Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Nov. 28, 2022)

Credit: Gordon Bell / Alamy Stock Photo

Dec. 2

Thai Airways International and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a new strategic partnership. This will result in the airlines codesharing more extensively on each other’s services. In the initial phase, Thai and SIA will codeshare on flights between Singapore (SIN) and Bangkok(BKK). Thai will also codeshare on SIA’s routes to Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa; Houston, Los Angeles, New York John F. Kennedy and Newark, San Francisco, and Seattle in the US; as well as Vancouver in Canada.

Argentinian LCC Flybondi is increasing frequencies on 80% of its routes. The airline, which has just received its 10th Boeing 737-800, said the expansion represents overall growth of 30%, taking the number of daily flights to 63. Alongside added flights on 14 domestic routes, Flybondi plans to offer more flights on three international routes. From Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini (EZE), service to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) is rising from 4X-weekly to 6X-weekly in December; Florianopolis (FLN) resumed on Dec. 1 with a daily service, increasing to 2X-daily in January; and Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG) will go from 2X-daily to 3X-daily in January.

Thai AirAsia X has opened two routes between Thailand and Australia. The airline started flying from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Melbourne (MEL) on Dec. 1, followed by Sydney (SYD) on Dec. 2. Both are new destinations for the LCC. Melbourne will be operated 3X-weekly and Sydney 4X-weekly, each using A300 equipment. OAG shows that competition on BKK-MEL will be provided by Thai Airways International and Jetstar, and by Thai Airways and Qantas on BKK-SYD.

Air Serbia is introducing four new routes from Belgrade (BEG) to Italy during the summer 2023 season. Flights to Catania (CTA) will commence on April 14; service to Naples (NAP) starts on May 19; operations Florence (FLR) begin a day later; and a route to Palermo (PMO) begins on June 14. All four routes will be served twice a week.

Jazeera Airways is launching a new route from Kuwait (KWI) to Dushanbe International (DYU) in Tajikistan. Flights will begin on Dec. 29 on Thursdays and Saturdays. “Jazeera today flies to many CIS countries, operating underserved routes from the Middle East that cater to a latent demand for religious tourism and simulates new demand from tourists who want to explore culturally rich countries that are a few hours away,” Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran.

India’s Vistara has started nonstop flights between Pune (PNQ) and Singapore (SIN). The airline will operate 4X-weekly flights on this route using its Airbus A321neo aircraft. Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said: “There is a growing demand for air travel between the two cities especially from corporate travellers. We are confident that customers will appreciate having the option of flying India’s best airline on this sector.”

Dec. 1

Spanish carrier Volotea is ramping up capacity from Bilbao (BIO) with plans to offer double the number of seats in 2023 compared with 2019. The airline said it has scheduled 600,000 seats—up by 111% on pre-COVID levels and 21% higher than in 2022. A total of 18 routes will be available, including new services to Faro (FAO) in Portugal and Santorini (JTR). Faro will be served twice a week from May 28, while Santorini starts two days earlier and will be weekly. Volotea has previously announced three new routes from Bilbao beginning in 2023 to Florence, Rome and Marrakech.

Emirates has increased operations from London Gatwick (LGW) with a third daily Airbus A380 flight. The additional frequency will offer further capacity with more than 1,000 seats from Gatwick to Dubai (DXB). “Gatwick is a vital hub for us in London and the UK, and our operations from the airport connect both passengers and businesses with our ever-growing global network,” said Richard Jewsbury, divisional VP for Emirates UK.

Greece’s Aegean Airlines is launching a route to Newcastle (NCL) in the UK. Flights from Athens (ATH) will be twice a week from June 14, 2023, through Sept. 17. Newcastle director of aviation development Leon McQuaid said there was huge demand for direct services to Athens, while Aegean will also offer connecting flights to other destinations in Greece and beyond.

Condor is opening a new route to Egypt from March 2023. The German leisure airline plans to connect Frankfurt (FRA) with Sphinx International (SPX), a newly build airport serving the city of Giza on the western side of Cairo. Flights will be on Mondays and Thursdays using A320s. Condor also flies to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada (HRG) in Egypt from six airports in Germany.

Brazilian carrier Azul has announced it has received more slots at Sao Paulo Congonhas (CGH). The airline will have 84 from March 26, 2023, up from 41 at the present time. This will enable the launch of new services to Brasilia, Curitiba and Porto Alegre, in addition to added frequencies to Belo Horizonte, Recife and Rio de Janeir.

Nov. 30

EasyJet is to expand its network from both Manchester (MAN) and Belfast International (BFS). At Manchester, the LCC plans to station an additional 186-seat A320neo at the airport from May 2023, becoming the 21st aircraft to be based there. In addition, a new route to Murcia (RMU) in Spain will be launched. Flights will be twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays from May 2. At Belfast International, easyJet is also increasing its base with an additional A320neo, joining seven other A320-family aircraft stationed at the airport. A new route to Rhodes (RHO) in Greece is being opened, starting on June 3 with two weekly departures on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Norwegian is resuming flights between Copenhagen (CPH) and Madrid (MAD) next summer. Service will start on June 22, operating twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays. The route joins the airline’s existing flights to the Spanish capital from Oslo (OSL), which will be 2X-weekly until June 16, increasing to 4X-weekly from June 19. Copenhagen-Madrid has been absent from Norwegian’s network for almost three years.

IndiGo has further expanded its codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines to destinations in France and Austria. From Nov. 30, passengers will be able to connect via Istanbul (IST) on Turkish Airlines flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Lyon (LYS), Nice (NCE) and Toulouse (TLS). A connection from Istanbul to Salzburg (SZG) will be available from Dec. 1. “These new routes will not only strengthen international connectivity but also enhance capacity and thereby affordability for travel to Europe,” IndiGo head of global sales Vinay Malhotra said.

UK leisure carrier is adding an extra aircraft at its London Stansted (STN) base, with plans to offer 2.1 million seats during the northern summer 2023 season, up by 10% on summer 2022. The airline will base 15 aircraft at the airport during the season, with a 16th joining the fleet there at peak times. Capacity is being increased to 11 destinations: Ibiza and Majorca in Spain; Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia; Corfu, Chania, Heraklion, Kos, Kefalonia, and Rhodes in Greece; and Dalaman in Turkey. In total, Jet2 plans to offer more than 225 weekly flights to 42 destinations from Stansted next summer.

Nov. 29

AirAsia Philippines is launching flights to Tokyo Narita (NRT) from Feb. 1, 2023. The LCC will fly daily to Japan’s capital from Manila (MNL) using Airbus A320s. Tokyo will become the second Japanese destination in the airline’s network alongside Osaka (ITM), with a 3X-weekly MNL-ITM starting on Dec. 6. “Our goal is to empower more Filipinos to travel and immerse in the diverse cultures of our country’s regions and our Asean neighbors,” AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said. “We are confident that Osaka and Tokyo have a high potential of being among our top-preferred international destinations. By adding our Manila-Tokyo route, we are well positioned to achieve full recovery for international operations early next year.”

Qatar Airways is to resume flights from Doha (DOH) to Taif (TIF) in Saudi Arabia with three weekly flights starting Jan. 3, 2023. The airline last served the route in July 2017, data provided by OAG shows. Taif becomes its sixth destination in Saudi Arabia. Qatar Airways is currently operating two daily flights to Riyadh (RUH), four daily flights to Jeddah (JED), two daily flights to Medina (MED), five daily flights to Dammam (DMM) and a daily flight from Qassim (ELQ). Flight QR1206 will depart from DOH at 7.40 a.m., arriving at 10.10 a.m at Taif. The return service QR1207 will depart TIF at 11.10 a.m. and arrive back in Doha at 1.20 p.m.

Nov. 28

Oman’s SalamAir is introducing a second destination in Thailand. Flights will connect Muscat (MCT) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) four times per week from Dec. 18. “Bangkok remains one of the most preferred tourist destinations for Omanis and expats,” CEO Mohamed Ahmed said. “The flights will boost tourism, economic relations, and business opportunities between Oman and Thailand. The airline’s network expansion strategy is dedicated to increasingly connecting more destinations along new sectors to establish a strong pan-international presence.”

IndiGo is offering 19 new connecting flights through Istanbul (IST) to destinations in Portugal and Switzerland through its codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines. Destinations include Basel (BSL), Geneva (GVA), Lisbon (LIS) and Porto (OPO). On Nov. 28, the Indian LCC also commenced its operations from Itanagar (HGI), becoming the 75th domestic destination in its network. The airline will serve Mumbai (BOM) and Kolkata (CCU) six times per week, with CCU increasing to daily from Dec. 3.

Eurowings is adding another route to Göteborg Landvetter (GOT) during the summer 2023 season. The airline plans to serve GOT from its base at Berlin (BER) four times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, starting in late March. Elizabeth Axtelius, director of aviation business at airport operator Swedavia, said: “Germany is our biggest market and an important market for western Sweden. Both leisure and business travellers from the Gothenburg region can reach Berlin more easily, and German visitors can more easily visit Gothenburg.”

Canadian leisure airline Sunwing is launching flights to four destinations in Cuba and Mexico from Windsor (YQG), Ontario. Service to Varadero (VRA) will run from Nov. 17 through April 6, 2023, while Cancun (CUN) will be served Dec. 12 through April 10. In addition, flights to Cayo Coco (CCC) start on Dec. 13 through April 11, and to Santa Clara (SNU) through April 12. All four routes will be served once a week.

David Casey

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