The Most Notable New Airline Routes This Week

Welcome to our ninth routes newsletter, full of the latest colorful photos of new routes. Like what you see? Sign up and receive it in your email inbox every week. Have any celebratory photos from the current week? Please send them to James Pearson (james@simpleflying.com).

Turkish Airlines to Dallas
Route of the week goes to Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Dallas. Photo: via Jamal Hamza, Regional Marketing and Sales Operations Manager, Turkish Airlines.

Turkish Airlines starts Dallas

Following the inauguration of Istanbul to Dallas Fort Worth on September 24th, 11 US airports are now served non-stop by Turkish Airlines. At 5,423 nautical miles, Dallas is the Star Alliance member’s fourth-longest route to the US after Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston.

Operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, Turkish Airlines’ Dallas service leaves Turkey at 14:10, arrives in Texas at 18:55 local time, leaves at 20:25, and arrives back the following day at 15:50. These timings maximize connectivity over its Istanbul hub. Dallas uses 300-seat B787-9s with 30 in business (fully lie-flat) and 270 in economy.

Turkish Airlines to Dallas`
TC-LLA had the honor of operating the first round-trip to Dallas, with local avgeeks in attendance to capture the moment. Photo: via Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Starlux takes off from Taipei to Singapore

Relatively new Taiwanese carrier Starlux introduced Taipei to Singapore on September 23rd. Singapore is one of eight routes alongside Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Manila, Osaka, Penang, and Tokyo Narita. Singapore, 1,735 nautical miles away, is operated by Starlux’s 188-seat A321neos, of which it now has five. All have eight business and 180 economy seats.

In normal times, Taipei-Singapore is a significant market with over two million non-stop seats a year. Now, there are 21-weekly services, with Starlux’s three-weekly offering head-to-head with Singapore Airlines and Scoot (seven-weekly each), EVA Air (three-weekly), and China Airlines (once-weekly).

Starlux Taipei to Singapore
Starlux is one of five operators between Taipei and Singapore. Photo: via Changi Air Hub.

World2Fly introduces Madrid to Havana

Spanish carrier World2Fly inaugurated Madrid to Havana on September 22nd, a route of 4,036 nautical miles, driven by Iberostar Group reopening 16 hotels in Cuba. Operating once weekly on Wednesdays, it uses the carrier’s sole A350-900. Registered EC-NOI, the aircraft was delivered in June this year and has a high-density, all-economy, 432-seat layout.

Madrid-Havana has a block time of nine hours and 30 minutes outbound and thirty minutes shorter inbound. The frequency will increase to twice-weekly from November 21st. World2Fly is one of five airlines on the airport pair, joining Iberia (twice-weekly), Air Europa (twice-weekly), Cubana (twice-weekly), and Iberojet (once-weekly). In 2019, the market had 622,000 non-stop seats.

World2Fly Madrid-Havana
Five airlines now serve the Cuban capital from Madrid. Photo: via World2Fly.

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flydubai begins Ljubljana & restarts two routes

flydubai inaugurated Dubai to Ljubljana on September 24th, a day after the hybrid carrier resumed both Zagreb and Prague. All three routes use 166-seat B737 MAX 8s, with 10 seats in business (fully lie-flat) and 156 in economy.

Zagreb is currently twice-weekly but doubles from December 20th. flydubai has entirely replaced Emirates on the route but codeshares with it, just as it does to Ljubljana and Prague. Indeed, the Czech capital is presently four-weekly, rising to five at the end of October. flydubai effectively operates Emirates’ second-daily flight to Prague.

The 2,323 nautical mile link to Ljubljana has been years in the making. It operates three-weekly, leaving Dubai at 10:00 and arriving back at 23:05, with timings about connectivity over the UAE airport –  just as it is for Zagreb and Prague. Zmago Skobir, Ljubljana Airport’s General Manager, said: “The arrival of flydubai is an important milestone for Slovenia’s connectivity. Passengers are now able to travel non-stop to Dubai and transfer onto partner airline Emirates.”

flydubai at Zagreb
flydubai will serve Zagreb once daily from June. Photo: Zagreb Airport.

Italian regional carrier Air Dolomiti, wholly owned by Lufthansa, now links Frankfurt to two Swedish airports: Ronneby and Kalmar. The purpose: to feed Lufthansa at its Frankfurt hub. Booking data suggests a target market of around 55,000 annual passengers, virtually all of whom presently fly via Stockholm.

To achieve higher frequency and usability, the route operates on a triangular basis: Frankfurt-Ronneby-Kalmar-Frankfurt. Leaving Germany at 12:20 and returning at 17:25, they’re currently three-weekly but will rise to five-weekly in January. All flights use 120-seat Embraer 195s.

Air Dolomiti Sweden
Air Dolomiti has eight routes from Frankfurt this winter. Photo: via Air Dolomiti.

Turkish Airlines starts Istanbul to Mykolaiv

Ukraine is Turkish Airlines’ third-largest international country market from Istanbul this week by flights, behind Germany and Russia but ahead of the US. The carrier has inaugurated a new route from its hub, with Mykolaiv joining Kharkiv, Kyiv Boryspil, Lviv, Odesa, and Zaporizhia.

The 373 nautical mile route from Istanbul to Mykolaiv, operating five-weekly by the 126-seat A319 (and the A321 on the initial round-trip), will last only until December 31st. The reason: it is temporarily replacing service to Kherson, not far away, which is undergoing runway repairs. Kherson, served by Turkish Airlines since 2014, will resume from January 2nd.

Turkish Airlines to Mykolaiv
Turkish serves six airports in Ukraine. Photo: Dinçer Sayıcı, GM, Turkish Airlines (Kyiv), seen second right.

Blue Air connects Milan Linate to Prague

Romania’s Blue Air has grown quickly at Milan Linate, the airport closest to the city center, with its next route – to Prague – taking off. This is the first time the Czech Republic capital has been served from Linate since 2014, when Alitalia operated it from April to October. It comes soon after Blue Air started London Heathrow to Nice.

A market of around 5,000 transit passengers in 2019, Blue Air links Linate and Prague twice-weekly using 120-seat B737-500s. Blue Air competes indirectly with Ryanair’s seven-weekly service from Milan Bergamo and easyJet’s three-weekly from Malpensa in the current week.

Blue Air Linate to Prague
All three Milan-area airports have non-stops to Prague for now. Photo: Václav Havel Airport Prague.

Russia’s Nordwind begins new route to Skopje

The North Macedonian capital of Skopje has a new route. This time it’s from St Petersburg, the first time Russia’s second-largest city has been connected non-stop to it. Scheduled on Tuesdays, the 1,118 nautical mile airport pair is served by Nordwind using 110-seat Embraer 190s operated by Pegas Fly.

Speaking at the launch, Metin Batak, TAV Macedonia’s GM (seen second left in the following photo), said: “St Petersburg is the second destination in Russia that Nordwind has introduced from Skopje Airport, following Moscow, which was launched in June this year. We are very happy for Nordwind’s interest in developing air travel between North Macedonia and the Russian Federation.”

Nordwind St Petersburg to Skopje
St Petersburg and Moscow have started, and now Nordwind has permission for a third route to Skopje from Mineralnye Vody. Photo: via TAV Macedonia.

Łódź celebrates new route to Ukraine

Around one and a half million Ukrainians are believed to live in neighboring Poland. This has spurred significant increases in routes between the two nations, culminating in 2.4 million round-trip seats in 2019. There are 31 routes in September 2021, involving eight Polish cities and seven in Ukraine. One new route is from Kyiv Boryspil to Łódź, 443 nautical miles apart, now served twice-weekly year-round by SkyUp’s 189-seat B737-800s.

Skyup to Lodz

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