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OAG Reveals The Successes in New Airline Operations

OAG (Official Airline Guide), has conducted an analysis of its renowned schedules database to identify world rankings of all new routes for October 2008, to coincide with the 14th World Route Development Forum (“Routes”), taking place this month, 12-14 October, in Kuala Lumpur.

Compared with this time last year, 2,092 new routes have been launched or reinstated worldwide. A total of 17,463 flights now operate on these new routes every week, with a combined capacity of 1.8 million seats


Topping the global chart of new routes with the highest number of operations is the route between Port of Spain and Tobago airports in Trinidad & Tobago with 281 flights per week, all operated by Caribbean Airlines. This route is also at number one when all new services are ranked by capacity, offering 14,838 seats per week. 


International Route Operations


Just over half (57%) of the 2,000+ new routes are international. Topping this chart is the new route between Newark Liberty in the USA and Toronto City Centre in Canada, with 84 new flights per week, all operated by Porter Airlines. When ranked by capacity, the new route offering the most seats per week is between Houston George Bush in the U.S. and London Heathrow in the UK. This is the move from London Gatwick to Heathrow for all Houston services, with flights operated by British Airways and Continental Airlines.


Airport & City Rankings


Of the top 10 airports with the most new or reinstated routes compared with a year ago, eight are in Europe.  Top of the list is Moscow Vnukovo with 40 of the new or reinstated routes, followed by Brussels Airport with 31 and Rome Fiumicino with 30.  Making up the top 10 are Tel Aviv Ben Gurion with 25 new or reinstated routes, Frankfurt and Tehran Imam Khomeini Airports both with 24, Paris Charles de Gaulle with 23, Edinburgh and Zurich Airports both have 22, and Birmingham International in the UK with 21.


When we look at cities with multiple airports, Moscow tops the global rankings by a large margin with 71 of the new or reinstated routes among its three airports, followed by London with 53 new routes among five airports; and Paris with 42 new routes among three airports.


Much of the growth at Khomeini Airport can be attributed to routes moving from Mehrabad Airport; and when their operations are combined they show an 8% decline year on year in the volume of flights to and from Tehran.


Commented David Beckerman, Vice President OAG Analytical Services: “Our analysis reveals that just over 400 fewer routes have been introduced since we ran the same analysis this time last year, undoubtedly reflecting the downward turn in economic and aviation growth over recent months. Despite the current climate airlines and airports are continuing to identify new market opportunities where they can expand their route networks.” 


Beckerman added, “It is interesting to see that, despite what is currently happening in the domestic US sector, half of the top 10 new routes worldwide originate or terminate in North America. The highest ranking intercontinental route is between Houston George Bush and London Heathrow in joint 9th position overall with 56 flights per week.” 


Five tables are showing rankings based on analysis comparing all non-stop passenger operations worldwide for the week of 13-19 October 2008. The tables show:


1)       the busiest new routes ranked by weekly schedule frequencies

2)       the busiest new routes ranked by weekly seat capacity

3)       the busiest new international routes ranked by weekly schedule frequencies

4)       the busiest new international routes ranked by weekly seat capacity

5)       the top 10 airports ranked by number of new or reinstated routes at that airport


Throughout the Routes Forum, OAG will be offering a complimentary analysis service from the OAG Hosted Networking Stand (#N34), with data reports for any airport, route or airline on request.

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