Latest Route News + April Part 2
Routes launched between Saturday 13 March 2021 and Friday 16 April 2021 PART 2flydubai (IATA code FZ) began 2-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service from Dubai to Tirana on 28 March. The 3,740-kilometre route faces no direct competition. Albania joins Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Turkey in having direct flights to Dubai with flydubai. For Tirana this easily becomes the airport’s longest route, almost double the previous record of 1,900 kilometres to London.
Green Airlines (IATA code CE) a new virtual German airline, launched 2-weekly (Fridays and Sundays) flights on a domestic route between Paderborn/Lippstadt and Sylt on 26 March. The flights are operated by French carrier Chalair using that carrier’s ATR 72-500. No other carrier currently operates on the 370-kilometre route. International flights are set to start in September connecting Paderborn/Lippstadt and Sylt with Zurich. The airline also appears to be set to connect Karlsruhe/ Baden-Baden with Berlin.Loganair (IATA code LM) on Monday 12 April commenced 3-weekly (Mondays, Fridays and Sundays) service between Teesside in the north-east of England and Belfast BHD in Northern Ireland using ERJ145s. The 290-kilometre route faces no direct competition. However, easyJet currently operates 4-weekly flights from Newcastle (around 60 kilometres from Teesside) to Belfast BFS (around 25 kilometres from Belfast BHD) using its much larger Airbus aircraft. Loganair already serves Aberdeen and London LHR from Teesside and plans to add additional routes to Bristol, Dublin, Jersey and Newquay by the end of May. From Belfast BHD, Loganair already serves Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Inverness, with Isle of Man service set to start in June. According to UK CAA statistics for January 2021, Loganair carried 8,560 passengers on scheduled domestic flights, at a load factor of 26%. This represents around 8% of the UK domestic market, well behind British Airways (50% of the market and a load factor of 51%) and easyJet (35% of the market and a load factor of 34%) . Lufthansa (IATA code LH) at the start of the summer season added two new routes from Frankfurt and two from Munich. From its main Frankfurt base the German flag-carrier began weekly flights to Djerba in Tunisia (competing with Tunisair) and 3-weekly flights to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic (competing with Condor). Meanwhile, Hurghada in Egypt and Tirana became the airline’s latest destinations from Munich. The Egyptian resort will be served weekly with A320neos, while the 990-kilometre Tirana route will be served 2-weekly utilising CRJ 900s operated by Lufthansa CityLine. Lufthansa previously operated the route from May 2007 to March 2016, after which fellow Star Alliance member, Adria Airways, took over the route. Their service ended in September 2019 when the carrier ceased all operations. Lumiwings (IATA code L9), founded in 2017 by two Greek pilots, has launched two new routes from its base in Forli, Italy. The Sicilian destinations of Palermo and Trapani are now both served 3-weekly using the airline’s 139-seat 737-300 (registration SX-LWA). In June, the airline hopes to add international routes from Forli to destinations in the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. Forli handled over 260,000 passengers in 2012 but this fell to just 40,000 in 2013 when scheduled services ended in March of that year. Wizz Air had been the last carrier operating scheduled flights from Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Sofia and Timisoara. This year, apart from Lumiwings, Forli is set to welcome service from Air Dolomiti (to Munich) and EGO Airways Luxair (IATA code LG) has used its fleet of Q400s (of which it currently has 11 according to planespotters.net) to start two new routes from Luxembourg. On 1 April, the carrier began 2-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) flights on the 1,290-kilometre route to Podgorica in Montenegro, followed by weekly (Saturday) flights from 3 April on the 720-kilometre route to Toulon in the south of France. Neither route faces any direct competition. Luxair normally operates to between 50 and 60 destinations during the summer season. However, Cirium Data and Analytics indicates that the carrier plans to operate close to 80 routes this summer. Further new routes for this summer include Belgrade, Hamburg, Oslo and various Greek destinations. Nordwind Airlines (IATA code N4) appears to have added two more new routes between Russia and Istanbul IST. On 13 March 2-weekly service began between Makhachkala and the Turkish hub, followed by 2-weekly flights from Ekaterinburg on 31 March. The former route is operated by the airline’s A321s, while the latter is served using 737-800s. According to Cirium Data and Analytics, by the end of August Nordwind Airlines will be serving Istanbul IST from 12 Russian airports with a total of 33 weekly flights. Pegasus Airlines (IATA code PC) began a new 2-weekly service (Thursdays and Sundays) between Istanbul SAW and Odessa in Ukraine on 28 March. The 620-kilometre route will be flown by a mix of the airline’s 737-800s and A320neos. While the airline faces no direct competition on the route, SkyUp Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Ukraine International Airlines all currently operate between Istanbul IST and Odessa. According to Cirium Data and Analytics, Pegasus Airlines already serves three other destinations in Ukraine from Istanbul SAW; Kharkiv, Lviv and Zaporizhzhia. Pobeda (IATA code DP) on 1 April added a new service between Ekaterinburg and Istanbul IST. The 2,870- kilometre route will be flown using the airline’s 737- 800s. Initially there will be three weekly flights increasing to 5-weekly by the end of April. Nordwind Airlines also serves the route with 2-weekly flights, while Turkish Airlines will resume operations between the two airports at the end of April with 3-weekly flights. Pobeda now serves Istanbul IST from five airports in Russia with a total of 28 weekly flights. In addition to service from Ekaterinburg there are also flights to the Turkish hub from Kazan (4-weekly), Mineralnye Vody (2-weekly), Moscow VKO (14-weekly) and Ufa (3-weekly). Ryanair (IATA code FR), which normally launches dozens of new routes at the start of the aviation summer season (end of March), appears to have added just seven new routes between 28 March and 2 April. Five of these are Italian domestic routes, some of which made a brief appearance over the Christmas and New Year period. From Bari, Ryanair has added new links to Catania, Palermo and Verona, all of which will also be served this summer by Volotea. Wizz Air also links Bari and Verona. In addition, Verona is now also connected to Lamezia Terme, and Catania is now linked with Naples. Again, both of these routes will be served by Volotea this summer, while easyJet also offers flights between Naples and Catania. New international services have been launched from Rome CIA to both Brussels BRU and Vienna, both operating 2-weekly initially.