Emirates has officially announced major changes to its medium and long haul route network for the upcoming IATA W13 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
LAX - capacity increased from daily B773ER to daily A380 effective 01DEC
DAR - capacity reduced from daily B773ER to daily A332
MAD - capacity reduced from daily B773ER to daily B772LR
ZRH - capacity increased from double daily B773ER to daily A380 + daily B773ER
CMB - frequencies increased from double daily to 17 weekly with all flights operated with a 434 seater B773ER
Air France has officially announced that it will be expanding its services to New York's JFK services from the on set of the upcoming IATA W13 season as the carrier looks to further increase its market share in the face of increasing competition from its rivals. Originally, AF was operating 4 daily (28 weekly) services into JFK, these will be increased to 32 weekly with additional 4 flights operated by an A332 departing JFK at 1740. Therefore in W13, the CDG-JFK will see a daily A380 + double daily B772ER + 11 weekly A332. Apart from JFK, AF also is increasing capacity in a major manner on its popular ABJ-Abidjan, Ivory Coast route from Paris-CDG from the IATA W13 season as well. Currently, AF operates 10 times per week to ABV using a daily B773ER + 3 weekly A343. The latter gets upgraded to 3 weekly B772ERs in turn. Lastly, concerning ABJ, many media outlets in Europe and Africa are reporting that ABJ shall also be the first African route to receive daily scheduled Airbus A380 operated flights by the French national carrier effective Sept 2014.
Philippine Airlines has officially revealed further information on its planned expansion into Saudi Arabia which shall take place effective 01DEC 2013. To begin with, all flights shall be operated with an all economy class configured Airbus A330-300 seating 414 passengers.
The breakdown of the operation is as follows:
DMM - 3 weekly nonstop flights on Days 1/3/5
RUH - 6 weekly nonstop flights on all days except SAT
JED - 4 weekly nonstop flights on Days 1/3/5/7
Above mentioned routes are available for sale across all major GDS booking systems.
The DMM-MNL market segment has almost double the demand compared to JED-MNL plus DMM-MNL is higher yielding as well therefore since there is enough lead in time for PAL to change their schedule around, it should seriously consider making DMM 4 weekly and reducing JED to 3 weekly as this will benefit them far more than their original plan.
Virgin Atlantic has officially announced that due to on going cost cutting measures in place, it shall be suspending all its services to ACC-Accra, Ghana effective 23SEP13. Currently, VS operates 5 times per week to ACC using an A343 and has a one third market share on this high volume market segment. Its main competitor, BA operates a daily B772ER on this route.
The one stop carriers such as IB, KL, TAP etc must be overjoyed with this move as they will get a huge chunk of the spill over traffic as BA's current ACC flights average 80% S/F and they cannot accommodate all the VS pax in the future.
Oman Air has officially announced that it has placed an order with Boeing for 5 additional new aircraft comprising of the largest member of the B737NG family i.e. the Boeing 737-900ER. WY plans to utilize the extra 20% capacity that these aircraft offer versus its B738s on its high volume Indian subcontinent and Jeddah routes in particular. The B739ER with a full payload has the capability to operate Muscat-Chittagong nonstop without any restrictions.
Qatar Airways has announced many changes to its Boeing 787 operational schedule as now that the lithium battery issue is passe, the airline can fully utilize its existing fleet of 5 aircraft and is expected to take delivery of a few more by the year end. The main highlights are as follows:
MUC - all double daily flights to be operated by a B788.
CPH - all daily flights to be operated by a B788
ARN - all daily flights to be operated by a B788
ZRH - all daily flights to be operated by a B788
OSL - all daily flights to be operated by a B788
LHR - one out of 5 daily flights to be operated by a B788 i.e QR 007/008 (dep DOH 0625 and dep LHR 1505)
In addition, QR too confirmed that it will be launching a new freighter service to ORD-Chicago effective 03JUL13. The routing will be Doha-Milan-Chicago and operated twice a week using a 101 ton Boeing 777-200LR freighter. According to the airline, it has 5th freedom traffic rights on the MXP-ORD-MXP sector which saw in 2012 a total of 16,500 tons of air freight carried between it on all airlines.
South African Airways has officially announced that it is accepting proposals from both Boeing and Airbus for an order for 30 wide bodied aircraft valued at US$ 7 billion as the carrier is extremely unhappy with the performance economics as well as its high leasing costs of its fleet of 9 Airbus A340-600s and 8 Airbus A 340-300s. The carrier last year had indicated that the Airbus A350 would be the perfect aircraft family to replace its A340s as it took into account the various payload restrictions that its primary JNB hub airport has due to elevation issues. The issue that SAA has with the A350 from a commercial stand point that it will not be delivered to them till the latter part of the decade and would prefer a twin engined replacement aircraft as soon as possible in order to save on operational costs.
Etihad Airways has officially revealed many capacity and frequencies increases for its medium haul route network for the current S13 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
BOM - capacity increased from daily A320 to daily A332
CAI - frequencies increased from 18 weekly to triple daily A320s
MSQ - frequencies increased from 3 weekly to daily nonstop flights using an A320
GRU - frequencies reduced from daily A346 to 3 weekly A345s
DME - capacity increased from daily A320 to daily A332 (operated as a daily same plane service to BOM)
ISB - frequencies increased from daily to 9 weekly
MCT - frequencies increased from 20 to 23 weekly
AMM - frequencies increased from double daily to 18 weekly
RAM (Royal Air Maroc) has officially announced that it will be launching a new long haul route i.e. GRU-Sao Paulo, Brazil effective 16DEC13 as the carrier looks to expand into emerging markets that can help feed its EU and Northwest African network via its primary CMN-Casablanca hub. RAM will fly to GRU nonstop from CMN 3 times per week using a Boeing 767-300ER.
Air Arabia of Sharjah, UAE has officially announced that due to rising demand out of Bangladesh for its services as well as for general travel to the GCC region, it shall be increasing its services to DAC-Dhaka effective 17JUN13. Currently, G9 operates 12 weekly nonstop flights from its SHJ base to DAC using an A320, these will be increased to double daily nonstop with a standardized schedule i.e. dep SHJ at 0325 and 1445 respectively.
Air Canada has officially announced two additional routes that shall be receiving its high density configured (458 seater) Boeing 777-300ERs from later on this year. These include daily Vancouver-Hong Kong (from W13) plus daily Vancouver-London Heathrow (from S14). The YVR-HKG route was a favorite from the on set to receive this aircraft type from the get go but YVR-LHR was not anticipated by many but it makes commercial sense as instead of operating a double daily A333 service to cater for peak summer season demand on this route, AC can save big time on operational costs by deploying the 450 seater B77W which would have almost the same capacity as two A333s. In addition to the above, AC also revealed 3 new European routes that its low cost subsidiary i.e. Rouge would be launching from May 2014 onwards. These include 5 weekly Toronto-Dublin + 3 weekly Toronto-Edinburgh + 3 weekly Toronto-Venice nonstop services all operated with B767-300ERs.
Singapore Airlines officially announced that it has placed a mega order with both Boeing and Airbus worth a total US$ 17 billion for its Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 models. With regards to the latter, SQ was revealed to be the first airline to order the largest B787 family member i.e. the Boeing 787-100X of which it ordered 30. These aircraft are ideally suited to replace the A333s, A343s and B772ER fleet of airplanes worldwide. As far as Airbus is concerned, SQ announced that it became the newest customer for the largest A350 family member as well i.e. the A350-1000X of which it ordered 30 + took an additional 20 options for the smaller A350-900 which can be converted to the larger -1000X if the need arises.