50 New Routes Starting In February 2024

JetStar A320
Credit: Joe Pries

LCCs including AirAsia, flydubai, Jetstar Airways and VietJet are behind some of the more eye-catching routes starting in February.

Malaysia’s AirAsia is adding points in mainland China and India over the coming weeks following a relaxation of visa requirements.

Malaysia began allowing visa-free entry to citizens of China and India in December 2023, enabling them to stay for up to 30 days. China has also started trialing visa-free travel for citizens from Malaysia.

In response, AirAsia has unveiled a new service to Shanghai Pudong International Airport from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Flights will launch on Feb. 20, operating three times per week using Airbus A320neo aircraft. 

Additionally, service will commence from Kuala Lumpur to Thiruvananthapuram, India, starting Feb. 21, operating four times per week. In the Indian market, AirAsia’s Malaysia unit serves Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Trichy from KUL, while AirAsia X flies from Malaysia’s capital to Amritsar and New Delhi. AirAsia service to Jaipur and Visakhapatnam will also start in April, followed by Ahmedabad in May.

Staying in the Malaysian market, Flydubai will make its debut in the country on Feb. 10, offering a route from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Penang and Routes Asia 2024 host Langkawi. Frequencies will be daily using Boeing 737-8 equipment.

According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, there are four routes linking the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia at present, all of which are to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL). Emirates offers a 3X-daily service from DXB, while Etihad Airways and Air Arabia provide daily flights from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, respectively. Batik Air Malaysia also has a 4X-weekly DXB-KUL connection after launching the route in November 2023.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Jetstar is opening two new international routes from Brisbane Airport this month, offering flights to Seoul Incheon International Airport from Feb. 1 followed by Osaka Kansai International Airport the next day. Both will use 787-8s with three roundtrips per week to Seoul and four to Osaka. The move comes ahead of the LCC starting a Sydney-Osaka route in April after a hiatus of 15 years.

The two Brisbane routes are supported by Queensland’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, a joint government and airport initiative to stimulate the state’s visitor economy. It is hoped the flights will carry up to 240,000 passengers each year.

Other routes commencing in February 2024 include IndiGo’s operations between Surat and Dubai, as well as flights from Hyderabad to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK).

Vietnam’s VietJet will also expand its international network from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) by opening routes to Chengdu Tianfu International Airport and Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

The airline operates one scheduled service to mainland China at present, flying daily from SGN to Shanghai Pudong International Airport. In the Ho Chi Minh City-Chengdu market, it will become the sole operator of nonstop service since Vietnam Airlines ended its regular flights between SGN and Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) in January 2023. Sichuan Airlines also offered a limited time SGN-CTU service in March 2023.

February also sees the launch of AirJapan, a subsidiary of ANA Holdings. The startup will begin service on Feb. 9 with six weekly flights between Tokyo Narita International Airport and BKK. Its second route will be between Tokyo and Seoul, with five weekly flights starting Feb. 22.


David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.