The Most Notable New Airline Routes This Week

Welcome to our 11th routes newsletter. The author is at World Routes in Milan this week, a fitting event from which to write about new and relaunched routes with celebratory photos. Why not sign up and receive the newsletter in your email inbox every week?

Spirit at MHT
Spirit has had a busy week, including beginning Miami and launching new routes from Manchester. Photo: via Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Miami gets into the Spirit

Ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit has inaugurated Miami service. Nine routes operate this month: Atlantic City; Atlanta; Bogota; Baltimore; Newark; Guatemala City; Medellín; Port-au-Prince; and Santo Domingo. All are seven-weekly except Guatemala City (four-weekly), with the 182-seat A320neo scheduled on all routes. Spirit’s route map will rise to 28 destinations in November and 31 in January.

Come January, Spirit will be Miami’s second-largest airline, although with ‘only’ a 5.7% share of the airport’s seats for sale. It’ll have 341,000 round-trip seats, supplementing its 1.1 million at nearby Fort Lauderdale, its largest airport. Far from replacing Fort Lauderdale, Miami will instead enable the ULCC to cement its position in South Florida.

Spirit at Miami
Spirit will be Miami’s second-largest airline. Photo: via Spirit.

Edelweiss launches three routes to Africa

It’s not often the A340-300 is used nowadays, but that happened on October 4th when Swiss leisure carrier Edelweiss introduced Zurich to Cape Town. And it’s what happened four days later when it began Zurich to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

While Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar currently operate on Fridays, the frequency will double from late October with a Tuesday service. The cities are connected triangularly. WK72 leaves Zurich at 22:30 and arrives in Kilimanjaro the following day at 07:40 local time. It then departs to Zanzibar, 211 nautical miles away, before leaving for home at 12:30 and arriving back at 19:30.

Edelweiss Kilimanjaro
A traditional welcome was given in Tanzania. Photo: via Edelweiss.

Fort Collins gets first airline service since 2016

New entrant Avelo launched Burbank to Fort Collins on October 6th. Operating on Saturdays and Wednesdays, the 739 nautical mile route to Northern Colorado Regional Airport leaves Burbank at 07:10 and arrives at 10:35. Returning, it departs at 11:15 and arrives back in California at 12:40.

This is the first time since 2016 that Fort Collins has had commercial service, making Avelo’s new service a milestone. Between 2015 and 2016, Elite Airways operated to Chicago Rockford, but the main airline was Allegiant, which served Fort Collins for many years from Las Vegas (until 2012) and Phoenix-Mesa (2010-2012).

Avelo’s new route uses the carrier’s 147-seat B737-700 rather than the 189-seat B737-800, at least for now. Fort Collins is one of a handful of destinations from Burbank to see the smaller variant, although the -700 will eventually move to New Haven.

Avelo 737-700
Avelo has two weekly flights between Burbank and Fort Collins. Photo: with thanks to Conor Ball.

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Uganda Airlines has a new destination: Dubai. Served on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays, the 2,010 nautical mile route uses the carrier’s only suitable aircraft: the A330-800. These have 258 seats, with 20 in business, 28 in premium economy, and 210 in economy.

On Mondays and Saturdays, it leaves Entebbe at 11:25 and arrives back at 23:59; on Fridays, it departs at 22:40 and returns at 10:35. There are now three airlines on the airport-pair, with Uganda Airlines joining flydubai (seven-weekly; B737-800) and Emirates (five-weekly; B777-300ER).

Senior management and dignitaries got together to celebrate the launch. These included Dubai Airports’ Deputy CEO, Jamal Al Hai (second left in the photo), and Uganda Airlines’ Acting CEO, Jenifer Bamuturaki (third left).

Uganda Airlines Dubai
Uganda Airlines uses the A330-800 to Dubai. Photo: via Dubai Airports.

Volaris connects Bogota with Mexico

It isn’t just Spirit from Miami that Bogota has welcomed this week. It also said ¡bienvenido! to Volaris, the first time the Mexican carrier has served the airport – and indeed Colombia. Volaris has two routes to Colombia’s capital: Cancun and Mexico City. And they’re big markets. In 2019, Bogota-Mexico City had 1.03 million round-trip seats and Cancun 455,000.

Volaris has four-weekly flights to Mexico City, facing head-to-head competition with Aeromexico, Avianca, VivaAerobus, Viva Air, and Wingo. And it has three-weekly services to Cancun against Avianca and Wingo. Volaris’ Cancun-Bogota schedule is interesting. Y4314 leaves Cancun at 22:31 and arrives at Bogota at 01:55 local. Returning, Y4315 departs at 02:55 and is due back at 06:24.

Volaris to Bogota
Volaris now has two routes to Bogota. Photo: via El Dorado International Airport.

Double celebration for Manchester

New Hampshire’s Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has welcomed Spirit – the airport’s first new airline in 17 years – with a big party, complete with a water salute, ribbon cutting, and a celebration with passengers. On October 7th, Spirit began both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, each served once daily. While Orlando competes directly with Southwest’s 10-weekly service, Fort Lauderdale was previously unserved.

Spirit will further grow its presence from Manchester this winter, with Fort Myers starting on November 17th (four-weekly) and Tampa on November 18th (three-weekly). And in summer 2022, Myrtle Beach – a newly announced route – will start on April 20th (seven-weekly).

Manchester has also welcomed back United from Newark, the first time the 182 nautical mile route has been served since March 2019. Served 13-weekly, Newark sees 50-seat CRJ-550s with three classes.

Spirit MHT
Spirit has launched two routes from Manchester. Ted Kitchens, Airport Director, cuts the ribbon. Photo: via Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Corendon reconnects Münster to Egypt

The Egyptian tourist resort of Hurghada has long been served from Germany’s Münster Osnabrück. And after being postponed because of the pandemic, Corendon once again connects the airport pair. Operating on Mondays, it leaves at 13:45, arrives at Hurghada at 18:30, departs at 19:30, and returns the following day at 00:40. The 189-seat B737-800 is used.

Corendon operates a portfolio of holiday routes to Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, together with services to Turkish cities including Adana, Ankara, Kayseri, and Zongdulak for visiting friends and relatives demand.

Corendon Munster
Corendon is an important airline at the airport. Photo: Münster Osnabrück.

That’s it for the 11th edition of our routes newsletter. To get something like this in your inbox every week, please sign up for our weekly routes newsletter.