Route rundown: ASB-LTN, DVO-MDC, BGO-KRK

This week: Turkmenistan Airlines returns to London, PAL launches Manado service, Wizz opens up at Krakow.

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: Ashgabat – London Luton

TS 737



 TS logo


Boeing 737-800



Start date

3 December 2019


4,742 km

O&D traffic demand (2018)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (2018)



Turkmenistan Airlines is returning to the London market, after the carrier was banned by the EU and was forced to cancel its London Heathrow and Birmingham flights in February 2019. 

The carrier now unable to get slots in London Heathrow, has opted for London Luton, only 37km round the M25 from London Heathrow (closer than Gatwick which is 71km).  

The carrier will be targeting the Punjabi community in London again providing connections through to both Amritsar (ATQ) and Delhi (DEL).  The strongest ties between the UK Punjabi community is with Amritsar. 

The carrier distributes tickets to the community through a network of travel agent consolidators in the West London area where the Punjabi community is heavily concentrated. 

The Amritsar market from London is 77,121 passengers year-round with 59 percent of the traffic travelling through Delhi and 24 percent of the traffic travelling through Doha.  

The return of the Turkmenistan flight will provide some competition for the new Air India London Stansted – Amritsar flight which is operated three weekly with a Boeing 787.  London Stansted is 106km from London Heathrow, so further round the M25. 

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Route 2: Davao – Manado

PAL Dash 8


Carrier  Philippine Airlines
Aircraft Dash 8
Frequency Three-weekly
End date 31 March 2020
Distance 622 km
O&D traffic demand (2018) 122
Growth % YOY -8%
Average one-way fare $ (2018) $381


PAL Express has added a new regional route from Davao – Manado which is starting on the 31st March 2020, operating with a Dash 8. 

The route is to be served on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, which complements the new Garuda schedule which was launch in October 2019 which is operating twice weekly on a Friday and Monday with an ATR. 

Despite the two areas being relatively close geographically there appears to be limited ferry links between the two cities and this is an air route that was previously operated. 

These new competing air services will encourage tourists to discover Manado from the Philippines and vice versa.  

Manado is a developing city with a reputation for great diving spots. The Garuda service also picks up traffic from Jakarta through Manado to Davao and reduces the 6 hour aiur journey from Jakarta up to Manila and down to Davao. 

Route 3: Bergen - Krakow

wizz air rundown



wizz air


Airbus A321



End date

31 August 2020


1,461 km 

O&D traffic demand (2018)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (2018)



Wizz Air made the unexpected announcement at the end of 2018 to base 3 A321s at Krakow from May 2019, Krakow is only 94km away from their existing base at Katowice. 

As a result Krakow has seen traffic growth of over 24 percent YoY for October 2019, according to Sabre. 

A considerable achievement for an airport which is already a 7.8 million passenger airport.  Wizz has now announced a further based unit in Krakow which will be serving 10 new destinations: Barcelona, Bergen, Bologna, Hungesund, London Gatwick, Milan Malpensa, Stavanger, Tronso, Trondheim and Verona.  Only four of these cities are not served from Katowice: Hungesund, Tromso, Trondheim and Verona, three of the five Norwegian routes. 

It is interesting that half of the 10 new routes from Krakow are to Norway: Bergen, Hungesund, Stavanger, Tronso and Trondheim.  Krakow is an attractive destination for Norwegians wanting a city break with a difference, with so much to see from the beautiful Old Medieval Town, the Wieliczka Salt Mine and Auschwitz – Birkenau Memorial and Museum.   

Norwegian Airlines has been serving Krakow since 2005 and now operates from Bergen, Olso, Stavanger and Trondheim. 

Wizz, with its brand strength in Poland, will be expecting the target the increasing outbound migrant flow of workers that travel between Poland and Norway. 

But, given the increasing numbers of tourist discovering the Norwegian west coast and the Norwegian Fjords there will no doubt be a few tourist travelling the other direction.  In fact the beautiful city of Bergen is the hosts of Routes Europe and is surrounded by mountains and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest.

Source: Sabre Market Intelligence