Longhaul low cost widebody services re-emerge in Asia. Part 2

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In this second part of a two-part update on Asia-Pacific long haul LCCs, we examine more closely how specific airlines are planning to return widebody aircraft to service. Part one of this update, examined broader trends in the LCC widebody sector in the Asia-Pacific region.

LCCs have generally kept their widebody fleets parked longer than their narrowbodies. However, the LCCs are increasingly looking to reactivate widebodies as they start to resume more of their longer-haul routes. In some cases new long haul routes are being added, and there are even a couple of new players in the widebody LCC sector.

The pace of widebody reactivation varies widely between LCCs, depending on their markets, border restrictions, backing from parent companies, and their financial health coming into the pandemic. The manner in which the widebodies are being used also varies from LCC to LCC. Some are deployed on true long haul passenger routes, while others are used for medium haul or all-cargo flights.

However, in general it is clear that airlines - as well as investors and creditors in some cases - still have considerable confidence in the post-pandemic viability of the long haul/widebody LCC model.

There are 11 LCCs operating widebody aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region, according to CAPA's fleet database. Seven of these airlines are discussed in more depth below.

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