Latest route launches (8 – 14 October)


Bucharest to Amsterdam

Blue Air began Bucharest – Amsterdam on 9 October, with a four-weekly service. Its entry will break up the long-standing duopoly between KLM and TAROM.

Blue Air began Bucharest – Amsterdam on 9 October, making three airlines on the airport-pair. 

We last looked at Blue Air back in August.

The carrier currently operates the 1,788-kilometre Bucharest – Amsterdam service four-weekly, its website shows. This is down from its initially expected once-daily. 

It joins a 13-weekly offering by KLM and a daily service by TAROM. 

There are now 24 weekly flights each way between the two, down from 35 in the year-ago week.  TAROM’s schedule has halved.

Amsterdam – Bucharest had almost 276,000 seats in 2019, up by 112,000 over the start of the decade – a CAGR of 5.3%.  Only KLM and TAROM have operated it since 2010.

Blue Air currently has 22 international routes for sale from Bucharest.

Blue Air takes off from Bucharest to Amsterdam; route now has 3 carriers

Amsterdam – Bucharest had almost 276,000 seats last year. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.


Heathrow to Lahore

British Airways began Heathrow – Lahore two months ahead of Virgin Atlantic, despite the latter announcing it first.

British Airways began London Heathrow to Lahore on 12 October, its second destination in Pakistan after Islamabad.

The 6,328-kilometre route operates four-weekly using 214-seat B787-8s.

Despite Virgin Atlantic announcing the city first, British Airways pipped it to the post by starting it sooner.

Both full-service carriers have taken a strong interest in Pakistan following Pakistan International’s ban from serving the EU.

Heathrow – Lahore had 173,000 passengers last year, booking data from OAG Traffic Analyser indicates.  It was down by 3% YOY.

The Pakistani city is a smaller market from Heathrow than Islamabad (244,000), but it is bigger than Karachi (113,000). 

Qatar Airways and Emirates were by far the most important sixth freedom operators between the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab and Heathrow in 2019. They were followed by Etihad, Gulf Air, and Turkish Airlines.

In terms of non-stop seats, Lahore to the UK had 176,000 last year – down from a high of 304,000 in 2014.  Heathrow, meanwhile, had 106,000.

British Airways launches Lahore, its second destination in Pakistan

British Airways started Heathrow – Lahore on 12 October. It operates four-weekly. Source: Flightradar24.


Route launches (A – Z by airline name)


Wizz Air launches new Catania base, its second in Italy

Catania is Wizz Air’s second base in Italy, after Milan Malpensa, and one of its 16 airport across the country. Wizz Air’s CEO, József Váradi, third right, is about to open another chapter in the ULCC’s history. He is seen here with Nico Torresi, third left, the airport operator’s CEO.

Wizz Air inaugurated its new Catania base on 8 October, its second in Italy after Milan Malpensa.

The carrier has two 239-seat A321neos based at the airport and it will have 20 routes when all have started.

It has begun multiple new routes this year, including Bologna, Dortmund, Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, and Venice. 

It now has four domestic Italy routes from the Sicilian airport.

Bacau and Memmingen, meanwhile, will start later in October, while Kiev Zhuliany, Lviv, and St Petersburg will all start next year.

Catania is one of 16 Italian airports for the carrier.


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