Route rundown: BSB-MIA, MAD-SZX, DMK-CTS

Route rundown: GOL adds routes to Miami and Orlando, Hainan Airlines launches its first direct service between China and Spain, and Thai Air Asia X resumes Bangkok to Sapporo.

Nigel MayesNigel Mayes is the senior vice president, consulting & product development at ASM. Nigel has more than 15 years’ experience in route development and is responsible for product development at ASM.

The sister company to Routes, ASM is the world‘s leading route development consultancy and has supported the creation of new air services since 1993.

Route 1: Brasilia - Miami

gol rundown





Boeing 737 MAX 8



Start date

4 November 2018


5,841 km

O&D traffic demand (2017)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (2017)



GOL will resume services to the US after it takes delivery of the Boeing 737 Max later this year, with flights to Miami and Orlando from both Brasilia and Fortaleza launching on 4 November. Brasilia - Miami is currently only served by American Airlines after LATAM dropped the route in 2016. The total market size is 34,471, down from 58,161 in 2016 when LATAM served the route. Brasilia has a population of 4.2 million and is the third most populous city in Brazil. Although GOL is the second largest carrier in Brasilia with 32 percent share of the market, it is working with Delta Air Lines to grow further and capture share from LATAM which has a 43 percent share.

Route 2: Madrid - Shenzhen 

787 - Hainan


Carrier  Hainan
Aircraft Boeing 787-9 (Boeing 787-8 from 25 March)
Frequency Twice weekly
Start date 22 March 2018 
Distance 10,507km
O&D traffic demand (2017) 1,620
Growth % YOY 48.4%
Average one-way fare $ (2017) $355.60


Hainan Airlines will officially launch non-stop service between Madrid and Shenzhen on 22 March 2018. The route will be serviced by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with two round trip flights weekly, on Mondays and Fridays. This will be Hainan Airlines' first direct service between China and Spain. Shenzhen is located in southern China, adjacent to Hong Kong. Shenzhen's picturesque coast, pleasant climate and varied theme parks have turned the city into an attractive travel destination.

As a key economic hub in southern China, Shenzhen leads in several sectors, including IT, finance and innovative technologies. Hainan Airlines recently also launched three non-stop international routes: Shenzhen-Auckland, Shenzhen-Brisbane and Shenzhen-Cairns, providing further choice for Spanish travellers en route to New Zealand and Australia.

The Hainan service will focus on the outbound Chinese market to Madrid, with Shenzhen city being a huge city of 11.9 million. There are no services into Madrid from Guangzhou and only a five-weekly Cathay Pacific service from Hong Kong, so the local tour operators will be supportive of a Shenzhen service.  There will be a cargo perspective with considerable cargo from the Pearl River Delta area to Spain, predominantly in textiles. Furthermore there is substantial support from Shenzhen Airport for new international services, worth up to 100 million CNY.     

Route 3: Bangkok – Sapporo

AirAsia Airbus A320


Carrier  air asia x logo
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Frequency Daily
Start date 10 April 2018
Distance 5,083km
O&D traffic demand (2017) 151
Growth % YOY 1,757%
Average one-way fare $ (2017) $372.83


Budget long-haul carrier Thai AirAsia X is to resume daily direct flights from Bangkok to Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido, after almost three years. The airline suspended the service in August 2015 after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) downgraded Thailand’s aviation rating. However, the ICAO removed the country's red flag status last October. The route is the first addition by Thai AirAsia X following the decision. 

Thai AirAsia X currently flies direct from Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport) to Seoul, South Korea three times daily; Tokyo, Japan two times daily; Osaka, Japan two times daily and Shanghai, China daily. Hokkaido is already second only to Tokyo in terms of most popular place to visit in Japan among Thai travellers. Thai Airways also operates Bangkok to Sapporo daily on a Boeing 747 aircraft, but the Thai Air Asia X service will be lower cost base.

Source: Sabre Market Intelligence