Wednesday's Route Development Briefs

Tripoli is Seeing Stars

Star Alliance’s European carriers have set a tentative schedule to resume flights to the Libyan capital Tripoli during the last two months of this year.  bmi British Midland International is expected to resume a daily link from London Heathrow on November 21, while Lufthansa will relaunch daily flights from Frankfurt and Austrian Airlines a three times weekly service from Vienna from December 1.  In the past year an estimated 544,000 O&D passengers travelled between Europe and Tripoli with the largest traffic flows being reported from Turkey (19.4 per cent), the United Kingdom (17.9 per cent), Italy (15.4 per cent), France (11.8 per cent) and Malta (6.7 per cent).  bmi carried an estimated 3,000 O&D passengers on its flights prior to the closure of the route, with Austrian Airlines handling around 8,000 and Lufthansa 12,000 passengers.

Singapore Airlines Cargo Adds Freighter Service to Frankfurt

Singapore Airlines Cargo is to start serving Frankfurt with dedicated freighter services from the first week of November.  The airline will operate to the German city twice every week from November 2 with flights arriving from and departing to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  The new flights are sectors on a wider link to Europe from Asia and India.  The aircraft originate in Singapore before flying to Bangalore on Wednesdays and Chennai on Thursdays and on to Sharjah and Frankfurt prior to returning to the UAE city and Singapore.

Skywest Adds Link to Kalgoorlie

Australian regional carrier Skywest Airlines is to launch flights between Geraldtown and Kalgoorlie from December 11, providing links between the Goldfields and the mid-west's mining provinces.  The airline says the service will increase tourism and business opportunities, providing a boost to the Geraldton economy.  It already offers flights to Kalgoorlie from Melbourne and Perth and this new service is expected to operate as a continuation of the existing Melbourne link.

Turkish Airlines Revises 737-900ER Entry to Service

It appears that Turkish Airlines (THY) will initially use its new Boeing 737-900ERs on domestic and European routes when the type is introduced into commercial passenger service at the end of this year.  As previously reported, the type will then be flown on some of the airline’s routes into Africa.  According to the latest update to THY’s GDS inventory, the type will be introduced into scheduled operation during December, initially on the Istanbul – Sarajevo route.  The type, the largest variant of the Next-Generation Boeing 737 family, will also be used on links from Istanbul to Dalaman and Pristina at the end of December and to Izmir from the start of January 2012.

El Al Drops Ukrainian Flights

El Al Israel Airlines is to close two of its three routes to Ukraine this winter as part of a network rationalisation that will see it focus on its more profitable services.  The carrier will suspend its flights from Tel Aviv to Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk from December 6 and December 8, respectively, although it will retain its daily service to Kiev.  El Al carried an estimated 98,000 O&D travellers between Israel and Ukraine in the past year, a 30.7 per cent share of the total market of 321,000.  It had competed directly with Aerosvit Airlines on both routes, a market of around 29,000 travellers between Tel Aviv and Dnepropetrovsk and an estimated 31,000 between Tel Aviv and Odessa.