Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Jan. 30, 2023)

Credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Feb. 3

Mexican ULCC Viva Aerobus is launching a domestic route between Monterrey (MTY) and Mexicali (MXL). Operations will begin on June 1 with six frequencies per week. The airline last served Mexicali in January 2021, flying from Monterrey and Guadalajara (GDL). However, the airport has been absent from its network for the past two years.

Lufthansa has outlined plans to use its new Boeing 787-9 aircraft on four more routes from Frankfurt (FRA) to North America this summer. The airline will use 787-9s three times weekly to Austin (AUS); 6X-weekly to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW); 4X-weekly to Montreal (YUL), increasing to daily from May 1; and daily to Denver (DEN). As previously announced, Lufthansa will begin daily Detroit (DTW) service from Feb. 13, which will continue during the summer 2023 season. The German carrier operates three 787-9s at the present time, with two additional due for delivery shortly.

Long-haul LCC AirAsia X has restarted flying between Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Busan (BUS) in South Korea. Busan becomes the airline’s 15th destination and second in South Korea. Flights will be 3X-weekly. “Together with our existing route to Seoul, today’s announcement further strengthens our foothold in South Korea and increases our overall capacity to North Asia—our fastest growing market,” AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said.

Etihad Airways is increasing services to Frankfurt (FRA). From 1 May, the airline will add an extra four services a week to its current daily frequency from Abu Dhabi (AUH), bringing the total number of flights to 11X-weekly. The additional flights will be operated by 787s. The airline said the expansion underlines its “commitment to the important German market” and comes days after it announced the start of flights to Düsseldorf (DUS) from Oct. 1.

Feb. 2

Budapest Airport (BUD) has confirmed that Kuwait Airways will start flying to the Hungarian capital this summer. Service from Kuwait (KWI) will start on June 13, operating 2X-weekly using Airbus A320neo aircraft. “We are very happy to welcome Kuwait Airlines to our carrier roll call and delighted that they have seen the potential in the Hungarian market,” Budapest airline development director Balázs Bogáts said. Kuwait Airways will be BUD’s 39th airline partner.

Aer Lingus Regional operator Emerald Airlines is to begin flights on two routes from Belfast City (BHD) vacated by the collapse of Flybe. Operations to East Midlands (EMA) will begin on March 26 operating daily before stepping up to 2X-daily from mid-April. Daily service to Newcastle (NCL) will commence on April 28. “Earlier this week we announced that we will be adding 15,000+ seats immediately across our existing network from Belfast City, and we will continue to grow these services in the months ahead,” Emerald Airlines head of commercial Ciarán Smith said.

Canada’s Porter Airlines has launched its first services from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Montreal (YUL) and Ottawa (YOW) using Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. The introduction of E195-E2 service on these routes, which are also served by Porter’s Dash 8-400 operations at Billy Bishop Toronto City (YTZ), increases the airline’s offer from the Greater Toronto Area. Additional flights at Toronto Pearson begin this month, starting with Vancouver (Feb. 7), Edmonton (Feb. 14), Calgary (Feb. 22) and Halifax (Feb. 23).

Feb. 1

Air Serbia will commence nonstop flights between Belgrade (BEG) and Cairo (CAI) on May 15, operating 3X-weekly. Flights will use Airbus A319 equipment. “By listening to the needs of passengers in Serbia, as well as the broader Balkan region, we have decided to introduce scheduled direct flights between Belgrade and Cairo,” Air Serbia general manager commercial and strategy Boško Rupić said.

US carrier Avelo Airlines is Feb. 1 launching flights from its new base at Wilmington Airport (ILG) in Delaware. Following the start of the inaugural service to Orlando (MCO), four more routes will launch this week to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Tampa (TPA) and West Palm Beach (PBI). “The strong booking trends we are seeing across all five Florida routes make it abundantly clear that people throughout this four-state region are excited about the faster and easier way Avelo will get them to the Sunshine State,” Avelo Airlines Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy said.

Ryanair has announced its summer 2023 schedule from Liverpool (LPL). The ULCC will offer 31 routes, including flights to new destinations Ibiza (IBZ), Madrid (MAD), Rome Ciampino (CIA) and Shannon (SNN). Frequencies are being increased on a further seven services and the airline expects capacity growth of 15% for the season, compared with summer 2022. Ryanair has also confirmed plans to open new UK routes from Birmingham (BHX), Bournemouth (BOH), Bristol (BRS), Edinburgh (EDI) and Manchester (MAN) to Venice (VCE) this summer. There will be four flights per week from BRS, three from EDI and MAN, and two from BHX and BOH.

Aer Lingus is to launch a new route from London Heathrow (LHR) to Knock (NOC) in the west of Ireland in March. The daily service will start on March 26, replacing the current London Gatwick (LGW)-Knock flights which end the day before. Aer Lingus expects switching the service from Gatwick to Heathrow will drive additional point-to-point demand and increased connecting traffic. In addition, Aer Lingus Regional operator Emerald Airlines has said it plans to increase capacity from Belfast City (BHD) following the collapse of Flybe. Routes to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford (LBA), Manchester and Glasgow (GLA) will receive more flights, the airline said.

Jan. 31

IndiGo will use its first widebody aircraft between Delhi (DEL) and Istanbul (IST) from Feb. 1, the carrier has confirmed. The 777 on damp lease has capacity for 400 passengers. “The introduction of wide body aircraft will not only increase capacity to Istanbul, but also to Europe through codeshare flights with Turkish Airlines,” head of global sales Vinay Malhotra said. IndiGo added that Turkey has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations postpandemic and has been one of the top choices for outbound tourism from India in 2022.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) is increasing service to Honolulu (HNL) in response to rising demand. The airline currently serves HNL daily from Tokyo Haneda (HND) using Boeing 787-9s and 5X-weekly from Tokyo Narita (NRT) using Airbus A380s. From April 20, the carrier intends to offer 10X-weekly A380 flights and 4X-weekly 787-9 flights from NRT. Frequencies from Haneda will remain unchanged. In addition, service from Haneda to New York John F Kennedy (JFK) will rise from 7X-weekly to 10X-weekly at the end of March, while Haneda-Seoul Gimpo (GMP) will increase from 2X-daily to 3X-daily.

Colombian carrier Avianca is launching two new routes from Medellin (MDE). From April 2, a domestic service to Armenia (AXM) will begin, operating four times per week. Flights to Aruba (AUA) will launch from June 1 with four frequencies per week. Both routes will use A320s.

Qatar Airways is set to launch additional flights to Thailand with the introduction of a third daily flight to Phuket (HKT), starting from Feb. 1. This additional frequency brings the number of flights to Thailand up to seven per day, alongside four daily flights from Bangkok ({{BKK})). “This is a significant step towards our continued commitment to the Thai market,” Qatar Airways regional manager Indochina Bennet Stephens said.

Jan. 30

Wizz Air is adding four routes from Armenia’s capital Yerevan (EVN) during the summer 2023 season. From April 30, service to Dortmund (DTM), Katowice (KTW) and Sofia (SOF) will each be 2X-weekly. From June 12, the ULCC will also begin flying to Prague (PRG) with two flights per week.

Spanish carrier Volotea has announced three new routes in Cagliari (CAG) to Athens (ATH), Barcelona (BCN) and Brindisi (BDS). The additions being the number of services offered from the airport to 16, seven of which are international. Flights to Barcelona will start on April 7, operating up to 3X-weekly. Service to Athens and Brindisi will begin on May 27, with each destination receiving two flights per week.

Lynx Air has launched its inaugural flight to the US, departing from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Orlando (MCO). The ULCC will operate four flights per week. “Lynx Air took to the Canadian skies for the very first time just over nine months ago, and we are excited to be already expanding across the border into the US,” CEO Merren McArthur said. Lynx’s US network will continue to expand over the next few weeks, with the planned launch of services out of Calgary to Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

David Casey

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