Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways will be reducing its capacity to Mumbai, India for the upcoming summer peak season. Currently, 3 weekly B 772ERs + 4 weekly B 763ERs are flown nonstop from NBO to BOM. However from July 1st 08, the service will become a daily Boeing 767-300ER operation.

In addition, KQ has announced that it will be increasing its flights to Far East Asia from July 2008. The main highlights are as follows :

CAN - increased from 4 to 6 weekly B 763ER flights i.e. 4 via DXB and 2 via BKK. KQ can carry 5th freedom traffic from DXB & BKK to Guangzhou (CAN).

HKG - increased from 3 to 4 weekly B 763ERs flights all flown via BKK with 5th freedom traffic rights.BKK - increased from 3 to 6 weekly B 763ERs all flown nonstop from NBO.

Analysis :

It seems evident that KQ and ET are making good money with their CAN bound flights which is not surprising at all as this city has more "direct trade" with Eastern/Southern Africa than any other region in China! Since they offer a vastly superior business class product compared to CZ on the popular DXB-CAN route, their J class loads on this route might also be bringing in good yield. Overall, its very pleasing to see KQ taking the initiative at expanding in the Far East as the demand for Africa-Far East Asia travel is growing rapidly year by year due various large scale investments made by Chinese and Japanese state enterprises in different African states.


Garuda of Indonesia is in final talks to place a multi billion dollar order at next week's Singapore Air show and the announcement includes purchasing 10 B 777-200ERs + 25 B 737-800s + 10 B 787-800s. In the mid 1990s, GA originally placed an order for 6 B 772ERs but then the Asian financial crisis hit which ended up in the order being defered. As far as the B 738s are concerned, GA has already ordered 25 previously and these additional 25 are part of the "options" plan it had with Boeing. Lastly, the B 788 deal is basically a firm signing of an earlier MOU which was signed in 2005 between GA and Boeing.


Analysis :

Personally speaking, I'm not totally in favor GA's management ordering 10 B 772ERs exclusively as this aircraft type will be a detrimental factor for their long term growth. GA's board should instead seriously consider ordering a mixture of 7 B 772LRs and 3 B 773ERs. The reasons being that the latter will prove to be an ideal replacement for their entire fleet of B 744s four to five years down the road as its a more "cost effective" aircraft to use on high density flights to Japan, Europe & Middle East. You cannot replace a 410 seater B 744 with a 310 seater B 772ER as that is a huge capacity decrease particularly on routes to the Middle East which see high density demand year round. If GA want to increase the life span of their B 744s, they can later be converted into freighters as the country desperately needs a strong all cargo airline.

As far as why the B 772LR should have been ordered instead of the B 772ER is because of payload issues. The full capacity uplift of the B 77L would come in handy on long haul nonstop flights to LGW, FRA & AMS as there would be no payload problems year round. With the B 772ER, GA would suffer seasonal payload restrictions on nonstop flights bound to LGW & AMS especially. LGW would work well if GA flew DPS-CGK-LGW due to the high volume of DPS bound traffic year round from the Greater London Area. If GA fly daily into LGW from CGK, they should time their flights to connect with SYD/MEL/PER so that they can grab a small piece of the "Kangaroo route" market share with their one stop flights.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways has announced that it will be increasing its flights to Southern India from the onset of the Summer 2008 timetable. Both Chennai and Bangalore will each get 3 additional weekly flights flown by an A 300-600R (AB6). This will result in MAA being increased from 4 weekly to daily flights with the 3 additional flights being terminator flights as the remaining 4 continue onwards to DXB-Dubai with 5th freedom traffic. With regards to BLR, it will result in the city being upgraded from daily flights to 10 weekly i.e. daily A 333 + 3 weekly AB6s.

In addition, TG has also revealed additional major aircraft and frequency changes for Summer 2008. The main highlights are as follows :

NGO - increased from daily to 10 weekly B 772A operated flights.

AKL - frequencies reduced from daily A 346 to 5 weekly B 772ERs.

ATH - capacity reduced from 3 weekly B 773As to 3 weekly B 772ERs.

MUC - capacity reduced to daily A 346s from 4 weekly A 346s + 3 weekly B 744s effective mid May.

CAN - capacity increased to double daily A 333s effective Aug 1st.

MXP - capacity reduced from 4 weekly B 772ERs to 4 weekly A 346s (fyi...TG's A 346s seat 267 pax where as their B 772ERs seat 292 pax).


Lufthansa announced today that it will be increasing capacity to Charlotte, USA from June 10th onwards by replacing the daily A 343 operated flight with a larger 3 class configured A 340-600 which seats 306 pax. LH currently codeshares with US Airways on this route which sees a high volume of premium traffic in the summer months especially as CLT and its surrounding areas are home to a size able number of various pharmacutical companies + famous doctors who fly J & F class on LH consistently.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways will be increasing its flights to Shanghai, China from 5 weekly to daily effective November 2008. All daily flights will be flown using a 2 class configured A 330-200.

However, from January 1st 2009, QR will be further upgrading capacity on this route by deploying a daily Boeing 777-300ER on it which seats 336 pax in a luxurious 2 class layout.

China Eastern

China Eastern Airlines has revealed a lot of interesting changes across its international route network which will come into effect from the onset of the Summer 2008 IATA timetable period. The main highlights are as follows :

***MU's hub is based in PVG-Shanghai

LHR - frequencies increased from 2 to 5 weekly nonstop flights using an A 343.

BNE - all flights to be suspended from Feb 20th onwards.

MEL - frequencies reduced from 4 weekly to 3 weekly A 343s.

BKK - capacity increased to daily A 332 + daily A 320.

KUL - frequencies reduced to daily A 319s.

DEL - frequencies increased to 5 weekly nonstop flights flown by an A 332.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is expected to reduce its nonstop flights to Manchester, England from the on set of the Winter 2008-09 timetable. Currently, a daily nonstop flight using a B 772ER is being flown, however from Oct 26th 08, this is expected to be reduced to a 5 weekly operation.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines will be adding "summer seasonal" flights to two key routes to meet high demand levels for its flights. Service to AMS-Amsterdam, Holland will be increased to 8 weekly nonstop using a B 744 for all flights where as services to Perth, Australia will increase by 2 weekly nonstop flights using an A 333.

Korean Air

Korean Air has announced that it will be purchasing 3 additional Airbus A 380s bringing the total number ordered by the airline to 8. Besides that, it has been revealed that KE is increasing frequencies to IAD-Washington DC with the launch of an additional weekly nonstop flight flown from its ICN hub using a B 772ER. This comes into effect from Oct 26th 08 and will result in IAD being flown 5 times a week by KE.

The airline will also be doubling its flights to CAI-Cairo, Egypt by launching an additional 3 weekly flights via DXB-Dubai using an A 333. KE will have 5th freedom rights on the popular DXB-CAI-DXB route. Currently, nonstop flights are flown by KE to CAI using an A 332 three times a week. The additional flights will result in CAI being served 6 times a week by KE.


Asiana Airlines of South Korea has decided to expand its LAX-Los Angeles flights from its main ICN-Seoul hub by flying the route double daily nonstop effective 16th May. Currently, the service is flown 12 times a week and the 2 additional weekly flights will be flown using a B 772ER. To LAX, OZ's flights will be flown using a B 772ER daily + 3 weekly B 744 + 4 weekly B 744 Combi.