Aviation Round-Up: 16th July 2018 – New Routes, Deliveries & More

Routes News


One of Europe’s leading low-cost carriers has announced a raft of expansion from the UK, beginning this winter. The new winter services will add 358,200 seats to EasyJet’s network, with over 248,600 of these being to and from the UK. Within the expansion, EasyJet has announced its 1,000th route – a new connection from Manchester to Bordeaux. The airline is also expected to open a new route from Manchester to the Greek city of Volos next summer, following the great success of its Gatwick connection (which I broke the news of last year).

Taking delivery of new aircraft such as the Airbus A320NEO (above), enables EasyJet to expand into new markets with existing equipment

The expansion will involve new routes from London, Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool and includes what EasyJet calls its ‘largest ever expansion’ from Manchester, with new routes from the airport to Faro, Barcelona, Lanzarote, Bordeaux and Innsbruck.

“The launch of these 16 new routes across the UK provides our passengers with even more amazing destinations across Europe for both holidays and business travel.’

-sophie dekkers, uk country director

Shenzhen Airlines

Shenzhen Airlines has opened reservations for a new route from its base in Shenzhen to London’s Heathrow airport. The flight will operate with two-class Airbus A330 equipment, on a thrice-weekly basis. This latest route comes amid rapid expansion of flights from China to the UK, following an agreement last December to increase the number of permitted flights per week between the UK and China to 150.

United Airlines

Following great fanfare in October 2017, United will drop its Los Angeles to Singapore route in favour of relocating the US gateway to San Francisco. An additional daily frequency will be added between the tech-hub of San Francisco and Singapore, meaning United’s will offer morning and evening connections on the ultra-long haul route.

Qatar Airways

Raj flew on Qatar’s Airbus A350-1000 delivery flight earlier this year. Passengers originating in Edinburgh and Manchester can now enjoy the Airbus A350 experience, when flying Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways have recently substituted the Boeing 787-8 for their newer Airbus A350 XWB equipment on the Doha-Edinburgh route, a change which will now be replicated this winter in Manchester. Two of up to three daily flights on the Doha-Manchester sector will be operated by the Airbus A350-900XWB, representing a capacity increase. Meanwhile, overall frequency will increase to 18-weekly flights – a figure expected to increase further to thrice-daily next summer.


This month saw more Airbus A350 recipients receive their new equipment, and EasyJet recieved their first Airbus A321Neo. 

Philippine Airlines

The Philippino national carrier has become the 19th airline around the world to operate the Airbus A350, after its first of six aircraft were delivered. The airline will primarily use the aircraft for routes to Europe and New York JFK, with the inaugural passenger flight currently scheduled for October 28th from Manilla to London.

Philippine Airlines’ first Airbus A350 was delivered from Toulouse to Manilla earlier this week.

The airline’s Airbus A350 is configured with 295 seats in total, with three cabin classes to choose from. Business Class will offer fully-flat seats with direct aisle access in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. Similarly to other Airbus A350 operators, Premium Economy has a 2-4-2 configuration and Economy Class offers a minimum of 18″ seat width, in a 3-3-3 setup.


EasyJet has recieved its first Airbus A321Neo aircraft, which will make its debut later this month on flights between London Gatwick and Faro.


The aircraft is set to have 235 seats, a 30 % hike in capacity from an Airbus A320 and a 50% increase from an Airbus A319. EasyJet’s first Airbus A321Neo is registered G-UZMA and will provide extra capacity from slot-restricted airports, such as London Gatwick and significantly reduce fuel consumption per seat. Airlines such as Wizz Air have already taken the plunge with higher-capacity equipment, taking advantage of lower costs and higher seating capacity on trunk routes.

Other Aviation Stories

Etihad Airways begins charging for seat selection

The Abu Dhabi based carrier is about to embark on a radical restructuring, aiming to resolve the financial difficulty the airline finds itself in. This latest development is an example of the cost-cutting that will have to be implemented in order to turn the airline’s fortunes around.

Etihad is bracing itself for a radical restructuring, announced earlier this year.

Etihad Airways has begun charging for seat assignments in Economy Class for all flights after 15th July 2018. Whilst the airline previously charged for ‘Preferred Seats’ and seats towards the front of the cabin, fees will now be incurred when selecting any Economy class seat – regardless of fare class. The charges are already being implemented on tickets already issued, though passengers will still be able to select seats for free, from 24 hours prior to departure.