Airline optimizing capacity as it opens new destinations, increases frequencies on existing routes
June 12, 2012….Kenya Airways has announced changes to its Summer Schedule. Key highlights include suspension of flights to Muscat and Rome effective immediately until further notice due to capacity optimization across the network.
The airline has introduced a new direct flight to Dubai which will operate three times a week with late evening departures from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to capture the late connecting traffic arriving into Nairobi. This is in addition to the daily Dubai service that the airline operates. The airline will now operate 10 non-stop flights to Dubai.
In West/Central Africa the Pride of Africa has now combined all Lagos daytime flights to Accra as KQ 534 operating Nairobi – Lagos – Accra – Nairobi. As a result Kenya Airways will be flying into Accra 12 times a week and 9 times a week to Lagos. Kenya Airways has also increased frequencies to Ndjamena, now flying non-stop 3 times a week. Flights to Dakar will now connect through Ouagadougou thus increases flights to OUA to 3 times a week. Bamako flights will operate via Cotonou 3 times a week; this is expected to ease out on the payload issues that the Bamako passengers have experienced in the past.
The introduction of wide-body capacity into and out of Lagos and Accra is set to have significant impact on Kenya Airways’ passenger and cargo revenue streams as it will enable it to offer more capacity and minimum connecting time between Guangzhou, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Dubai, Mumbai and West Africa.
To Mumbai KQ has increased from daily operations to 10 flights a week and 3 flights weekly to Delhi. The Middle East region will benefit from the extra frequency added on the Jeddah flights to 3 times weekly effective July 2012.
On the domestic market, passengers to Kisumu City have more travel options with the introduction of an extra frequency over the weekends to 4 times daily. On specific weekdays the airline will maintain its 3 flights daily. The Embraer E190 will be deployed on the route especially in the mornings and evenings.
Europe has a capacity increase despite the suspension of Rome flights. Effective July 2012, flights to London Heathrow will increase to 10 flights per week on the 322 seater Boeing 777-200 this is expected to take care of the traffic demand during the Olympics. Paris flights will increase to 6 weekly flights during the July – August peak period and the daily Amsterdam capacity will be upgraded to Boeing 777-200.
The optimized schedule comes as the airline moves to increase frequencies on existing routes to meet changing and growing demand while opening new routes in Africa and the Middle East.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director, Dr. Titus Naikuni said the decision to halt operations on the routes was also based on insufficient demand to sustain the routes.
“Owing to the decreased passenger volumes on these routes, we have decided to re-align our capacity across the entire network to meet growing demand on other destinations including new ones,” said Dr Naikuni.
The new destinations being launched between July and October 2012 include Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Eldoret (Kenya), Abuja (Nigeria) and Beirut (Lebanon).
Capacity optimization is a mechanism geared to ensure an airline meets shifting demand levels within, while keeping operating costs in control. This happens where factors such as changing economic activities and travel patterns affect demand on certain routes leading to lower cabin yields.