Fedex has announced that it will be purchasing an additional 16 Boeing 777-200LR freighters from Boeing. Currently, FX has 25 in service with another 18 on order as options which seem to have been converted here as firm.
These aircraft are scheduled to replace FX's aging fleet of 56 MD11 freighters as quickly as possible in order for the airline to realize the mega operational cost savings that the B77Fs provide versus the tri jet. In addition, the B77Fs can carry an extra 15 tons hence providing the cargo specialist a high value extra revenue earning potential.
Kuwait Airways has officially confirmed that as part of its on going route network restructuring, it will be making the below mentioned adjustments in 2016:
CGK (Jakarta) - all flights suspended effective 28MAR
KUL - all flights suspended effective 28MAR
MNL - frequencies to be increased from 6 to 9 weekly with 3 new weekly nonstop flights to be added effective 30OCT. Currently, its 6 weekly flights operate with an A332 via BKK!
HBE (Alexandria) - all flights suspended effective 28MAR
The below mentioned article also mentions that LHR + JFK flights shall be increased from IATA W16 season onwards but nothing has been published in the GDS systems as of 02JAN! These additional frequencies are possible with more deliveries of A332s and B77Ws into KU's fleet this new year.
Delta Airlines has disclosed via filing on Sabre GDS system that they will be reducing service into Accra, Ghana from the on set of the IATA S16 season i.e. 27MAR16.
DL used to operate 5 times per week nonstop service between New York JFK and Accra using a B767-300ER. However from late March, these shall be reduced to 4 times per week nonstop using the same aircraft type. The schedule is as follows:
Days : 2/4/5/7
DL 420 Dep JFK 1740 Arr ACC 0740+1
DL 220 Dep ACC 0925 Arr JFK 1650
Qatar Airways has officially revealed details of its new Boeing 777-300ER cabin configuration which it will be implementing across its B77W fleet. The 9 B777-200LRs will however not be reconfigured and shall remain in their current 42J + 217Y layout. The highlights of the new B77W layout is as follows:
With regards to its expansion plans for 2016, QR has announced another round of which the main highlights are as follows:
- Economy class becomes 3-4-3 from 3-3-3
- Two configuration versions revealed i.e. for premium routes 358 seats (42J + 316Y) and for high density markets 412 seats (24J + 388Y)
- The high density B77W in 2016 will be used on a daily basis to Manila, Amsterdam, Paris (one flight out of 3), Jakarta and Amman
DFW - capacity increased from daily B77L to B77W
AMS - capacity increased from daily B788 to B77W
LHE - capacity increased from daily B77L to B77W
ISB - capacity increased from daily A332 to B77W
BLR - capacity reduced from daily B77W to daily B77L
TUN - capacity increased from daily A320 to daily B788
MAN - frequencies increased to 16 times weekly with all flights exclusively operated by the A333
United Airlines has been cited in the media that it has nearly given up on his expansion plans for India and instead is focusing on boosting its presence in China where it already is the largest U.S. carrier operating in terms of number of weekly frequencies.
It is doing this by focusing its China strategy around the B787 aircraft and its SFO hub on the U.S. West Coast as the ideal strategic location.
UA should not give up totally on India expansion as there is a way in which it can boost its presence by operating to Bangalore via Hong Kong on a daily basis.
Currently, UA has 1 B777 + 1 B744 parked at HKG for 17 hours each daily operating from ORD (B777) + SFO (B744). These flights arrive into HKG between 1800-1830 and depart back between 1130-1145 the next day.
BLR-HKG is a 5 hour 30 minute flight each way and UA should seriously consider using the B777 that originates from ORD to fly to BLR via HKG for which it also has 5th freedom traffic rights. In the past UA used to operate HKG-DEL with 5th freedom rights hence getting permission for HKG-BLR should not be a big issue with a little bit of political influence.
The schedule would look like this:
UA 895 Dep ORD 1310 Arr HKG 1810
UA 895 Dep HKG 2010 Arr BLR 2315
UA 896 Dep BLR 0120 Arr HKG 0940
UA 896 Dep HKG 1140 Arr ORD 1345
The above mentioned schedule allows excellent connections to SFO for BLR via HKG in both directions on UA as UA 869 lands into HKG at 1840 on a daily basis and departs back to SFO the next day at 1130 (US 862) hence offering a quick 90-120 minute transit maximum for SFO passengers to connect on to the BLR service.
The market demand is there too for UA to tap into which was as follows in 2014 (round trip pax):
In addition to the above markets, the schedule that I have proposed for UA also enables it to feed Seoul and Tokyo via Hong Kong conveniently with fellow STAR members i.e. ANA + Asiana. The demand from BLR to ICN was 17,000 where as NRT was 28,000 with neither cities seeing currently nonstop service to BLR as pax have to fly CX/SQ/TG only to get there.
With fuel prices being $40-50 a barrel it offers an attractive proposition for UA to seriously consider from IATA S16 season onwards as its market share to India is getting rapidly taken away from the Middle East carriers + CX/BA/LH !
Fiji Airways has officially unveiled its first new Airbus A330-300 that will be put into service full time soon on long haul trans-pacific flights.
The configuration sees 313 seats in total with 24 business class + 289 economy and the first 3 routes it will be used on are Auckland, Sydney and Los Angeles.
In addition, the airline announced a number of long haul service expansion plans from the on set of the IATA S16 season:
SFO - new 2 weekly nonstop flights to be launched effective 16JUN
HKG - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly nonstop effective 22JUN
SIN - new 2 weekly nonstop flights to be launched effective 05APR
Singapore Airlines has officially announced that due to surging demand from Austral-Asia as well as its own home market region (SIN+KUL) to Sri Lanka over the past year, it will be increasing its presence in the Colombo marketplace effective 30MAR.
Currently, SQ operates a daily nonstop A330-300 service on this route however from late March, frequencies will be raised to 10 weekly nonstop using the same aircraft type exclusively. The additional flights are day time services scheduled as follows:
SQ 466 Dep SIN 0850 Arr CMB 1005
SQ 467 Dep CMB 1130 Arr SIN 1800
Qatar Airways has officially confirmed that it will be significantly expanding its presence in Europe from the on set of the IATA S16 season. The main highlights are as follows:
ATH - frequencies increased from double daily to triple daily i.e. daily A321 + daily A332 + daily A320
VIE - frequencies increased from daily to 12 weekly nonstop flights exclusively operated by B787s
BEG - new 4 weekly nonstop flights operated by the A320 to be launched
ZAG - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly using A320s
Turkish Airlines has officially announced that it will be increasing its presence in the Southeast Asia market segment in an aggressive manner from S16 season onwards as the carrier looks to capitalize on the downsizing of MH/TG/AF/KL in Asia.
The main highlights are as follows:
BKK - frequencies increased to double daily nonstop using an A333 exclusively with all flights being terminator operations !
TPE - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly nonstop using a B77W exclusively
HAN - new 5 weekly flights to be launched with an A333 effective 27JUL