Friday, October 9, 2015

Philippine Airlines announces Kuwait and Jeddah

Philippine Airlines has officially released details of its planned resumption of flights to Jeddah and Kuwait effective 01DEC15. 

All flights will be operated via Dubai using an A330-300 and for Kuwait it will be 4 times per week where as Jeddah shall be served 3 times per week. PAL does not have 5th freedom traffic rights on the DXB-GCC-DXB sectors.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

United Airlines announces 3 new long haul routes from San Francisco

United Airlines has officially announced that it shall be launching three new long haul destinations from its primary U.S. West Coast hub i.e. SFO-San Francisco from the on set of the IATA Summer 2016 season. The new destinations shall all be served using the Boeing 787 aircraft family and they are as follows:

TLV (Tel Aviv) - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be operated using a B789 effective 30MAR16

AKL (Auckland) - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be operated using a B789 effective 01JUL16. These will be further increased to daily nonstop effective 30OCT16!

XIY (Xian, China) - new 3 weekly nonstop flights to be flown using a B788 effective 08MAY16


SAS announces Boston

SAS has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights to Boston, USA effective 28MAR16 as the carrier looks to capitalize on BOS's growing popularity with EU residents.

The new service is going to be operated on a daily basis using a wet leased B737-700 from Privatair that shall seat 86 passengers in a dual class configuration. The schedule is as follows:

SK 927 Dep CPH 1250 Arr BOS 1520
SK 928 Dep BOS 1730 Arr CPH 0700+1


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ethiopian to order 15 Boeing 777-8Xs

Ethiopian Airlines has officially confirmed that after a lengthy time studying whether to order the Boeing 777-8/9X family over the Airbus A350-1000X, it has decided to opt for the smaller Boeing 777-8X (15 units) as the future backbone aircraft to service its long haul operational needs. 

ET operates its base out of a high altitude airport (ADD) and as well carries a lot of cargo in both directions especially on its Asia bound flights hence requires the maximum payload possible upon take off in particular out of ADD to ensure full realization of the economic potential that its chosen aircraft provides. 

Keeping into account the above, ET decided to order the Boeing 777-8X which is a direct modern replacement of the Boeing 777-200LR. ET cited the aircraft's flying performance range + its on board capacity of 360 passengers is ideal to meet its commercial needs as the larger Boeing 777-900 is a bit too big. 

As a result, the airline's future wide body fleet by 2025 shall look like this:

15 Boeing 777-800X
13 Boeing 787-800
14 Airbus A350-900 
Total 42 aircraft


Finnair announces 2 new Asian destinations

Finnair has officially announced that it will be launching two new long haul routes in Far East Asia by Summer 2016 as the carrier's newly delivered Airbus A350-900 frees up other aircraft to cater for expansion. 

The new destinations are CAN-Guangzhou, China and Fukuoka, Japan. They will be operated in the below mentioned manner:

CAN - four weekly nonstop frequencies effective 06MAY16 using an A333

FUK - three weekly nonstop frequencies effective 07MAY16 using an A333 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Air France to retire all A343s + suspending 5 Asian routes

Air France has today officially released an outline of what its major cost cutting plans are with regards to its long haul route network as the carrier failed to reach an agreement with its pilots unions last week hence was forced by the Board to undertake such a drastic action.


The main highlights of the restructuring plan are as follows:
  • All A343s to be retired from flying by Winter 2016
  • The A343s shall not be replaced by the B789 in the short term
  • A total of 35 weekly frequencies to be cut from the long haul route from next year onwards
  • Five Asian long haul routes to be suspended
  • Wide body fleet to be reduced from 107 to 93 by end of Winter 2016 season
  • Retirement of its 5 B744s to take place by end of IATA W15 season

The 5 Asian routes that I predict will be suspended are as follows:
  • Riyadh (SV already flies daily from JED and RUH to CDG so they can maintain Sky Team presence)
  • Guangzhou (CZ already flies daily from CAN to CDG so they can maintain Sky Team hub to hub presence)
  • Wuhan, China
  • Osaka
  • Bangkok

    Kindly note that the suspension of Kuala Lumpur services was already announced in August hence should not be considered as part of the 5 Asian routes that it plans on suspending moving forward.

Gulf Air expands Pakistan services

Gulf Air has officially announced that it has been granted additional bilateral access into Pakistan and shall be taking full advantage of the newly given rights effective 02DEC15. 

Two new destinations will be launched using an A320 for all flights. These new cities are Multan operated 4 times per week + Faisalabad three times per week.