Fly Dubai has officially announced major expansion plans for its route network for the IATA S12 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
*All flights are operated with a 189 seater B737-800s
BGW - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop flights
JED - frequencies increased from daily to 18 weekly nonstop flights
RUH - frequencies increased from daily to double daily nonstop flights
CGP - frequencies increased from 6 to 10 weekly nonstop flights
SAH - flights to be launched with 4 instead of 3 weekly nonstop flights
TBS - frequencies increased from 2 to 3 weekly nonstop flights
ASB - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly nonstop flights
KTM - frequencies reduced from double daily to daily nonstop flights
Emirates has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights to IAD-Washington DC effective 12SEP 2012. Frequencies will be daily from the on set using a 3 class 354 seater Boeing 777-300ER with the below mentioned schedule:
EK 231 Dep DXB 0220 Arr IAD 0850
EK 232 Dep IAD 1055 Arr DXB 0800+1
The above mentioned schedule offers excellent connections in both directions to India, KHI, DAC, CMB, ADD, NBO, JNB, BKK, SIN, KUL and the GCC region.
In addition, EK too confirmed that it will be launching an additional 5th daily nonstop flight to KHI-Karachi, Pakistan effective 01AUG 2012 with a 2 class Boeing 777-300ER (434 seater). The new flight will depart DXB at 1455 and arrive back into DXB by 2050. This new flight has been added to ensure seamless connectivity out of LAX/DFW/BAH/DOH/KWI to KHI with only a 2 hour in DXB versus the 6 hours presently endured by pax arriving from USA in particular.
This announcement by Emirates in terms of flight launch date in particular is purposely done due to a major mistake by Etihad as one does not announce a new long haul route such as AUH-IAD a year in advance thus giving your direct competition such as EK/TK/QR to plan what actions are required to counter the EY entry into the market in terms of frequency/capacity increase. With EK launching IAD a full 6 months before Etihad, it provides them ample lead time to get corporate/consolidator contracts in place and take away a good chunk of the market from EY!
Where EK will succeed in IAD is getting Africa and India bound traffic versus EY who cannot capture this type of traffic because their flights do not connect via AUH to NBO/JNB + they use A320s to India so huge capacity bottleneck situation arises. IAD-Africa (especially JNB ADD NBO) is huge volume i.e. IAD-ADD alone is bigger than IAD-PAK + IAD-CMB + IAD-DAC combined together. Plus also note that with the SPA deal with Fly Dubai, EK will capture a lot of traffic bound to Central Asia, Iraq and Kabul on board its flights.
Kenya Airways has officially announced that it shall be launching new nonstop flights to DEL-Delhi, India effective 15MAY 2012 as the carrier looks to take advantage of the massive increase of traffic between Northern India and Africa. KQ will operate a Boeing 767-300ER on this new route 4 times per week nonstop from its Nairobi hub. It is forecasted that if the route performs well, it shall be increased to a daily frequency within 6 months of the launch with a possible extension to Seoul with 5th freedom traffic rights. The schedule of the new DEL flight is as follows:
KQ 220 Dep NBO 1400 Arr DEL 2330
KQ 221 Dep DEL 0100 Arr NBO 0530
In addition, KQ too confirmed that it is increasing its services to JED-Jeddah, Saudi Arabia effective 03JUL 2012 as the carrier looks to exploit the ever increasing labor market segment between KSA and Kenya along with the Umrah/Hajj market segment. Frequencies shall be increased from the present 2 to 3 weekly nonstop flights using a Boeing 737-700.
Virgin Atlantic has officially announced that it shall be reinstating services to BOM-Mumbai, India effective 28OCT 2012. Frequencies shall be daily operated nonstop from London Heathrow airport using its new Airbus A 330-300s (266 seater). The schedule however of this new BOM service is different from its old one as it allows perfect connections via LHR in both directions to its entire U.S. network. The schedule is as follows:
Daily A333 (33J / 48Y+ / 185Y)
VS 354 Dep LHR 1015 Arr BOM 0055+1
VS 355 Dep BOM 0310 Arr LHR 0755
Etihad Airways has officially announced that it has secured bilateral approval from the Egyptian Govt to further increase its services to CAI-Cairo, Egypt effective June 2012. Currently, Etihad operates double daily nonstop flights from AUH to CAI with A320s exclusively. These shall be increased to 18 times per week effective June 2012 as well resulting in a significant increase of capacity which the main highlights are as follows:
14 weekly A320s increased to 18 weekly i.e. daily A330 + 11 weekly A320
EY 651 Dep AUH 0055 Arr CAI 0245
EY 650 Dep CAI 0330 Arr AUH 0910
Gulf Air has officially announced major changes to its IATA S12 schedule to Europe and Medina of which the main highlights are as follows:
FRA – frequencies increased from daily to 11 weekly effective July 3rd
CPH – frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily effective June 1st
CDG – frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly effective July 4th
MED – frequencies increased from 5 to 6 weekly effective May 19th
Singapore Airlines's new long haul low cost subsidiary called Scoot Airlines has officially announced its launch plan that will come into effect from 26JUN 2012. OQ revealed that its first 2 routes shall be Sydney and Gold Coast in Australia. SYD shall be operated on a daily basis nonstop where as OOL shall be flown 5 times per week. All routes are to be operated using an all economy class configured Boeing 777-200ER.
Lufthansa has officially announced that it is very keen on purchasing the largest version of the Boeing 787 family i.e. the Boeing 787-100X which is expected to seat 323 passengers in a 3 class configuration and can operate nonstop flights up to a range of Manila-Los Angeles without any payload restrictions. LH is reviewing this aircraft type as a long term replacement for its fleet of aging Airbus A340-300s in particular.
Currently out of a fleet of 279 aircraft, 84 are Boeing manufactured and from this figure 28 are wide bodied Boeing 747-400s. Airbus dominates the fleet mix of LH and it is highly unlikely that they will just sit by and let Boeing have a field day. They will definitely offer Lufthansa an unbeatable offer for their Airbus A350-900s which is the main direct competitor to the B781X which should include a purchase/exchange swap for LH’s A343s for a sizeable A359 order.
Emirates has officially announced that it shall be increasing its services to FCO-Rome effective 01OCT 2012 as the carrier looks to further increase its market share on the high volume Rome-Asia and Rome-GCC market segments respectively. Frequencies shall be raised from double to triple daily nonstop flights using an A332 daily + A380 daily + B773ER daily. The schedule of the new daily frequency is a departure from DXB at 0300 with an arrival back at 1900 using an 3 class configured 237 seater A332. The top markets that feed currently EK’s FCO bound flights are DXB, Australia, JKT, MLE, Japan, ICN, BKK and BOM.
Malaysia Airlines has officially revealed the configuration of its new Airbus A380s which shall be arriving during the upcoming summer season to the airline. It will be seating 494 passengers in a 3 class configuration i.e. 8 first class + 64 business class + 422 economy class. Its first two routes shall be London Heathrow and Sydney.
Qatar Airways has officially revealed the configuration of its upcoming Boeing 787-800s that shall be used to replace A332s on medium haul sectors as well as boost capacity on existing routes where demand exists. QR takes delivery of 5 B788s this year and the seat layout states 254 passengers i.e. 22 business + 232 economy class. The first route it shall be deployed on is the flagship DOH-LHR sector . QR also revealed a new business class product for its B787 that sees the seat pitch being 80 inches and the seat width 22 inches.
In addition, QR too officially announced that it shall be majorly expanding its route network with the addition of 5 new destinations effective May 2012:
EBL – new 4 weekly frequencies using an A320
BGW – new 4 weekly frequencies using an A320
JRO – new daily flights using an A320 via NBO
BEG – new 4 weekly frequencies using an A320 via ESB
RGN – new 3 weekly nonstop flights using an A319LR
Iberia Airlines of Spain has officially announced that it shall be suspending all services to JNB-Johannesburg, South Africa effective 01MAY 2012. Currently, IB operates a 3 weekly nonstop service using an Airbus A340-300 out of its Madrid hub base. IB cites high operating costs and lower than average yields for the suspension.
Hainan Airlines of China has officially announced that it shall be increasing its presence in Europe from its Beijing hub base effective July 2012 in the following manner:
PEK/TXL (Berlin) – frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly nonstop flights using an A332
PEK/BRU – frequencies increased from 6 weekly to daily nonstop flights using an A332
Hainan should seriously consider deploying its A346s to launch Manchester-Beijing nonstop as the potential is massive considering there is no nonstop link between MAN and the Far East much to the delight of KLM, LH, EK, QR and EY who are reaping the benefits of this. PEK-MAN alone has a O&D market size of over 60,000 passengers per year where as demand to Hong Kong is double of that. MAN is the main gateway airport to the Northern UK as well as a big market for cargo which is always of keen interest to the Asian carriers. Initially, a four weekly MAN-PEK nonstop service operated with an A346 (since an A332 would struggle with payload limitations) + a SPA with Flybe for feeder traffic to/from MAN + transfer traffic bound to MNL/PVG/CAN/ICN/Japan/TPE/HKG shall in all prove to be very useful in the long run.
As part of its on-going efforts to downsize operations to keep a skeleton schedule operational whilst it resolves its cash crunch situation, Kingfisher Airlines has officially announced radical cut backs to its international route network of which the main highlights are as follows:
DEL/LHR – daily nonstop flights operated by an A332 suspended effective 10APR
BOM/LHR - daily nonstop flights operated by an A332 suspended effective 16APR
DEL/BKK – daily nonstop flights operated by an A320 suspended
DEL/KTM - daily nonstop flights operated by an A320 suspended
BOM/BKK - daily nonstop flights operated by an A320 suspended
CCU/BKK - daily nonstop flights operated by an A320 suspended
Etihad Airways has officially announced yesterday evening that they will be further increasing their services to both Kuwait and Dammam effective 01APR 2012 of which the main highlights are as follows:
DMM - bilateral approval obtained to increase from the current 13 to 16 weekly frequencies using A320s for all flights. The additional flights depart AUH at 0200 and return back by 0655am AUH time respectively which is similar to our newly introduced GF 119/120 service launched since 30OCT and doing well.
KWI - frequencies increased from 21 to 25 flights per week using an A320. The additional flights depart AUH at 2045 and arrive back by 0100 AUH time respectively.
Austrian Airlines has officially announced that it shall be reducing its service to PEK-Beijing, China effective 25MAR 2012 as the carrier looks to cut costs wherever possible due to a grave concern with increasing fuel prices. OS currently operates a daily B767-300ER nonstop from VIE to PEK, but these shall be reduced to 5 weekly services using the same aircraft type from end March.
Fly Dubai has officially announced that it shall be launching new nonstop services to SAH-Sanaa, Yemen effective 22APR 2012. FZ shall be operating the route four times per week using a 189 seater B737-800 with its primary target markets being O&D to DXB and transfer traffic to nearby GCC destinations.
Boeing has officially announced that it shall be launching 2 new Boeing 777 models + 1 new Boeing 787 model from November 2012 of which the main highlights are as follows:
B 777-800X (778) - range is 14,800KM seating 353 pax in a 3 class configuration
B 777-900X (779) - range will be the same i.e. 14,800KM but will seat 407 pax in a 3 class configuration; this will be a replacement of the B773ER and can fly DXB-LAX/SFO/SYD/GRU nonstop without any payload issues.
Boeing 787-100X - range will be 14,000KM and will seat 323 pax in a 3 class configuration; this will be the direct replacement of the B772ER
One does not think that the B778 will be a popular choice for airlines as it brings nothing special to the table. However, the B779 shall definitely be as it would be seating 57 more pax versus the A350-1000X and only offering a flying range capability of 800KM less. Emirates has been a key driver of this program and one can definitely expect it to order many of the type as its primary requirement was to have an aircraft the size of a B773ER or slightly larger that could operate with a full load of pax + cargo from DXB to the U.S. West Coast and South America which the B779 is slated to. In turn, one can now also expect QR's CEO to follow suit and order many as well which in turn will result in the carrier dumping the A351 if Airbus does not listen to his demands as the A351 program is heading down the same road as the A346HGW!
One more appetizing feature of the B779 is that according to its specifications, it shall also be able to fly nonstop with a full payload from both BOM and DEL to ORD-Chicago which can prove to be a really attractive proposition for 9W/UA/AI/AA to ponder over their long term fleet requirments!
Saudia Airlines has officially announced that it shall be dramatically increasing its presence in ADD-Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the on set of the IATA S12 season i.e. 25MAR 2012 in the following manner:
JED/ADD - all 4 weekly nonstop flights currently operated with A320s shall be upgraded to 4 weekly A333s (298 seater)
RUH/ADD - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be launched using an A320 effective 27MAR with the following schedule:
SV 425 Dep RUH 0905 Arr ADD 1220
SV 424 Dep ADD 1400 Arr RUH 1710
This will result in SV offering an additional 2080 r/t seats per week on the KSA-ADD route effective end March !
Air India has officially announced major changes to its entire Middle East operation that are to take effect from 25MAR 2012 onwards. The main highlights are as follows:
DEL/BAH - new daily nonstop flights launched with an A319
DEL/RUH - frequencies increased from 2 to 3 weekly nonstop flights using a B777
DEL/DXB - frequencies increased from daily B777 to double daily i.e. daily A321 + daily A319
DEL/DMM - frequencies increased from 2 weekly B777s to daily A319s
DEL/MCT - capacity reduced from daily A320 to daily A319
DEL/JED - capacity increased from 3 weekly A332s to 3 weekly B777s
BOM/DXB - frequencies increased from daily to double daily i.e. daily A321 + daily A332
BOM/JED - capacity increased from 4 weekly A332s to 4 weekly B777s
COK/RUH - capacity increased from 2 weekly B777 to 2 weekly B744
TRV/RUH - capacity increased from 2 weekly B777 to 2 weekly B744
CCJ/DXB - capacity increased from daily A320 to daily A321
HYD/DMM - all 4 weekly flights canceled
BOM/DMM - all 3 weekly flights canceled
Lastly, the airline has been cited by the Indian media, that it intends to launch new nonstop flights to MEL-Melbourne, Australia out of its Delhi hub from the on set of the IATA W12 season i.e. 26OCT 2012. AI would be utilizing its brand new Boeing 787-800s on this sector which seat 256 passengers in a 2 class configuration i.e. 18J + 238Y. Service is expected to initially be operated 4 times per week with connections via DEL available to LHR, DAC and KTM along with domestic India.
China Southern Airlines based out of Guangzhou, China has officially announced that it has placed a new order for 10 Boeing 777-300ERs earlier on this week as the carrier looks to replace its aging B772ER fleet along with older Airbus A330-200 models operated on long haul routes with fuel efficient aircraft offering the best performance economics. Deliveries of these B773ERs will begin from Winter 2013 and shall last till 2016. The routes it intends to deploy these aircraft on are Paris, Los Angeles, London Heathrow and Vancouver.
Cathay Pacific has officially announced that it shall be reducing its services to the Middle East region from the on set of the IATA S12 season in the following manner:
BAH - frequencies reduced from daily to 4 weekly flights
AUH - frequencies reduced from 4 to 3 weekly flights
Etihad Airways has officially announced that they shall be launching new nonstop services to BSR-Basra, Iraq effective 15APR 2012.Flights shall be operated 4 times per week using an A320 with a 0945 departure from AUH and arrival back by 1445 thus enabling excellent connections into BSR from all over Europe/ISC/GCC and Far East. Out of BSR though the transit time is ok for Asia/GCC but 10 hours for all European flights!
Emirates has officially announced that they shall be increasing their services to both Doha and Kuwait effective 01AUG 2012 onwards in the following manner:
DOH – frequencies increased from 35 to 42 flights per week i.e. triple daily B777-300s (354 seater) + triple daily A332s (278 seater)
KWI – frequencies increased from 28 to 35 flights per week i.e. 24 weekly B777-300s (354 seater) + 11 weekly A332s (278 seater)
The new flights depart DXB at 10am and arrive back by 2pm in order to feed their late afternoon European departure hub wave bank which is between 330-430pm DXB time. EK too confirmed that it has in sights a plan to launch new daily nonstop flights to IAD-Washington DC in the short term future using a 3 class configured Boeing 777-300ER. If finalized, it is expected to be launched few months before Etihad's launch in March 2013.
Jet Airways of India has officially announced that it shall be significantly increasing its presence at DMM-Dammam airport effective 17MAR 2012. Currently, 9W operates a daily nonstop service from both TRV and BOM into DMM using a B737-800. However from 17MAR 2012, 9W will be launching new 4 weekly nonstop flights from DEL to DMM using the same aircraft type. This seems to be a direct response to Air India who only yesterday announced that they are increasing DEL-DMM from 2 weekly B777s to a daily A319 service.
Hainan Airlines of China has officially announced that it shall be increasing its services to YYZ-Toronto effective 20JUL 2012 by adding a new 4th weekly nonstop service out of its primary PEK-Beijing hub base. HU shall be using an Airbus A340-600 for all PEK-YYZ flights which seat 288 passengers in a 3 class configuration i.e. 8F/60J/220Y (ex Cathay aircraft).
British Airways has officially announced that the initial routes it intends on operating its Airbus A380s are New York JFK, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore as the carrier looks to deploy the aircraft on its highest yielding premium long haul markets from the on set. JFK will be served with a twice a daily frequency where as PEK, HKG and SIN would be daily initially until more aircraft get delivered.
Japan Airlines has officially announced that it shall be launching 2 new long haul routes out of its NRT-Tokyo Narita hub from the on set of the IATA Winter 2012 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
HEL - new 4 weekly nonstop flights using a B787-800 effective 01MAR 2013
SAN (San Diego) - new 4 weekly nonstop flights using a B787-800 effective 01DEC 2012