Monday, April 27, 2015

27APR news edition

Vietnam Airlines has revealed the configuration of its soon to be delivered Boeing 787-900 and Airbus A 350-900 that will be entering service with the carrier in June. The breakdown is as follows:

·         A total of 19 B789s have been ordered with those dedicated to long haul flights having a 3 class layout i.e. 274 seats (28J + 35W + 211Y). The regional configured B789s meant exclusively for intra-ASEAN and possible future flights to Middle East has a dual class layout seating 311 pax i.e. 28J + 283Y!

·         As far as the A359 goes, a total of 14 units have been ordered with all having a 3 class layout seating 305 pax i.e. 29J + 36W + 240Y. 


It is quite silly having two different types of configurations for the B789 fleet as operationally it is not easy to handle from an aircraft rotation stand point. Since all the A359s have the long haul 3 class layout hence being given a particular set of routes, the same policy should have been implemented for the B789 i.e. have only a dual class configuration and fly it exclusively on regional routes + those long haul that do not require premium economy (W) class demand. FYI all of VN’s B789 + A359 business class seats will be flat beds.

Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be major capacity changes across its network for the remaining part of the on-going IATA S15 season. The main highlights are as follows:

COK - frequencies increased from double to triple daily using an A321 double daily + A320 daily effective 15MAY

HYD - frequencies increased from double to triple daily using an A321 double daily + A320 daily effective 15JUN

DME - frequencies reduced from double daily to daily nonstop only using an A321 effective 15JUN

CCJ - frequencies increased from double to triple daily using an A321 daily + A320 double daily effective 01MAY
MCT – frequencies increased from three to four daily flights effective 15JUN

Malaysia Airlines has officially announced that as part of its on-going cost saving measures, it will be suspending its heavily loss making flights to Frankfurt effective 29MAY15. Currently, MAS operates 5 times per week nonstop using a B777-200ER. The top ten markets that MH has out of FRA are KUL, DPS, HKT, USM, SYD, AKL, MNL, MEL, CGK and PER.


This is not unexpected one bit and one can place a bet that the next long haul route to be targeted by MH will be IST ! Who stands to gain most with this suspension announcement are both EK and QR especially as they are adding capacity to DPS, CGK and HKT in particular from June onwards so with MH pulling out of FRA, this in turn will definitely further boost their own S/F on these routes. FYI in 2014, MH carried 11,000 pax to DPS + HKT combined to/from FRA!

United Airlines has officially announced that it has placed an order with Boeing for 10 new Boeing 777-300ERs to be delivered from 2016 onwards in exchange for options it currently holds on its Boeing 787-900 order book. It ordered the B77W in order to be a capacity bridge aircraft for its aging fleet of 24 B747-400s which are slated to be retired by 2017-18. The original aircraft ordered by UA to replace the B744 was the Airbus A 350-1000 but that wont be available for many years. In addition, UA also revealed the below mentioned changes to its fleet strategy:
  • 10 B777-200s currently being used on trans-atlantic services will be re-deployed exclusively on domestic/Hawaii flights along with it being reconfigured to suit the USA market segment
  • All B757 flying on trans-atlantic routes into mainland Europe (excluding Ireland/UK) shall be discontinued
  • 21 Boeing 767-300ERs will get winglets installed and as a result shall get their lifespan in the UA fleet extended for a few more years

Air France has officially announced that due to high demand for its San Francisco bound flights, it will be increasing its presence in that marketplace accordingly. Effective 15JUN, its current 12 weekly flights will be increased to double daily nonstop operated with an A380 + B772ER.

Lufthansa has officially announced that due to high seasonal demand to Cape Town from Europe in the winter season, it will be increasing its flights accordingly. Currently, LH operates a 5 weekly nonstop service from Munich to Cape Town using an A340-600. These will be boosted to daily nonstop flights effective 25OCT.

A new Oman-Philippines bilateral accord has been signed of which the main highlights are as follows:
  • Bilateral frequencies allocation increased from 4 to 7 for each side with WY being allowed daily services exclusively from Oman's side
  • From Philippines side, Cebu Pacific got 4 slots and PAL 3 into MCT
  • Oman Air secured fifth freedom rights on BKK-MNL, KUL-MNL and JKT-MNL
  • Philippine based carriers secured 5th freedom rights in turn on India (any one city only)-MCT + Europe-MCT (any one city only)
WY is expected to boost MNL flights to daily in W15 season (NOV onwards) upon delivery of  additional A333s this year. Currently, their flights have 62% point to point traffic and 38% transit beyond MCT of which Paris (CDG) has been cited as the top feeder market for them in Europe on this route.

Air New Zealand has officially announced that it will be launching new 5 weekly nonstop flights to IAH-Houston, USA effective Dec 2015. All flights will be operated using a B777-200ER in code share with its fellow Star Alliance partner i.e. United 

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will be significantly increasing capacity on its Larnaca and Athens bound routes effective 01JUN onwards as the carrier looks to take advantage of the peak summer travel season. 

The main highlights are as follows:

LCA - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily using an A320

ATH - frequencies increased from double to triple daily nonstop using an A333 + A321 + A320 each on a daily basis respectively. The new ATH service is scheduled in the below mentioned manner

QR 207 Dep DOH 1930 Arr ATH 0010+1
QR 208 Dep ATH 0110 Arr DOH 0540

Above schedule of QR 207 only connects GCC destinations along with NBO, DAR, EBL and KTM.

Emirates has officially announced that it will be increasing its presence in the Dhaka market segment by increasing frequencies effective immediately. Current double daily nonstop services are being raised to triple daily nonstop using a two class 430 seater B777-300ER exclusively. The airline has the highest market share out of Bangladesh to USA and Europe as well as a cult like following with Bangladeshi freight forwarders. Flights depart DXB at 0200/1030/1315 and arrive back at 0025/1305/2210 local time respectively. 

In addition, EK also surprisingly announced that it shall be launching new nonstop flights to MCO-Orlando, USA effective 01SEP. The airline will operate the Boeing 777-200LR on this new service in code share with its U.S. partner i.e. B6-Jetblue. 

The flight schedule is as follows:

EK 219 Dep DXB 0350 Arr MCO 1140
EK 220 Dep MCO 1420 Arr DXB 1230+1 

Turkish Airlines has revealed that as part of its seasonal capacity adjustments across its long haul network, it will be reducing its flights to NRT-Tokyo Narita airport from the on set of the IATA W15 season i.e. 25OCT. Currently, the airline operates a double daily nonstop flight using a B773ER + A333 on a daily basis each respectively. Effective 25OCT, TK will be reducing NRT-IST to 11 weekly nonstop using an A333 exclusively!

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