The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has officially announced that it has signed a new more liberalized bilateral accord with both Kuwait and Philippines allowing more flights to be operated between the two countries.
With regards to the Philippines, the main highlights of the new bilateral is as follows:
i. Flights between MNL and JED/RUH combined can be increased from the current 10 to 21 weekly
ii. Open skies between Dammam Airport and the entire Philippines valid only for Saudi and Philippine national carriers
iii. Open skies between Clarke Airport and Jeddah/Riyadh valid only for Saudi and Philippine national carriers
As far as Saudia and Kuwait are concerned, the main highlights of the new bilateral are as follows:
i. Flights increased from the current 29 times per week to 77 times per week
ii. 77 flights per week can be spread across with no limits across all 4 major KSA points i.e. DMM JED RUH MED as well as Tier II cities
Jet Airways of India has revealed a major Middle East expansion plan set to take place this upcoming IATA Winter season from its Mumbai and Delhi hubs as the carrier looks to take full advantage of the void created by Kingfisher and Air India in this all too important market segment during the peak season for travel to/from the country. The main highlights are as follows:
BOM / KWI - frequencies increased from 11 weekly to double daily
BOM / AUH - frequencies increased from daily to 11 weekly
BOM / DOH - frequencies increased from daily to 13 weekly
DEL / AUH - frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily
DEL / DOH - frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily
DEL / DMM - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily
COK / KWI - new 4 weekly nonstop flights to be launched
*All above mentioned flights to be operated with a mixture of B738s and B739s. As far as 9W's B777-300ERs are concerned, they have also been reconfigured to boost the capacity in the economy class cabin in particular with a 4th seat added in the middle row similar to EK/KL/EY. The new cabin layout thus will have 34 more seats in economy class (total 308) and the total on board capacity will as a result increase from 312 to 346 (8F/30J/308Y).
In addition, to the above mentioned expansion, 9W too has disclosed that due to heavy losses it shall be suspending its Chennai-Brussels nonstop daily service effective 15NOV 2012. This flight was operated with an Airbus A330-200 and its replacement which has been revealed on Munich's airport website portal is a new daily Bangalore-Munich operation flown daily using the same aircraft type with the below mentioned schedule from March 2013:
9W 154 Dep BLR 0405 Arr MUC 0835
9W 153 Dep MUC 1200 Arr BLR 0240+1
Emirates has officially announced that it will be expanding both its Jakarta and Manila bound services during the IATA W12 season by adding a 3rd nonstop daily flight on both routes. The main highlights are as follows:
MNL - frequencies increased from 2 to 3 times daily effective 01JAN13 using a 2 class 430 seater B773ER for all flights
JKT - frequencies increased from 2 to 3 times daily effective 01MAR13 using a 2 class 430 seater B773ER for all flights
The new daily flights for both CGK and MNL will be departing DXB between 1830-1900 and arriving back by 1300 UAE time.
Etihad Airways has announced that due to increasing demand for its Istanbul bound services, it shall be increasing frequencies on the route effective 30DEC 2012 onwards. Currently, EY operates 5 times per week between AUH and IST using an A320, these shall be increased to a daily nonstop flight using a standardized schedule with the same aircraft type.
SWISS has officially revealed that it shall be reinstating its services to Singapore after a 4 year long hiatus as the carrier looks to further tap into Austral-Asia markets via its STAR partner Singapore Airlines. New daily nonstop flights shall recommence effective 01MAY 2013 using an A340-300. The flight schedule is as follows:
LX 178 Dep ZRH 2245 Arr SIN 1710+1
LX 179 Dep SIN 2305 Arr ZRH 0610+1
SAS has disclosed that after an operating period of 63 long years, it has reached a critical stage where it sadly announces that it shall be suspending all of its flights to BKK-Bangkok, Thailand effective 07APR 2012. SAS currently operates a daily nonstop service from Copenhagen to Bangkok using an Airbus A 340-300. It has been effected with the growth of Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Turkish and Emirates eating into its market share on the CPH-BKK sector. SK will however continue to code share on this sector with Thai Airways who are increasing its own CPH services from daily to 9 times per week effective 28OCT12.
Air India has revealed on the GDS that it will be reinstating its flights to YYZ-Toronto effective 10MAR 2013. These flights will return to its original schedule of operating a daily nonstop service using a Boeing 777-300ER. Flights are timed to arrive into YYZ at 0815 and depart at 1550 daily respectively.
Air India should not return to YYZ with a daily nonstop service as its low season for travel to India between March and October and too risky from both a cost and profitability perspective. There are two other options for AI to seriously consider:
i. Return nonstop to YYZ but with a 4 weekly nonstop service only between 01MAR and 15OCT. Increase to daily from 15OCT 2013 onwards only when the peak season for travel to/from India begins on this route.
ii. If there is a need to return to YYZ on a daily basis using a B773ER, then it should be a one stop service operated via Manchester for the simple reason that DEL-MAN has a O&D market size of 52,000 pax per year with no nonstop service and the same applies to MAN-YYZ which has a O&D market size of 20,000 with no scheduled carrier operating it nonstop. The MAN-India market size is much larger than BHX-India and also higher yielding. The BHX-India market size in 2011 was 157,000 passengers versus MAN-India which was 226,000 i.e. 44% higher ! In addition, via DEL, AI can carry passengers to DAC, BKK, CMB, KTM, Australia and SE Asia which also MAN has a bigger market size demand versus BHX! Operating a DEL-MAN-YYZ is a safe year round option which is guaranteed to see 80-85% S/F along with high cargo loads.
ANA of Japan has made a major fleet order announcement for its long haul network by announcing a deal with Boeing for 11 additional Boeing 787-900s. These B789s are the long term replacement for its B772ER and B763ER fleet. One of its new routes i.e. Tokyo-San Jose nonstop shall be operated with the B787 from January 2013 onwards. In total, 30 B789s have now been ordered by ANA.
Air France has revealed some minor capacity changes for its long haul route network for the IATA Summer 2013 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
CAN - frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily nonstop flights using a B772ER
BKK - frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly nonstop flights using a 2 class B773ER
SFO - capacity reduced from daily B744 to a daily B773ER
Philippine Airlines has announced that it has placed another major order with Airbus to further boost its long haul ambitions especially in light of the recently liberalized bilateral accord with UAE and Saudi Arabia. A total of 10 additional A330-300IGWs have been ordered by PAL in addition to the original 10 that it had placed two weeks ago. This brings a total of 20 A333IGWs ordered by PAL of which it has officially disclosed that a size able number shall be used to relaunch nonstop flights from its Manila hub to the Middle East region.
Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will be launching a new 4 weekly nonstop service to NJF-Najaf, Iraq effective 23JAN 2013. All flights shall be operated with an Airbus A320 departing DOH twice a week at 0915 and 1315 each respectively thus allowing all of its markets to be connected via DOH conveniently at least twice a week. QR's main target markets to NJF are DMM, BAH, BOM, KHI, MCT, KWI, LHE, DXB and DOH respectively.
Malaysia Airlines has disclosed on the GDS system that it will be massively increasing capacity on its European bound services to London and Paris respectively from 24NOV respectively. Flights to LHR shall receive a capacity boost with double daily A380s being deployed versus a daily B744 + daily A380. As far as CDG is concerned, capacity shall be increased from a daily B772ER to a daily A380 effective 02MAR 2013 respectively.
Air Arabia of Sharjah has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights to EBL-Erbil, Iraq effective 14OCT 2012 onwards. G9 will fly to EBL four times per week from its SHJ hub using a 180 seater Airbus A320. G9's main target market for EBL is the GCC region and India. The flight schedule is as follows:
G9 375 Dep SHJ 1310 Arr EBL 1500
G9 376 Dep EBL 1540 Arr SHJ 1915
Delta Airlines has announced that it will be boosting its operations at both Paris and Amsterdam in Europe from the on set of the IATA S13 season in the following manner:
EWR / CDG - daily nonstop flights to be re-launched
ATL / CDG - frequencies increased from daily to double daily
JFK / AMS - frequencies increased from daily to double daily
DTW / CDG - capacity increased from daily B763ER to daily A333