Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines update their scheduled for A350 services

Cathay Pacific has updated his schedule adding new services with the A350-900XWB. Meanwhile Singapore Airlines has announced it will use the A350 on some of its flights to Johannesburg.

Image copyright: Clément Alloing on Flickr

Today (31 May 16) Cathay Pacific has updated its schedule and has opened reservations for new destinations to be served with A350s. At the launch of the 2016/17 winter season, the A350 will begin serving the following routes:

  • eff 30OCT16 Hong Kong – Auckland CX117/118 1 daily
  • eff 31OCT16 Hong Kong – Paris CDG CX279/278 3 weekly
  • eff 31OCT16 Hong Kong – Rome

In the last schedule update it has also moved forward the planned A350 service to Vietnam, as Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City is now to receive the A350 on 03JUN16 and 27JUN16. Planned operations as follows:

  • CX799 HGK1620 – 1755SGN 359 03JUN16
  • CX767 HKG0835 – 1010SGN 359 27JUN16
  • CX764 SGN1905 – 2250HKG 359 03JUN16
  • CX766 SGN1115 – 1510HKG 359 27JUN16

Image copyrighr: Jujug Spotting on Flickr

Meanwhile Singapore Airlines on Thursday, May 26, has made changes to planned operations to South Africa, planning to introduce the A350 in the market. The A350 will begin operating 3 times weekly on the Singapore – Johannesburg route, replacing the 777-200ER starting from June 27. The schedule is as follows:

  • SQ478 SIN0210 – 0655JNB 359 146
  • SQ479 JNB1345 – 0610+1SIN 146

The 4 weekly Singapore – Johannesburg – Cape Town service will continue to be operatin by Boeing 777s, -200ER/-300ER depending on the schedule.

Additionally, SIA’s A350s will once again operate Singapore – Hong Kong and Singapore – Kuala Lumpur routes from 28JUN16 on day 146 operating SQ890/891 and SQ118/119.


Air Canada Rouge arrives in Prague

Image copyright: lasta29 on Wikimedia

This week, Air Canada subsidiary, Air Canada Rouge, preformed their first flight from Toronto-Pearson Airport in Canada to Prague Václav Havel Airport in the Czech Republic. AC1922 and 1993 will run three times a week in the summer season. It is currently the only scheduled passenger flight between Canada and the Czech Republic.

“We are pleased to add Prague, one of Europe’s most visited cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to our growing international network. Air Canada will operate the most seats and frequencies between Canada and the Czech Republic this summer and, as the only network carrier flying between the two countries, it offers customers a wide range of onward connections throughout the rest of Air Canada’s extensive network. The Czech Capital is the first of three new destinations Air Canada Rouge will serve in Central Europe this summer from Toronto, soon to be followed by Budapest and Warsaw, providing the widest range of travel options for the growing traffic between the region and North America,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada.

The flights are operated by a Boeing 767-300ER and will be flown until the 29th of September later this year.

Air Canada has and will inaugurate many new flights this year from Canada. Some of these include new flights between Toronto and London-Gatwick, Toronto and Warsaw, Toronto and Budapest, Toronto and Glasgow, Toronto and Seoul, Montreal and Lyon, Montreal and Casablanca, Vancouver and Brisbane, and Vancouver and Dublin. These will join the 7 new services already launched this year, including Prague.

Malaysia Airlines to partner with Lufthansa Technik for a MRO facility

Malaysia Airlines Group Berhad (MAG) is planning to partner with Lufthansa Technik AG in the establishment of a regional MRO facility at the carrier’s base at Kuala Lumpur Int’l.

Image copyright: Airbus Industrie
Under the terms of the partnership, the facility should come online in 2017 and will use MAG’s existing infrastructure to serve the A320 and B737 families of aircraft.

The contract will fall under the supervision of MAB Engineering, MAG’s MRO division. Incorporated in May 2015, MAB Engineering provides repair and overhaul, as well as line and hangar maintenance services for some 100 third-party customers.

The consummation of the joint-venture is subject to, inter alia, approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities and the signing of definitive agreements.

Finnair confirms A340 phase-out plans; to retain A330s

Finnair has confirmed it will complete the retirement of its A340-300 fleet by the end of next year. 

Image copyright: Airbus Industrie

Of the original fleet of seven aircraft, the airline now operates three on regular flights to Delhi, Nagoya, Osaka and Singapore. Once their service life is completed, the aircraft will be sold back to Airbus.

Finnair said that, despite the retirement of three aircraft, it would continue to grow its long haul fleet by keeping two of its eight A330-300s in service beyond their original retirement date of 2017. However, the fate of two A330s, due to live the fleet in 2020/21, has yet to be determined. 

The A330s will be part of a nineteen-strong fleet, together with the new incoming A350-900s, of which Finnair has 14 on order and five already in service. The 14 aircraft on order are all expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

Air Algérie takes delivery of first B737-700(C)

Air Algérie has taken delivery of its first B737-700(C), 7T-VKS (msn 61340) on May 26. The aircraft has already been deployed on local services to Constantine and regional services to Madrid and Paris. 

7T-VKS landing at Boeing Field. Photo by Colin Moeser.

The Algerian carrier is expecting delivery of the second aircraft of the type from Boeing in September. The two aircraft together will form the basis of Air Algérie’s stand-alone cargo subsidiary, set to be unveiled in Q3 of this year.

The B737-700(C) is a derivative of the B737-700 featuring strengthened wings, a cargo door on the main deck and an in-floor cargo-handling system thus enabling airlines to alternate between passenger and cargo layouts. The aircraft in an all-passenger configuration can carry up to 140 passenger, while the all-cargo layout provides up to 18,200 kilograms of capacity. 

Cathay Pacific adds maiden A350-900, announces 747 retirement plans

Cathay Pacific has taken delivery of its first A350-900, B-LRA (CN 029). The aircraft was ferried from Toulouse to Hong Kong on May 28 and is scheduled to make its first commercial flight on June 1 on flights to Manila and Taipei.

Image copyright: Y. Panas

According to Airbus, the Hong Kong-based carrier will have 21 additional A350-900s amd 26 of the larger A350-1000s in its fleet. A total of 12 A350-900s are scheduled to be delivered this year, with the remaining ones due next year. The first delivery of the A350-1000 is expected in 2018.

Cathay has meanwhile announced final plans for the retirement of its fleet of B747-400s with the last flight planned to be CX543 from Tokyo Haneda to Hong Kong on Octover 1. The carrier currently operates only three 747-400s, mainly on routes to Taipei and Tokyo Haneda.

Qatar Airways adds fourth A380 destination

Image copyright: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways announced their fourth A380 destination that will be joining Paris, London and Bangkok. From July 1st, the flight will be upgraded from the 777-300ER that currently serves Guangzhou, China.

The flight is currently flown using this schedule, courtesy of routesonline:
QR874 DOH0230 – 1530CAN 388 D
QR875 CAN0055 – 0400DOH 388 D

CEO Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: This year marks our eighth anniversary of operations in Guangzhou and we are delighted to celebrate this milestone by introducing our bespoke A380 aircraft, re-affirming our long-standing commitment to China. The Pearl River Delta region is one of China’s most vibrant trade and travel hubs and we have witnessed steady passenger growth both to and from Guangzhou over the years. Passengers from Asia can now enjoy their entire journey on our luxurious A380 aircraft when they fly to popular cities such as London and Paris via our state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport in Doha‘.