Friday, May 3, 2013

03MAY edition

Emirates has officially announced that it will be significantly increasing capacity to Hong Kong and Bangkok from the on set of the IATA W13 season as the carrier looks to increase its market share on the Europe-Far East market segment in particular. 

The main highlights are as follows:

HKG – new 4th daily service introduced using an A332 (dep DXB 2100 and arrives back into DXB at 1455).  As a result, HKG becomes a daily A380 via BKK + daily A332 nonstop + double daily B77W!

BKK – capacity increased with EK 372/373 (dep DXB 0940) from daily B77W to daily A380. Thus BKK becomes a double daily A380 + double daily B77W operated sector.

The Indian Government has officially announced some clarifications on the newly liberalized bilateral accord signed between Abu Dhabi and India as a result of the “Jetihad” alliance. The main highlights are as follows:

DEL/BOM – Etihad is restricted to operating 3300 seats per week to each city respectively. Taking this into account, the choices EY have to BOM and DEL are to operate either triple daily A320 flights or double daily A321 or daily A332 + daily A321. (Personally speaking from a commercial aspect, a double daily A321 makes the most sense, but from a market share penetration point of view, a daily A332 + daily A321 takes the cake especially with now the support of 9W on board for domestic India and beyond AUH feed + cargo for the A332 bound to EU/USA/Africa)

Rest of India – Etihad can only operate daily frequencies but can increase capacity to COK, BLR, HYD, AMD, TRV, CCJ and MAA from daily A320 to daily A321 or A330/B77W if it chooses to. EY also has the right to launch services to CCU and JAI if it wishes to do so.

Good articles on this deal are mentioned below with passenger data stats obtained from IATA MarketIS which is a software used by major airlines and consulting firms worldwide identical to Shepherd System Market Master and PAXIS:

Air India’s CEO has officially announced that the airline will engage in an aggressive long haul expansion plan to counter the consequences of how the newly formed alliance between Etihad and Jet Airways will impact its market share and revenue on services to Europe and North America in particular. AI’s CEO revealed that the new destinations that the airline has short listed for launch in 2013/14 are Milan, Rome, Moscow, Sydney, Melbourne and Birmingham and all these new services will be exclusively operated by the Boeing 787-800s only which seat 256 passengers in a 2 class configuration i.e. 18J + 238Y. 


Unfortunately the choice of BHX seems more political rather than commercially oriented because if AI had done some basic research, they would have noticed that the Manchester-India market size is approximately 50% larger than BHX-India plus MAN-India is higher yielding and in turn has a greater demand for SE Asia (6th freedom transfer traffic) via AI’s DEL hub which it can use to feed pax on to HKG, BKK, ICN, SIN, KTM, DAC and Australia.

In 2012, according to Shepherd system data, the total market size between MAN-India was 190,000 (dominated by EK and QR) passengers versus BHX-India being 130,000 (dominated by EK overall). Demand from BHX is mainly concentrated to ATQ/DEL and sees virtually no premium demand. Currently, Emirates, Uzbekistan Airways and Turkmenistan Airlines dominate this market segment (ATQ/DEL) and the Central Asian carriers in particular offer extremely low fares to fill up their flights. 

As far as flying to Australia is concerned, this was in the pipeline since 2010 with two options put forward i.e. DEL-MEL-SYD-DEL triangular service with a B787 or DEL-MEL nonstop terminator as the DEL-MEL market size is way bigger than DEL-SYD. However, the current plan as per Air India is to operate it as a triangular service using a B787. This is not feasible mainly because by having extra costs incurred via a triangular service with no 5th freedom traffic rights using a 256 seater aircraft. Instead, due to the market size demand between MEL/SYD (combined) and DEL totaling over 200,000 passengers annually, it should be operated using a 342 seater Boeing 777-300ER as it offers 34% more passenger seating capacity + more cargo uplift carrying capacity hence overall more revenue generation potential at a higher operational cost which would be negated with the extra pax/cargo revenue derived. 

With regards to FCO and MXP, the MXP-DEL market size is 3 times bigger versus FCO and higher yielding as well. AI should not look at FCO unless it has intentions of joining Sky Team which it doesn’t  as even if it did, it would be more lucrative launching DEL-AMS instead or increasing DEL-CDG capacity versus operating to FCO. The potential for AI in MXP in terms of sheer volume is most decidedly there, but the issue for them will be how to revenue manage it !

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will be significantly increasing capacity to COK-Kochi, India effective 01JUN13 in order to capitalize on the growing traffic demand between Kerala and the GCC in particular. Currently, QR operates 11 weekly nonstop flights into COK using a 177 seater A321, however from June, all these flights will be upgraded to a 260 seater A330-200. Thus, overall an increase of 47% in capacity along with the capability of up-lifting an additional 10 tons of cargo per flight in each direction.

Spice Jet of India has officially announced that due to surge of bookings on its recently launched Delhi-Guangzhou services, it will be increasing frequencies on this sector. Currently, it operates 4 times per week from DEL to CAN using a B737-800 and these shall be increased in turn to 6 times per week using the same aircraft type effective May 2013. The Delhi-Guangzhou market size according to Shepherd system in 2012 was 37,000 and two airlines operate nonstop flights on this route i.e. Spice Jet and China Southern.

British Airways has officially announced a series of capacity and frequency changes for its long haul route network for the IATA W13 season of which the main highlights are as follows:

BOS – frequencies increased from triple daily to 24 weekly
DEL – capacity increased to double daily B744
JNB – frequencies increased from double daily to 17 weekly
BOM – capacity increased to double daily B744
PEK – capacity reduced from 6 weekly B744s to 6 weekly B772ERs
MIA – frequencies reduced from triple daily B744s to 18 weekly

Philippine Airlines has officially announced that it shall be embarking on a major expansion of its GCC network from the on set of the IATA W13 season using a fleet of brand new Airbus A 330-300s exclusively. It will be utilizing the planes under the PAL Express branding which will offer a dual class configuration of premium economy (42 seats) and normal economy class (300 seats) only  + it will also end all code sharing agreements in place with GCC carriers on the MNL-GCC sectors it intends on operating.

In other PAL news, the airline has dry leased 4 additional A343s in a dual class configuration and shall be using them to launch new services to Istanbul and Moscow this year which were previously announced. PAL’s CEO also confirmed that the airline has officially filed with the U.S. DOT to launch new flights to New York City effective November 2013 which shall be operated on a 5 weekly basis using a Boeing 777-300ER. PAL is also taking delivery of 2 new B77Ws from Boeing in Q3 which will be used for this new route.  

The main highlights are as follows:

MCT – new 4 weekly nonstop flights to be launched effective 30JAN 2014

DMM/RUH/JED – new daily flights to be launched to each Saudi city effective 01DEC13 using an A333

DXB – new flights to be launched effective 01NOV13

DOH - new flights to be launched effective 01NOV13

AUH – new 5 weekly nonstop flights to be launched effective 01OCT13


Excellent move by PAL to take advantage of the growing market segment between MNL and GCC especially now that the biggest market i.e. KSA has agreed to implement the minimum US$400 per month salary wage for labor workers from the Philippines. According to Shepherd System Market Master, the 2012 market sizes on the MNL-GCC sector were as follows:

DXB – 460,000 // RUH – 250,000 // DMM-190,000 // JED- 130,000 // KWI- 110,000 // DOH- 105,000 and AUH 80,000

Manila-New York City combined to JFK and EWR is also a high volume market seeing 91,000 passengers flying last year. It will be interesting to see if the B77W can indeed fly nonstop with a full payload or operate via Anchorage.  

Ethiopian Airlines has officially announced that it will be increasing its frequencies to YYZ-Toronto effective 10JUN13. Currently, ET operates twice a week from ADD via FCO to YYZ using a B777-200LR, however from mid June, a 3rd weekly frequency shall be added using a Boeing 787-800 on THU flown in the same manner.

PIA of Pakistan has revealed on the GDS system that will be no longer going ahead its intentions of re-launching services to ORD-Chicago, USA as the carrier faces a massive operational headache by having only 19 aircraft in its fleet for the IATA S13 season deemed air worthy. All two weekly flights are now showing deleted from across all major GDS systems and in addition to ORD, flights to BCN-Barcelona, Spain are also showing cut off from 01AUG. Between June-August, PIA will be operating 2 weekly terminator flights to BCN from North Pakistan only.


Very smart move to cut off ORD as it would have been a waste to operate there with the fleet situation is very critical. PIA should not think of re-launching ORD at all in the short term and even long term future until it first increases its JFK services from the current 3 to at least 5 times per week! Demand from JFK alone to PAK is greater than the rest of USA altogether combined to Pakistan hence PIA needs to focus on increasing its market share first to/from JFK rather than venturing back to places such as IAD, IAH and ORD.

Sri Lankan media has reported this week that Sri Lankan Airlines has made a decision on which aircraft it intends on purchasing soon to modernize its long haul fleet especially its aging A340-300s which have been around since 1994. According to the below mentioned link, six Airbus A330-300IGWs + 4 Airbus A 350-900s will be ordered in the near future along with a further three A359s listed as options. The new A333IGW does have the legs to operate its flagship route CMB-LHR nonstop without payload restrictions. These aircraft will be the ones used to firstly replace the A343s.