Thursday, September 21, 2017

Turkish Airlines orders 40 Boeing 787-9s

Turkish Airlines has officially announced that it has placed a US$ 11 billion order with Boeing for 40 B787-9s after a long process studying the Airbus A350-900, Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A380 aircraft.
These B789s will be initially used to replace TK's aging A330-200 fleet from 2023 onwards as the oldest A332s were delivered between 2005-06. 
Though no configuration layout has been revealed, it is expected that TK's B789s would seat 291 passengers in a 2 class layout i.e. 30J + 261Y. With this cabin configuration, it is also the ideal replacement aircraft (size and range wise) for its A333 fleet between 2025-28. 
The B789 can fly all of TK's current routes nonstop with a full payload of pax + cargo but for it to launch nonstop services to SYD/MEL, it will need to either order the Boeing 777-8X or have a less dense B789 cabin configuration (with more J class seats similar to what QF is going to use on PER-LHR effective March 2018).


This is a very smart decision made by TK as:

1. The B789 would likely seat 291 pax in a dual class layout i.e. 30J + 261Y thus enabling it to be used to replace both its 250 seater A332s and 289 seater A333s between 2023-2030. 

2. The B789 can operate all of TK's current long haul routes nonstop without any payload issues

3. It is cheaper to purchase versus the A359

4. By placing an initial order for 40 units, it has smartly locked in favorable pricing conditions as this aircraft will appreciate in value over time hence once it gets delivered, TK can engage in a sale-leaseback transaction which would have a decent cash profit margin for the carrier. 

5. Hopefully this would mean that their future WB fleet would revolve around 2 types only i.e. B777 and B787 rather than 3 i.e. with the A359 included as there is now no real need to order the A359 for them. Fleet standardization is a must which will enable them to save big time in cost savings over the long run. 

6. I am quite sure TK would have options for the larger B781 incorporated into this order in case they feel the need to upgrade for some high demand medium range flights. The B781 would likely seat 329 pax i.e. 30J + 299Y in a 2 class layout for TK (if ordered) so about 38 more seats than the B789 overall approximately.

For sure this has gained the Turkish Govt major brownie points with the Trump Administration for which they will be suitably rewarded through other means!

American Airlines A350-900 order problem?

American Airlines
CEO has officially stated that the airline is closely examining the need to have an order of 22 Airbus A350-900s incorporated into its fleet which it inherited after merging with US Airways whom had a fleet of 24 A330s which the A359s were destined to directly replace.

With a large fleet of Boeing 777s and B787s already in service, AA feels having a small sub fleet of A350s puts extra pressure on the entire system especially rotating them across its different hubs in USA. 


In my view, there are two options here for AA to choose from:

1. Exchange 22 A359s for 44 A321NEOs 

2. Exchange 22 A359s for 25 A330-900NEOs

Both options mentioned above are good and have their own respective pros and cons. The safe bet would probably be option 1 as it can also opt for many A321neoLRs and base them out of MIA for medium demand LATAM routes where using a 763 isn't viable plus to fly PHL/BOS to U.K./Ireland year round and in the premium config boosting frequencies to LAX/SFO from these two markets along with MIA.

Option 1 allows mega cost savings over the long run as its wide body fleet would exclusively revolve around the B777 and B787 families. 

If Option 2 gets implemented, then AA should just base the aircraft out of MIA airport and use them on high demand flights year round to Europe and Latin America. 

United Airlines orders 45 Airbus A350-900s

United Airlines
has officially announced that it has re-negotiated its wide body order book with Airbus which originally stood at 35 Airbus A350-1000s. These aircraft were originally expected to replace their aging B747-400 fleet as well as compliment its Boeing 777-300ER on high demand long haul routes.

However, it has now decided to opt to exchange all 35 A351s for 45 Airbus A350-900s which in turn will be a direct replacement for a majority of its aging Boeing 777-200 fleet. Currently, UA operates 55 B772ERs + 19 B772As (used on high demand regional/domestic services only).  


Gulf Air increases Istanbul and Moscow

Gulf Air
has officially announced that it will be increasing its services to Moscow and Istanbul from the on set of the IATA W17 season due to increased demand being witnessed on both routes.

IST - frequencies increased from 6 weekly to daily nonstop flights using an A320

DME - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop flights using an A320

Philippine Airlines announces USA 2018 expansion plan

Philippine Airlines CEO has officially announced plans for the carrier's North American expansion in 2018. The main highlights are as follows:

YYZ - 4 weekly nonstop flights shall be launched from Dec 2016 using a B77W

JFK - daily nonstop flights to be operated from June 2018 using an A359

SEA - new 4 weekly nonstop flights to be launched from Nov 2018

ORD - new 4 weekly flights via YVR to be operated from Summer 2018 using a B77W

IAH - new 3 weekly flights via YVR to be operated from Summer 2018 using a B77W

In addition to the above, PAL announced that some of its newly Airbus A321NEOLRs will be used to launch new nonstop flights from MNL to Mumbai, Delhi and Sapporo as they get delivered to the airline in due course.