Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Dec. 12, 2022)

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Dec. 16

Wizz Air is to launch its first route to Luxembourg (LUX). Flights from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) will start on Aug. 1, 2023, operating three times per week using Airbus A321neos. “The route to Rome is ideal to visit friends and family, to do business in one of the world’s most important historical and cultural centres in Europe, or to enjoy exploring the sights of the Eternal City,” network officer Evelin Jeckel said.

Armenian LCC Flyone Armenia has launched a route to Milan Malpensa (MXP) from Yerevan’s Zvartnots International (EVN). Flights started on Dec. 15 and will operate twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays.

Lufthansa will increase the number of weekly departures from Frankfurt (FRA) to Liverpool (LPL) at the start of summer 2023. The airline, which launched the route in May, will offer 6X-weekly flights, up from three at the present time. Lufthansa senior director sales Northern Europe Heinrich Lange said: “This new Lufthansa connection from Liverpool to Frankfurt has already enjoyed a very good level of demand in its first year and Liverpool has also proved popular as a new destination.”

Vietjet has inaugurated service between the coastal city of Da Nang (DAD) in Vietnam and Ahmedabad (AMD) in India. The new route will be 4X-weekly and increases the LCC’s flight network between the two countries to nine services. OAG data shows that Vietjet is the largest operator of nonstop capacity between Vietnam and India, with a 79% share of the market in December 2022.

French Bee has opened a route between Paris Orly (ORY) and Miami (MIA). The launch gives MIA nonstop service to both international airports in France’s capital city and creates MIA’s 18th nonstop route in Europe. The ORY-MIA route will initially be served three times per week using A350-900 aircraft, increasing to 4X-weekly in April 2023.

Fastjet Zimbabwe is introducing two domestic leisure routes from March 2023. Service from Victoria Falls (VFA) to Kariba (KAB) and from Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park (HWN) will each be daily, starting on March 27. Both routes will use Embraer E120 equipment. “Working closely with our industry stakeholders and partners, including Airports Company of Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, we continue to explore ways to further develop the domestic Zimbabwean flight network,” Fastjet Zimbabwe CCO Vivian Ruwuya said.

Dec. 15

Jetstar Airways is launching a new trans-Tasman route between Brisbane (BNE) and Auckland (AKL) with support from the Queensland Government’s Aviation Attraction Investment Fund. The service will operate four times a week using Airbus A320s, stating on March 27, 2023. “This is the first time we’ve offered direct flights between Brisbane and Auckland, and we’re confident this new return service will be extremely popular with our customers,” Jetstar Group CEO Stephanie Tully said.

Ryanair has announced a series of changes to its German network for summer 2023. At Weeze (NRN), the ULCC will base a fourth aircraft at the airport and serve 31 destinations, including new routes to Asturias, Milan Bergamo, Pula and Reus. Memmingen (FMM) will see six new routes starting during the season, taking the total number of points served to 28. Destinations being added to the airline’s schedule from FMM are Corfu, Krakow, Malta, Naples, Valencia and Tuzla. Finally, two new services are scheduled to launch from Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) next summer. They are to Malta and Milan Bergamo.

Canada’s Porter Airlines has revealed further network additions, following on from the plans to enter the Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Edmonton (YEG) market. Starting March 27, 2023, passengers will be able to take nonstop flights between Ottawa (YOW) and Boston (BOS), New York Newark (EWR), Quebec (YQB) and Thunder Bay (YQT). EWR and YQT will each be served 2X-daily, while BOS and YQB will receive one flight per day. “Ottawa was our first destination when we launched in 2006, and it has always been a critical location for Porter throughout our history,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “The network expansion in Ottawa shows our commitment to the Ottawa-Gatineau region and its people. We expect our presence in Ottawa will continue growing.” The new routes will be served by 78-seat De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft.

Hungarian ULCC Wizz Air is growing its base in Warsaw (WAW) with the addition of an A321neo, increasing the number of aircraft stationed there to 10. The move will allow the airline to launch a new route to Seville (SVQ) from May 1, 2023, operating 2X-weekly. Frequencies will also be increased on a further 10 routes from Poland’s capital.

Air Serbia is launching a nonstop connection from Belgrade (BEG) to Göteborg Landvetter (GOT) in Sweden, resuming a route last served in 2013. Starting May 18, 2023, flights will be 3X-weekly on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays using A319s. “Belgrade is a destination for which there is great demand, and the new route will be a welcome addition to our existing range of travel options,” said Elizabeth Axtelius, director of aviation business at airport operator Swedavia.

Finnair has launched a third daily service to Doha (DOH). Flights from Helsinki (HEL) join the services from Copenhagen (CPH) and Stockholm (ARN), which started last month. The HEL-DOH sector will operate using A330-300s.

Dec. 14

Air Europa has expanded a codeshare agreement with Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aéreas. The partnership will allow Air Europa to display its code on Azul flights from Sao Paulo-Guarulhos (GRU) to the Brazilian cities of Cuiabá, Confins, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Recife and Santos Dumont, as well as from Salvador de Bahía (SSA) to Porto Seguro, Congonhas, Confins, Recife and Campinas. Azul will also put its code on flights operated by Air Europa between Madrid (MAD) and Lisbon (LIS).

South African Airways (SAA) has pushed back the launch of a domestic route between Johannesburg (JNB) and Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth (PLZ). Service was due to begin on Dec. 12 operating 3X-daily. However, the airline said the route would not start until 2023, blaming “the regulatory approval process that has taken much longer than anticipated.” CCO Tebogo Tsimane added: “While the airline is disappointed that we could not achieve flying the Ggeberha route in time to meet the December peak season demand, the restart of this route remains a critical part of SAA’s network growth plan and SAA will continue to work to achieve this.”

Air Serbia has announced four more network additions to destinations in Greece summer 2023. Flights from Belgrade (BEG) to Heraklion (HER) will be 4X-weekly from April 28; Chania (CHQ) will be up to 3X-weekly from June 4; Rhodes (RHO) will be 4X-weekly from June 5; and Corfu (CFU) will be 2X-weekly from June 9. Bojan Aranđelović, head of network planning and scheduling, said: “Greece is one of the famous tourist destinations, and the demand for flights to Greek islands is extremely high during the summer season. By listening to the needs of passengers, we have decided to add some of the most popular charter flights to our scheduled services.”

LCC Air Arabia is resuming flights from Sharjah (SHJ) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL), the capital city of Malaysia. Service will return on March 20, 2023, operating three times per week using Airbus A321s. Frequencies will rise to daily in June. “We consider it a significant route in terms of our expansion plans within the Asian market,” CEO Adel Al Ali said.

Wizz Air has launched a route between London Luton (LTN) and Amman (AMM) in Jordan. Service began on Dec. 13, operating 3X-weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Sister carrier Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has also opened a new route this week. The ULCC will connect Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Samarkand (SKD) in Uzbekistan twice a week, increasing to 3X-weekly from Jan. 1, 2023.

American Airlines is adding capacity on its 2X-daily flight between Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) in California and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW). In February, the US carrier will use Airbus A319s on the route, rather than Embraer 175s.

Dec. 13

Jetstar Asia will operate seven extra weekly return services between Singapore (SIN) and three key destinations—Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Penang (PEN) and Bangkok (BKK)—to meet the rising demand for air travel during the 2023 Lunar New Year holidays. These flights will supplement Jetstar Asia's normal scheduled services from Jan. 13-29, 2023. There will be an additional five SIN-KUL flights, plus one more frequency on both SIN-PEN and SIN-BKK.

SAS is adding a second weekly departure between Copenhagen (CPH) and Shanghai (PVG). After operating the second weekly flight for the first time on Dec. 16, the route will be operated on twice a week from Jan 6, 2023. SAS uses Airbus A350s on the sector. has announced a 'Norway and Fjords Program' starting in spring 2024. The schedule will include service to Bergen (BGO) from Birmingham (BHX), Manchester (MAN), Newcastle (NCL) and Leeds (LBA) in April and May 2024. Gaute S. Riise, VP of traffic development at Avinor, said: “It is great to see the entrance of and Jet2CityBreaks in the Norwegian market, an important contribution to the tourism industry with the UK being an important inbound market for Western Norway. We look forward to engaging in this new partnership."

TUI plans to offer charter flights to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) from Belfast City (BHD) next summer. Service will be weekly on Saturdays from June 10, 2023, until Aug. 26.

VietJet Air is to resume a 4X-weekly Da Lat (DLI)-Seoul Incheon (ICN) service from Dec. 21. Flights will be every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. “The direct connections will pave the way for the locals and tourists to travel by safe and modern airway while promoting tourism, trade and studying abroad,” the LCC said in a statement.

TAAG Angola Airlines has launched a new route between Luanda (LAD) and Pointe-Noire (PNR), the second-largest city and key business center in the Republic of Congo. The route began on Dec. 12 and will be 2X-weekly on Mondays and Fridays using Dash-8s.

Eurowings is opening two new routes from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). Starting March 26, 2023, the LCC will fly to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) three times a week. The route is currently served by Norwegian, Ryanair and SAS. On the same day, flights will begin to Stuttgart (STR), operating 4X-weekly. “There is great faith in the Swedish air travel market, and the growth of Eurowings in time for the summer season is another sign of this,” said Elizabeth Axtelius, director of aviation business at Swedavia.

Dec. 12

Qantas launched service between Sydney (SYD) and Seoul Incheon (ICN), operating the route for the first time since 2008. Flights will be operated 4X-weekly with an Airbus A330, but frequencies will be reduced during the southern hemisphere winter season, with the route operated 3X-weekly from May through October. Qantas noted it is now flying to three countries it did not service pre-pandemic: India, Italy and South Korea. Qantas LCC subsidiary Jetstar started operating SYD-ICN service from Nov. 2. The route is flown by Jetstar 3X-weekly with a Boeing 787-8.

Etihad Airways will return four of its 10 Airbus A380s to its active fleet for the 2023 northern hemisphere summer season and intends to place all four aircraft on the Abu Dhabi (AUH)-London Heathrow (LHR) route. The AUH-based airline plans to use the four aircraft to fly 4X-daily between AUH to LHR. Etihad is the latest carrier to bring back the extra-large aircraft (Etihad's A380s seat nearly 500 passengers) as long-haul air travel recovers and airlines seek more capacity. Etihad currently uses a mix of Boeing 787s and Airbus A350-1000s on the four daily London frequencies. It will redeploy these aircraft to other routes.
Air New Zealand expects to be operating about 75% of its systemwide capacity in December compared to pre-pandemic levels. Domestic capacity is projected to be at nearly 100% of pre-pandemic levels, with short-haul international capacity at about 85% and long-haul international flying at 70%. Demand and bookings remain strong across its domestic and international networks, Air New Zealand said. However, the carrier added that capacity is constrained because the airline is not operating as many aircraft as it did in 2019.