Sunday, May 23, 2010
Turkish Airlines has officially announced that they will be launching new daily nonstop flights to Los Angeles (LAX) and Washington DC (IAD) from December 2010 onwards which shall be code shared with their Star Alliance partner i.e. United Airlines. Services to IAD will be flown using a new Airbus A 330-200 where as operations to LAX will be flown using their brand new factory fresh Boeing 777-300ER which will have the worlds largest business class seat. The flight schedule of these routes is expected to be as follows:
IAD - daily A 332 (250 seats...22J / 228Y)
TK XXX Dep IST 1100 Arr IAD 1450
TK XXX Dep IAD 2315 Arr IST 1700+1
LAX - daily B 773ER (310 seats...8F / 34J / 268Y)
TK XXX Dep IST 1045 Arr LAX 1445
TK XXX Dep LAX 1800 Arr IST 1720+1
The above mentioned schedule allows for excellent connections vis IST in both directions to all of TK's Levant, African, Central Asian, Middle East and Indian subcontinent (BOM/DEL/KHI) destinations. TK also officially confirmed that from Dec 2010, it shall also be increasing frequencies on its flagship route to New York-JFK to a double daily nonstop operation using their new Boeing 777-300ERs for both flights. The second daily departure will depart JFK at 1130pm where as the current one departs at 445pm NYC time.
IAD was expected to be launched by TK since 2006 but always there was some sort of hindrance that prevented the route from being inaugurated. LAX will be an interesting route to see how TK performs from a yield point of view in particular as its an ultra long haul route with tons of competition and high operating costs. The airline that one feels that would be most impacted negatively with TK entering are EK and QR at LAX and IAD respectively.
The main reason for this is due to TK's ability to undercut EK's fares in all cabin classes from LAX to the Middle East and Africa in particular. Out of IAD, TK should see good J class loads bound to AMM/BEY/CAI/DAM/IST/TAS/ALA/ADD/SIN/KRT/GYD/JED/RUH in particular as the connections on offer to these capital cities from/to IAD via IST in both directions are excellent. From IAD, they shall be a huge threat to QR's market share to DEL/BOM/KHI/DXB/AUH in particular.
Air India has officially announced that to meet high demand and increased competition on the Delhi-London Heathrow route, it has decided to increase capacity on this sector to a 10 weekly nonstop service using a Boeing 777-300ER for all the flights. Previously, AI operated a daily B 772LR alongside a 3 weekly B 773ER on this sector. This means that AI's capacity to LHR from DEL increases by 104 seats on a daily basis with this aircraft upgrade.
Egypt Air has officially announced that it is seriously examining the possibility of launching new daily flights to Toronto, Chicago and Washington DC from Summer 2011 as the carrier takes delivery of its last batch 2 new Boeing 777-300ERs by that time. Out of these 3 destinations, only 2 will be launched but the carrier insists that it will use their new B 77Ws to launch these services. It has also revealed on the GDS that effective Jan 1st 2011, capacity on its flagship CAI-JFK route will be increased from a daily B 777-200ER to a daily B 777-300ER. By December 2010, MS will have 3 B 773ERs and will be using them exclusively on 6 weekly nonstop flights to Tokyo + daily JFK services. MS's B 77Ws seat 346 in a 2 class configuration i.e. 49 in business class and 297 in economy class.
There is no logical way that MS can fill a B 77W operating to YYZ-Toronto on a year round daily basis as the market isn't big enough to support a service using such an aircraft type. The best aircraft suited for MS's CAI-YYZ services is their 268 seater Airbus A 330-200 which accommodates 24 in J class and 244 in Y class. Even for IAD and ORD, the B 77W is too big for both routes to operate on a daily basis even if UA code shares on these flights which it definitely shall. If it really wants to fly B 77Ws to USA apart from JFK, then the best option would be IAD versus ORD because filling a 49 seater J class cabin with UA feed would be far easier from the political capital city versus ORD. From IAD, MS can get decent amount of high yielding political and business traffic bound to CAI and via its hub to KRT, Saudi Arabia, East Africa, South Africa, KRT, Central Asia, TIP, ALG, TUN and AMM.
Emirates has further revealed more details of its route expansion for the upcoming IATA Winter 2010-11 season. The main highlights are as follows:
JFK - capacity increased on EK 201/202 from daily B 773ER to daily A 380.
BGW - frequencies increased from 3 weekly to daily nonstop flights using an A 332.
CAI - frequencies increased from 10 to 13 weekly nonstop flights.
Lufthansa has officially confirmed that from August to end October, it shall be reducing capacity on its Munich-Tokyo route from a daily nonstop flight using an A 340-600 to a daily A 340-300. With regards to Cairo for IATA Winter 2010-11, it has revealed that it will be increasing capacity on the route by flying it daily but with an Boeing 747-400 rather than an A 340-600.
Air France has officially announced that for the first time ever, it will be flying 20 times per week nonstop to NRT-Tokyo from its Paris hub during the IATA Winter 2010-11 season. Usually, during the winter season, AF operates only a double daily nonstop flight but faced with increased demand and competition from EK/EY/QR on this important high yielding route, it has decided to get ultra aggressive to protect its market share. For the CDG-NRT sector, double daily flights will be flown using a B 773ER and the remaining 6 weekly will be with an A 332.
Delta Airlines has officially announced that it shall be launching a new 3rd daily nonstop flight from its JFK hub to LHR-London Heathrow from Sept 19th 2010. All 3 daily nonstop flights shall be operated by Boeing 767-400ERs. The flight timings are as follows:
Dep JFK 1845/2110/2305 Arr LHR 0705/0925/1130
Dep LHR 1005/1230/1705 Arr JFK 1320/1540/2040
Royal Brunei has officially confirmed that it has finalized a deal with Singapore Airlines to lease out the latter's fleet of 6 Boeing 777-200ERs. BI will be using these aircraft to fully replace its aging fleet of 6 Boeing 767-300ERs which shall be gradually retired by January 2011. These aircraft seat 285 passengers in a 2 class configuration i.e. 30 business class + 255 economy class.