Boeing and Vietnam Airlines showcase the airline’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at Washington’s Reagan National Airport

Vietnam 787-9 arrives at DCA (Boeing)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi) celebrated a historic event today (July 6) witnessed by H.E. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, with the flag carrier’s first 787 Dreamliner serving as a backdrop.

Boeing logo (medium)

The event was attended by more than 200 delegates, ministers and ambassadors from Vietnam and the United States, as well as local and international media, and other invited guests at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The airplane on display is scheduled to be delivered to Vietnam Airlines later this month.

At the event, the two companies also signed a memorandum of collaboration toward the goal of Vietnam Airlines’ fleet replacement and expansion. Boeing has offered the airline eight 787-10 Dreamliners and eight 777-8Xs, which the airline acknowledged. Boeing and Vietnam Airlines will work together and report to government authorities before coming to official cooperation agreements in the future.

Vietnam Airlines logo

Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier of Vietnam, operates more than 360 daily flights with its young fleet of modern aircrafts. The airline, headquartered in Hanoi, will continue to expand its fleet with new and modern aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family. Vietnam Airlines became an official member of SkyTeam Alliance in 2010 and was the first representative of the alliance in the Southeast Asia region.

Photo: Boeing. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N1020K (msn 35151) completes the final river approach to DCA today. The airliner will become VN-A861 on delivery.

Vietnam Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Scoot introduces a Boeing 787-9 logo jet celebrating Singapore’s 50th Anniversary

Scoot 787-9 9V-OJE (15-Happy Birthday Singapore)(Grd)(Scoot)(LR)

Scoot (Singapore) has a introduced a special 50th Anniversary of Singapore (SG50) livery on its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 9V-OJE (msn 37116). The special commemorative color scheme, featuring the SG50 logo, also showcases the logos of 20 sponsors and a “caricature of the iconic Merlion, caricatures of Scootees” according to the airline

The new Dreamliner, delivered on June 28, 2015, is also named “Maju-Lah”.

Photo: Scoot.

Scoot aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Planely Speaking: Growing in the Gulf

Assistant Editor Aaron Newman

Assistant Editor Aaron Newman

Assistant Editor Aaron Newman

Growing the Gulf

By Aaron Newman.

A decade ago Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways were irrelevant. But these three airlines have become increasingly dominate on the lucrative international long-haul market, causing angst for western legacy airlines and their respective governments. For example, Lufthansa claims its Frankfurt hub has lost nearly a third of its market share on routes between Europe and Asia since 2005, with more than 3 million people now flying annually from Germany to other destinations via Persian Gulf hubs (economist.com).

Growth of Gulf Airlines 1

This global turf war is only going to intensify as the gulf carriers continue expanding at breakneck speed. With hundreds of aircraft deliveries forthcoming (see graph below), Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways are destined to initiate new routes, utilizing a large order book of new aircraft scheduled. The major news outlets and our WorldAirlineNews.com have done a great job summarizing the discord between the gulf airlines and their global legacy counterparts. I’m going to use this opportunity to tackle a different question…where will these three airlines expand to next?

Gulf Airlines Fleet Size

In May, Doha based Qatar Airways (below) made headlines, announcing it will begin flying to Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles in 2016. Qatar Airways also said it will increase service to New York, adding a second daily flight.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Qatar Airways is the launch customer for the new Airbus A350-900. Airbus added Qatar titles to this test Airbus A350-941 F-WZNW (msn 004) pictured at Farnborough.

 

In late March, Emirates surprised the industry, announcing new daily service from Orlando (MCO) to Dubai beginning Sept. 2015.

 

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Etihad Airways Airbus A380-861 A6-APA (msn 166) departs from London (Heathrow).

And Etihad Airways (above), just finished a six city expansion in the beginning half of 2015 to; Algiers, Edinburgh, Entebbe, Hong Kong, Kolkata and Madrid. Looking at the charts above, it’s easy to see that additional future growth is inevitable. Adding frequencies, upgauging aircraft and expanding to new cities such as the ones listed below is bound to happen given these airlines current trajectories.

Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)

With a population of nearly 22 million people and one of the most important financial centers in Latin America, I foresee a gulf carrier announcing new service shortly before their new international airport is set to open in 2018. Given the distance from the Persian Gulf, this route may need a European stopover city to make this and other Latin America cities work in the future.

Vancouver, Canada (YVR)

A major gateway for pan-pacific trade, Vancouver offers the international diversity and business climate that the gulf carriers are attracted to. Emirates expressed interest in serving Vancouver in years past, those talks quickly diminished after Air Canada expressed concern. If discussions between the Canadian government and gulf carriers were to reignite, Vancouver would be a high priority for any gulf airline.

Sapporo, Japan (CTS)

Japan’s fourth largest city and the largest city on the northern island of Hokkaido; Sapporo’s airport has largely been underserved by airlines outside of the major East Asian hubs (Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing). Alternatively, Fukuoka (FUK) would also be a viable option for a gulf carrier looking to add routes in Japan.

Stuttgart, Germany (STR)

Emirates has been working hard to make this route a reality, however, the German government is currently limiting the number of routes from gulf carriers into Germany in an effort to protect national carrier, Lufthansa. If the German government ever reconsiders, this will give Stuttgart a much needed long-haul route heading east. Berlin is a potential growth target as well, but I do not see this as a possibility until the completion of the delayed Brandenburg airport—currently scheduled for 2018.

Helsinki, Finland (HEL)

Finland’s largest city and capital, Helsinki offers the large population and thriving economy to make this route work. Competition from state-owned Finnair and the fast growing Norwegian Air Shuttle may be a deterrent to this route. I foresee Qatar Airways being the first airline to launch this route given the mutual Oneworld membership with Finnair.

London Stansted, UK (STN)

A stronghold for the UK’s low-cost airlines, Stansted’s owners and operators, Manchester Airports Group strongly desire to diversify by adding a full-service airline. About 6.7 million people live within a 1-hour drive of Stansted and 12 million within 2 hours. With slot restrictions at Heathrow and Gatwick, could this be a viable option to add frequencies into the London metro area?

Xi’an, China (XIY)

Xi’an’s pillar industries; equipment manufacturing, software development, aerospace technology, and high tech R&D are driving a blossoming economy in Xi’an. This route prediction may be a bit premature, however, gulf carriers will continue to tap into China’s growing middle class and flying to secondary Chinese cities. Chongqing, Wuhan, Xiamen, Kunming, and Qingdao should all be considered as future options.

Detroit, MI (DTW)

Detroit’s automotive industry supplies a large amount of lucrative business travel between Asia and the United States, Detroit also has about 400,000 residents of Middle East origin, the highest total for any U.S. city, with many from Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. However, this route would be in direct competition with Delta and Skyteam members Air France and KLM. Has this competition kept these three airlines from stepping in?

Bamako, Mali (BKO)

Bamako’s annual growth rate is hovering around 4.5%, which makes it the sixth-fastest-growing city in the world, and the fastest on the African continent. African cities like Bamako have become important for gulf carriers because of their location between the continent and Asia, which are developing commercial links. While few Africa-Asia routes generate enough traffic for direct flights, Persian Gulf carriers can funnel small numbers of people from many places through the airlines’ hubs.

My list above is purely speculation from an industry enthusiast, but I’d also like to hear your thoughts below in the comments section. Where do you see or where do you want to see these airlines expanding to in the future and why?

easyJet to add five new routes from Vienna, expects to operate a full summer schedule

easyJet (UK) (London) is adding five new routes from Vienna this fall. The carrier is adding new routes from VIE to Amsterdam (December 17), Berlin (Schoenefeld) (October 29), Bristol (November 6), London (Luton) October 23) and Manchester (November 5).

In other news, easyJet has issued this statement about a possible strike from its cabin staff and its plans to operate a full schedule:

easyJet (UK) 2015 logo

easyJet can reassure its passengers that there is no industrial action currently planned by its UK cabin crew and that easyJet is confident it will operate its full summer flight schedule.

easyJet values the contribution our cabin crew make to the company. ‎easyJet’s cabin crew receive the highest pay in the UK airline industry with total annual package of £25,000 – which is in line with the average UK national wage for all workers. All crew share in easyJet’s success through an annual bonus and share awards. easyJet has now awarded its UK cabin crew increases of 4.1% for cabin crew and 5.1% for cabin managers over two years backdated to January 2015 on top of an already market leading set of pay and conditions in the UK.

Following months of discussions with UNITE, the UK cabin crew union, including talks facilitated by ACAS, and despite a series of pay offers easyjet was unable to reach an agreement with the union.

As a result the airline has awarded its cabin crew with the pay increase which was put forward during the pay discussion process.

We believe it is right to make the award now since cabin crew, the majority of which are not union members, have been waiting for a conclusion to the pay discussions for a number of months.

easyJet is disappointed that in a recent Unite pay ballot members voted to reject the offer however we note that the majority of easyJet’s cabin crew are not members of Unite and we estimate that only one in five of easyJet’s UK cabin crew voted against the offer.

The offer was well above inflation and above recent pay increases received by BA and Thomas Cook under agreements with UNITE.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZOL (msn 6572) in the new livery and the special “250th Airbus” markings.

easyJet aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Qazaq Air to start operations in Kazakhstan with Bombardier Q400s

Falcon Aviation DHC-8-400 and crew members

Bombardier (Montreal and Toronto) today issued this statement about Qazaq Air (Almaty) becoming a new Q400 operator:

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Bombardier Commercial Aircraft today welcomed Qazaq Air to the family of Q400 aircraft operators.

Qazaq Air logo

Qazaq Air, a subsidiary of Samruk Kazyna, Kazakhstan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, has announced that it will launch domestic service in Kazakhstan with three Bombardier Q400 aircraft leased from Falcon Aviation Services LLC (Abu Dhabi).

Falcon Aviation Services logo-1

Many of the 12 routes on which the Q400 aircraft will operate are not currently served by any other carrier.

The first aircraft to be painted is Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) P4-NUR (msn 4494).

Photo: Falcon Aviation Services.

 

Virgin Atlantic to operate the Boeing 787-9 from London to Dubai

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will start using the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the daily London (Heathrow) – Dubai route commencing on July 21, 2016 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787-9 G-VAHH (msn 37967) named “Dream Girl” taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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LAN Peru to operate the Boeing 787 between Lima and Miami

LAN Peru (Lima) will begin operating the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Lima – Miami route starting on February 24, 2016 per Airline Route.

LAN Airlines (Chile) logo

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner CC-BBF (msn 38476) completes the final approach to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

LAN Chile aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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