Entries in flight (4)


Norwegian starts seasonal route between Stockholm and Tel Aviv

Norwegian Air Shuttle commenced a seasonal service between Stockholm's Arlanda Airport (IATA: ARN; ICAO: ESSA), and David Ben-Gurion Airport (IATA: TLV; ICAO: LLBG) in Tel Aviv this morning.  The first Stockholm-Tel Aviv flight of the season for the carrier was scheduled to leave Stockholm's main international airport at 7:00 this morning local time, but was delayed 25 minutes according to Arlanda's website.  The route will operate weekly in both directions on Sunday, until Norwegian Air Shuttle decides to retire it for the season.  It will be flown with the Boeing 737-800.

The route is scheduled to depart Stockholm at 7:00 in the morning each Sunday, local time, and arrive in Tel Aviv 12:50 in the afternoon local time.  It is scheduled to depart Tel Aviv for the return trip at 1:50 in the afternoon local time, and arrive back in Stockholm at 5:40 in the afternoon local time.  The flight is listed at 4 hours 50 minutes long, in both directions, on Norwegian Air Shuttle's official website.  Stockholm and Tel Aviv both observe daylight saving time during the middle months of the year, and Tel Aviv generally operates one hour ahead of Stockholm.

Norwegian Air Shuttle was founded in 1993 and is now Scandinavia's second-largest airline behind Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).  It is based in the municipality of Bærum, a western suburb of Oslo.  In true Scandinavian tradition, it operates seven roughly equivalent hubs in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

Meanwhile, the Moscow-based airline RusLine started a non-stop route from Moscow to the Lithuanian Baltic seaside town of Palanga today, according to the official website of the town's airport (IATA: PLQ; ICAO: EYPA).  The route is operated with a Bombardier CRJ200.  It too will operate once a week on Sunday, in both directions.  It is scheduled to depart Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport (IATA: DME; ICAO: UUDD) at 5:50 in the morning local time, and arrive in Lithuania at 6:40 in the morning local time.  It is scheduled to depart the town of Palanga at 8:10 in the morning local time, and arrive back in Moscow at 11:05 local time.  Flight time is just under two hours long, in both directions.  Moscow operates one hour ahead of Palanga.

Additional information about this route, including pricing information, can be found on the airline's website, though it is in Russian, and does not offer an English translation.

original stories

Norwegian's Stockholm Arlanda network passes 30 routes; becomes second biggest base (www.anna.aero)

2011 04 12 (Palanga International Airport)

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Sunwing starts Toronto-Lisbon; EasyJet cuts London-Helsinki

Canada's Sunwing Airlines inaugurated a non-stop weekly service between Toronto's Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ; ICAO: CYYZ) and Lisbon's Portela Airport (IATA: LIS; ICAO: LPPT) today.  The eastbound flight will operate weekly, on Wednesday.  The westbound flight will operate weekly on Thursday.  Toronto-Lisbon is scheduled to depart Pearson International at 9:20 in the evening, local time.  It is scheduled to arrive at Lisbon-Portela at 9:40 in the morning the following day, local time.  Lisbon-Toronto is scheduled to depart Portela at 12:10 in the afternoon, local time, and arrive back in Toronto at 3:20 in the afternoon, local time.  Sunwing flies a fleet of Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 767-300ER models.  It is unknown which of the two Boeing models will operate along this route.

According to Travel Week Canada, Sunwing will fly to other European destinations this summer as well, from both Toronto and Montreal's Trudeau International (IATA: YUL; ICAO: CYUL).  It will fly between Pearson, and Gatwick in London (IATA: LGW; ICAO: EGKK) four times a week; between Trudeau, and Charles de Gaulle Airport (IATA: CDG; ICAO: LFPG) in Paris twice weekly; between Pearson and de Gaulle twice weekly; and between Pearson and Ireland's Dublin Airport (IATA: DUB; ICAO: EIDW) once weekly.  It will also fly between Toronto and the coastal Portuguese town of Porto (IATA: OPO; ICAO: LPPR) once weekly, and between Toronto and Rome (IATA: FCO; ICAO: LIRF) once weekly.

Meanwhile, today the United Kingdom's popular no frills airline EasyJet flew its year-round London-Helsinki route for the last time (in the foreseeable future at least).  EasyJet flew the route through Gatwick Airport in London, and Vantaa Airport (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK) in Finland.  EasyJet cited "lack of demand" as the reason for the contraction.  The no frills carrier based at London's Luton Airport (IATA: LTN; ICAO: EGGW) ended its Manchester-Helsinki route earlier this month, according to the U.K website Air & Business Travel News.  EasyJet plans to stop its Paris-Helsinki route early next month.

original stories

Sunwing to add six more cities to its European program this summer (Travel Week Canada)

Easyjet to stop serving Helsinki (Air & Business Travel News)

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Finnair starts Helsinki-Singapore non-stop round-trip route

Yesterday, the Finnish flag carrier airline Finnair, inaugurated a daily non-stop round-trip route between its hub at Vantaa International Airport (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK) in Helsinki, and Changi International Airport (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) in Singapore.  According to search engine results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights, the daily southeast-bound flight will depart Helsinki at 11:40 in the evening, local time, and arrive in Singapore at 4:10 in the afternoon the next day, local time.  The daily northwest-bound flight is scheduled to depart Singapore at 11:30 in the evening, local time, and arrive in Helsinki at 6:35 in the morning the following day.   The route will be flown with the Airbus A340.

 Finnair CEO Mika Vehviläinen praised the success of the airline's "Asian strategy," and identified the airline's "target group of consumers" as being those "travelling between Asia and Europe on business."  The time slots mentioned above were calculated by the airline to provide particular convenience to Finnish-based business travelers flying to Asia on business, and then back to Finland.

Finland is home to telecommunications giant Nokia, the second-largest company in the Nordic countries by revenue, and the most profitable company in the Nordic countries, according to Forbes Magazine's Global 2000 list, released in 2008.  Finland is also the only Nordic country to use the Euro as its currency, perhaps tying it more closely to much of the rest of Europe, and the rest of the world economically, than its Nordic neighbors Sweden and Norway.  Singapore is an island nation off the southeast end of the Malay Peninsula.  It is home to a number of high-profile firms, both regionally and worldwide, including the investment firm Temasek Holdings, the parent company of Singapore Airlines.

Although the route targets business travelers, a coach seat on the Helsinki-Singapore flight leaving tonight can still be paired with a coach seat on any return flight toward the beginning of June, for a mere 709 EUR round trip, according to www.kayak.com (947 AUD; 615 GBP; 81913 JPY; 1239 NZD; 1250 SGD; 1013 USD).  Business class seats for such a spontaneous round-trip itinerary are six times as expensive.

The listed length of the southeast-bound flight (Helsinki-Singapore) is 11 hours 30 minutes.  The listed length of the northwest-bound flight (Singapore-Helsinki) is 12 hours 5 minutes.  The difference is because in the temperate and tropical latitudes, the jet stream moves west to east.  Singapore operates five hours ahead of Helsinki during European Summer Time, and six hours ahead of Helsinki during all other times.

Finnair heavily promotes its non-stop connections to eastern Asia, of which it boasts more per week than any other European-based airline.

original story (Finnair)

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France-based airline flies non-stop to Baghdad

The Paris, France-based airline Aigle Azur made one of the first non-stop civilian passenger flights from western Europe to Baghad, Iraq since the Persian Gulf War yesterday.  This introductory flight was operated with a 148-passenger Airbus A319.  Earlier today, the United Kingdom-based Daily Telegraph reminded its readers how adamantly France opposed the 2003 United States-led invasion of Iraq.  In its next paragraph it quoted French Minister of Finance Anne-Marie Idrac, who called it "unthinkable" for businesses headquartered in her country not to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq.  The Finance Minister was aboard the flight, along with around 40 French business leaders.

It will be "another two to three months," before the route begins to run on a regular schedule, according to an Associated Press article printed in the Charlotte (North Carolina, United States) Observer yesterday.  The route will fly between Charles de Gaulle Airport northeast of Paris (IATA: CDG; ICAO: LFPG), and Baghdad International Airport ten miles west of the center of the Iraqi capital (IATA: BGW; ICAO: ORBI).  The route was introduced by Aigle Azur with the expectation that users of the twice-weekly service will be predominantly business travelers.  It is expected that the economy class tickets will start out selling for around 1500 EUR (1305 GBP, 2079 USD), and that business class tickets will start out selling for around 2500 EUR (2176 GBP, 3464 USD).

Toward the beginning of this year, the largest German airline Lufthansa announced plans to introduce a four times weekly non-stop route between Munich and Baghdad, which would have commenced at the end of last month.  But the route was cancelled due to disappointing ticket sales, and general lack of interest.

Aigle Azur was founded in Paris in 1946, and now operates out of the Paris commune nearest Charles de Gaulle Airport, Tremblay-en-France.  Since the 1950s, Aigle Azur has maintained a focus on southern Europe, northern Africa, and Asia.  The French phrase aigle azur means "azure eagle."  Nevertheless, the airline does not market particularly to English speakers, does not have an English translation of its official website, and has no official English translation of its name.  Aigle Azur operates an all-Airbus fleet of 12 aircraft to 26 destinations in the European countries of France, Portugal, and Spain; the African countries of Algeria, Mali, Morocco, and Tunisia; and the Middle Eastern country of Iraq.

Its largest hub is Orly Airport (IATA: ORY; ICAO: LFPO), the second-largest airport serving the Paris metropolitan area.  It also operates a hub in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.  In addition, Aigle Azur has identified four focus airports, two of which are in Algeria, another of which serves the Côte d’Azur resort city of Marseille, and another of which serves the Rhone River city of Lyon.  This latter airport (IATA: LYS; ICAO: LFLL) was renamed in 2000, for the French (and Lyonnais) writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

related stories

Air Canada expands Winter 2011 schedule (October 21, 2010)

Hawaiian Airlines starts non-stop Maui-Las Vegas route (October 8, 2010)

JetBlue now flies between Boston and Phoenix non-stop (September 4, 2010)

Finnair flies to Stockholm-Bromma starting Wednesday (August 16, 2010)

original stories

First passenger plane in 20 years lands in Baghdad (Daily Telegraph)

French airline makes landmark flight to Baghdad (Charlotte Observer)

Juergen Lehle (albspotter.eu) is the source of the photo used in this article.