Friday, October 17, 2014

Aviation Weekly

The WS14 schedule comes in effect from 26th October’14, airlines in India and world over are busy making schedule changes. Across the world, leading airlines make changes in the schedule well in advance to ensure that bookings are open for right flights.

However, the story changes completely in India. An airline like Jet Airways which has a large & extensive network, simply replicates the schedule of last winter to this winter and same for summer. People tend to see a lot of flights, which the airline has not flown and will not fly, open in the reservation system. The same would get cancelled few weeks before the start of schedule and inconvenience the passengers.

This also has financial impact, since every GDS change is charged to the airline, and hence large number of transactions has a drag on the company finances.

This winter schedule will see Jet Airways shifting focus to Abu Dhabi, launching flights from more cities in India to Abu Dhabi along with further changes on the domestic network, IndiGo trying to expand and prevent Air Asia from expanding, Spicejet trying to consolidate and stabilize with reduction in capacity and Go Air launching a new station with the existing fleet.

GoAir launches Bhubaneshwar

Go Air is launching flights to Bhubaneshwar, effective winter schedule. The flights would connect Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata, Mumbai & Delhi. The flights would operate as below.
G8161 DEL0610 – 0815BBI D
G8162 BBI0845 – 1110DEL D
G8163 DEL1645 – 1855BBI D
G8164 BBI1925 – 2130DEL D

G8243 CCU0920 – 1030BBI D
G8244 BBI1830 – 1940CCU D

G8243 BBI1100 – 1335BOM D
G8244 BOM1540 – 1755BBI D

This will be 22nd station for Go Air and a new station after 2012, when Chennai & Port Blair were launched. Go Air has launched this without any addition to its fleet and operates 19 aircraft across its network.

IndiGo is the dominant player at Bhubaneshwar with flights to Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Vizag, Mumbai, Chennai & Hyderabad. Go Air is attempting to fill in the void created by Jet Airways when it pulled out of Bhubaneshwar as part of network restructuring. Jet Airways was a dominant carrier once upon a time with double daily flights to Kolkata and direct flights to Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Raipur and Chennai.

IndiGo expands, again!

IndiGo, recently in news for placing a 250 aircraft A320 NEO order, and a deal with Tiger airways is adding capacity on domestic sector.

Effective winter schedule, it is adding flights on Bengaluru – Delhi and Delhi – Goa sector. This will be 9th Daily flight on Bengaluru – Delhi and 4th Daily on Delhi – Goa.

6E399 DEL1150 – 1450GOI D
6E398 GOI1445 – 1720DEL D

6E507 DEL1840 – 2050BLR D
6E508 BLR0820 – 1050DEL D

Considering the long gap at Bengaluru, from 2050 till 0820, an international leg in future may not be ruled out. The international leg could be to one of its existing stations, with Dubai being the most likely and the alternative being Singapore.

IndiGo adding second daily to Coimbatore

IndiGo will add one rotation from 17th November from Delhi, which will operate Delhi – Coimbatore – Chennai – Kolkata and vice versa. This will be 2nd Daily non-stop service on the Delhi – Coimbatore sector, 3rd Daily on Chennai – Coimbatore and 5th Daily on Chennai – Kolkata sector.

IndiGo has monopoly on the non-stop Delhi – Coimbatore sector, whereas it would have maximum seats & frequency on Kolkata – Chennai sector, where Air India and Spicejet operate one and three daily flights respectively

The new flights would operate as below.

6E397 DEL0640 – 0925CJB D
6E272 CJB1000 – 1055MAA D
6E272 MAA1140 – 1345CCU D
6E275 CCU1415 – 1645MAA D
6E275 MAA1715 – 1820CJB D
6E396 CJB1850 – 2200DEL D

This rotation will start after delivery of its 100th aircraft on order and last of the initial order placed in 2005. The aircraft is likely to be registered as VT-IAY.

Jet Airways, operated the Coimbatore – Chennai – Kolkata leg as part of its Ahmedabad – Bengaluru – Coimbatore – Chennai – Kolkata rotation but pulled out after operating for two seasons.

This is a classic case of how a lean airline with low cost base can sustain, survive and grow as compared to one with financial liability. Only IndiGo has survived on the Ahmedabad – Bengaluru sector, which has been tried and shut by other airlines like Jet Airways, Go Air and Spicejet.

Air India takes delivery of another Dreamliner, upgrades flights to Bangkok

Air India recently took delivery of its 17th B787 Dreamliner aircraft, registered VT-ANR.
Air India which operated Mumbai – Bangkok – Mumbai and Delhi – Bangkok – Delhi flights on A321, is upgraded these sectors to B787 Dreamliner, effective 14th October.

The timings are as below
AI330 BOM0200 – 0745BKK D
AI333 BKK0855 – 1200DEL D
AI332 DEL1340 – 1935BKK D
AI331 BKK2050 – 2340BOM D

These new flights give another swapping opportunity and better rotate the B787 in Air India’s fleet.

The domestic segment of this flight, AI330 Goa – Mumbai, continues to be operated at existing timings with A321.

This comes after Air India started flying direct on the Mumbai – Singapore sector, changing its earlier rotation of Mumbai – Chennai – Singapore – Chennai – Mumbai. The new rotation, Mumbai – Singapore – Chennai – Singapore – Mumbai, gives it an edge over relatively lucrative Mumbai – Singapore sector but has to compete with Singapore Airlines A380 flights at similar timings along with Jet Airways which operates double daily flights onboard the B737.

Chennai – Singapore sector is considered one of the lowest in terms of RASK and thus timings may not make a big impact either ways

Air India re-introduces flights to Vadodara

With the Minister of Finance of Gujarat Government going public and requesting Air India to re-start flights to Vadodara, Air India seems to have taken note and restarted flights. Earlier the flight was operated by CRJ-700 and now this would be operated by A320
The flight would operate as below,

AI819 DEL0625 – 0800BDQ D A320
AI820 BDQ0835 – 1015DEL D A320

The flights will be operated by all economy A320

Spicejet cancels select flights

SpiceJet, the only operator on Mumbai – Surat sector has withdrawn flights till further notice. The announcement was done on Twitter. The airline started Surat with operations from Delhi and Mumbai and last season changed to have separate flights to operate Kolkata – Bengaluru – Mumbai – Surat and vice versa, and Delhi – Surat – Delhi with one way connection to Kolkata.

The Bengaluru – Mumbai – Bengaluru leg of the flight is not available for booking till the beginning of Winter Schedule.

Spicejet re-delivers another aircraft

Spicejet has re-delivered another aircraft, VT-SPT, which was named Clove. The aircraft was ferried to Dublin, Ireland via Ankara, Turkey. VT-SPT was B737-900ER and with Spicejet for close to 7 years. The number of B737-900 in fleet is down to 5.

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