The Greek Government is to subsidise a number of loss-making routes connecting the Aegean islands in the Mediterranean and has asked airlines, including Olympic Airways, to submit bids. The lowest bidders will operate the routes from Athens to Astypalaia, Icaria, Milos and Skyros, from Thessaloniki to Samos and Chios, from Rhodes to Karpathos and Kasos, from Rhodes to Katelorizo, and the service connecting Lemnos, Mytilene, Chios, Samos and Rhodes. Channel Islands carrier Aurigny has introduced flights between Guernsey and East Midlands, under a codeshare with BMI British Midland which previously served the route. United Airlines will introduce daily non-stop flights between Chicago and New Delhi in October. The Birmingham, UK-based arm of Maersk Air has signed a deal with British Airways extending its franchise agreement by five years. US low-fares carrier Spirit Airlines will begin daily service to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 8 November with two flights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and two from New York Newark. The Italian Transportation Ministry has selected Alitalia, Meridiana and Volare to operate exclusive routes from the Italian mainland to Sardinia. Alitalia will operate Cagliari-Rome and Alghero-Rome routes, Meridiana Olbia-Rome and Olbia-Milan, and Volare Cagliari-Milan. Still to be assigned is the Milan-Alghero route. American Eagle will begin regional jet services from Dallas/Fort Worth International airport to Durango, Colorado, from December. Philippine Airlines will restore a direct link between Manila and Melbourne, Australia, in October. Also in the last quarter, PAL will launch services to Bangkok and Shanghai. The airline has halved frequencies between Manila and Saudi Arabia from six to three times weekly. Sun Country Airlines is seeking permission from the US Department of Transportation to launch scheduled flights from its Minneapolis/St Paul hub to Aruba in December.

Source: Flight International