Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ethiopian to order 15 Boeing 777-800Xs

Ethiopian Airlines has officially confirmed that after a lengthy time studying whether to order the Boeing 777-800/900X family over the Airbus A350-1000X, it has decided to opt for the smaller Boeing 777-800X (15 units) as the future backbone aircraft to service its long haul operational needs. 

ET operates its base out of a high altitude airport (ADD) and as well carries a lot of cargo in both directions especially on its Asia bound flights hence requires the maximum payload possible upon take off in particular out of ADD to ensure full realization of the economic potential that its chosen aircraft provides. 

Keeping into account the above, ET decided to order the Boeing 777-800X which is a direct modern replacement of the Boeing 777-200LR. ET cited the aircraft's flying performance range + its on board capacity of 360 passengers is ideal to meet its commercial needs as the larger Boeing 777-900 is a bit too big. 

As a result, the airline's future wide body fleet by 2025 shall look like this:

15 Boeing 777-800X
13 Boeing 787-800
14 Airbus A350-900 
Total 42 aircraft


Finnair announces 2 new Asian destinations

Finnair has officially announced that it will be launching two new long haul routes in Far East Asia by Summer 2016 as the carrier's newly delivered Airbus A350-900 frees up other aircraft to cater for expansion. 

The new destinations are CAN-Guangzhou, China and Fukuoka, Japan. They will be operated in the below mentioned manner:

CAN - four weekly nonstop frequencies effective 06MAY16 using an A333

FUK - three weekly nonstop frequencies effective 07MAY16 using an A333 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Air France to retire all A343s + suspending 5 Asian routes

Air France has today officially released an outline of what its major cost cutting plans are with regards to its long haul route network as the carrier failed to reach an agreement with its pilots unions last week hence was forced by the Board to undertake such a drastic action.


The main highlights of the restructuring plan are as follows:
  • All A343s to be retired from flying by Winter 2016
  • The A343s shall not be replaced by the B789 in the short term
  • A total of 35 weekly frequencies to be cut from the long haul route from next year onwards
  • Five Asian long haul routes to be suspended
  • Wide body fleet to be reduced from 107 to 93 by end of Winter 2016 season
  • Retirement of its 5 B744s to take place by end of IATA W15 season

The 5 Asian routes that I predict will be suspended are as follows:
  • Riyadh (SV already flies daily from JED and RUH to CDG so they can maintain Sky Team presence)
  • Guangzhou (CZ already flies daily from CAN to CDG so they can maintain Sky Team hub to hub presence)
  • Wuhan, China
  • Osaka
  • Bangkok

    Kindly note that the suspension of Kuala Lumpur services was already announced in August hence should not be considered as part of the 5 Asian routes that it plans on suspending moving forward.

Gulf Air expands Pakistan services

Gulf Air has officially announced that it has been granted additional bilateral access into Pakistan and shall be taking full advantage of the newly given rights effective 02DEC15. 

Two new destinations will be launched using an A320 for all flights. These new cities are Multan operated 4 times per week + Faisalabad three times per week. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Lufthansa suspends Muscat flights

Lufthansa has officially confirmed that due to poor loads combined with yields, it will be suspending all of its current flights to MCT-Muscat, Oman effective 25OCT15. Currently, LH operates a daily service via Doha to Muscat using an A330-300. 

In 2014, 49,000 passengers flew FRA-MCT-FRA point to point along with MUC-MCT-MUC being 34,000! During the EU winter season there is a lot of group traffic from Germany to MCT which now will be taken up by WY, QR and EY primarily.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Emirates increases Munich flights

Emirates has officially announced that it shall be increasing its services to MUC-Munich, Germany effective 01FEB16 as the carrier looks to further expand its already large presence in the German marketplace despite objections raised by Lufthansa. The latest increase on MUC is a result of EK having liberal bilateral access to any 4 German cities it flies to which are FRA, DUS, MUC and HAM.

The new daily flight results in overall frequencies on DXB-MUC being increased from double to triple daily with the new flight being operated by a three class B777-300ER where as the other two are on an A380. The schedule of the new service is as follows:

EK 053 Dep DXB 0320 Arr MUC 0710
EK 054 Dep MUC 1010 Arr DXB 1910

FYI in 2014 alone, the O&D market size demand between DXB and MUC was 310,000 passengers!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Turkish granted 5 weekly flights to Mauritius

The Mauritius Government has signed a new bilateral accord with Turkey paving the way for Turkish Airlines to launch its much anticipated nonstop services into MRU airport from IATA S16 season onwards.

TK has been granted 5 weekly flights with fifth freedom rights beyond to Madagascar. It is expected that this new route will be launched using an A333 considering the flying time between IST and MRU is only 10 hours.



TK will be obviously targeting the volumetric EU traffic bound to MRU which is a high yielding leisure destination versus BKK/DPS/MLE. In 2014, the demand between the top EU markets and MRU round trip were as follows:

CDG - 270,000
LHR - 179,000
FRA - 55,000
ZRH - 33,000
GVA - 29,000
MXP - 22,000
MUC - 20,000
MAN - 20,000
NCE - 14,000
FCO - 14,000
DUS - 12,000
MRS - 12,000

Qatar Airways announces Sydney

Qatar Airways has officially announced that as a result of the amended bilateral accord signed between Australia and Qatar last week, the carrier is now able to launch new nonstop services to Sydney, Australia. 

QR will henceforth start operating daily nonstop flights from DOH to SYD using a B777-300ER effective 01MAR16 with the below mentioned schedule:

QR 908 Dep DOH 2010 Arr SYD 1805+1
QR 909 Dep SYD 2220 Arr DOH 0505+1

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Air India announces San Francisco-Delhi nonstop

Air India has officially announced that it will be launching new three weekly DEL-SFO nonstop flights effective 02DEC15 in response to heavy demand between Northern California and India especially from the I.T. sector. 

The schedule is as follows:

Days 3/5/7

AI 173 Dep DEL 0245 Arr SFO 0600
AI 174 Dep SFO 1000 Arr DEL 1535+1

All 3 weekly services shall be operated using a B777-200LR seating 8F + 35J + 195Y (total 238 seats). The O&D demand between India and SFO in 2014 round trip was as follows:

DEL 135,000
BOM 83,000
BLR 81,000
HYD 54,000
MAA 46,000
CCU 10,000
AMD 10,000
COK 10,000
TRV 4,000


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Philippine Airlines to order 10 A321NEO LRs

Philippine Airlines has officially announced that it is in advanced stages of exchanging ten units out of an order of 30 A321NEOs for the longer range LR variant. The carrier finds this aircraft variant the perfect type to operate medium demand long haul sectors against the more costlier A330-300. 

Routes identified by PAL include MNL-DEL + MNL-BNE + MNL-PER nonstop. 


Monday, September 14, 2015

China Southern increases Vancouver capacity

China Southern Airlines based out of Guangzhou, China has announced that it will be significantly increasing capacity on its popular CAN-YVR (Vancouver) route from the on set of the IATA S16 season i.e. 27MAR.

Currently, CZ operates this route on a daily basis nonstop using a 228 seater B787-800. However effective 27MAR16, this service will be upgraded to a daily B777-300ER offering 309 seats i.e. 81 more per flight. In 2014, a total of 79,000 pax flew CAN-YVR-CAN pure point to point !

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Qatar Airways increases Phuket flights

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will be following in the foot steps of Emirates and Etihad by increasing its own capacity into HKT-Phuket, Thailand from the on set of the IATA W15 season i.e. 27OCT.

QR's current daily nonstop service from DOH to HKT shall be increased to 11 times per week using the B787-800 exclusively. The additional 4 weekly flights are scheduled as follows:

Days - 2/4/5/6
QR 842 Dep DOH 1835 Arr HKT 0500+1
QR 843 Dep HKT 0710 Arr DOH 1015

Connections via DOH in both directions for this flight are available to GCC, LHR, CDG, OSL, CPH, ARN, FCO, CAI, BEY and MXP.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Malaysian to lease 6 A359s + 2 A339s

Malaysia Airlines has officially announced another update for its restructuring plans concerning its wide body fleet in particular of which the main highlights are as follows:
  • 6 new A350-900s to be dry leased from ALC which will replace the B772ERs 
  • All B772ERs to be retired in 2016 before 01JUN
  • 2 A330-900s to be dry leased from ALC and used exclusively on Auckland services 
  • New business class seats on all A333s to be introduced from W16 season which will be the widest in the industry


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Air Canada announces major expansion

Air Canada has officially announced a major expansion of its long haul program operated exclusively by the B767-300ER for the next IATA S16 season. The main highlights are as follows:

YUL/CMN - new 4 weekly nonstop flights to be operated effective 03JUN

YYZ-PRG - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be operated effective 29MAY

YYZ-WAW - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be operated effective 16JUN

YYZ-BUD - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be operated effective 10JUN


Ethiopian Airlines reveals W15 routes expansion

Ethiopian Airlines has revealed many incremental capacity increases to its IATA W15 medium and long haul operational program as the carrier looks to take advantage of its superior competitive position in the African marketplace especially with its main rival KQ's weakening state of affairs. The main highlights are as follows:

ABJ - to be operated as a nonstop terminator service five times per week using a B787

GRU - frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly nonstop using a B772LR

MBA - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly 

COO - all flights to be operated as nonstop terminator services using a B738 three times per week. This means that the 5th freedom sector COO-ABJ is henceforth suspended!

KRT - frequencies reduced from 4 to 3 daily nonstop

MPO - capacity increased from daily B738 to daily B787

EBB - frequencies increased from double to triple daily using a B738

LFW - all flights to be operated as nonstop terminator services using a B738 six times per week. This means that the 5th freedom sector LFW-ABJ is henceforth suspended!

CPT - frequencies increased to a daily service using a B738

Cathay Pacific announces Madrid

Cathay Pacific has officially announced that it will be launching new flights to Madrid, Spain effective 02JUN16 as the carrier looks to increase its presence in Europe via an extensive code share pact with fellow One World partner Iberia of Spain.

CX will operate 4 times per week nonstop from HKG to MAD using a B777-300ER using the below mentioned schedule:

Days - 2/4/6/7

CX 315 Dep HKG 0045 Arr MAD 0845
CX 320 Dep MAD 1225 Arr HKG 0705

In addition with travel from SE Asia especially Japan, Seoul and China booming to Spain, CX hopes to take advantage of this movement via its HKG hub .

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Austrian announces Shanghai-Vienna nonstop

Austrian Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights from its main VIE hub to PVG-Shanghai, China effective 04APR16. The route will be operated on a daily basis nonstop using a B777-200ER exclusively. 

The schedule is as follows:

OS 75 Dep VIE 1320 Arr PVG 0540+1
OS 76 Dep PVG 1050 Arr VIE 1610

The airline is also in advanced talks with HKG airport officials into relaunching service in S16 season with a new nonstop flight between VIE & HKG!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Qatar Airways announces W15 capacity upgrades

Qatar Airways has announced many changes to its medium haul route network for the IATA W15 season of which the main highlights are as follows:

CPH - frequencies increased from 11 weekly to double daily nonstop using a B788 exclusively effective 02DEC

DAC - frequencies increased from 10 weekly to double daily nonstop using an A333 exclusively effective 01DEC

ARN - frequencies increased from 10 to 13 weekly nonstop using a B788 exclusively effective 15DEC

CCU - capacity increased from daily A320 to daily B788 effective 01DEC15

BRU - frequencies increased from 6 to 8 weekly nonstop flights using a B788 exclusively effective 01DEC

ASM - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly nonstop flights using an A320  

NAG - services relaunched on a daily basis using an A320 effective 01DEC15

SWISS increases Boston to double daily

SWISS has officially announced that due to increasing demand for its Boston bound flights during the IATA Summer season, it shall be increasing its presence on the ZRH-BOS sector by upgrading it to a double daily nonstop operation using an A330-300 exclusively. The schedule is as follows:

LX 054 Dep ZRH 1255 Arr BOS 1520
LX 052 Dep ZRH 1730 Arr BOS 1955

LX 055 Dep BOS 1700 Arr ZRH 0615+1
LX 053 Dep BOS 2140 Arr ZRH 1055+1

In 2014, the number of O&D pax between Switzerland and BOS was as follows:

ZRH-BOS 59,000
GVA-BOS 28,000

Other top markets for LX that feeds this flight originate from FCO, MXP, Germany, DXB, DEL and BOM. 

Royal Jordanian announces Guangzhou and Jakarta

Royal Jordanian has officially announced that it will be launching two new long haul destinations effective 02DEC15 as the carrier looks to take advantage of low fuel costs and efficient aircraft in its fleet such as the B788 to drive up revenues.

The 2 new routes are Guangzhou and Jakarta and they shall be each operated in the below mentioned manner:

3 weekly B788s AMM-BKK-CAN
3 weekly A332s AMM-KUL-CAN 

This results in AMM-BKK-KUL being exchanged for AMM-BKK-CAN where as KUL becomes a nonstop service from KUL connecting the two One World carriers effectively. Bangkok remains a daily nonstop service with the remaining 4 weekly flights extending onwards to HKG using a B788 too.