11 total articles
3 total articles
MEGA Maldives Airlines plans rapid expansion as it starts to diversify outside China-Maldives market
MEGA Maldives Airlines is planning rapid fleet and network expansion as it converts its Male base into a hub and pursues potential joint venture partnerships in other markets. MEGA has pursued modest expansion since launching in early 2011 and currently operates only three scheduled routes from Male with a fleet of two 767s and one 757.
The first phase of its planned expansion will see four additional 757s and one additional 767 along with its first routes to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The second phase will see the possible launch of services to Australia and Europe using a second type of widebody aircraft. Meanwhile the carrier plans to start pursuing transit traffic and partnerships in other underserved leisure-focused markets, starting with Nepal.
MEGA has until now focused almost entirely on services between Maldives and Greater China. While MEGA is keen to expand further in the booming Maldives-China market it aims to exploit several other potentially lucrative niches.
Nepalese start-up BB Airways aims to pursue significant expansion of its international network following a restructuring which will see the carrier replace a wet-leased Boeing 757 with two dry-leased Airbus A320s. The carrier, which launched services in Sep-2012, has had a relatively slow initial seven months but has an ambitious plan to exploit the expected rapid growth of the Nepalese international market with a focus on migrant worker traffic.
Nepal is a small but underserved market with huge potential. Foreign carriers dominate the market, exploiting the weakness of flag carrier Nepal Airlines, which recently committed to renewing its small fleet in 2015 but is unlikely to grow significantly. If it succeeds at rapidly expanding and overcoming initial challenges, BB could soon become Nepal’s largest carrier.
Nepal saw the addition of a new airline in Oct-2012, with BB Airways becoming only the second Nepalese carrier to operate internationally from the country. BB launched services on 11-Oct-2012 with four weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur and three weekly flights to Hong Kong using a Boeing 757-200.
Prior to BB Airways’ entry, Nepal Airlines was the sole Nepalese airline providing scheduled international services from the country, to just four international destinations. The launch of BB Airways has the potential to transform international connectivity to/from Nepal. The carrier has already obtained rights to operate to seven international destinations, which it plans to serve with a fleet of two 757-200s. BB Airways also aims to eventually acquire two 767s for use on another six routes, including long-haul destinations in Europe and Australia.