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Boeing 787-9 Airline Competitive Analysis Part 2 – Air Canada

Boeing 787-9 Program

In part 1 (follow this link) of this series, we introduced the Boeing 787-9 program,  airline competitive analysis and current routes served by this variant. In this part, we will concentrate on Air Canada (AC) who will soon receive their first deliveries.

Details

The Boeing 787 Program consists of three variants -8, -9 and -10 (previously, a -3 variant was introduced but the plans were shelved when airlines suggested that Boeing expand the range and capacity of the 787 aircraft).

Boeing designed the -8 and -9 variants for longer ranges. The -9 can fly the further and has a range this is 6% and 18% further than the -8 and -10 variants as noted in the infographic below.

Boeing 787 Program - Maximum Flight Distance
Information taken from Boeing’s website on January 27, 2015. Infographics created by Experience The Skies on January 27, 2015. (All Rights Reserved)

On the other hand, the -10 variant can carry more passengers (up to 15% and 33% over -9 and -8) in a mixed class configuration (as noted in the infographic below).

Boeing 787 Program - Passenger Analysis
Information taken from Boeing’s website on January 27, 2015. Infographics created by Experience The Skies on January 27, 2015. (All Rights Reserved)

As of January 27, 2015 (Wikipedia), there are 459 orders of the -8 variant with 218 delivered to 27 customers. The -9 variant is the most popular with 473 orders and 10 delivered to 5 customers. The -10 variant has an order book of 139 with no deliveries.

Depending on the variant, the Boeing 787 Program has been marketed as a replacement for Boeing 757, 767 and Airbus A300, A310, A330, and A340.

Air Canada

Air Canada has 3 key hubs in Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL), Vancouver (YVR) and 3 other key cities in Calgary (YYC), Halifax (YHZ) and Ottawa (YOW).

Outside of its hubs, AC also connects to Chicago (ORD), New York City (JFK/EWR/LGA), Frankfurt (FRA), Houston (IAH), San Francisco (SFO) and London (LHR) the most through direct flights or code-sharing with its partners. Chicago, Houston and San Francisco are hubs of United Airlines (UA) while Frankfurt is home base for Lufthansa German Airlines (LH).

Air Canada Route Network Hub and Key Cities
Information taken from Air Canada’s website on January 27, 2015. Infographics created by Experience The Skies on January 27, 2015. (All Rights Reserved)

Experience The Skies reported back in December 2014 (refer to blog entry) that Air Canada will be operating the 787 variant from Toronto (YYZ) to Dubai (DXB) and New Delhi (DEL) starting in November 2015.

Where Should Air Canada Go – The Obvious – By Population (New Destinations)

In terms of where Air Canada should go next with the 787, let’s start by reviewing which of the 20 world’s busiest airports this Canadian airline does not serve currently (refer to blog entry). From the top 20 list, Air Canada does not direct flights to No.7 Dubai (DXB)-service announced, No. 10 Jakarta (CGK),  No.16 Guangzhou (CAN), No.17 Bangkok (BKK) and No. 20 Kuala Lumpar (KUL).

From the mapping below: the 787-9 can be used to fly YYZ-CAN/BKK, YUL-CAN/BKK/KUL and YVR to all four cities. Out of the four cities, BKK is the hub city for AC’s StarAlliance partner Thai Airways (TG). The other cities would be origin and destination based and would not have any connecting passenger feeds available unless AC strikes additional partnership. Of the four cities noted, BKK from both YYZ or YVR  would be the most likely choice for AC to start a route as there is no direct flight operated between any Canadian cities to this Thai capital.

Distance in nautical miles from YYZ, YUL and YVR
Information taken from Great Circle Mapper on January 27, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Where should Air Canada Go – The Obvious – By GDP (New Destinations)

Using the official estimate by GDP (Top 25) as gathered by wikipedia (refer to link), Air Canada does not fly to Moscow (DME), Singapore (SIN), Guangzhou (CAN) (discussed above) and Melbourne (MEL).

From the mapping below: the 787-9 can be used to fly YYZ-DME, YUL-DME/SIN and YVR to all three cities. Out of these cities, SIN is the hub city for AC’s StarAlliance partner Singapore Airlines (SQ). The other cities would be origin and destination based and would not have any connecting passenger feeds available unless AC strikes additional partnership. SIN could be a candidate to be served from YVR but this might require the Canadian government to reopen flight rights with its Singaporean counterparts (currently, SQ can only fly to Canada three times a week). MEL could also be a candidate if SYD flight loads and yields are good enough to add a new service to another Australian city.

Distance in nautical miles from YYZ, YUL and YVR
Information taken from Great Circle Mapper on January 27, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Where should Air Canada Go – Other Choices (New Destinations)

Some other choices that should be considered by Air Canada:

YYZ/YUL – Johannesburg (JNB) and Cape Town (CPT) – both are served by StarAlliance Partner South African Airways

YUL-TPE – This is not served by StarAlliance partner EVA Airways (BR) currently

YYZ – Mumbai (BOM) – If the New Delhi flight is successful, Mumbai should be considered.

Other Middle East cities like Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Doha (DOH) should be considered if DXB flights are successful.

YYZ – Honolulu (HNL) – this could be a seasonal flight

YVR – Manila (MHL) might have a lot of  high passenger loads but they may not be high yield.

Distance in nautical miles from YYZ, YUL and YVR
Information taken from Great Circle Mapper on January 27, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Existing Flights

As Air Canada continues to retire Boeing 767s, those routines could be replaced by the 787-9. Additionally, routes such as YYZ – Hong Kong (HKG), YVR – Sydney (SYD), all London (LHR) flights can benefit from additional frequencies.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section.

July 18, 2015 Updates

Air Canada announced it will introduce service between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Brisbane International Airport (BNE) starting on July 17, 2016. This will be the first time Air Canada operates this flight between these two cities. Additionally, its Star Alliance partners Singapore Airlines (SQ) and Thai Airways International (TG) operate 2x daily and daily service from their hubs at Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to BNE.  There is codeshare or re-timing  opportunities to work together as both SQ and TG do not serve Vancouver currently.

Air Canada New Route Vancouver to Brisbane
Air Canada New Route Vancouver to Brisbane – Information taken from airline’s website on July 18, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

 

(This post was first published on January 27, 2015 with updates on July 18, 2015)

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