Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C June 5, 2023)

Avianca Boeing 787
Credit: Avpics/Alamy Stock Photo

June 9


Air Serbia has commenced scheduled service from Belgrade to the Greek island Rhodes. During the summer season, the airline will be operating a 4X-weekly service every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. “We have expanded our presence in Greece at the start of the summer season and for the first time, we have added Rhodes into our network, as a seasonal destination,” general manager commercial and strategy Boško Rupić said.

Italy’s ITA Airways has launched Rome Fiumicino-Washington Dulles service. Flights will initially be 5X-weekly using the airline’s new Airbus A330neo aircraft, rising to daily from Aug. 1 through Oct. 28. Mariangela Zappia, ambassador of Italy in Washington, said: “ITA Airways’ new connection and plans to expand its network in the U.S. are important, long-awaited steps that bring America even closer to Italy and allow us to strengthen not only tourist flows but also the political, economic and cultural relations between our two countries.”

Frontier Airlines has begun nonstop service from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) to San Diego International Airport. Additionally, on June 21, the ULCC will launch nonstop service from CLE to San Francisco International Airport. With the new service, Frontier serves a total of 17 nonstop destinations from CLE. “Cleveland is an integral part of our operation,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president of commercial at Frontier Airlines. “Our commitment to Cleveland is strong, and we’re excited to continue expanding at CLE.”

June 8


Avianca intends to start a new domestic route in Ecuador connecting Manta and Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. Frequencies will be twice a week from July 2. The two new services are added to the 30X-weekly flights that the airline operates to San Cristóbal and Baltra from Quito and Guayaquil. María Beatriz González, Avianca’s commercial manager for Ecuador, says the new route will boost tourism as well as providing an opportunity to transport food and medical supplies to the Galapagos Islands.

Iceland’s Play is increasing frequencies between Reykjavik Keflavik and Amsterdam during the winter 2023-24 season. Frequencies will increase from 5X-weekly to daily, starting Oct. 29. “Getting access to Schiphol Airport is a considerable accomplishment for our young airline, given the high demand from other carriers,” Play CEO Birgir Jónsson says. “The expansion of our operations in Amsterdam is expected to not only bolster our passenger numbers, but also generate substantial revenue due to the many cargo opportunities available.”

Southwest Airlines has celebrated the 25th anniversary of serving Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT), New Hampshire. The airline launched its first flights to the airport on June 7, 1998. “Over the past 25 years, Southwest has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, enabling us to operate approximately 150,000 departures and serve almost 16 million passengers at the airport to date,” says Tom Labrie, Southwest’s station director for the northeast region.


June 7


JetBlue Airways is set to enhance its presence in the Caribbean region with the introduction of two new destinations. Starting Nov. 2, the airline will commence service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts and Nevis, operating flights three times per week. Furthermore, beginning Dec. 6, JetBlue will offer flights three times a week from JFK to Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, Belize. In addition, JetBlue has announced the launch of two Saturday-only services. Boston will be connected with Grenada, while Los Angeles will be linked to Nassau. Both routes are scheduled to commence operations on Nov. 4. Furthermore, the carrier has made flights available for booking between Orlando International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina. Starting from Nov. 2, daily service will be offered on this route.

British Airways has commenced operations to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, with its first flight arriving from London Heathrow Airport on June 5. The addition of Cincinnati marks the airline's 27th destination in the U.S. Cincinnati, spanning across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, offers access to a population of more than 11 million people within a 120-mi. radius of the airport. Frequencies will be 5X-weekly during the summer season, reducing to 4X-weekly in winter.

Turkish Airlines has signed new codeshare agreements with ITA Airways and Vietnam Airlines. With ITA, the Italian carrier’s code will be placed on Turkish Airlines’ flights between Rome and Istanbul, and Turkish Airlines will place its code on nine destinations served by ITA from Rome, comprising Brindisi, Bari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Palermo, Lamezia Terme, Turin and Trieste. The agreement with Vietnam Airlines sees Turkish Airlines place its code on Vietnam Airlines-operated routes between Hanoi-Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City-Da Nang. Similarly, Vietnam Airlines will place its code on Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul-Hanoi and Istanbul-Ho Chi Minh flights.

Norwegian airline Widerøe has resumed nonstop flights between Bergen and Hamburg after pausing the route at the onset of the pandemic. Flights will be 4X-weekly on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. “With Bergen in Norway, the airline is bringing an attractive destination back into Hamburg's route network, which has not been served non-stop from Hamburg for some time,” says Dirk Behrens, head of aviation at Hamburg Airport.

Aeroflot is launching flights between Khabarovsk and Phuket for the first time. From July 9, the route will be served 2X-weekly using Boeing 777s on Tuesdays and Sundays. The Russian carrier also announced the resumption of services to Bangkok from Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Vladivostok from July 7.


June 6


All Nippon Airways (ANA) and El Al Israel Airlines signed a codeshare agreement that will take effect in the 2024 northern hemisphere spring. ANA will place its code on El Al’s Tel Aviv-Tokyo Narita route, which the Isreali flag-carrier started flying in March. El Al will in turn place its code “on select ANA routes, including domestic routes within Japan,” according to ANA, which adds: “The airlines are also planning to sign a frequent flyer program agreement, enhancing benefits for mileage members traveling between Japan and Israel.” El Al CEO Dina Ben Tal Ganancia says “cooperation between El Al and ANA is an important element in ensuring the success” of the carrier’s Tel Aviv-Narita route.

British Airways (BA) started flights between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX), serving the Chinese capital for the first time since January 2020. “The resumption reclaims the airline’s exclusivity as the only British carrier operating a direct service between Beijing and the UK,” BA says. The airline is flying the LHR-PKX route 4X-weekly using a Boeing 777 aircraft.  

ASL Airlines Belgium, which specializes in long-haul international cargo flights with Liège Airport (LGG) as its base, extended its cargo handling agreement with Swissport at the airport. Swissport, which has been providing handling services to ASL Airlines Belgium at LGG since 2017, says the extended agreement “covers complete cargo services, including ramp handling, warehousing and customs clearance for general, perishable and sensitive pharmaceutical cargo.” Swissport adds that in 2022 it handled more than 21 weekly flights and over 140,400 tons of cargo for ASL Airlines Belgium at LGG.


June 5


British Airways added flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW), complementing the 3X-daily service the airline already operates between London Heathrow (LHR) and Istanbul Airport (IST). Flights between LHR and SAW commenced on June 1 and will be operated 4X-weekly with a mix of Airbus A320 and A321 aicraft. “British Airways has become the 45th airline to operate to Sabiha Gökçen, and now our passengers can benefit from its extensive global route network,” SAW CEO Berk Albayrak says.

Canada’s WestJet launched service between Edmonton International Airport (YEG) and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The route will be operated 5X-weekly with a Boeing 737 aircraft. The carrier has also launched 5X-weekly service between YEG and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Icelandair commenced flights between Reykjavik Keflavík Airport (KEF) and Prague Václav Havel Airport (PRG). The KEF-PRG route will be flown 4X-weekly on a seasonal basis through October. “Prague is an exciting addition to our strong summer schedule,” Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason says. “We see great opportunities in offering a morning flight to Prague that ties in well with our North American flights. Currently, there are few flight connections from Prague to the United States and Canada, so we are pleased to be able to greatly improve connections between these markets, as well as offer convenient departure times between Iceland and Prague."

Oman-based LCC SalamAir will open service between Salalah International Airport (SLL) and Bahrain International Airpprt (BAH) from July 5. The carrier previously announced it would be launch flights from Muscat to both Mashhad in Iran and Almaty in Kazakhstan in late June and early July, respectively.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.

David Casey

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