Friday, December 9, 2016

Ethiopian increases Delhi capacity

Ethiopian Airlines has officially announced that it will be significantly increasing cargo and passenger capacity to Delhi from the on set of the IATA S17 season. 

Currently, ET operates a double daily B738 service nonstop from ADD to DEL, however from 26MAR17 both flights shall be upgraded to the B763ER. 

Other capacity changes for S17 revealed by ET are as follows:

ENU - capacity reduced from 3 weekly B763ERs to B738s

JNB - capacity reduced from daily B773ER to daily A359

CGK - new 3 weekly flights to be operated via BKK using a B788

MXP - frequencies increased to a daily service using a mix of B763s and B788s

FIH - capacity increased from daily B77L to daily A359

LAD - capacity increased from 5 weekly B788s to B773ERs

OUA - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly nonstop flights using a B738

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TAP announces Toronto

TAP Portugal has officially confirmed that it shall be launching new nonstop services to YYZ-Toronto effective 10JUN17. Flights are to be flown 5 times per week using an A330-200 using the below mentioned schedule:

Days - 1/3/5/6/7

TP 259 Dep LIS 1905 Arr YYZ 2220TP 258 Dep YYZ 0010 Arr LIS 1215 

Demand between LIS and YYZ increased greatly by 55% YoY (year over year) reaching 102,000 pax over the past 12 months but this market segment is seasonal to the core. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Air Canada announces more long haul expansion

Air Canada has officially announced another round of long haul expansion for its route network from the on set of the IATA S17 season. The main highlights are as follows:

YVR/FRA - new daily nonstop flights to be operated using a B788

YVR/LGW - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be operated using a B763ER

YUL/GVA - capacity increased to daily A333

YUL/CDG - capacity reduced from double daily B77W to daily A333 + daily B77W

YYZ/MAD - capacity reduced from daily B789 to daily B788

YYZ/MXP - capacity reduced from daily A333 to daily B763ER

YYZ/GRU - capacity increased from daily B763ER to daily B789

Turkish announces Phuket

Turkish Airlines has officially announced that it shall be launching new nonstop services to HKT-Phuket, Thailand effective 17JUL17 as the carrier looks to increase its foothold on high demand leisure markets in Asia gaining feed from Europe. 

TK will operate 4 times per week nonstop from IST using an A333 with the below mentioned schedule:

Days - 1/4/6/7

TK 172 Dep IST 1430 Arr HKT 0400+1
TK 173 Dep HKT 0530 Arr IST 1200

Above schedule connects with all the major EU cities conveniently via IST in both directions

Monday, November 28, 2016

Qatar Airways announces 8 new destinations

Qatar Airways has officially announced mega expansion plans to its route network for 2017-18 as the carrier revealed today 8 new destinations that it intends to launch. They are as follows for 2017 and 2018:
Dublin, Las Vegas, Medan, Rio De Janerio, Santiago, Yanbu, Canberra and Tabuk
Out of the above mentioned destinations on the long haul side of things, the only ones that have a remote chance of succeeding from a seat factor point of view are Medan and Dublin.
Canberra market demand is extremely small to Europe/GCC and it will really struggle. The only way to get decent loads from here is to ensure that it’s a one stop service operated via KUL or BKK. Preferably, KUL should be chosen so that MH can code share on the route being a fellow OW carrier thus providing it with useful feed via KUL to other key Asian cities.
Few EU carriers have already announced pulling out of GIG and with the Brazilian economy still in tatters it is surprising to see QR take this initiative. The most promising new destination in Latin America in 2016 has been Bogota (BOG) and that is a route that needs to be looked at as demand is there from China, SE Asia, DXB and Europe. BOG’s altitude would not enable a nonstop flight to be operated from GCC hence it is better to fly via Europe (preferably Rome or Spain) and take advantage of 5th freedom traffic potential. The below demand has been witnessed for the past 12 months on key trans-atlantic cities to/from BOG:
FCO – 24,000 (nobody flies nonstop)
BCN – 72,000
MAD – 153,000

PIA announces Jeddah expansion plan

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has officially announced that it will be increasing frequencies on its popular Jeddah bound service from the province of Punjab as the airline looks to regain lost market share from the Gulf carriers in particular who rely heavily on Jeddah feed out of this area in Pakistan. Effective 01DEC16, the increases are as follows:

Lahore increased from 4 to 5 weekly B777s
Islamabad increased from 3 to 4 weekly B777s
Multan increased from 3 to 4 weekly using a mix of B772s and A320s
Faisalabad increased from 2 to 3 weekly using A320s

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ethiopian announces USA and EU expansion plans

Ethiopian Airlines has officially announced major expansion plans for its long haul route network for which shall commence from the on set of the IATA Summer 2017 season. The main highlights are as follows:

DUB/LAX - frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly

LFW/EWR - frequencies increased from 4 to 5 weekly

OSL - new 4 weekly flights to be operated via ARN

CDG/BRU - frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily

LFW/GRU - frequencies increased from 3 to 4 weekly

All of the above services are to be operated using the B788 exclusively.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Eva Air increases Seattle

Eva Air has officially announced that due to the continued success of its Seattle service over the past many years, it shall be further increasing it's capacity offering on the route from the on set of the IATA S17 season. 

Currently it operates 10 times per week nonstop from Taipei using a B773ER. These will be lifted to 12 weekly flights using the same aircraft type.

Friday, November 25, 2016

KLM suspends Doha services

KLM has officially announced that it will be suspending all flights to/from Doha effective March 2017 as the airline's CEO stated that ever since Qatar Airways launched their own daily DOH-AMS service, their own has proven to be highly unsustainable. It currently operates 5 times per week using an A332.

KLM CEO's comments come as a surprise considering the airline has a close relationship with Etihad and manages to operate a daily AUH-AMS service along side EY's own. If this is the reason cited then if Oman Air or Kuwait Airways decide to launch their own AMS services in 2017-18, KLM may not find it feasible to warrant its own flights into these two cities as well. 

As far as other network wide changes announced by KLM for the IATA S17 season, they are as follows:

AUH - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly A332s

NRT - capacity increased from daily B772ER to daily B773ER

LAX - frequencies increased to double daily using a B744

BAH - frequencies increased from 5 to 6 weekly A332s

ROB/FNA - new 3 weekly service to be launched effective 26MAR17 using an A332

DMMfrequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly A332s

MCTfrequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly A332s

Friday, October 28, 2016

UPS orders 28 Boeing 747-8 freighters

UPS has officially announced that it has placed a mega order with Boeing for 28 Boeing 747-8 freighters (14 firm + 14 options) in the deal worth US$ 5.3 billion. 

The airline is the world's largest when it comes to package service delivery and already has 13 B744Fs operating along side 52 AB6Fs + 75 B757Fs + 59 B763Fs and 37 MD11Fs. The 14 firm B748Fs are likely to replace their B744Fs gradually where as the 14 options in due course are expected to be firmed up to replace a size able portion of their MD11F fleet.


Etihad announces major India expansion

Etihad and Jet Airways together have officially announced another round of major expansion of its India-AUH services from the on set of the IATA S17 season. The main highlights effective S17 season are as follows for EY:

1. 4th daily AUH-CCJ service using an A320/A321 combination for all flights

2. Second daily AUH-AMD service using an A320/A321 combination for all flights

9W in turn will expand its AUH presence too in cooperation with EY as follows:

1. Second daily AUH-DEL service
2. New daily Trichy-AUH flights
3. New daily Kannur-AUH flights
4. New daily Chandigarh-AUH flights


Sunday, October 23, 2016

British Airways announces New Orleans

British Airways has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop services to MSY-New Orleans, USA effective 27MAR as the carrier looks to take advantage of the favorable economics its Boeing 787 fleet provides on medium demand long haul flights.

BA will operate 4 times per week nonstop from LHR using a B788 with the below mentioned schedule:

Days: 1/3/5/6

BA 225 Dep LHR 1540 Arr MSY 1940
BA 224 Dep MSY 2120 Arr LHR 1200+1 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Etihad reduces San Francisco services

Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be reducing its capacity on San Francisco (SFO) - Abu Dhabi nonstop services effective 01FEB17 as the carrier looks to adjust its USA offering based upon which airport hub its partner carriers i.e. AA and B6 fly to in particular.

The current daily B777-200LR operated flight between SFO and AUH shall be reduced to 3 times per week from 01FEB17 using the same aircraft type.

The freed up aircraft is being used to boost Dallas (DFW) - Abu Dhabi from 3 weekly to daily nonstop in turn.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Abuja flights suspended by Emirates and Kenya Airways

Emirates and Kenya Airways have officially announced via filing on the GDS systems, the following updates concerning their respective Abuja bound flights:

1. EK will be suspending its daily B773 service between Abuja and Dubai effective 31OCT16

2. KQ will be suspending its 5 weekly E90 operated service between Nairobi and Abuja effective 15NOV16

Both airlines have cited the forex issues that they are experiencing in Nigeria as the primary cause of their respective pull out.

A local Lagos newspaper had this article out today: 

Friday, October 14, 2016

China Southern orders 12 Boeing 787-9s

China Southern Airlines (based out of Guangzhou) has officially announced that it has officially placed an order with Boeing for 12 Boeing 787-9s as the carrier is very pleased with the performance economics with the current 10 B788s that it already has in service. 

The additional 12 B789s will be in due course used to replace their aging A330-200s from 2020 onwards as well as cater for expansion to Europe + North America from its upcoming Beijing hub base (the new international airport set to be opened in 2018). 


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Etihad increases Dallas frequencies

Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be increasing its DFW-Dallas bound services from 3 weekly to daily nonstop effective 02FEB17. 

EY will be deploying its ex Air India Boeing 777-200LRs on this route. This is the second bit of long haul expansion that EY has announced for 2017 after confirming that JFK will become a double daily A380 operation from June. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Emirates announces Fort Lauderdale (Miami)

Emirates has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights to FLL-Fort Lauderdale airport which is on the outskirts of Miami. The new service will be launched effective 15DEC using a Boeing 777-200LR operated on a daily basis using the below mentioned schedule:

Flight schedule is as follows:

EK 213 Dep DXB 0300 Arr FLL 1025
EK 214 Dep FLL 2020 Arr DXB 1940+1

The flight is partnered with B6-Jetblue which is EK's biggest codeshare partner carrier in North America. A very well thought out move by EK to operate into this airport instead of MIA due to B6's large presence at FLL.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Qatar Airways orders 100 new Boeing aircraft

Qatar Airways officially announced today a major new order for 100 Boeing aircraft valued at US$ 18.6 billion. The breakdown of the aircraft purchased is as follows:
  • 60 Boeing 737-800MAXs
  • 30 Boeing 787-9s
  • 10 Boeing 777-300ER


The B738s ordered are not for mainline QR but rather for their recently purchased 49% stake in Italy's Meridiana Airlines. 

The order for 30 B789s is really pleasing to see and hopefully it will have crew rests installed on board thus enabling it to be used on long haul flights as currently their B788s are not permitted to. The B789 is an ideal aircraft from both a pax + cargo capacity stand point to operate to BOS, ATL, PHL (instead of a costlier B77L) as well opening up new routes such as LAS, SEA, MCO, DTW, BNE, SCL and BOG. 

For the future planning purposes too (2020 onwards), it is better to have a double daily B789 service to cities like ORD and MEL in particular versus B77Ws. 

Once Meridiana stabilizes under the new QR commercial ownership, I expect at least 10 B789s to be transferred to them to operate on key high volume Italy-trans atlantic and Italy-SE Asia routes. In this way, the airline will have a nicely streamlined standardized fleet of B738MAXs for EU flights and B789s for high demand long haul services. QR should let AZ focus on FCO and make Meridiana Milan's hometown airline and in turn create a niche for themselves. People across the world associate Alitalia with Rome and not Milan anymore hence this is a good opportunity for Meridiana to differentiate themselves. The high volume long haul market segments out of Milan are New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Bangkok, Delhi and Male.

Another option for QR to consider if they want to retain the entire 30 B789s is to use them to directly replace their 30 B788s as the resale value of the B788 will depreciate rapidly 2020 onwards as airlines are preferring to up size and maximize their returns by getting more B789s. QR would find buyers between 2020-2022 for their B788s as they would be between 6-8 years maximum or they can lease them out/transfer to one of their investment carriers. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

China Airlines (Taiwan) reveals long haul expansion plans

Taiwan's flag carrier, China Airlines officially disclosed its long haul expansion plans that are under consideration for its Airbus A350-900 fleet at the delivery ceremony of its first aircraft type. New routes under serious review are Paris, London, Boston, Seattle and Chicago. Other information disclosed concerning its fleet was as follows:

a) All A343s to be retired by W17
b) Studies under way to plan for permanent A333 replacement (24 units) on intra-Asia flights
c) 6 B738s are being put up for sale
d) Only 4 B744s to remain in the fleet from S17 season onwards
e) All current A333s to undergo extensive cabin retrofit (30J 160 degree recline + 277Y configuration)


Since CI is a Sky Team alliance member, their new long haul intended destinations should be to Sky Team hubs that AF/AZ/KL/DL have a major presence at to provide value able onward feeder support.

CI already flies to LAX (double daily), JFK (5 weekly), FCO (2 weekly) and AMS (4 weekly). The major Sky Team hubs that it does not operate to are SEA, CDG and ATL.

As someone wrote above and referenced a news article too, CDG is out of bounds due to bilateral restrictions and therefore it leaves two possibilities:

i) AMS currently served 4 weekly via BKK goes daily nonstop with a B77W/A359 by W17 or daily via BKK

ii) FCO currently planed for twice a week nonstop from S17 with the A359 needs to be increased to 4 weekly minimum (P2P demand in 2015 was 44,000 pax)

It would probably be better increasing FCO to 4 weekly and engage in a large code share deal with AZ for Europe as flying via FCO involves no back tracking to any major EU city where as via AMS it would. Plus FCO cannot be operated twice a week only as that is 1980s strategy (though cabin crew must be loving the 3 day layover).

Question - How come demand between Paris and Taipei is so high? In 2015 it was 120,000 pax just P2P which I found to be quite interesting. BR must be really happy that they have it all to themselves daily B77W nonstop !

Seattle for sure is a no brainer now that DL has firmly established a major West coast hub at that airport. It can easily sustain a daily A359 operation for CI with DL onward support. However, BOS and ORD should not be considered for at least another 2-3 years as first SEA needs to be launched and matured before any more U.S. expansion is even thought of.

As far as the regional WB order is concerned, it should just be for the A359 as its no point having a fleet of A339s and A359s side by side when the A359 could do everything its asked for. Fleet standardization over the long term leads to efficiency and mega cost savings.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Air Canada announces Mumbai plus 5 new long haul destinations

Air Canada has officially announced massive international long haul expansion from the IATA Summer 2017 season onwards as it looks to capitalizing on increased demand from large VFR market segments + regaining lost market share to competitors. 

The main highlights are as follows:
  • Toronto-Mumbai 3 weekly B789s effective 01JUL
  • Vancouver-Taipei daily B789s effective 08JUN
  • Montreal-Algiers 4 weekly B763s effective 26JUN
  • Vancouver-Nagoya 3 weekly B763s effective 01JUN
  • Montreal-Marseille 3 weekly B763s effective 09JUN
  • Toronto-Berlin 4 weekly B763s effective 01JUN

    Detailed press release can be read below:

    The P2P round trip demand for these new routes in 2015 was as follows:
  • YYZ-BOM 76,000
  • YVR-TPE 102,000
  • YUL-ALG 71,000
  • YVR-NGO 12,000
  • YUL-MRS 39,000
  • YYZ-TXL 24,000