Route launches in late 2020 and until 5 January
Santiago to Bogota
SKY Airline began Santiago to Bogota on 2 January, its first route to the Colombian capital.
The 4,231-kilometre service uses A320neos and is currently operated three-weekly. It’ll increase to once-daily from 28 March.
Flight 700 leaves Santiago at 0936 and arrives into Bogota at 1340 after a flight time of around five hours and 20 minutes. Flight 701 departs at 1440 and arrives back into Chile at 2235, with more or less the same flight time.
This year, Santiago to Bogota is scheduled to have almost 912,000 seats, the highest ever in this market. This is up by 11% over pre-coronavirus 2019, OAG data shows.
In the current week, SKY competes directly with LATAM (10-weekly), Avianca (seven-weekly), and JETSMART (three-weekly). B787s operate 10 of these 23-weekly; A320s the rest.
Come the week starting 28 March, the market will have 36 weekly services, with some days having seven-daily (!).
Newcastle to Sunshine Coast
FlyPelican launched Newcastle to Sunshine Coast on 4 January.
Operating three-weekly using 19-seat Jetstream 31s, the 697-kilometre service will run until the end of March, the end of southern hemisphere’s summer season.
Alongside this new route, Sunny Coast has in the current southern summer introduced Qantas to Canberra and Alliance Airlines to both Canberra and Cairns.
Sunshine Coast Airport’s CEO, Andrew Brodie, said: “Locals are craving new experiences and destinations, and this Fly Pelican service provides a link not just to the vibrant city of Newcastle, but to Port Stephens’ stunning coastline and the Hunter Valley’s renowned food and wine.”
“It also opens up a significant new visitor market for local Sunshine Coast tourism operators, in what has been a very challenging environment over the last 10 months.”
Latest route launches (A – Z by airline name)
Eastern Airlines launched Miami to Asunción on 3 January. The twice-weekly route covers 6,155 kilometres and uses B767-300ERs.
Flight 162 took off from Miami at 0059, one minute ahead of schedule, and landed in the Paraguayan capital at 1105 after eight hours and six minutes.
The return flight departed at 2345 and touched back in Miami at 0551 on 4 January.
The route’s schedule differs depending on the day. The same aircraft that flew the inaugural flight took off back to Paraguay at 1000 on 4 January, and departed to Florida at 0900 the following day.
American Airlines was the last carrier to operate Miami to Asunción. It served it between 2012 and 2015, OAG data shows.
It was operated by the carrier’s Star Wars-liveried B787-9, which was welcomed back with a water salute. The crew received Belgian chocolates while all arriving passengers each received a gift.
The return flight departed on 19 December with 182 passengers, the airport told us.
All Nippon began Tokyo Narita – Brussels in 2015 and it exceeded 156,000 two-way seats in 2019.
Tokyo Narita was the Belgian capital’s second-thickest Asia route by non-stop seats, behind Bangkok but ahead of Beijing.
All Nippon’s Barcelona – Narita had an estimated seat factor of 89% last year. Approximately 68,000, or almost half, of its traffic was P2P. A further ~36% connected over the airport to Narita or bridged both airports.
Barcelona – Brussels – Narita was All Nippon’s top route over the EU’s capital airport, booking data obtained via OAG Traffic Analyser.
Silver Airways took off from Tampa to Jacksonville on 21 December. The outbound service took 54 minutes while the return was six minutes shorter.
Operating twice-weekly, the 291-km route uses ATR-42-600s. From January, it operates on Mondays and Fridays, while a Wednesday service begins from 17 February.
Jacksonville is Silver Airways’ fifth intra-Florida route from Tampa this winter. It joins Key West – by far its top by seat capacity – and Pensacola, Fort Lauderdale, and Tallahassee.
The regional carrier is scheduled to have almost 371,000 seats to/from Tampa in 2021. This would make it its second-best year in the past decade, OAG data shows, behind only 2015 with 391,300.
SKY Airline launched Lima to Cancun on 27 December, with the 3,809-kilometre service operating four-weekly using A320neos.
The carrier’s offering is in direct competition with LATAM Peru, which serves the route daily using A320ceos.
SKY flight 5553 departs Lima at 1100 and arrives into the Mexican airport at 1625. Flight 5554 then leaves at 1725 and arrives back into the Peruvian capital at 2229.
In 2019, Lima – Cancun had just over 475,000 two-way seats, OAG schedules data shows. This was its highest-ever year with three carriers – LATAM, Avianca Peru, and Interjet – all serving it.
Avianca Peru ceased operating in May 2020, while Interjet ended the route in March 2020. So the gap that SKY saw and acted upon.
The vast majority of passengers were either P2P or connected over Lima in 2019. There was approximately 197,000 P2P, while a further 258,000 connected, especially to Buenos Aires (60,000), Santiago (46,000), and Sao Paulo GRU (31,000).
SkyUp began Kyiv Boryspil to Mattala, Sri Lanka, on 28 December.
The Ukrainian carrier is operating the route twice-weekly on a charter basis until the end of March 2021. It operates via Sharjah in both directions, for a total one-way distance of 6,934 kilometres.
It’s served by 189-seat B737-800s with its first arrival loaded with 180 passengers to Sri Lanka, the airport told us.
Sri Lanka closed its borders to international tourists in mid-March 2020, with SkyUp the first airline to carry such traffic to the country since the nation’s reopening.
It was followed by Ukraine International, whose first flight was the following day.
Mattala had 494,000 seats in its peak year, 2015, but capacity hasn’t exceeded 100,000 since 2018, OAG data shows. The airport is now actively seeking growth.
India’s Star Air began Belgaum (Belagavi) to Surat on December 21, with the route continuing to Ajmer. Both are funded by the government.
It’s 614 kilometres from the Karnataka city to Surat and 642 kilometres onwards to Ajmer. It’s operated three-weekly using the carrier’s 50-seat Embraer 145s.
The carrier now has seven routes from Belgaum, six from Ajmer, and two from Surat.
United only began Milwaukee to Tampa and Fort Myers on 19 December. Yet it has already extended service on both routes from January until 12 April.
The carrier serves Tampa four-weekly using Embraer 175s. Based on early January, it has direct competition from Southwest (13 weekly) and Frontier (two weekly). Collectively, these 19 weekly flights are up by more than one-third YOY.
United also serves Fort Myers four-weekly with E175s (three) and A319s (one). It competes directly with both Southwest (11 weekly) and Frontier (four).
The addition of both routes brings to six United’s network from Milwaukee in W20, up from four in W19: Chicago O’Hare; Denver; Houston; and Newark.
During Routes Reconnected, Milwaukee told us that Tampa had leakage to Chicago of over 73,000 passengers, while Fort Myers had more than 71,000.