The Most Notable New Airline Routes This Week

Welcome to my 26th routes newsletter! Routes go to the heart of airlines and airports, and they’re celebrated in my weekly newsletter.

This week is an extra celebration. There has now been half a year’s worth of Notable New Airline Routes, and subscribers to my weekly email newsletter have passed 9,000. To celebrate, there’s a selection of new services, and I’ve highlighted some (admittedly subjective) standout launches since the first was newsletter was published last August. Here’s to another six months!

Emerald begins its first route

Donegal to Dublin is one of only a very small number of domestic routes in Ireland. The route, funded by the taxpayer as a public service obligation (PSO) operation, is now operated by Emerald Airlines, which won the Aer Lingus Regional franchise. More significantly, the 140-mile (226km) link is Emerald’s first route to take off.

Emerald Airlines launched Donegal-Dublin on February 26th. It replaced Swedish carrier Amapola Flyg, which operated from July 2021 following the cessation of Stobart Air. Stobart operated the route from February 2015 after Loganair, using Flybe-liveried Saab 340s, ended it. Loganair replaced Aer Arann, which served it until November 2011.Despite only being a three or so hour car journey, booking data shows that the vast majority of passengers traveled between Donegal and Dublin in 2019. Only a few thousand connected over Dublin, with Glasgow seeing the most traffic – despite a non-stop to Scotland’s largest city then operating.

Bamboo launches two long-haul routes

Fast-growing full-service carrier Bamboo Airways has inaugurated regular service to Frankfurt and Melbourne. It began Hanoi to Frankfurt on February 26th and is currently operating a Friday-only service, but it’ll increase to twice-weekly from the end of March. It’s against a twice-weekly Vietnam Airlines service.

It also has a Saturday-only service from Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne. This leaves Vietnam at 01:30 and arrives at 14:00 local time. Returning, crew and aircraft leave Melbourne on Sundays at 10:00 and arrives back at 14:20. It’ll rise to twice-weekly from late March, competing head-to-head with Vietnam Airlines (three-weekly) and Jetstar (three-weekly) from April.

Bamboo’s non-stop Hanoi to Heathrow will begin on March 22nd, Hanoi-Melbourne on March 28th, and Ho Chi Minh City-Sydney on March 29th. Melbourne has not had Hanoi service before, despite being the largest unserved market from Australia to Vietnam and the largest unserved market globally from the Vietnamese capital. Demand comes from both Vietnamese VFR traffic and tourism from Australians.


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