Route rundown: LFW-LAX, DMK-CMB, SFO-BCN

This week: Ethiopian to connect West Africa with the West Coast of the US; Thai AirAsia to launch new Sri Lanka service; and United to offer special Barcelona flights.

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: Lome – Los Angeles

787 - Ethiopian





Boeing 787-8 


Three weekly

Start date

17 December 2018


12,273 km

O&D traffic demand (year to June 2018)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (year to June 2018)



In December, Ethiopian Airlines will connect Togo in West Africa with the West Coast of the US. The Star Alliance carrier has changed its existing ultra-long haul route from Addis Ababa to Los Angeles to transit through Lome. Boeing 787-8 aircraft will operate this route three times a week. As reported by Airlineroute, Ethiopian’s Addis Ababa – Lome sector will increase from four to seven weekly, including the four weekly Addis Ababa – Lome – Newark route. The fifth freedom Lome - Los Angeles routing will replace Ethiopian’s existing service from Addis Ababa to Los Angeles via Dublin. However, Ethiopian will start a new route from Addis Ababa to Dublin via Madrid on 15 December 2018.

Route 2: Bangkok Don Mueang – Colombo

air asia rundown


Carrier Air Asia
Aircraft Airbus A320 
Frequency Four weekly
Start date 14 December 2018
Distance 2,383 km
O&D traffic demand (year to June 2018) 186,226
Growth % YOY 7.4%
Average one-way fare $ (year to June 2018) $133.50


Thai AirAsia is this December launching flights from Bangkok to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. The four-time weekly services are on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from Don Mueang airport, starting on 14 December 2018. AirAsia has operated flights to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo for close to ten years, flying Kuala Lumpur - Colombo. The budget carrier expects the new service will appeal to passengers seeking religious and cultural experiences in the South Asian country. It will be hoping its lower fares can capture market share from Srilankan Airlines and Thai Airways International, which currently operate flights to Colombo from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Route 3: San Francisco – Barcelona 

united 737-300ER rundown.jpg


Carrier  united logo
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER 
Frequency Limited-time service
Start date 23 February 2019
Distance 9,585 km
O&D traffic demand (year to June 2018) 83,081
Growth % YOY -2.9%
Average one-way fare $ (year to June 2018) $786.28


United Airlines is offering special non-stop flights between San Francisco and Barcelona in February 2019 to make travel to Mobile World Congress more convenient for Californians. The Mobile World Congress, the largest mobile event in the world, takes place in Barcelona from 25-28 February 2019. It is expected to attract more than 107,000 attendees from 2,400 companies, bringing together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology. United's flights to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress occur shortly after the airline added eight routes and more than 8,500 seats to Las Vegas for CES, the consumer electronics trade show held each January. It is interesting how major global events such as these can influence airline routes.

Source: Sabre Market Intelligence