Tuesday, October 21, 2008
As previously mentioned in an email sent out 2 weeks ago concerning Emirates's 2009 expansion plans, I revealed that flights to Athens, Greece will be increased from daily to double daily. This has now been officially confirmed by EK as ATH will be served double daily nonstop from DXB using a B 773ER + A 332 each respectively effective March 1st 09. The new daily flight's schedule using an A 332 is as follows:
EK 103 Dep DXB 1730 Arr ATH 2050
EK 104 Dep ATH 2220 Arr DXB 0435+1
In addition, EK has also confirmed that its flights to LCA-Larnaca, Cyprus will be increased from 5 weekly to daily effective December 1st 08 using a mixture of 3 class configured Boeing 777-200/300 aircraft. All LCA bound flights continue onwards to Malta.
Gulf Air's CEO has officially announced its European expansion plans for 2009 provided the cost of fuel remains steady at acceptable levels. Mr Bjorn Naf revealed to an Arab newspaper that the six new cities to be launched by GF are Rome, Milan, Moscow, Warsaw, Amsterdam and Munich. No mention of expansion to the Far East or Africa were cited in the newspaper report.
Jet Airways has been playing around with its North American schedules for the past week with many changes taking place and some decisions being reversed. Apart from the SFO suspension, JFK's capacity was going to be increased from a daily A 332 to a daily B 773ER. But this has changed and for the Winter 08-09 season, its BRU hub operations will be adjusted as follows:
DEL/BRU/YYZ - same plane daily service using an A 332 which means that capacity on the DEL-BRU route has been reduced from a daily B 773ER to an A 332.
BOM/BRU/EWR - daily flights using a B 773ER.
MAA/BRU/JFK - same plane daily flights using an A 332.
BLR/BRU - daily terminator flights using an A 332.
By looking at the above mentioned changes, one can make out that 9W now has 3 Boeing 777-300ERs idle as a result of SFO being suspended (2 aircraft used) + DEL-BRU capacity reduced (1 aircraft being used). One hopes that these aircraft get used on selective India-Middle East flights that can generate good yield as well as high demand on a year round basis. With 3 B 77Ws, 9W can fly the following Middle East routes easily:
2 aircraft can be used for : double daily BOM/DXB + double daily DEL/DXB
1 aircraft can be used for : 4 weekly DEL-JED + 3 weekly BOM-JED
Singapore Airlines will be reducing capacity on its daily SIN-HKG-SFO route from January 12th 2009. Currently, SQ uses a B 744 on this sector but that will be downgraded to a Boeing 777-300ER. Its second daily SIN-ICN-SFO flight will also continue to operate using a B 773ER.
Thai Airways has announced that it will be reducing capacity to DME-Moscow during the upcoming Winter 08-09 season. Currently, flights are flown 4 times a week using a 2 class B 777-200ER but from Oct 27th, the aircraft will be an Airbus A 340-600 which seats 40 passengers fewer than TG's B 772ERs.
British Airways will be reducing capacity to ORD-Chicago for Summer 2009 along the same lines of YYZ-Toronto by having no B 747 jumbo service to the city. BA's triple daily flights to ORD from LHR during the Summer 09 season will now be served double daily using a B 772ER + a daily B 763ER.
Air France has announced that it will be suspending its daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flight for the Winter 08-09 season and will be replacing it with a daily LHR-JFK flight from the on set of the Summer 09 peak season. AF uses a B 772ER for this service and for the new JFK-LHR flight, the operational costs and marketing/sales will be split equally between itself and Delta Airlines.
Continental Airlines will be purchasing 4 used Boeing 777-200As from an Asian carrier (rumored to be China Southern Airlines) which will be used to replace its 4 Boeing 767-400ERs at its Continental Micronesia unit which is based out of Guam International Airport. The B 764ER's from its Guam venture will be most likely transferred over to its mainline operation to be used on high density and decent yielding EWR-Europe nonstop routes.
Turkish Airlines has confirmed that it will be increasing its flights to HKG-Hong Kong from the on set of the Winter 08-09 timetable. Currently, TK flies a twice weekly nonstop service between IST and HKG using an A 343, however this will be increased to a 4 times weekly operation with all flights being flown nonstop using the same aircraft.