News Briefs From Around The World

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Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen,
Editor, Routesonline

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News Briefs From Around The World

A digest of the key route development and schedule updates from the rest of the world...

EUROPE

Jet2.com to Start Three New Routes in Summer 2013
UK low-fare carrier Jet2.com is to launch three new routes from May 2013 and has already opened reservations on its own website.  These comprise a weekly flight from East Midlands to Larnaca from 25MAY13 and weekly links from Glasgow to Bodrum and Las Palmas from 23MAY13 and 25MAY13 respectively.

Austrian Airlines Switches Flight Operations to Tyrolean
The Executive Board of Star Alliance member Austrian Airlines has announced it will transfer the company’s flight operations to its subsidiary, Tyrolean Airways, effectively establishing the regional carrier as the new national carrier of Austria, albeit not in name.  The move will take place on July 1, 2012 when Austrian’s current fleet of around 80 aircraft and 2,100 members of operations staff will be pooled with those of Tyrolean.

Edelweiss Winter 2012 Long-Haul Changes
Swiss leisure carrier Edelweiss Air in February 2012 announced its long-haul program for Winter 2012/13 season, which sees Tampa service convert from summer seasonal to year-round.  Zurich - Tampa service, due to start 25MAY12, will be operating in winter season once a week after 28OCT12.  Service to Colombo, which was introduced as winter service in 2011, is being cancelled and will not be resumed from 28OCT12.

Astra Airlines Expands Domestic Greece Operation
Greek carrier Astra Airlines starting 01MAY12 is launching several domestic routes, as part of the allocation of Public Service Obligation routes by the government.  Planned routes and frequencies comprise: 6 weekly Athens – Sitia; 4 weekly Thessaloniki – Athens; 5 weekly Thessaloniki – Corfu, 5 weekly Thessaloniki – Kalamata and 1 Daily Thessaloniki – Samos.  It will also continue to operate 1 Daily Thessaloniki – Chios service.

Birmingham Airport Hopes Routes Asia Attendance Will Bring Asian Links
Birmingham Airport is hoping to forge new direct links with Asia following successful meetings with airlines at Routes Asia last week.  During a three day visit to the Chinese city of Chengdu for the Routes Asia conference, the Airport’s management team, led by its CEO, Paul Kehoe, spoke to airlines about the market potential, particularly highlighting the level of trade between this region and cities across Asia and the demand for direct flights. 

Turku Air Starts Turku - Tallinn Service
Turku Air on 16APR12 has launched Turku – Tallinn service, its sole scheduled route after the cancellation of Turku – Mariehamn service in early-April 2012 (the route is still available under charter flight).  The carrier operates Piper PA 31-350 aircraft.

Air France Plans to Increase Cancun Winter Service
As per 27APR12 GDS timetable and inventory display, AIRFRANCE is increasing service on Paris CDG - Cancun route. This winter seasonal service will operate 4 times a week when it resumes operation from 25OCT12, increased from 3 in Winter 2011/12 season.  Service is operated by 3-class 468-seater Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.  SkyTeam member KLM will place its "KL" code on this route as well.

AMERICAS

WestJet Selects Q400 for New Regional Airline
Canadian carrier WestJet has this week announced that it has selected fellow Canadian company Bombardier Aerospace to supply aircraft for its new regional airline, which expected to launch in the second half of 2013.  The carrier has signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 Dash 8-Q400 NextGen aircraft with the option to purchase a further 25 aircraft and is expected to announce its initial regional schedule using the turboprops later this year.

Caribbean Airlines Secures Traffic Rights on Barbados - London Sector
Caribbean Airlines has revised its plan to resume service to London with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, as it has secured traffic rights on Barbados - London Gatwick sector.  From 14JUN12, the airline will begin a four times weekly Port of Spain - London Gatwick non-stop service, followed by twice weekly Port of Spain - Barbados - London Gatwick.

Delta Air Lines Switches Athens Route to Seasonal Service
SkyTeam member Delta Air Lines from 27OCT12 till 22MAR13 is suspending New York JFK - Athens service, where the route is being converted to seasonal basis.  Reservation for this flight has been closed since late-April 2012.  With the service suspension, there will be no transatlantic service to the Greek capital for the first time in nearly 70 years, including same-plane, multi-stop service.

LACSA Opens Bogota - Brasilia Nonstop Service
Starting 01JUN12, LACSA will launch 4 weekly Bogota - Brasilia service, becoming the sole operator on this route.  LACSA is a member of Avianca-Taca Group carrier.  The airline will operate Embraer E190 aircraft on this route, as an extension from existing 4 of 14 weekly San Jose (Costa Rica) - Bogota service.

Delta to Suspend Two Italian Routes in Winter 2012
SkyTeam member Delta Air Lines in Winter 2012/13 season is temporary suspending two Italian routes, where 4 weekly Atlanta - Milan Malpensa and 1 daily New York JFK - Rome service will be suspended.  Reservation for these routes has been closed.  The suspension period is in effect from 27OCT12 to 23MAR13. Delta is currently the sole operator on Atlanta - Milan route, while New York JFK - Rome is also served by Alitalia, also a SkyTeam member.

ASIA

JetStar Pacific Summer/ Fall 2012 Operation Changes
Vietnam's JetStar Pacific Airlines is adjusting its planned operation for Summer (effective June 2012) and Fall (effective September 2012), and we include details of service resumptions, and capacity increases and decreases across its network from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. 

Mongolian Airlines to Start International Service
Private carrier Mongolian Airlines this month is starting international operation, with service to China, Hong Kong and Japan.  The carrier, which should not be confused with the similarly titled MIAT Mongolian Airlines will offer flights from Ulaan Baatar to Tianjin, Erlianhot, Hong Kong and Tokyo Haneda using an Airbus A319 aircraft, configured with 8 Business Class and 116 Economy Class seats.

Asiana Airlines Adds New Scheduled Charter Routes to China
Star Alliance member Asiana Airlines in Summer 2012 season is introducing new scheduled charter service to China, with two routes each from Busan and Seoul.  From Busan it will serve Yanji from 04JUN12 to 03SEP12 and Zhangjiajie/Dayong from 02MAY12 to 31MAY12 while from Seoul Incheon it will offer flights to Nanchang from 26MAY12 until 12JUL12 and from 01SEP12 to 28NOV12 and to Taiyuan from 02JUN12 to 18AUG12.

Jet Airways to Add Fourth Daily Mumbai - Dubai Service
Indian carrier Jet Airways from 18MAY12 is introducing a fourth daily rotation on the Mumbai – Dubai route, which operates around noon hours from Mumbai and afternoon from Dubai.  The new flight, 9W536/535, is awaiting government approval, but is already open for reservation.

Bangkok Airways Boosts Myanmar Service from Oct 2012
Bangkok Airways, starting 28OCT12, is to increase Bangkok – Yangon services, with the introduction of a 3rd daily flight, on board ATR72 turboprop aircraft.  The new flight operates during night-time from Bangkok, early-morning from Yangon.  Its rival Thai Airways two weeks ago also revealed that it’ll launch 3rd daily service on this route, which was reported earlier this month.

Jet Airways International Service Changes from May 2012
India's Jet Airways is adjusting its international operation, with the cancellation of three routes to South Asia and Middle East.   It will stop Chennai – Dubai (eff 21JUN12); Delhi – Colombo (eff 16MAY12) and Thiruvananthapuram – Sharjah (eff 06MAY12) but from 10 MAY12 will introduce asecond daily service on the Kolkata – Bangkok route, offering late-morning service from Kolkata and afternoon from Bangkok.

CIS & MIDDLE EAST

Emirates Increases Jeddah / Riyadh Service in Summer 2012
Emirates Airline this summer is further expanding service to Saudi Arabia, where service to Jeddah and Riyadh will see service increase.  Dubai – Jeddah effective 01JUN12 increases from 14 to 18 weekly with the new flights operated by three-class A330-200, while from 01AUG12 Dubai – Riyadh will grow from 14 to 17 weekly with the additional flights being flown using A340-500s.

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