Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways has officially confirmed that it will be launching 3 weekly nonstop flights on Tues/Thu/Sat from KWI to Hyderabad (HYD), India using an Airbus A 300-600R (AB6). KU's AB6's seat 235 pax in a 2 class configuration (J + Y). The new HYD flight timings are as follows :

KU 371 Dep KWI 2235 Arr HYD 0605+1
KU 372 Dep HYD 0715 Arr KWI 0940

In addition, KU has announced other major capacity upgrades across its network for Winter 2007-08 :

CDG - capacity increased to 2 weekly A 343s + 2 weekly AB6s

AMD - increased from 3 to 5 weekly A 320s.

BOM - capacity increased to 2 weekly B 772s + 5 weekly A 343s.

TRV & COK - both cities to receive 4 weekly AB6s.

Analysis :

This a good move by KU to launch HYD as that market has good potential to offer. It's pleasing to see that KU are using the AB6 for this new route as the extra revenue generated from the cargo side (8 tons) per flight will come in handy big time. However, if one carefully analyzes their return flight timings from HYD to KWI, it doesn't connect with any of its JFK bound flights which is sad as from NYC, KU can get decent feeder traffic bound for HYD. Its also unfortunate that KU no longer flies to ORD as from there lies probably the biggest HYD bound market from North America.

To enable JFK to be connected conveniently in both directions with HYD, KU must re-time their KWI-HYD-KWI flights in the following manner :

KU 371 Dep KWI 2105 Arr HYD 0435+1
KU 372 Dep HYD 0545 Arr KWI 0810

This will enable a 3-5 hour connection on the outbound sector in KWI and a 90 minute connection inbound from HYD via KWI.
Lastly, its nice to see AMD get upgraded to 5 weekly flights as that route desperately needed it. One reckons that the next 12 months for KU in AMD will be crucial as its flights now compete against EK's 6 weekly B 777s/A 332s + QRs daily A 320s.

Out of the 3, EK offers the superior in-flight product on this route as well the ability to carry on cargo. In order to maintain a hold on its market share in AMD, KU needs to seriously consider upgrading these flights to A 310s (if spare aircraft are available).

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