This month’s route news – highlights

Here is a round-up of route news from August, published in the latest edition of Inside Traveller:

In the UK:

Aegean Airlines is switching its Athens-London service from Stansted (thrice-daily) to Heathrow (twice daily) on 25th October.

Aer Lingus is cancelling its Dublin-San Francisco and Dublin-Washington services on 25th October.

Easyjet launches three routes from Manchester this autumn – to Marrakech, Munich and Copenhagen. An Edinburgh-Lyon service will be launched on 17th December. A Gatwick-Hamburg service follows in February next year.

Iceland Express plans to launch a weekly seasonal Reykjavik-Birmingham service next summer.

Icelandair is giving an overall boost to its services from Reykjavik to Glasgow and Manchester from 25th September. By reinstating its twice-weekly Glasgow service and combining it in a triangle route with Manchester, each city will now be served four times a week, with improved connections to North America.

Jet2.com will be launching new services from Manchester next year, to Venice, Las Palmas and Kos.

Monarch Airlines will be launching a Birmingham-Larnaca service this winter.

Ryanair is cancelling nine of its ten services from Manchester on 1st October, to Bergamo, Bremen, Brussels (Charleroi), Cagliari, Dusseldorf (Weeze), Frankfurt (Hahn), Girona, Marseille, and Shannon. In March 2010 it will be opening a new base at Leeds/Bradford, adding 14 new routes to the three it already serves from there (Alicante, Dublin and Girona). The new destinations will be Carcassonne, Faro, Ibiza, Knock, Krakow, Limoges, Malaga, Malta, Montpellier, Murcia, Nantes, Palma, Pisa and Treviso.

Rest-of-World Highlights:

Afriqiyah Airways is launching a thrice-weekly Tripoli-Dubai-Manila service on 11th September.

Air France will be inaugurating its first A380 service on 23rd November, with a six-times weekly frequency between Paris CDG and New York JFK. On 20th November the airline is planning a special A380 flight on this route, for which all seats will be available only by auction.

Etihad Airways is extending its daily Abu Dhabi-Johannesburg service to Cape Town from 30th September.

Iberia is suspending its Madrid-Washington service this winter.

Kenya Airways is launching services to Ndola and Gaborone in September.

Openskies (BA’s subsidiary) has suspended its Amsterdam-New York JFK service.

Royal Air Maroc launches a twice-weekly Casablanca-Dubai service on 27th October.

Turkish Airlines has launched a four-times weekly Izmir-Athens service, and will be stepping up to three flights a day between Istanbul and Athens this autumn.

July route round-up

Here is a round-up of news items involving London airports announced during the last month:

British Airways is launching its daily London City-New York JFK service on 29th September, using an all-business configuration Airbus A318. Westbound service requires a technical stop in Shannon. A second daily service will follow on 13th October. The airline has also announced several changes to its European winter schedule. From 25th October, Gatwick services to Barcelona, Gibraltar, Madrid, Malaga and Pisa will be transferred to Heathrow, while services from Gatwick to Alicante, Krakow, Malta, Palma Mallorca and Varna will be suspended. A new five-times weekly Gatwick-Innsbruck service will start on 5th December. In other BA news, the airline will increase London Heathrow-Entebbe service from three to five weekly from 25th October, but will be dropping its First Class service to Tel Aviv for at least the winter season, switching equipment from the current four-class B777 service to a three-class one using B767s. Some winter frequency reductions have also been announced, notably a drop from three to two daily services from Heathrow to Newark and Chicago.

EasyJet launches a six-times-weekly Luton-Tel Aviv service on 2nd November. Services from Gatwick to Agadir and Porto start on the same day.  Luton-Sharm el Sheikh follows on 3rd November, and services from Stansted and Luton to Paphos, and Stansted-Fuerteventura are launched on 4th November.

Emirates will be launching a second daily A380 Dubai-Heathrow service on 2nd December.

Kingfisher Airlines is cancelling its Bangalore-Heathrow service on 15th September.

Ryanair will launch a twice-daily Oslo Rygge-Stansted service in October. It has also announced a massive expansion in its services to the Canary Islands this winter. New routes involving London airports are from Luton to Tenerife South, Las Palmas and Arrecife, and from Stansted to Las Palmas and Arrecife.

United Airlines will, for the first time since 2000, be operating a daily service from Heathrow to Brussels this autumn, as an extension from Chicago.

US Airways will be ending its Philadelphia-Gatwick service on 7th September.

This month's route news – highlights

Here is a round-up of news items involving London airports, published in the latest edition of Inside Traveller :

Aer Lingus has announced further new services from Gatwick for the 2009/10 winter season. Destinations comprise Arrecife, Bucharest, Eindhoven, Tenerife South, Vilnius and Warsaw, and from the second half of October the continental routes will be served daily, and the Canary routes three times a week. Aer Lingus opened its Gatwick base in April, offering flights to Malaga, Munich, Faro, Vienna, Nice, Knock and Zurich.

Air New Zealand will be reducing its daily Auckland-Hong Kong-London service to five weekly on 1st October.

British Airways has resumed flying to Saudi Arabia, with new services from Heathrow to Jeddah and Riyadh, both flown five times weekly. It is also increasing its services to the Caribbean and introducing new routes to Montego Bay and Punta Cana via Antigua, both twice weekly. It will drop its daily Gatwick-New York JFK service on 25th October, but will continue to operate seven daily services from Heathrow. Its planned twice-daily service from London City awaits the go-ahead, and is still not available for bookings.

Delta is suspending indefinitely its Cincinnati-Gatwick service on 29th August, and its New York JFK-Edinburgh service on 19th September.

Estonian Air is doubling the frequency of its Tallin-Gatwick service to four times weekly from 16th October.

Lufthansa has cut back its Munich-London City service from four to three daily.

PIA Pakistan International has shelved the launch of its Stansted services to Islamabad and Lahore.

BA to Kathmandu 16 times a day

We were slightly taken aback to spot that headline in a round-up of international aviation news. Even with the recession, British Airways is introducing some new routes, but 16 times a day to Kathmandu did seem very strange.

The headline actually refers to another BA – Buddha Air. It is worth having a look at their website, www.buddhaair.com, because it is one of the most professional small airline sites we have seen. Kathmandu is well-known to be a “challenging” airport and has had more than its fair share of near-accidents. However, the manner in which “the other BA” operates its website gives every confidence that they are a very professional company. Considering that an airline’s website is the first point of contact customers will make with the airline, it is amazing what a mess some large airlines make of designing their sites.

British Airways’ site, www.ba.com, has won a number of awards of its design. We are inclined to give www.buddhaair.com our own award for “Best Small Regional Airline Website”.