Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jet Airways

According to Sabre, Jet Airways of India will be suspending flights from Ahmedabad, India to London Heathrow Airport effective January 13th 2008. Currently, the airline flies 3 times a week using an A 332 from AMD to LHR.

Instead, the airline
will increase its Amritsar-Heathrow bound flights from 3 flights a week to daily from that same period. All daily flights from ATQ to LHR will be flown by an A 332.

In addition, 9W has won the Indian Government's approval
to launch flights to the Middle East from January 1st 2008.

The allocation given to it by the Indian Government for particular routes is as follows :

DEL-KWI : daily A 332 permitted

COK-KWI : daily B 738 permitted

TRV-KWI : daily B 738 permitted

BOM-BAH : daily B 738 permitted

COK-BAH : daily B 738 permitted

BOM-DOH : daily B 738 permitted

CCJ-DOH : daily B 738 permitted

CCJ-MCT : daily B 738 permitted

COK-MCT : daily B 738 permitted

TRV-MCT : daily B 738 permitted

Flights to AUH & DXB have not been approved as yet by the Indian Government.

Analysis :

Since 9W has now been given the green light to expand flights to the Gulf region, they should focus more on this sector and curtail their fast paced North America expansion as the yield / profit margin of flying A 332s from India to the Middle East is much higher than flying India - BRU - North America.

The B 738s are too small to use on certain Kerala/
BOM / /DEL-Gulf routes when EK / EY / KU / SV / QR / GF use wide bodies (on some routes at least) which not only have more passenger capacity but also the capability of carrying 12 tonnes of cargo which is a handy extra revenue generator in this market segment.


Iberia's in-flight magazine i.e. IBPLUS has announced that the Spanish national airline is going to be embarking on a major Asian expansion from 2009 onwards by launching flights to many cities in that region. The magazine mentions that studies have carried out and short listed cities that would warrant nonstop flights from the airline's Madrid hub are Tokyo, Shanghai, Delhi, Beijing and Hong Kong only.

The article also mentions that IB acknowledges that for all of these routes the O&D traffic from
Spain would be minimal thus making airline heavily reliant on 6th freedom traffic generated from its USA, UK, Portugal, Northwest Africa and Latin America operations to feed its Asia bound flights.

Analysis :

This is a bold move undertaken by IB which has its pros and cons attached to it. Out of all the cities mentioned by Iberia's magazine, only HKG and PVG warrant nonstop flights where as PEK, DEL & NRT do not.

DEL is well served by numerous EU carriers and there is nothing special for IB in the Spain-India market to necessitate it flying there. Most of the passengers on board IB's MAD-DEL flights would be low yielding economy class ones from USA & UK and not high yielding business class ones.

As for NRT, it is next to impossible for a new airline to get decent slot timings at the airport and therefore, it would be best if IB code shares with BA via LHR or CX via HKG to NRT.

By being a key member of One World, having flights to Hong Kong is warranted as IB can code share with partner Cathay Pacific via HKG to many regional destinations where traffic potential exists. To HKG, it can also attract a lot of passengers & cargo from Morocco, Brazil and Argentina via its MAD hub. Similarly, CX can code share with IB via MAD to Portugal, North Africa and Latin America.

One reckons PVG would be a better market for IB than PEK because not only is it the financial capital of China but also Air China already offers flights twice a week nonstop from PEK to MAD thus by flying to PVG nonstop from MAD, IB can have a nice niche market all for itself. To PVG, cargo loads would do very well year round and by having an extensive Latin American network, it can feed a lot of pax from GIG, GRU & EZE to PVG; both the high yielding businessmen and the leisure/tourist types.

Concluding, only PVG & HKG should be seriously looked into by IB by having both routes receive 4 weekly flights flown nonstop from MAD using an A 343 to initially test the respective markets before upgrading to daily flights. But IB must ensure that its PVG & HKG bound flights connect conveniently in both directions to its Brazil & Argentina bound flights via MAD as these 2 markets will provide the major lifeline for the routes.

Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian has announced that it will be expanding its presence in the Far East markets this winter by flying 3 additional flights to Bangkok and extending them to Hong Kong, a new city in its network. These 3 additional flights will be flown using an A 310-300 and will make its BKK operation become daily.

RJ is part of the One World alliance group hence the desire to connect HKG; a major OW hub of fellow member Cathay Pacific with its own.

Analysis :

Even though HKG airport is a key One World hub, that does not warrant the need for RJ to fly there, that too via BKK using a small A 310-300. Besides the fact that O&D traffic between HKG & AMM is minimal, by using such a small plane on this type of a route, RJ is guaranteed to lose money as the aircraft is too small to be effectively here. RJ needs to deploy their A 342 to HKG via BKK if there is to be any serious chance of making decent revenue on this route. This is because of the extra passenger and cargo carrying capacity the A 342 provides compared to the A 313.

Also why would anyone from AMM want to fly on an old aging RJ A 313 to HKG via BKK when they can do so on a daily basis via DXB/DOH on EK & QR respectively who offer superior in-flight product on board their A 332s/A 346s respectively.

Chinese Airlines

The Chinese Government and its Civil Aviation Authority has released a list of new long haul routes to North America and Europe that its national carriers can fly abroad to from 2008 as well as those that it can increase frequencies on.

The main highlights of this announcement are as follows :

From 2008, Air China is allowed to launch daily flights from PEK to Warsaw, Berlin and Istanbul. China Southern Airlines is allowed to launch daily flights to Newark from Beijing and Moscow from Guangzhou. China Eastern Airlines is allowed to increase its PVG-LAX flights from 7 to 9 flights per week.

Hainan Airlines is allowed to launch 4 weekly flights from Beijing to Berlin and Seattle each respectively. Shanghai Airlines is allowed to launch 5 weekly flights from Shanghai to Vienna and 3 weekly each to Zurich and Hamburg.

From 2009, Air China is allowed to launch daily flights from PEK to Toronto, Manchester, Zurich, Milan, Düsseldorf, Washington DC, Vienna and daily flights from PVG to Rome and San Francisco. China Southern Airlines is allowed to launch daily flights from Beijing to London and Detroit as well as daily flights to Vancouver from Guangzhou.

Hainan Airlines
is allowed to launch daily flights from Beijing to Newark and Chicago. Lastly, Shanghai Airlines is allowed to launch 3 weekly flights from PVG to Seattle and daily to Los Angeles.

Air Canada

Air Canada will be upgrading capacity on its profitable daily Vancouver-Hong Kong route by replacing the A 343 with the larger Boeing 777-300ER effective April 6th 2008.

United Airlines

United Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching new daily flights from LAX-Los Angeles to Frankfurt effective December 15th 2007.

These flights will be flown by a Boeing 777-200ER and their timings are as follows :

UA 904 Dep LAX 1725 Arr FRA 1325+1
UA 905 Dep FRA 1520 Arr LAX 1814

Air China

Air China has announced that it will be launching new flights to Athens, Greece from Beijing via Dubai effective November 28th 07.

Flights be flown twice a week using a Boeing 767-300ER and will have full 5th freedom rights on the DXB-ATH-DXB sector.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines has announced that it has exercised options to purchase 2 more Boeing 777-200LRs.

This would bring its
total order for the B 772LR to 8 frames with 3 being delivered in 2008 and the remaining 5 between 2009-10.

China Eastern

China Eastern Airlines has announced that it has launched a 3rd daily flight from its Shanghai hub to Bangkok but via Seoul.

The airline has been granted full 5th freedom rights on the ICN-BKK sector and will use an
Airbus A 330-300 for this new flight. Currently, MU's other 2 daily flights from PVG to BKK are flown nonstop using an A 321 and A 340 respectively.

Arik Air

Arik Air of Nigeria has placed another giant order with Boeing earlier on this week for 1 Boeing 777-300ER + 4 Boeing 787-900s + 10 Boeing 737-800s.

The order is worth close to US$ 2 billion at list prices and is placed as an additional follow up to 3 B 789s + 2 B 772LRs + B 773ERs that it ordered in April 2007.

Source :


Dragonair of Hong Kong has officially announced that it will be scheduled launching 4 weeklyflights to Kathmandu nonstop from Hong Kong effective December 2nd 07. All flights will be flown by an A 320. KA has been flying to KTM since 18 years now but on charter basis.