Friday, December 4, 2015

Philippine Airlines chooses Airbus A359 and announces Paris-Manila

PAL (Philippine Airlines) SVP Commercial Mr Lim today revealed to the local media of two important developments concerning the airline's future operational plans. They are as follows:
  1. PAL has chosen to purchase the A350-900 over the B787-9 and will be using the normal version of the aircraft which its Ops department has confirmed shall be able to operate its longest route i.e. MNL-JFK nonstop without a payload penalty. A total of 6 units initially are ordered.
  2. A new long haul EU destination will be launched in Summer 2016 i.e. Paris served from Manila via Dubai with 5th freedom traffic rights


PAL should not look at flying to CDG via DXB but rather via KWI instead. DXB-CDG already has 4 daily nonstop flights being operated i.e. daily AF + triple daily EK therefore there is no chance for PAL to be remotely competitive. Instead, KWI-CDG no airline flies nonstop as KU currently operate their service via FCO-Rome four times per week hence un-competitive versus a nonstop product. In addition, yields on KWI-CDG are much higher than DXB-CDG !

JAL looking at USA expansion

Japan Airlines CEO has announced that the carrier is looking to launch at least two new USA routes in 2016 during a press conference inaugurating the new nonstop Tokyo-Dallas nonstop service. 

The one route that was mentioned as a possible reinstatement was Las Vegas which JAL previously operated for many years. JAL is very happy with the performance economics of the plane and should seriously consider being the first Asian airline to fly nonstop to Miami which is a major hub of its fellow One World partner i.e. American Airlines. NRT-MIA traffic demand in 2014 was 24,000 passengers + via AA support it can access easily Latin/Central America + Caribbean islands providing passengers with one stop access. NRT-MIA can be sustained 4 times per week using a B789 with the flying time of the route being 14 hours 30 minutes hence easily do able from an aircraft flying range perspective.

TAP Portugal orders 14 A339s + 39 A320/321NEOs

TAP Portugal has officially announced that it has signed a deal with Airbus for the procurement of 53 new aircraft that will see the airline commercially through the entire 2020-30 decade. The breakdown of the order is 14 A330-900s + 15 A320NEOs + 24 A321NEOs. Previously it had ordered 12 A350-900s which were in turn exchanged for 14 A339s as TAP's internal studies revealed it was cheaper for them overall to operate the A339 versus the A359 whose extra flying range was not required for any destination in its current and future network plan.

The A321NEO order will be split between the normal NEO version and the LR version which TAP has stated will be used to fly on medium demand trans-atlantic routes from Lisbon to U.S. East Coast and Northeast Brazil. The cities identified for this purpose include Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Washington DC, Bayeux, Parnaiba and Aracaju. The configuration of these A321NEOLRs will see 16 flat bed seats in business class plus 159 in economy totaling 175.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Malaysia Airlines suspends Paris and Amsterdam

Malaysia Airlines has officially announced that it will be suspending all flights to both Paris and Amsterdam effective 25JAN16 as the carrier enters into its last phase of route network restructuring designed to save the airline large amounts of operating cash. As a result of this, London Heathrow will be MH's sole EU destination where it shall continue to operate double daily flights using the Airbus A380 exclusively in code share with fellow One World partner British Airways. 

MH also revealed on the sidelines that it has concluded signing a broad based code share agreement with Emirates that will see the former place its code on EK's operated flights from DXB to EU and selected MENA destinations. In return, EK will do the same on MH's operated flights to the Austral-Asia region. This arrangement is very similar to the EK-QF venture initiated few years ago.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Emirates reduces DAR and increases MNL

Emirates has officially confirmed that due to network demand requirements, it will be implementing the below mentioned changes:

DAR - frequencies reduced from double daily B773s to a daily nonstop service only effective 15DEC

MNL - frequencies increased from double daily to 18 weekly with all flights exclusively being operated by the B777-300ER (B77W) effective 29MAR

It is highly surprising that a route such as Addis Ababa with its massive labor market demand to GCC has yet to warrant double daily A332 operated service by EK where as ET currently operate 18 weekly flights DXB-ADD !

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Turkish orders 20 more A321NEOs

Turkish Airlines has officially confirmed that it has ordered 20 additional Airbus A321-200NEOs catered for additional planned growth in the 2020-30 decade. 

In total as a result of this order, 72 A321NEOs have been ordered by the carrier which has the capability to fly up to 7 hours nonstop from Istanbul with a full payload of passengers plus cargo. 


Monday, November 30, 2015

Cathay Pacific reveals Airbus A350 strategy

Cathay Pacific has officially revealed details on how it is configuring its upcoming Airbus A350-900s as well as on what routes it will be operating to and lastly what purpose it brings to the airline in terms of long haul expansion. 

To begin with, the cabin configuration will be in a 3 class layout seating 280 pax in total i.e. 38 business + 28 premium economy + 214 economy. CX has on order a total of 22 A359s + 26 A351s. 

The A359 will be used to boost its presence in mainland Europe through frequency increases to Milan, Manchester, Zurich, Madrid, Dusseldorf and Amsterdam as well as launch potential new markets such as Barcelona, Copenhagen and Geneva (these 3 destinations are of my opinion only which have sufficient demand to warrant a CX flight 4 times per week). 

In addition to cater for growth, the A359 will be used to gradually replace CX's oldest B777-200As and A330-300s whilst the larger A350-1000s are geared to increase the carrier's footprint in Australia + North America along side replacing its entire A343 + B773A fleet (used on ASEAN routes). 

RAM announces Rio De Janerio and Washington DC

Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has officially announced that it will be launching 2 new long haul destinations from the Summer 2016 season onwards as the carrier looks to position its CMN-Casablanca hub as the gateway to North Africa and Southwestern Europe. 

The new routes are Washington DC and Rio De Janerio. The former will be flown 3 times per week nonstop using a B787-800 effective 08SEP. The latter will be operated in conjunction with GRU (Sao Paulo) as a triangular service 3 times per week using a Boeing 767-300ER effective 02MAY.

Air India considering Washington DC

Air India has been cited by the Indian media to be seriously studying the prospect of launching a new nonstop service to IAD-Washington DC from its primary Delhi hub base. The carrier's new SFO-DEL nonstop service has received a very strong response from the traveling public as a result of it is looking at new opportunities in USA where Star Alliance partner United has a strong presence. 


If launched, it will be maximum a three weekly service operated using the same schedule as DEL-JFK-DEL and the aircraft shall be a B777-300ER only as AI's B788s would struggle to operate the route with a full payload nonstop.