Saturday, January 21, 2012
Cathay Pacific has officially announced that it has signed an order confirmation with Airbus for 6 more Airbus A350-900s as the carrier looks to fast track the phase out of its aging A343 and B744 fleet by 2016-17. The aircraft shall be used on medium density long haul routes to Europe and Australia. With the signing of this order, the total number of A359s ordered by CX increases to 36.
China Airlines of Taiwan has officially announced that due to heavy losses and below par loads, it shall be suspending all its services to LHR-London Heathrow effective 25MAR 2012. CI launched the route from 28MAR 2010 operated with a 3 weekly nonstop frequency using an Airbus A340-300. Currently, the airline operates 2 weekly services in order to cut the heavy loss burden.
Emirates has officially announced that it will be further increasing its services to the Northern Pakistan cities of Lahore and Islamabad from February 2012 as the carrier was awarded more bilateral access into this high volume, high yielding market segment. Services to Islamabad shall be increased to 8 times per week with all flights being operated with a two class configured 442 seater Boeing 777-300ER where as operations to Lahore will also in turn be increased to 8 times per week but with a standardized schedule using a B773ER five times per week + an A332 three times per week. The schedule for LHE has been changed as the carrier looks to capitalize heavily on the high volume LHE-JED and LHE-North America market segments. In addition, EK too revealed many other capacity changes for its IATA Summer 2012 schedule of which the main highlights are as follows:
BGW - frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily nonstop flights using an A332.
DAC - frequencies increased from 17 to 19 times per week using a B773ER.
DUR - capacity increased from daily A332 to daily B773ER.
DUS - capacity increased to double daily B773s from daily A343 + daily B773.
Jet Airways of India has officially announced that it has signed a deal with Boeing to acquire 12 Boeing 737-800s as part of an order swap by exchanging 2 yet to be produced Boeing 777-300ERs for 7 B 738s + 5 options. 9W's B738s form the backbone of its fleet used extensively on domestic and medium haul international routes to the Middle East and Far East regions. For future growth potential, the airline should seriously consider evaluating the Boeing 737-900ER which is a direct competitor to the A321 as within two years a lot of 9W's international services operated currently with a B738 will be requiring a capacity increase hence it would be a cost worthy proposition upgrading from a B738 to a B739ER versus an A332. This aircraft type has already won large orders from Delta (100) and Lion Air (166) as its an ideal plane for high density medium haul routes within a 6 hour flying radius of India.
Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be significantly increasing capacity to LHE-Lahore, Pakistan as the carrier looks to re-deploy its B773ER capacity on higher volume profitable routes during the IATA S12 season. Currently, LHE is operated on a daily basis using an A332 six times per week + an A320 once a week. However from 26MAR 2012, EY shall be flying to LHE with a 412 seater B773ER on a daily basis thus representing a weekly r/t capacity increase of 2100 seats aka +57%. EY's main focus in LHE in 2012 is also aimed at targeting the high volume LHE-Saudia market along with North America and Europe. In addition, EY too confirmed that it will also be increasing capacity to JED-Jeddah from 26MAR by adding an incremental amount of 1372 r/t seats on its weekly schedule in the following manner:
- Current capacity is 13 weekly flights spread across 6 weekly A320s + 1 weekly A332 + 6 weekly B 773ERs offering 7196 weekly r/t seats. From 26MAR 2012 onwards, it becomes 9 weekly B773ERs + 4 weekly A320s offering 8568 weekly r/t seats i.e. +19% capacity increase.
Privatair of Switzerland has officially announced that it has become the latest and most interesting customer of the upcoming Bombardier C Series jets of which it has placed an order for 10 CS100 aircraft. The breakdown is 5 firm + 5 options. The reason why it is an interesting order is due to the airline being the first to configure these jets into an all business class layout which would accommodate approximately 35 passengers. The flying range capability is 7.5 hours nonstop thus making GCC-London City/EU and LCY-trans-atlantic services possible.
KLM has officially revealed many capacity changes for its long haul network for the IATA Summer 2012 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
DXB - frequencies reduced from double daily to daily nonstop flights using a B744.
BKK - capacity increased with daily nonstop terminator flights using a B773ER four times a week and a B772ER three times per week. The tag on sector to Taipei is dropped.
TIP - frequencies increased from 3 to 4 times per week using a B737.
BAH - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly A332s tagged on to AUH.
DMM - frequencies increased from 5 weekly to daily tagged on with KWI.
IAH - frequencies reduced from 10 weekly to daily nonstop flights only using a B744 Combi.
MNL - nonstop flights dropped and instead it will be operated via TPE on a daily basis using a B772ER. This will result in KLM being the only airline to offer nonstop services to TPE from mainland Europe.
DEL - capacity reduced from daily MD11 to daily A332.
Air France which is in a serious mode of restructuring its operations in order to reduce losses and cut highly unprofitable routes has disclosed a series of changes for its IATA Summer 2012 schedule of which the main highlights are as follows:
AUH - all flights suspended effective 05MAR; currently AF operates 5 weekly A332s on this sector.
MCO (Orlando) - all flights suspended effective 03Sept.
HKG - frequencies reduced from double daily to 12 weekly i.e. daily B773ER + 5 weekly B772ER.
HAV - frequencies reduced from daily to 5 weekly using a B773ER.
Bahrain Air's CEO has officially revealed at the on going Bahrain Air Show that it is keen to add three regional jets into its fleet by 2014 as the carrier looks to deploy smaller planes on its GCC routes where demand for a larger A320 is not consistent year round. It has shown great interest in the new Russian made Sukhoi Superjet 100 which can seat approximately 85 passengers in a 2 class configuration and fly nonstop with a full payload up to 3500KM.
Transaero of Russia has officially announced that it shall be increasing its presence in the popular New York-Moscow market segment effective 29MAY 2012 as the carrier looks to take full advantage of the peak summer season travel demand. Frequencies shall be increased from the current 4 weekly to daily nonstop services using a Boeing 777-300 for all flights. Note that the B773s operated by Transaero are ex Singapore Airlines owned.
Qatar Airways has officially revealed many changes to its long haul route network for the IATA Summer 2012 season of which the main highlights are as follows:
YUL – capacity increased from 3 weekly B772LRs to 3 weekly B 773ERs i.e. an additional 456 r/t weekly seats on offer.
MXP – frequencies increased from 11 weekly to double daily i.e. daily A333 + daily A320.
MAN – frequencies reduced from double daily to 10 weekly A330s.
American Airlines has officially announced that due to rising costs and losses, it shall be suspending its services to DEL-Delhi, India effective 01MAR 2012. AA currently operates a daily nonstop product from ORD-Chicago to DEL using a B772ER but suffers a payload restriction on the DEL-ORD sector. Its main competitor on this sector is AI-Air India who also offers a daily nonstop product and is bound to be beaming with joy at this announcement by AA.
Turkish Airlines has officially announced that it will be increasing frequencies to LAX-Los Angeles from the on-set of the IATA S12 season i.e. 26MAR. Currently, TK operates 3 weekly nonstop flights from its IST hub base using a Boeing 777-300ER, however from end March, these shall be increased to daily nonstop flights using the same aircraft type.
Emirates has officially announced major details of its planned long haul expansion for the IATA Summer 2012 of which the main highlights are as follows:
SGN (Ho Chi Minh City) – new daily nonstop flights to be launched with an A332 effective 01JUN and then upgraded to a daily B773ER effective 29OCT 2012.
GLA – frequencies increased from daily to double daily flights i.e. daily B773ER + daily A343.
ADD – nonstop terminator flights to be operated with an A332.
EBB - nonstop terminator flights to be operated with an A332 instead of daily A345 via ADD.
Etihad Airways has officially announced that it will be increasing capacity to KUL-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in a major manner effective 26MAR 2012. Currently, EY operates a daily A332 product on this sector seating 262 pax on board. However from 26MAR, all daily flights shall be upgraded to a daily B777-300ER which seats 412 passengers, therefore offering additional capacity of 2100 r/t weekly seats on the KUL route!
Alitalia has officially announced that it shall be launching new services to RUH-Riyadh effective 01JUN 2012 as part of its efforts to further expand medium haul services especially to SKY TEAM member hub airports.
AZ revealed that flights will be operated from Rome 4 times per week nonstop to Riyadh using an A320 with the following schedule:
AZ 878 Dep FCO 2030 Arr RUH 0240+1
AZ 879 Dep RUH 0335 Arr FCO 0810
has officially announced that it shall be increasing frequencies to LAX-Los Angeles as well as re-route its current service to the city. Presently, MAS operates 3 times per week from KUL via TPE-Taipei using a B772ER, however from 26MAR, these shall be increased to 4 times per week using the same aircraft type but via NRT-Tokyo with 5th freedom traffic rights.
Air Asia X, the long haul subsidiary of Air Asia (Malaysia) has officially announced that it shall be suspending all of its long haul services to Europe and India effective March 2012 as the carrier looks to re-organize its strategic plan and cost base. It also blamed the high EU carbon tax for the suspension of European services. The 4 routes canceled are BOM, LGW, ORY (Paris Orly) and DEL.
Fly Dubai has officially announced that it shall be launching 2 new routes from Feb 2012 as it looks further into tapping high yielding niche markets in the Middle East region. FZ confirmed that these 2 new routes are Taif in Saudi Arabia which shall be operated 3 times per week and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan which shall be operated twice a week respectively. All services to be flown using a 189 seater Boeing 737-800.