Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Feb. 21)

Credit: Joe Pries

Welcome to our rolling daily coverage of new routes alongside services that are scheduled to resume.

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Feb. 25

Malindo Air has opened reservations for the relaunch of its Kuala Lumpur (KUL)-Perth (PER) service from March 3. The twice-weekly route marks the airline's first destination into Australia after a hiatus of two years. From March 28 onwards, the frequency will be ramped up to 4X-weekly. Flights will be operated using Boeing 737-800NGs. “Before the pandemic struck, many Malaysians travelled to Australia for business, VFR, for holidays and to pursue their education, and vice versa,” Malindo CEO Mushafiz Bin Mustafa Bakri said. “We are aware that the closure of Australia’s borders has been especially challenging for our Malaysian students studying in Australia. We need to resume these people-to-people flows to maintain our close and excellent bilateral relationship.” The airline launched the KUL-PER route in November 2015.

An air services agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and Qatar is “imminent” following discussions between the two nations. Caribbean Airlines said it is also close to deepening its relationship with Qatar Airways, especially in the areas of passenger and cargo operations. “Caribbean Airlines has a mandate to improve connectivity within and outside the region and these talks with Qatar Airways are well aligned with Caribbean Airlines’ theme of resetting expectations for 2022,” Caribbean Airlines chairman S. Ronnie Mohammed said.

Air Canada will resume daily nonstop service between Milwaukee (MKE) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ) beginning July 1. The route has been suspended since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re happy to welcome Air Canada back to Milwaukee with nonstop service to Toronto, giving local travelers another reason to choose our hometown airport by flying from MKE,” airport director Brian Dranzik said. Flights will operate using CRJ-200 aircraft.

Swiss will debut its new premium economy product on flights between Zurich (ZRH) and Miami (MIA) from the beginning of March onwards. The new class will be gradually installed on all 12 of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER long-haul aircraft. After Miami, the next destinations to be served with premium economy-equipped aircraft will be San Francisco (SFO) from mid-April and São Paulo (GRU) from the end of April. Premium economy will be available on all of Swiss’ 777-300ER routes from the end of May onwards.

Feb. 24

Eurowings is adding two more routes from its new base at Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). Effective May 1, a 2X-weekly route to Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus will begin, followed by a 1X-weekly service to Mykonos (JMK) in Greece from May 21. The LCC currently provides nonstop service from Stockholm Arlanda to Hamburg (HAM) and Düsseldorf (DUS). However, it will begin service to an initial 16 European destinations once its base opens in March. Norwegian is also expanding its leisure offer from Arlanda with the launch of three new routes. Between June 10 and Aug. 13, the airline will serve Mykonos with two flights per week. Antalya (AYT) in Turkey will be served between June 13 and Aug. 12 twice-weekly, while Thessaloniki (SKG) in Greece will receive one flight per week from June 16 through Aug. 12.

Air Corsica is adding a route to Zurich (ZRH) this summer, increasing its European network to seven destinations. Ajaccio (AJA)-Zurich flights will begin on July 2 through Aug. 22, initially operating once a week on Saturdays using Airbus A320s. A Tuesday service will start on Aug. 6. Coinciding with the planned launch, Air Corsica has appointed TAL Aviation as its sales agent in Switzerland.

Fresh from announcing Pantnagar (PGH) as its 72nd domestic destination, IndiGo has unveiled a 73rd. The airline will begin five routes to Kadapa (CDP), a city with a population of about 350,000 inhabitants located in the southern part of India’s Andhra Pradesh region. From March 27, the LCC will begin daily flights from Hyderabad (HYD) as well as 4X-weekly service from Chennai (MAA) and Vijayawada (VGA). Two more routes will open on March 29, connecting Kadapa with both Bangalore (BLR) and Visakhapatnam (VTZ) three times per week.

Feb. 23

Icelandic LCC PLAY will begin serving Orlando (MCO) from Sept. 30, flying three times per week. The airline intends to offer flights to the US destination from London Stansted (STN) via its base in Reykjavik (KEF). Service from STN will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “We anticipate this route to be popular with European passengers, particularly from Scandinavia, seeking to escape the cold winter to experience Florida’s popular parks and resorts, as well as with American travelers visiting Europe to see family for the holidays or to tour festivals and winter attractions,” PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson said.

Transavia France is opening six new routes during the summer 2022 season, four of which are from Paris Orly (ORY). From the French capital, the airline plans to serve Bodrum (BJV) 1X-weekly from June 5; Lamezia Terme (SUF) 2X-weekly from July 8; Larnaca (LCA) 2X-weekly from July 9; and Ankara (ESB) 2X-weekly from July 10. The additions increase the LCC’s network from Paris Orly to 100 destinations in 32 countries this summer. In addition, the airline plans to offer to new routes to Split (SPU), flying 1X-weekly from Montpellier (MPL) on July 9 and 2X-weekly from Nantes (NTE) on July 10. Overall, Transavia France said capacity across its network this summer will be up by 71% compared with summer 2019.

UK regional airline Eastern Airways is to start serving Aberdeen (ABZ) from Wick John O’Groats (WIC). The new service will operate up to twice daily each way on weekdays and Sundays from April 11. The carrier said the schedule has been designed to provide maximum opportunity for connections through Aberdeen. The Highland Council and Transport Scotland have supported the launch of the new route.

Pantnagar (PGH), a town in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, will become the 72nd destination in LCC Indigo’s domestic network. The airline plans to offer daily flights from both Dehradun (DED) and Delhi (DEL), starting on March 27. “Enhanced connectivity from Pantnagar, one of the key airports in the Kumaon region, will boost tourism, trade, and commerce in the state,” IndiGo chief strategy and revenue officer Sanjay Kumar said. The routes will be served using ATR aircraft.

Caribbean Airlines is to launch scheduled service between Trinidad (POS) and Havana (HAV) in Cuba. The route will begin on March 29, operating on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Flights will depart POS at 8.15 a.m., arriving in HAV at 12.20 p.m. The return service leaves at 1.50 p.m. and arrives back in Trinidad at 5.40 p.m.

Feb. 22

US carrier Delta Air Lines is seeking to launch nonstop flights to Cape Town (CPT) in South Africa later this year. The airline has previously sought approval for service between Atlanta (ATL) and Cape Town via Johannesburg (JNB). The latest application to the US Transportation Department outlines that it hopes to begin an Atlanta-Cape Town route on Nov. 18, operating 3X-weekly using Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Earlier this month, Routes reported that United Airlines plans to fly Newark (EWR)-Cape Town year-round from June.

Two Swedish startups will begin offering regional flights from Stockholm Bromma (BMA) next month. Starting March 28, Skåneflyg will serve Kristianstad Österlen (KID) with daily departures from Monday to Friday and on Sundays. Flights will be onboard SAAB 340 with seating for 33 passengers. Västflyg will also launch a route on March 28, flying to Trollhättan-Vänersborg (THN). The route will also operate with daily departures from Monday to Friday and on Sundays and use SAAB 340s. Swedish airport operator Swedavia has also announced that Göteborg Landvetter (GOT) will get another international route for the summer season. Air Corsica will begin flying from Bastia (BIA) once a week on Saturdays between June 11 and Aug. 20 using A320neos.

AirAsia Philippines plans to double the number of flights operating during March after Manila relaxed travel restrictions for international passengers. The LCC said that service to Caticlan will be increased to 34X-weekly, Iloilo to 14X-weekly, Tacloban to 24X-weekly, Panglao to 14X-weely, Puerto Princesa to 9X-weekly, Bacolod to 14X-weekly, Davao to 11X-weekly, Cagayan De Oro to 9X-weekly, Kalibo to 11X-weekly, and Cebu to 21X-weekly. “The increase in our flight frequency is part of our commitment to make sure that we will be able to prop up and support the demand towards summer,” AirAsia Philippines spokesperson Steve Dailisan said. Data from the Manila International Airport Authority showed that 79,337 international tourists arrived in the Philippines from Feb. 1 to 17, 2022, with 91% fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This compared with 439,852 foreign arrivals in the same month pre-pandemic in 2020.

Turkish Airlines will operate 388 direct weekly flights to 47 cities in 29 countries from Antalya (AYT), Dalaman (DLM), Bodrum-Milas (BJV) and İzmir (ADB) during the summer 2022 season. “Flight demands from all over the world are increasing even more as the summer season is approaching,” chairman Ahmet Bolat said. “As the flag carrier airline, we are aiming to bring foreign tourists with Turkey as their destination to the south of our country with direct flights.”

Feb. 21

Royal Air Maroc is launching flights between Casablanca (CMN) and Tel Aviv (TLV) from March 13. The route will initially be operated four times per week, but the airline said it expects to increase frequencies to 5X-weekly. Israel and Morocco vowed to establish full diplomatic and trade relations in December 2020 as part of a US-brokered agreement, pledging to begin direct flights and promote economic cooperation. O&D traffic between Israel and Morocco totaled 80,015 two-way passengers in 2019, according to Sabre Market Intelligence figures. Tel Aviv-Casablanca was the top city pair, accounting for 72% of traffic. Tel Aviv-Marrakech was second with a 26% share.

Latvian airline airBaltic will offer passengers flights from Riga (RIX) to Malta (MLA), Yerevan (EVN in Armenia and Baku (GYD) in Azerbaijan during the summer 2022 season. Flights to Malta will be 1X-weekly from April 30, while service to Yerevan and Baku will start a day later with each route operating 2X-weekly.

Jetstar Asia is resuming flights to four destinations from Singapore (SIN) under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangement, which allows eligible vaccinated travelers quarantine-free entry to Singapore if they meet all the VTL requirements. Service to Phuket (HKT) in Thailand will be up to 4X-weekly from March 2, while Clark (CRK) and Manila (MNL) in the Philippines will be up to 6X-weekly and 7X-weekly respectively from March 4. Flights to Perth (PER) in Australia will be up to 4X-weekly from March 11. “Key Southeast Asian cities, such as Clark and Manila, are such critical links in our expanding network, while Phuket and Perth are incredible leisure destinations, offering customers the opportunity to take a much-deserved break,” Jetstar Asia CEO Bara Pasupathi said.

Qantas has announced plans to set up a new Embraer E190 jet base at Darwin (DRW). At least four E190s will be based in Darwin to service key QantasLink routes across Australia, as well as a new international passenger service from Darwin to Dili (DIL) in East Timor. The E190 jets are being deployed on Qantas’ network as part of a three-year deal with Alliance Airlines. Qantas has also confirmed it will continue to fly its double daily direct flights from Australia to London Heathrow (LHR) via Darwin until at least June. The airline previously served London nonstop from Perth (PER) but flights have been operated from Darwin since Australia’s international borders reopened last November.

JetBlue Airways has launched service between New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Puerto Vallarta’s Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International (PVR). The service will operate four times weekly, becoming the airline’s third destination in Mexico.

British Airways is launching a new, daytime flight from Newark (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR)–its third daily flight from Newark to London—to support the return of business travel in 2022. The additional flight, which launches on 6 June, will depart at 7.55 a.m. from Newark and at 7.10 p.m. from Heathrow. It will operate daily on a Boeing 777-200.