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The Air Service One weekly news round-up: Friday 23 February 2024

Air ServiceOne Weekly News round-Up Feb 23rd

The last seven days has seen very little in the way of new route launches in Europe and North America. In fact, there were none at all in Europe and just four in North America. Breeze added new non-stop service between Charleston and New York SWF (2-weekly) and between Orange County in California and Ogden in Utah (4-weekly). Canadian LCC Flair added two new routes on 16 February. It now connects Edmonton with Phoenix (4-weekly) and Victoria with Las Vegas (2-weekly) utilising its 737 MAX 8s. Both routes are already served by WestJet.

Ryanair announces new routes but quits Swedish domestic market

It’s been a busy week for Ryanair as Europe’s biggest airline announced eight new routes this summer from Tenerife TFS (Budapest, Cardiff, Marrakech, Memmingen, Knock, Pisa, Toulouse and Weeze), four new routes this summer from Vienna (Olbia, Rijeka, Split and Tirana) and six new routes from Budapest (Faro, Frankfurt HHN, Milan MXP, Skiathos, Tirana and Trieste). Arguably more interesting, and rather less advertised, is the airline’s decision to withdraw from the Swedish domestic market from the end of March. Four routes from Stockholm ARN to Gothenburg, Lulea, Malmö and Skelleftea will be suspended from the start of the S24 season while a seasonal, summer-only service to Visby will not resume. Ryanair opened its base at Arlanda in W21/22. To make up for the loss of these domestic routes Ryanair is adding new international routes this summer from Stockholm to Rhodes and Vilnius, and from Gothenburg to Brussels CRL and Rome FCO.

In recent years Ryanair has operated domestic flights in 12 European countries. Comparing their market share of seats in August 2023 and August 2019 reveals that the ULCC has suspended domestic flights in Germany and Romania but added them in Bulgaria and Ireland. Last summer, Ryanair accounted for just under 8% of seats in the Swedish domestic market. This compares with 49% for SAS, 24% for BRA Braathens and 13% for Norwegian.

Ryanair share of domestic markets S23 c S19

Looking ahead to August 2024, analysis of Cirium schedules data suggests Ryanair will increase its domestic flights by 2% compared with August 2023. As well as Sweden, Bulgaria will also no longer see any domestic flights. However, Ryanair will start domestic flights in Morocco. While domestic flights will be down 46% in Poland, they will be up 10% in the UK and up 18% in Greece.

Breeze reaches 50 airports milestone

The US carrier, which began flying in May 2021, has announced that Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (IATA code EWN) in New Bern, North Carolina will become its 50th airport. It will launch flights from there on 24 May with 2-weekly flights to Hartford (Connecticut) and Orlando MCO (Florida). EWN’s only other scheduled service at present is a 4-daily service with American on the 360-kilometre route to its Charlotte hub, operated by Piedmont Airlines’ 50-seat ERJ-145s.

Breeze has already announced 13 other new airports it will add to its network this year; Burlington (Vermont), Denver (Colorado), Evansville (Indiana), Grand Junction (Colorado), Greenville/Spartanburg (South Carolina), Gulfport/Biloxi (Mississippi), Madison (Wisconsin), Mobile (Alabama), Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), Ogden (Utah), San Diego (California), Stewart/Newburgh (New York) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pennsylvania).

It has also revealed that by the end of the year it plans to transition to an all A220 fleet removing all remaining Embraer aircraft from service. According to planespotters.net Breeze currently has 10 E190s and six E195s actively being operated.

Athens International Airport

Eurovision chooses easyJet as airline partner for next three years

easyJet has been named the Official Airline Partner of Eurovision 2024, which will take place in Malmö, Sweden from 7-11 May. The airline does not fly to the Swedish city but does serve nearby Copenhagen, currently from 14 airports in just seven countries across Europe. SAS offers flights from over 20 Eurovision participating countries to Copenhagen and also serves Malmö non-stop from Stockholm ARN.

Curiously, the partnership deal is for three years regardless of who the winners are for the next couple of years. Would be quite fun to see what would happen if Ireland were to win it again as easyJet doesn’t serve anywhere in Ireland (though it does serve Belfast in Northern Ireland).

Airport traffic statistics for January 2024

Air Service One has already collected January passenger data for well over 200 airports across Europe. For those countries where we have data for all the airports the results are (versus January 2023 / versus January 2019): Bosnia & Herzegovina (-24%, +19%), Bulgaria (+4%, +7%), Cyprus (+9%, +22%), Estonia (+7%, +2%), Finland (+2%, -24%), Hungary (+17%, +9%), Iceland (+11%, -15%), Lithuania (+4%, -10%), Norway (+2%, -13%), Portugal (+2%, +15%),  Spain (+10%, +13%), Sweden (-2%, -29%) and Türkiye (+8%, +5%). It seems the further south you are in Europe, the better the results.

Among hub airports Istanbul IST (+6%, +15%) with 6.002m passengers was fractionally busier than London LHR (+9%, +1%) with 5.996m passengers. Then come Paris CDG (+2%, -10%) with 4.820m passengers, Madrid (+8%, +9%) with 4.794m passengers, Amsterdam (+17%, -9%) with 4.544m passengers and Frankfurt (+11%, -13%) with 4.067m passengers. For all the latest figures check out the downloadable EATS (European Airport Traffic Statistics) file on the Air Service One website (downloads section).

Other notable new route announcements

In addition to the raft of new Ryanair routes mentioned earlier, there have also been a number of other new route announcements involving airports in Europe and North America. These include:

  • Aurigny: Guernsey to London LCY, 13-weekly from 31 March using ATR 72-600s
  • Breeze: Los Angeles to Huntsville, 2-weekly from 14 June using A220s
  • Condor: Frankfurt to Los Cabos (Mexico), 2-weekly from 3 November using A330neos
  • Discover: Frankfurt to Tulum (Mexico), 2-weekly from 12 December using A330s
  • ITA Airways: Rome FCO to Dakar, 4-weekly from 3 July using A321neos; Milan LIN to Malta, 4-weekly from 1 June
  • Pegasus Airlines: Ankara to Lisbon, 3-weekly from 2 April using A320s
  • Porter Airlines: Toronto YYZ to Quebec City, daily from 17 May using E195E2s
  • Ryanair: Palermo to Poznan, 2-weekly from 3 June using 737-800s
  • Sun Country Airlines: Minneapolis/St. Paul to Monterey, 2-weekly from 8 August and Manchester/Boston, 2-weekly from 22 August using 737-800s

Salerno Amalfi Coast Airport to reopen with Volotea flights

Located in what might be described as the shin of Italy, Salerno Amalfi Coast Airport (IATA code QSR) is set to reopen to scheduled services this summer. Volotea will be the first airline to serve the airport launching domestic flights to Cagliari (2-weekly from 13 July), Catania (2-weekly from 2 September) and Verona (also 2-weekly from 2 September) and also serving Nantes in France (2-weekly from 11 July). A new terminal is being built but will not open until 2026 at the earliest. You can watch a video of the planned terminal here. The airport lies around 60 kilometres south-east of Naples.

Salerno launch at Connect 24

Aeroporti di Roma