Korean Air will deploy its third A380 aircraft, which was added to the fleet last week, on the Incheon-New York JFK sector on 23-Aug-2011 (Business Traveller, 22-Aug-2011). From 01-Sep-2011, the carrier will deploy A380 equipment on seven of the 14 weekly services between Incheon and New York, up from three at present. The carrier also plans to deploy the A380 on the Incheon-Los Angeles route in Oct-2011, although details have yet to be released.
Korean Air to launch A380 on Incheon-New York JFK sector on 23-Aug-2011
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Korean Air's dangerously high debt requires it to shore up confidence. Delta investment would help
Korean Air's strategic positioning is precarious as its main Asia-North America segment faces competition from competitors on both sides of the Pacific. The situation is worsened by financials hammered by the bankruptcy of the Korean Air subsidiary Hanjin Shipping.
Yet even before, Korean Air's debt neared 1,000% and available cash covers only a month of revenues. The market does not have confidence in Korean Air's attempt to fix its liquidity position, and the Cho family that established, and still manages, Korean Air faces sticky scandals. As Korea is in political and business upheaval, chaebol conglomerates are no longer sacred.
Delta Air Lines to the rescue? With strategy and financials battered, Korean Air views Delta's long sought partnership more favourably than it did a few years ago when Korean Air was on a high and seemingly did not need its pushy SkyTeam cousin. Delta may be offering to inject equity into Korean Air, and perhaps will not partner without equity involved.
Emirates has multiple reasons for cutting back on US capacity
As the most conspicuous and largest, Emirates Airline often takes on its shoulders the increasingly difficult task of defending Gulf aviation. Emirates often single handedly represents the Gulf and "Middle East Big 3", in much the same way as Dubai carries regional geopolitics.
Just as there are significant differences between the Big 3 US airlines who have strenuously opposed the Gulf carriers in the US market, so Emirates is fundamentally different from its peers: it is longer established, has a larger home market and has had a more commercial mandate from the beginning.
Yet Emirates must compete in a market where many others would like a piece of that market. Just as Dubai Inc modelled itself in many ways on Singapore Inc, there are many who would follow the same trail. This does not lead to steady market conditions.
Certainly the policies of US President Trump have hurt aviation and tourism. But Emirates' announcement of a 19% reduction in services to the United States is less about US policies and more about the nature of the market forces that started before Trump was even a serious Presidential contender.