TRENDS & NEWS IN APAC AIR TRANSPORT

BANGKOK AIRWAYS SCOOPS AWARDS

Named CAPA’s Best Asia Pacific Regional Airline of year 2015 and Best Marketeer Airline for 2016, Bangkok Airways has managed to carve its market despite increased competition from other regular carriers as well as low cost airlines.

According to Peter Wiesner, Senior Vice President Network Management, Bangkok Airways positioning as a niche carrier is paying off. “We work with a large number of code-share partners. That gives us more flexibility than belonging to an alliance.”

The airline continues to look at expanding its network. It recently added a sixth daily frequency between Bangkok and Phnom Penh and has opened a daily connection between Phuket and Hat Yai in Southern Thailand. Bangkok Airways also expects also to be back to Vietnam after pulling out a decade ago, eying Danang in Central Vietnam, which still lacks a direct flight to Bangkok despite its high potential as a resort and cultural destination.

AIR INDIA ANNOUNCES NEW EUROPEAN ROUTES

Star Alliance membership has given the airline new strength in Europe with new flights from Delhi to Birmingham and Vienna.

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Pankaj Kumar, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Air India

It is now well over two and a half years since Air India joined Star Alliance, and according to Pankaj Kumar, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing for India’s national carrier in Delhi, it has largely benefited the airline. “By belonging to the world’s largest air alliance, we now offer to our passengers an extensive global network of destinations and offer a premium experience in hundreds of destinations.”

Connectivity in Delhi has been revised and improved, and Air India is also adding more destinations worldwide. “We now fly to London, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Birmingham and Vienna being our latest destinations. They are all served with our newest aircraft the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. We open on April 1st our new Vienna-Delhi route with three weekly frequencies. Austrian passengers will then benefit of easy connections to the rest of India as well as Southeast Asia and Australia”, says Pankaj Kumar. In Europe, the Indian carrier sees potential in Scandinavia and Spain.

TURKISH AIRLINES ADD VIETNAMESE DESTINATIONS

turkish_airlines_airplaneTurkish Airlines will be adding routes in October to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with non-stop flights.

The carrier ended the year 2015 with a record in the history of air transport in Europe. They finished the year with a net profit of US$1.069 billion, the first time that such a sum has been reached for a European carrier. In its core airline business, the carrier made a profit of US$895 million, up by 32% over 2014.

By the end of 2016, at least 41 new aircraft will come into service including five A330- 300s, six B777-3ER, ten A321s and 20 B737-800. The total number of aircraft will thus reach around 340. The airline plans to carry in 2016 over 72 million passengers as growth has so far not been dented by recent terrorist acts in both Istanbul and Ankara.

SRI LANKAN TARGETING 100% GROWTH BY 2020

Sri Lankan Airlines is upbeat about the growth of tourism to the island nation and wants to

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Ajith Dias, Chairman, Sri Lankan Airlines

double its passenger traffic up to 2020 on par with the growth of the island state’s tourism, according to the airline’s chairman Ajith Dias.

The carrier this year will receive seven new Airbus A330-300’s, which will be deployed on the airline’s European routes as well as to Southeast Asia and China. “We have a very strong position in Europe, as we are the only carrier offering non-stop flights from London, Paris CDG and Frankfurt to Colombo. We offer strong connections to South India as well as to the Maldives. With five flights a day to Malé, we are a premium partner of European tour operators programming Maldives”, adds Dias.

Another future improvement will be the construction of a new terminal at Colombo International Airport. Funded by Japanese, the new facility will provide a world-class experience to travellers with construction slated for a start later this year.

QATAR AIRWAYS: NEW APAC DESTINATIONS AND NEW BUSINESS CLASS

IFA 2015

Qatar Airways new Business Class

Qatar Airways will grow further in 2016, adding from Doha some 15 new destinations all across the world. By the next IATA summer season, starting March 2017 , Qatar Airways will serve 158 destinations around the world.

This year, the airline will add Adelaide, Atlanta and Yerevan. During the second half of 2016 until mid-2017, the carrier plans to fly Auckland, Chiang Mai, Douala, Krabi, Luanda, and most probably Siem Reap/ Angkor. European destinations will grow to include Nice and Pisa. Auckland will be the airline’s longest served route with a flight time of seventeen and a half hours.