Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Jan. 29, 2024)

Rex aircraft
Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

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

Feb. 2


Australia’s Rex says it will need to prolong reductions made to its regional network due to “continuing dislocated supply chains” that are impacting the provision of aircraft spare parts. The airline made several service reductions during 2023, including temporarily suspending flights between Sydney and Armidale and withdrawing from the Cairns-Bamaga market in Far North Queensland. “As we have stated previously, Rex prefers to reduce services if it does not have the resources to fly them rather than continue to sell tickets for phantom flights and then canceling them at the last minute,” Rex’s General Manager of Network Strategy Warrick Lodge says. “Rex is committed to the rebuilding of its regional network and intends to return to the standard flight schedules from Oct. 27, subject to the situation improving.”

Pakistan-based LCC Fly Jinnah is expanding into the international market with the launch of its first overseas flight between Islamabad and Sharjah. The inaugural service will take off on Feb. 17, operating twice a day. Established in October 2022, Fly Jinnah operates domestic service in Pakistan flying to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. To support its international operations, Fly Jinnah has added two new Airbus A320 aircraft to its existing fleet, bringing the total number of aircraft to five.

Thai AirAsia has launched nonstop flights between Hat Yai and Singapore. The route will initially be served three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Maneenuch Thongnounlert, AirAsia station manager for Hat Yai Airport, says: “Hat Yai-Singapore is the fourth route from this city by AirAsia, after the airline’s flights to Don Mueang, Chiang Mai and Kuala Lumpur. The addition brings AirAsia’s frequency from Hat Yai to a total 12 flights daily.”

China Eastern Airlines has commenced service from Shanghai to Australia’s Cairns Airport, beginning a series of seasonal flights during the Chinese New Year period. Cairns was last served by seasonal flights from China in 2019, while the most recent scheduled service from China was Hainan Airlines, which operated to Shenzhen and exited in March 2020 due to the pandemic. “It is clear that our region remains a destination of desire, and we expect these direct seasonal services will help to accelerate the return of visitors from China,” Cairns Airport CEO Richard Barker says.

Feb. 1

TAP Air Portugal has applied to the U.S. Transportation Department for authorization to codeshare with JetBlue Airways. The application seeks to display JetBlue’s B6 code on TAP-operated flights between Europe and the U.S. TAP says the planned codeshare will initially cover routes from Lisbon to Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York John F. Kennedy, Newark, San Francisco and Washington Dulles. The airlines hope to implement codeshare services on or about Feb. 15 and have therefore requested expedited action on the application.

Air Serbia and Etihad Airways will resume codeshare operations on Feb. 3. Under the partnership, Etihad passengers will be able to connect through Air Serbia’s Belgrade hub to nine destinations in Europe, including Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Skopje and Sofia. Air Serbia will also place its code on three routes to Abu Dhabi from Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino and Vienna.

Australian LCC Jetstar has launched operations between Brisbane Airport (BNE) and Seoul Incheon International Airport. Flights will be offered three times per week using Boeing 787-8 aircraft. A second new route from BNE will launch on Feb. 2, connecting the Queensland city with Osaka Kansai International Airport. Frequencies will be 4X-weekly. “Latest figures show South Korea is a stand-out growth market for Queensland, up by 40% to 56,000 visitors a year,” Queensland Tourism Minister Michael Healy says. “Japan is our second-largest source market worth A$146.5 million a year in overnight visitor expenditure.”

Air France plans to add additional U.S. flights to cater for demand to the Cannes International Film Festival and Monaco F1 Grand Prix. The airline will operate two frequencies on the Nice-Los Angeles route on May 13 and May 27 using Airbus A350 aircraft. The SkyTeam alliance member will also offer four Nice-New York John F. Kennedy services between June 15 and June 21 to support travel to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, taking place from June 17-21.

AirAsia is further expanding connectivity to India with the resumption of services to Visakhapatnam. Commencing April 26, 2024, the LCC will provide 3X-weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur. “A direct route to Visakhapatnam is a core part of our expansion plans, and we’re delighted that it is taking off at an opportune time for AirAsia, marking our fourth and counting new route to India this year,” AirAsia Aviation Group CEO Bo Lingam says. AirAsia is also launching a route to Thiruvananthapuram in February, Jaipur in April, and Ahmedabad in May.

Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airlines is in May restarting flights between Astana and Prague, Czech Republic, after a four-year hiatus. The carrier has scheduled two roundtrips per week on Wednesdays and Saturdays using Boeing 737-800s. “Kazakhstan is an important market for us in terms of both outbound and inbound tourism,” Prague Airport Aviation Business Director Jaroslav Filip says. “In 2019, almost 30,000 passengers traveled between Prague and destinations in Kazakhstan.”

Jan. 31


Latvian carrier airBaltic has announced the continuation of its operations from a seasonal base in Gran Canaria, Spain, for the winter 2024-25 season. The airline will serve eight destinations from the base using Airbus A220-300s, flying to Copenhagen, Oslo and Tallinn, Estonia, from Oct. 27; Riga, Latvia, from Oct. 28; Tampere, Finland, from Oct. 29; and Billund, Denmark, Oslo Torp, and Vilnius, Lithuania from Nov. 2. All eight routes will be weekly apart from Riga and Tallinn, which will be served twice a week. “During the winter months, when global passenger demand is traditionally lower, we have identified an opportunity to optimise our capacity for maximum efficiency,” airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss says.

KM Malta Airlines, the planned successor to Malta’s existing flag-carrier Air Malta, has signed a codeshare agreement with Lufthansa Group. The partnership will enable KM Malta passengers to connect to 35 destinations operated by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss. Lufthansa Group airlines will also place their codes on KM Malta flights from Malta to Brussels, Munich, Vienna and Zurich. Government-owned KM Malta will operate its inaugural commercial flight on March 31—the day after Air Malta ceases operations.

Australian LCC Bonza says it plans to open a fourth base later this year, joining its existing bases in Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sunshine Coast. The airline made the announcement on the anniversary of its first year of operations. Over the past 12 months, it has carried more than 750,000 passengers to 21 destinations across Australia. Bonza says 84% of its routes are not served by any other airline and 89% of routes not served by an LCC.

India’s SpiceJet is expanding its network from Ayodhya, starting on Feb. 1. In addition to its existing flights to Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai, the LCC will begin nonstop service to Ahmedabad, Darbhanga, Jaipur, New Delhi and Patna. IndiGo was the first to start flights from the newly inaugurated Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya on Dec. 30, 2023.

Breeze Airways plans to launch three seasonal routes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). Operations to Burlington and Syracuse will start on May 23, followed by Portland, Maine, the next day. All three routes will be offered twice a week using Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The U.S. carrier also intends to introduce a one-stop service from Portland to Jacksonville via RDU from May 24.

Etihad Airways is increasing frequencies on seven routes. From March 15, flights from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah and Riyadh will each increase from 3X to 4X-daily. From June 15, service to Amman rises from daily to 11X-weekly; to Beirut from 5X-weekly to daily; to Bengaluru from 2X-daily to 17X-weekly; to Colombo from 13X to 17X-weekly; and to Kolkata from daily to 8X-weekly.

Jan. 30

Colombia’s flag-carrier Avianca is opening a new route between Medellín and Aruba. Flights will commence on June 2, operating four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays using Airbus A320 aircraft. In total, there will be more than 1,400 seats available per week between the two cities. Avianca currently serves Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport 11 times per week from Bogota using a mix of A319s and A320s. It will compete in the Medellín-Aruba market with Copa Airlines Colombia’s 3X-weekly with 737-800 flights, according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.

Turkish Airlines has brought forward the start date of its inaugural flights to Australia. The carrier initially scheduled its first service on March 15, operating three times per week between Istanbul and Melbourne via Singapore Changi Airport. However, the first flight will now depart on March 1. The Star Alliance member will initially use Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route, switching to 787-9 from March 6. OAG data shows that flights will then be operated using Airbus A350-900s from March 31.

Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines are among the U.S. carriers that are increasing frequencies to Las Vegas for the 2024 Super Bowl. From Feb. 8-10, Southwest plans to offer eight nonstop flights from Kansas City; five from San Francisco; 18 from Oakland; and 12 from San Jose, California. From Feb. 12-13, there will be eight nonstops from Las Vegas to Kansas City; four to San Francisco; nine to Oakland; and nine to San Jose. Meanwhile, Delta will offer three additional Kansas City-Las Vegas roundtrip frequencies between Feb. 8 and Feb. 12, as well as three between San Francisco and Las Vegas on the same dates. Additionally, there will be one additional San Jose-Las Vegas flight on Feb. 10 and 12, and one additional roundtrip frequency on New York John F. Kennedy-Las Vegas on Feb. 9 and 12.

Japan Airlines plans to deploy its new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft on Tokyo Haneda-Dallas Fort Worth and Tokyo Haneda-London Heathrow in 2024. The Japanese carrier also intends to increase Tokyo Haneda-Sapporo Chitose flights from 16 to 17X-daily from March 31, and expand Osaka Itami-Sapporo Chitose from four to 5X-daily from June 1.

Jan. 29


Air Arabia will this summer introduce a new nonstop route between Sharjah and Kraków, Poland. The service connecting Sharjah International Airport and Kraków John Paul II International Airport will operate daily from June 29 using Airbus A320s. The LCC will become the sole airline to operate the route, according to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser.

Air Côte d'Ivoire says it plans plans to launch Abidjan-Paris service in December. The carrier has also outlined an ambition to expand into long-haul services, with planned destinations including Paris, Washington, New York, London, Geneva and Beirut. The move comes as the airline expects to take an Airbus A330-900 aircraft in December and a second in May 2025. Additionally, Air Côte d'Ivoire will open a 4X-weekly Abidjan-Casablanca service on April 15.

Emirates will recommence a second daily service between Dubai and Perth Airport, Australia, from Dec. 1. The second daily service will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in addition to the airline’s existing Airbus A380 service. “The re-introduction of Emirates’ second daily service is great news as it will add significant capacity into the Perth market,” PER Chief Operating Officer Scott Woodward says. “Emirates is an important airline partner for Western Australia and this additional daily service delivers an impressive 250,000 seats per year on this very popular route.” In addition, Emirates is upgrading its second daily Dubai-Brisbane flight to an A380 from Oct. 1. 

Japanese LCC Zipair is increasing frequencies between Tokyo Narita Airport and Honolulu. Service on the route will be offered 4X-weekly from March 31, up from 3X-weekly at the present time.


David Casey

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