Carry on: Cathay's last Jumbo, Air Canada expands and more
Cathay says farewell to its Jumbo era
Cathay Pacific Airways’ last Boeing 747 will be retired after a return journey from Hong Kong to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on September 30 and October 1. The “Jumbo” played a crucial role in transforming the carrier from a primarily regional operator into global airline by adding European and North American destinations throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The 747 first joined the Cathay Pacific fleet in 1979 and was capable of carrying up to 400 passengers, more than double the number of the Boeing 707, which it replaced.
Air Canada targets Asia, Europe in network expansion
New Zealand has missed out in Air Canada’s latest announcement on planned new international routes for 2017, mainly to Asia, Europe and Africa, for its Mainline and Rouge services. They are: Mainline: Montréal-Shanghai Pu Dong, daily from February 16 (Boeing 787-8); Vancouver-Taipei Taoyuan, daily from June 8 (B787-9) (resumes a route previously served until October 2002); Toronto-Mumbai, three times weekly from July 1 (B787-9) (resumes a service that ceased in January 1991).
Rouge: Toronto-Berlin Tegel four times weekly from June 1 B767 last served until February 1996, to/from Berlin Schoenefeld; Vancouver-Nagoya Chubu three and four (in August and September) times weekly from June 1 (B767 previously served by Mainline until December 2001); Montréal-Marseille three times weekly from June 9 (B767); Montréal-Algiers four times weekly from June 26 (B767, subject to approval).
Qatar, British Airways form partnership
Qatar Airways and British Airways have signed a new joint business agreement that takes effect from October 30. It will offer a wider choice of flights, an enhanced network, greater choice of fares and benefits for members of their frequent flyer programmes. The two airlines will code-share on all non-stop flights between the UK and Doha as well as a combined route network of more than 70 destinations.
WTO rules against Airbus
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) says the European Union has failed to comply with rulings that it should cut subsidies to Airbus. Boeing says this could pave the way for the US to seek up to $10 billion in annual retaliatory tariffs. The WTO has yet to rule on a similar EU complaint that Boeing also benefits from billions of dollars in tax breaks. Airbus says it will appeal the judgment and the EU says some of the findings are "unsatisfactory."
Route news of the week
Fresh from its new Singapore-Canberra-Wellington service, Singapore Airlines is launching a new route between Indonesia and Australia. Singapore-Jakarta-Sydney will operate three times a week from November 23 using Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. From the same date, the Singapore-Jakarta sector will increase from 63 to 74 weekly (including the new service). Qatar Airways has launched a new Doha-Windhoek (Namibia) service that runs four times a week using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.