Chattanooga is United’s fourth Tennessee destination from its Texas hub, joining Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville.
Chattanooga – Houston itself had an estimated 20,000 passengers last year, booking data obtained from OAG Traffic Analyser indicates. Wider Texas, meanwhile, had 90,000 (50,000 excluding Dallas DFW that is served by American).
United will be targeting the ~274,000 that flew between Chattanooga and relevant US states together with Mexico. Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston itself, and Phoenix were the largest markets.