Saturday, June 21, 2008

Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian has announced major capacity and frequency changes across its international route network. The main highlights are as follows:

- frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly A 342s flown nonstop.

- frequencies reduced from 5 weekly to 4 weekly A 342s flown nonstop.

- frequencies reduced from triple daily to double daily.

- capacity reduced to daily A 321s.

- capacity increased to 8 weekly A 321s + weekly A 342.

- capacity reduced to 3 weekly A 321s + 4 weekly A 319s.

- reduced from 10 weekly to daily.

- reduced from daily to 4 weekly.

- maintains double daily nonstop service.

American Airlines

American Airlines
has announced that from July 2nd 08, it will be suspending its recently started daily nonstop flights between its JFK hub and London Stansted as the main purpose of this route was to counter the threat of the all business class airlines such as EOS and MAXJET. Now that those 2 have collapsed, AA for good reason feels that there is no need to continue flying this route.

Apart from this, AA has confirmed that it will be suspending ORD-EZE (Buenos Aires) daily flights from Sept 3rd 08 and ORD-HNL from Jan 5th 09. Lastly, AA has finally uploaded the flight schedule of its upcoming nonstop ORD-PEK flights which start from April 7th 2009 using a Boeing 777-200ER.

Flight timings are as follows:

Days - Daily

AA 187 Dep ORD 1115 Arr PEK 1345+1
AA 186 Dep PEK 1550 Arr ORD 1540

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thai Airways

Thai Airways has confirmed that as a result of it experiencing a combined loss of USD 120 million its nonstop BKK-JFK and BKK-LAX flights, it will be suspending these flights gradually. JFK will be suspended from July 1st, where nonstop LAX service ends in Oct. LAX though will continue to be served via Osaka with a reduced 5 weekly frequency using a B 772ER. As a result of this, TG will be selling its fleet of 4 Airbus A 340-500s by this winter to interested bidders.


Its amazing that after realizing that USD 120 million has been lost flying these 2 routes that they decide to suspend it. When the figure hit USD 30-40 million, that is when the plug should have been pulled. Their attempt to copy SQ here totally back fired on them as they fail to realize that SIN is a business/financial hub of SE Asia and SQ has the brand name recognition to make people pay a premium to fly it rather than TG. Another problem for TG was their pricing.

Even though they offered a premium nonstop product, their fares in business and economy class were the cheapest on the JFK-BKK route which should not have been the case as they needed to charge a higher fare especially in J class for the convenient product that they were offering.

Air France

Air France will be suspending one of its 2 daily flights to IAH-Houston from Oct 24th 2008.

As a result to compensate for the reduction in capacity, its prevailing daily flight will see an increase in capacity i.e. a daily B 772ER (AF 33) will be replaced by a daily Boeing 777-300ER. The suspended flight (AF 31) is currently being flown using an A 332.

British Airways

British Airways is in close negotiations with Boeing to order 12 new Boeing 777-300ERs as part of a sweet compensation package from Boeing for the 20 month delay of their fleet of Boeing 787s of which BA has ordered 24. This order is likely to be revealed at next month's Farnborough air show in the UK.



If ordered, BA will use the B 773ERs to replace the B 744 on routes where extra economy class seats that the B 744 has on offer is not used to capacity. The B 744s will then be gradually retired or converted to freighters as the operating costs for flying them on pax flights is too costly in this day and age.

China Airlines

China Airlines of Taiwan will be suspending all its flights to Seattle, USA from 1st Sept 2008 due to rising fuel costs and the fact that the route doesn not meet desired revenue targets. In addition, CI will be reducing its LAX and SFO flights as well. LAX will be cut down from double daily to 12 times weekly from early July where as SFO will be reduced from daily to 6 weekly.


CX should seriously contemplate launching new flights to SEA especially now since its India network is fully covered with BLR/BOM/DEL/MAA getting a good number of weekly flights. It has the brand recognition and name to get the high yielding business as well as excellent network connectivity beyond HKG to the entire Far East, DXB and Indian subcontinent region.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic will be increasing flights to Hong Kong from Dec 4th with the launch of a second daily nonstop service. This new flight will be flown also using an Airbus A 340-600 and will be a terminator flight as the current one extends onwards to Sydney. VS has been wanting for two years to increase HKG as ever since it launched SYD via HKG, its capacity to the ex British colonial city has suffered greatly.

The new flight timings are as follows:

Dep LHR 1600 Arr HKG 1230+1
Dep HKG 1415 Arr LHR 1920


Expect VS to suspend VS 25/26 which is flown to JFK as it is supposedly the most poorly performing flight for the airline on this popular route. The aircraft of this route will then be used for the 2nd daily flight to HKG from LHR.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has announced that it will be increasing flights to GVA-Geneva from its AUH hub during the current peak season only to cater for the high volume of Arab traffic bound to the Swiss city. Between July 19-Sept 12, EY will operate a 5th weekly service using a 3 class configured A 332.

United Airlines

United Airlines has announced that due to surging fuel costs, it will be grounding 6 Boeing 747-400s for an extended period of time until the price of fuel drastically reduces thus warranting the return of its B 744s to be used on certain long haul routes.

As a result, UA has announced major capacity changes to its international network for the upcoming Winter 08-09 season:

IAD/PEK - reduced from daily B 744 to daily B 772ER

SFO/LHR - capacity reduced to double daily B 772ER

SFO/KIX - capacity increased from daily B 772ER to daily B 744.

ORD/PEK - capacity reduced from daily B 744 to daily B 772ER.

ORD/FRA - capacity reduced to double daily B 772ER.

ORD/FCO - capacity reduced from daily B 763ER.

IAD/GRU - capacity increased from daily B 763ER to daily B 772ER.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific has announced that due to increase in demand for its AKL-Auckland bound flights in the Winter season, it will be increasing capacity on the double daily HKG-AKL route by using the B 744 along side the A 343 on daily services. The B 744 to be used to AKL is the B 74A which means that it will have CX's new first and business class seats.


KLM has announced few changes to its long haul Africa network for the upcoming Winter 08-09 season. The main highlights are as follows:

CPT - will be increased from 5 weekly to daily.

DAR - capacity will be increased as the B 772ER will fly the route from Dec till end Jan.

With regards to NBO, between early July and late August, the airline will be using an A 332 for its daily flights.


EVA Air of Taiwan has confirmed that due to rising fuel costs, it will be reducing its flights to LAX-Los Angeles from the currently 17 times a week to 14 effective this September.

Flight # BR 0026 TPE-LAX flown on days 1/3/6 is cancelled.

Air Berlin

Air Berlin of Germany has decided that due to rising fuel costs, it will suspend all its DUS-China flights from the on set of the Winter 08-09 time table. Currently, it flies 5 times a week from DUS to PEK and 3 times a week between DUS and PVG using an A 330-200 each respectively.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has revealed that its Boeing 787-900s will be configured to seat 266 passengers in a 2 class configuration and will use the aircraft to upgrade services to Tokyo Narita to double daily by 2012.

In other ANZ related news, it will not be adding 2 additional weekly flights to HKG as originally planned. Its route to PVG-Shanghai will also remain at 3 weekly flights instead of the planned 4 however PEK-Beijing will be increased from 2 to 3 weekly flights.

Lastly, its flights to SFO will see an increase in capacity with the B 744 being used 5 times a week along side the B 772ER which will be used twice a week only.


Aeroflot will be upgrading capacity and its in-flight product on its Moscow-PEK and Moscow-LAX routes from May 1st 2009. From that date onwards, double daily SVO-PEK flights will be flown using an A 332 where as 6 weekly SVO-LAX flights will too see the same change. Both routes are currently being flown using a B 767-300ER.


Qantas of Australia has announced a series of cut backs to its international long haul route network as a result of rising fuel costs as it engages in its own form of cost savings. The main highlights are as follows:

SYD/LAX - to be reduced from 17 weekly to 15 once the A 380 arrives.

CNS/NRT - double daily flights suspended.

MEL/NRT - 3 weekly flights suspended.

SYD/NRT - reduced from 9 weekly flights to daily.

SYD/KUL - 3 weekly flights suspended; operated by Jetstar.

Air One Italy

Air One of Italy has signed a firm order with Airbus for 12 A350-800s, plus 12 options, and 12 A 330-200s, plus eight options. The Rome based airline, the second largest in Italy, will use these aircraft to develop a comprehensive long-haul route network, which will complement Air One's extensive domestic and European operations.

Air One's newly ordered A 332s will offer a comfortable two-class cabin layout for 253 passengers.


What will be interesting to see is whether or not AP decides on making MXP its main long haul hub or will also look at the possibility of flying long haul from FCO. Since 12 A 332s have been ordered and if decided that MXP will be the main long haul hub airport, then the following routes should be looked into seriously :

2 A 332s needed for double daily MXP-EWR (from EWR there is more Star Alliance feeder traffic obtainable than from JFK)

1 A 332 needed for daily MXP-IAD (hub of United...Star Partner)

1 A 332 needed for daily MXP-YYZ (hub of Air Canada...Star Partner)

2 A 332s needed for daily MXP-GRU (hub of TAM...soon to be Star Partner)

1 A 332 needed for daily MXP-ORD (hub of United...Star Partner)

1 A 332 needed for daily MXP-BOS (hub of US Airways...Star Partner)

2 A 332 needed for daily MXP-PEK (hub of Air China...Star Partner)

2 A 332s needed for daily MXP-NRT (hub of ANA...Star partner; but slots at NRT v hard to get)