Sunday, February 26, 2017

Air France exchanges two A380s for 3 A359s

Air France has disclosed that due to changing business conditions keeping in line with its core strategic focus, it will be exchanging 2 previously ordered A380 super jumbos for 3 smaller Airbus A350-900s. 

In total, AF will therefore maintain a fleet of 10 A380s and increase its A359 unit count to 24 aircraft. 

It is seriously contemplating launching a new long haul LCC unit based out of CDG airport with a fleet of either A332s or A359s only to better serve high density lower yielding routes especially those in Southeast Asia.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

WestJet orders 10 B739MAXs

WestJet has disclosed that it has placed an order for 10 Boeing 737-900MAXs as part of an upgrade option that it already had on a previously announced purchase for 30 B738MAXs.

WS's B739s are expected to seat 185 passengers approximately in a 2 class layout (W+Y only) and would be used on high density routes from YYZ to YVR, YYC, Caribbean and Florida. This aircraft can fly 6.5 hours nonstop hence can cover all of their current routes.

Link: https://www.westjet.com/assets/wj-web/documents/en/about-us/financialReports/WestJet2016Q4-MDA.pdf go to page 28

Friday, February 24, 2017

Finnair announces major Asia expansion

Finnair has officially announced that it will be re-configuring some of its Airbus A350-900s into a high density configuration which will be better suited to its long haul Asian destinations that primarily see greater leisure demand versus premium.

Currently, AY's A359s seat 297 pax in a 2 class layout i.e. 46J + 251Y. However, the new high density configuration will have 32J (flat beds) + 304Y giving a total of 336 seats i.e. +13% on board capacity. The initial routes destined for these HD aircraft are Bangkok, Seoul and Beijing. 

In addition to the above, AY also revealed the below mentioned changes to long haul route network:

HKG - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly

NRT - frequencies increased from daily to 11 weekly during S17 season only

SIN - frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily flights using an A359

KIX - capacity increased from daily A333 to daily A359

GOI (Goa, India) - new 2 weekly seasonal flights using an A333 effective 29NOV operated nonstop from HEL

BKK - frequencies increased from double daily to 16 weekly

DEL - frequencies increased from 5 to 6 weekly using an A333

ICNcapacity increased from daily A333 to daily A359

  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Emirates announces new services to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Emirates has officially announced a new long haul destination in Southeast Asia namely Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The new service shall be launched effective 01JUL17 on a daily basis using a Boeing 777-300ER operated via RGN-Rangoon with full 5th freedom traffic rights.

As a result of the above, its current Hanoi (Vietnam) flights operated via RGN shall become a daily nonstop terminator service using a 2 class 427 seater Boeing 777-300ER offering excellent 2 way connections to Europe via Dubai. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Air Canada increases Tel Aviv

Air Canada has officially announced that it will be increasing its presence in Tel Aviv, Israel as the carrier looks to ward off any momentum its competitor Air Transat can gain in this market segment.

AC will first boost YYZ-TLV capacity from a daily B788 (251 seats) to a daily B789 (298 seats) effective 27MAR17. Secondly, it will launch new twice weekly Montreal (YUL) - Tel Aviv nonstop flights effective 22JUN17 using a 292 seater A330-300.

P2P demand between Canada and TLV has indeed increased in 2016 versus 2015 which was as follows:

YYZ - 133,000 versus 121,000
YUL - 47,000 versus 40,000
YVR - 20,000 versus 15,000
YYC - 10,000 versus 6,000
YOW - 6,000 versus 4,000

AC also gets useful feed from the U.S. East Coast (BOS NYC PHL IAD) via YYZ for its TLV bound service for which it will also get on its new YUL service along with ORD too as the two way connections are very convenient.  

Malindo increases Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's third largest airline i.e. Malindo Airways has officially announced that due to rising demand between Malaysia and Bangladesh for labor plus leisure movement, it shall be increasing its presence on the DAC-KUL sector effective 01MAR17.

Currently, OD operates double daily nonstop services using a B738, however effective 01MAR onwards these shall be further increased to triple daily nonstop using the same aircraft type.

In 2016, P2P demand between DAC and KUL rose to be 745,000 passengers versus 670,000 the year prior. It is the biggest market segment between the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

The 3 daily flights are scheduled as follows:

Dep KUL 1020/2010/2200 - Arr DAC 1210/2200/2350
Dep DAC 0050/1250/2300 - KUL 0450/0640/1840

Monday, February 20, 2017

KLM announces Mauritius

KLM has officially announced that it will be adding a new long haul route effective 30OCT17 as the carrier looks into tapping niche holiday destinations popular with EU travelers.

The new route is Mauritius-Amsterdam nonstop operated 3 times per week using a Boeing 787-9 with the below mentioned schedule:

Days: 1/4/6

KL 501 Dep AMS 1720 Arr MRU 0735+1
KL 5020 Dep MRU 0945 Arr AMS 1835


Comments:

Excellent move by KLM as currently, the EU-MRU market is dominated by EK mainly via DXB with their double daily A380 service.


Demand in 2016 to/from EU to MRU was good especially to London and Paris which were as follows:

CDG/ORY - 370,000
LHR/LGW - 224,000
FRA - 75,000
GVA - 42,000
MUC - 39,000
MXP - 38,000
ZRH - 32,000
FCO - 28,000
VIE - 26,000
MAN - 26,000
NCE - 21,000
BHX - 19,000
DUS - 18,000
AMS - 17,000
BRU - 15,000

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kuwait Airways announces major expansion


Kuwait Airways has officially announced its bigger ever network expansion as the carrier looks to regain market share away from its competitors especially on key point to point routes. For the IATA S17 season, the main highlights are as follows:

DAC - frequencies increased from daily to 12 weekly effective 15JUL using a B77W exclusively

CMB - frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly nonstop flights using an A332

DEL - frequencies increased from 12 weekly to double daily

MAA - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly flights using an A332

JFK - frequencies increased from 6 weekly to daily flights using a B77W

LHR - capacity increased with all ten weekly flights exclusively operated by the B77W

FRA - capacity increased from 4 weekly A332s to 4 weekly B77Ws

FCO - frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly nonstop flights using an A320

IST - frequencies increased from 9 to 12 weekly nonstop flights i.e. 2 weekly A332s + 10 weekly A320s

AMM - frequencies increased from 13 weekly to double daily

BEY - frequencies increased from daily to 12 weekly 

IKA - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly flights 

MHD - frequencies increased from 2 to 3 weekly 

NJF - frequencies increased from 2 to 3 weekly

BAH - frequencies increased from 8 weekly to double daily

DXB - frequencies increased from 18 to 25 weekly

LHE - frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly

KHI - new 4 weekly nonstop flights to be launched with an A320

COK - capacity adjusted to daily A332 + 3 weekly A320s

MNL - capacity increased effective 15AUG from daily B772 to daily B77WB77W

BKK - capacity increased from daily A332 to daily 

In total, KU will be operating an additional 36 flights per week in S17 season versus W16.

The fleet by August 2017 will comprise of 10 B77Ws + 5 A332s + 10 A320s with all the wide body aircraft having flat beds in J and F class along with wifi access in every seat. Seven out of the ten A320s have wifi installed too. 

The configuration of KU's wide body fleet is as follows:

B77W (777-300ER) - 334 seats i.e. 8F/36J/290Y

A332 (330-200) - 212 seats i.e. 17F/30J/165Y



Friday, February 10, 2017

Singapore Airlines places a $13 billion order with Boeing


Singapore Airlines has officially announced that it has placed a huge order with Boeing for 39 wide body aircraft as part of its 2020-2030 fleet replacement strategy. SQ ordered 20 Boeing 777-9s plus 19 Boeing 787-10s which will be used to replace their current Boeing 777-300ERs + Airbus A330-300s. 

SQ said that the B781s will be primarily used to operate medium haul routes within Asia and to Australia. The B779s will be exclusively used on long haul services to Europe and North America. 

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/02/09/boeing-wins-138-billion-order-singapore-airlines/97685122/

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Qatar Airways increases Zurich flights

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it shall be significantly increasing its presence in ZRH-Zurich marketplace effective 17SEP17 as the carrier looks to gain a proper foothold especially amongst the high yielding corporate market segment out of the country.

Currently, QR operates a daily nonstop service from DOH to ZRH using a B788, however effective 17SEP, frequencies shall be increased to 11 weekly nonstop exclusively operated by the A350-900.

Etihad announces more India expansion

Etihad Airways has officially announced that will be boosting its presence in India by adding more frequencies to Bangalore and Calicut from the on set of the IATA S17 season as demand to the GCC region in particular continues to surge from South India.

In addition, the carrier confirmed adjusting capacity based upon demand projections for its Middle East services during this period too.

The main highlights are as follows:

BLR – frequencies increased from double to triple daily nonstop using an A321 (double daily) and an A320 (daily) 

CCJ – frequencies increased from 3 to 4 times daily using an A321 and A320 double daily each respectively

MUC – capacity increased to daily B77W + daily A346 effective 01JUN

AMM – frequencies reduced from double daily A321/A320 combination to daily B789

BEY – capacity increased from daily A321 to daily B789 effective 01AUG

CAI – capacity reduced from 3 daily A320 + daily A346 to four daily flights exclusively operated by the A320/A321 only from 01AUG

MAD – frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop using an A332

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pakistan flights increased by Oman Air


Oman Air has officially published on sabre its expansion plan for Pakistan as a result of it receiving additional bilateral access to the country.  

The main highlights are as follows effective 05FEB17:

KHI – frequencies increased from daily to 12 weekly using a B738

LHE – frequencies increased from daily to 10 weekly using a B738

Friday, January 27, 2017

Oman Air announces India expansion plan

Oman Air has officially published on sabre its expansion plan for India as a result of it receiving 6,000 additional weekly seats bilaterally recently. The main highlights are as follows effective 05FEB17:

MCT/DEL - frequencies increased from double to triple daily flights using a B738

MCT/CCJ - frequencies increased from daily to double daily flights using a B738

MCT/LKO - frequencies increased from 11 weekly to 14 weekly (split schedule) using a B738

MCT/BOM - capacity increased from double daily B739 to daily A332 (2 class) + daily B739

Saudia announces India expansion

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been recently awarded 8,000 weekly incremental bilateral seats into India and hence Saudia Airlines has announced part 1 of its expansion plan for the upcoming IATA S17 season.

The main highlights are as follows:

RUH/TRV - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be launched effective 04APR using an A333

JED/TRV - new 2 weekly nonstop flights to be launched effective 04APR using an A333

JED/HYD - frequencies increased from 3 to 5 weekly nonstop flights using a 413 seater B773

JED/BOM - capacity increased from daily B772 to daily B773


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

United Airlines looking to replace B767 fleet



United Airlines has disclosed that it has started the process of wanting to replace its fleet of 50 Boeing 767s (35 B763ERs + 15 B764ERS) as the carrier wants to retire these aging aircraft by 2020. It’s B763ERs are 22 years old in 2017 and their B764ERs are 16.

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/united-eyeing-767-replacement-in-fleet-review-433417/

Analysis:

In the article link above, it states that there could be a possibility that UA might restructure its order of A350-1000s (A351s) to potentially include A330NEOs as the capital acquisition costs are lower for this aircraft versus the B787-9 (789).
From an objective view point, UA should not consider ordering the A330NEO under any circumstances because it unnecessarily adds another fleet type mix into their portfolio when it is totally not required. Unlike Delta who already operate a size able A330 fleet, switching over to the A330NEO is not an issue for them but for UA it is because they have no experience what so ever in operating this aircraft currently.

The most suitable B763ER/B764ER replacement for UA is an aircraft that they already operate i.e. the B789. UA’s B763s seat 214 pax where as their B764s seat 242. On the other hand, their B789s accommodate 252 pax + 3 tons more cargo + it can fly up to 15 hours nonstop without any payload restrictions unlike its B767s which are limited to maximum 12 hours (B763ER only). If pricing is an issue, they can get Boeing to give them a good deal for an incremental order of 50 B789s units by getting them to price match the competition if possible.

As far as the 35 A350-1000 order is concerned, if UA is having second thoughts on this aircraft type being in its fleet, the best alternative scenario is as follows:

·         Exchange with Airbus 35 A351s for 70 A321NEOs
·         Use the 70 A321NEOs to fully replace its 56 B757s on domestic and regional routes + on selected EWR-Ireland/secondary UK services
·         The A321NEOs can also be configured in its P.S. configuration for EWR-LAX/SFO which the B757s currently operate on
·         70 A321NEOs will replace 56 B757s with the remaining 14 aircraft balance being used to facilitate growth or replace its 14 oldest A320s
·         If more wide bodied aircraft are required, then it can easily place a top up order for more B77Ws and B789s as a high density configured B781 is perfectly suited to replace their high density configured 364 seater B772A.

·         In this above suggested scenario, there is one less fleet type mix for UA to worry about as the wide bodies would revolve around the B777/B787 families only whereas the narrow body has both the B737 and A320 family line

Monday, January 23, 2017

Emirates announces EWR-Newark via Athens


Emirates
has officially announced that it will be launching new services to EWR-Newark airport effective 12MAR17. Flights shall be flown on a daily basis using a Boeing 777-300ER operated via Athens
with full 5th freedom traffic rights across the Atlantic.

This will result in EK operating 5 daily flights into the New York marketplace i.e. 4 to JFK (1 is via MXP) + 1 to EWR (via ATH).

The schedule of this new service is as follows:

EK 209 Dep DXB 1050 Arr ATH 1530
EK 209 Dep ATH 1730 Arr EWR 2200

EK 210 Dep EWR 2345 Arr ATH 1600+1
EK 210 Dep ATH 1800 Arr DXB 2340
 

Etihad boosts Rome capacity


Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be significantly increasing the capacity offering on its daily Rome (FCO) bound services flown nonstop from Abu Dhabi (AUH) from the on set of the IATA Summer 2017 season.

Currently, EY operates a daily A330-200 on the route seating 262 passengers in a dual class layout. However effective 27MAR, this flight shall receive a major capacity upgrade to a daily 412 seater Boeing 777-300ER. This represents a 57% increase in seat capacity as well as enables EY to carry an additional 3 tons of cargo in the belly per flight.  

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saudia increases Los Angeles


Saudia Airlines has officially confirmed that due to rising demand for its LAX-Los Angeles bound flights operated nonstop from Jeddah, it will be increasing its frequencies on the route effective 02JUL.

Currently, SV operates 3 times per week nonstop using a B77W, however these shall be increased to 5 times weekly using the same aircraft type from July 2017 onwards. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Air India announces Washington DC and Copenhagen

Air India has officially announced via its twitter account feed that it will be launching 2 new long haul destinations during the upcoming IATA S17 season. They are as follows:

Washington DC-Delhi nonstop to be operated using a B777 effective July 2017 three times per week

Copenhagen-Delhi nonstop to be operated using a B787 effective May 2017 four times per week

Both airports are major Star Alliance hubs hence AI will be code sharing with UA and SK on both these routes to gain additional feeder support.



Cathay Pacific increases Toronto

Cathay Pacific has officially announced that due to surging demand for its YYZ-Toronto bound flights, it will be boosting its presence on this route effective 24JUN17.

Currently, CX operates 10 times per week nonstop from HKG to YYZ using a B77W however from 24JUN onwards these shall be increased to double daily nonstop using the same aircraft type. CX recently signed a broad based code share agreement with Air Canada which will in turn help boost their Canada wide coverage via domestic code sharing.