Saturday, October 24, 2015

Oman Air orders 20 Boeing 737 MAX

Oman Air has officially announced that it has placed an order with Boeing for 20 Boeing 737MAX units that will be used to eventually fully replace its current Boeing 737-800 fleet in particular. 

WY's current B737NG fleet numbers 18 B738s + 5 B739ERs (delivered 2014 onwards).


Though the breakdown of this new order is not provided, one hopes at least 10 units would be for the B739MAX as this is the aircraft best suited for all of WY's Indian subcontinent routes + JED/RUH where volumetric demand exists year round. WY's current B739ERs seat 183 pax in a dual class layout (12J + 171Y)   

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Norwegian orders 19 more Boeing 787-9s

Norwegian Airlines (long haul unit) has officially announced that it has signed a deal with Boeing for an order of 19 new Boeing 787-9s (789) as part of its aggressive long haul expansion plan out of London Gatwick, Copenhagen, Oslo, Barcelona and Stockholm airports going into the next decade. 

These B789s are confirmed to be configured to seat 344 passengers in a dual class layout i.e. 35 premium economy + 309 economy. The above mentioned order will henceforth result in the long haul fleet consisting of 8 B788s + 30 B789s once all are delivered gradually between 2017-2020.

The airline also revealed that its long haul flights have now started to make an operating profit and sees the higher capacity B789 with current fuel prices having a real positive impact on their bottom line. 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

United to suspend Kuwait and Bahrain

Breaking news!!!

United Airlines has revealed on the GDS system that it will be suspending its current 4 weekly flights from IAD-Washington DC to both Bahrain and Kuwait effective 13JAN16.

See below confirmation from the GDS system !

MON 11JAN16 WASHINGTON-KUWAIT        11/0001 11/2359       G*RSS0
01 IAD KWI    2140|1755  UA 982 F2 A0 J9 C9 D9 Z9 P9 Y9 B9 777< 
  M9 E9 U9 H9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9<     
  L9 K9 G0 N0<                    

WED 13JAN16 WASHINGTON-KUWAIT        13/0001 13/2359       G*RSS01
01 IAD KWI    2140|1755  UA 982 F0 A0 J0 C0 D0 Z0 P0 Y0 B0 777<  
  M0 E0 U0 H0 Q0 V0 W0 S0 T0<      
  L0 K0 G0 N0<                     <

MON 22FEB16 WASHINGTON-KUWAIT        22/0001 22/2359       G*RSS0
01 IAD KWI    2140|1755  UA 982 F0 A0 J0 C0 D0 Z0 P0 Y0 B0 777< 
  M0 E0 U0 H0 Q0 V0 W0 S0 T0<     
  L0 K0 G0 N0<                    

Hainan launches Manchester-Beijing

Hainan Airlines has officially revealed that it will be the first airline to link the northern UK city of Manchester to the Chinese mainland effective 10JUN16.

The carrier confirmed that Manchester shall be its newest long haul destination operated nonstop from Beijing four times per week using an Airbus A330-200 using the below mentioned schedule:

Days: 1/3/5/6
HU 7903 Dep PEK 0145 Arr MAN 0605
HU 7904 Dep MAN 1200 Arr PEK 0525+1

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lufthansa announces Tehran-Munich

Lufthansa today has officially confirmed (schedule loaded for sale on all GDS systems) that they will be launching new nonstop flights from its secondary Munich hub into Tehran effective 14APR16.

Services shall be flown 3 times per week using an A330-300.

The schedule is as follows:


LH 602 Dep MUC 2210 Arr IKA 0520+1
LH 603 Dep IKA 0655 Arr MUC 0930

Austrian announces Tehran

Austrian Airlines has officially announced that it will be relaunching its previously suspended services into IKA-Tehran, Iran effective 11MAR16. Daily nonstop flights will be operated from its primary Vienna hub base using an Airbus A320 with the below mentioned schedule:

OS 871 Dep VIE 2010 Arr IKA 0300+1
OS 872 Dep IKA 0355 Arr VIE 0600

With sanctions expected to be fully lifted by the on set of the IATA S16 season, expect other EU carriers to also reinstate their Tehran bound flights such as Air France and KLM.

EVA AIR announces Istanbul

Eva Air has officially announced that it will be launching new services to Istanbul, Turkey in partnership with its fellow Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines. BR will be operating 4 weekly nonstop flights using a Boeing 777-300ER from its Taipei hub base effective 05MAR16 using the below mentioned schedule:

Days: 1/2/4/6

BR 79 Dep TPE 0030 Arr IST 0730
BR 80 Dep IST 1320 Arr TPE 0515+1

BR will use its new IST service as its primary gateway into the EU mainland, North Africa and West Asia region via feeder support service provided by TK. 

Qatar Airways increases Hong Kong

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will be reinstating its second daily Hong Kong bound service that was suspended two years ago when Cathay Pacific launched its own Doha service. All double daily flights shall be flown using a two class Airbus A330-200 effective 15FEB16. QR's main feeder markets for HKG is Western Europe, Dubai, Lagos, Nairobi and Saudi Arabia. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cathay Pacific suspends Doha

Cathay Pacific has officially announced that it will be suspending its current daily nonstop service to Doha, Qatar effective 14FEB16. The flight is flown daily using an A333. No official reason has been cited by CX for this sudden decision but one should expect its fellow One World partner Qatar Airways to reinstate its second daily DOH-HKG flight in time for the IATA S16 season. 


PIA increases Islamabad-Dubai

PIA-Pakistan International Airlines has officially confirmed that in order to be competitive and provide additional capacity on its popular service to Dubai from Islamabad, it shall be increasing its frequencies from the on set of the IATA W15 season. 

Currently, PIA operates a daily nonstop flight using an A310 from ISB to DXB, however from 25OCT these shall be increased to double daily using A320s. The new flight's schedule is as follows:

PK 233 Dep ISB 0020 Arr DXB 0255
PK 234 Dep DXB 0500 Arr ISB 0900

PK 211 Dep ISB 1205 Arr DXB 1440(current daily flight)
PK 212 Dep DXB 1545 Arr ISB 1945(current daily flight)

South African orders 5 A330-300s

South African Airways has officially confirmed that it has negotiated an exchange contract with Airbus for their pending order of 10 A320s which has been converted to 5 A330-300s. 

The A333s will all be delivered in 2016 and shall be used to rapidly replace the oldest A343s from the fleet which currently numbers 8 units. 



These A333s were bought to rapidly accelerate the cost savings strategy implemented by the carrier since JAN15 which saw BOM and PEK flights suspended to begin with.

One expects the 5 A333s are expected to be utilized in the below mentioned manner:
  • 1 unit to replace daily A340 on JNB-LOS
  • 1 unit to replace daily A332 on JNB-GRU there by in turn, the A332 can be used to replace the A343 on one of the two daily JNB-LHR services which would then make JNB-LHR a dedicated double daily A332 operated flight !
  • 2.5 units to replace daily A346 on JNB-ACC/DKR-IAD
  • 0.5 unit to replace daily A340 on JNB-LAD-JNB
  • One other option also on the table can be for 1 unit to replace the A343 on the daily JNB-PER service (9 hour flight only)
Kindly note that the A333 that SAA has ordered is the A333IGW version which can fly up to 12 hours nonstop with a full payload hence it can easily perform the longest flights in the network which are JNB-LHR and ACC-IAD which are each 11 hours nonstop!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Air India increases London-Delhi

Air India has officially announced today that it will be significantly increasing its presence in the London market by adding a third daily nonstop service from its primary Delhi hub into Heathrow effective 01NOV15.

The new flight will depart as AI 161 from DEL at 0215 arriving into LHR at 0630, departing LHR at 0845 (AI 162) arriving into DEL at 2245 using a B777-200LR on a daily basis. 


It is unheard of in the airline industry to announce a new long haul nonstop frequency by just giving the market two weeks notice! To fill this new service, AI will be no doubt initiating massive seat sale promos for the month of NOV to not only India but also SE Asia which now connects nicely via DEL in both directions along with KTM. The timing for DEL-LHR AI 161 is excellent for high yielding premium traffic as well as onward trans-atlantic connections with STAR partners UA/AC. However the return sector from LHR to DEL will be a tough sell for a while as AI 162 connects to no onward destination via DEL!

AI needs to seriously look at a 4 weekly nonstop B788 operated service between Manchester and Delhi as the market from MAN to India is bigger than BHX and also offers better yield. This will allow the carrier to have an all round foot print across both the North and Southern UK market segments.