Friday, December 18, 2015

Singapore Airlines A350 configuration and Premium Economy update

Singapore Airlines has officially revealed details of its Airbus A350-900 configuration that it expects to be delivered in 2016 as well as more info on its premium economy cabin.

The initial A359s will be configured in a three class layout initially i.e. Business + Premium Economy and Economy. In total 253 seats will be on board with 42 in business + 24 premium economy and 187 in economy. In total, SQ has ordered 67 A359s (including options) of which 7 units are for the exclusive A359LR which it will use in 2018 to relaunch SIN-EWR and SIN-LAX nonstop as well as one more ultra long haul nonstop route which many pundits expect to be San Francisco.

With regards to its premium economy cabin on the Airbus A380s, SQ confirmed two different configurations depending on the market demand characteristics which are as follows:
  • A380s that are deployed on high premium demand routes will see capacity reduced to 379 seats on board only i.e. 12F + 86J + 36PE + 245Y
  • A380s that are deployed on long haul volume oriented routes with less business class demand sees capacity also reduced to 441 seats i.e. 12F + 60J + 36PE + 333Y

SN Brussels expands long haul network

SN Brussels has officially announced that it will be embarking on an ambitious long haul expansion plan in 2016 as the carrier looks to expand its footprint on its core Africa market segment as well as North America. 

The main highlights are as follows:
  • Three additional A330-300s shall be inserted into the fleet in 2016-17
  • New 5 weekly nonstop flights to YYZ-Toronto will be launched effective April 2016
  • Frequencies to KGL-Kigali and EBB-Entebbe to be increased to 6 and 4 weekly each respectively
  • Three new long haul routes being seriously studied i.e. Mumbai, Lagos and Libreville
  • Frequencies to IAD-Washington to be increased from April 2016 from 5 to 6 weekly nonstop flights

Canada-Australia bilateral expanded

The Governments of Canada and Australia have confirmed that they have come to a mutually beneficial agreement expanding the air bilateral accord between both countries which in turn should facilitate greater people and cargo movement.

The main highlights are as follows:
  • Seat limitation increased from 3000 to 6000 per week
  • Effective December 2016, it is further increased to 9000 per week
Currently, Air Canada offers nonstop daily service from YVR to SYD using a B777-200LR (1890 weekly seats) + 3 weekly YVR-BNE using a B787-8 (753 seats). 

The new bilateral agreement would permit Air Canada to seriously ponder launching new 5 weekly flights to MEL from YVR using a B789 (15 hours flying time) as well as increase YVR-SYD in peak season from daily to 11 weekly (if required)


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Turkish increases Karachi to double daily

Turkish Airlines has officially announced that it will be increasing its services to Karachi, Pakistan effective 29FEB16. Currently, TK operates a daily nonstop flight using an A330-200. 

However from 29FEB, these shall be raised to double daily nonstop using a Boeing 737-900ER using the below mentioned schedule:

TK 708 Dep IST 2030 Arr KHI 0445+1
TK 709 Dep KHI 0615 Arr IST 0940

TK 118 Dep IST 0020 Arr KHI 0835
TK 119 Dep KHI 0935 Arr IST 1300

Etihad increases Manila to 17 weekly

Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be boosting its presence in the high demand Manila market by adding 3 new weekly frequencies on the route. Currently, it operates a double daily nonstop schedule AUH-MNL-AUH using a 2 class configured 412 seater B777-300ER.

Effective 01MAY16, these shall be increased to 17 times per week nonstop using the same aircraft type with the below mentioned schedule (for the new flights):


EY 434 Dep AUH 1435 Arr MNL 0345+1
EY 435 Dep MNL 0655 Arr AUH 1200

Emirates announces 4 new A380 destinations in 2016

Emirates has today announced massive capacity expansion of its long haul network by naming four new cities ear marked for Airbus A380 capacity upgrade from the on set of the IATA S16 season. The main highlights are as follows:

BHX - new single daily A380 (dual class) service (afternoon departure from BHX)

TPE - capacity increased from daily B77W to daily A380 (dual class)

PRG - capacity increased from daily B77W to daily A380 (three class)

BCN - capacity increased from double daily B77W to daily A380 + daily B77W

Etihad unveils 2 class B787-9 configuration

Etihad Airways has officially released details of its upcoming new deliveries of their B789s which will be configured in a two class layout rather than the current versions that have a three class premium configuration. The new dual class layout shall seat in total 299 passengers with 28 business class + 271 in economy. 

It will begin flying from August 2016 on services to DUS, JNB, PVG, PER and IST. In total, 36 B789s have been ordered by the carrier of which 5 are currently in operation in a three class layout seating 235 pax i.e. 8F / 28J / 199Y.

Lufthansa suspends Kuala Lumpur

Lufthansa has officially confirmed that it shall be suspending all flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia effective 01MAR16. It has attributed high losses and low yields for the suspension as well as the inability to compete effectively against the one stop competitors from the Middle East and Turkey. 

LH currently operates FRA-KUL 5 times per week nonstop using its high density configured 279 seater A340-300.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sri Lankan Airlines to restructure Airbus order

Sri Lankan Airlines CEO has officially confirmed that the airline is looking to renegotiate an existing order with Airbus that was for 7 Airbus A350-900s as the carrier feels that due to a changing market dynamic as well as less focus on Europe-Asia connectivity, it is better off pursuing the option of procuring more narrow bodied aircraft. 

UL's current long haul fleet consists of 7 A332s + 5 A333s (2 more yet to be delivered). Its narrow body fleet after the merger with Mihin Lanka comprises of 6 A320s + 2 A321s. 


This is a sound move undertaken by the top level management team of UL as the correct way to move forward for the carrier is to boost its narrow body fleet by ordering a bunch load of A321NEOs. The Sri Lankan market segment largely consists of VFR, leisure and labor passengers bound to GCC, UK and East Asia with very little corporate premium demand. This is evident by the configuration of its A332s which have only 18 business class seats in them (flat beds) versus the standard 24-30 that one sees in other airlines. 

The A321NEO is the perfect aircraft for UL to meet both its medium and short haul needs with a low risk aircraft that can almost offer the capacity of a wide body but with narrow body operational costs. It can easily fly up to 6.5 hours nonstop from CMB airport with a full payload of pax and up to 4 tons of cargo. This means to the East it can fly CMB-PVG nonstop and JED to the West without any operational issues. With particular reference to markets such as BKK/KUL/SIN/GCC where demand is primarily in the Y class cabin, operating the A321 makes much more sense as it provides 25-30% more capacity versus the A320 against only 7% higher cost of flying. This is precisely why airlines such as Dragon Air, Etihad, Qatar Airways, American and Jetblue use this particular aircraft type on high density short/medium haul routes where there is predominantly more leisure versus premium demand. 

The A320NEO is relevant only to UL's Indian subcontinent network where it operates multiple daily frequencies to many markets where the lower capacity of the A320 comes in handy due to many flights on offer as they feed into UL's different arrival/departure hub wave banks. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

KLM boosts USA presence

KLM has officially announced that as a result of surging demand, it shall be increasing its services into SFO-San Franciso, USA effective May 2016. Currently, KL operates a daily nonstop flight using a B747-400 Combi, however from May onwards these will be boosted to 9 weekly nonstop flights. The additional 2 weekly flights will be operated using its new B787-9. 

In addition, KLM too revealed that it will be launching a new USA long haul route to SLC-Salt Lake City effective 05MAY16. In total, 3 weekly nonstop flights will be flown from AMS using an A332 using the below mentioned schedule:

Days: 1/4/6

KL 609 Dep AMS 1230 Arr SLC 1450
KL 610 Dep SLC 1650 Arr AMS 1020+1

Virgin America orders 10 A321NEOs

Virgin America (based out of SFO) has officially announced that it has placed an order for 10 brand new Airbus A 321NEOs as the carrier embarks on to its next planned phase of growth both from a capacity and on board product wise. 

VX will be basing these aircraft exclusively out of its primary SFO base and shall be used mainly on multiple daily trans-continental flights to the U.S. East Coast and Florida. 

VX can also use the aircraft to operate on SFO-Hawaii routes when demand warrants it. 


Monday, December 14, 2015

Jet Airways announces Amsterdam, suspends Newark

Jet Airways of India has officially released details of a new broad based code share relationship with Delta and KLM via AMS from the on set of the IATA S16 season. 

As a result of this, the following applies:
  • EWR service suspended 
  • All YYZ flights to be routed via AMS using below schedule effective 27MAR16
9W 234 Dep DEL 0235 Arr AMS 0800
9W 234 Dep AMS 1120 Arr YYZ 1340
9W 233 Dep YYZ 1950 Arr AMS 0915+1
9W 233 Dep AMS 1140 Arr DEL 2320
  • BOM-AMS will also see a daily nonstop flight using below schedule
9W 232 Dep BOM 0225 Arr AMS 0815
9W 231 Dep AMS 1120 Arr BOM 2355
  • All AMS-India flights operated by 9W to be flown exclusively on A333s
  • 9W will code share on all transatlantic DL/KLM operated flights as well as selected KLM intra-EU services
  • BRU-YYZ-BRU service will be suspended
  • All India-BRU-India services suspended


Emirates reveals China expansion

Emirates has officially announced that it will be launching 2 new long haul destinations in China effective 03MAY16 as the carrier looks to tap into niche markets before EY/QR come into the mix.

The 2 new cities revealed were Yinchuan(INC) and Zhengzhou(CGO) and it shall be flown using the below mentioned schedule:

Frequency 4 weekly 
Aircraft  B777-200LR
Days 2/3/5/6

EK 326 Dep DXB 0245 Arr INC 1335+1
EK 326 Dep INC 1520 Arr CGO 1700
EK 327 Dep CGO 2110 Arr INC 2255
EK 327 Dep INC 0040 Arr DXB 0430