Thursday, 1 June 2017

Latest Airline Routes

Mumbai Airport welcomed the arrival of its newest European carrier on 30 March – Brussels Airlines. The Star Alliance member will offer five weekly flights on the 6,862-kilometre link from Brussels on a mixture of its A330-200s and -300s according to OAG schedules. Seen carrying out traditional lamp-lighting ceremony to welcome the airline to Mumbai.

Brussels Airlines this week also began flights to Funchal, with the inaugural crew being greeted with flowers on arrival. This is the only route of the three launched by Brussels Airlines this week that will face direct competition. The 2,663-kilometre route will be flown by the Star Alliance member weekly (Saturdays) on its 141-seat A319s.

Brussels Airlines this week initiated three new scheduled services from its hub at Brussels (BRU), with the most significant being a 6,862-kilometre link to Mumbai (BOM). Launched 30 March, the service marks the end of a one-year gap of scheduled flights between Brussels and India, with Jet Airways, which served both Mumbai and Delhi from Brussels, having moved its European hub to Amsterdam at the end of March last year.

Our new service has received a warm welcome here in the Indian market. We see very encouraging booking results for travel to Belgium and many destinations beyond Brussels including Canada, US, UK, Spain, France and several African destinations, said Patrick Roofthooft, Brussels Airlines Director India and Commercial Development.

Brussels Airlines will operate the route on a mixture of its A330-200s and -300s on a five times weekly basis, with no other carrier offering direct competition. Not only did Brussels Airlines begin its first flights to India this week, but it also linked Brussels to Funchal (FNC) and Yerevan (EVN).

Flights to both destinations will be flown weekly (Saturday), with the 2,663-kilometre connection to Funchal being operated on the airline’s A319s and the 3,281-kilometre link to Yerevan on A320s. While flights to the Armenian capital will not face direct competition, services to Funchal will go head-to-head with Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and TUIfly, with both also operating weekly flights.

It should be noted that Brussels Airlines did begin services to Yerevan in December, though these were initially operated as charter flights. With scheduled services now in place, the airline will increase the frequency to Yerevan from Brussels to twice-weekly in July. Vote for either Brussels or Funchal’s FTWA in this week’s Arch of Triumph Public Vote. Vote for Mumbai Airport’s cake in this week’s Cake of the Week Public Vote.

Arkia Israeli Airlines has begun twice-weekly flights between Tel Aviv (TLV) and Milan Bergamo (BGY). The 2,638-kilometre sector will be flown by the airline’s E195s and faces no direct competition. However, three carriers offer flights between Tel Aviv and Milan Malpensa; El Al with 10 weekly flights, easyJet with five weekly flights and Neos Air with twice-weekly flights. According to OAG data the Israeli carrier now operates scheduled services from Tel Aviv to 11 destinations in 11 different countries.

Cathay Pacific Airways has added Israel to its network with the introduction on 26 March of a four times weekly service between Hong Kong (HKG) and Tel Aviv (TLV). The oneworld carrier will use its 280-seat A350-900s on the new route. Starting last May the airline has acquired 12 of the type with the most recent addition being delivered this month.

The new route to Tel Aviv has already proved so popular that a fifth weekly frequency will be added from 1 September. Paul Loo, Director of Corporate Development at Cathay Pacific, said: “We are very excited to launch this service. Tel Aviv is such a technologically advanced business capital and Hong Kong is the international financial centre in Asia, we are very excited to link these two cities together.

The route is already flow by El Al, which offers six weekly flights. Next up for Cathay Pacific are new routes to Barcelona and Christchurch starting in July and December respectively.

Jetstar Pacific Airlines on 18 November began a four times weekly service on the 1,490-kilometre route between Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Hong Kong (HKG). The route, which will be flown using the LCC’s fleet of 12 A320s, is already served by Cathay Pacific Airways (17 times weekly) and Vietnam Airlines (10 times weekly). Jetstar Pacific already serves Hong Kong from Hanoi, a route it launched on 7 September 2015. This winter the airline will serve 19 destinations from Ho Chi Minh City, 15 in Vietnam as well as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore, plus Guangzhou, a new route which will start at the beginning of December.

Hong Kong Airlines has further expanded its network in Japan with the introduction on 14 September of twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Yonago (YGJ). The 2,375-kilometre route will be flown by the airline’s A320s and faces no direct competition. This becomes the carrier’s eighth destination in Japan which it now serves with 58 weekly flights.

In his speech at the inaugural ceremony, Stanley Kan, Director of Hong Kong Airlines’ Service Delivery Department, said: “The beautiful natural landscape, local cuisine and cultural scene of Tottori Prefecture is very appealing to tourists from Hong Kong and broader regions.

With Hong Kong Airlines, passengers can choose to travel around Osaka, Okayama and Yonago, providing more options in their trip planning.” Hong Kong Airlines is the third biggest carrier in the Hong Kong to Japan market with 17% of seats. It lags behind Cathay Pacific Airways (35%) and HK Express (18%) but is ahead of All Nippon Airways (9%) and Dragonair (5%). Curiously, Japanese carriers only account for 22% of seat capacity in the market.

Hong Kong Airlines on 11 November became the third carrier to link Hong Kong (HKG) and Auckland (AKL) with non-stop flights. The 9,164-kilometre sector is already served by Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific Airways with daily flights. Hong Kong Airlines will also operate the route on a daily basis using its 283-seat A330-200s.

In his speech at the welcome ceremony, Mr. Li Dianchun, CCO of Hong Kong Airlines, said: We are delighted with the successful launch of this much-anticipated new route in Auckland. So far, we have received an overwhelming response from travellers since tickets became available for purchase. As a result, we have already increased our service to 10 times weekly from 11 December to 13 February 2017.

We also anticipate strong demand out of the New Zealand market to Hong Kong and connecting onto our network in Asia. We hope that the new route will further strengthen the cultural, tourism and business ties between these two countries. This new route easily becomes the airline’s longest sector beating the 7,033-kilometre route to Gold Coast in Australia. The unaligned carrier now serves a total of 32 destinations non-stop from Hong Kong on its fleet of 23 A330s and 11 A320s. See how Auckland Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.

Aegean Airlines launched flights on its latest route to Germany on 20 May, beginning a twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) service between Athens (ATH) and Hannover (HAJ). The Star Alliance member will operate the 1,954-kilometre sector on its fleet of A320s, with no other carrier operating the city pairing.

With this launch, Aegean Airlines now serves eight destinations in Germany from Athens on 35 weekly flights including Berlin Tegel, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and Kassel-Calden, with the latter being operated by the airline for the documenta 14 art exhibition. The Greek carrier will stop flights to Kassel-Calden on 23 June.

Air Canada has expanded its presence at Denver (DEN) by beginning twice-daily flights from Vancouver (YVR). The carrier already serves the Colorado city from Montreal and Toronto Pearson. “Air Canada has been a valued airline partner at Denver since 1995, and is our longest-tenured foreign flag carrier,” said Kim Day, CEO of Denver Airport at the Vancouver launch.

These new flights between Denver and Vancouver will provide more options for travelers to explore two of the most dynamic cities in North America.Air Canada will operate the 1,788-kilometre route, which launched on 18 May, twice-daily on its fleet of CRJ 700s according to OAG schedules.

The Canadian flag carrier joins fellow Star Alliance member United Airlines on the route, with the latter already offering 20 weekly flights. By launching flights to Denver, Air Canada now links Vancouver to 15 airports in the US on 220 weekly flights.

Hong Kong Airlines has chosen to re-enter the highly competitive market between Hong Kong (HKG) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). On 1 July the airline resumed service on the 2,961-kilometre route, operating twice-daily with a mix of A330-300s and A330-200s. It last served the market in January 2013. Competition is provided by: Cathay Pacific Airways (four daily flights); All Nippon Airways, HK Express and Vanilla Air (all with twice-daily flights); as well as Japan Airlines and Jetstar Japan, who both operate daily flights.

This becomes Hong Kong Airlines’ sixth route to Japan. In his speech at the welcome ceremony, Mr. Li Dianchun, CCO of Hong Kong Airlines, said: As the capital of Japan and one of Asia’s world cities, Tokyo has always been a top business and travel destination for Hong Kong travellers. In recent years, Hong Kong Airlines has been actively expanding our network in Japan. The opening of the Hong Kong-Narita route is of special strategic significance to us as we now cover this crucial destination in Kanto area.

British Airways flight BA 7025 departed Birmingham (BHX) on the inaugural service to Florence (FLR) on 20 May, but it also marked a significant return to regional flying for the airline. It was the first of four new regional routes launched from the Midlands, as well as from Bristol (BRS) in the UK’s Southwest, this weekend and the first time BA’s colours have been seen at either airport for years. The airline last flew from both airports in 2007 when its regional airline business BA Connect was sold to Flybe.

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport CEO said: Today is a momentous day for Birmingham Airport. To see the British Airways tailfin on the ground after ten years is great news for the region and adds to the other IAG carriers already here. The introduction of four routes for the summer season ensures passengers have more choice on popular routes from the airport and additionally have the chance to visit the beautiful city of Florence, which was previously unserved.

Alex Cruz, BA CEO and chairman said: We continue our regional growth following the successful launch of services from Stansted last year.

Now we are flying from Birmingham once again we are excited about the future opportunities.” In addition to these eight services, the oneworld carrier also started nine more from London City (LCY), Dublin (DUB), London Stansted (STN) and Manchester (MAN) over the last seven days. Jonathan Ford, anna.aero’s Assistant Editor, went to Bristol to witness the start of BA’s operations.

Germania launched the first connection between Zurich (ZRH) and Rostock (RLG) on 19 May. Operated twice-weekly (Fridays and Sundays), the German airline will serve the unique 764-kilometre city pair on its fleet of 737-700s. On 26 May, the Hanseatic city will also boast a direct link to Vienna thanks to Germania.

Dörthe Hausmann, MD Rostock Airport said: We have established successful links with South Germany over the last few years. The connections to Linz and Basel set up over the last few years have also been promising. With these newly established connections to Vienna and Zurich, considerably more tourists from Switzerland and Austria can bring their financial strength to our region.

Claus Altenburg, Germania’s Director Sales Development Routes and Systems added: We are glad to be a partner of the regions and we are also pleased to strengthen their collaboration. These city links will complement our range of leisure flight connections from Rostock Airport for passengers living in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Meanwhile, Vienna and Zurich are great cities to which we are delighted to offer connections. In addition to this service the airline has opened a base in Palma de Mallorca (PMI), adding three new routes to three different countries – namely Dortmund (DTM; Germany), Maastricht (MST; Netherlands) and Strasbourg (SXB; France).

Throughout the summer season, daily flights to Friedrichshafen, Münster/Osnabrück, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg will be available from the base. Erfurt and Rostock will also be connected with the island several times per week. Flights to Cuxhaven/Nordholz will also be offered in autumn from Palma de Mallorca.

New services were also launched from Hamburg (HAM) and Berlin Schönefeld (SXF), the airline’s ninth and 14th largest bases in terms of weekly seats, to Menorca (MAH) and Kos (KGS) respectively.

AirAsia X Indonesia on 19 May introduced daily flights from Denpasar (DPS) on the Indonesian island of Bali to Mumbai (BOM) in India via Kuala Lumpur (KUL) in Malaysia. The 3,621-kilometre sector between Malaysia and India is already served by Malaysia Airlines (double-daily flights) and Malindo Air (eight weekly flights).

AirAsia X Indonesia will operate the route using its 377-seat A330-300s of which it currently has two. AirAsia X Indonesia CEO, Captain Sulistyo Nugroho Hanung said, “AirAsia X Indonesia is pleased to offer guests this new daily flight between Mumbai and Bali, Indonesia. We are so delighted to offer free seats on this route and hope that many will take advantage of this opportunity to travel to our beautiful island destination.

We see this route as promising, as it opens connectivity for India’s population of one billion people to their dream holiday destination.

airberlin launched a new long-haul service from Berlin Tegel (TXL) on flight AB 7022 to Los Angeles (LAX). From 16 May, the airline now offers three connections per week on its A330-200 fleet between the capital of Germany and the second largest city in the US. “This new long-haul flight from Berlin Tegel to Los Angeles is the next step in airberlin’s new strategic policy.

Both locations are of great importance to the international film industry. It therefore makes sense to link the two metropolises,” said airberlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann. We are happy about this long-haul connection to Los Angeles, the city of film, said Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg CEO. It provides business travellers as well as tourists with a direct connection to the west coast of the US. It will also strengthen our region by providing it with additional visitors

An additional inaugural flight will follow on 29 May as airberlin launches services from Tegel to San Francisco. With its current summer schedule, airberlin offers a total of 33 weekly non-stop services to five destinations in the US out of Berlin Tegel: Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK and San Francisco.

Allegiant Air has begun flights on three unique routes this week, starting on 17 May with flights between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Belleville (BLV) in Illinois. The 1,654-kilometre route will be served by the carrier twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays). On 19 May, a second route to Fort Lauderdale was also launched, with Allegiant Air connecting the Floridian airport with Louisville (SDF) in Kentucky. The 1,422-kilometre city pairing will also be served twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays).

The third and final route to launch this week was a 1,479-kilometre sector between Austin (AUS) and Indianapolis (IND). Now the race fans of the Indy 500 can easily come to our Grand Prix at the Circuit of America or see a concert there and enjoy the live music capital of the world,” said Jim Smith, Executive Director of Austin Airport.

We welcome Allegiant Air’s growth at Austin’s Airport. Also operating twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays), the city pairing between the racing centres of the US is scheduled to operate on Allegiant Air’s fleet of MD-83s. Both routes involving Fort Lauderdale will be operated on the carrier’s fleet of A320s.

Cebu Pacific Air started its second new domestic route from Cebu (CEB) this week with the launch on 16 May of a four times weekly service to Cotabato (CBO). The 351-kilometre route will be flown by CebGo using its ATR 72s. No other carrier connects these two airports. Cotabato is located on the province of Maguindanao.

The airport’s only other scheduled services are to the capital, Manila, which are offered by both Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Cotabato City is home of Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, also known as the Grand Mosque of Cotabato, which is the largest mosque in the Philippines. Completed in 2011 the facility can accommodate 15,000 people and was funded by the Sultan of Brunei.

Croatia Airlines has this week begun four new capital connections from Zagreb (ZAG), with the carrier now linking the capital of Croatia to Bucharest (OTP), Helsinki (HEL), Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). In general, the interest for Mediterranean countries has increased heavily among Swedish travellers. Zagreb is also a completely new direct route from Stockholm Arlanda and it is also one of the top unserved destinations.

We welcome Croatian Airlines’ expansion at Stockholm Arlanda, giving Swedes more opportunity to experience Croatia, said Elizabeth Axtelius, Aviation Business Director at Swedavia of the new link between Sweden and Croatia. Along with Arlanda, none of the other three capital connections launched by Croatia Airlines will face direct competition.

While the three new routes to Scandinavia will operate on 100-seat CRJ 1000s leased from Air Nostrum, Bucharest services will be flown on the airline’s own Q400s. All four routes will be flown three times weekly, while the average sector length is 1,427 kilometres.

Ethiopian Airlines introduced Chengdu (CTU) to its network on 22 May, meaning that the Star Alliance member now serves four destinations in China from Addis Ababa (ADD), with Chengdu joining Beijing, Shanghai Pudong and Guangzhou. Ethiopian Airlines’ flights were originally planned to operate three times weekly from the date of inauguration, however the airline’s next flight on the 7,125-kilometre sector will be on 2 June.

From the latter date a regular three times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) service will operate. Facing no direct competition, Ethiopian Airlines will serve the city pair on its 787-8s, with the carrier now reporting to have 17 of the type in its fleet, with a further two still to be delivered.

With launching flights to Chengdu, Ethiopian Airlines now serves 13 airports in Asia on 100 weekly flights, including Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Delhi, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul Incheon, Singapore and Tokyo Narita according to OAG schedules.

Frontier Airlines this week introduced two new unique routes to San Diego (SAN), with the carrier launching flights to the Californian city from Cincinnati (CVG) and Cleveland (CLE). The growth of Frontier at Cincinnati over the last four years has been incredible,” said Candace McGraw, CEO Cincinnati Airport.

The airline now offers 17 non-stop year-round and/or seasonal destinations on 93 flights a week. Frontier also becomes the airport’s fourth largest carrier in terms of daily flights and second largest carrier in terms of seats offered. This success would not have been possible without the support of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky community.

Frontier will operate the 2,993-kilometre link between Cincinnati and San Diego, which launched 21 May, three times weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays).

Flights on the 3,254-kilometre city pairing of Cleveland and San Diego, which began 22 May, will be flown four times weekly, with both routes being served by the carrier’s fleet of A320s. Finally this week, Frontier has also started a connection between Cleveland and Houston Intercontinental (IAH).

Also launched 22 May, the 1,754-kilometre route, which will also be flown on A320s, will go head-to-head with United Airlines, with the Star Alliance member already providing 33 weekly flights on the sector according to OAG schedules.

Nordica has expanded its network by introducing flights between its base in Tallinn (TLL) and Hamburg (HAM). The carrier, which launched the route on 16 May, will offer three weekly flights (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) on the 1,109-kilometre connection between Germany’s second largest city and the Estonian capital.

The route, which will not face direct competition, will be served by CRJ 900s operated by LOT Polish Airlines. With this launch, Nordica now serves three airports in Germany, with it also linking Tallinn to Munich (twice-daily) and Berlin Tegel (twice-weekly), with the latter only being summer seasonal. Earlier this week the airline launched flights to St. Petersburg in Russia.

Pegasus Airlines has added Saarbrücken (SCN) to its network this week, beginning a twice-weekly operation from Antalya (AYT) on 22 May. The seasonal flight, which will operate until October, initially begins with a Monday rotation, with a sector on Fridays to be added in early June.

The airline operates to 20 airports from Antalya, with Saarbrücken becoming the seventh in Germany, according to this week’s OAG schedules. Flown by its 189-seat 737-800s, the route faces direct competition from SunExpress, which offers the city pair three times weekly.

SalamAir has entered the Pakistani market this week, beginning a three times weekly operation from Muscat (MCT) to Sialkot (SKT) on 16 May. This will be the first stage of the airline’s development in the market, as it will introduce services to Multan and Karachi in the coming weeks. The LCC will face competition from incumbents Pakistan International Airlines (twice-weekly) and Shaheen Air International (weekly) on the city pair.

The 1,860-kilometre sector will be flown by SalamAir’s growing A320 fleet. Sialkot becomes SalamAir’s fourth destination, with it already serving Dubai Al Maktoum, Jeddah and Salalah from Muscat.

Ukraine International Airlines has launched its second route to Milan Bergamo (BGY) this week, starting a daily service to the Italian airport from Kiev Boryspil (KBP). Launched 16 May, the 1,651-kilometre route will be served daily on a mixture of the carrier’s 737-800s and E190s according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.

The link from the Ukrainian capital will not face any direct competition. The airline started serving Milan Bergamo on 28 April, the day on which it inaugurated a twice-weekly (Mondays and Saturdays) summer seasonal service from Chernivtsi. Milan Bergamo is the second airport in Milan to be served by Ukraine International Airlines, as it already offers daily flights from Boryspil to Milan Malpensa.

Volotea expanded its presence in Montpellier (MPL) on 20 May, with the addition of a weekly (Saturdays) rotation to Bastia (BIA). The 463-kilometre sector, which will be flown by a variety of the airline’s equipment, joins the carrier’s five other domestic services from Montpellier – namely to Nantes, Strasbourg, Lille, Brest and Ajaccio. No other airline flies on this sector.

Wizz Air has been busy promoting the eight new routes it opened this week across Europe, with the services including two new airports to the airline’s network – Frankfurt (FRA) and Osijek (OSI). Commenting on the launch of flights to Frankfurt, Gabor Vasarhelyi, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, said: We are thrilled to be starting operations from Frankfurt Airport, the 11th airport that Wizz Air serves in Germany.

Wizz Air will connect Frankfurt to Sofia with a daily service and the carrier will shortly launch a second route to another dynamic Central European capital, Budapest begins December.

By launching flights to Osijek, Wizz Air now serves two airports in Croatia, with its new route between Basel and Osijek complementing the carrier’s existing seasonal services to Split from London Luton and Warsaw Chopin.

Apart from the airline’s new service between Sofia and Frankfurt, the remaining sectors launched by Wizz Air this week will operate twice-weekly. The average sector length of Wizz Air’s eight new routes is 1,119 kilometres.