Friday, October 3, 2008
Arik Air of Nigeria along with Airbus have officially confirmed that the carrier has bought 3 of Kingfisher's Airbus A 340-500s that the Indian carrier wanted to sell for many months. Arik Air has notified share holders that these 3 A 345s will be used for new nonstop flights from Lagos to New York, Houston and London.
Arik Air must have gotten a really good deal as Kingfisher and Airbus were in a desperate state to sell these aircraft at any cost. Now what Arik Air needs to understand is that no airline can have a long haul fleet revolving around 3 aircraft of one single type. If their financial situation allows it, they should aggressively place a bid for Thai Airways fleet of 4 A 345s (they have been put up for sale) 2thus increasing their A 345 fleet to 7 aircraft which is perfect.
In this way, 7 A 345s can be followed by Arik Air in the following manner:
2 for daily same plane service LON-LOS-JNB-LOS-LON
1 for 3 weekly LOS-IAH-LOS
1 for 3 weekly LOS-EWR-LOS
1 for daily LOS-DXB-LOS
1 for daily LOS-JED-LOS
1 for 3 weekly LOS-CAN-LOS or LOS-PEK-LOS
In order for Arik Air to make extra $$$ from flying these ex KF A 345s, it must re-configure the aircraft from the 2 class 249 seater to a 2 class 270 seater plane with the extra 20 seats being in business class which can be constructed with the demolition of KF's in-flight bar and lounge area. In this way more revenue can be generated by having 20 extra J class seats on board than a bar/lounge which doesnt contribute one cent to your bottom line.
LOS is one of those unique destinations with a bucket load of high yielding premium class passengers flying in and out of the city from UK, DXB, JED and USA and thus it wont be that hard for Arik Air to get them to fly the airline as long as they have good connections to regional West African cities, domestically within Nigeria and a frequent flier hook up with a couple of major EU or American carriers.
Lufthansa has announced few capacity adjustments across its long haul network for the Winter 08-09 season. The main highlights are as follows:
MUC / BOM - planned daily flights to be reduced to 5 weekly.
FRA / LOS / ACC - capacity increased to daily A 346 from daily A 333 eff Nov 1st 08.
MUC / JFK - capacity reduced from daily A 346 to daily A 333.
MUC / PEK - frequencies reduced from daily to 6 weekly flights using an A 343.
Kenya Airways has officially confirmed that it will be launching new nonstop flights to CAN-Guangzhou, China from its NBO-Nairobi hub 3 times a week using a Boeing 777-200ER. This flight will be replacing the 3 weekly B 763ER service that is flown via DXB-Dubai. The new nonstop NBO-CAN will be in operation effective November 1st 2008 and will result in the carrier offering a total of 6 weekly flights on the NBO-CAN-NBO route i.e. 3 weekly B 763ERs via BKK + 3 weekly B 772ERs nonstop.
A bold yet important strategic move undertaken by KQ by deciding on flying nonstop NBO-CAN instead of the originally planned NBO-DXB-CAN with 5th freedom rights available on the DXB-CAN sector. This means that KQ will become the first ever "sub-saharan African airline" to fly nonstop from Africa to mainland China. KQ's new NBO-CAN nonstop flight is timed beautifully to connect with LOS, DAR and ACC via NBO in both directions and will give EK, QR and ET a serious run for their money on capturing market share on the lucurative Africa-CAN-Africa route.
Singapore Airlines has officially revealed that it will be launching new 4 weekly flights from SIN via Dubai-DXB to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia using a Boeing 777-200ER. SQ will not however have 5th freedom traffic rights on the DXB-RUH-DXB sector. These new flights will start flying from 14th December 08. As a result of this new service, SQ's DXB operation increases to 20 times a week.
Qatar Airways has officially confirmed that due to the on going strikes at Boeing, it will be once again delaying its planned launch of nonstop Doha-Houston flights from mid December 2008 to Feb 15th 2009. From that date onwards, it will launch DOH-IAH with a daily frequency and not 3 times a week as was the plan if the route was launched in mid Decmber 08.
QR also confirmed that it will be increasing its presence on the Doha-Khartoum (Sudan) route from this winter onwards by flying it double daily nonstop using A 320's. This means increase of 5 weekly flights as currently the carrier flies this sector 9 times a week.
Thai Airways has revealed a minor capacity adjustments across its medium haul network for the Winter 08-09 season. The main highlights are as follows:
PEK - frequencies increased to double daily effective Feb 1st 09.
KIX - capacity reduced to daily A 346 + double daily B 772As + 5 weekly B 772ERs.
KHI / MCT - consolidated into 3 weekly flights i.e. BKK-KHI-MCT using an A 333; however, BKK-KHI-BKK will witness 4 weekly flights with one being a terminator.
China Eastern Airlines based out of PVG-Shanghai has announced that it will be increasing capacity on its PVG-Delhi flights during the up coming Winter 08-09 season by deploying the larger Airbus A 330-300 on this sector rather than the current smaller Airbus A 330-200. This service is flown 5 times a week nonstop and is a terminator flight.
Shanghai Airlines of China has officially confirmed that it will be launching new 2 weekly nonstop flights to BOM-Mumbai, India from its PVG hub using a Boeing 767-300ER effecitve Oct 29th 2008. Flights will be operated on WED and SAT only and the flight schedule is as follows:
FM 847 Dep PVG 1630 Arr BOM 2140
FM 848 Dep BOM 2240 Arr PVG 0710+1
FM will face stiff competition from Jet Airways who is also flying BOM-PVG-BOM 5 times a week using a B 773ER. FM's long haul wide bodied fleet consists of 9 newly ordered but yet to be delivered Boeing 787-800s + 4 B 763s + 3 B 763ERs.
Vietnam Airlines has announced that it will be increasing capacity and frequencies to some of its regional East Asian destinations from early January 2009 onwards. The main highlights are as follows:
SIN - frequencies to be increased from a daily A 321 to 10 weekly A 321s.
ICN - capacity to be increased from a daily A 332 to a daily B 772ER.
KIX - capacity to be reduced from a daily B 772ER to a daily A 332.
Air China has revealed further adjustments to its Winter 08-09 schedule consisting of capacity and frequency on many long haul flights. The main highlights are as follows:
PEK/CDG - capacity reduced to 5 weekly A 343s + 2 weekly A 332s.
PEK/FCO - capacity reduced to 5 weekly A 332s.
PVG/MXP - capacity increased to 5 weekly A 343s.
PEK/ARN - frequencies reduced from 4 to 3 times a week.
PEK/MUC - frequencies reduced from 4 to 3 times a week.
PEK/BKK - capacity decreased to daily B 738 + daily B 752.
Finnair has announced few capacity changes for its long haul Summer 2009 schedule especially to the Far East. The main highlights are as follows:
YYZ -to be increased to 4 weekly flights using a B 752ER.
ICN - frequencies to be increased from 5 to 6 times weekly using an A 333.
NGO - capacity to be increased to 3 weekly A 333s instead of A 343s.
KIX - capacity to be increased to 5 weekly A 343s instead of MD 11s.
Bellview Airline of Nigeria has announced that it will be launching new daily nonstop terminator flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from its Lagos hub in Nigeria. All flights will be flown effective Nov 9th 2008 using a 2 class configured Boeing 767-200ER seating 18 in business class and 182 in economy class.