Latest new routes (19 – 25 November)

Tampa to Cancun

JetBlue jets into Cancun from Tampa

Celebrating the launch of JetBlue’s new service to Cancun are, from left, Maria Cook, Tampa International Airport’s Event Manager; Trudy Brandvold, Marketing Specialist; Guy Brown, Air Service Development Manager; and Jacob Tyler, Air Service Marketing Coordinator.

JetBlue began Tampa – Cancun on 19 November, with this service operating once-daily using A320s.

This is one of 12 routes JetBlue will operate from the Florida airport this winter. Philadelphia, Providence, and Richmond are all new for the carrier from Tampa this winter, while New York La Guardia resumed this year (last served in 2016).

Tampa is one of 10 routes JetBlue will operate from Cancun this season, up from just four in W19. Hartford, Los Angeles, Newark, Raleigh Durham, San Francisco, and Tampa, weren’t served last winter.

This decade, Delta operated Tampa – Cancun between February 2011 and March 2020, typically on a twice-weekly basis.  It originally used MD-88s, which have since been retired, before B737-900s and then -800s took over.

Sunshine Coast to Canberra

QantasLink jets off to Sunshine Coast with new service from Canberra

Celebrating the launch of this route were, from left, Gareth Williamson, GM Aviation Business Development, Sunshine Coast Airport; Vynka Hutton, International Marketing Manager, Tourism Noosa; Elsa D’Alessio, Regional Manager, QLD & NT, Qantas; Andrew Brodie, CEO, Sunshine Coast Airport; and Andrew Fairbairn, Industry and Membership Development Manager, Visit Sunshine Coast.

QantasLink began Sunshine Coast to Canberra on 19 November, with this fantastic cake to celebrate its launch.

The carrier operates the 1,034-kilometre route three-weekly using 110-seat B717s.

Until this year, the airport had never had a non-stop link with Canberra.  Previously, passengers either flew via Sydney or to Brisbane and then overland. 

Now, Canberra – Sunny Coast has two carriers – QantasLink and Alliance – with a combined five-weekly service.

Alliance began the route in October, with its service routing Canberra to Cairns via Sunshine Coast.

QantasLink jets off to Sunshine Coast with new service from Canberra

All aboard! A great cake complete with a boarding pass. Please click on the image to enlarge it.


Latest route launches (A – Z by airline name)

Alaska Airlines inaugurates new Tampa to San Francisco

Celebrating the launch of Alaska Airlines from Tampa to San Francisco is Maria Cook, Tampa International Airport’s Events Manager, and Sheila Welsh, Alaska Airlines’ Station Supervisor at Tampa.

Alaska Airlines began Tampa to San Francisco on 21 November, one of five routes the airport inaugurated since 19 November.

Operating twice-weekly using B737-900ERs, Alaska’s new service joins Los Angeles, which also began the same day, and Seattle.

To date, its San Francisco service is operated by aircraft that flew overnight from Seattle, arriving in Florida at 0729.  Its flight to California then leaves at 0900.

Tampa – San Francisco started in 2017 and by 2019 had over 171,000 non-stop seats, OAG data shows.  United as the sole operator with a typical seven-weekly service, but rising up to 14-weekly at particular times.

In the week Alaska began, United is offering a four-weekly service.

Alaska Airlines begins Tampa - Los Angeles, its third West Coast route

Love at first flight!  Alaska Airlines began Tampa to Los Angeles on 21 November, with the service operating daily year-round. Seen here celebrating its launch is Maria Cook (left), Tampa International Airport’s Events Manager, and Sheila Welsh, Alaska Airlines’ Tampa Station Supervisor.

Alaska Airlines took off from Tampa to Los Angeles on 21 November, becoming its third West Coast route from the airport alongside Seattle and San Francisco.

Served once-daily year-round, its 3,473-kilometre LAX service is primarily operated by its 178-seat B737-900s.

Alaska Airlines competes directly with Delta on the airport-pair, with this carrier offering 12 weekly flights. 

Alaska flight 311 has a scheduled departure time from Tampa of 1010, arriving into LAX at 1250.  Returning, it departs at 1435 and gets back to Florida at 2210.

Booking data shows that almost 280,000 flew between Tampa and LAX last year, with around 43% flying indirectly.  Both Atlanta and Houston Intercontinental were the top connecting airports, with a 15% share each.

JetBlue launches Tampa to Richmond

Richmond – Tampa is a decent-sized market, which JetBlue began on 19 November.

JetBlue began Richmond – Tampa on 19 November, its second route – along with Cancun – to begin that winter day.

Perhaps surprisingly given pre-stimulated demand of 58,000 in 2018, Richmond – Tampa was first served this decade in August 2019 when Southwest started it.  It operated until May 2020, soon after coronavirus began.

JetBlue will now serve the 1,164-kilometre market once-daily year-round using 100-seat Embraer 190s. 

Although currently only bookable until 7 September 2021, next year will have currently have 47,400 seats, over three times more than in 2019.

QantasLink gets tropical as Canberra to Cairns lifts off

QantasLink began a twice-weekly service from Canberra to Cairns on 21 November, a market of 34,000 indirect passengers.

QantasLink celebrated the start of Canberra – Cairns on 21 November, with this 2,069-kilometre service operating twice-weekly using B717s.

34,000 point-to-point passengers flew between the two in the year to August 2019, booking data via OAG Traffic Analyser reveals, with almost half flying over Brisbane.

QantasLink has direct competition on this route, but only in the form of a one-stop service by Alliance via Sunshine Coast.

On a fare-per-mile basis, previously unserved Canberra – Cairns performed well, based on the analysis we did in October 2019.

Speaking of the new route, Cairns Airport said: “This new service to our nation’s capital will boost important business and tourism links for the region, providing locals with the opportunity to explore iconic national attractions and Canberrans with an opportunity to discover the beauty of Tropical North Queensland.”

Silver Airways begins Charleston from Tampa

Siliver Airways took off on the 596-kilometre leg from Tampa to Charleston on 23 November.

Silver Airways started Tampa to Charleston (SC) on 23 November, with the twice-weekly service operated by its 46-seat ATR-42-600s.

The route was last served by the same carrier in 2015, but that time using Saab 340s.

The appeal of Tampa – Charleston is driven by more than 32,000 indirect passengers before stimulation last year, booking data via OAG Traffic Analyser shows; a reasonable distance of 596 kilometres; and the crucial factor now: leisure demand.

Silver Airways begins Charleston from Tampa (2)

With chocolate bars, cookies, and postcards, Tampa nicely celebrated the launch of Silver Airways to Charleston.

Spirit begins Fort Lauderdale to Barranquilla, Colombia

With the relaunch of Barranquilla after nine years, Spirit serves seven Colombian cities from Fort Lauderdale this week.

Spirit began Fort Lauderdale to Barranquilla, Colombia, on 19 November, returning to the route it ended in 2011.

The 1,773-kilometre service is operated three-weekly, the same as last time, OAG data indicates.  

It has no direct competition, but it does compete indirectly with both American Airlines and Avianca to Miami.  American has a seven-weekly service and Avianca three.

Spirit now serves seven destinations in Colombia: Armenia; Barranquilla; Bogota; Bucaramanga; Cali; Cartagena; and Medellin.  

In the current week, it has 33 weekly flights each way between Colombia and Fort Lauderdale, with Bogota, Cali, and Medellin each served seven-weekly.

Spirit jets off from Orange County to Oakland and Las Vegas

Spirit began Orange County to Oakland and Las Vegas on 17 and 18 November respectively. Phoenix is coming in January.

Spirit has commenced operations from Orange County with the launch of routes to both Oakland on 17 November and Las Vegas the following day.

The airport is the third in the LA Basin for the ULCC, joining Los Angeles and Burbank.

In this first week, Spirit’s nine-weekly service to Oakland will join a 33-weekly offering from Southwest and 13-weekly by JetSuiteX.

To Las Vegas, Spirit’s six-weekly offering will face 28 from Southwest, 21 with JetSuiteX, and four with Frontier.

Read more: Allegiant is to begin seven Orange County routes, including Las Vegas.  

On 6 January, Spirit will begin a daily Orange County – Phoenix service, joining American (35 weekly) and Southwest (27).  By then, both its Oakland and Las Vegas routes will have grown to 14-weekly.

Spirit jets off from Orange County to Oakland and Las Vegas (2)

Spirit flight 2901, operated by an A320neo, took off from Orange County at 1030, arriving one hour and 11 minutes later.

Star Air takes off from Kalaburagi to Delhi (Hindon)

Star Air began Kalaburagi – Delhi Hindon on 18 November, an important milestone for both airports.

India’s Star Air began Kalaburagi, in the southern state of Karanataka, to Delhi Hindon on 18 November.

The 1,263-kilometre link is government-funded and is operated three-weekly by the carrier’s 50-seat Embraer 145s.

It is one of 16 routes operated by Star Air under India’s regional connectivity scheme.

Hindon, close to New Delhi, is a long-standing Indian Air Force base.  Its passenger terminal opened in March 2019.

Star Air’s new route coincided with the year anniversary of the opening of Kalaburagi for passenger service, which was celebrated in style.

Star Air takes off from Kalaburagi to Delhi Hindon

Star Air celebrated the one year anniversary of the opening of Kalaburagi for passenger operations.

United Express take off from Tallahassee to Houston Intercontinental

United Express launched Tallahassee – Houston Intercontinental on 18 November and was treated to a traditional water salute.

United Express took off from Tallahassee to Houston Intercontinental on 18 November. 

The 1,059-kilometre link operates once-daily using 50-seat CRJ-200s.

Over 180,000 flew from Florida’s capital airport to US states that could be logically served over Houston, booking data from OAG Traffic Analyser reveals.

This traffic was carved up among Delta and American. 45% of passengers connected over Atlanta, 34% over Dallas Fort Worth, and 13% through Charlotte.

Of unserved markets, Denver, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and San Diego were the most demanded.

Houston itself had approximately 12,000 point-to-point passengers, with United clearly able to target this and the 180,000. 


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