The Air Service One weekly news round-up: Friday 5 April 2024

The Air Service One weekly news round-up: Friday 5 April 2024

The Northern Hemisphere summer season started on Sunday 31 March which resulted in a big surge in new route launches. Airlines began almost 200 new routes involving European airports and 14 in North America. Ryanair accounted for almost half of all the European routes (see separate analysis below). For full details of all new routes check out the downloadable NERD and NAMNERD files on the website.

  • Air Arabia Maroc has added Tetouan in northern Morocco to its network. It has started flights to four destinations in Europe; Barcelona [31/3, 3-weekly], Brussels [1/4, 3-weekly], Madrid [31/3, 2-weekly] and Malaga [2/4, 3-weekly]. It will compete with Ryanair on the last two routes. In 2023 Tetouan handled a record 253,552 passengers according to ONDA statistics. Almost 240,000 of these passengers were on international flights.
  • Air Cairo started connecting Nuremberg with Marsa Alam in Egypt [1/4, 2-weekly] using its A320s.
  • Air Canada began non-stop service between Vancouver and Singapore [3/4, 4-weekly] using its 787-9s.
  • Air Dolomiti is helping out Lufthansa by operating some flights between Frankfurt and Bologna [1/4, 5-weekly].
  • Air France resumed service to Verona from Paris CDG [2/4, 3-weekly]. The airline last connected the two airports in October 2015 when it operated 2-daily flights using E170s.
  • Air Peace has begun service between Lagos in Nigeria and London LGW [30/3, 6-weekly] using a mix of 777-200s and 787-9s.
  • airBaltic now offers non-stop flights between Copenhagen and Oslo TRF [2/4, 3-weekly] using its A220-300s. What makes the route interesting is that neither airport is a base for the airline.

CPH - TRF

  • Aurigny now serves three London airports after starting service from Guernsey to London LCY [2/4, 13-weekly]. It already serves Gatwick and Stansted this summer.
  • Avianca introduced service between Bogota and Montreal [31/3, 4-weekly]. It will compete with Air Canada on the route.
  • British Airways has grown its London LGW offering with the introduction of a new service to Agadir in Morocco [31/3, 3-weekly]. Competition comes from easyJet and TUI Airways.
  • Bulgaria Air now connects Sofia with Dubai DWC [2/4] with flights operating every five days until 12 May according to Cirium data.
  • Dan Air of Romania has started flights between Bacau and Bologna [4/4, weekly] using its A320s.
  • Eastern Airways now connects East Midlands with Paris CDG [1/4, 6-weekly] replacing its previous Paris ORY service, and also Southampton with Paris CDG [also 1/4, 6-weekly] which also replaces its Paris ORY route. ATR 72-600s will be used on both routes.
  • easyJet is Ryanair’s nearest challenger when it comes to new route launches during the last week. We have identified 18 routes that the airline has started, 14 of which face direct competition. There are four new routes from the airline’s seasonal base in Alicante and three each from its new Birmingham base and its existing Berlin base. Djerba in Tunisia becomes a new destination for easyJet with the introduction of 2-weekly flights from Geneva, while Reus returns to the network after an absence of over three years with the launch of a new Manchester service and the resumption of flights from London LTN. Two other airports will join easyJet’s network during the summer, Sitia in Greece (June) and Salerno in Italy (July).
  • Etihad Airways added a new US destination to its network with the launch of service between Abu Dhabi and Boston [31/3, 4-weekly]. This becomes the carrier’s fourth US route joining Chicago, New York JFK and Washington IAD.
  • Eurowings started six new routes of which three were from its Prague base to Nice [31/3, 2-weekly], Tallinn [31/3, 3-weekly] and Valencia [1/4, 3-weekly]. There were also two new routes from Berlin to Vienna and Zurich [both 31/3, 11-weekly]. Finally, the LCC now connects Hamburg with Manchester [31/3, 2-weekly].

HAM - MAN

  • Finnair added Wroclaw in Poland to its Helsinki network [31/3, daily] using E190s operated by Nordic Regional Airlines. Finnair now serves four destinations in Poland with Wroclaw joining Gdansk, Krakow and Warsaw WAW.
  • ITA Airways has started serving London LCY from Rome FCO [31/3, 12-weekly] using A220-100s. Predecessor Alitalia last connected these two airports in March 2018. At the same time the carrier has discontinued serving London LHR. It will also start serving London LGW on a daily basis starting in June.
  • Jet2.com added nine more routes from its new Liverpool base, seven of which have competition from easyJet and/or Ryanair. Only Funchal [1/4, weekly] and Gran Canaria [30/3, 2-weekly] face no competition. The nine new routes are spread across Spain (four routes), Portugal (two routes), Türkiye (two routes) and Cyprus (one route). It also began serving Tivat in Montenegro from London STN [1/4, 2-weekly].
  • JetBlue has started its second route to Paris CDG, this time from Boston [3/4, daily]. It joins Air France and Delta in connecting the two airports with at least daily flights.
  • Juneyao Air launched a new European route between Shanghai and Athens [2/4, 3-weekly]. This summer the Chinese carrier will operate six routes to Europe, four from Shanghai and two from Zhengzhou.
  • LEVEL launched a new long-haul route from Barcelona this time to Miami [31/3, 3-weekly increasing to 4-weekly] joining oneworld partner American Airlines. This becomes the airline’s fifth US route from Barcelona joining Boston, Los Angeles, New York JFK and San Francisco. The IAG carrier operates using Iberia’s IB code.
  • Lumiwings now connects Milan BGY with Foggia [2/4, 2-weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays] using its single 737-700 (SX-LWC). This summer it is operating just three scheduled routes, all from Foggia, to the three airports serving Milan.
  • Luxair has started serving Manchester from Luxembourg [29/3, 3-weekly] using its Q400s. This is the airline’s second UK route joining London LCY.
  • Norwegian finally added Aarhus in Denmark to its route network with a service to Alicante [31/3, 2-weekly]. It also added two new routes from Copenhagen to Milan BGY [31/3, 4-weekly] and Wroclaw [1/4, 3-weekly].

AAR-ALC

  • Nouvelair has introduced three new routes between Tunisia and Europe; Monastir to Brussels, Tunis to Hamburg and Madrid [all 1/4, 2-weekly] using its A320s.
  • Pegasus Airlines commenced operations on three new routes; Ankara to Lisbon [2/4, 3-weekly], Antalya to Dresden [31/3, 4-weekly] and Münster/Osnabrück [30/3, 4-weekly]. The two German routes face competition from both Corendon Airlines and SunExpress.
  • SAS added a new route between Oslo and Milan LIN [31/3, weekly] using a variety of different aircraft types. The airline already serves Milan MXP 6-weekly from Oslo.
  • skyalps now flies three new routes from Ancona to Milan LIN, Naples and Rome FCO [all 1/4, frequencies vary] using its Q400s.
  • SunExpress celebrated the addition of four new routes during the last week; Antalya to Kuwait City [4/4, 2-weekly] and Milan MXP [29/3, 2-weekly], Dalaman to Edinburgh [1/4, 2-weekly] and Gaziantep to London STN [2/4, weekly].
  • SWISS started two new routes this week between Zurich and London LGW [2/4, daily] and between Geneva and Oslo [2/4, 3-weekly].

SWISS at Geneva

  • Transavia France has grown its Paris ORY network with the addition of two more routes, to Milan MXP [4/4, 6-weekly] and Tallinn [4/4, 2-weekly]. Air France’s LCC now serves over 100 destinations this summer from the French capital’s second busiest airport.
  • United Airlines became the latest US carrier to start serving the new Mexican airport at Tulum. It now flies there from both Houston IAH and New York EWR [31/3, daily]. The Star Alliance member now also serves Georgetown in Guyana from Houston IAH [1/4, 4-weekly].
  • Vivaaerobus has launched several new domestic routes from the relatively new Mexico City NLU airport [1/4 and 2/4, frequencies vary by route]. It now offers non-stop flights to well over 20 destinations from the airport, including two international routes to Bogota [30/3, daily] and Havana.
  • Widerøe added six new domestic routes using its turboprop fleet of Q400s and DHC Dash 8 100s.
  • Wizz Air despite its engine-related fleet issues still launched 10 new routes, seven of which involve airports in Rome. The three new non-Rome routes are Bucharest to Salzburg [1/4, 2-weekly], Gdansk to Valencia [31/3, 2-weekly] and Milan MXP to Paris BVA [31/3, daily].

Ryanair’s new routes in S24

According to our research and analysis of Cirium schedules data we believe that Ryanair launched 99 new routes during the last week (29 March to 4 April). Of these, only 29 face direct competition. The average sector length is 1,289 kilometres while the average weekly frequency is 2.79. A total of 84 airports in 25 countries had something to celebrate.

TOP 15 COUNTY MARKETS FOR NEW RYANAIR ROUTES

Athens International Airport

The leading country for new routes was Italy with 34, followed by Spain, the UK and Croatia. The latter benefitted from the opening of Ryanair’s new base in Dubrovnik, which made it the leading airport for new Ryanair routes this week with 13. Then came Alicante with seven, Tirana with six and several airports with five new routes. Two airports received their first ever Ryanair flights during the last week; Norwich in the UK and Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Olbia almost comes into this category with the launch of multiple new Ryanair routes, but it did have Ryanair flights in 2008, 2009 and briefly in 2015 according to Cirium schedules data.

Ryanair at Norwich

Ryanair also added Errachidia in Morocco (IATA code ERH) to its network on 31 March. It now serves Marrakech 2-weekly (Fridays and Sundays). In fact, the start of the S24 season saw Ryanair launch a total of eight Moroccan domestic routes, of which five are from Marrakech and three from Agadir. We believe these are the airline’s first routes not to involve a European airport.

Airport traffic statistics for February 2024

This week has seen a few more airports report their traffic statistics for February. We now have passenger statistics for over 350 airports. Note that being a leap year this year February has 29 days whereas in 2019 and 2023 it only had 28 days, so all other things being equal you would expect demand to be up by around 3.6%. We now have complete data for more countries (versus February 2023 / versus February 2019); Austria (+15%, -3%), Belgium (+11%, +2%), Croatia (+15%, +17%), France (+4%, -3%) and Italy (+14%, +9%).

We also have the results from some individual airports of note; Belgrade (+22%, +52%), Bratislava (+12%, -40%), Chisinau (+3%, +17%), Skopje (+32%, +29%) and Warsaw WMI (-19%, -30%).

The following graph shows how most airports in the Nordic/Baltic region of Europe are still struggling to reach pre-pandemic levels of demand. The one notable exception is Tromso in Norway, which thanks to 33% growth versus February 2023 is now almost 20% above its 2019 passenger demand.

Top Nordic/Baltic airports in February 2024

Shannon Airport