Korean Air reportedly plans to operate 10 times weekly A380 service from Seoul Incheon to New York JFK from 04-Dec-2011, increasing to double-daily from 14-Feb-2012. This will result in the carrier no longer deploying A380 equipment on the Seoul Incheon-Frankfurt sector.
Korean Air to expand A380 services to New York JFK at expense of Frankfurt operation
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Hainan Airlines to Las Vegas: more international flights to follow as Southwest starts partnerships
Hainan Airlines' Beijing-Las Vegas 787 service commencing in Dec-2016 will end Korean Air's tenure as the only Asian airline in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is arguably the largest feasible unserved North American market for Hainan. Delivery of over 30 787-9s in coming years means that Hainan will need to establish new markets. The route tests the booking data that airlines and airports rely on: Las Vegas believes airlines have shied away from serving the city and that this is misguided – because Las Vegas' international visitors are not represented, since they often take multi-city itineraries and thus do not appear as a Las Vegas international passenger. Las Vegas wants to prise its international passengers away from transit hubs.
Hainan's presence will initially be about half of Korean Air's, which was upped days prior to Hainan's announcement. Yet this may be the best outcome for Korean. A Chinese service was inevitable, but Las Vegas had to wait for political sensitivities to cool since Las Vegas flights would not have been timely as China's anti-corruption and austerity campaigns unfolded. Hainan brings enough presence to deter more competition in the short term, yet its narrow focus on the outbound Beijing market leaves Korean Air with many opportunities around Asia. Further international growth for Las Vegas is likely after McCarran airport's largest operator, Southwest Airlines, is ready to partner with other airlines in 2018.
Mexican ULCC Volaris makes a pivot in its transborder strategy – into more contested markets
The US has been a key market for the Mexican low cost airline Volaris since the company launched transborder service in 2009, reflected in the more than 23 US markets the airline presently serves. For many years Volaris’ transborder push originated in other bases outside Mexico City, given slots constraints at Juarez International airport and previous caps on the number of airlines serving transborder routes from Mexico City.
But in 2017 Volaris is entering more contested markets, taking advantage of a new US-Mexico bilateral that lifts restrictions on the number of airlines operating on some routes between the two countries. It is upping competition with its Mexican rivals Aeromexico and Interjet on services from Mexico City, as well as with the large US global network airlines.
It is not clear if the routes will absorb the additional capacity added by Volaris, but the airline will be the only ULCC operating on those routes, betting it can stimulate traffic with its ultra-low cost model in the already crowded markets.