The Most Notable New Airline Routes This Week

Welcome to our 19th routes newsletter! This week includes a selection of the routes introduced in the past seven days. This is the last newsletter of 2021, and I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Why not sign up and receive our newsletter in your email inbox every week?

Eurowings Discovery Tampa
Eurowings Discover replaces Lufthansa to Tampa. Photo: Tampa International Airport.

Tampa welcomes Eurowings Discover

December 16th marked the start of Germany’s Eurowings Discover from Tampa. The carrier is the new leisure unit of the Lufthansa Group. It launched the 4,818-mile (7,754km) link from Frankfurt and has four-weekly A330 flights, rising to five in the week beginning March 27th.

Eurowings Discover replaces Lufthansa, which operated the route between September 2015 and March 2020. In 2019, Lufthansa carried 141,850 round-trip Tampapassengers and had a seat load factor of 86.2%, T-100 data shows. Most passengers transited Frankfurt, with Tampa-Prague the largest origin and destination. Connectivity with Lufthansa still exists and will remain crucial.

Eurowings Discovery Tampa 2
Come next summer, Eurowings Discover will serve Tampa five-weekly. Photo: Tampa International Airport.

Sun Country inaugurates multiple routes

Sun Country has started Milwaukee to Phoenix, Fort Myers, and Cancun in the past few days, while Fort Myers to Duluth, Green Bay, and Madison also launched. All are twice-weekly except the 1,222-mile (1,966km) link to Madison and the Saturday-only link to Cancun. Only Fort Myers to Duluth, Green Bay, and Madison have no head-to-head competition, while Allegiant serves none of the airports from Punta Gorda (but Appleton is served).

Sun Country is one of five airlines from Milwaukee to Fort Myers, joining Frontier (four-weekly), Southwest (seven), Spirit (seven), and United (seven). To Phoenix, Sun Country competes with seven-weekly flights from each of American, Southwest, and Spirit. To Cancun, Spirit runs three-weekly and will join a Saturday-only service from Southwest on January 1st and again each week from March 12th.

Sun Country Milwaukee to Cancun
Milwaukee knows how to launch new routes! Seats from the Wisconsin airport to Cancun, Fort Myers, and Phoenix are up by 3% this winter versus winter 2019. Photo: General Mitchell International Airport.

Singapore’s Scoot now serves Gatwick

Although there was no celebration, Scoot’s brand-new Singapore-Bangkok-London Gatwick service is very much worthy of a mention. It began on December 16th, and Gatwick-Bangkok has fifth freedom traffic rights. This is an early Christmas present for Gatwick, as the Thai capital is Gatwick’s largest unserved market in Asia and is now non-stop.

While there are a handful of rotations for the festive period, the route will return on March 22nd with three-weekly services. The 329-seat B787-8 is used. This week, TR752 leaves Singapore at 10:00, travels to Bangkok, and arrives Gatwick at 20:15. Returning, TR753 departs Gatwick at 21:45 and arrives home, via Bangkok, at 21:30 local time the next day.

Scoot Gatwick
Bangkok was Gatwick’s largest unserved market in Asia, while Norwegian previously served Singapore non-stop. Photo: Gatwick Airport.

Transavia France takes off on longer routes

Transavia France has introduced several routes in the past few days. The airline has primarily focused on longer trips. These include Paris Orly to Boa Vista and Sal in Cape Verde, along with Amman, Cairo, and Hurghada. More typically, it also launched Nantes to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, and Lyon to Budapest.

All of the Orly routes are presently served once-weekly. However, Cairo will rise to twice-weekly from the end of April, while Amman will increase up to three-weekly. Transavia France operated Orly-Sal between 2013-2015, Boa Vista 2013-2017, and Hurghada 2007-2014. Meanwhile, Amman was last operated by Royal Jordanian until 2006 and Cairo by EgyptAir until 2008.

Transavia France Cairo
Orly-Cairo operates on Saturdays. It leaves France at 12:55 and returns at 22:50. Photo: via Transavia France.

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Air Belgium adds two Caribbean airports

It is not usual for the A340-300 to be used to launch a new route nowadays. However, that’s what happened on December 15th when Air Belgium began Brussels to the Caribbean destinations of Punta Cana and Curaçao.

Routing triangularly (Brussels-Punta Cana-Curaçao-Brussels), the route runs twice-weekly year-round. The trip was operated by OO-ABB, a 14.6-year-old example formerly used by Finnair. While Brussels has been connected to Punta Cana by TUI fly Belgium for years and still operates twice-weekly, it’s be the first time since 2018 that Curaçao has been served from Brussels.

Air Belgium Punta Cana
Curaçao is once again connected to Brussels thanks to Air Belgium. Photo: Brussels Airport.

Portland is finally connected to Tampa

Portland, Oregon, has long been one of Tampa’s largest unserved markets. In 2019, the market had about 80,000 round-trip passengers and a reasonable average one-way fare of $235. Thanks to Alaska Airlines, it is now served non-stop, with the first flight to Tampa on December 16th and the first from Florida the following day.

It operates four-weekly around Christmastime, before reducing to Saturday-only. AS194 leaves Portland at 12:10 and arrives in Florida at 20:20 local time. Returning, AS195 departs Tampa at 08:50 the following morning and arrives back at 11:55.

Tampa to Portland
What a truly brilliant cake! Photo: Tampa International Airport.

More warm winter routes for Swoop

Winter flights to warmer climes are the backbone of Canada’s Swoop, as reflected in its most recent routes. On December 19th, it began Victoria to Puerto Vallarta, coming three days after Edmonton to Palm Springs took off. They launched soon after Toronto to Kingston and Punta Cana.

The 1,353 miles (2,177km) link from Edmonton to Palm Springs is a well-trodden one, with the route served non-stop by WestJet, Swoop’s parent, since 2006. Flair joined it in 2019, and it’s now the first time that three carriers – Flair, Swoop, and WestJet – operate it. Swoop and Flair have two weekly flights each, while WestJet is between three and five.

Swoop to Palm Springs
This winter, Edmonton to Palm Springs has 48,000 round-trip seats, nearly double the amount in winter 2019 and 36% more than the next best winter. Photo: Palm Springs International Airport.

Wizz Air launches two routes from Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi unit of the Wizz Air has inaugurated two more routes from the UAE capital. Kicking off on December 15th was Abu Dhabi to Kutaisi, Georgia, followed two days later by Almaty, Kazakhstan. The link to Kutaisi runs on Thursdays and Sundays and effectively serves the whole country. To Almaty, it operates on Mondays and Fridays. Both routes utilize 239-seat A321neos, the only type in Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s fleet.

Wizz Almaty
The 1,821-mile (2,930km) link from Abu Dhabi to Astana was last served in October 2016 by Etihad. Photo: via Wizz Air.

That’s it for the 19th edition of our routes newsletter. To get something like this in your inbox every week, please sign up for our weekly routes newsletter.