Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Oct. 10, 2022)

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Oct. 12

Emirates is upgrading capacity on its Dubai (DXB)-Tokyo Narita (NRT) route with the deployment of an Airbus A380 from Nov. 15. The move comes after Japan scrapped its daily arrival cap on international passengers and lifted COVID-19 testing and self-quarantine protocols. Emirates’ flight EK318 from Dubai will depart at 2.55 a.m. and arrive in Narita at 5.20 p.m. The return flight EK319 from Narita will depart at 10.30 p.m. and arrive in Dubai at 5.30 a.m. the following day.

Iberia and TAAG Angolan Airlines have launched a codeshare agreement. The move will allow Iberia to place its IB code on TAAG’s flights between Luanda (LAD) and Madrid (MAD). In addition to the nonstop flights between Madrid and Luanda, passengers of the Spanish airline will be able to connect from the Angolan capital with Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, Windhoek in Namibia, and Maputo in Mozambique. Meanwhile, TAAG will offer its customers connections to Iberia flights from Madrid to Barcelona, Oporto, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich, Rome, and Milan.

Turkish carrier Freebird Airlines has announced plans to increase service from London Gatwick (LGW) to Antalya (AYT) from 4X-weekly to daily during the summer 2023 season, as well as continuing a 2X-weekly service from Manchester (MAN) to Antalya.

Oct. 11

Turkish carrier AnadoluJet is starting a new connection to Kazakhstan. Flights between Ankara (ESB) and Almaty (ALA) will be twice a week during the winter season from Nov. 19. Service will take off on Mondays and Saturdays from Ankara, departing at 11.55 p.m. The return flight leaves Almaty at 8.55 a.m. the next day.

VietJet is resuming daily flights between Da Nang (DAD) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) on Dec. 21. Data provided by OAG shows that the route has been suspended since March 2020. The LCC currently operates six routes to Japan, flying from Hanoi (HAN) to Fukuoka (FUK), Osaka Kansai (KIX), Nagoya Chubu Centrair (NGO) and Tokyo Narita (NRT), as well as Osaka and Narita from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN).

Royal Brunei Airlines has confirmed the dates it plans to resume service to Tokyo and Seoul as part of its northern winter schedule. The airline will offer two flights per week between Brunei (BWN) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) from Oct. 30, increasing to 4X-weekly from Dec. 23. Brunei-Seoul Incheon (ICN) resumes on Dec. 3, operating twice a week. “Tokyo and Seoul are amongst our top destinations and much anticipated by our guests from around our network, thus we are very excited to bring these destinations back into our network in time for the holidays season,” said Sabirin Hj Abdul Hamid, Royal Brunei acting CEO.

Oct. 10

Icelandair has scheduled the launch of a new weekly route to Gran Canaria (LPA) in Spain’s Canary Islands. The first flight will depart on Nov. 15 and run through April 11, 2023. Gran Canaria is the third biggest of the Canary Islands and a popular winter sun destination. Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason said: “Last year we added Tenerife to our schedule and we have received very good feedback from our customers. After the integration of Icelandair and tour operator VITA, new opportunities like these have emerged, which strengthens our route network and increases the service to our customers.”

Viva Aerobus has opened a new route from Mérida (MID) to Camagüey (CMW) in Cuba. Flights will be once a week operating on Thursdays. The service is the ULCC’s second international route from Mérida and comes a month after the airline announced plans to open a base at the airport. On Sept. 23, Viva inaugurated a daily Mérida-Toluca (TLC) and has announced new services to Querétaro (QRO) and León (BJX) from Dec. 16 and 18 respectively. “With all these new routes, we will be operating more than 400 monthly flights to and from Mérida, a city that has become the new home of Viva Aerobus,” Viva Aerobus CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua said.

LATAM Airlines Brasil has confirmed plans to resume São Paulo-Guarulhos (GRU)-Johannesburg (JNB) flights, which have been suspended since the onset of the pandemic. Service will restart in July 2023 using Boeing 787-900 aircraft. “Johannesburg is another milestone in our international recovery movement, which is being carried out strategically, expanding the offer where there is demand from passengers,” sales and marketing director Aline Mafra said. By December 2022, LATAM Airlines Brasil expects capacity to have recovered to 82% of pre-pandemic levels.

Iceland’s Play has launched a new route to Liverpool (LPL) in the UK. Flights from Reykjavik (KEF) will be 2X-weekly on Mondays and Fridays using Airbus A320neos. Play CEO Birgir Jonsson said: “Even though the winter months are always challenging for airlines and the economic situation in the world continues to be uncertain, our sales over the past weeks have been strong after a somewhat slow start to the fall. We are therefore continuing with our plans of adding new destinations, aircraft and people for next year.”

David Casey

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