Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Feb. 27, 2023)

Credit: Rob Finlayson

March 3

Australia’s competition regulator has granted interim authorization to Qantas Airways and subsidiary Jetstar for the continued coordination of two Jetstar Asian-based joint ventures—Jetstar Japan and Japan Asia. The continued coordination of the Jetstar-branded airlines allows them to operate as a single fully integrated organization on matters such as flight scheduling, sales and marketing, and pricing. “The ACCC considers that the coordination is likely to result in public benefits by providing consumers with a wider choice of products, enhanced services, and more convenient flight times,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commissioner Anna Brakey said. The regulator previously authorized this coordination in 2013 and 2018.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will restart flights between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Baku (GYD) in Azerbaijan on Sept. 13. Service will be 3X-weekly using Airbus A320s. “Baku is a significant route in our expansion plans from UAE’s capital and reinforces our commitment to providing our customers with more choices,” Air Arabia CEO Adel Al Ali said. OAG data shows that the carrier last operated the route between June and November 2022. The airline will provide direct competition for Wizz Air Abu Dhabi.

Fastjet Zimbabwe has taken delivery of a 30-seater Embraer 120, which will allow it to expand its domestic network. The airline said it plans to add flights from its Harare (HRE) base to Kariba (KAB) and Hwange National Park (HWN). The last scheduled connection between Harare and Kariba was in January 2017 by Air Zimbabwe. “Air connectivity is a key enabler for tourism development, and we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the development of tourism in Zimbabwe and the region,” Fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson Nunurai Ndawana said.

Malaysia’s AirAsia X has resumed its services to Shanghai Pudong (PVG), China, with four weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur (KUL). The carrier restarted the route on March 2 with an almost full flight on the return leg, which is said signals significant outbound travel demand from China. The LCC plans to ramp up capacity and increase the frequency of services to Shanghai with 11X-weekly flights by the second quarter in 2023. “Our first inaugural flight to Shanghai was a decade ago and today, we are thrilled to be back in China and celebrate the resumption of this historically very popular destination,” AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said.

March 2

Dominican Republic-based startup Arajet has filed an application with the U.S. Transportation Department for an exemption authorizing to operate scheduled service to the U.S. The application covers destinations between the Dominican Republic and Miami, New York and San Juan in Puerto Rico for a period of at least one year. Arajet wants to start flying to the U.S. in autumn 2023, operating with 185-seat Boeing 737MAX aircraft. The LCC, previously known as Dominican Wings and later Flycana, launched commercial operations last September.

Spanish carrier Volotea has outlined plans to launch five routes to Italy from Paris Orly (ORY). The first of the five will start on March 26, connecting the French capital with Verona four times per week. Two routes to Olbia and Turin will commence on May 26, followed by flights to Ancona and Genoa the next day. The four routes opening in May will each be served twice a week.

Saudi Arabian LCC flynas is to start a nonstop link between Jeddah (JED) and Tashkent (TAS) in Uzbekistan. Flights will operate using Airbus A320neo aircraft four times a week from March 27. The airline has been serving the destinations since September 2022, but flights have operated via Baku (GYD), the capital of Azerbaijan. This routing will cease on March 24.

U.S. carrier JetBlue Airways has confirmed three domestic additions, which it said have been enabled in part by the carrier’s Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines. Seasonal service from Westchester County (HPN) to Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) and Charleston (CHS) will operate daily from May 25, while New York JFK-Washington Reagan (DCA) will be 3X-daily from June 15.

Air Serbia is increasing frequencies between its Belgrade (BEG) hub and New York John F Kennedy (JFK). The carrier will start daily service from June 18 until the beginning of September. Flights are currently operating 3X-weekly using Airbus A330-200s. Air Serbia has served New York for the past seven years, but the number of weekly frequencies has never exceeded six before. The growth comes as the airline prepares to launch flights to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) from May 17, initially operating 2X-weekly before rising to 3X-weeky from June 12.

March 1

Vietnamese low-cost carrier Vietjet Air is launching a new connection from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Tokyo Haneda (HND). Service will be daily from April 26. The carrier is also resuming service between Da Nang (DAD) and Taipei (TPE) in Taiwan from July 1, with five flights per week. Elsewhere, the airline plans to increase the frequency of its Ho Chi Minh City-Hong Kong route from March 8, growing the number of services from two flights per week to five.

Cebu Pacific Air is restoring three routes from its hub at Mactan-Cebu International (CEB) in the Philippines. A domestic connection to Naga (WNP) will operate four times per week from March 26, while a daily service to Hong Kong (HKG) will be restored on the same day. From May 1, the airline will also restart its flights from Cebu to Tokyo Narita (NRT), flying seven times per week. With the three additional routes, Cebu Pacific will have direct flights to 23 domestic and four international destinations from Cebu.

Aer Lingus Regional operator Emerald Airlines is opening a new route between Cork (ORK) in Ireland and Bristol (BRS) in England. The route will be offered six times per week from April 28 using ATR 72 turboprop aircraft, with a seat capacity of 72 passengers each way. Emerald already serves Bristol, flying daily from Dublin (DUB).

Feb. 28

Transatlantic carrier Norse Atlantic Airways has unveiled four new routes from London Gatwick (LGW). Flights to Washington Dulles (IAD) will launch on June 1, operating up to six times per week, with a daily route to Los Angeles (LAX) starting on June 30. Service to San Francisco (SFO) will start the following day, operating 3X-weekly, and a 5X-weekly link to Boston (BOS) will be added on Sept. 2. “The Norse team are disruptors,” CEO Bjorn Tore Larsen said. “This marks an important day for the UK aviation industry and for consumers as we celebrate serving more destinations to the U.S. from London Gatwick this summer than any other airline.”

Italy’s ITA Airways is increasing frequencies between Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and New York John F Kennedy (JFK). From June 1, service will rise to 3X-daily using Airbus A330s. The airline said North America is “at the center” of its investments for summer 2023. A new route from Rome to Washington Dulles will start on June 5, operating five times per week that will rise to daily in August, while service to San Francisco starts on July 1 with 3X-weekly frequencies, growing to 5X-weekly in August.

Emerald Airlines, operator of Aer Lingus Regional flights, is launching a new route between Belfast City (BHD) and Isle of Man (IOM). Service will commence on April 24, operating four times per week, increasing to 6X-weekly during the peak summer season. Defunct UK regional carrier Flybe previously operated the route for a short time during October and November 2022. Emerald’s new service to Isle of Man will be the 13th Aer Lingus route from Belfast City.

Feb. 27


Taiwan’s EVA Air is increasing its schedule to North America and Europe. From March 27, service from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Los Angeles (LAX) will increase from 2X-daily to 3X-daily using Boeing 777-300ERs, and from May 1 service to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) rises from 3X-weekly to daily. From May 15, EVA is also expanding San Francisco (SFO) from 2X-daily to 3X-daily and Milan Malpensa (MXP) from 2X-weekly to 4X-weekly. Following the adjustments, the carrier’s service to North America will rise to 84 frequencies per week and European frequencies will rise to 32 per week.

ULCC Frontier Airlines has launched two more routes to Montego Bay (MBJ), Jamaica. After starting flights from St. Louis Lambert International (STL) earlier this month, the U.S.-based airline has now opened routes from Chicago Midway (MDW) and Denver (DEN). Flights from MDW will be once a week, while service from Denver will be 3X-weekly. Frontier now serves a total of 12 destinations from MDW and 67 from DEN.

Air China has outlined its intention to resume service between Beijing Capital (PEK) and New York John F Kennedy (JFK), last served regularly until March 2020. The carrier plans to restarted flights on March 4, subject to securing necessary approvals. Frequencies will be weekly.

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways is set to begin a new domestic route next month. An agreement has been signed for the launch of flights between Hanoi (HAN) and Ca Mau (CAH). It is expected the route will begin by April 30, operating three times per week using Embraer E190 aircraft.

Canadian startup Lynx Air has operated its inaugural flight to Las Vegas (LAS) from Calgary International (YYC). Four round trips per week will be offered using Boeing 737-8s. The ULCC embarked on its U.S. expansion in late January and has already added Toronto-Orlando, Calgary-Phoenix and Calgary-Los Angeles to its network.

David Casey

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