Aviation roundup: Vietjet, JC International Airlines and more

Here's our weekly roundup of new air routes and other aviation updates.

Vietjet adds more connections between Vietnam and India
This coming December, Vietjet will fly from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to New Delhi.

The Ho Chi Minh City-New Delhi route will operate four return flights per week (every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) starting from December 6. Flights depart from Ho Chi Minh City at 19.00 and arrive in New Delhi at 22:50. Return flights take off from New Delhi at 23.50 and land in Ho Chi Minh City at 06.10.

Meanwhile, the Hanoi-New Delhi route will operate three return flights per week (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) starting from December 7. Flights depart from Hanoi at 19.10 and arrive in New Delhi at 22.50. Return flights take off from New Delhi at 23.50 and land in Hanoi at 05.20.

Flying time for both flights is around five hours per leg.

JC International Airlines connects Phnom Penh and Yangon
JC (Cambodia) International Airlines’ inaugural flight between Yangon and Phnom Penh took off on August 17.

The airline will continue to operate thrice-weekly direct flights on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The route will utilise a Airbus A320 aircraft, which can accommodate 180 passengers per service.

QD602 will depart Phnom Penh at 09.00 and arrive in Yangon at 10.30, while return flight QD603 will depart Yangon at 11.30 and land in Phnom Penh at 14.00.

Anupama Pathirana, the airline’s COO and chief pilot further revealed that JC Airlines is currently operating between Phnom Penh and Mandalay via Macau, but are planning to launch direct flights at the end of this year. The airline also has plans to extend routes from Siem Reap to Yangon, as well as Mandalay.

Korean Air cuts frequency on Japan services
Due to decreasing demand of Japanese routes amid South Korea-Japan tensions, Korean Air has announced plans to adjust the frequency of some of its routes to the country, as well as increase the frequency of routes in South-east Asia, Oceania, and Chinese markets.

Korean Air will suspend the Busan-Osaka route (14 flights a week) from September 16, as well as Jeju-Narita (three flights a week) and Jeju-Osaka (four flights a week) from November 1.

The airline will also temporarily suspend some of its other routes. Incheon-Komatsu (three flights a week) and Incheon-Kagoshima (three flights a week) will be suspended from September 29 to November 16 respectively, while Incheon-Asahikawa (five flights a week) will be suspended from September 29 to October 26.

For Incheon-Osaka/Fukuoka routes, its frequency will be decreased to 21 (from 28) flights a week between October 27 and November 16. The frequency of Incheon-Okinawa will be reduced from seven to four flights a week, and Busan-Narita/Fukuoka from 14 to seven flights a week, between September 29 and November 16.

In the meantime, Korean Air plans to focus on other markets, such as South-east Asia, Oceania and China in the winter season.

To begin with, Korean Air will launch a new daily route to Clark, Philippines, starting from October 27. The airline will also add four more operations a week for Incheon-Chiang Mai/Bali, increasing the number of flights per week to 11. In Oceania, the frequency of the Incheon-Brisbane route will be increased from five to seven flights a week.

Korean Air is also planning to expand its network to China with the launch of new direct services. The airline plans to start direct flights from Incheon to Zhangjiajie and Hangzhou three times a week each, and Incheon-Nanjing four times a week. The service between Incheon and Beijing will be operated 17 times a week, up from the previous 14 a week.

In other changes, Korean Air will also boost the frequency on some domestic routes. It will launch a new service between Pohang and Jeju seven times a week, and the Ulsan-Jeju flight will be operated seven times a week, an increase of two flights a week.

United Airlines makes changes to its Japan schedule
United Airlines has announced that it will begin service between four of its US hubs and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, as well as reduce services to Narita International Airport.

United will begin operating a non-stop service between Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and Washington, DC and Haneda on March 28, 2020, subject to government approval. The airline currently offers daily non-stop service between San Francisco and Haneda.

In addition to United’s new Haneda flights, Tokyo’s Narita International airport will continue to be a hub for United with non-stop daily service between Narita and Denver, Guam, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco.

With the start of these new routes, United will no longer serve Narita from its Chicago and Washington DC hubs, and will shift these flights from Narita to Haneda.

HK Express increases frequency to Takamatsu
Hong Kong-headquartered LCC HK Express has announced an additional frequency to Takamatsu, a port city on Japan’s Shikoku Island.

The additional frequency is scheduled to operate every Thursday starting from October 31. This will bring the total number of flights to Takamatsu to five weekly.

Avianca Brasil exits Star Alliance
Brazilian airline Ocean Air Linhas Aéreas S/A, headquartered in São Paulo and formerly doing business as Avianca Brasil, will formally leave Star Alliance with effect from September 1.

Ocean Air’s withdrawal follows several months of bankruptcy protection and the withdrawal of its Air Operator Certificate by Brazilian regulator ANAC.

Eleven of the Star Alliance member airlines offer direct services to and from Brazil: Air Canada, Avianca, Air China, Copa Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, South African Airways, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines and United.

Taken together, Star Alliance member airlines operate 588 weekly flights from 11 domestic points in Brazil to 17 Star Alliance hubs, offering connections to a further 738 international destinations. As of September 1, 2019, the Alliance will number 27 member airlines.

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