Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Jan. 2, 2023)

Credit: Christian Offenberg/Alamy Stock Photo

Jan. 6

Play is to launch four new European routes from Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) during the summer 2023 season. Alongside the service to Aarhus (AAR), reported by Routes on Jan. 5, the Icelandic carrier will also add flights to Aalborg (AAL) and Billund (BLL) in Denmark, as well as Dusseldorf (DUS) in Germany. Service to DUS begins on June 8 and will be 3X-weekly; AAL starts on June 10 and will be 2X-weekly; and BLL opens on June 15 and will also be 2X-weekly. “We have long dreamed of reaching the large number of Icelanders living in Denmark, and with these three new destinations we believe this will greatly improve our services,” Play CEO Birgir Jónsson said.

Denver-based Frontier Airlines is this week launching five new routes from Phoenix Sky Harbor (PXH). Flights to Seattle (SEA), Kansas City (MCI) and Nashville (BNA) commenced Jan. 5, operating 4X-weekly to SEA and 3X-weekly to both MCI and BNA. A 4X-weekly route to Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) and a 3X-weekly Indianapolis (IND) begin today.

United Airlines has resumed flights to Nicaragua for the first time since March 2020. Service between Houston George Bush (IAH) and Managua (MGA) will be daily using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. OAG data shows the US carrier will be the sole operator of the route.

US ULCC Spirit Airlines has opened two new Caribbean routes from Philadelphia International (PHL). Montego Bay (MBJ) in Jamaica started on Jan. 5 and will be 3X-weekly, while Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic will be 4X-weekly from Jan. 6.

Jan. 5

Icelandic carrier Play is launching a new route from Reykjavik Keflavik (KEF) to Aarhus (AAR) during the summer 2023 season. The LCC will serve the destinations twice a week from June 12 on Monday and Friday. David Surley, senior director route development and marketing at Aarhus Airport, said: “We couldn't have started the year in a better way. A direct route to Iceland with a good connection to the US has long been in demand by both business and holiday travelers in East Jutland. Around 60 percent of all North American travel demand from and to Jutland is linked to the Aarhus area, so it is definitely a mega hit that has landed on Aarhus Airport's playlist.”

Chinese carrier Juneyao Air is resuming flights between Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Routes Asia 2023 host Chiang Mai (CNX) in Thailand. Service will restart on Jan. 18, operating daily. The carrier last served the route in February 2020. OAG data shows that it will become the sole route operating between mainland China and Chiang Mai at the present time.

Turkish Airlines and Mongolia’s flag carrier MIAT Mongolian Airlines have signed a codeshare agreement. The partnership covers flights between Ulaanbaatar (UBN) and Istanbul (IST), which is currently served three times per week by both carriers. MIAT Mongolian Airlines will also place its code on services to 10 points beyond Istanbul operated by Turkish Airlines.

Vietjet will relaunch flights between Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Hong Kong (HKG) from Feb. 10. The twice-weekly service will be available on every Monday and Friday. Before the pandemic, the LCC operated the route daily, but service has been suspended since February 2020. OAG data shows that Vietjet will compete with Cathay Pacific Airways and Vietnam Airlines on the sector.

Jan. 4

Indian startup Akasa Air is to make Hyderabad (HYD) the 13th destination in its network. The airline will offer daily flights on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru (BLR) and Hyderabad-Goa (GOX) routes starting from Jan. 25. Akasa, which commenced operations in early August 2022, has been progressively scaling up its operations and has taken delivery of 13 aircraft. Its fleet size will be 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 and the carrier plans to add 54 additional aircraft over the next four years, taking its total fleet size to 72.

Delta Air Lines is expanding its reach from the Louisville (SDF) with a new nonstop service to Boston Logan (BOS) beginning in spring 2023. The new daily flight will launch on May 8 using 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft. “We welcome their investment and support with more options at SDF, which speak very highly to the strength of our market and interest from area travelers,” said Dan Mann, executive director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. With the addition of Boston, Delta will offer nonstop service to five destinations from Louisville: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis and New York LaGuardia.

LATAM Airlines Ecuador has opened a new daily Cuenca (CUE)-Quito (UIO)-Miami (MIA) service. Flights will depart CUE at 6.10 a.m. and arrive in Ecuador’s capital shortly before 7 a.m. The route then continues to Miami at 8.30 a.m. and arrives in the Florida city at 12.45 p.m. the same day. The airline is the sole operator of the route.

Jan. 3

Malaysia Airlines and Saudia have entered into a codeshare agreement. Malaysia Airlines will place its MH code on several Saudia services, including routes to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) from Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH). In turn, Saudia’s SV code will be added to Malaysia Airlines’ flights from Kuala Lumpur to destinations including Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL) and Adelaide (ADL).

British Airways has announced a new daily flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Florence (FLR) in Italy for summer 2023. Starting on 26 April, the new route will operate daily using A320neo aircraft. Neil Chernoff, director of networks and alliances at BA, said: “We know our customers love visiting Tuscany, which is why we already operate flights from London City to Florence. We’ve added this new route from London Heathrow to the Tuscan capital to offer them even more choice to explore this incredible Italian region.”

Cathay Pacific has said it will be able to continue services to all airports in Japan, including Tokyo Narita (NRT), Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Fukuoka (FUK), but frequencies will be reduced in January. The airline will operate 65 weekly flights to Japan during the month, down 20% on previous plans. HK Express will also only be able to operate 60 scheduled flights per week to destinations in Japan, meaning it would have to cancel 41 flights.

Ryanair is adding a new route from Exeter (EXT), England, to Faro (FAO in Portugal in summer 2023. The route will be 2X-weekly, starting in June.

Ethiopian Airlines has resumed domestic flights to Mekele (MQX. Service from Addis Ababa (ADD) will be daily. “The resumption of these flights will enable families to reunite, facilitate the restoration of commercial activities, stimulate tourist flow and bring many more opportunities which will serve the society,” Ethiopian CEO Mesfin Tasew said.

Following the launch of Nha Trang (CXR)-Almaty (ALA) route in October, Vietjet has commenced the 2X-weekly service between Nha Trang and Nursultan (NQZ) in Kazakhstan. The nine-hour direct flight will operate every Wednesday and Sunday.

David Casey

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