Emirates A380 to Jo’burg
Johannesburg has welcomed its first scheduled Emirates A380 service as flight EK761 from Dubai arrived at O R Tambo International Airport. Johannesburg is the first destination for the double-decker in Africa and the 16th destination on the Emirates A380 network. The Emirates A380 greeted with the traditional water cannon salute at O R Tambo International Airport.
Over the last year, Emirates has carried more than 900,000 passengers across its three South African gateways – Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. In the first eight months of 2011, the airline also carried more than 37,500 tonnes of high value cargo on its South African routes, with exports up 26% from the same period in 2010.
easyJet launches Kefalonia
easyJet has confirmed the addition of a new service from Gatwick to the Greek Island of Kefalonia, bringing its total number of destinations from the airport to 93. The new three times weekly service will operate from April 28 to the end of October 2012.
Finnair to Dubai
Finnair is operating scheduled flights between Helsinki and Dubai during the winter 2011. “Finnair has previously operated charter and leisure flights to Dubai but recently there has been increasing demand. We want to improve our service continuously and offer our customers smoother connections to Dubai,” says Ville Iho, Finnair’s Senior Vice President, Operations. The route will be flown three times per week in the winter season until March 23, 2012. The route is operated with 757 aircraft. The flight from Dubai to Helsinki takes about six hours.
Gulf Air: new route
Gulf Air has hosted an event in Rome prior to the launch of its inaugural flight to the Italian capital. A new non-stop service starts between Bahrain and Rome on November 30, 2011 with four flights per week. The direct flights between Rome and Bahrain provide two-way connectivity to destinations in the GCC, Indian sub-continent, and the Far East via Gulf Air’s Bahrain hub. Gulf Air will be operating a two-class configuration aircraft on its new route. Gulf Air will operate four times weekly.
Schiphol adds freighter link
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has further strengthened its freighter connections with China and Hong Kong, following the launch of China Southern Airlines’ twice weekly 777F services to Chongqing. The new flights complement China Southern’s existing services from Amsterdam to Shanghai and Guangzhou, and bring to nine the total number of destinations in China served by freighters direct from Schiphol: now Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzen, Tianjin, Yantai and Chengdu in addition to Chongqing. China Southern is one of seven freighter operators now serving China and Hong Kong from the airport, the other airlines being Air France KLM, Martinair, China Cargo Airlines, Jade Cargo, Cathay Pacific and Airbridge Cargo.
Schiphol now plays host to 21 freighter operators, collectively representing an average of 325 movements per week, serving 70 destinations in 45 countries on six continents. Passenger and combi carriers additionally provide services from Schiphol to Hangzhou and Xiamen.
Air France in Marseille
Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, CEO of Air France KLM, has handed over to Hugues Heddebault, Regional Director, the keys of the new Air France base in Marseille, marking the kick-off of Air France’s new organisation in the French regions. Starting October 2, 2011, Air France has been offering 13 new non-stop routes on departure from Marseille. In France, these are: Bâle Mulhouse, Biarritz and Brest. In Europe, these are: Athens, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow and Prague. In the Mediterranean, these are: Beirut and Istanbul. And in Morocco, this is Casablanca. Air France will also be increasing capacity on existing domestic routes, with an increase in the number of seats greater than 80% in some cases.
Flybe reinstates Jyväskylä – Helsinki
Finland’s newest airline, Flybe, is stepping in to continue flying the key service between Jyväskylä and Helsinki with up to three return flights a day. The decision follows Finnair’s withdrawal from the route. Mike Rutter, Managing Director Flybe Europe, comments: “Flybe has a history of stepping in to support regional economies and ensuring continuation of such key life-line routes. We are pleased to be able to step in to make sure that those needing to fly between Jyväskylä and Helsinki are not left without a quick and affordable travel option. The schedule for our new Jyväskylä – Helsinki service has been created to offer maximum convenience for time-saving point-to-point travel, offering direct access via the capital to and from the rest of the world.”
Qantaslink expands investment
QantasLink has announced a significant boost to its product, service, and schedule offering throughout regional Queensland. QantasLink’s Executive Manager Narendra Kumar has announced that the airline’s two additional 717 aircraft will be based in Brisbane. These new 115-seater aircraft will commence service from early 2012.
In addition, QantasLink will expand its network by launching a new Townsville to Moranbah service. From October this service will initially take-off twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays to provide customers with seamless connections to Cairns and between Far North Queensland and the Bowen Basin coalfields. QantasLink also celebrated the arrival of a new $30 million next generation 74-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which will deliver the network enhancements.
Emirates upgrades US network
Emirates has unveiled major new expansion plans for the US, with the launch of daily services to Seattle and Dallas. Dallas-Fort Worth and Seattle-Tacoma International Airports will both be served by non-stop flights from February 2, and March 1, 2012 respectively. Emirates’ Seattle route will help to further strengthen the airline’s links with Boeing. Only this month, Boeing predicted a robust outlook for aircraft manufacturing over the next few decades, estimating that there would be demand for approximately 31,000 planes worth $4 trillion by 2030. Already the largest operator of 777 aircraft in the world, Emirates last year ordered an additional 30 777-300ERs, bringing its total 777 passenger fleet commitments to 132 aircraft. Both services will be operated by 777 aircraft, with private suites in First Class, lie-flat beds in Business Class and generously sized Economy Class seats.
Finnair opens route to Dubrovnik
In April 2012, Finnair will open a direct route from Helsinki to Dubrovnik, located at the southern tip of Croatia. The route will be flown three times per week in the summer season.
Spirit Airlines adds services
Spirit Airlines has started two daily non-stop flights between Portland, Oregon and Las Vegas. “We are very excited to be giving consumers in Portland the opportunity to save money on travel,” says Spirit’s President and CEO Ben Baldanza.
“We welcome Spirit Airlines to Portland International Airport,” says Steve Schreiber, Port of Portland Aviation Director. “We expect this service to be a big hit as Las Vegas is our most travelled route with some 450,000 passengers travelling each year between PDX and Las Vegas.”
Luton launches Lodz
London Luton Airport and Wizz Air have announced yet another new route. The service to Lodz, Poland, operates three times per week from London Luton Airport. The airline reached a landmark this summer having carried more than eight million passengers from London Luton since its launch at the Airport in May 2004.
Simon Harley, Business Development Manager at London Luton Airport, says: “We are delighted to announce the start of this service to Lodz and now have a total of 23 routes on sale with Wizz Air. Wizz Air’s rapid growth in recent years has made the airline a key partner in London Luton Airport’s drive to offer low cost air travel within an easy reach of passengers from London, the Midlands and the South East.”
Emirates to Zambia and Zimbabwe
Emirates’ extensive African network is to be boosted again with the launch of two new destinations – Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, and Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Zambia and Zimbabwe, which share a border with the Victoria Falls will now be linked with a five times weekly flight from Dubai, starting from February 1, 2012.
The Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration. Passengers flying Emirates from Lusaka and Harare will be able to connect seamlessly to points across the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Europe and Australasia via the airline’s hub in Dubai.
easyJet from Bristol to Naples
easyJet has confirmed the addition of a new service from Bristol to Naples. The inaugural flight to Naples will take off on May 12, 2012. Flights will operate three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday).
To Jersey from Southend
easyJet has announced the addition of a new route to Jersey from London Southend, just months after launching eight new destinations from the airport for the first time. The inaugural flight to the most southerly Channel Island will take off on May 2, 2012. Flights will operate four times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday).
A380: Singapore – Frankfurt – New York
Singapore Airlines will fly the A380, on the Singapore – Frankfurt – New York route from January 15, 2012. Frankfurt and New York will be Singapore Airlines’ ninth and 10th destinations to receive the superjumbo. New York will also be the second point in North America to be added to the list. The Singapore Airlines A380 has proven exceptionally popular with customers, with strong loads on all routes it serves. System-wide, more than 5.6 million customers have flown on the airline’s A380s since the inaugural flight in October 2007 to Sydney.
The daily A380 flights will replace an existing daily 747-400 service to New York’s JFK Airport via Frankfurt, representing a daily increase of 25% in seat capacity. Singapore Airlines currently has 13 A380s in service and a further six on firm order.
Qatar Airways arrives in Bulgaria
Qatar Airways has continued its 2011 European expansion drive with the launch of scheduled flights from the airline’s Doha hub to Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia. Sofia becomes the latest addition to Qatar Airways’ European portfolio this year, which has seen the launch of five other routes, Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Stuttgart and Venice, in phases since January. Qatar Airways’ European network now totals 26 cities, representing 25% of the airline’s global network of over 100 destinations.
Norwegian expands in Finland
Norwegian, Scandinavia’s second largest airline, continues to expand in Finland and will launch two new domestic routes from Helsinki to Kittilä and Ivalo and one international route from Turku to Stockholm this winter. Three weekly flights will serve the Helsinki-Kittilä and Helsinki-Ivalo routes. Four weekly flights will serve the Turku-Stockholm route. Norwegian opened a base at Helsinki Airport in April and currently serves two domestic routes to Rovaniemi and Oulu, and 11 international routes to Stockholm, Oslo, Malaga, Nice, Crete, Rome, Barcelona, London Gatwick, Split and Alicante.
Edelweiss Air to Tampa
Tampa International Airport has announced that Edelweiss Air is to operate a new twice-weekly non-stop service to Zurich, Switzerland. Edelweiss Air will use an A330 with 332 seats on board. It is configured with 36 business class seats and 296 economy seats.
Icelandair takes off from Denver
Icelandair will begin service from Denver next spring with four flights a week to Reykjavik, Iceland. Denver will become Icelandair’s ninth North American gateway and on May 11, 2012, flight 670 will commence service from Denver International Airport with non-stop flights to Reykjavik on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Through its hub in Iceland, Icelandair offers non-stop flights to over 20 destinations in Scandinavia, the UK and continental Europe.
To Russia with Love
For the first time, customers on British Airways’ London Heathrow to Moscow service will be able to sample the airline’s award-winning services in First and business class from next year. The changes were announced during a UK trade delegation to Russia hosted by Prime Minister, David Cameron, alongside several major British business leaders.
British Airways has three return flights to Moscow’s Domodedevo airport per day. From April 2012, this route will change from a short-haul service operated with two cabins to a long-haul operation, offering customers up to four classes of travel. This means customers will have the opportunity to enjoy the airline’s fully flat-beds, comprehensive in-flight entertainment and sample a wide selection of meals and drinks in unrivalled comfort. No other airline currently offers such a premium service on the four-hour flight between the two capital cities
British Airways has close ties with leading Russian airline, S7. The two airlines are members of the oneworld alliance and launched a code share agreement earlier this year that means that customers can experience a seamless service between the UK and many destinations in Russia, transferring at Domodedovo airport. Both airlines’ customers benefit from competitive through fares, co-ordinated schedules and customer service. It is hoped that the code share agreement will be expanded in the coming months so that even more parts of Russia will be linked by air services to the UK.