The 2013 Dubai Air Show kicked off amidst much fan fare as the 3 big Middle East carriers tried to outdo one another with major orders announced on opening day. Apart from this, the show lacked any further significant orders from any airline. The main highlights from the show in terms of orders being placed were as follows:
a) Emirates – placed an order for 115 B779Xs + 35 B778Xs + 50 options for both variants
b) Qatar Airways – placed an order for 50 B779Xs + 13 A330-200 freighters
c) Etihad Airways – placed an order for 8 B778Xs + 17 B779Xs + 30 B787-1000s + 1 B777-200LR freighter + 26 A321NEOs + 10 A320NEOs + 40 A359s + 1 A330-200 freighter + 10 A351s
d) Fly Dubai – placed an order for 100 B738MAXs + 11 normal B738NGs
e) Ethiopian Airlines – placed an order for 8 Bombardier Q400s
f) Iraqi Airways – placed an order for 16 Bombardier C Series 300 (5 firm + 11 options)
The EY order for 26 A321NEOs is a smart move as the carrier can use this aircraft as well to operate instead of a wide body to selected European routes where there is lack of premium demand + cargo plus it can standardize many of its ISC bound services to an A321. One can assume that the 8 B778Xs would be part of an exchange deal with Boeing buying back 5 of the B772LRs that EY will soon obtain from Air India. Some of these aircraft are also part of a ‘group order’ deal as the 10 A320NEOs are slated to go to Air Serbia and one shall not be surprised to see few B779Xs go to Jet Airways and Virgin Australia from 2021 onwards to replace their B773ERs.
The order placed by Emirates is not one for expansion but rather more so to entirely replace its existing B777-300/-300ER fleet in particular. The B779X though has the capability to operate nonstop from DXB to SFO/LAX/GRU/SYD without any payload issues in either direction.
Emirates has officially announced many capacity increases especially with regards to its A380 deployment for the upcoming IATA Summer 2014 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
MUC – capacity increased to double daily A380s
CDG – capacity increased with all 20 weekly flights operated with the A380
CPT – capacity increased to double daily B773ERs
HKG – capacity increased to triple daily A380 + daily B773ER (EK 386/87 only)
BKK – capacity increased to triple daily A380 + triple daily B773ER
AMS – capacity increased to daily A380 + daily B773ER
ATH – capacity increased from daily A345 to daily B773ER
Austrian Airlines has officially announced that it will be increasing its flights to Delhi, India effective 14APR14 as the carrier looks to feed its additional USA services to IAD, ORD and EWR next summer with support from India. DEL-VIE flights will be operated on a daily basis from the previously mentioned effective date using a Boeing 767-300ER.
Etihad Airways has officially announced many route network updates for 2014 of which the main highlights are as follows:
ZRH – new daily nonstop services to be launched effective 01JUN14 using a 3 class A333
MED – new daily nonstop flight to be launched using an A320
MUC – frequencies increased from daily to double daily effective 01FEB14 using an A333
Gulf Air has officially announced that it will be reinstating two previously terminated destinations as the carrier looks to gradually grow its route network within a 5 hour flying radius of Bahrain. Services to Mashad in Iran and Trivandrum in India shall be re-launched effective 15DEC13 operated in the following manner:
MHD – 4 weekly nonstop flights using an A320
TRV – 5 weekly nonstop flights using an A320
Air France has revealed many capacity changes to its long haul Summer 2014 schedule of which the main highlights are as follows:
KUL – frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly nonstop flights using a B772ER
GIG – frequencies reduced from double daily to 11 weekly i.e. daily B773ER + 4 weekly A332
JKT – new daily services to be launched via SIN using a B773ER
SFO – frequencies reduced from double daily to 12 weekly i.e. daily A380 + 5 weekly B772ER
ABJ – capacity reduced to 10 weekly nonstop flights using a B772ER exclusively
PNR – frequencies increased from 5 to 6 weekly nonstop flights using an A332
KLM has officially announced many capacity changes to its long haul route network schedule of which the main highlights are as follows:
LOS – capacity reduced from daily A333 to daily A332
CPT – frequencies increased from 4 to 5 times per week using a B772ER
IAH – frequencies increased from daily to 9 weekly nonstop
FUK – frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly nonstop flights using a B772ER
JRO/DAR – capacity increased from daily A332 to daily A333
JFK – frequencies increased from double daily to triple daily
Jetblue has officially announced that it has placed a follow up order with Airbus for 35 additional A321s as the carrier is extremely buoyed with the prospects that this aircraft can bring to the airline’s bottom line in terms of revenue growth and yield on high density medium haul routes. The breakdown calls for 20 A321NEOs and 15 A321s with Sharklets. In addition, the airline also firmed up options it previously held on 18 A320s to 18 A321s thus bringing its total A321 order book to 80 units i.e. 50 current versions + 30 A321NEOs.
Qatar Airways has officially announced that it shall be launching new services to EDI-Edinburgh, Scotland effective 02MAY14. Five weekly nonstop flights will be operated by QR using a B787-800 with the below mentioned schedule:
QR 27 Dep DOH 0800 Arr EDI 1315
QR 28 Dep EDI 1445 Arr DOH 2340
QR 28 Dep EDI 1445 Arr DOH 2340
Above mentioned schedule allows excellent connections in both directions via DOH to GCC, DEL, China, BKK, MNL, ICN, SIN, CGK, KUL, MEL, KHI, JNB, BEY and COK.
South African Airways officially announced for the financial year ended 2012, it posted a net loss of US$ 143 million and in order to engage in cost cuts, it has opted to suspend flying to EZE-Buenos Aires (effective March 2014) and has requested the South African Government to consider its request to also consider suspending Mumbai and Beijing of which the latter is its biggest loss maker at US$ 30 million per year. However, due to the government’s desire to maintain online flying links with the BRICS (Brazil Russia India China) member states, its request was denied to suspend PEK. Currently, SAA operates a daily A332 to BOM and a 3 weekly nonstop A346 to PEK. It has also attributed its large losses to operating the A343s and A346s on their EU/USA/Australia long haul flights versus a more efficient twin engine aircraft.
Turkish Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching new services to YUL-Montreal, Canada effective 03JUN14 as part of a new bilateral signed between Canada and Turkey to further liberalize access. The new bilateral permits TK to operate to Canada 9 times per week and it will do in the following manner:
YUL – new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be launched effective 03JUN14 using an A332
YYZ – frequencies increased from 5 to 6 times per week using a B773ER effective 29MAR14
Air New Zealand has revealed the configuration of its soon to be delivered Boeing 787-900s which will feature a 3 class cabin i.e. business, premium economy and economy. In total, 302 seats will be on board i.e. 18 business class (flat beds), 21 premium economy and 263 economy class. The first routes to be operated by this aircraft type are nonstop from its main Auckland hub to Shanghai and Tokyo.