Friday, February 8, 2008

Jet Airways

Jet Airways of India is examining the possibility of launching nonstop flights to USA as it looks at ways to compete against DL, AI, IT, AA & CO more effectively. As a result, 9W is engaging in talks with Boeing and Airbus about which planes would perfectly suit this market segment. 9W has narrowed the choice down between the B 787 and A 350 with no word of the B 772LR being mentioned.

Analysis :

In 9W's fleet, there are only 2 aircraft that could fly nonstop from ORD, IAD and NYC to BOM/DEL and that is the B 773ER & the B 788. But as of this very moment, only the B 773ERs are available to be used in their fleet and they can only fly BOM-IAD/ORD non stop and not further south to IAH etc. Maybe this could be the reason why 7 additional B 773ERs were ordered last week by 9W? Who knows !

In anycase, 9W should not look at the A 350 because the earliest slot available for delivery is 2015-16 i.e. 8 years from now which they can ill afford to wait. The B 788 and B 789 are too small for nonstop India-USA flights but the ideal aircraft for 9W to order is the Boeing 777-200LR. The reason why the B 772LR should be ordered is because of it can delivered to 9W by 2010, it can seat approximately 300 pax in a comfortable 2 class configuration (J & Y) and at the same time carry 16 tonnes of cargo in its bellyt, it will not suffer payload restrictions on nonstop India-USA-India flights thus providing 9W with the flexibility of flying a variety of long haul nonstop routes from India to USA such as MAA-NYC, BLR-JFK, HYD-ORD, BLR-SFO, BOM-IAH & DEL-LAX/SFO. Keeping all this context, the B 772LR is the ideal aircraft for 9W to seriously consider ordering from Boeing if it intends on launching nonstop flights from India to North America.

AA & 9W are now code sharing partners which could mean a future entry into the One World Alliance club for 9W two to three years down the road. Keeping this in mind, if 9W really want to fly nonstop to USA, then one would advise them to initially only fly BOM-ORD + DEL-IAD nonstop with their B 773ERs and no other route. There is no need what so ever to un neccessarily add capacity to JFK & EWR by flying nonstop from either airport to BOM/DEL as enough capacity is offered in this market segment by AI-CO-DL.

BOM-ORD is a good route to fly as no airline flies that route nonstop, there is huge O&D in this market segment to tap into and via ORD, 9W can code share on AA's key domestic flights to Texas, Arizona, LAS, SEA and California as ORD is AA's largest hub hence providing value able 6th freedom feeder traffic. IAD is also a small scale hub of AA's and be a lucurative route if flown nonstop from DEL due to the large volume of high yielding diplomatic, political, IT & business related traffic that ply this route. Lastly, via IAD, 9W can code share on AA's flights to Texas & Florida especially.

On the other hand, if 9W decides to use its B 788s on nonstop India-USA it would be suicidal sending a 210 seater B 788 to fly an ultra long haul route nonstop as the operating costs are way too high to cover an airplane only accomodating 210 seats. Go ask TG & SQ and they will adhere to this notion! Yes if a 310 seater B 787-100X or B 772LR was being used, things might be different as the extra capacity of a larger aircraft allows more revenue to be made in terms of more seats being sold. The only nonstop routes that 9W should fly ultra long haul with their B 788s is to MEL or SYD nonstop from BOM/DEL. No other route especially to JFK/EWR is warranted a nonstop flight just because AI, IT, DL, AA & CO offer one of their own. Those airlines mostly get pax bound for cities such as BOM/DEL where as pax bound to other major cities in India such as MAA, BLR, HYD, CCU, AMD etc will not fly via BOM nor DEL to get to their final destination as they rather fly directly via DXB or Europe/LHR to get there.

This is why 9W's BRU hub will work in the long run because it allows the airline to diversify its market share from India to North America rather than being reliant on the traditional BOM / DEL markets.


Lufthansa is expected to place a multi billion order with Airbus later on this year at the famous Farnborough Air Show. The highlights of the order are as follows :

5 more Airbus A 380s
35 Airbus A 350-800s i.e. 20 firm + 15 options
30 Airbus A 350-900s i.e. 20 firm + 10 options


The A 358s & A 359s will totally replace LH's fleet of 28 A 343s + 15 A 333s which is a smart move as these two versions of the A 350 family have ideal pax & cargo carrying capabilities to efficiently replace LH's A 343 / A 333 fleet. More A 380s ordered means LH will have a fleet of 20 A 380s once all are delivered.
With the added range of the A 358, LH can use this aircraft to its advantage as it can fly more effectively (operational cost wise versus their A 343) on nonstop long haul medium density routes such as FRA-CGK, FRA-NGO, FRA-SGN, FRA-KUL. In the future, one should expect a follow up order for 24 A 350-100X's to be placed which will fully replace LH's fleet of 24 A 346s.

Air India

Air India has revealed tentative plans about its new MUC-Munich scissors hub operation which will see 10 daily flights being flown from various Indian cities and of which some will continue onwards to USA and Canada.

The most interesting part of the MUC hub plan is that one daily flight will be flown from an undisclosed airport in Kerala state which is most likely going to be COK-Cochin.

Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines is increasing its nonstop flights to DXB-Dubai from Vienna by adding 5 weekly flights to the route effective Nov 13th 08. As a result, the route will be flown 12 times a week. All new flights will be flown using a Boeing 737-800 where as the currently flown daily flights use an A 320.

The new flight timings are as follows :

OS 839 Dep VIE 1400 Arr DXB 2245
OS 840 Dep DXB 0225 Arr VIE 0600

Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc has announced that it will be increasing its flights to JFK-New York and YUL-Montreal during the upcoming summer peak season.

JFK will receive 10 weekly flights operated by the B 763ER where as YUL will get 9 weekly flights. Currently, JFK is served daily whilst YUL is served presently 6 times a week.

GMG Bangladesh

GMG Airlines of Bangladesh has leased one Boeing 747-300 which will be used to launch new daily nonstop flights to DXB-Dubai from its Dhaka-DAC base. This will come into effect from February 6th 08.

The flight timings are as follows :

Z5 91 Dep DAC 1530 Arr DXB 1900
Z5 92 Dep DXB 2100 Arr DAC 0320+1

Analysis :

It is really pleasing to see this privately owned Bangladeshi airline take the bold initiative of leasing a B 743 and flying it on a lucurative international medium haul route. Obviously, the main target market for Z5 is O&D on this route, but they have many interline SPA agreements with airlines for domestic Bangladesh routes which for sure they will try and ask for feeder traffic from their incoming flights to DXB from EU/UK/GCC to help feed their daily jumbo service.


Malev Hungarian revealed that it will be returning to YYZ-Toronto and JFK-New York for Summer 2008. YYZ will be flown 5 times a week using a B 763ER where as JFK will be flown daily using a B 762ER.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways has disclosed the initial routes planned for its Airbus A 380. They are FRA, NRT, CDG and LHR only.

Korean Air

Korean Air will be increasing its flights to USA from 1st July onwards to cater for the peak season traffic. The main highlights are as follows :

LAS - increased from 3 to 4 weekly flights.

DFW - increased from 3 to 4 weekly flights.

SFO - increased from 4 weekly to daily effective June 28th.