Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C March 6, 2023)

Credit: Vasa/Alamy Stock Photo

March 10


Fresh from unveiling plans to serve Alabama’s Mobile International Airport (BFM), Avelo Airlines is to introduce two routes to its network from South Carolina’s Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP). Flights to Orlando (MCO) will start on June 7, followed by Southern Connecticut’s Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN) on June 22. Both will be 2X-weekly. GSP is Avelo’s third South Carolina destination, joining Charleston and Myrtle Beach. The LCC has also confirmed that it will begin flying Dubuque Regional Airport (DBQ) in Iowa on March 22, serving MCO 2X-weekly. It had planned to debut at the airport in January but the launch was delayed as DBQ was unable to secure the necessary TSA approval of its airport security plan in time. Since then, Avelo has operated the MCO route from Cedar Rapids’ Eastern Iowa Airport (CID).

Vietnam’s Vietjet is restoring two more services to Hong Kong. Service from Phu Quoc will be offered three times per week and from Da Nang four times per week, restarting on April 27 and 28 respectively. The LCC’s Ho Chi Minh City-Hong Kong route will be also increased to daily from March 26. The latter sector is currently served 5X-weekly.

March 9


TUI fly is expanding its offer from Antwerp in Belgium with three new routes. From June 30, the carrier will connect the city with Tenerife in Spain, followed by Antalya in Turkey on July 1, and Heraklion in Greece on July 2. All three routes will be 2X-weekly using Embraer E195-E2s. With the launch of the new services, TUI fly will offer 11 routes from Antwerp during the summer season, including flights to Spanish destinations Ibiza, Murcia and Palma de Mallorca, as well as Split in Croatia.

Avelo Airlines is to start flying to Mobile International Airport (BFM) in Alabama, becoming the first scheduled carrier to serve the airport in three years. Flights to Orlando International Airport (MCO) will commence on May 31, operating 2X-weekly on Thursdays and Sundays. “Alabama represents the 22nd state Avelo will serve, and we’ll be taking flight from Mobile’s most convenient airport—which will make getting to Orlando easier and faster than ever,” Avelo CEO Andrew Levy said.

Star Alliance member Austrian Airlines has scheduled the resumption of flights to Iran. OAG shows that service between Vienna and Tehran Imam Khomeini International will resume on May 11, operating six times per week with Airbus A320s. The carrier suspended the route in February.

U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines has commenced flights from Norfolk International Airport (ORF), Virginia. Daily service to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO) has been launched. “We have sought Spirit Airlines service at Norfolk International Airport for quite some time,” said Mark Perryman, president and CEO of the Norfolk Airport Authority. “These new flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are already being well received, and we anticipate great success.” This month marks the airline’s fifth anniversary serving the state of Virginia after entering Richmond (RIC) in March 2018.

March 8


Canadian ULCC Flair Airlines has released its winter 2023-24 schedule, which includes new routes to Las Vegas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The airline will begin serving Toronto Pearson-Puerto Vallarta on Oct. 29, offering 4X-weekly flights, and Kitchener-Waterloo to Puerto Vallarta on Dec. 16, flying 3X-weekly. Daily Calgary to Las Vegas service begins on Oct. 30 and Ottawa to Las Vegas on Oct. 13, operating 2X-weekly. Flair will also launch a 4X-weekly Calgary-Phoenix route from Oct. 30. Existing service from Vancouver and Edmonton to Phoenix Mesa Gateway will move to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for the season, along with the new service from Calgary to Phoenix. “We’ve optimized our network this winter to match demand for sun,” Flair CCO Garth Lund said. “We’ve focused on adding depth to our network by increasing frequencies on popular routes.”

Ryanair has added Newcastle-Barcelona to its summer 2023 schedule, which will operate twice a week from March 30. The route was also offered 2X-weekly during the winter. OAG data shows that the Irish ULCC is the sole operator of the nonstop service.

Finnair said it expects to operate more than 8,500 flights in March 2023—the highest number since February 2020. The number of scheduled flights this month is also up by nearly a third (29%) compared to the same period last year. “As we expand our network, we are also excited to welcome back destinations such as Osaka and Ljubljana, which we know will prove popular with our customers,” said Anssi Partanen, Finnair's UK and Ireland market director.

Spain’s Air Europa is launching a new route between Madrid (MAD) and the Greek island of Santorini (JTR). Service begins on June 20 and will be 3X-weekly through Sept. 9 using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Additionally, the carrier will resume service to Tunisia’s capital Tunis (TUN) from March 26, flying twice a week until June when a third weekly frequency is added. Flights to Athens (ATH) will restart on June 19 and be 4X-weekly, while service to Alghero (AHO) in Sardinia resumes on July 1 and will be 2X-weeky. Air Europe also said it intends to fly 2X-weekly between New York and Santo Domingo, but schedules for the proposed route have yet to be filed.

Irish carrier Emerald Airlines, operator of Aer Lingus Regional flights, is opening two new routes from Dublin (DUB). Service to Liverpool will commence on April 27 operating 11X-weekly, while flights to Brest (BES) will be twice a week from May 20 during the summer 2023 season. “We are very happy to welcome the Emerald company to Brest airport and very proud to be their first destination in France,” Brest Airport director Claude Arphexad said.

March 7


Air Mauritius will resume nonstop operations to Geneva (GVA) in Switzerland from Oct. 2. Flights will be 2X-weekly using a 288-seat Airbus A330neo aircraft. The route will operate through Jan. 12, 2024. “We believe that it will contribute to boost tourist arrivals from Switzerland, Italy, southern Germany and France,” CEO Krešimir Kučko said. “Direct long-haul operations have traditionally been our strength to secure competitive leverage and we are currently exploring other similar opportunities to expand our network.”

Air New Zealand is resuming service between Auckland (AKL) and Sunshine Coast (MCY) in Australia from June 25. Flights will operate three times per week on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Oct. 15 using A320neo aircraft. “Air New Zealand’s return to the Sunshine Coast is a vote of confidence in our destination, as we know the kiwis have a long-standing love affair with all our region has to offer,” Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said.

German leisure carrier Condor is adding a route between Düsseldorf (DUS) to Almería (LEI) in Spain during summer 2023. Service will commence on May 12, operating once a week on Fridays using A320s. Almería is located in the popular vacation region of Andalusia in southern Spain.

March 6


Eswatini Air, the new national carrier of Southern African nation Eswatini, will commence commercial operations on March 26. The airline’s first route will connect Sikhuphe (SHO) and Johannesburg (JNB) twice a day, increasing to 3X-daily in May. A 4X-weekly service from Sikhuphe to Zimbabwe’s capital Harare (HRE) will start on April 14, followed by a daily flight to Durban (DUR) in South Africa on May 5. A third route to South Africa will begin on June 2, connecting Sikhuphe and Cape Town (CPT). Eswatini Air’s initial equipment is two Embraer ERJ145 regional jets.

Azerbaijan Airlines is adding Makhachkala (MCX) in Russia to its route network. Flights from Baku (GYD) will start on March 15, operating three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using Airbus A319 equipment. OAG data shows the 327-km (176-nm) route is currently unserved. UTair Aviation, Azimuth Airlines and S7 Airlines have each served the sector in the past 12 months, but only for a limited time.

Scottish regional airline Loganair is resuming service between Glasgow (GLA) and Donegal (CFN) in northwest Ireland from July 1. Two flights per week will be available using ATR 42 aircraft until Sept. 24. The carrier last served the route in October 2021. “We recognize the vital importance of direct air connectivity and the key role that this air link to Donegal provides for Scottish holidaymakers,” said Cormac O'Suilleabhain, brand partnership manager at Tourism Ireland. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from Glasgow and all over Scotland to the island of Ireland and working with Loganair to promote the route and further expand their network to the island.”

Canada Jetlines has launched its first flights between Canada and Mexico. Service from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Cancun (CUN) will be offered twice a week using Airbus A320s. “Jetlines is looking forward to adding more markets and partners across North America, Mexico, and the Caribbean,” CCO Duncan Bureau said.

David Casey

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