Route rundown: BSR-CPH, HKT-CTU, SJO-LAX

Nigel MayesNigel Mayes is the senior vice president, consulting & product development at ASM. Nigel has more than 15 years’ experience in route development and is responsible for product development at ASM.

The sister company to Routes, ASM is the world‘s leading route development consultancy and has supported the creation of new air services since 1993.

Route 1: Phuket – Chengdu

thai lion aircraft



thai lion


Boeing 737


Four weekly

Start date

1 February 2018


2,585 km

O&D traffic demand (year to November 2017)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (year to November 2017)



Thai Lion Air will further expands service to China in the second-half of the winter 2017/18 season, with the introduction of an additional 13 routes, operating under scheduled charter basis. Sichuan Airlines, Nok Air and China Eastern currently operate Phuket – Chengdu. Thai Lion Air has been cutting domestic capacity in recent months to free up aircraft for further international expansion. Its ambitions were stalled after the International Civil Aviation Organisation red flagged Thailand in 2015 over safety concerns. However, restrictions were lifted in October 2017. Thai Lion currently operates 13 domestic and 28 international routes, according to OAG schedules data for the week commencing 1 January 2018.

Route 2: San Jose (Costa Rica) – San Salvador – Los Angeles



Carrier volaris-logo.png
Aircraft Airbus A319
Frequency Twice weekly
Start date 15 March 2018
Distance 4,399 km
O&D traffic demand (2016) 168,138
Growth % YOY 3.74%
Average one-way fare $ (2016) $251.87


Volaris' Costa Rican affiliate secured a Foreign Air Carrier Permit from the US Department of Transportation in December 2017, allowing the carrier to commence operations to the US. Los Angeles is one of three routes being launched as it will also serve New York JFK and Washington Dulles from San Jose via San Salvador. The airline is seeking to replicate its ultra-low-cost model in Central America by offering low base fares and point-to-point service in the region. Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines currently offer direct flights from LAX to Costa Rica.

Source: Sabre Market Intelligence

Route 3: Basra – Copenhagen

Iraqi Airways


Carrier 1200px-Iraqi_Airways_Logo.svg.png
Aircraft Airbus A320
Frequency Weekly
Start date 16 December 2017
Distance 3,919 km
O&D traffic demand (year to November 2017) 6,949
Growth % YOY -28.2%
Average one-way fare $ (year to November 2017) $155.75


Iraqi Airways has added a weekly Baghdad – Basra – Copenhagen routing, becoming the fourth weekly flight to the Danish capital. It will be operated by Airbus A320 on Saturdays. The airline also operates two weekly Baghdad – Copenhagen and one weekly Baghdad – Najaf – Copenhagen flights. The flight will mainly serve the Iraqi population in Denmark, which numbers more than 30,000.