Route rundown: PEK-IST, TXL-JFK, TPA-AMS

This week: China Southern to resume flights to Turkey; Primera Air adds transatlantic routes; and Delta to serve Amsterdam from Tampa.

Nigel Mayes RAM18 resized.jpgNigel 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: Beijing – Istanbul

China Southern A330


Carrier  China Southern Logo
Aircraft Airbus A330
Frequency Three-weekly
Start date 20 December 2018
Distance 7,078 km
O&D traffic demand (2017) 78,180
Growth % YOY -43.1%
Average one-way fare $ (2017) $467.26


China Southern is resuming service to Turkey in December, more than two years after its last flights to the country. Beijing - Istanbul will operate three times per week using Airbus A330 aircraft. The airline previously operated a Beijing - Istanbul Atatürk - Ürümqi route, but discontinued the service in July 2016 amid security concerns. Since then, the only flights between Turkey and China have been operated by Turkish Airlines, which currently flies from Istanbul to Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong and Guangzhou. The proportion of local O&D traffic on Turkish Airlines’ Beijing service is 18 percent, with 71 percent behind traffic, 9 percent bridge and just 2 percent connecting beyond Beijing.

Route 2: Berlin - New York

Primera A321neo


Carrier Primera Air
Aircraft Boeing 737 MAX9
Frequency Daily 
Start date 7 June 2019
Distance 6,398 km
O&D traffic demand (2017) 203,122
Growth % YOY 11.2%
Average one-way fare $ (2017) $515.35


Primera Air has unveiled six new transatlantic routes in the past week, three served from Berlin Tegel and three from Brussels. From Berlin, the low-cost carrier will operate a daily service to New York JFK from next June, as well as a four-weekly Boston service and three-weekly Toronto one. The TXL-JFK route will be the first time Primera has served the New York airport, with existing routes through Newark Liberty. There are currently only three North American routes from Tegel, compared with eight a year ago, following the demise of Air Berlin. Lufthansa initially picked up TXL-JFK, but dropped it in March this year after struggling to make it profitable. Primera will compete on the route with Delta Air Lines’ seasonal service, while United also operates TXL-EWR. The new route is currently scheduled to be operated by Boeing 737 MAX9 and, at 6,398 km, it is right at the top end of the aircraft's range. 

Route 3: Tampa – Amsterdam

Boeing 767-400ER rundown.jpg





Boeing 767-300ER



Start date

23 May 2019


7,438 km

O&D traffic demand (2017)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (2017)



Delta is expanding its transatlantic network for summer 2019 with its first non-stop flight from Tampa to Amsterdam. The year-round service, which launches on 23 May, will be the carrier’s 11th Amsterdam route from the US and second from Florida, following the launch of its Orlando service earlier this year. Delta will use a 211-seat Boeing 767-300 for the flights, which will operate daily during peak travel periods and four to five times weekly during non-peak periods. The new route provides a direct link to the home hub of Delta’s transatlantic joint venture partner KLM. Tampa Airport said Amsterdam was one of the three European cities it targeted for international air service development in late 2016.

Source: Sabre Market Intelligence