Thursday, June 1, 2017

United announces LAX-Singapore nonstop

United Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching a new ultra long haul route from the on set of the IATA Winter 2017 season as it seeks to aggressively expand its trans-pacific presence at Los Angeles.

UA will be operating a new daily nonstop service to Singapore from Los Angeles using a Boeing 787-9 effective 29OCT17. This will be the airline's second ultra long haul route as it currently operates a daily nonstop SFO-SIN service using the same aircraft type. 

The schedule for LAX-SIN-LAX is as follows:

Days - Daily

UA 037 Dep LAX 2055 Arr SIN 0650+2
UA 038 Dep SIN 1100 Arr LAX 1015

In 2016, the total P2P demand between SIN and LAX was 97,000 passengers approximately versus 149,000 for SFO-SIN v.v.

Air India announces Copenhagen-Delhi nonstop

Air India has officially opened for sale its new European destination i.e. Copenhagen, Denmark which it shall launch effective 16SEP17 onwards.

AI will fly 3 times per week nonstop from its primary Delhi hub to CPH using a B788 with the below mentioned schedule:


AI 157 Dep DEL 1410 Arr CPH 1850
AI 158 Dep CPH 2035 Arr DEL 0745+1

In 2016, the P2P demand between DEL and CPH was 34,000 passengers and AI's new service is designed to also feed its BKK/KTM/domestic India and CMB flights via DEL.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Sri Lankan Airlines announces Melbourne-Colombo nonstop

Sri Lankan Airlines has officially announced that it will be launching new nonstop flights to Melbourne, Australia effective 29OCT17 from its Colombo hub in order to tap into the large Tamil/Sinhalese diaspora residing over there which is the largest in the Oceania region.

Services will be operated on a daily basis using an A330-200 scheduled as follows:

UL 604 Dep CMB 2350 Arr MEL 1525+1
UL 605 Dep MEL 1655 Arr CMB 2215


In 2016, the P2P demand between CMB and MEL was 117,300 passengers which is high however a carrier which is largely dependent on VFR/leisure traffic should not launch a new long haul service as daily from the get go. In addition, connections via CMB to LHR are not available in both directions as only GCC/India connect conveniently.

This is a very high risk move being undertaken by UL as maximum 4 weekly nonstop services are required to begin with to build up the market. Also just because it offers a niche nonstop product, if carriers such as EK/SQ/MH/TG start dumping fares to lure passengers away (since its a price sensitive market segment), it will hurt UL more as they will be wholly dependent on P2P demand on this route whilst the others have diverse demand for various cities via their respective hubs.

In 2015, UL underwent a major cost cutting exercise in eliminating high loss making long haul routes in Europe such as FCO MXP FRA and CDG which was a sound business decision as the airline could not sustain it. Instead it chose to code share with QR via DOH to Europe/MENA which was the right commercial move.

Now with a similar new long haul route to be launched like MEL-CMB it is unfortunately very similar but much higher risk as FRA/CDG were not operated on a daily basis nonstop in the past + they had better two way connections via CMB to Asia for feeder purposes which MEL does not via CMB to Europe.