Monday, April 20, 2009
Qatar Airways has revealed on the GDS major capacity changes to Far East Asia and UK network for this summer and the upcoming Winter 09-10 IATA season as the carrier continues onwards its expansion with the addition of more wide body planes integrated into its fleet. The main highlights are as follows:
KUL - frequencies increased from 7 to 11 weekly nonstop i.e. 2 class A 333 four times per week + daily 2 class A 332 effective July.
DPS - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily flights using a 2 class A 333 routed via SIN instead of KUL with full 5th freedom rights on the SIN-DPS-SIN sector effective Jan 1st 2010.
JKT - will be a nonstop terminator service flown daily using a 2 class A 332 effective Jan 1st 2010.
ICN - new nonstop daily terminator flights using a 2 class A 333 three times per week + 2 class A 332 four times per week effective Feb 2010.
KIX - new nonstop daily terminator flights using a 2 class A 332 effective Feb 2010.
SIN - capacity reduced from daily B 773ERs to daily A 333s (2 class) effective Jan 1st 2010.
LHR - capacity increased from Jan 1st to 10 weekly B 773ERs (2 class) + 13 weekly A 346s (3 class) + 4 weekly A 332s (3 class) + weekly A 333 (3 class). The B 773ERs will be used on QR 011/012 six times a week + 4 times a week on QR 017/018.
SGN - frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily nonstop terminator flights using a 2 class A 332 effective Feb 1st 2010.
One cannot understand why QR's most loss making LHR bound flight that also sees the lowest load factors i.e. QR 017/18 would warrant a capacity increase from daily A 332s to 4 weekly B 773ERs + 3 weekly A 332s? Is it because they are hoping for some additional traffic coming in from SYD/MEL because even if that was the case it doesnt make sense as SYD-DOH + MEL-DOH is expected to connect with QR 011/012 which is rightfully so getting the capacity upgrade as well.
It is however pleasing to see DPS rerouted via SIN as KUL can hold its own fort. From KUL, QR will be competing against EK's increased flights as well which will number 17 per week from Feb 2010 onwards. Putting an A 333 to DPS on a daily basis will definitely help QR further consolidate its monopoly market share position from the GCC region + from EU/UK into this niche market which is in high demand between Oct-April due to climatic variations between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
FYI, some of you might remember that a month ago QR announced that they will be launching 2 new un-named EU destinations from this winter onwards. According to various internet posts, strong indications are that these 2 cities are Prague and Edinburgh in Scotland.