Here's our weekly roundup of new air routes and other aviation updates.
Finnair adds second South Korean city to network
Finnair will commence direct flights to Busan from March 30, 2020 (subject to regulatory approvals) to become the first European airline to operate flights to the South Korean city.
The thrice-weekly service will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with an Airbus A350 aircraft. Outbound flights will depart Helsinki at 17.40, and arrive in Busan at 08.35 the following day. Return flights will depart Busan at 10.20, and arrive in Helsinki at 14.05.
Qantas sets sights on Chicago and San Francisco
Qantas has confirmed the launch of direct services from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco upon approval of its joint business with American Airlines from the United States Department of Transportation.
The new Qantas routes are expected to launch by the end of April 2020 on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, adding more than 170,000 seats across the Pacific each year.
Directly linking Australia and the third-largest US city for the first time, Qantas would operate the flights four times per week between Brisbane and Chicago. The direct service from Brisbane will save customers flying between Australia and Chicago more than six hours of travel time on a return trip.
The 14,326km flight will take approximately 16 hours 20 minutes, and is expected to be the fourth-longest passenger flight in the world when launched.
The new thrice-weekly Brisbane to San Francisco service will complement Qantas’ existing flights from Sydney and Melbourne, and the 11,367km flight will take approximately 12 hours 40 minutes.
These new routes would see a total of 14 weekly services between Brisbane and the US, including the daily B787 Brisbane to Los Angeles service that continues to New York.
Thai AirAsia adds fifth Cambodian destination to list
Thai AirAsia has launched its latest route between Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport and Sihanoukville, a coastal city in Cambodia.
The four-times-weekly service will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. FD660 will depart Don Mueang at 14.25, and arrive in Sihanoukville at 15.50. The return flight FD661 will depart Sihanoukville at 16.25, and land in Don Mueang at 17.45.
The route is AirAsia’s fifth direct flight from Thailand to Cambodia as the airline currently flies from Bangkok (Don Mueang) to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and from Phuket to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Vietjet connects more destinations in Vietnam and Japan
Vietjet will add two more connections between Vietnam and Japan; Ho Chi Minh City – Tokyo (Narita), and Danang – Tokyo (Haneda).
The Ho Chi Minh City – Tokyo (Narita) route has commenced as a daily service with a flight time of around six hours per leg, departing Ho Chi Minh City at 00.05 and landing in Tokyo at 08.00. The return flight departs from Tokyo at 08.55 and arrives at Ho Chi Minh City at 13.00.
The Danang – Tokyo (Haneda) route will be launched on October 26, 2019. The daily flight will take around 5.5 hours per way. Outbound flights will depart Danang at 18.10, and land in Tokyo at 01.00; and return flights will depart Tokyo at 02.30, arriving in Danang at 06.40.