Route Analysis: BUD-ICN, DOH-YYZ, BRU-MRU

With COVID-19 travel restrictions easing in parts of the world, airlines are gradually rebuilding their networks. Routes analyzes some of the services returning as well as new routes being launched. This week we look at LOT restarting an Asian route, Air Belgium launching a winter sun service and a boost for Toronto.

Nigel Mayes RAM18 resized.jpgNigel Mayes is the senior vice president, consulting and product development at ASM. Nigel has more than 15 years’ experience in route development and is responsible for product development at ASM.

ASM is the world’s leading route development consultancy and has supported the creation of new air services since 1993.

 

Budapest – Seoul Incheon (BUD-ICN)

Carrier:

LOT Polish Airlines

Aircraft:

Boeing 787-9

Frequency:

Weekly

Start date:

July 20

Distance:

8,134km

O&D traffic demand (2019):

93,635

Annual growth:

22.2%

Average base fare (2019):

$286.61

LOT Polish airlines has been busy, scheduling a large number of new and resumed routes in the last week as part of its LOTnaWakacje Holiday program.

But it has also resumed the Budapest (BUD)-Seoul Incheon (ICN) service, which it has been the only carrier to serve since Asiana discontinued it in 2016. This is following growth of O&D traffic on the route of 16% last year, according to Sabre data.

Currently three routes are served between BUD and Asia, with Wizz offering a service to Nur-Sultan (NQZ) in Kazakhstan and Hainan serving Chongqing (CKG). LOT currently also offers service from NQZ to Tokyo Narita (NRT).

After falling to just 111,208 seats in June this year from a peak of 1.25 million in August 2019, LOT's growth plans are ambitious, with scheduling data in OAG showing a rise to 1.41 million seats in September this year as the carrier seeks to claw back revenue in the summer.

Brussels – Mauritius (BRU-MRU)

Carrier:

Air Belgium

Aircraft:

Airbus A340-300

Frequency:

Twice weekly

Start date:

December 2020

Distance:

9,471km

O&D traffic demand (2019):

28,228

Annual growth:

11.6%

Average base fare (2019):

$409.37

Air Belgium has launched a new direct winter sun route between Brussels (BRU) and Mauritius (MRU), the first time since 2005 the two have been connected directly.

Almost 30,000 passengers travelled indirectly between the two points last year, with the majority routing via Dubai international (DXB) with Emirates. The second most popular routing was via Frankfurt (FRA), while the third was Istanbul (IST).

It’s also the first time since Air Belgium has flown scheduled service from BRU. The carrier has operated in recent years from Brussels South Charleroi (CRL), including routes to Hong Kong (HKG) and Fort de France (FDF) in Martinique.

Doha – Toronto (DOH-YYZ)

Carrier:

Qatar Airways

Aircraft:

Airbus A350-900XWB

Frequency:

3x weekly

Start date:

4 July 2020

Distance:

10,873km

O&D traffic demand (2019):

353

Annual growth:

0.3%

Average base fare (2019):

$856.96

Qatar has launched its first-ever service to Toronto Lester B Pearson International (YYZ), which is a shot in the arm for the Canadian hub as it seeks to rebuild its network following COVID-19.

This becomes Qatar’s second route into Canada, with Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International (YUL) already served. On the US east coast, Qatar offers service to New York (JFK), Boston Logan (BOS) and Washington Dulles (IAD) among others. 

Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week