Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Dec. 5, 2022)

Credit: ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

Dec. 9

Canada’s Porter Airlines revealed its first routes using Embraer E195-E2 aircraft, including the carrier’s first transcontinental route. Last year, the airline signaled its intention to move beyond being an all-De Havilland Dash 8-400 operator based at Toronto Billy Bishop (YTZ) with an order for 30 E195-E2s. The carrier will launch three routes with E195-E2s in February 2023 from Toronto Pearson (YYZ): 4X-daily service to both Montreal (YUL) and Ottawa (YOW) from Feb. 1, as well flights to Vancouver (YVR) from Feb. 7. The airline said it will be operating 3X-daily service between YYZ and YVR by March 21, with frequencies on the route before then not specified. It will be the first time 16-year-old Porter has served a point in western Canada. The airline’s E195-E2s will be configured with 132 seats in an all-economy cabin.

Air Serbia said it will begin flying between Belgrade (BEG) and Budapest (BUD) from March 13, 2023, “re-establishing operations [on the route] after a hiatus of several years … The number of flights will be gradually increased to up to 17 flights a week.” The carrier then will launch flights from Belgrade to two Turkish destinations: Ankara (ESB) from March 28, 2023 (4X-weekly) and Izmir (ADB) from April 15, 2023 (2X-weekly).

Dec. 8

Turkey’s SunExpress will operate weekly flights from Izmir (ADB) to Edinburgh (EDI) from autumn 2023, as well as increasing frequencies to the Scottish city from Antalya (AYT) to 5X-weekly. ADB-EDI will start on Aug. 29 and operate on Tuesdays through Oct. 24.

Air Malta plans to launch four new routes in summer 2023. The airline's services from Malta (MLA) to Tel Aviv (TLV) and Naples (NAP) will both be 3X-weekly; Nice (NCE) will be 2X-weekly; and Palermo (PMO) will be 4X-weekly. The additions increase Air Malta’s network to 22 airports.

Dominican Republic-based startup Arajet has commenced operations from Santo Domingo (SDQ) to Medellín (MDE) and Bogotá (BOG). The additions increase the airline’s network to 18 routes. Service to Colombia’s capital will be 3X-weekly, while flights to Medellín will be offered twice a week. Víctor Pacheco, CEO and founder of Arajet, said: “We believe that commercial and tourism ties between the Dominican Republic and Colombia will increase in the coming years, which will benefit thousands of Latin Americans and reinforce our mission to democratize the skies of the region.”

Norse Atlantic Airways has launched a new connection between Berlin (BER) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL), operating 3X-weekly using Boeing 787s. “It’s an exciting day for FLL as we welcome the airport’s first-ever scheduled nonstop route to Berlin,” said Mark Gale, FLL CEO and director of aviation. “Norse’s new service between Fort Lauderdale and Germany’s capital city follows its June launch of Oslo, Norway flights. Both routes play a pivotal role in helping re-establish FLL as a transatlantic gateway.”

Milano Bergamo’s (BGY) first nonstop route to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been launched. Air Arabia will offer flights from Sharjah (SHJ) four times per week, adding more than 47,000 yearly seats to the Italian gateway’s network in 2023. The LCC will use Airbus A321s on the 4,638-km (2,504-nm) sector.

South Korea and Japan have agreed to increase the number of frequencies between Seoul Gimpo (GMP) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) from 56 to 84 flights per week. This restores traffic rights on the route to pre-pandemic levels. In response Japan Airlines has announced that from January, its GMP-HND service will rise from 2X-weekly to 3X-weekly.

Dec. 7

Kenya Airways and Royal Air Maroc have signed an agreement to resume their codeshare partnership, previously initiated in 2016 and discontinued in 2019. Under the new agreement, Royal Air Maroc passengers will be able to travel to Nairobi (NBO), Zanzibar (ZNZ) and Johannesburg (JNB) on Kenya Airways' network. Kenya Airways passengers will benefit from its network connections to the cities of Casablanca (CMN) and Marrakech (RAK), as well as from the possibilities offered by the Moroccan national airline in terms of onward international travel, through its hub in Casablanca. Royal Air Maroc currently operates three weekly frequencies to Accra (ACC) in Ghana from Casablanca and will add three flights through its codeshare with Kenya Airways to Nairobi in Kenya, linking Accra to Johannesburg in South Africa and Zanzibar in Tanzania. Kenya Airways operates seven weekly flights between Nairobi and Accra.

Italian startup Aeroitalia has revealed plans to launch 24 new routes from Milan Bergamo (BGY) during the summer 2023 season, as well as continuing three of the four services operating during the winter 2022/23 season. The airline plans to base five aircraft at the airport to facilitate the expansion. It currently has a fleet of four Boeing 737-800s. Six of the new routes are domestic—to Catania, Lamezia Terme, Brindisi, Reggio Calabria Olbia, Alghero and Lampedusa—while eight are to destinations in Greece. A further 10 routes are to destinations including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Ibiza and Tel Aviv.

Air Greenland has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330neo, which it plans to debut between Kangerlussuaq (SFJ) and Copenhagen (CPH) from Dec. 19. The 3,425-km (1,849-nm) route is currently served by the carrier’s sole A330-200, which will be phased out during 2023. At the present time, Kangerlussuaq is the only airport in Greenland capable of handling the A330. However, the country is investing DKK5 billion ($651 million) into three new airports at Nuuk, Ilulissat and Qaqortoq as part of efforts to boost international connectivity.

EasyJet has announced new routes from UK airports to destinations across Spain, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and Tunisia for the summer 2023 season. London Luton ({LTN}})-Murcia (RMU) will be served up to 3X-weekly from April 1; Bristol (BRS)-Enfidha (NBE) up to 2X-weekly from March 27; Birmingham (BHX)-Milan Malpensa (MXP) up to 3X-weekly from June 26; Manchester (MAN)-Murcia (RMU) up to 2X-weekly from March 28; Liverpool (LPL)-Corfu (CFU) 1X-weekly from June 4; Edinburgh (EDI)-Catania (CTA) up to 2X-weekly from June 2; Glasgow (GLA)-Porto (OPO) up to 2X-weekly from March 31; Jersey (JER)-Amsterdam (AMS) up to 2X-weekly from April 1; and Belfast International (BFS)-Rhodes (RHO) up to 2X-weekly from June 3.

Starting March 26, 2023, KLM is launching a direct service to the new destination of Rennes (RNS) in the west of France. The service from Amsterdam will be operated by KLM Cityhopper using Embraer 175 aircraft, with a total seat capacity of 88. Rennes is KLM’s eighth destination in France.

Flyr has joined Oslo-based Norse Atlantic Airways’ interline platform. Norse launched the platform in July and has signed up easyJet, Norwegian and Spirit Airlines to help feed its low-cost long-haul transatlantic flights.

Dec. 6

Hamburg (HAM), Gothenburg (GOT), Cologne (CGN) and Marseille (MRS) are being added to Air Serbia’s network from May 2023. From Belgrade (BEG), the airline will serve HAM from May 15; GOT and CGN from May 18; and MRS from May 20. Flights to Hamburg, Gothenburg and Cologne will be offered three times per week, while Marseille will be 2X-weekly. “We are continuing to expand our network, while striving to bring more destinations in Europe closer to our passengers,” Air Serbia general manager of commercial and strategy Jiří Marek said.

Nouvelair is increasing its northern summer 2023 schedule between London Gatwick (LGW) and Tunis (TUN) after securing additional slots at the UK airport. The airline plans to offer 4X-weekly flights, up from 3X-weekly in summer 2022. It launched the route in March 2022 and is currently offering two flights per week during the winter 2022/23 season.

Iceland’s Play has opened ticket sales from Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) to Warsaw (WAW). The first flight will take off on April 3, 2023, and be offered twice a week until late October. Airbus A320neo aircraft will be used to operate the route. Play has already announced four other new destinations for 2023: Athens (ATH). Hamburg (HAM), Porto (OPO) and Stockholm (ARN}}).

Dec. 5

AirAsia X is resuming its first ever route: Kuala Lumpur (KUL)-Gold Coast (OOL). The route will return on Feb. 15, 2023, operating three times per week. Gold Coast will be the airline’s fourth destination in Australia alongside Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Credit: AirAsia X

“Fifteen years ago, the Gold Coast was the catalyst for the birth of AirAsia X and our Australia expansion, which quickly became one of our most popular core markets,” AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said. “Through Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia X will connect visitors to more than 130 destinations across Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, India, South Korea and many more.” As well as resuming OOL, AirAsia X has celebrated its inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei (TPE). Service will be 3X-weekly.

Hong Kong-based startup Greater Bay Airlines is further expanding its network with the opening of a route to Tokyo Narita (NRT). Flights from Hong Kong International (HKG) will start on Jan. 12, 2023, and the route will be served daily. The planned launch follows a rise in visitors to Japan since the country relaxed COVID-19 travel restrictions in October. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, the estimated number of visitor arrivals from Hong Kong was 36,200 in October 2022, compared to only 2,800 in September 2022.

Air Canada has launched a new link connecting Vancouver (YVR) and Bangkok (BKK). The nonstop route will be provided four times per week using Boeing 787s. “This new service from YVR is another step in our ambition to develop this hub into one of the most important trans-pacific gateways in North America,” Air Canada SVP of network planning and revenue management Mark Galardo said.

Emirates has resumed Airbus A380 flights to Auckland (AKL) in New Zealand for the first time since February 2020. The daily Dubai (DXB) service reclaims the title of Emirates’ longest route, covering 14,200 km (7,667 nm), with an estimated flight time of just under 16 hr. from Dubai to New Zealand and 17 hr. 15 min. in the other direction.

South Korea’s Jin Air has launched a new route between Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Chiang Mai (CNX) in Thailand, the host destination of Routes Asia 2023. Flights will initially operate 4X-weekly using 737-800s, rising to daily later this month. OAG data shows the airline will compete on the sector with Korean Air and Jeju Airlines.

Qantas has commenced its Melbourne (MEL)-Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) route. The 3X-weekly 787-9 service started on Dec. 3. “The addition of service to Melbourne is a significant milestone for DFW Airport,” DFW CEO Sean Donohue said. “It is reflective of not only the strength of our network as one of the most connected Airports in the world, but it also shows the vitality of the Dallas Fort Worth region economy as a place to do business and visit.”

BA CityFlyer will this week start the first of two ski routes from London City Airport (LCY). Service to Salzburg (SZG) in Austria begins on Dec. 9 and Chambéry (CMF) in France on Dec. 17. Meanwhile, LCY’s traffic forecast for this month is nearly three times higher than December 2021. It expects to handle 245,000 passengers this December.

David Casey

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