Welcome to my 86th weekly routes newsletter! I've covered a small selection of subjectively exciting routes that took off recently. Why not sign up and receive my newsletter in your email inbox every week?

Air Serbia begins eight routes

The Serbian flag carrier has launched multiple routes recently, including Belgrade to Naples (May 13th), Cairo (May 15th), Hamburg (May 15th), Chicago (May 17th), Cologne (May 18th), Gothenburg (May 18th), Marseille (May 20th), and Florence (May 20th).

Obviously, the most significant is Chicago. Served three weekly using Air Serbia's only widebody type, the A330-200, it leaves Belgrade at either 06:50, 12:50, or 17:20. Air Serbia's CEO said Chicago has more freight and is less seasonal than Toronto.

Air Serbia Chicago O'Hare2
Photo: via O'Hare International Airport.

Served 30+ years ago by JAT, Air Serbia's Chicago service targets Serbian diaspora and those from (or whose heritage is from) the wider Balkans. It also targets other places, including Israel and Greece. It is a market of 200,000+ passengers.

Click here for Chicago-Belgrade flights.

Ethiopian to Atlanta, Copenhagen

Africa's largest carrier has inaugurated two routes: Addis Ababa to Atlanta (May 16th) and Copenhagen (May 22nd). While Ethiopian has never had passenger flights to Atlanta, it served Denmark's capital until 2003.

Due to Addis Ababa's high altitude, which limits take-off performance, its four weekly Atlanta Boeing 787-9 flights operate via Dublin outbound but non-stop inbound. This is a very common setup for the airline and is a simple tech stop. It has no fifth freedom traffic rights.

Click here for Atlanta-Addis Ababa flights.

Ethiopian Airlines Copenhagen
Photo: via Ethiopian Airlines.

Copenhagen is also served four weekly. Deploying the 787-8 and 787-9, it operates via Vienna in both directions but doesn't have traffic rights. In 2019, Copenhagen had approximately ~240,000 roundtrip sub-Saharan passengers.

Aer Lingus takes off to Cleveland

Using the 184-A321LR, Aer Lingus launched Dublin-Cleveland on May 19th. Served four weekly, the point-to-point market only had around 14,000 roundtrip passengers in 2019. That wasn't much, particularly compared to Cleveland-London (about 40,000). It will, of course, grow the P2P market from non-stop service and promotions.

Cleveland-Europe had approximately 268,000 roundtrip passengers in 2019. Aer Lingus provides the only non-stop to Europe and more choice in larger markets, joining many other one-stop options. Its entry means that some smaller markets now have one-stops from Cleveland.

Click here for Cleveland-Dublin flights.

Aer Lingus Cleveland
Photo: via Dublin Airport/

The Ohio city is no stranger to Europe flights. Most recently, it welcomed now-defunct WOW and Icelandair from Keflavik between May and October 2018. It is a similar situation for Detroit-Keflavik, which saw Icelandair and Delta launch within days of one another.

WestJet inaugurates Calgary-Edinburgh

Do you get the sense that May is an important month for new long-haul routes? Me too, as the all-important peak season – with higher demand and fares – draws closer.

Using the 320-seat 787-9, WestJet left its primary hub, Calgary, at 20:34 on May 17th, touching down in Scotland's capital at 11:03 the following morning. So began the first-ever Calgary-Edinburgh service, although you'd not necessarily think so given the lack of promotion and celebration at either end.

WestJet Edinburgh Calgary
Photo: via Pavel Halas.

WestJet has served Edinburgh since June 2022, when Toronto-Edinburgh started with the 737 MAX 8. Like all the carrier's other non-Calgary long-haul routes, it no longer operates. It is part of its refocus on its core Calgary hub as it confronts many challenges.

Click here for Calgary-Edinburgh flights.

Yerevan gets Düsseldorf + more

The Caucasus is rarely mentioned despite multiple new routes. For example, Yerevan has welcomed FlyOne Armenia to Larnaca (May 16th) and Düsseldorf (May 18th), along with airBaltic from Riga (May 17th). They build on others earlier in the month, including FlyOne to Novosibirsk (May 4th).

3F EVN Erstflug (1)
Photo: via Düsseldorf Airport.

The standout is Düsseldorf. Flyone Armenia serves the 1,950-mile (3,137 km) airport pair twice-weekly using the A320, attracted by 16,000+ roundtrip P2P passengers in 2019. Celebrating the launch are (from left) Florian Bongard, Düsseldorf's Senior Manager Route Development, and Ulrich Topp, Director Aviation Business Development.

Click here for Düsseldorf-Yerevan flights.

Like buses, airlines sometimes come in pairs. Flyone will be joined by Eurowings for the peak season, running from May 29th to August 21st. It appears that the market has not had regular flights since 2008.

That's it for the 86th edition of my routes newsletter. Sign up to get something like this in your inbox each week.