Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Qatar Airways has revealed MASSIVE and I mean MASSIVE changes for its Summer 2010 schedule on the GDS system and I will start off with the most important changes: ***All of the below mentioned changes come into effect from March 29th 2010***
LHE - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily flights i.e. 2 weekly A 346s + 3 weekly A 332s + 2 weekly A 333s.
ISB - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily flights i.e. 5 weekly A 333s + 2 weekly A 332s.
PEW - frequencies increased from 2 weekly to daily flights using an A 332 exclusively.
BOM - frequencies increased from daily to 13 weekly flights i.e. daily B 773ER + 6 weekly A 320.
DEL - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly flights i.e. daily B 772LR + 3 weekly A 321.
FCO - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop flights using a 2 class A 332.
CAI - capacity increased from daily A 332 to daily B 773ER.
MNL - capacity adjusted to daily B 772LR + 4 weekly B 773ER + 3 weekly A 332.
ATH - frequencies increased to double daily flights i.e. daily A 321 + daily A 320.
CMN - frequencies increased to daily nonstop terminator flights using an A 333 four times a week + 3 weekly A 332.
MAD - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop flights using a 2 class configured A 333.
MHD - frequencies from 3 to 5 weekly flights i.e. 3 weekly A 321s + 2 weekly A 320s
KIX - capacity increased from daily A 332 to daily B 773ER.
SIN/DPS - capacity increased from daily A 333 to daily B 773ER.
THR - frequencies increased from 10 weekly flights to double daily nonstop using an A 320.
TIP - frequencies and capacity increased to daily nonstop terminator flights using an A 320.
GVA - capacity increased from 5 weekly A 319s to 5 weekly two class configured A 332s.
IST - frequencies increased from daily to 11 weekly nonstop flights using a mixture of A 321s and A 320s.
JNB - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly nonstop flights using an A 332.
It is truly unbelievable to see how they suddenly got rights to fly daily to all 3 major cities in Northern Pakistan. For years Emirates and Gulf Air have been trying yet they could not pull it off but QR has. One wonders who their lobbyist is within the Pakistan Govt because that contact seems to be in value able! With QR using the A 346 to LHE and A 333s to ISB, it will have a better in-flight product in all cabin classes compared to its nearest rivals on the Northern Pakistan-Middle East routes as well as beyond to EU/USA/UK. Also as a result of this expansion to this region, their flight loads and yield to JFK, IAD and IAH will increase substantially as there is a huge market from LHE/ISB in particular to LHR/MAN/JFK/IAH/IAD.
Other smart moves by them were to increase MAD to daily before EK/EY firmly establish themselves in that market segment. Though I dont know if there is that much added demand to warrant using a daily A 333 on this flight rather than an A 332! The increase in capacity to CAI from an A 332 to a B 773ER is definitely warranted and with the right pricing structure in place for destinations in Far East Asia, loads should pick up in time.
The increases to CAI/ATH/FCO/IST have also been brought about due to QR expecting its up coming SYD and MEL flights to provide a lot of feeder traffic to these cities and it is expected that AMM too is going to be increased to 12 weekly nonstop flights from Summer 2010.
However, with the above mentioned expansion, there are also few things that I do not agree with and would like to see them rectified. They are as follows:
1. Flight timings for the additional DOH-DEL-DOH and DOH-BOM-DOH flights are very peculiar.
For DEL it is:
QR 234 Dep DOH 0205 Arr DEL 0805
QR 235 Dep DEL 0910 Arr DOH 1110
For BOM it is:
QR 202 Dep DOH 1600 Arr BOM 2145
QR 203 Dep BOM 2245 Arr DOH 2359
With regards to the new DEL flights, what is the point of having QR 235 arrive just 5 hours after QR 233? I figured it out that one of the main reasons for the new DOH-DEL-DOH flights is to provide extra feed to RUH and JED bound flights but at what cost? The plan that QR needs to follow is to effectively build a second "hub wave" at DOH to the ISC region to feed the early morning GCC-DOH + EU/UK/Africa-DOH flights. Therefore keeping that in mind, it would be best if both the new DOH-DEL-DOH and DOH-BOM-DOH flights be rescheduled as follows:
QR 234 Dep DOH 1030 Arr DEL 1630
QR 235 Dep DEL 1830 Arr DOH 2030
QR 202 Dep DOH 1100 Arr BOM 1645
QR 203 Dep BOM 1845 Arr DOH 2000
This would allow perfect connections in both directions to all GCC bound flights via DOH as well as to Europe with a 4 hour transit at DOH airport.
I also do not agree with the capacity increase to KIX-Osaka from a 250 seater A 332 to a 335 seater B 773ER on a daily basis. Some say its because QR is getting high loads on these flights, but does that warrant an increase of 32% in capacity i.e. 85 more seats on a daily basis just because EK is sending a daily B 773ER to KIX?! The A 332 is the ideal aircraft to serve DOH-KIX on a daily basis and it should remain that way until new flights to more African and Brazilian destinations are flown to ;)
Concluding, the biggest surprise has obviously been the daily flying rights awarded to QR for Northern Pakistan which is going to have a huge impact on PIA-ED-EK-GF-WY-KU-EY-SV respective market share into this lucurative market segment. Their increases to other destinations are also justified in some cases and some not, but there is one year left to rectify some problems for the better ment of the airline's bottom line!
Qatar Airways has revealed on the GDS major changes to its European network for the winter 09-10 IATA season with increase in frequencies to selected destinations. The main highlights are as follows:
CDG - frequencies increased from 11 times per week to double i.e. 4 weekly A 333s + 4 weekly A 332s + 6 weekly A 346s. All CDG bound flights will have a 3 class cabin configuration of F-J-Y.
ZRH - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 flights per week i.e. 3 weekly A 332s + 2 weekly A 333s. The extra flight is an early morning arrival into ZRH.
ARN - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 flights per week using an A 319LR.