Qatar Airways has officially announced plans for its USA expansion in 2013 using its fleet of yet to be delivered Boeing 787-800s. The main highlights are as follows:
BOS - new daily flights to be launched using a B787 operated nonstop
ORD - new daily flights to be launched using a B787 operated nonstop
ATL - new daily flights to be launched using a B787 operated nonstop
NYC - frequencies to be increased from daily to triple daily with the additional two daily flights operated via Eastern Europe using a B787.
DTW – new daily flights to be launched using a B787 operated nonstop
One of the announcements of the year thus far no doubt as this is extremely smart to take advantage of the medium sized B787s and use them on secondary services to USA with exception to ORD which deserves a B77W in the long run. What one finds most interesting is the increase to NYC from daily to triple daily. How this should be handled is the following:
a) JFK should not be increased to triple daily but rather double daily only and the additional daily frequency should be to EWR in order to diversify its reach in the NY market segment. In addition, there are 2 options that QR should consider when it comes to deciding which EU airport to fly via to NYC. Option 1 is obviously DOH-BUD-JFK because no airline now flies nonstop to NYC from BUD ever since Malev collapsed and there is a huge un tapped O&D market segment to be tapped here. The B 787 over here is once again the perfectly sized aircraft to cater for this segment and with QR developing a 0200 departure hub wave bank out of Doha airport to the Indian Subcontinent region, KSA, GCC and Far East, the timings of this service would look like this so as not to cannibalize the 0800 departure of the already established nonstop service of QR083 at 0805.
QR XXX Dep DOH 1255 Arr BUD 1730 // QR XXX Dep BUD 1850 Arr JFK 2230
QR XXX Dep JFK 0005 Arr BUD 1450+1 // QR XXX Dep BUD 1620 Arr DOH 2235
*In this way, the current BUD-DOH schedule more or less remains the same!
b) Option 2 involves QR returning to EWR as no GCC carrier + MS/TK operate there thus giving QR back the niche that it once had as the EWR market size to India, Africa and Eastern Europe is mass volume as well and on some routes even bigger than JFK! For this second option, there are two scenarios that should be considered. The easiest option is to revamp the old DOH-GVA-EWR route with a daily B787 product because everyone knows that GVA struggles on a year round basis maintaining 55% S/F on an A332 hence it is now a 4 weekly A319 operated flight of which the premium seat product is below par. By operating a daily B787 with an excellent J and Y product to GVA and onwards to EWR, it definitely shall help increase S/F as the flight is catering to three different market segments versus one only. The schedule for this service would be as follows:
QR XXX Dep DOH 0855 Arr GVA 1435 // QR XXX Dep GVA 1600 Arr EWR 1850
QR XXX Dep EWR 2210 Arr GVA 1010+1 // QR XXX Dep GVA 1140 Arr DOH 1850
*In this manner, the same DOH-GVA schedule is maintained, GVA-EWR can see an evening service as well as an early morning departure at 0920 of UA957 so it provides a good choice for O&D pax here and it allows the flight back from EWR and GVA to arrive back into DOH at the peak time to connect to all of QR’s prime destinations departing within 90 minutes to Asia, Indian subcontinent and GCC region. In particular, EWR-AMD/BOM is beautifully connected in both directions via DOH!
The other scenario which one may find more adventurous and riskier but one which has a lot of potential in the long run to do well is to operate to EWR via Warsaw (WAW), Poland which would be a new destination altogether for QR. Poland as we all know is Eastern Europe’s largest and most healthiest economy and one of the few that avoided being plagued by the recent economic recession. In fact, its economic growth has been so huge, that it has now overtaken Holland as Europe’s sixth largest economy with also the highest GDP growth rate in Europe. With FIFA’s EURO 2012 tournament being played there this summer, the long term tourist market segment will only increase and there are no direct flights currently to both EWR and to the Middle East from WAW airport. Demand to Far East Asia, Australia, India, DXB, and NYC to/from WAW is big along with cargo as well which plays a key role in QR’s new route decision making process. One must also note that LOT only operates 4 times per week to JFK nonstop from WAW so with QR operating a daily service into EWR, it has a great chance to be a top contender market share wise especially in the high yielding premium cabin segment due to offering not only a daily service but a much better on board product in turn. The schedule for DOH-WAW-EWR would look somewhat like this:
QR XXX Dep DOH 0900 Arr WAW 1355 // QR XXX Dep WAW 1525 Arr EWR 1910
QR XXX Dep EWR 2040 Arr WAW 1140+1 // QR XXX Dep WAW 1320 Arr DOH 2000
*Once again a good schedule allowing the key markets required to feed WAW and EWR in both directions via DOH to be well connected
9W-Jet Airways of India has been officially awarded the right by the Indian Civil Aviation Authority to massively expand its international route network from the current 370 to 518 weekly flights from the onset of the IATA W12 season.
The main highlights are as follows:
Indian Govt has approved 9W effective immediately to launch new services to Dar Es Salaam and add 7 additional extra frequencies each to Kuwait, Dhaka, Colombo, Male, Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai. 9W has in turn also requested and has been granted permission by the Indian Government of the following:
7 additional frequencies into Saudi Arabia
7 additional frequencies into Doha 7 additional frequencies into Brussels from Bangalore
35 new weekly flights into Frankfurt and Munich combined
7 new frequencies for Delhi-Paris nonstop
7 new frequencies for Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City nonstop
7 additional frequencies into Sharjah, UAE
9W needs to also look seriously at operating two more routes from India which have good O&D and flow traffic demand across its network:
Manchester-Mumbai operated nonstop 5 times per week using an A332 as there is a huge O&D market that needs a nonstop service i.e. 79,000 pax in 2011 alone. Plus they will get excellent feed via BOM to DAC/CMB/BKK/HKG/South India/AMD!
Delhi-Jakarta and Mumbai-Jakarta operated each 4 times per week using a B737-800. The annual passenger market size between Indonesia (CGK/DPS combined) to both BOM and DEL combined is 90,000 hence good volume but also, CGK services will help provide good volume via BOM/DEL to 9W’s expanding European and Middle Eastern operation as well.
With regards to the new routes, it most likely shall be as follows:
DEL-SGN daily B737 which will serve both as a feeder for CDG/MXP as well as rapidly expanding India-Vietnam tourism/business market segments!
DEL-CDG daily A332
BLR-BRU daily A332...hopefully JFK will be suspended and instead ORD launched! 9W can in turn code share with SN on their newly launched daily BRU-JFK service!
DEL-RUH daily B737 (desperately required). It cannot be JED unless operated from BOM as a B737 cannot be flown from South India neither DEL to JED nonstop due to payload limitations!
The extra DOH daily frequency will likely come from South India (either TRV or MAA)
DEL-BKK is in desperate need of a second daily B737 operated frequency with a 0200 departure out of DEL and arrival back between 2200-2330.
For KWI, it should be MAA-KWI nonstop as the annual market size on this sector is 178,000 pax and only KU operates it 4 times per week nonstop using an A310. FYI MAA-KWI is the largest Indian subcontinent market segment to/from KWI !
Turkish Airlines has officially announced that due to increasing demand for its services to/from KWI over the past 6 months, it shall be increasing capacity on its IST-KWI sector in a major manner effective 11JUN 2012. Currently, TK operates a double daily nonstop service from IST to KWI using an A320, however from 11JUN onwards, it shall be increased to TRIPLE DAILY nonstop using a larger A321 daily + double daily A320. Flights shall depart IST at 0105, 2035 and 2330 respectively on a daily basis each respectively.
Saudia Airlines has officially announced that it will be increasing its services to IST-Istanbul, Turkey effective 19JUN 2012 onwards. Currently, SV operates 3 weekly nonstop services from RUH-Riyadh however from mid June onwards it increases to 5 times per week nonstop using an Airbus A320. In addition, SV too revealed that due to the high demand of its Jeddah-Addis Ababa flights, it shall be further increasing frequencies from the current 4 to 5 weekly nonstop flights effective 02MAY 2012 using an Airbus A320.
United Airlines has officially revealed details of its long haul network changes for the IATA Winter 2012 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
EWR/FCO – all flights suspended
EWR/CPH – all flights suspended
EWR/GVA - frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly
EWR/OSL - frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly
EWR/HAM – frequencies reduced from 5 to 4 weekly
EWR/BCN – frequencies reduced from 6 to 4 weekly
EWR/TXL – frequencies reduced from 5 to 4 weekly using a B757
IAD/FRA – frequencies reduced from triple daily to double daily
IAD/MAN – frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly
IAD/DME – all flights suspended
ORD/AMS – frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly using a B763ER
ORD/BRU – frequencies increased from 6 weekly to daily
ORD/MUC – frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly
IAH/CDG - frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly
Egypt Air has officially announced that in spite of the political unrest that plagued Cairo in 2011, it still managed to make a net profit last year amounting to US$ 12 million as it was successful in leasing out aircraft and deferring deliveries of many wide body and narrow bodied aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus respectively. With the political situation now stable, its CEO revealed that it will be launching new 3 weekly nonstop flights to YYZ-Toronto from Summer 2013 using a Boeing 777-300ER. These were initially planned to start from June 2011 but deferred due to the political instability. More long haul enhancements to the network planned from Winter 2012 and for 2013 as well shall be announced gradually over the current summer season.
Garuda Indonesia has officially announced that it has placed an order worth US$ 2.5 billion with Airbus this week for the purchase of 11 brand new Airbus A330-300s to fuel its rapidly growing medium haul Austral-Asia network after it announced joining the Sky Team alliance. GA’s A333s seat 257 passengers in a two class configuration with 42 flat bed seats in business class and 215 in economy class.
Transaero Airlines of Russia has officially announced that it placed an order with Boeing earlier on this week for the purchase of 4 brand new Boeing 787-800s that it will use to further grow its long haul network in due course. These B788s will be seating 262 passengers in a 3 class configuration i.e. 4F + 14J and 244Y class respectively.
JED/JFK - frequencies increased from 3 to 5 times per week nonstop using a B772ER
RUH/JFK - frequencies increased from 1 to 2 times per week nonstop using a B772ER
JED/IAD - frequencies increased to 3 times per week nonstop using a B772ER
RUH/IAD - frequencies increased to 3 times per week nonstop using a B772ER
Lastly, SV too announced that due to the overwhelming response that its Addis Ababa flights have been receiving, it shall be further increasing capacity on the route effective 02MAY 2012.Frequencies on the JED-ADD route are being increased from 4 to 5 weekly nonstop flights using an A320 which are operated along side 3 weekly A320 RUH-ADD services. One of the main reasons for this rapid increase is because the KSA Govt’s new labor policy entails issuing thousands of new labor visas to Ethiopians to compensate for the ban imposed on new visa issuance to Filipinos and Bangladeshi labor workers.
Sri Lankan Airlines has officially revealed that it shall be massively scaling back its services to Europe from the end of the summer 2012 peak season. The main highlights are as follows:
ZRH - all flights suspended effective 27AUG 2012
FCO - all flights suspended effective 03SEP 2012
MXP - all flights suspended effective 03SEP 2012
Eva Air is in serious talks with Boeing about a possible purchase of 7 additional Boeing 777-300ERs as the carrier looks to replace its 4 aging Boeing 747-400 Combi fleet by 2015 and at the same time expand further into the U.S. market. This is due to the fact that from 2013 onwards, Taiwanese passport holders will be permitted to obtain visas upon arrival into USA hence BR wants to take full advantage of this by adding more weekly frequencies into Star Alliance hub airports mainly as the carrier has now been accepted into the alliance fold. In addition, BR is also looking to purchase 6 more Airbus A 321-200s for its regional services to China, Japan, Philippines and South Korea. This would bring its total A321 fleet to 12 units and shall be used to replace its entire MD90 fleet between 2014-16.
China Eastern Airlines has officially announced that it shall be increasing its services to FCO-Rome, Italy effective 01JUL 2012. Currently, MU operates 5 times per week nonstop from its PVG-Shanghai hub using an Airbus A 330-200, however these shall now be increased to daily nonstop flights using the same aircraft type. Being a Sky Team member, it will be code sharing with Alitalia on this sector as well as obtaining massive feed from its intra-Europe services beyond the latter's FCO hub base. In addition, MU too announced that it would be increasing services to YVR-Vancouver, Canada as well effective 22JUN from the current daily to 11 times per week with all flights operated using an A332. Lastly, the airline has announced that due to numerous delays to the Boeing 787 program, it has decided to fully cancel its order for 24 B787s in exchange for purchasing 45 Boeing 737-800s which shall be used to boost its domestic and ASEAN regional expansion strategy.
Kenya Airways has officially announced that due to high demand to Kenya as well all other parts of Africa, it shall be increasing its services to BOM-Mumbai, India effective 15MAY 2012. Currently, KQ operates a daily nonstop flight using a Boeing 767-300ER from Nairobi to Mumbai, these shall be increased to 10 times per week nonstop using the same aircraft type. The three new weekly flights arrive into BOM at 0700am and depart back at 0815am.
Etihad Airways has offically announced that due to poor loads and low yield, it shall be suspending all its services to HBE-Alexandria, Egypt effective 15MAY 2012. The seasonal demand for this route has hurt EY's performance here and the aircraft will be used on more better performing services. Currently, EY operates 3 times a week to HBE using an Airbus A 320-200.
Turkish Airlines has officially announced that it shall be significantly increasing its medium haul services across the MENA region of which the main highlights are as follows:
BGW - frequencies increased from daily to double daily using a B738
EBL - frequencies increased from daily to 11 weekly using an A320
ACC - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop flights using a B739ER
ABJ (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) - new 4 weekly flights to be launched effective 17JUL using a B739ER operated via ACC
TAAG Angola has officially announced that it has placed an order with Boeing for the purchase of 3 additional Boeing 777-300ERs as the carrier is very optimistic of the future outlook of Angola's economy which is now Africa's largest exporter of oil overtaking Nigeria last summer. TAAG has identified that these additional aircraft shall be used to boost frequencies to Beijing as well as launch 2 new European routes i.e. Paris and Rome.
KLM has officially announced that it shall be increasing its services to IAD-Washington DC effective July 2012 as the carrier looks to further tap into higher yielding long haul markets versus launching totally new routes which are far more riskier investments. Currently, KL operates a daily A332 on this route nonstop from its AMS hub base which shall in turn be increased to 10 times per week nonstop using an A332 8 times per week and a larger A333 twice a week.
United Airlines has officially revealed more changes to its European network for the on going IATA S12 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
IAD/MAN - new daily nonstop flights to be launched effective 01MAY using a B757
IAD/FCO - capacity reduced from daily B772ER to daily B763ER
EWR/CDG - capacity reduced to double daily flights operated by B757s only
EWR/MUC - capacity increased from daily B762ER to daily B764ER
ORD/BRU - frequencies increased from 6 weekly to daily