Sunday, January 6, 2008

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has revealed a lot of interesting changes that are in store for its worldwide route network for Summer 2008 and Winter 2008-09. The major highlights are as follows :

*Note : All below mentioned changes are effective March 30th 2008

- will operate a daily SAME PLANE service effective March 30th 2008 using a two class configured B 773ER.

- 4th daily flight to Heathrow will be launched using an A 346 five times a week and an A 332 twice a week effective March 30th 2008. Flight details are as follows :

QR 017 Dep DOH 1635 - Arr LHR 2200
QR 018 Dep LHR 0755 - Arr DOH 1650

QR will start using their B 773ERs daily to LHR from August 2008. However, from October 2008, it will be used to LHR 12 times a week.

- capacity on this route will be increased from 4 weekly A 332s to B 773ERs which will be deployed from Sept 1st 2008. Flight details are as follows :

QR 898 Dep DOH 0130 - Arr PEK 1440
QR 899 Dep PEK 2350 - Arr DOH 0425+1

- increased to 6 weekly flights i.e. 1 A 333 + 5 weekly A 332s.

- reduced from 8 to 7 daily flights.

- capacity increased to daily A 321s.

- frequencies increased from 2 to 3 weekly A 330s.

- frequencies doubled from 2 to 4 times a week i.e. 2 weekly A 330s + 2 weekly A 320s.

- capacity increase from daily A 330 to daily B 773ER.

- frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly A 320s.

- capacity increased to 9 weekly A 330s.

- capacity increased to 9 weekly A 333s + weekly A 332.

- capacity increased to 6 weekly A 333s + weekly A 332.

- capacity reduced to 12 weekly A 320s + 2 weekly A 330s.

- capacity reduced to 9 weekly A 320s + 2 weekly A 332s.

- frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly A 330s.

- capacity increased to 7 weekly A 346s + 5 weekly A 330s.

- capacity increased to 3 weekly A 333s + weekly A 332.

- capacity increased to 2 weekly AB6s + 5 weekly A 320s.

- frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily A 330s from Sept 1st 08

Comments :

It is really nice to see QR trying to carve out a nice little niche market for itself by offering "same plane" service from BOM via DOH to IAD. Hopefully, it shall have a positive impact with regards to loads and yield on their IAD bound flights. Another interesting feature of their summer 08 timetable are the increased number of weekly flights flown to LHE & ISB. This goes to show that the airline has successfully lobbied in obtaining more traffic flights for the lucurative Northern Pakistan routes.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has released tentative details of its Summer 2008 schedule. The main highlights are as follows :

- increased to double daily nonstop flights using a B 773A from May 1st 08.

- increased from daily to 9 weekly B 773As. The two additional flights will operate on Friday and Sunday. Flight details are as follows :

SQ 406 Dep SIN 0205 Arr DEL 0555
SQ 405 Dep DEL 0800 Arr SIN 1605

- an additional 11th weekly flight is flown using a B 773A.

- frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly B 772As.

- frequencies increased from 17 weekly to triple daily B 772As.

- frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly B 773ERs.

- capacity increased to double daily B 773As + daily B 772As.

- increased from 5 weekly to daily B 772As.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysian Airlines has released details of its new flights to Lahore, Pakistan which will be flown from April 2008 from KUL via KHI. Flights will be flown 3 times a week using an A 330-300. The flight timings are as follows :

Flights operate on MON/THU/SAT

MH 170 Dep KUL 15:20 Arr KHI 18:15
MH 171 Dep KHI 19:30 Arr LHE 21:10
MH 171 Dep LHE 22:10 Arr KUL 06:50 +1


KLM has announced that it will be increasing its flights to LAX-Los Angeles for the peak summer season. The service will result in an additional 2 weekly flights be flown using a B 772ER on Tue & Sat. Thus the operation will become 9 weekly i.e. daily B 744 + 2 weekly B 772ER. The flight timings of the new flights are as follows :

KL 603 Dep AMS 1025 Arr LAX 1240
KL 604 Dep LAX 1240 Arr AMS 1025+1


EVA Air has announced that it will be reducing its presence at LAX-Los Angeles by reducing its weekly frequencies from 20 to 19 effective March 30th 2008. From July 2008, BR will fly 6 times a week to LAX from TPE via KIX-Osaka using a B 773ER. It will be the only airline flying KIX-LAX-KIX nonstop.


British Midland is seriously scouting the market for used B 762ERs and used B 763ERs as it feels that the A 320s and A 321s that it currently uses on the ex BMED routes to Africa and Central Asia are too small to meet market demand + they cannot carry extra revenue generating cargo in the belly. BMI also revealed that its new business strategy is to "Look East" to expand rather than risk a bloodbath by rapidly expanding trans-atlantic operations which would lead to a fares war.


This is a smart move by BMI to base its medium/long haul expansion around the emerging markets of Central Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East. They are members of Star Alliance so instead of wasting money by flying their own aircraft to multiple cities from LHR, they can easily codeshare with fellow STAR partners i.e. UAL & US Airways on their LHR-USA-LHR flights.

With regards to the ex BMED routes, some like TAS, ALA and IKA see flights flown by A 320/A 321s which at times suffer payload restrictions if the route is flown nonstop or they are routed via another city. This diluted the revenue and marketing feasibility of operating the flights. For Central Asia and West Asia flights (BEY/DAM/AMM), the ideal aircraft for BMI to use would be the B 762ER.

As far as which new "emerging markets" BMI should look into, ones that come to mind are LHE, DMM, DAC, BLR, HYD & IKA. For all these cities, the ideal aircraft to acquire are used B 763ERs which are available in the used aircraft market. In total 13 used B 763ERs can be leased or bought from various companies. These aircraft were built between 1989-1994 and their specifications can be viewed here :

Vietnam Airlines

Boeing has officially confirmed that the state of Vietnam has confirmed placing an order for 12 Boeing 787-800s. Four of those aircraft will be bought by Vietnam Airlines where as the remaining 8 are being purchased by VALC (Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company) who will dry lease the planes to VN.


Finnair has revealed details of its new Asian route i.e. ICN-Seoul which will be flown nonstop from its HEL-Helsinski hub effective 2nd June 2008 using an A 340-300. The flight will be flown 5 times a week.

AY041 Dep HEL 1730 Arr ICN 0825+1
AY042 Dep ICN 1015 Arr HEL 1405