Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C April 3, 2023)

Credit: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

April 6


Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is closing one of its three runways through October 2023 for reconstruction. The upgraded Runway 5R-23L will “enhance capacity” at the airport, according to IND. “The increased use of [the airport’s other two] runways may cause some citizens to notice more aircraft in the skies near their homes or places of business,” the airport says in a statement. IND says it has worked with airlines to develop a plan so the runway project does not cause flight delays.

U.S. ULCC Spirit Airlines will launch service between Charleston (CHS), South Carolina, and Las Vegas (LAS) from Sept. 7. The service will operate 5X-weekly. The announcement of the new CHS-LAS route—to be exclusive to Spirit—came as the airline opened daily service from Charleston to three cities on April 5: Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Newark (EWR) and Philadelphia (PHL).

Kansas City International Airport (MCI) Aviation Director Patrick Klein has announced his retirement, ending a seven-year tenure running the Missouri airport. His retirement announcement comes just weeks after the airport opened a new 1 million-ft.² terminal, a $1.5 billion project overseen by Klein. Kansas City officials said they will conduct a national search for a new airport director.

April 5


Turkey’s AnadoluJet is launching a new route between Ankara and Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, later this month. Starting April 17, the Turkish Airlines subsidiary will serve the sector once a week using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Data provided by OAG shows AnadoluJet will be the only airline to provide nonstop scheduled flights between the cities.

Australian startup Bonza has opened another new route from Sunshine Coast Airport, connecting the Queensland destination with Mildura in northwest Victoria. Flights will be operated twice a week. Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie says: “The Sunshine Coast is a very attractive holiday destination for Victorians, but up until now getting here from places like Mildura has not been straightforward. This new route will make it easy for travelers to visit for a holiday, to visit friends or to reconnect with family.”

Norwegian has started two Spanish routes from Stockholm Skavsta Airport. Both Alicante and Malaga will be served twice a week. The LCC already serves each destination in Spain from Stockholm, flying from Stockholm Arlanda to Alicante 12X-weekly and to Malaga 13X-weekly at the present time. Stockholm Skavsta chairman Kjell-Åke Westin says: “Norwegian has expressed positive views about the airport and we hope that there can be more cooperation.”

April 4


Taiwan’s EVA Air has launched flights between Taipei and Clark in the Philippines. The daily service joins its existing routes to Manila and Cebu. Flights will be operated using Airbus A321 aircraft with eight business-class seats and 176 in economy. EVA president Clay Sun says more than 80% of passengers on the inaugural Taipei-Clark flight connected via Taoyuan International Airport from destinations in North America and Europe. “This demonstrates the convenience of our service and the importance of Taoyuan International Airport as a connection hub in Asia,” he says.

Italian startup Aeroitalia is growing its network from Milan Bergamo this summer. The airline currently serves four points from the airport, flying to Catania, Rome Fiumicino, Tel Aviv and Tirana, OAG data shows. Service to Lampedusa in Italy will start on June 3 operating 1X-weekly, followed on July 3 by a 1X-weekly route to Palermo, Italy, and a 2X-weekly service Karpathos, Greece. Three more Greek destinations will be added in the following days to Heraklion (July 8, 1X-weekly), Mykonos (July 9, 1X-weekly) and Zakynthos (July 6, 2X-weekly). Meanwhile, Milan Bergamo said passenger numbers between January and March 2023 show 51.8% growth on the same period in 2022 and are up by 19.6% on 2019 levels.

Emirates has now restored its full Japanese network with the resumption of its passenger services to Tokyo Haneda. The airline will offer daily flights from Dubai International using Boeing 777s. It also operates daily services to Tokyo Narita and Osaka. From these points, Emirates offers passengers access to 24 additional domestic cities in Japan through its codeshare partnership with Japan Airlines. “We’ve been present in the market for more than 20 years and are thoroughly pleased to finally return to Tokyo Haneda, as we look forward to supporting the increasing demand for international travel,” Emirates country manager in Japan Satish Sethi says.

Aer Lingus Regional has launched a 4X-weekly Belfast City-Cornwall Newquay service, operated by Emerald Airlines. The route will be operated with ATR 72-600 aircraft. “Already servicing Dublin, we are delighted to be further strengthening our presence in Newquay by adding a direct link to Belfast,” says Ciarán Smith, head of commercial at Emerald Airlines. OAG data shows Belfast City-Cornwall Newquay was previously served by defunct UK regional carrier Flybe until August 2019, and again for a two-month period by British Airways in summer 2021. On March 31, Cornwall Newquay also gained another new route when Eastern Airways started flying to East Midlands Airport.

April 3


Vietnamese LCC Vietjet is launching a new route between Hanoi and Phuket in Thailand. Flights will be daily from May 19, with a journey time of about 3 hr. per leg. The airline already flies to the leisure destination of Phuket from Ho Chi Minh City. Additionally, Vietjet will open another domestic route in Vietnam on April 25, connecting Can Tho and Van Don. The flight time is 2 hr. 20 min. per leg with three weekly flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

AirAsia X has resumed flying between Kuala Lumpur International and Gold Coast, Australia. The service was the airline’s first ever route when the LCC launched in November 2007 but has been suspended during the pandemic. Flights have restarted with three round trips per week. Queensland’s tourism minister Stirling Hinchliffe says AirAsia X is predicted to generate AU$45.6 million ($30.8 million) annually for the Gold Coast’s visitor economy.

Japan’s Peach Aviation is resuming flights to Shanghai Pudong from both Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Haneda after an absence of three years. Daily operations will restart from Osaka on May 12, followed by Haneda the next day. “The boarding rate for international flights from February to March of this year was close to 90%, indicating that momentum for overseas travel is growing and that many inbound passengers have already boarded our flights,” the LCC says in a statement.

Indian carrier Vistara is expanding service to the UK. A 5X-weekly Mumbai-London Heathrow route will start on June 1, operating using Boeing 787-9s in a three-class configuration. The airline currently offers three routes to Europe, flying from Delhi to Frankfurt, Paris and London.

Budapest Airport has celebrated the launch of Wizz Air’s daily service to Istanbul (IST), representing the airline’s first Turkish connection from the Hungarian gateway. Using Airbus A321neo on the 1,017-km (549-nm) sector, the new service will see an additional 1,195 one-way weekly seats to Turkey. “Turkey is our fifth largest country market and with the addition of Wizz Air’s new service, which will be joined by the carrier’s connection to Antalya later in the season, we will be offering more than 50 weekly flights to four popular destinations,” says Balázs Bogáts, airline development director at Budapest Airport.

David Casey

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

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.