Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan, announced the carrier is considering plans to delay the delivery schedule of A380 aircraft and bring forward the delivery of other aircraft, as part of its target to reach profitability by the end of 2011 (Bloomberg, 11-Mar-2010). The delivery of A380s has already been delayed from late 2012 to 2013, while Etihad will continue to monitor this delivery schedule as per its plans. The carrier plans to take delivery of three A330s in 2010.
Etihad Airways may again delay A380 delivery schedule
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Philippine Airlines may cut Middle East capacity and network, and end Etihad partnership
Philippine Airlines (PAL) is considering reducing capacity to the Middle East in 2017 while expanding in several other international markets, including Australia, China and the US. Yields in all seven of the group’s Middle East markets – all of which have been launched over the last three years – have been impacted by intensifying competition and weaker outbound demand.
PAL could suspend services to Abu Dhabi and terminate its partnership with Etihad. The airline group has not benefitted significantly from its Etihad codeshare, and may be better off partnering with another airline.
However, PAL is keen to continue growing its international operation. PAL is about to add capacity to the US using two additional 777-300ERs, and plans to add capacity to Australia in late 2017 following delivery of its first batch of A321neoLRs. New destinations in Europe and the US are under consideration for 2018, using its new A350-900 fleet.
Project Hope: Malaysia Airlines outlook hinges on spinning off new high-density A380 charter airline
Malaysia Airlines is planning to set up a new airline to operate its A380 fleet on religious pilgrimage charters to Saudi Arabia. All six of the airline’s A380s will be reconfigured from 386 to up to 700 seats by the end of 2018, and transferred to a new operator's certificate.
Malaysia Airlines is hoping to attract a combination of foreign and local investors to take control of the planned new airline and all six A380s. The group is calling the plan “Project Hope” – an appropriate name given its current predicament with the A380 fleet.
The flag carrier’s A380 operation has been highly unprofitable and the aircraft is too big for operation to London – its only remaining long-haul route. Malaysia Airlines is now committed to acquiring six A350s, which will be used to replace the A380 on London. As selling or subleasing the A380s is not possible given the virtually non-existent demand for the type, establishing a new charter airline is the only sensible option – although still with some risk, given the need to find investors.