Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Sept. 18, 2023)

rex airlines Saab 340
Credit: Aviation Visuals/Alamy Stock Photo

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

Sept. 22


Australian carrier Rex plans to make reductions to its regional network after accusing other carriers of “pillaging” its pilots. The reductions, effective from Oct. 30, all involve the regional routes serviced by Rex’s fleet of Saab 340 turboprop aircraft. The affected services are: Sydney-Albury; Sydney-Coffs Harbour; Sydney-Griffith; Sydney-Narrandera; Sydney-Orange; Sydney-Parkes; and Sydney-Port Macquarie. Rex will also temporarily suspend services between Sydney and Armidale until at least March 30, 2024, and withdraw from the Cairns-Bamaga route. Rex’s General Manager of Network Strategy Warrick Lodge says: “We intend to return to the standard flight schedules from 31 March 2024. However, this is subject to the situation improving.”

EasyJet is launching a new route between Bournemouth, England, and Lyon. Flights will start on Jan. 13, 2024, and will operate once a week on Saturdays until Feb. 24. Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK country manager, says the seasonal service will offer more choice for passengers wanting to visit the Alps region for winter sports, or for a city break in Lyon.

JetBlue Airways has commenced daily operations from Boston to Amsterdam (AMS). The launch follows the start of service to AMS from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport on Aug. 29. “The Netherlands is a very important overseas source market for us, annually sending more than 30,000 visitors to our region, and these visitors inject upwards of $35 million into our regional economy,” says Martha Sheridan, Meet Boston president and CEO.

China’s Hainan Airlines has inaugurated a route linking Shenzhen and Milan Malpensa Airport. Operations will be 3X-weekly every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday using Boeing 787 aircraft. This route is Hainan Airlines’ third nonstop service to Italy alongside Chongqing-Rome and Shenzhen-Rome.

Sept. 21


Canada’s Porter Airlines has inaugurated service in Victoria International Airport (YYJ), British Colombia. Daily flights will be offered from Toronto Pearson International Airport using the carrier’s new 132-seat Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. “Victoria is proving to be among our most popular new markets,” says Kevin Jackson, executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “We are now truly connecting Canada’s major cities from the west with Victoria to the east in St. John’s, with many points in between.”

Meanwhile, WestJet has announced service between YYJ and Las Vegas, reintroducing the airline's first transborder connection from the island for the first time since 2017. Beginning Feb. 1, 2024, the carrier will operate nonstop service twice a week. “As we continue to provide guests across Canada with even more affordable and accessible opportunities to escape the cold and find the sun this winter, Victoria is an important part of our Western Canada growth plan,” says John Weatherill, WestJet executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

Kazakhstan’s FlyArystan has confirmed the schedule for its planned Almaty-Mumbai route. Flights will start on Nov. 23, operating twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. The outbound leg departs Almaty International Airport at 9:15 a.m. and arrives at Mumbai International Airport at 1:35 p.m. The return flight leaves at 2:50 p.m. and returns to Almaty at 7:50 p.m. the same day.


Sept. 20


U.S. carrier Eastern Airlines has filed an application with the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) to begin scheduled service between New York John F. Kennedy and Wuhan, China. The airline has asked the DOT to expedite approval of the application so that it can obtain necessary foreign approvals, secure slots, finalize its operating plans and begin marketing flights from Jan. 1, 2024. The application says: “With the addition of these Eastern flights, the overall competitive position of U.S. carriers in the U.S.-China market will be strengthened. Eastern’s new service would also provide U.S. government employees and contractors service to Wuhan on a U.S. carrier, which currently does not exist. Eastern’s service will also enhance existing air cargo capacity between the U.S. and China.”

AirBaltic has added two more new routes to its summer 2024 schedule. From Tallinn, Estonia, the carrier intends to introduce service to Burgas, Bulgaria, from May 1, while flights from Tampere, Finland, to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, will start two days later. Both routes will operate twice a week. AirBaltic announced plans for 11 new routes next summer in late August. “As we continue to assess market dynamics and passenger demand, airBaltic is committed to expanding its network and enhancing connectivity in the Baltics and Tampere,” CEO Martin Gauss says.

Turkish Airlines has expanded its codeshare cooperation with both Air Serbia and IndiGo. Air Serbia will add its code to Turkish Airlines flights between Istanbul and Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. This marks the first time Air Serbia’s JU code will appear in the Canadian market. Meanwhile, IndiGo will place its code on Turkish Airlines flights between Istanbul and San Francisco. The move increases the codeshare partnership to 39 destinations.

Norse Atlantic Airways has inaugurated nonstop flights to Miami International Airport from London Gatwick Airport and Oslo Airport. “We are thrilled that Norse Atlantic has chosen Miami International Airport for all of their South Florida flights, making us their seventh destination in the U.S.,” says Ralph Cutié, MIA director and CEO. The carrier will add routes from Paris Charles de Gaulle and Berlin to Miami from December, in addition to service from Oslo and London.

From April 26, 2024, Czech airline Smartwings will launch flights from Prague to Ponta Delgada in the Azores. The service will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. Flight QS1172 will depart from Prague’s Václav Havel Airport at 12:00 p.m., arriving in Ponta Delgada at 3:30 p.m. local time. The return flight from Ponta Delgada will depart at 4:15 p.m. and arrive back to Prague at 10:50 p.m.


Sept. 19


AirAsia Thailand is introducing a new route from Bangkok Don Mueang to the Indian city of Guwahati, flying three times a week every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from Dec. 1. “The addition marks the ninth Thai-Indian connection for Thai AirAsia after Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Kochi, Bangalore, Gaya, Lucknow and Ahmedabad, affirming the growth of the India market and its potential for even more routes for AirAsia,” says Tansita Akrarittipirom, AirAsia Thailand's head of commercial.

Moldovan carrier FlyOne has announced its summer 2024 schedule featuring three new routes. The airline says it intends to add flights from Chisinau to Prague and Thessaloniki, Greece, from April 2024. Additionally, it will offer charter flights to Enfidha, Tunisia, during the summer season. Overall, FlyOne expects to operate 34 scheduled and charter services.

JetBlue has inaugurated a new route linking New York John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) with Washington Reagan National Airport. Flights will operate three times per day. The carrier says the service will offer connecting opportunities via JFK to the likes of Amsterdam and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

U.S. startup New Pacific Airlines, previously known as Northern Pacific Airlines, plans to increase its network from Ontario, California, to Reno, Nevada, and Nashville, Tennessee. The two routes will start on Nov. 16. “Our expansion into the vibrant markets of Reno and Nashville represents a significant step forward in our mission to offer exceptional travel opportunities to passengers across the U.S.,” CEO Rob McKinney says. The airline flies just one route at present, connecting Ontario and Las Vegas.

GOL Linhas Aéreas is increasing its operations in the city of Ribeirão Preto (RAO), a city in southeast Brazil. From Feb. 18, 2024, the airline will provide a new daily frequency São Paulo Congonhas (CGH), taking the route to 2X-daily.

Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines joint venture SunExpress has launched a new scheduled seasonal route between Antalya, Turkey, and Sofia, Bulgaria. Flights will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. The airline has previously offered charter flights between the destinations.



Sept. 18


SAS Scandinavian Airlines will start nonstop scheduled flights between Oslo Gardermoen Airport and Helsinki Airport (HEL) from Oct. 29. The airline will fly the route six times a week throughout the winter season. “The route is a very welcome addition to the airline’s already comprehensive route offering from Finavia airports,” says Petri Vuori, Finavia’s senior vice president responsible for route development. In addition to Oslo, SAS flies from HEL to Copenhagen and Stockholm Arlanda. It also operates daily flights to Stockholm Arlanda from Turku and Vaasa airports in Finland.

China and Venezuela have signed a bilateral air services agreement, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has announced. It is hoped the agreement will facilitate the launch of scheduled services between the two countries. The CAAC says the move will also be “conducive to promoting economic and trade cooperation and personnel exchanges between China and Venezuela, as well as between China and Latin American countries.” China now has air service agreements with 131 countries.

Australian startup Bonza is launching a new domestic route from its Gold Coast Airport (OOL) base to Mount Isa Airport, which serves the western Queensland city of Mount Isa. The route will start on Dec. 5 and run twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. It marks the airline’s 13th route from OOL—10 of which are exclusive. Bonza CEO Tim Jordan says the partnership with Queensland Airports Limited, which owns and operates airports at three Bonza destinations—Gold Coast, Townsville and now Mount Isa—was instrumental in securing the new route.

UK leisure airline has expanded its winter 2023-24 program to Geneva Airport (GVA). The airline says service to GVA from Leeds Bradford and Manchester, England, will be up to 8X-weekly, while service from London Stansted will be up to 7X-weekly. Frequencies from Birmingham, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland, will be up to 5X-weekly and 2X-weekly, respectively. Additionally, weekly flights will be offered from Bristol, East Midlands, Glasgow and Newcastle. “With a wealth of world-class ski resorts on offer, Geneva is a mecca for snow sports fans, and we are delighted to be expanding our program even further this coming winter in response to the demand we are seeing,” Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy says.

David Casey

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