Latest route and base launches (22 – 28 October)
Amsterdam to Poznan
KLM began Amsterdam – Poznan on 25 October. The 821-kilometre route operates five-weekly using 88-seat Embraer 175s.
Over 16,000 point-to-point passengers flew between the two cities in 2019, according to booking data via OAG Traffic Analyser. This made Amsterdam the top unserved market from Poznan.
KLM had 784,000 seats between Amsterdam and Poland last year, OAG schedules reveals, up by 22% YOY. This was partly driven by Wroclaw starting in 2019, together with strong growth to Krakow and Gdansk.
Poznan is now KLM’s fifth Polish city, after Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, and Wroclaw.
Canberra to Sunshine Coast
Alliance Airlines launched Canberra – Sunshine Coast on 23 October, connecting the two airports for the first-ever time.
This route was made possible by the Queensland Government’s $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund.
Operating twice-weekly using 100-seat Fokker 100s, the 1,034-kilometre service routes Cairns – Sunshine Coast – Canberra and back.
Read more: Sunshine Coast to Cairns took off on 17 July.
Sunshine Coast Airport’s CEO, Andrew Brodie, said: “This exciting new route will be key to opening a whole new visitor market for our region, with Canberrans expected to flock north to enjoy our beautiful beaches, stunning hinterland setting, and vibrant food scene.”
Visit Sunshine Coast Interim CEO, Craig Davidson, added that: “The area has long been a popular destination for the Australian Capital Territory, and because of our reputation for beach culture and nature-based holidays, we anticipate there will be strong demand for the new service.”
Route launches (A – Z by airline name)
LOT Polish started Warsaw – Ostrava, Czech Republic, on 25 October. Its start was delayed from the spring.
Operating five-weekly, the 340-kilometre service uses 76-seat Embraer 170s.
Departing Warsaw at 2255 and arriving into Ostrava at 2355, it departs the Czech airport at 0525 and arrives into the Polish capital at 0630.
The reason is, of course, connections, often with roughly 60 minutes in Warsaw. Amsterdam, Munich, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Geneva, Oslo, Frankfurt, and Düsseldorf, for example, are especially well connected.
Take Milan: leave Ostara at 0525 and arrive at 0945; leave Milan at 1930 and arrive at 2355.
Jaromír Radkovský, CEO of Ostrava Airport, said: “Air connections are important for ensuring the mobility of the region’s inhabitants and will significantly help current and new investors. At the same time, it will allow passengers a simple and convenient connection with the whole world.”
Wizz Air began Memmingen to Catania today, 28 October, its first destination in Western Europe from the German airport. The 1,233-kilometre service operates twice-weekly.
Today’s first return trip is operated by a 239-seat A321neo, which is routing Chisinau – Memmingen – Catania – Memmingen – Chisinau.
With Catania starting, Wizz Air now has 22 routes from Memmingen, with Sibiu, Timisoara, Sofia, Kiev, and Skopje its top routes this year by seat capacity, OAG data shows.
Wizz Air had 878,000 seats at Memmingen in 2019, with a 55% share of the airport’s capacity. Memmingen is now the ULCC’s second-largest airport in Germany after its new base at Dortmund.
Talking to anna.aero, Marcel Schütz, Memmingen’s Aviation Director, said: “We are happy that Wizz Air took its first step into Western Europe from Memmingen. This shows the potential Wizz still has from the airport. A great partner in good and bad times, growing success together!”
Wizz Air opened its second UK base – London Gatwick – on 22 October.
This follows Luton in 2017 and it came a day before its new base at Doncaster Sheffield started.
Read more: Wizz Air’s most profitable airports.
With one based aircraft at Gatwick, the ULCC began Athens and Naples on its launch day, followed by Lanzarote and Malta the next day.
Its first flight, to Naples, took off at 0626.
In all, it has introduced, or will begin, eight new routes from the London this year, both using based and non-based aircraft. They are: Athens, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Lanzarote, Malta, Naples, Sofia, Tenerife South.
As a result of this growth, the carrier has over 630,000 seats at Gatwick in 2020, OAG data indicates, up by a third YOY.
Owaine Jones, Wizz Air UK MD, said: “We want to do more at Gatwick. More Wizz flights means more jobs and a quicker recovery. But we need the slots and so continue to say Yes! to flying and No! to slot-blocking by other airlines who have announced that they intend to reduce or pull out of flying from Gatwick.”
Wizz Air opened its second UK base at Doncaster Sheffield on 23 October.
The ULCC now has 23 routes from the airport, including 10 in Western Europe.
This year, it has began – or will begin – 14 routes from Doncaster. In order of capacity, they are:
- Tenerife South
- Gran Canaria
In 2019, Wizz Air had almost 736,000 seats at Doncaster, up by 32% YOY, OAG data shows.
Kate Stow, Doncaster Sheffield’s Marketing and Corporate Affairs Director, said:
“We’re thrilled to see the first Wizz flight take off from its full-based operation at DSA and we look forward to continuing our partnership providing affordable travel to our loyal passengers.
“We’ve seen a real surge in bookings from passengers living in West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, and Lincolnshire keen to experience popular new routes and ultra-low fares.”