Friday, May 8, 2015

Cathay Pacific looking at Tel Aviv flights

According to Israeli media, Cathay Pacific is seriously examining launching new nonstop flights from Hong Kong to TLV-Tel Aviv effective Summer 2016. The carrier would launch services using its soon to be delivered Airbus A350-900s and is expected to be operated 3-4 times per week maximum.



Another surprise pulled off by CX but something that holds a bit of merit. In 2014, 72,000 pax flew TLV-HKG-TLV with the average fare being $1900 round trip which means that there is good yield to be exploited here on point to point traffic alone.

The other big Asian markets that CX can tap into via HKG for TLV are as follows:


Please note that demand to TLV from MNL is not only 5,000 pax annually as majority of them who go on holy pilgrimages buy a return ticket to AMM or IST and then a seperate ticket to TLV on TK or RJ. Hence the number stated above of 5,000 does not reflect the real bigger picture. CX's new potential service can definitely help further stimulate this demand on the MNL-TLV-MNL market sector along with Australia-TLV !

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Qatar Airways new Airbus A340-600 configuration

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will be reconfiguring its entire fleet of 4 Airbus A340-600s into a more commercially viable high density layout. Currently, QR's A346s have a 3 class configuration seating 306 passengers i.e. 8F + 42J + 256Y

The new layout seats 372 passengers in a two class configuration i.e. 24J + 348Y thus representing an overall increase of 21% in capacity but more importantly 36% increase in the economy cabin. The first route earmarked for high density A346 is a daily DOH-KUL-DOH rotation. 


This is a much required move and makes the operating economics of the aircraft more attractive especially when fuel prices are low and its purpose is to be utilized on capacity constrained routes. I would suggest QR deploy this aircraft variant on DOH-CAN + DOH-HKG on a daily basis each respectively. 


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Turkish Airlines announces Miami

Turkish Airlines has officially announced that they will be launching new daily nonstop flights to MIA-Miami, USA effective 25OCT15. A 349 seater Boeing 777-300ER shall be used to operate the new flight offering excellent two way connections to GCC, Africa, Southeast Europe, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.

The schedule is as follows:

TK 077 Dep IST 1330 Arr MIA 1930
TK 078 Dep MIA 2130 Arr IST 1630+1

Monday, May 4, 2015

Qatar Airways announces massive USA expansion

Qatar Airways has officially revealed major plans to expand its presence in the USA marketplace in 2016 with 3 new destinations being announced along with a frequency increase to an existing destination. The main highlights are as follows:

LAX - new daily nonstop flights using a B772LR effective 01JAN16

ATL - new daily nonstop flights using a B772LR effective 01JUL16

BOS - new daily nonstop flights using an A359 effective 16MAR16

JFK - frequencies increased to double daily (new flight is on an A359) effective 01MAR16. The new JFK schedule is mentioned below:

QR 703 Dep DOH 0130 Arr JFK 0725
QR 704 Dep JFK 1025 Arr DOH 0600


There are a couple of valid reasons (IMO) why the launch of these USA destinations is pushed into 2016:

1. A359 delivery timetable (obvious for BOS route)

2. More importantly, QR realizes that they face a severe capacity bottle neck situation with regards to their India bound flights in terms of capacity being offered. Their team now has almost a year to sort this out and ensure that they get more access into India in order to allow its entire network to feed it by making the departure timings cater to two different hub wave banks at DOH airport rather than the present one only (2000-2130 departure in particular). If this is not resolved by the time BOS comes online in particular, it will be very difficult attracting decent S/F across their USA services !

FYI I expect JFK to become a double daily A359 operated service by Summer 2016 season in order to make it easier both for crew rotations + selling capacity.

On another note, I dont see how and why ATL was chosen ahead of SFO