Gulf Air CEO Kresimir Kucko discusses the airline’s new strategy and boutique airline model. Gulf Air has increased its focus on the premium end of the market, introducing a new business class product and adding capacity to destinations (existing and new) popular with the business and upmarket leisure segments. Fleet renewal began in 2018 as Gulf Air took delivery of the first batch of new A320neos and 787-9s. The 787-9s feature a new lie flat business class product which is equivalent to first class on other airlines. Gulf Air has decided to also include lie flat business class seats on its new fleet of A321neoLRs, which will be delivered from early 2020 and used to improve its product on European routes. Gulf Air is also planning to add to two to three new European destinations in 2020 as its narrowbody fleet expands and intends to grow its long-haul network by three destinations as four more 787-9s are delivered by the end 2020. Gulf Air’s fleet will consist entirely of new generation A320neo family aircraft and 787-9s by the end of 2023.

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Kenya's Government, in its official gazette notice, announced (12-Jul-2019) Kenya Airways was granted permission to operate the following domestic services for three years, effective immediately:

  • Nairobi to Kisumu/Eldoret/Malindi/Lamu/Lokichoggio/Isiolo/Masai Mara;
  • Mombasa to Nairobi/Kisumnu/Eldoret/Malindi/Lamu/Ukunda/Masai Mara;
  • Kisumuto Nairobi/Mombasa/Eldoret;
  • Eldordet to Nairobi/Lokichoggio. [more - original PR]

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, in an opinion piece in USA Today, stated the UAE and Qatar breached trade agreements with the US by subsidising government owned airlines Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, thus allowing the airlines to operate loss making services (USA Today, 12-Jul-2019). The CEOs claimed Qatar and the UAE are jeopardising more than 1.2 million American jobs by contravening the countries' open skies agreements, adding every long haul international route a US carrier loses to a subsidised Gulf carrier causes the loss of 1500 US jobs. Mr Parker, Mr Bastian and Mr Munoz urged the US to hold Qatar and the UAE accountable by acting decisively.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced (15-Jul-2019) it reached an agreement with Munich Airport International GmbH (MAI) to operate and maintain Terminal One at New York Newark Liberty International Airport. Terminal One is under construction via a USD2.7 billion development project. The new terminal is scheduled to be fully operational by 2022. [more - original PR]

airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss, speaking on CAPA TV, stated (Jul-2019) the carrier reported record performance in 2018 and expects 20% growth in 2019. Mr Gauss noted growth is mainly driven by new aircraft deliveries, with growth expected to slow to 10% in 2020 to reflect the delivery stream. Mr Gauss added: "So we are not yet at the 20 million to 30 million passengers where 20% growth would be significant, for us it's also a big number but it's mainly driven by capacity which we add by adding new aircraft". [more - CAPA TV]

Azul Linhas Aereas and Alagoas' Government signed (15-Jul-2019) an agreement to reduce aviation fuel taxes from 12% to 5%. Azul is required to increase operations at Maceio Zumbi dos Palmares Airport by 18% compared to 2018. Azul plans to launch Maceio-Salvador service in Sep-2019. As previously reported by CAPA, the carrier plans to operate the route six times weekly with Embraer 195 aircraft. [more - original PR - Portuguese]

Hainan Airlines Group reported (16-Jul-2019) the following traffic highlights*:

  • Jun-2019:
    • Passengers: 6.9 million, +8.4% year-on-year;
      • Domestic: 6.4 million, +7.5%;
      • International: 485,770, +21.8%;
      • Regional: 29,450, +21.5%;
    • Passenger load factor: 83.7%, -1.1ppts;
      • Domestic: 87.9%, -0.6ppt;
      • International: 73.5%, -1.4ppts;
      • Regional: 74.6%, -3.0ppts;
    • Cargo: 46,260 tonnes, +3.8%
      • Domestic: 36,020 tonnes, +1.5%;
      • International: 10,160 tonnes, +13.3%;
      • Regional: 90 tonnes, -15.2%;
    • Cargo load factor: 31.2%, -12.9ppts;
      • Domestic: 22.2%, -19.8ppts;
      • International: 42.7%, -3.1ppts;
      • Regional: 8.3%, -10.2ppts;
  • Six months ended Jun-2019:
    • Passengers: 42.3 million, +7.7% year-on-year;
      • Domestic: 39.4 million, +6.8%;
      • International: 2.7 million, +21.8%;
      • Regional: 177,400, +22.1%;
    • Passenger load factor: 83.7%, -1.7ppts;
      • Domestic: 88.2%, -0.8ppt;
      • International: 71.0%, -3.1ppts;
      • Regional: 78.3%, +4.3ppts;
    • Cargo: 275,090 tonnes, +5.7%
      • Domestic: 220,180 tonnes, +3.9%;
      • International: 54,250 tonnes, +13.9%;
      • Regional: 660 tonnes, -7.8%;
    • Cargo load factor: 28.9%, -11.6ppts;

*Includes traffic for Hainan Airlines, China Xinhua Airlines, Air Changan, Shanxi Airlines, Lucky Air Company Limited, Fuzhou Airlines, Urumqi Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines.

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