Route analysis: HAN-PRG, ALA-BOM, DSS-GVA

This week: Bamboo Airways plans to make its European debut; Kazakhstan’s flag carrier Air Astana is expanding service to India; and Air Senegal is entering the Swiss market.

Nigel Mayes RAM18 resized.jpgNigel Mayes is the senior vice president, consulting and product development at ASM. Nigel has more than 15 years’ experience in route development and is responsible for product development at ASM.

ASM is the world’s leading route development consultancy and has supported the creation of new air services since 1993.

Hanoi-Prague (HAN-PRG)

Carrier

Bamboo Airways

Aircraft

Boeing 787-9

Frequency

2X-weekly

Start date

Mar. 29, 2020

Distance

8,322 km

O&D traffic demand (year to June 2019)

83,273

Annual growth

6.2%

Average base fare (year to June 2019)

$286.03

Bamboo Airways, the Vietnamese full-service carrier which began operations a year ago, has opened reservations for its first European route. The airline has secured a flight permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to operate a nonstop service between Hanoi and Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

Flights will begin on Mar. 29 on board a 294-seater Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, initially operating 2X-weekly but with scope to increase the number of frequencies depending on passenger demand. About 70,000 Vietnamese people live in the Czech Republic. The expected flight durations are 11 hours and 20 minutes for the Hanoi-Prague leg and 10 hours and 20 minutes on the return.

As reported by Airlineroute, CSA Czech Airlines previously offered service between Czech Republic and Vietnam until February 1991, with a 1X-weekly Prague-Bombay-Hanoi-Bombay-Dubai-Prague routing using Ilyushin Il62. Ho Chi Minh City was also served until May 1990 with a 1X-weekly Prague-Tashkent-Ho Chi Minh City routing.

The launch of the Hanoi-Prague route comes almost a year after a senior delegation from Vietnam, including representatives of Bamboo Airways, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Prague International Airport to explore the potential for a route. The Czech transport ministry also backed the plan.

Almaty–Mumbai (ALA-BOM)

Carrier

Air Astana

Aircraft

Airbus A320

Frequency

4X-weekly

Start date

June 1, 2020

Distance

2,726 km

O&D traffic demand (year to June 2019)

832

Annual growth

-33.1%

Average base fare (year to June 2019)

$358.47

Kazakhstan’s flag carrier Air Astana plans to launch service to its second destination in India this summer, with flights between Almaty and Mumbai. Starting on June 1, the airline will operate the route 4X-weekly using Airbus A320 with a sector time of 4.5 hours in each direction.

Air Astana is the only operator of nonstop flights between Kazakhstan and India, having served Delhi from Almaty since 2004. According to data from OAG Schedules Analyser (for the w/c Feb. 10), the airline offers 14X-weekly Almaty-Delhi services on board A320. In July 2017 it also began flights to Delhi from Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan, the host of Routes Silk Road 2019, but ended service in April 2019.

Figures from Sabre Market Intelligence show steady growth in the number of passengers travelling between Kazakhstan and India in recent years. There were 71,478 two-way passengers in 2018, a rise of about 83% compared with five years earlier.

The new Almaty-Mumbai route comes as part of efforts to strengthen economic ties between Kazakhstan and India. As reported by Moneycontrol, the two countries share a strong bond in areas such as space exploration, military-technical cooperation and IT. Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and India amounted to $1.6 billion in 2019, the highest in Central Asia.

Dakar–Geneva (DSS-GVA) 

Carrier

Air Senegal

Aircraft

Airbus A321

Frequency

3X-weekly

Start date

June 18, 2020

Distance

4,120 km

O&D traffic demand (year to June 2019)

25,152

Annual growth

61.5%

Average one-way fare (year to June 2019)

$282.72

Air Senegal is adding a fourth destination in Europe during the summer 2020 season, as well as expanding frequencies on an existing route. From June 18 the carrier will begin flying between Senegal’s capital Dakar and Geneva, becoming the only direct service between the West African country and Switzerland. The route will operate 3X-weekly using Airbus A321s.

In September, Air Senegal is also increasing the number of Dakar-Barcelona-Marseille-Dakar flights from three to four per week. The route launched in Dec. 19, 2019 on board A330-900neo aircraft.

Air Senegal’s fleet currently consists of two A319s, one A330-900neo and two ATR 72-600s, with a further eight A220-300s on order. It therefore plans to lease two A321s ahead of the summer season to accommodate its latest European route. In addition to Geneva, it is understood that the airline is considering a 6X-weekly service to London Gatwick.

According to preliminary data from Sabre, Switzerland was the fifth largest O&D market from Senegal in 2019. France is the largest, with 311,765 one-way passengers, followed by Italy, Spain and Belgium. In addition to its Dakar-Barcelona-Marseille-Dakar route, Air Senegal also flies daily to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Photo credit: Airbus S.A.S. 2016 - photo by A. Doumenjou