The Most Notable New Airline Routes This Week
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The Most Notable New Airline Routes This Week

Welcome to our 20th routes newsletter and our first of 2022. We’ve covered a selection of new and…

Welcome to our 20th routes newsletter and our first of 2022. We’ve covered a selection of new and returning routes that launched early in the New Year. Why not sign up and receive our newsletter in your email inbox every week?

Avelo Sarasota
The new route runs three-weekly using B737-700s. Photo: via Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport.

HVN now has service to six Florida airports

New entrant Avelo has introduced New Haven (code: HVN) to Sarasota, with the brand-new service taking off on January 13th. The 1,103-mile (1,774km) link to Sarasota – one of the USA’s fastest-growing airports this winter – runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Because of New Haven’s short runway (a mere 5,600 feet), it uses the B737-700 with 147 seats.

Sarasota is Avelo’s sixth route from New Haven, joining Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. In the current week, they have 29 departures (about four each daily), later rising to 32. In the first week of summer, starting March 27th, Orlando will run once-daily, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach will have six flights each, Tampa four, and Sarasota will remain at three.

Avelo Sarasota
There was a good celebration for the new service, with a water salute, branded cookies, bags, and key rings, and ribbon-cutting. Photo: via Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport.

Turkish Airlines connects Cebu to Europe

The Philippine city of Cebu is now connected directly to Europe thanks to Turkish Airlines’ new service from Istanbul. (Istanbul Airport is on the European side of the Bosporus.) Operating three-weekly using 329-seat A350-900s, it routes via Manila in both directions. As Manila-Cebu is domestic, no eighth freedom traffic right (or cabotage) exists.

The addition of Cebu means that Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul-Manila operation is now 10-weekly, its highest ever. Unusually, the additional Manila-Istanbul flights operate during the day, supplementing its overnight option.

Turkish flight TK264 leaves Istanbul at 21:15 and arrives in Manila the next day at 13:30. After 95 minutes on the ground, it flies to Cebu, arriving at 16:25. After ten hours on the ground, TK265 departs Cebu at 02:25 and arrives in Manila 80 minutes later. It then leaves for Turkey at 05:25, arriving home at 13:25.

Turkish Cebu
In 2019, over 230,000 round-trip passengers flew between Europe and Cebu. Photo: via Mactan Cebu Airport.

American launches Albuquerque to Austin

Following American’s inauguration, three airlines offer non-stop service on the 619 miles (996km) between Albuquerque and the Texas capital. American (technically American Eagle) uses 76-seat Embraer 175s from Envoy Air. AA3903 departs New Mexico at 11:10 and arrives at 14:00. Returning, AA3900 leaves at 14:03 (using the aircraft that came from El Paso) and arrives at 15:04.

In the current week, American’s once-daily service competes with the same number of flights from Southwest, with the LCC mainly utilizing B737-700s. Allegiant will return on March 4th with a Friday and Monday A319 operation.

To celebrate the new route, Albuquerque offered passengers delights from local suppliers Celina’s Biscochitos, Dion’s Pizza, and Smallcakes. Although they’re not shown in the photo below, they looked absolutely fantastic and certainly got the author hungry!

Pilots and ground staff celebrate the new route. Photo: Albuquerque International Sunport.

Transavia France adds Ivalo, a winter getaway

The Lapland destination of Ivalo, in the far north of Finland, is now connected non-stop to Paris Orly, some 1,620 miles (2,607km) away. With a block time to France of over four hours, the new route began operates on Saturdays until March 12th. TUI operated it between December 2018 and March 2019, and again from December 2019 to March 2020. It was therefore a readymade market.

Transavia France is marketing Ivalo as an “exotic winter vacation” destination because the area is famous for snow, pine trees, and the Northern Lights. Just like Kittila, which the carrier served winter-seasonally until March 2014.

Transavia France Ivalo
Paris Orly-Ivalo runs once-weekly and replaces TUI. Photo: via Finavia.

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Butte-ful: United starts its next Montana route

Nicknamed The Mining City, the Montana city of Butte has received its first service to Denver. Operated by United Express’ regional partner SkyWest, the 578-mile (930km) link runs once-daily using all-economy, 50-seat CRJ-200s. UA5156 leaves Colorado at 11:50 and arrives at 14:00. After a 35-minute turn, UA5139 arrives back at 16:33.

Butte is one of seven airports in Montana served by United from Denver. It joins Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula, each with between two to four daily flights. The first flight to Butte used N959SW, an 18.3-year-old CRJ.

United to Butte
Although we normally only cover routes with celebratory photos, we’re making an exception in this quiet period shortly after New Year. Photo: via KRTV.

Palm Springs welcomes its next new airline

New entrant aha! has started its latest route, with Reno to Palm Springs taking off. A distance of 431 miles (693km), it runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays using 50-seat Embraer 145s. Palm Springs is one of 10 routes for Reno-based aha!, which stands for ‘air, hotel, adventure’.

The carrier, whose first flight took off on October 23rd, 2021, plans 20 routes from Reno. In keeping with the rough distance of existing routes, might Bellingham, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Jackson (Wyoming), and Grand Junction materialize? They had similar passenger levels to most existing routes. Whatever happens, it’ll be fascinating to see how aha! grows, and how it increases demand using small aircraft with high seat-mile costs.

aha! to Palm Springs
aha! is another new airline for Palm Springs. Photo: via Palm Springs International Airport.

Ryanair to base B737 MAX-8 200s at Beauvais

Located about 56 miles (90km) from central Paris, ultra-low-cost carrier Ryanair has long served Beauvais. It was always one of its largest non-bases, but finally became a base in December 2020. It initially had two 189-seat B737-800s stationed there, but the airport has revealed they’ll be replaced by 197-seat MAX-8 200s.

In 2022, Ryanair has 4.5 million seats to and from Beauvais for about an 85% share of the airport’s capacity. Some 62 routes will operate, with Porto by far the most served, followed by Dublin, Bergamo, Lisbon, Ciampino, Barcelona, Bari, Bologna, Treviso, and Marrakesh.

Ryanair MAX Beauvais
The current year is set to be Ryanair’s best yet at Beauvais. Image: Paris-Beauvais Airport.

Air Canada returns to Chile

After an absence of 22 months, Toronto and Santiago are once again connected non-stop for passengers. Covering 5,332 miles (8,582km), it has a block time to South America of ten hours and twenty minutes, and ten minutes longer on the way back.

Operating southbound on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, AC92 leaves Toronto at 22:55 and arrives at 11:15 the following day. Returning, AC93 departs Santiago at 20:55 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, returning the next morning at 05:25.

Air Canada has served Santiago for many years, with the B767-300ER, B777-300ER, B777-200LR, B787-8, and B787-9 used since 2004. It is now by 298-seat B787-9s. In 2019, about three times more passengers transited Toronto than were point-to-point, with most connecting across Canada, especially to/from Montréal.

Air Canada in Santiago
Air Canada uses B787-9s to Chile. Photo: via UASL.

That’s it for the 20th edition of our routes newsletter. To get something like this in your inbox every week, please sign up for our weekly routes newsletter.


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