Welcome to my 71st routes newsletter! I’ve covered a selection of new routes that took off in the past week. Why not sign up and receive my newsletter in your email inbox every week?
Back: Antwerp connected to London
On January 16th, Luxair launched London City to Antwerp, Belgium, perhaps best known as the capital of diamonds. Luxair currently serves the 192-mile (309km) airport pair 4x weekly (no flights on Wednesdays or at the weekend), although it’ll soon rise to 5x weekly (no weekend). That’s a rather big contrast versus when – with other operators – the market previously had up to 10 daily flights, mainly with long-defunct VLM, although trains were far less of a concern then.
All flights use 76-seat Q400s. Depending on the day, they leave London City in the early morning or early evening. On Mondays and Tuesdays, they go at 06:40 and arrive at 08:40 local time (+1h), arriving back at City at 09:15. On Thursdays and Fridays, they depart City at 17:05, arrive at 19:05, and get back to London at 19:45. In both cases, aircraft then continue home to Luxembourg.
Photo: via Antwerp International Airport.
American starts Austin-Memphis
Following the 2022 end of Austin-Memphis by ULCC Allegiant, which had served the route since 2015, it is the turn of American, without which it’d be unserved. Using Eagle’s Embraer 175s, it runs 1x daily.
On six days, AA4215 leaves Austin at 19:25 and arrives in Tennessee at 21:04. The exception is Saturday, when it departs/arrives about an hour earlier. Returning, AA3523 leaves Memphis at 07:00 (07:07 Saturday) and arrives in the Texas capital at 09:15 (09:22). It is well-timed for Austin day trips.
The entry of American means more flights on the 559-mile (900km) airport pair than any year since 2013. It was the time of Delta’s Memphis hub, obviously inherited from Northwest. Delta (and Northwest) often had 3 daily flights, helped by onward transit opportunities over Memphis.
Photo: via Memphis International Airport.
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MYAirline intrroduces two new routes
On January 18th, Malaysia’s new entrant MYAirline – I like the ‘MY’ bit, given the country’s two-letter code – inaugurated its next route: Kuala Lumpur to Sibu. Served double daily, it competes directly with two other carriers from KLIA: AirAsia (four to six daily) and Malaysia Airlines (one to two daily). Between February and September, there’s an average of eight flights a day, up by one from the same months in 2019.
Three days later, MYAirline started Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, located 1,138 miles (1,832km) from Malaysia’s capital in the furthest corner of Sabah. Its longest route thus far, it runs daily. From KLIA, it competes directly against AirAsia (four to six daily) and Malaysia Airlines (one to two daily). KLIA flights averaged seven daily in 2019 – now there are eight.
Photo: via MYAirline.
Aeromexico resumes Monterrey link
Just 248 miles (399km) apart yet still five to six hours overland, the Mexican cities of San Luis Potosi and Monterrey again have non-stop service. It’s thanks to Aeromexico Connect and its two-class, 99-seat Embraer 190s. With a daily, middle-of-the-day operation, it reconnects the pair after ending it in – you guessed it – March 2020.
Aeromexico has long served the route. For many years it used the Saab 340 and then the Embraer 145 and 170. Their retirement meant it switched to the larger E190, Connect’s sole equipment.
Aeromexico’s return on January 16th followed the January 6th end by Aeromar; its ATR-72-600s operated on a low-frequency basis. Back in 2007, Vivaaerobus served the route with 737-300s alongside Aeromexico, while defunct interJet operated in 2017/2018 with its SSJ100s. Viva returned briefly in 2019/2020, but with A320s.
Photo: via Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte.
Emerald celebrates 1 millionth passenger
Less than a year after its first revenue-generating service, Emerald Airlines has welcomed its one millionth passenger, who flew between Dublin and Southampton. The airline, which operates as Aer Lingus Regional, follows in the footsteps of defunct Stobart Air. Emerald now has fleet of 14 ATR-72-600s, two of which are used by Emerald Airlines UK.
In the first six months of 2023, Emerald serves 17 airports in Ireland and the UK and has a total of 15,787 departures planned – up to 108 daily. With about 30% of flights, Dublin is inevitably its most-served airport, then Belfast City (22%). Both are bases.
It serves 14 routes from Dublin in this period, including the funded domestic Irish route to Donegal. From Belfast City, 10 routes are flown. Across its whole network, Belfast City-Manchester has more flights than any other route.
Photo: via Emerald Airlines.
That’s it for the 71st edition of my routes newsletter. Sign up to get something like this in your inbox each week.