Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Jan. 15, 2024)

northern lights cathedral Alta Norway

Travelers hoping to venture north of the Arctic Circle will be able to grab a Discover Airlines flight from Frankfurt to Norwegian town Alta (above) throughout the winter 2024-25 season.

Credit: Sally Anderson/Alamy Stock Photo

The latest airline route news, featuring network changes, schedule alterations, codeshares and interline agreements.

Jan. 19


Akasa Air intends to open a base at Noida International Airport, which is currently under construction near the city of Jewar, India. The two parties have signed an agreement that will see the carrier offer domestic and international flights from Noida once the airport becomes operational. “Noida International airport exemplifies our government’s focus on developing aviation infrastructure as the country moves towards becoming an international aviation hub,” Akasa Air Founder and CEO Vinay Dube says. The first phase of the airport will see the construction of one runway and one terminal building, with the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually.

Vietnam’s Vietjet has launched a route connecting Phu Quoc and Taipei, Taiwan. Flights will operate daily, departing Phu Quoc at 8.25 a.m. and arriving in Taipei at 1 p.m. The return service leaves at 2 p.m. and arrives back in Phu Quoc at 4.50 p.m. Phu Quoc, a coastal city in southern Vietnam, is a popular leisure destination. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that Vietjet becomes the sole airline to offer nonstop flights between the cities.

Finnair is adding flights to some of its most popular Nordic holiday destinations for the peak summer season between end of June and August. The airline will restore flights to Bodø, located above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, offering five roundtrips per week from Helsinki between June 17 and Aug. 2. The Oneworld alliance member will also serve Trondheim, Norway, 10 times per week from June to end of August. Flights are also being added to Kuusamo, Ivalo and Kittilä in northern Finland, while the carrier plans to serve Visby, Sweden, five times per week from the end of June to early August.

Hong Kong’s HK Express is adding a new route to Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). Launching on March 12, flights from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) will be daily. Flights will depart HKG at 11.05 a.m. and arrive in PKX at 2.35 p.m. The return service departs at 3.35 p.m. and arrives back in Hong Kong at 7.15 p.m.

Flydubai has inaugurated a new route to Mombasa, Kenya. The move increases the LCC’s network in Africa to 12 destinations in 11 countries. Flights to Mombasa from Dubai will be offered four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Air China has returned to Munich Airport after a hiatus of almost four years. The Chinese carrier has resumed service to the German city from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Flights will operate three times per week using Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Air China’s last passenger flight between Munich and Shanghai took place on March 6, 2020, at the onset of the pandemic.

Jan. 18


Discover Airlines is to open a new route between Frankfurt and Alta, a town on Norway’s northern coast. Flights will be offered twice a week from Dec. 19 and throughout the winter 2024-25 season. “Alta deserves better accessibility to key markets for the local tourism industry,” says Martin Langaas, route development manager at Norwegian airport operator Avinor. "Now that we can present the first air route dedicated to international tourism into Alta, we are opening up a whole new travel adventure for the entire Finnmark region.”

Icelandic LCC PLAY is opening a new route to Split, Croatia. Service from Reykjavik will operate once a week from May 28 during the summer season. “We want to be the leader in sun-country destinations, and Split meets all the requirements that are made when people want to get to their dream vacation,” PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson says.

India’s Akasa Air plans to add Ayodhya to its network, marking its 18th domestic destination. The airline will operate daily through flights between Pune and Ayodhya via New Delhi, starting on Feb. 15. As previously reported, IndiGo was the first to start flights from the newly inaugurated Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya on Dec. 30. It has since launched routes from Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Saudi Arabian LCC Flynas has launched new routes from Jeddah to Mumbai, India, and Asmara, Eritrea. Both routes will be served twice a week. The airline says the network expansion ties in with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Pilgrims Experience Program, set up to provide an opportunity for the largest possible number of Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah.

Jan. 17


Lufthansa has inaugurated a new route between Frankfurt and Hyderabad, India. Flights will operate five times per week using Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The Star Alliance member previously offered passenger flights between Frankfurt and Hyderabad in 2011, but the destination has been absent from its network since then. “In recent years, 40% of travelers from India to North America chose European airports as transit hubs,” a statement from GMR Hyderabad International Airport says. “The convenient timing of Lufthansa's flights aligns perfectly with this trend, offering efficient onward connections.”

Canada’s Porter Airlines has launched a new daily roundtrip service between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. The route will operate using Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. Kurush Minocher, executive director for customer experience and airline relations at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, says: “Los Angeles was the fourth-busiest transborder destination out of Toronto Pearson in 2023. We see that demand for travel between the two cities remains high, which makes Porter’s entry on the route exciting for the airport and for passengers.”

Ryanair is to increase its base at Brussels Charleroi Airport during the summer 2024 season. The ULCC plans to station two additional Boeing 737s at the airport, increasing its fleet there to 18 aircraft. Six new routes will be launched to Amman, Jordan; Cork, Ireland; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Gothenburg, Sweden; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Tirana, Albania.

Aarhus Charter plans to launch charter service to Lesbos, Greece, from Aarhus Airport, Denmark, from June 21. Flights are scheduled to run until Oct. 11. The move increases the number of charter services offered by Aarhus Charter from the airport to eight. Aarhus will host the forthcoming Routes Europe 2024 event, taking place from April 22-24.

Vietnam Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding with Sentosa Development Corporation designed to promote tourism development between Vietnam and Singapore. Sentosa is an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast. “Through this, we aim to not only bring exceptional benefits to travelers between Vietnam and Singapore, but also to enhance the role of the national airline contributing to fostering economic, commercial and cultural exchanges between the two countries,” says Dang Anh Tuan, executive vice president of Vietnam Airlines.

Jan. 16


Finnair will start year-round service to Tartu in southern Estonia as of March 31, connecting the university city to Helsinki with two daily flights six days a week. The service is supported by the Tartu City Government as public service obligation traffic. Tartu is the European Capital of Culture in 2024, with more than 300 events arranged in the city and in Southern Estonia during the year. The new flights will complement Finnair’s existing route between Helsinki and Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, which currently operates up to 10 times per day.

LCC easyJet is expanding its base at Naples International Airport, Italy, with the addition of an eighth aircraft. The move will enable the airline to offer almost 3 million seats to and from the airport during summer 2024, a rise of 9% compared with summer 2023. It will also allow for the launch of three new routes from June 1. Flights to the Greek islands of Prevesa and Zakynthos will be available, operating 2X-weekly and 3X-weekly, respectively. From June 3, service to Nantes in France will also begin, operating twice a week.

Turkish Airlines is increasing service to Bari, Italy. Flights from Istanbul Airport will increase from 5X-weekly to daily, starting on April 1. Aeroporti di Puglia President Antonio Vasile says the frequency growth will provide travelers from Bari more options to connect to points in the Middle East and Asia.

Indian LCC IndiGo has commenced daily operations between Mumbai and Ayodhya. The airline was the first to start flights from the newly inaugurated Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya on Dec. 30. It has since launched domestic connections from Ahmedabad and New Delhi.

Luxembourg’s Luxair has confirmed the addition of two new European destinations for the northern summer 2024 season. Starting March 29, flights to Manchester Airport will be offered three times per week. A route to the island of Brač in Croatia will follow from May 4, operating weekly.

Jan. 15


Lavian national airline airBaltic is commencing a new codeshare partnership with Swiss from Jan. 31. As part of the agreement, Swiss will add its LX code to airBaltic’s Riga-Zurich service. “With this codeshare agreement, customers will now benefit from more convenient travels between Switzerland and Riga,” says Martin Gauss,  airBaltic president and CEO.

Vietnamese LCC VietJet plans to launch a 3X-weekly domestic route between Hanoi and Dien Bien from March 1, operating on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The airline says the service will shorten travel time between the two localities from 10 hr. to less than an hour, boosting trade and tourism opportunities. The move comes after Dien Bien Phu Airport reopened to commercial traffic in early December following a six-month closure so infrastructure upgrades could be carried out.

David Casey

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