DALLAS – If you check our routes section, you may have noticed it is common practice for airlines to stop flying to some destinations and to open new routes.
Just last month, Air India (AI) made the decision to no longer operate flights to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) at the end of the month. the airline said the halt was due to slot constraints at AMS. As for new flight options, from VietJet (VT) to Emirates (EK), Aegean to Porter (PD), and Jet2 to Lynx Air, announcements for upcoming new routes abounded at the start of October.
So, what happens behind the scenes before such announcements are made? In this post, we’ll take a look at the process of launching a new route, from market analysis to the inaugural flight.
Selecting a destination on a world map and commencing flights may appear straightforward, but the process of launching a route is significantly more intricate than what most people initially realize. It typically involves years of meticulous planning, starting from the moment an airline begins analyzing a new market opportunity to the eventual inaugural flight.
Major airports like Denver (DEN) have over 200 different destinations with numerous airlines. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways
Before launching a new route, every airline must make sure there is enough passenger demand to support the route and make it profitable. Knowing how many people are most likely to fly on the route is also very important to choosing the right aircraft to operate the new route. Another crucial point is the price people would be willing to pay for this particular flight.
Airlines use special tools and software to analyze the data they need to evaluate passenger demand for possible routes. One of those tools, airlinedata.com, allows airlines to study demographics around airports.
For example, if I am an airline considering flying to Seattle (SEA), I can see that nearly 5 million people live within 100 miles of the…