-Sabena inaugurated a new service between Brussels and Birmingham on 5 April, and will fly the route four times daily with an Avro RJ85.

-Australia and the Solomon Islands have lifted capacity entitlements between Honiara and Australian gateways from three to five weekly services, shared between Solomon Airlines and Qantas. The new agreement also provides the opportunity for niche services from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.

-Iberia is to fly three times a week to Johannesburg from 19 May using an Airbus A340. The Spanish flag carrier is exploring links with other African carriers serving countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

-AirTran is to begin operating three daily flights between Hartford, Connecticut and Atlanta from 18 May.

-Sky-Trek Airlines has started a scheduled service to Le Touquet, France, from Lydd in the UK, using a PBN Trislander.

-Sicily's Med Airlines has begun operating its first of two Saab 2000s alongside its ATR 42 on a network of north-south routes connecting Sicily with Rome, Parma and other Italian destinations.

-Air Sicilia has started operating three daily return flights between Palermo and Rome using an ex-Air One Boeing 737-200. The service is operated in competition with Alitalia.

-China Eastern Airlines will begin two new twice-weekly international routes from Shanghai to Okayama in Japan and to Paris via Beijing from the end of June. Additional frequencies will be added to its San Francisco, Sydney and Fukuoka routes, while domestic routes are to be expanded following its acquisition of local carrier China General.

-China Northern Airlines has launched a direct service from its Harbin-base in Heilongjiang province to Seoul. The service will be operated four times a week jointly with a South Korean carrier. Asiana has further cut back on international services by suspending direct flights to Singapore and now operates a codeshare with Singapore Airlines.

Source: Flight International