Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Jan. 17)
Routes details the latest new route announcements, as well as the services returning to carriers’ networks.
Welcome to our rolling daily coverage of new routes alongside services that are scheduled to resume.
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Spanish carrier Iberia has filed plans to offer two seasonal French routes from Ibiza (IBZ) this summer. Routes’ analysis of OAG data shows the airline intends to serve Toulouse (TLS) twice a week from July 24 through Sept. 4, while Marseille (MRS) will be available from July 26 through Sept. 1, also operating 2X-weekly. The carrier will compete with Ryanair on both routes and easyJet between Ibiza and Toulouse.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines is opening a new route to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Jan. 25. The airline, which currently serves Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Dubai (DXB) in the UAE, said it plans to launch a 4X-weekly service to Sharjah (SHJ). Flights from Dhaka (DAC) will operate every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Air Arabia is currently the only other provider of nonstop Bangladesh-Sharjah flights, serving the emirate from Dhaka and Chittagong (CGP).
Russian carrier Red Wings Airlines is expanding in the country’s Far East. Three Sukhoi Superjet 100s will be based at Vladivostok (VVO), enabling the launch of daily service to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC), as well as 2X-daily flights to Khabarovsk (KHV) and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (UUS). The routes will open on June 1. The airline is also adding daily flights from Khabarovsk to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk from June 1 and to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky the following day. In addition, Red Wings plans to launch flights from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg (LED) from June 2, operating on Mondays and Thursdays using Boeing 777-200s.
International service will restart from Gold Coast (OOL) next month when Scoot resumes flights from Singapore (SIN). The first Singapore-Gold Coast flight will land on Feb. 14, with the route operating three times per week. The LCC started flights to the Gold Coast in 2012 and carried about 124,000 passengers annually between SIN and OOL before the pandemic. Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson said the resumption would enable the carrier to “better support pent up demand for a myriad of business and leisure travel needs.”
Plus Ultra Líneas Aeréas has filed plans to start a new service to Colombia. The carrier intends to offer flights from Madrid (MAD) to Bogota (BOG) and then on to Cartagena (CTG) before returning to Madrid. OAG data shows the triangle route will operate three times per week from July 2 using A340s.
Aer Lingus flights from Manchester (MAN) to Barbados (BGI) will return during the northern winter 2022/23 season, the carrier has confirmed. The seasonal service will operate from Nov. 2 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays using Airbus A330-300s. Flight EI031 will depart Manchester at 11.00 a.m. arriving in Barbados at 4.35 p.m. local time. The returning flights will depart at 6.40 p.m. local arriving into Manchester at 7.10 a.m. the following day. Aer Lingus launched the MAN-BGI route last October, with the current schedule in place until April 29, 2022.
Air Serbia will launch new scheduled direct flights between Belgrade (BEG) and Valencia (VLC) in April, as well as seasonal flights from June to three new destinations in Europe: Bari (BRI), Palma de Mallorca (PMI) and Rijeka (RJK). Starting from April 21, Belgrade-Valencia flights will be 2X-weekly using Airbus A319s. From June 5 to Oct. 27, Air Serbia will deploy its ATR 72 aircraft on the Belgrade-Bari route three times a week, while Belgrade-Palma de Mallorca will be 2X-weekly from June 11 to Oct. 29 using A319s. The carrier has previously operated charter flights to both Bari and Palma de Mallorca. Belgrade-Rijeka begins on June 15 through Sept. 17, operating 2X-weekly onboard ATR 72s. Air Serbia launched flights to the Croatian destination in June 2019 until December, but the route was then put on hold because of the pandemic.
Malindo Airways plans to launch a new domestic connection in Malaysia from April. The airline plans to link Langkawi (LGK) with Kota Bharu (KBR) from April 28, operating four times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. The 1-hr. 15-min. flight will use ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft. OAG data shows that AirAsia also operates the route.
Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines is adding nonstop service from Manchester (MAN) to vacation destinations Antalya (AYT), on April 1, and Dalaman (DLM), on the following day. Flights to Antalya will be 4X-weekly using Boeing 737-900s, while Dalaman will be 2X-weekly onboard 737-800s. “It’s great to see Turkish Airlines announce new direct routes from Manchester Airport to two of our most popular holiday destinations in Turkey,” MAN MD Karen Smart said.
Romania’s Blue Air is ramping up service between Bucharest (OTP) and London Heathrow (LHR) to 3X-daily from April 14. The LCC launched the route in December 2020 and increased frequencies to 2X-daily in April 2021. Flights are onboard 737 MAX 8s. “We welcome the UK government initiative to scrap the majority of Covid related restrictions by the end of this month, particularly boosting the demand for Easter travel,” CCO Krassimir Tanev said. Earlier this week, Routes reported that Blue Air plans to grow its leisure offer this summer by adding more than two dozen new routes from Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) and Iasi (IAS).
South African Airways (SAA) is resuming flights between Johannesburg (JNB) and Durban (DUR) with a 3X-daily service from March 4. The airline, which relaunched commercial operations last September, said the restart of JNB-DUR would further support the recovery of South Africa’s business and tourism sectors. Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo added: “SAA has been back in service for just over three months and is constantly evaluating passenger volumes and revenue projections on all its existing and target routes. The goal is to match capacity with demand as closely as possible and add new routes only where and when it makes sense.”
Greek carrier Olympic Air is adding three seasonal domestic routes from Thessaloniki (SKG), research by Routes has found. The airline plans to open service to Karpathos (AOK) and Kefallinia (EFL) from July 1 through Sept. 30, operating 3X-weekly and 2X-weekly respectively. A 2X-weekly route to Zakynthos (ZTH) will also begin on July 3 through Sept. 27. All three new routes will be onboard ATR 72s.
From Jan. 29, Virgin Atlantic will reinstate flights to Tobago (TAB) after an absence of almost two years. The carrier intends to serve the Caribbean island from London Heathrow (LHR) twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays using Airbus A330-300s. OAG data shows the route will operate via Barbados (BGI). Virgin Atlantic previously served Tobago from London Gatwick (LGW) via Saint Lucia (UVF).
Qatar Airways is restarting flights between Geneva (GVA) and Doha (DOH) as of March 27. Service will be 4X-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays using A350-900s. The flights will be operated from the Swiss airport’s newly opened East Wing. In a statement, GVA said the return “demonstrates the recovery of demand for long-haul destinations, complementing the long-haul offer which is now close to pre-pandemic levels.” Qatar Airways suspended flights to Geneva in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
Etihad Airways has filed plans to serve Abu Dhabi (AUH)-Vienna (VIE) nonstop in both directions from July 1, Routes’ analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data shows. The carrier began flying to Austria’s capital in July 2021 and currently serves the city a twice a week. However, a triangle routing is in operation, with flights on the return leg from Vienna to Abu Dhabi stopping in Milan Malpensa (MXP) for 1 hr. 45 min. The latest schedules indicate Etihad plans add a 3X-weekly nonstop VIE-AUH route from July 1 using Boeing 787-9s, while at the same time continuing the 2X-weekly AUH-VIE-MXP-AUH service. From August, the triangle routing will be discontinued and AUH-VIE will increase to 5X-weekly before going daily in September.
Jazeera Airways will begin a second route to Bangladesh later this month. The LCC plans to connect Kuwait (KWI) with the coastal city of Chattogram, formerly known as Chittagong, from Jan. 23. Flights to Chattogram’s Shah Amanat International (CGP) will be 3X-weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Jazeera Airways started flying to Bangladesh in October 2020 with a route to the country’s capital Dhaka (DAC), catering for demand from the 200,000 Bangladeshis living in Kuwait. OAG data shows Biman Bangladesh Airlines previously offered a 1X-weekly KWI-CGP flight but paused the route from Jan. 11, 2022.
Irish ULCC Ryanair has added a new seasonal route to its summer 2022 schedule from Manchester (MAN). The airline plans to serve Menorca (MAH) from May 3, operating twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Ryanair commercial director Jason McGuinness said Ryanair has now added more than 560 routes and opened 16 new bases during the past 12 months.
Aeroflot will resume two routes to Kazakhstan later this week. Flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to Aktau (SCO) will restart from Jan. 20 and to Shymkent (CIT) from Jan. 22. Both routes will be operated once a week.
UK leisure carrier Jet2.com said it is planning its biggest ever program of flights to Iceland during the winter 2022/23 season. The airline plans to serve Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) twice a week from Birmingham (BHX) and Manchester, as well as offering more than 40 ad hoc trips from eight other UK bases. From BHX and MAN, scheduled flights will operate from Sept. 29 through Nov. 21, and then from Feb. 9, 2023, through April 24.
Eurowings has announced three more routes from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) ahead of opening a five-aircraft base at the airport in late March. Beginning May 20, the LCC will resume a 3X-weekly service to Cologne Bonn (CGN) having paused flights between the destinations because of the pandemic. The Lufthansa subsidiary will then open a route to Rhodes (RHO) on May 31, followed by flights to Heraklion (HER) from June 2. Both of the new routes to Greece will operate twice a week.
Argentinian ULCC Flybondi has launched flights between Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) and Ushuaia (USH). The domestic route began on Jan. 16 and will operate three times per week. The airline has also taken delivery of its fifth aircraft—a Boeing 737-800.
Vietjet is resuming flights between Vietnam and Thailand from Jan. 21. The LCC plans to restart Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) with two round trips per week on Fridays and Saturdays. “The service resumption between the financial, cultural and travel hubs of Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok will contribute to the two countries’ economic recovery while meeting the increasing travel demand of people in the region, especially when the Lunar New Year holidays draw near and the peak travel season in summer follows,” Vietjet VP Nguyen Thanh Son said. In a statement, Vietjet also revealed that it is evaluating new international markets such as India and Russia.
Asiana Airlines will resume operations to Hawaii in April for the first time in two years. The South Korean carrier intends to offer a 3X-weekly service between Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Honolulu (HNL), increasing to daily in July. Flights will initially be onboard Airbus A330 aircraft before switching to 777-300s in May. The airline last served HNL in March 2020.
AnadoluJet is starting a new service between Turkey and Iraq. The carrier plans to link Gaziantep (GZT) with Erbil (EBL) from Jan. 24, operating twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. Flights depart Gaziantep at 11.25 a.m. local time and return from Erbil at 1.45 p.m. local time.