Monday, December 31, 2007


Emirates has revealed that its second destination with the Airbus A 380 will be London Heathrow. EK will use the A 380 from Dec 1st 2008 to LHR with the flight numbers being EK 001/002. Flight timings are as follows :

EK 001 Dep DXB 0745 Arr LHR 1135
EK 002 Dep LHR 1345 Arr DXB 0030+1

In addition, EK will be making radical changes concerning equipment being used and frequency increases on many of its routes from March 2008. The main highlights are as follows :

USA - two new cities are to be launched i.e. ORD & LAX. Chicago will see nonstop service from DXB using a B 773ER where as LAX would see the same using a B 772LR.

DEL - increased to 11 weekly flights from March 30th and then further increased to 14 times a week effective July 1st 2008. Aircraft used from July are 4 times a week on the A 332 + 10 times a week using B 777s.

NCE - will get 5 weekly nonstop terminator flights from DXB using an A 332 from Dec 1st 2008. Currently NCE is served 3 times a week via FCO using a 3 class B 773A.

LCA/MLA - increased from 5 weekly to daily i.e. 2 weekly B 773ERs + 5 weekly B 773As.

GRU - increased to daily effective July 1st 2008; all flights will be flown using the B 772LRs.

JKT - capacity increased to 9 weekly nonstop terminator services effective Oct 1st 08 using a 2 class B 773ER for all flights.

SIN - reduced from 24 times a week to triple daily only effective Oct 1st 08.

KUL - capacity increased to 9 weekly terminator flights from DXB all using a 2 class B 773ER.

ACC - to be increased from 5 weekly to daily effective Dec 1st 2008 using an A 343.

MUC - capacity to be increased from double daily A 332s to daily B 772ER + daily A 332 effective July 1st 08.

ZRH - capacity increased to daily B 773ER + 4 weekly A 332 + 3 weekly A 345 effective 26th Oct 08.

PEK - capacity increased from July 1st 08 i.e. 5 weekly B 772LR + 2 weekly B 773ER.

NGO - in flight product standard downgraded from daily A 345 to daily A 343 effective March 30th 08.

MEL - third daily flight to be launched from February 2009; it will be flown nonstop from DXB. This third flight will be flown with either an A 345 or A 380.


Qantas has announced that it will be increasing its flights to HKG-Hong Kong from MEL-Melbourne effective April 30th 08 by flying route 10 times a week instead of daily. Currently, daily flights are flown using a B 744 where as the 3 additional flights will see an A 333 being utilized.


Alitalia has announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights to LAX-Los Angeles, USA from its new FCO-Rome hub effective June 1st 2008. Flights will be flown 5 times a week using a Boeing 777-200ER on Mon, Wed, Thur, Sat & Sun.

Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines has confirmed that it has sealed a multi billion order with Airbus earlier on this week for 30 planes. The break up of the order consists of 10 A 359s + 20 A 321s.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has announced that it will launch new flights to PEK-Beijing nonstop from its AKL-Auckland hub effective 18th July 08. Flights will be flown twice a week using a B 772ER. As a result, flights to PVG-Shanghai will drop from 5 to 3 times a week from this date onwards.


Boeing has announced that this week it booked new orders from the following airlines :

DL - ordered 2 more B 777-200LRs.

QF - ordered 31 additional B 737-800s.

3 B 787s - by an unidentified airline (most likely by the airline mentioned below)

Air Astana

Air Astana of Kazakstan has announced that to fuel part of its ambitious expansion plans, it is purchasing 3 Boeing 787s + 6 A 320s. Most of these aircraft will be used to replace medium density Russian made aircraft that have been used for decades.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

India-Hong Kong bilateral

India and Hong Kong signed today a new air bilateral treaty opening up flights between the two territories which the latter had been lobbying for nearly a decade. The main highlights of the new treaty are as follows:

i. 27 new weekly flights between the two territories.

ii. HKG based carriers can operate 10 additional flights to DEL, 6 additional to BOM and 11 new flights combined to BLR/CCU/MAA.

iii. Designated airlines of India can fly 14 times a week maximum combined between HKG and the U.S. West Coast with full 5th freedom traffic rights.

iv. HKG based carriers can fly to Europe (except UK) via India with full 5th freedom rights up to 14 times a week only.

Analysis :

If there was ever an award to given for the most patient airline, then Cathay Pacific would be a strong contender for that award. Since 2000, CX has been lobbying extensively to the Indian Govt to let them increase their presence in India with more online flights but it all fell to deaf ears. Midway, a break through was achieved and 4 weekly flights to DEL were allowed but CX wanted access to BLR, MAA and daily flights to BOM. Fearing that their market share would further erode, AI was not too keen to allow CX more penetration into the country. Now that CX is allowed to fly to India in a more liberal, wide spread manner, expect the following to take place by 2009 :

BOM - increased to 10 weekly i.e. 4 weekly HKG-BKK-BOM-DXB + 6 weekly nonstop flights to HKG. To compete aggressively against ANA and AI for high yielding business class traffic, CX should seriously contemplate launching a 6 weekly SAME PLANE SERVICE using a 2 class A 333 on the NRT-HKG-BOM-HKG-NRT route which has the new business class seat features on board.

This can be made possible in the following manner :

CX 521 Dep NRT 1700 Arr HKG 2050 A333
CX 000 Dep HKG 2230 Arr BOM 0200+1 A333

CX 000 Dep BOM 0530 Arr HKG 1430 A333
CX 508 Dep HKG 1610 Arr NRT 2125 A333

***These above mentioned flight timings allow excellent 2 hour connections in both directions with CX's YVR, LAX & SFO bound flights from HKG thus providing useful feeder traffic.

DEL - increased from 4 to daily initially and then possibly to 10 14 allowed.

BLR - daily flights will be launched with an A 333 / B 772 initially as CX is fully aware what form of high yielding feeder traffic BLR can supply via HKG to Japan, China, SFO & LAX.

MAA - 4 weekly nonstop flights max.

As far as the Indian side is concerned, one fully expects 9W and KF to use 7 frequencies each respectively to launch daily flights from BOM nonstop to HKG in the future using an A 332. However, one does not for see any Indian carrier utilizing the 5th freedom options available to them via HKG to SFO/LAX in the short term UNLESS 9W re-routes its proposed daily B 773ER flight from BOM-PVG-SFO to BOM-HKG-SFO!

9W & KF should also look at the possibility of flying nonstop daily from BLR to HKG using an A 332 because if either one can sign a SPA with CX out of HKG for onward flights to China, Japan, MNL, SGN and ICN, the route does have money making potential for it to exploit. As it is 9W has a small scale hub in BLR with flights to MAA, HYD, CCU, COK & TRV which can provide value able feeder traffic to HKG and beyond. If 9W does indeed opt to fly BOM-HKG-SFO and BLR-HKG nonstop, then it can send pax from SFO via HKG to both BLR & BOM!


Emirates has confirmed that its first long haul route with the Airbus A 380 will be to JFK Airport in New York City. EK will use the A 380 on this sector from October 1st 2008 and will replace the B 773ER currently being used for EK 201/202. This new development possibly ends all speculation as to why EK suspended its 3rd daily JFK flight via HAM as EK's 3 class A 380 which will be used to JFK seats 489 pax in a 3 class configuration i.e. nearly double the capacity of its A 345. The 2 A 345s used for DXB-HAM-JFK will be re-directed for Perth which will see double daily A 345s flying to the city from March 30th 2008.

In other EK related news, the airline has been granted additional traffic rights to Italy from Summer 2008. As a result, capacity and frequencies will be increased to both FCO-Rome and MXP-Milan by the airline. From July 2008, EK will fly a daily nonstop 3 class A 332 to MXP and FCO will see a daily 3 class B 773A. From Rome however, 3 of those daily B 773s continue onwards to NCE-Nice.

As far as its Australian expansion plans are concerned for 2008, the main highlights are as follows :

BNE - double daily flights to start from Oct 26th 2008 i.e. new daily nonstop service using an A 345.

EK 434 DXB 0305 - 2320 BNE
EK 435 BNE 0225 - 1125 DXB

PER - from Oct 26th, capacity will be increased from double daily A 345s to daily A 345 + daily B 773ER.

EK 420 DXB 0235 - 1820 PER

EK 421 PER 2330 - 0545+1 DXB

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has announced that effective March 25th 2008, it will be launching new flights to Houston, Texas via Moscow-DME four times a week using a Boeing 777-300ER. SQ will also have 5th freedom rights on the DME-IAH-DME sector which will see it have a monopoly hold on this "oil/energy route" which no carrier flies nonstop. Flights will be flown on Tues, Thur, Sat & Sun.

In addition, SQ has filed an application with
Zurich-ZRH airport authorities to increase their flights to the city from daily B 773ERs nonstop to double daily B 773ERs nonstop effective Summer 2008. In its filing, SQ wants to arrive into ZRH at 1935 and depart back at 2100 using flight numbers SQ 343-344.

Analysis :

Quite an interesting move on behalf of SQ to fly to IAH via DME. Obviously, they must conducted a thorough review of this route and realized that there is quite a bit of demand in J & F class for this sector hence why not jump on to the band wagon before Continental does. With Russia's oil and energy industries currently experiencing a huge boom, linking two major "oil & energy capital" cities should witness a fair amount of high yielding J class passengers.

From IAH, SQ should also be able to attract high yielding business bound for SIN/KUL/JKT/BKK as the SQ brand name carries a lot of weight in Texas. SQ's cargo business too will see big business with this new flight.

Saudia Airlines

Saudia Airlines will be shortly releasing details of a major update concerning restructuring of its entire route network due to the retirement of its large fleet of B 741s, B 743s and MD 90s. The following cut backs are expected from early next year:

RUH/DMM/MNL - suspended

RUH/HKG/MNL - capacity reduced from 2 weekly B 743s to 2 weekly B 772ERs

JED/RUH/KUL/CGK - capacity reduced from 2 weekly B 743s to 1 weekly B 772A

JED/RUH/SIN/CGK - reduced from 2 weekly B 743s to 1 weekly B 772A.

JED/CMB - reduced from 2 weekly B 741s to a weekly B 772A.

- reduced to 1 weekly B 772A

- reduced to 1 weekly B 747

- reduced to 4 weekly B 772As

- reduced to 2 weekly B 772As.

- suspended

- reduced to a daily B 772.

- one weekly B 772A

- reduced to 2 weekly B 772As.

Biman Bangladesh

According to the Dhaka Daily Star, Biman Bangladesh has opted to go for an all Boeing wide bodied fleet to replace its aging DC 10-30s and Airbus A 310-300s. The major highlights of the upcoming order with Boeing is as follows :

* 4 Boeing 772ERs to be delivered from 2013, with options for two more.

* 4 Boeing 788s aircraft to be delivered from 2017, with options for two more.

* 4 used Boeing 772As on lease from 2009-2013 for Biman's interim capacity requirement.

* 4 B 788s to be on lease from 2011-2017 for Biman's interim capacity requirement.

* Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by January 15, 2008.

* Signing of the firm contract by February 15, 2008. * 1% of the order value to be paid upon order placement

Source: A very good article written by Imran Asif...for more click below

Jet Airways

Jet Airways of India has announced flight details of its new services to Dhaka, Bahrain, Kuwait and Doha from various points in India. Flights to all of these cities will be flown using a B 737-800. The major highlights are as follows :

DAC - daily flights from CCU and 4 weekly from DEL.

BAH - daily flights from BOM & COK each respectively.

KWI - daily flights from DEL & COK each respectively .

In addition, plans have been made to fly to DOH daily from BOM & CCJ each respectively.


Swiss has announced that it will be increasing capacity on its double daily flights to TLV-Tel Aviv, Israel from February 2008 onwards. From that month, LX will fly double daily A 343s from ZRH to TLV where as currently it operates a daily A 343 + daily A 320.


EVA Air has announced that it has secured 5th freedom rights to fly between KIX-Osaka and LAX-Los Angeles and will start flying this route from July 30th 2008 using a Boeing 777-300ER. Routing shall be TPE-KIX-LAX-KIX-TPE and will be flown 6 times a week only.

United Airlines

United Airlines has announced that it will be upgrading its Brussels flights from its IAD-Washington DC Dulles hub airport effective Feb 13th 2008. From this date onwards, UAL will send a daily B 772ER instead of the B 763ER to BRU to take advantage of its monopoly position on this route which sees a lot of premium travel year round.

Analysis :

Smart move by UAL to take advantage of its monopoly position on this key trans-atlantic route before 9W starts flights from the airport to IAD.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines has officially announced that the first route for its new Boeing 777-200LR fleet will be to Mumbai, India. The launch date is 30th March 2008 and the aircraft will seat 276 passengers in a 2 class configuration i.e. 43 in business and 233 in economy.

DL 016 JFK 2055 - 2210+1 BOM

DL 017 BOM 0020 - 0640 JFK

Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher Airlines and Air Deccan have entered full scale talks of merging the two carriers as one airline of which Mr Mallaya will be the Chairman and the current Deccan Chairman will be made Vice Chairman of this merged entity. In the event of a merger, it will make KF the largest airline in India in terms of fleet strength.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Emirates has officially confirmed that it will be launching new daily flights to CPT-Cape Town, South Africa from March 30th 2008 using a 3 class configured Airbus A 330-200. However, from October 1st 2008, capacity will be increased to a 3 class configured Boeing 777-200ER.

Flight timings are as follows :

EK 770 Dep DXB 0815 Arr CPT 1625
EK 771 Dep CPT 1810 Arr DXB 0600+1

EK is also suspending one of its 3 daily DXB-JFK flights i.e. EK 204/205 which is routed daily via HAM using an A 345. This will come into effect from 30th March 2008.
Nevertheless, EK will continue to fly to HAM with daily nonstop terminator flights using a B 777-200 configured in a 3 class layout. However from August 1st 2008, DXB-HAM nonstop flights will witness an increase in capacity as the 3 class B 772 will be replaced on the route by a 3 class B 773ER.

Comments :

The reason why this is happening is probably because EK wants to fly to Berlin as soon as possible as it views that market segment more positively than Hamburg. Thus as a comprimise to satisfy Lufthansa, it is giving up its 5th freedom rights on the HAM-JFK route to get flying rights for a daily flight into TXL-Berlin nonstop from DXB.

As far as CPT is concerned, it seems that EK's patience with SAA and the Pretorian Govt has paid off. Initially in 2002-03, SAA allowed EK only 4 flights a week to CPT but EK refused as it wanted daily or nothing which was refused. As a result, EK and the UAE Govt kept on lobbying the South African Govt authorities for more frequencies and it seems 5 years later, it has beared fruit for them. In CPT, EK's main target market would be passengers headed onwards to India and the Far East. It would also target the UK/EU-CPT market with dirt cheap fares which is its current practice for LHR/MAN/BHX-DXB-JNB bound flights.

Jet Airways

Jet Airways of India have officially confirmed to the Mumbai Stock Exchange yesterday that it has firmed up 5 out of 10 remaining options for A 332s. These additional aircraft will start arriving from Oct 2009 onwards. Thus in total, 9W's A 332 fleet by 2011 will increase from 10 to 15.

Comments :

So lets break down to see how the 15 A 332s are possibly going to be used -

2 A 332s for daily YYZ flights via BRU

2 A 332s for daily ORD flights via BRU from April 2008

2 A 332s for future daily LAX flights via BRU in 2008

3 A 332s hopefully used for daily India-DXB/KWI/AUH bound flights.

1 A 332 for 6 weekly ATQ-LHR nonstop

1 A 332 for future daily BOM-HKG nonstop

1 A 332 for future daily BOM-JNB flights

1 A 332 for future daily BOM-MAN flights (hopefully)

2 A 332s for India-SIN/KUL bound flights (hopefully)

China Airlines

China Airlines of Taiwan has announced that it has placed a huge order with Airbus for 20 Airbus A 350-900s of which 14 are firm orders and 6 are options. CI has confirmed that this aircraft type will fully replace its fleet of six Airbus A 340-300s in addition to be used to increase its flights to Europe and North America. The first A 359 is expected to be delivered in 2015 to the airline. In addition to this order, CI is also expected to place another order soon for either the A 380 or B 747-800 to replace its B 744 fleet as well as to add capacity to high density markets such as HKG, LAX, SFO & BKK.

Analysis :

Boeing has no one but themselves to blame for not getting this lucurative order from CI because of their failure to offer the 310 seater Boeing 787-100X to its clients. If such a B 787 model was available for sale, then it would have also grabbed a size able chunk of the EK order made for 120 A 350s. The next big order for the 270-320 seater market that Boeing stands to lose if it doesnt offer the B 781 by Farnborough 2008 is the 100 airplane order to be placed jointly by AF & KLM.

CI had already mentioned before that it will not be ordering the B 777-200LRs/300ERs for nonstop TPE-EU/UK/NYC bound flights as the aircraft technology would be outdated by the time the A 350 and B 787 enter the market place. The A 359 can easily fly TPE-JFK and TPE-LON/CDG nonstop without suffering a payload restriction. One cannot rule out a future order for 16 more A 359s to be placed to fully replace CI's fleet of 16 A 333s between 2016-18 as this aircraft type is an ideal A 333 / B 772A replacement aircraft.

Air France

Air France has announced that it will be taking advantage of the new open EU-USA open skies deal by flying to LAX-Los Angeles nonstop from LHR-London Heathrow from Summer 2008. AF will use a 3 class Boeing 777-200ER on this route and will codeshare with Delta Airlines.

Flight schedule is as follows :

AF 61 Dep LAX 2025 Arr LHR 1440+1
AF 60 Dep LHR 1700 Arr LAX 2015

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching new flights to London Heathrow from late March 2008 when the EU-USA open skies agreement comes into effect. NWA will offer triple daily flights i.e. one each from its 3 main USA hubs (SEA, DTW and MSP) using a combination of A 332s and A 333s.

Flight schedules are as follows :

29th March MSP-LHR-MSP daily using an A 333
Dep MSP 2130 Arr LHR 1215+1
Dep LHR 1425 Arr MSP 1725

1st May DTW-LHR-DTW daily using an A 333
Dep DTW 1750 Arr LHR 0705+1
Dep LHR 0850 Arr DTW 1230

1st June SEA-LHR-SEA daily using an A 332
Dep SEA 2205 Arr LHR 1605+1
Dep LHR 1830 Arr SEA 2055

Saudia Airlines

Saudia Airlines has put up its large fleet of classic 5 Boeing 747-100s, 9 Boeing 747-300s and 28 MD 90s up for sale as it embarks on a fleet modernization programme which has already begun by an order being placed for 22 Airbus A 320s at the Dubai Air Show.

The 424-seat 747-300s are over 20 years old while the 747-100s have 417 seats and are 25 years of age. Both aircraft types are configured in two classes i.e. J & Y.

Kingfisher Airlines

According to an article in the Vancouver Sun newspaper, Kingfisher Airlines of India has committed to launching the first ever nonstop flight linking YVR-Vancouver with DEL-Delhi, India. A nonstop YVR-DEL flight would take 15-16 hours to fly and KF hasnt indicated any timeframe to launch the route.

Analysis :

The earliest time frame that KF could think of launching YVR-DEL nonstop would probably me Winter 2009 as the first 4 A 345s of theirs would be used on nonstop India-USA flights. KF should look at YVR-India nonstop before YYZ-India because there is less direct competition from YVR to India than there is from YYZ. Obviously from YVR, the main target market for KF would be the Sikh market bound for DEL & ATQ, hence it must ensure that its flights connect within 3-4 hours at DEL with its DEL-ATQ-DEL flights i.e. IT 4513 / 4514.

However, one feels that the YVR-India market isnt high yielding enough to warrant sending a 3 class configured aircraft like KF's A 345s are going to be. The reason being is that the First class market segment between YVR and India is minimal hence it would be a waste if KF sent a 3 class A 345 with a F class cabin to YVR. If KF can dedicate 2 out of their 10 A 345s for a daily YVR-DEL-YVR nonstop operation seating approximately 280-310 pax in a 2 class configuration, then there is potential in making decent money on this route. To ensure, loads are good year round, KF needs to also look into a SPA agreement with either AC or WS for their respective YEG-YVR and YYC-YVR flights to help feed their YVR-DEL flight.

Libyan Airlines

Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines of Libya officially firmed up its orders for Airbus planes that it had excercised its interest for at the Paris Air Show in June 2007. Libyan Airlines signed a firm contract for four A 350s, four A 330-200s and seven A 320s where as Afriqiyah ordered 6 A 350s.

Iceland Air

Iceland Air has announced that it will be shuffling its USA bound flights by suspending operations to BWI-Baltimore and instead increasing JFK from daily to 9 times a week for the summer 2008 season only. All JFK flights will be flown using a B 757-200ER and BWI gets suspended from January 13th 2008.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific has announced that it has placed an order with Airbus for 8 more Airbus A 330-300s. These new planes will thus result in CX having a total fleet of 40 A 333s by the time they are all delivered which would be in 2012. Dragonair too will get some of these A 333s to expand their regional and Australian network.


Finnair of Finland has placed a firm order with Airbus for an additional A 330-300E for delivery in spring 2009. This new order brings the total number of Finnair's Airbus wide-body aircraft to 22, which include seven A 330-300Es, four A340-300Es and eleven A 350-800s/900s.

RAK Airways

RAK Airways of Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE
has announced its flight schedule for its inaugural routes to DAC, CMB, BEY and Sofia from its RAK airport hub. The highlights are as follows :

RKT/BEY - 3 weekly B 752s

- 3 weekly B 752s

- 3 weekly B 752s

- weekly B 752

Monday, December 3, 2007

Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher Airlines of India has become an official member of the elite "5 Star Airline" club which was made official by Sky Trax earlier on in the week. Along side, Kingfisher Airlines another airline also got a 5 Star ranking i.e. Asiana of South Korea.

This award for KF, makes it the first ever "domestic carrier" to achieve a ranking of 4 Stars or higher from the respected Sky Trax website.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has announced that it is not happy with the performance economics of its fleet of 4 Airbus A 340-600s and has thus made the decision to not exercise options to get 6 more of these type of aircraft. Instead, it will lease out its A 346s within 5 years time to interested parties and focus its high density long haul flights around the Boeing 777-300ER of which it has ordered 14 models.

QR also mentioned that its A 332s will indeed be gradually replaced by the B 787-800s from 2012 onwards. Its A 330s and A 346s will be transfered to a leasing company that it is setting up called Oryx Leasing.

Analysis :

Apart from QR, other airlines that have found the B 777-200ER/-200LR/300ER family more superior to the A 343/A 345/A 346 series family are AC, CX, EK, AF, OS and SQ. Keeping this in mind, one cannot rule out Etihad Airways following suit!

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines has signed a MOU with Airbus for the purchase of 24 wide bodied jets which are to be delivered from 2012 onwards. The order comprises of 6 A 330-200s + 6 options + 6 Airbus A 350-800s + 6 options. These Airbus aircraft are intended to fully replace HA's fleet of 18 Boeing 767-300ERs.

The first A 332 will be delivered in 2012 where as the first A 358 in 2017. One of the main reasons why HA ordered the A 358 is because the airline is closely examining the possibility of launching nonstop flights to London from HNL. HA also announced that it will be launching new flights to Manila 4 times a week nonstop from March 2008 using a B 763ER.

Analysis :

What HA needs to do is to take advantage of HNL being an excellent strategic hub located between Far East Asia and USA/Canada because via HNL, HA can offer ONE STOP flights from Asia to YVR + key U.S. markets such as SFO, ORD, LAX, NYC, IAD and Texas which see high density travel demand year round from their respective areas to HKG, MNL, Korea, China and Japan.

However, HA must be careful as to choosing which cities in Asia are feasible for their current fleet of B 763ERs to operate as well as future operations with the A 358s and A 332s. Currently, the popular ex Hawaii-Asia routes are mainly MNL and Japan. The other markets that can benefit from HA service are HKG, PVG, ICN and PEK only. These cities have a small amount of O&D to HNL (largely leisure / honeymoon traffic) but a far greater amount of 6th freedom traffic bound for YVR and mainland USA which HA can transport via their HNL hub. Getting rights to PVG & PEK might be a problem for HA due to the flight allocation policy for China by the U.S. DOT.

Keeping that in mind, HKG & ICN are more easier to get flight approvals for. As far as Europe goes, obviously the A 358s would be used for those flights, but apart from LGW, one doesnt see the need for HA to even bother looking at any other city. Frankly speaking, even LGW would be a loss making route for HA. Is there really that much demand for HNL from UK or mainland Europe?


KLM has announced that it placed another order with Boeing for 2 more Boeing 777-300ERs + 2 options + 3 Boeing 737-700s + 2 options. The airline has six B 773ERs on order with Boeing and is scheduled to take delivery of its first of this model in the first quarter of 2008. KLM currently operates a fleet of 15 B 772ERs in a combination of leases and direct purchases.

It also announced an order with Airbus for 2 more Airbus A 330-200s. KLM also announced that along with Air France, it is expected to place an order for 100 wide bodied long haul aircraft next summer which will fully replace within 7-8 years time its combined fleet of A 343s, B 744 Combis, MD 11s etc.

Analysis :

Unfortunately for Boeing, the B 789 isn't the perfect replacement aircraft for the B 74E and MD 11. If Boeing want this order, they have to speed up developing the B 787-100X as that is a future replacement aircraft for the A 333, A 343, B 772ER, MD 11 and B 744 Combis. If they cant offer the B 781 by Farnborough 2008, then the A 359 will win the KLM order.

Air China

Air China has announced changes to its European network for Summer 2008 as it looks to focus on key markets which offer decent growth prospects. The main highlights are as follows :

- increases from 5 weekly to daily using a B 744 Combi.

- increases from 3 weekly flights to daily using an A 343.

PVG/CDG - suspended from April 2008, currently flown three times a week.

- to be increased from daily to double daily.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is expected to announce a huge order for narrow and wide bodied aircraft next summer (most likely at the Farnborough Air Show). The new order is designed to secure delivery slots for planes between 2010-2020.

With regards to the VLA (very large aircraft) fleet, the A 380 is pitted against the B 747-800 where as in the medium density category, the A 350 family is pitted against a combination of B 777s and B 787s. In the narrow bodied field, the A 320 is likely to bag the order instead of the B 737-800.

Japan-Thailand open skies

Japan and Thailand have concluded signing an open skies deal between the two states paving the way for unlimited number of flights operated by multiple designated airlines to as many airports between the two countries except for Tokyo Narita. The latter can only be flown 21 times a week by any Thai carrier.


has announced that it is changing the equipment being used on its FRA-Tel Aviv route due to high demand for its business class cabin. As a result, from April 2008 , LH will fly double daily Airbus A 340-600s on this sector which is currently being operated by a daily B 744 + daily A 343.

Besides TLV, LH plans to upgrade capacity on its MUC-PEK flight by replacing the A 343 with the larger A 346 from Summer 2008 due to high demand for business class seats on this particular route.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

China Airlines

China Airlines of Taiwan has confirmed that it will be suspending its loss making flights to IAH-Houston from January 29th 2008. Currently, the flight is flown via SEA-Seattle five times a week using an A 343. SEA however, will continue to maintain 5 weekly terminator flights flown by the A 343.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

British Airways

British Airways has announced that it will be receiving 4 new Boeing 777-200ERs in 2009 and thus is currently studying new long haul routes + increasing frequencies to certain profitable destinations primarily to Asia and Latin America. The main highlights are as follows :

ICN - considering 4 weekly nonstop flights with the B 772ER initially which would then be increased to daily within a year.

KUL - to be flown daily via SIN using a B 744 i.e. extension of BA 11 / 12.

EZE - services to restart from 2009 with nonstop flights from LHR due to the improvement in the country's economy since the 2002 crash.

GIG - nonstop 3 weekly flights to begin from 2009.

HKG - 4th daily frequency being studied.

YVR - double daily year round being studied.

JNB - to be increased from double daily to 17 weekly from 2009.

GCC - all flights from 2010 to BAH, AUH, DOH & MCT will be terminator flights flown by the B 772ER.

AMD & ATQ - both routes are being carefully studied.

Analysis :

AMD-LHR failed with 9W but might fare better with BA as it can extract a size able amount of feeder traffic from MAN, USA, Canada + the large O&D market between LON & AMD. BA should not fly to ATQ as 9W flies 6 times a week nonstop from the city to LHR with A 332s. Air India too flies a daily B 773ER via DEL (same plane service) so there is enough capacity serving this market segment. If BA want to expand in India, they should look at launching new flights to HYD with the B 772ER...lot of high yield potential there :)

Emirates Australia

Emirates has announced that it will be expanding its flights to Australia from 2008 with major increases planned for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

BNE - new daily nonstop flights from DXB effective Oct 2008 using the A 345 which will be in addition to the daily B 773ER flight flown via SIN.

MEL - third daily frequency to be introduced out of which 1 of the 3 flights will be flown with the A 380 effective 2009.

SYD - third daily frequency to be introduced out of which 2 of the 3 flights will be flown with the A 380 effective 2009.Analysis :Very smart move by EK, as the demand is there to support their flights to SYD especially. The feeling is that there are purposely doing this in a rapid manner to counter effectively any new expansion planned by EY & QR in Australia over the next 2 years.

Air India

According to officials who work for Air India, the airline is seriously looking at placing another larger order with Airbus or Boeing for 10-15 ultra large aircraft with the Airbus A 380 likely to win the order. AI has also decided that it is very keen on expanding its domestic and international cargo operations thus will be converting many of its owned Boeing 747-400s into freighters once new aircraft have fully replaced them. Boeing has proposed to Air India, a counter offer for a dozen Boeing 747-800s + a dozen more Boeing 777s as it feels that the carrier should focus more on frequencies of flights to certain destinations rather than increase capacity.


To make it more attractive, Boeing should offer AI a package which includes buying back their B 744s as part of AI's order for B 748Is and B 748Fs which will ultimately result in the B 744Fs being replaced by new B 748Fs. Also AI cannot fill up even 75% of an A 380 year round if they flew daily nonstop from BOM or DEL to any U.S. East Coast city or even LHR due to excess competition and low brand following of the airline. The only way, AI can make good use of the A 380's excess seating capacity, is by making a hub in the UK ( i.e. MAN-Manchester) for onward flights to USA as then the capacity of the A 380 can deployed effectively for 2 different market segments which see high density demand to/from India.

At the end of the day though, one reckons that Air India will order the A 380 for prestige reasons largely in order to stay competitive with EK and the EU carriers who will be using the A 380 to BOM & DEL in the future. However, to keep everyone "Uncle Sam" happy, a few B 777s or B 787s too will also be ordered.


Alitalia has released tentative details on how it plans to structure its new long haul flights from its FCO-Rome hub for Summer 2008. The main highlights are as follows :

JFK - double daily B 772ERs.

EWR - double daily B 763ERs.

NRT - daily B 772ER nonstop.

LAX - new daily nonstop flights with the B 772ER.

YUL - new daily nonstop flights with the B 763ER.

KIX - new 4 weekly nonstop flights with the B 772ER.

GIG - new 3 weekly nonstop flights with the B 763ER.

MIA - daily flights with the B 763ER.

CCS - daily flights with the B 763ER.

BOS - daily flights with the B 763ER.ORD - daily flights with the B 763ER.

GRU/EZE - daily flights with the B 772ER nonstop.

DXB - daily flights with the B 763ER.

Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines has released its plans for new flights to London Heathrow from May 2008 onwards. There will be 4 daily flights from nonstop from its EWR & IAH hubs (double daily from each hub airport respectively) using a B 772ER + B 762ER.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has announced that due to excellent loads especially in the premium cabins on its Barcelona and Milan bound flights, it will be increasing services on the route from the current 4 times a week to daily effective March 30th 2008. The route is flown using their new 3 class configured Boeing 777-300ER.

US Airways

US Airways has also released its flight schedule for London Heathrow which includes only a single daily flight from its PHL hub using an A 333. On the other hand, the airline's CEO has confirmed to his employees via an internal newsletter that the carrier will be receiving 9 additional A 330-200s by 2011. Seven A 332s will be bought brand new from Airbus soon and the remaining 2 will be ex SWISS planes leased from ILFC with delivery expected in 2009.

Ocean Air Brazil

Ocean Air of Brazil has announced that it has placed a US$ 2.7 billion order with Airbus for 7 A 332s + 14 A 319s + 7 A 320s for which a formal announcement will be made this week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Emirates's order for 50 Airbus A 350-900s + 20 Airbus A 350-1000Xs + 12 Boeing 777-300ERs + 3 more Airbus A 380s (ordered 58 in total) + took 50 options on the A 350 family line.

Analysis :

Once again, EK stole the show by placing the largest ever order in commercial aviation history worth over US$ 31 billion. Some might say that the recent order placed at the DXB air show is insane but if one looks at it in hindsight that is not the case.

The 70 A 350s that EK ordered will be used to replace 61 aircraft currently in its fleet i.e. 29 A 332s + 8 A 343s + 3 B 772As + 9 B 772ERs + 12 B 773As. Therefore to cater for further expansion, EK has basically placed only an extra 24 wide bodied aircraft on order.

The A 359s will be a direct replacement for the A 332 + A 343 + B 772A + B 772ER fleet whilst the A 351 replaces the B 773A fleet. Looking at it from a strategic point of view, this is an excellent move by EK as a vast majority of their short/medium haul flights will revolve around one airplane type i.e. the A 350 and not 3 different types as is the case today (A 332 / A 343 / B 777). This will result in huge cost savings not only in terms of crew training, crew rostering but more so in the areas of engineering and maintainence.

Many people including myself were also expecting an order for 10 Boeing 747-800s (+10 options) but that didn't materialize as apparently Boeing refused to give in to EK's demands of shortening the length of the plane which would increase its nonstop flying capability which would allow it to fly without any payload penalty DXB-LAX/SFO nonstop. As a result, the B 773ERs won the order for 12 aircraft.
As far as the A 380's go, EK firmed up 8 options it announced at the Paris 2007 air show held in July + ordered 3 extra at the DXB air show. This new order brings the total number of A 380s ordered by EK to a whooping 58! I have a suggestion which EK could look into with regards to 2 routes that the A 380 can be useful for. Those 2 routes are DXB-CDG-LAX and DXB-CDG-SFO.

Why you may ask? Simple, Air France currently enjoys a lucrative monopoly position on both routes as no other airline flies from CDG nonstop to the U.S. West Coast hence both LAX & SFO have proven to be high yielding routes for AF for the last 4 years in all cabins. By EK ordering dozens of Airbus aircraft over the last decade or so which in turn created thousands of extra jobs in France + helped the French economy through these orders, it can effectively lobby the French Government to allow it to fly with 5th freedom traffic from CDG to USA and give AF a run for their money on SFO & LAX routes. Since EK's business philosophy calls for double daily flights to all their long haul destinations, have one nonstop flight flown from DXB to the U.S. West Coast with the Boeing 777-200LR and have the other one flown with the A 380 via CDG. In both these U.S. markets, EK has good brand recognition amongst the low yielding and high yielding passengers thus by offering an attractive in-flight product on board its A 380s, it stands to do well in this market segment with the A 380.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways's order of 30 Boeing 787-800s + 5 Boeing 777-200LR Freighters + 20 options for the B 787 family line.

Analysis :

This order was arguably the worst kept secret in the airline industry for nearly a year and finally at the DXB 2007 air show, it was officially announced much to Boeing's joy. Unlike EK's A 350 order which will largely replace an already existing aging fleet, QR's order on the other hand for the B 788s is three fold. Some of the B 788s will indeed eventually replace the oldest A 332s from 2013 onwards but will largely cater to future expansion as well as provide a "stop gap capacity" measure for 2-4 years until their A 350s start arriving.

By ordering the B 788, new 'medium density' long haul routes can now be flown nonstop from its DOH hub which do not need the excess capacity offered by their A 346 nor B 773ER. Routes that come to mind are DOH-PER nonstop, DOH-ORD nonstop, DOH-YYZ nonstop, DOH-IAH nonstop and DOH-GIG nonstop. However, one feels that a majority of routes that the B 788 will be used for are regional routes within the Middle East and Indian subcontinent region + routes to Europe where the seating capacity of the A 332 is found to be a bit high!

Another smart order placed by it was for 5 B 772LR freighters. Unlike the world passenger market which sees a high and low seas on, the world cargo market is supposedly always in high season mode as its business revolves around 'world trade'. The location of QR's DOH hub i.e. in between Europe/Africa and Far East Asia, provides QR Cargo with the ideal set up to tap an ever growing market by air lifting freight from one corner of the world to the other.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

Dubai Aerospace Enterprises (a new leasing company) order of 70 A 320s + 30 A 350s + 10 B 777-300ERs + 70 B 737NGs + 5 B 747-800Fs + 15 B 787s. DAE also signed a deal with EK which entailed it buying 8 A 332s from the airline for US$ 500 million and then leasing it back to the carrier.

Analysis :

DAE is a new leasing company being supported by Emirates & the DXB Govt. For a start up, they have announced themselves as a future force to be reckoned with by placing this large order for narrow & wide bodied aircraft. What is pleasing to see is the variety of aircraft ordered by DAE which are the most popular ones for airlines to use in the future and present.

With regards to the B 773ERs on order, they can easily find interested customers ranging from the GCC airlines to Indian carriers, PK, and even the North American carriers who are actively scouting the market for suitable aircraft to cater towards their long haul international expansion from 2011 onwards.

As far as their order of 15 B 787s go, they should look at placing them with airlines who are looking for medium density long haul aircraft to replace B 767s / AB6s / A 310s etc as well as those airlines who feel that the capacity of their A 330s / B 777s is too big for certain medium haul flights. The latter point bears fruit for Saudia Airlines who find it extremely difficult filling up their B 772s on EU bound flights. The former point applies to airlines such as PIA and AZ who need B 787s asap to replace their aging fleet of A 310s and B 763ERs respectively.

With regards to the A 350s they've ordered, DAE should actively pursue contracts with airlines that need to replace A 330s / B 777s & A 340s from 2015 onwards. Airlines that fall into this category are MEA, VN, UL, SAA, TK, MH, GA, TG, MS & PAL. Other types of customers they should consider going after are those that need A 350s to fuel robust international expansion such as Kingfisher Airlines, Oman Air etc.