European airlines are so far launching the most new routes
The world’s airlines have so far revealed plans for more than 750 new routes in 2012. That’s more than the 600 new routes announced this time last year for 2011, a year in which more than 2,200 new routes were eventually launched. Ryanair has around 60 new routes planned – not including the resumption of seasonal routes – and Lufthansa has almost 60 planned, around half of which will be launched from Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport when it is unveiled in June. European airlines are so far launching the most new routes this year, taking nine of the top 12 positions. But the biggest growth market for 2012 so far is the US, followed by the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France.
The big three Middle Eastern airlines have so far announced for 2012: Emirates: from Dubai to Rio, Buenos Aires via Rio, Dublin, Lusaka, Harare via Lusaka, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle-Tacoma and Ho Chi Minh City; Etihad: from Abu Dhabi to Tripoli via Alexandria, Shanghai and Nairobi; and Qatar Airways: from Doha to Tbilisi, Baku, Kigali via Entebbe and Perth.
This is a big year for sporting events in Europe with the summer Olympics in London (August), the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki (June), Euro 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine (June) and the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Turkey (March). The 57th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Baku in May.
[pictured: The 715 metre-long Main-Pier at Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport has 16 jetways; photo by Alexander Obst / Marion Schmieding / Berlin Airports]