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The Most Notable New Airline Routes This Week

Welcome to my 101st weekly routes newsletter! I’ve covered a few subjectively exciting routes that took off recently. Why not sign up and receive my newsletter in your email inbox every week? If you’d like to look at my celebratory 100th edition, click here.




Etihad begins 3 routes in 4 days

The UAE carrier launched Abu Dhabi to Düsseldorf on September 28th (three weekly Boeing 787-9), Copenhagen on the 29th (four weekly 787-9), and Osaka Kansai on October 1st (five weekly 787-9). Read more about these here.

While Copenhagen and Osaka are brand-new to Etihad’s network, Düsseldorf was previously served between 2011 and 2020, including by Etihad’s then equity partner, airberlin. They had up to double-daily Abu Dhabi flights.

Two days before Etihad relaunched Düsseldorf, the airport welcomed HiSky from Chișinău (twice-weekly A319/A320), joining incumbent FlyOne on the 1,045-mile (1,682 km) airport pair. It followed the arrival of Royal Jordanian from Amman on September 23rd (twice-weekly; mainly A320). Two of the photos above show the celebrations.

Sunrise Airways’ next Miami route

Sunrise Airways, the national airline of Haiti, commenced Cap-Haïtien to Miami on September 26th, becoming the only US route from the Haitian port city. Running four weekly, it uses GlobalX’s A320s/A319s. The first rotation deployed N276GX, a 17.7-year-old A320, originally delivered to Japan’s StarFlyer and subsequently used by Frontier and TUI fly Netherlands.

CAP-MIA Sunshine Airways GlobalX

Photo: Sunshine Airways

While Cap-Haïtien to Miami has had various services over the years, most recently by American in 2020, Sunrise Airways is its sole carrier. It joins Port-au-Prince to Miami, which the carrier started on September 15th.

Istanbul gains China Eastern

On September 28th, China Eastern inaugurated Shanghai Pudong to Istanbul Airport, Europe’s busiest airport by September flights. It is served three weekly by two-class, 232-seat Airbus A330-200s. It is the second passenger carrier on the 4,994-mile (8,037 km) route, joining Turkish Airlines (daily 777-300ER).

Focused on the Chinese point of sale, including tour groups, MU703 leaves Shanghai at 01:30 and arrives at 08:30 local. Returning, MU704 departs at 13:55 and arrives home at 05:30+1.

In July 2023, the Istanbul-Shanghai point-to-point market had about 4,500 roundtrip passengers; it was not that big. The launch came a few days after Hainan Airlines commenced Shenzhen to Milan Malpensa.

Breezing from Tulsa to New Orleans

The market again has non-stop flights. It is thanks to Breeze, which has reintroduced the 538-mile (865 km) airport pair, having last served it in 2021. While the E190 was used then, it is now in the hands of the A220-300. According to booking data, around 2,500 roundtrip passengers flew between the two cities in July 2023, about 40 passengers daily each way.

Breeze MSY-TUL-1

Photo: Breeze

Running on Fridays and Mondays, timed for a long weekend in the Big Easy, the route uses aircraft and crew based in Orlando. Having arrived from Florida at 08:55, MX750 leaves New Orleans for Tulsa at 09:35, with MX751 arriving back at 13:45. Then it departs for the Sunshine State at 14:25. Passengers can, of course, ‘Breeze-Thru’ on a one-stop, same-plane, same-flight-number basis, the definition of a direct route.

Turkish Airlines: 50 years in Berlin

The Turkish flag carrier has celebrated half a century in the German capital, renowned for having 200,000+ Turks and those of that heritage. Over the years, it flew to Schönefeld and Tegel (both closed), with Brandenburg now served.

Turkish carried about 22,000 Istanbul-Berlin point-to-point passengers in July. Of course, it also revolved around transit passengers, with around 37,000 connecting that month. The most popular markets were Berlin to/from Beirut, Tehran, Dubai, Bangkok, and Nur-Sultan.

Turkish Airlines 50 years Berlin

Photo: Turkish Airlines

In the week of writing this article, Turkish has four daily Berlin service from its huge Istanbul Airport hub, variously using the A321ceo, A321neo, A330-200, A330-300, A350-900, and 787-9. Lower-cost unit AnadoluJet also flies from Antalya and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (both daily) and Ankara (twice-weekly).

That’s it for the 101st edition of my routes newsletter. Sign up to get something like this in your inbox each week.

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