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Trending Aviation News – Issue 107

American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Business

 

Today’s trending aviation news comes courtesy of Vistara Airlines, Air Asia India, American Airlines,  Japan Airlines, British Airways and Air France.

Trending Aviation News – February 11, 2015

Air Vistara

India’s new airlines seek rule change to fly overseas routes – A decade ago, the Indian government implemented a law to prohibit any Indian owned airline from flying internationally if it does not own 20 aircrafts and 5 years of domestic operation (the 5/20 rule). This law was written to protect Air India (AI) and Jet Airways (9W) from new domestic entrants SpiceJets (SG), IndiGo Airlines (6E) and Kingfisher Airlines (IT).  Over the decade, this law significantly impacted the growth for all Indian owned airlines as they battled each other for domestic market share with rock bottom prices. Kingfisher was the big casualty and stopped operations by 2012.

As Air India and Jet Airways fought to keep domestic feeding passengers, international players such as Emirates (EK) and Lufthansa German Group (LH) introduced new capacity which further drove yields and load factors down for these two full service airlines.

New entrants Vistara Airlines (UK) and AirAsia India (I5) (both partially owned by Tata Group) want to change this law by actively lobbying the Indian government to change the law as soon as possible. UK and I5 serve different ends of the passenger spectrum with the first being full service oriented and the latter using the low cost carrier business model. Both have been in operations for less than a year and have less than 20 aircrafts. The following infographic summaries key details for both airlines:

Vistara Airlines and Air Asia India Company Details
Vistara Airlines and Air Asia India Company Details – Information taken from airlines’ website. Infographic created by Experience The Skies (February 11, 2015) (All Rights Reserved)

It is vital for these two entrants’ success to build cooperation (e.g. codesharing, scheduling, etc) with their parent companies, Singapore Airlines (SQ) and Air India Indonesia (QZ) immediately. The Indian transport ministry is reviewing the matter currently and will announce its decision in the first half of the year. It is expected that the 5/20 rule will be eliminated so that Indian airlines would be able to operate in full competition. Of all the airlines, both Air India and Jet Airways will find this landscape to be more challenging going into the future.

We explored these new airlines and Indian aviation market in a previous insight (refer to link).

American Airlines

American Airlines Announces First Routes For Boeing 787 Dreamliner – American Airlines (AA) will start flying the Boeing 787-8 on domestic missions between Chicago (ORD) and Dallas (DFW) on May 7, 2015 before being deployed to between DFW and Beijing (PEK) beginning in June 2 and Buenos Aires (EZE) on June 4.

Here are the flight facts and paths for this new aircraft:

American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Flight Facts
American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Flight Facts Information taken from AA’s website. Infographic created by Experience The Skies (February 11, 2015) (All Rights Reserved)
American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Initial Flight Paths
American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Initial Flight Paths – Information taken from AA’s website. Infographic created by Experience The Skies (February 11, 2015) (All Rights Reserved)

AA is the first airline in the world to feature Zodiac Aerospace’s Z-shape business class seats onboard the Boeing 787 (the same seat is used for its Boeing 777-200 retrofit). There will be forward and backward facing seats available for travellers (check promotional picture below). Each seat will also have an additional AV Power port which is above the norm for business class.

American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Business
American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Business – Image taken from AA’s website on February 10, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Economy class passengers will each have their own AV Power port *(also an industry best) along with 9″ AVOD IFE screen for meet their entertainment and connectivity needs.

American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Economy
American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Economy – Image taken from AA’s website on February 10, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

It is a smart idea for AA to squeeze in more seats on its Boeing 787-8 without sacrificing passenger comfort and privacy. It’s US rival United Airlines, for example, has 4 less seats on this variant while offering a business class seat design that would provide direct aisle access for all passengers.

Japan Airlines

JAL Announces International Fare Fuel Surcharge For Tickets Issued Between April And May 2015 – Japan Airlines (JL) continues to monitor fuel prices and have announced another reduction of fuel surcharges per ticket. Currently, it sets prices based on a 2-month average for the Singapore kerosene-type jet fuel. The following is the infographic with the new rates for tickets issued between April 1 to May 31, 2015.

Japan Airlines Fuel Surcharges April to May 2015
Japan Airlines Fuel Surcharges April to May 2015 – Information taken from JL’s website on February 11, 2015

JL is one of the handful of international airlines that would adjust its fuel surcharge based on market prevailing prices. For April and May 2015, passengers can expect between 30% to 50% discount in this additional fee across the JL network.

This can be a method for JL to market itself as a way to manage passenger expectations and compete with other airlines in the region and internationally.

Air France and British Airways

New Business Class Amenity Kits (Air France / British Airways) – Each of the SkyTeam and OneWorld founding members announced a redesign of their business class amenity kits.

British Airways

British Airways in cooperation with British spa specialist Elemis came up with a pouch design that would hold the following products: pro collagen marine cream, pro radiance hand and nail cream and lip balm, and an eye mask, socks, a pen, earplugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

British Airways New Club World Amenity Kit
British Airways New Club World Amenity Kit – Image taken from Business Traveller’s website on February 11, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Air France

Air France is teaming up with Clarins in its refreshed kit that will feature the French skincare company’s moisturizer, lip balm, an eye mask along with earplugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Air France New Business Class Amenity Kit
Air France New Business Class Amenity Kit – Image taken from AF’s website on February 11, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Both kits are following the current trend of using a pouch design instead of a more structured box design. Which one do you like more?

Which new business class amenity kit design do you like?

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