Sunday, October 23, 2016

British Airways announces New Orleans

British Airways has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop services to MSY-New Orleans, USA effective 27MAR as the carrier looks to take advantage of the favorable economics its Boeing 787 fleet provides on medium demand long haul flights.

BA will operate 4 times per week nonstop from LHR using a B788 with the below mentioned schedule:

Days: 1/3/5/6

BA 225 Dep LHR 1540 Arr MSY 1940
BA 224 Dep MSY 2120 Arr LHR 1200+1 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Etihad reduces San Francisco services

Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be reducing its capacity on San Francisco (SFO) - Abu Dhabi nonstop services effective 01FEB17 as the carrier looks to adjust its USA offering based upon which airport hub its partner carriers i.e. AA and B6 fly to in particular.

The current daily B777-200LR operated flight between SFO and AUH shall be reduced to 3 times per week from 01FEB17 using the same aircraft type.

The freed up aircraft is being used to boost Dallas (DFW) - Abu Dhabi from 3 weekly to daily nonstop in turn.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Abuja flights suspended by Emirates and Kenya Airways

Emirates and Kenya Airways have officially announced via filing on the GDS systems, the following updates concerning their respective Abuja bound flights:

1. EK will be suspending its daily B773 service between Abuja and Dubai effective 31OCT16

2. KQ will be suspending its 5 weekly E90 operated service between Nairobi and Abuja effective 15NOV16

Both airlines have cited the forex issues that they are experiencing in Nigeria as the primary cause of their respective pull out.

A local Lagos newspaper had this article out today: 

Friday, October 14, 2016

China Southern orders 12 Boeing 787-9s

China Southern Airlines (based out of Guangzhou) has officially announced that it has officially placed an order with Boeing for 12 Boeing 787-9s as the carrier is very pleased with the performance economics with the current 10 B788s that it already has in service. 

The additional 12 B789s will be in due course used to replace their aging A330-200s from 2020 onwards as well as cater for expansion to Europe + North America from its upcoming Beijing hub base (the new international airport set to be opened in 2018). 


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Etihad increases Dallas frequencies

Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be increasing its DFW-Dallas bound services from 3 weekly to daily nonstop effective 02FEB17. 

EY will be deploying its ex Air India Boeing 777-200LRs on this route. This is the second bit of long haul expansion that EY has announced for 2017 after confirming that JFK will become a double daily A380 operation from June. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Emirates announces Fort Lauderdale (Miami)

Emirates has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights to FLL-Fort Lauderdale airport which is on the outskirts of Miami. The new service will be launched effective 15DEC using a Boeing 777-200LR operated on a daily basis using the below mentioned schedule:

Flight schedule is as follows:

EK 213 Dep DXB 0300 Arr FLL 1025
EK 214 Dep FLL 2020 Arr DXB 1940+1

The flight is partnered with B6-Jetblue which is EK's biggest codeshare partner carrier in North America. A very well thought out move by EK to operate into this airport instead of MIA due to B6's large presence at FLL.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Qatar Airways orders 100 new Boeing aircraft

Qatar Airways officially announced today a major new order for 100 Boeing aircraft valued at US$ 18.6 billion. The breakdown of the aircraft purchased is as follows:
  • 60 Boeing 737-800MAXs
  • 30 Boeing 787-9s
  • 10 Boeing 777-300ER


The B738s ordered are not for mainline QR but rather for their recently purchased 49% stake in Italy's Meridiana Airlines. 

The order for 30 B789s is really pleasing to see and hopefully it will have crew rests installed on board thus enabling it to be used on long haul flights as currently their B788s are not permitted to. The B789 is an ideal aircraft from both a pax + cargo capacity stand point to operate to BOS, ATL, PHL (instead of a costlier B77L) as well opening up new routes such as LAS, SEA, MCO, DTW, BNE, SCL and BOG. 

For the future planning purposes too (2020 onwards), it is better to have a double daily B789 service to cities like ORD and MEL in particular versus B77Ws. 

Once Meridiana stabilizes under the new QR commercial ownership, I expect at least 10 B789s to be transferred to them to operate on key high volume Italy-trans atlantic and Italy-SE Asia routes. In this way, the airline will have a nicely streamlined standardized fleet of B738MAXs for EU flights and B789s for high demand long haul services. QR should let AZ focus on FCO and make Meridiana Milan's hometown airline and in turn create a niche for themselves. People across the world associate Alitalia with Rome and not Milan anymore hence this is a good opportunity for Meridiana to differentiate themselves. The high volume long haul market segments out of Milan are New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Bangkok, Delhi and Male.

Another option for QR to consider if they want to retain the entire 30 B789s is to use them to directly replace their 30 B788s as the resale value of the B788 will depreciate rapidly 2020 onwards as airlines are preferring to up size and maximize their returns by getting more B789s. QR would find buyers between 2020-2022 for their B788s as they would be between 6-8 years maximum or they can lease them out/transfer to one of their investment carriers. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

China Airlines (Taiwan) reveals long haul expansion plans

Taiwan's flag carrier, China Airlines officially disclosed its long haul expansion plans that are under consideration for its Airbus A350-900 fleet at the delivery ceremony of its first aircraft type. New routes under serious review are Paris, London, Boston, Seattle and Chicago. Other information disclosed concerning its fleet was as follows:

a) All A343s to be retired by W17
b) Studies under way to plan for permanent A333 replacement (24 units) on intra-Asia flights
c) 6 B738s are being put up for sale
d) Only 4 B744s to remain in the fleet from S17 season onwards
e) All current A333s to undergo extensive cabin retrofit (30J 160 degree recline + 277Y configuration)


Since CI is a Sky Team alliance member, their new long haul intended destinations should be to Sky Team hubs that AF/AZ/KL/DL have a major presence at to provide value able onward feeder support.

CI already flies to LAX (double daily), JFK (5 weekly), FCO (2 weekly) and AMS (4 weekly). The major Sky Team hubs that it does not operate to are SEA, CDG and ATL.

As someone wrote above and referenced a news article too, CDG is out of bounds due to bilateral restrictions and therefore it leaves two possibilities:

i) AMS currently served 4 weekly via BKK goes daily nonstop with a B77W/A359 by W17 or daily via BKK

ii) FCO currently planed for twice a week nonstop from S17 with the A359 needs to be increased to 4 weekly minimum (P2P demand in 2015 was 44,000 pax)

It would probably be better increasing FCO to 4 weekly and engage in a large code share deal with AZ for Europe as flying via FCO involves no back tracking to any major EU city where as via AMS it would. Plus FCO cannot be operated twice a week only as that is 1980s strategy (though cabin crew must be loving the 3 day layover).

Question - How come demand between Paris and Taipei is so high? In 2015 it was 120,000 pax just P2P which I found to be quite interesting. BR must be really happy that they have it all to themselves daily B77W nonstop !

Seattle for sure is a no brainer now that DL has firmly established a major West coast hub at that airport. It can easily sustain a daily A359 operation for CI with DL onward support. However, BOS and ORD should not be considered for at least another 2-3 years as first SEA needs to be launched and matured before any more U.S. expansion is even thought of.

As far as the regional WB order is concerned, it should just be for the A359 as its no point having a fleet of A339s and A359s side by side when the A359 could do everything its asked for. Fleet standardization over the long term leads to efficiency and mega cost savings.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Air Canada announces Mumbai plus 5 new long haul destinations

Air Canada has officially announced massive international long haul expansion from the IATA Summer 2017 season onwards as it looks to capitalizing on increased demand from large VFR market segments + regaining lost market share to competitors. 

The main highlights are as follows:
  • Toronto-Mumbai 3 weekly B789s effective 01JUL
  • Vancouver-Taipei daily B789s effective 08JUN
  • Montreal-Algiers 4 weekly B763s effective 26JUN
  • Vancouver-Nagoya 3 weekly B763s effective 01JUN
  • Montreal-Marseille 3 weekly B763s effective 09JUN
  • Toronto-Berlin 4 weekly B763s effective 01JUN

    Detailed press release can be read below:

    The P2P round trip demand for these new routes in 2015 was as follows:
  • YYZ-BOM 76,000
  • YVR-TPE 102,000
  • YUL-ALG 71,000
  • YVR-NGO 12,000
  • YUL-MRS 39,000
  • YYZ-TXL 24,000

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Boeing 787-9 configurations of new operators

Over the past few months, many airlines have become new Boeing 787-9 operators who in turn also revealed the cabin configurations for these aircraft. They are as follows:
  • Air China - 30J + 34W + 229Y = 293 seats
  • American Airlines - 30J + 48W + 207Y = 285 seats
  • Air France - 30J + 21W + 225Y = 276 seats
  • Saudia - 24J + 274Y = 298 seats
  • United - 48J + 88W + 116Y = 252 seats
  • Vietnam - 28J + 35W + 211Y = 274 seats
  • KLM - 30J + 48W + 216Y = 294 seats

Friday, September 23, 2016

Air India announces Madrid-Delhi nonstop

Air India has officially published for sale across all major GDS systems, a new nonstop 3 weekly Delhi-Madrid service effective 01DEC16.

Flights will be flown using their 254 seater B787-8 using the below mentioned schedule:

Days - 2/4/6

AI 135 Dep DEL 1425 Arr MAD 2020
AI 136 Dep MAD 2150 Arr DEL 1110+1

In 2015 the P2P demand between Spain and India was as follows:

BCN-DEL 44,000 pax
BCN-BOM 26,000 pax

MAD-DEL 35,000 pax
MAD-BOM 21,000 pax

Thai Airways returns to Moscow

Thai Airways has officially announced that it will be resuming flights to DME-Moscow, Russia effective 15DEC16 as the carrier returns to sustained profitability. TG revealed that DME-BKK shall operate nonstop 4 times per week using a B777-200ER using the below mentioned schedule:

Days - 1/3/4/6

TG 974 Dep BKK 1050 Arr DME 1710
TG 975 Dep DME 1840 Arr BKK 0730+1 

In 2015 alone, the total demand between Moscow and Bangkok (P2P only) was 177,000 pax which was a sharp drop from 319,000 in 2014 !

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ethiopian announces Singapore nonstop

Ethiopian Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching new daily nonstop flights to Singapore (SIN) from its Addis Ababa hub effective 01JUN17. All services shall be flown using the 270 seater B787-8 as a nonstop terminator. The schedule is as follows:

Days - Daily

ET 638 Dep ADD 0030 Arr SIN 1515
ET 639 Dep SIN 0045 Arr ADD 0630


In my opinion, this is unjustifiable commercially as the demand between SIN and Africa is insignificant to warrant from the on set a daily B788 nonstop terminator flight. Yes ET has the luxury of onward SQ support to a variety of destinations but that still wont be able to fill even 60% of the flights on a year round basis.

I do not for see this new route of ET lasting long and doing business at even 45% SF ! If they are really keen on SIN, they should just launch with 4 weekly nonstop flights initially and then increase based upon performance.

I would rather see ET launching MRU (5 hour flight from ADD) with a B738 4/5 times per week with a B738 which would generate good feed for their EU and selected MENA destinations.

Turkish reduces Karachi frequencies

Turkish Airlines continues to role out frequency cut backs to its medium and long haul network as part of a short term cost cutting strategy designed to negate the powerful impact the recent political turmoil in Turkey itself had on its flight loads.

Currently, TK operates a double daily nonstop service to Karachi using a B738, however effective 30OCT16, these shall be reduced to a daily service only using the same aircraft type. The schedule is as follows:

TK 708 Dep IST 2030 Arr KHI 0445+1
TK 709 Dep KHI 0540 Arr IST 0900

Austrian Airlines announces Los Angeles

Austrian Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching new services to Los Angeles (LAX) airport effective 10APR17 as part of an overall expansion plan identifying high volume long haul flights that can effectively feed its Central/Eastern European route network year round. 

OS will fly 6 times per week nonstop from VIE to LAX using a B772ER using the below schedule:

Days - 1/2/3/4/5/6

OS 081 Dep VIE 1000 Arr LAX 1330
OS 082 Dep LAX 1505 Arr VIE 1200+1

Saturday, September 10, 2016

PIA orders 8 Boeing 787-9s

Pakistan's flag carrier i.e. PIA has officially confirmed that it has placed an order with Boeing for 8 B787-9s as part of an exchange deal.

Originally in Feb 2012, PIA firmed up an order for 5 Boeing 777-300ERs but over the past month, Boeing had offered a replacement solution for the carrier with the Boeing 787 aircraft family. After long negotiations both parties agreed to swap the 5 B77Ws for 8 B789s.


A very smart move initiated by Boeing for PIA's long term benefit. In order to realize its full potential, PIA by 2020 should sell off its entire fleet of 6 B772ERs and replace them with the more efficient B789. In this way, its wide body fleet from 2020 onwards would consist of:

2 B77Ls + 3 B77Ws + 8 B789s  

The B789 should have a configuration of 24 J (flat beds) + 279 Y (3-3-3 layout) seating a total of 303 passengers comfortably and carrying 12 tons of cargo in the belly.

In this way each aircraft type has a specific role in terms of destination being served i.e. the 3 B77Ws should be exclusively used for LHR + JED/RUH, the B77Ls for YYZ, the B789s for JFK, EU, GCC and SE Asia + KHI-LHE/ISB shuttle at peak times. 1 B789 needs to be dedicated for 3 weekly JFK nonstop services as the cost savings incurred using this aircraft type year round versus the B77W/B77L is quite significant to the financial bottom line. 

The only thing left for PIA to do in terms of fleet modernization is to order 5 A321NEOs as this aircraft type is ideal for a variety of PAK-GCC medium demand destinations as well as SE Asia, ISC and selected domestic trunk routes at off peak times.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Turkish Airlines announces long haul cut backs for W16

After suffering a half year loss of $644 million, Turkish Airlines has come to grips with reality by finally announcing major cut backs to its long haul network for the IATA W16 season. This is mainly due to the recent political chaos + terrorist incidents that have plagued the country for many months now. 

The main highlights are as follows:

ISB - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly A332s

CAN - frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly B773ERs

JFK - frequencies reduced from triple daily to double daily A333s

LAX - frequencies reduced from 11 weekly to daily using a B773ER

IAD - frequencies reduced from 10 weekly to daily
BOS - frequencies reduced from daily to 4 weekly A333s

IAH - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly B773ERs

MIA - frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly B773ERs

ATL - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly B773ERs 

KIX - frequencies reduced from daily to 4 weekly A332s

GRU/EZE - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly B773ERs

ABV - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly B739ERs

TPE - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly B773ERs


It is surprising that double daily Karachi + double daily Kuala Lumpur services are not announced for reduction till now as both destinations in W16 do not warrant such high frequencies during this time of crisis at the airline.  


Monday, August 29, 2016

Kuwait Airways publishes India expansion plans

Kuwait Airways has officially published another round of expansion plans from the on set of the IATA W16 season. This time round its for the Indian subcontinent region of which the main highlights are as follows:

COK - frequencies increased from daily to 12 weekly nonstop flights exclusively operated by A320

DEL - frequencies increased from daily to 12 weekly operated by a mix of daily B777 + 5 weekly A320

ISB - frequencies increased to daily nonstop using an A320

DAC - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly nonstop using an A343 (effective 16FEB)

CMB - frequencies increased from 6 weekly to daily nonstop flights using an A332

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Qatar Airways announces another round of W16 changes

Qatar Airways has officially announced another round of capacity changes for its medium and long haul route network for the upcoming IATA W16 season of which the main highlights are as follows:

CGK - capacity reduced to triple daily flights exclusively operated by the B788

MAN - capacity reduced from 16 weekly A333s to 16 weekly B788s

CPT - capacity increased from daily B788 to daily B773ER

KHI - capacity increased from double daily A320/A321 to daily B788 + daily B772LR

PSA (Pisa, Italy) - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop using an A320

CEB - operational cost saving implemented by flying a daily B788 instead of A332

RGN - frequencies increased from 3 to 5 weekly using an A332

ADL - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly nonstop using an A359

VCE - capacity increased from daily A332 to daily A333

GRU/EZE - capacity increased from daily B772LR to daily B773ER


Friday, August 26, 2016

Ethiopian increases Guangzhou frequencies

Ethiopian Airlines has officially announced that it will be taking head on more aggressively both Emirates and Qatar Airways on the Africa-Guangzhou market segment. EK and QR have recently announced upgrading their daily CAN flights to an A380 so to counter attack, 

ET has stated that effective 30OCT16, they will be expanding frequencies into Guangzhou airport.

Currently, ET operates a daily nonstop ADD-CAN service using a B777-300ER however from 30OCT16 onwards, frequencies shall be expanded to 10 weekly nonstop with the additional 3 flights all flying with a B788. The schedule of the incremental flights are mentioned below:


ET 616 Dep ADD 0945 Arr CAN 0030+1
ET 617 Dep CAN 1400 Arr ADD 1930


The above mentioned new flights to/from CAN allow ET to also connect its European network via ADD to CAN in both directions.