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