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European Airlines To CMB - Current Situation And Potential  
User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3855 times:

With the dawn of peace, increase in tourism ( 200%+ so far ) and all the investments going on - I was wondering why has none of the major European airlines started/resumed serving CMB yet ?
Currently the only European airlines serving CMB are the charter ones.
This includes..
Meridiana - MXP
Jetairfly - BRU
Arkefly - AMS
Ukrainian - KBP ( due to begin )
Condor - FRA
UL's European network includes LHR ( 13 w ), FRA ( 4 w ), CDG ( 3w ), FCO ( 3w ) and MXP ( 3w ).
The only direct cargo service connecting Europe with Sri Lanka is CI's LUX service.
I understand that there is an issue with yields and biz traffic might not be as high as one would expect. But is there really no chance at all for a European carrier to test this market ?
Given that they tend to serve markets smaller than CMB ?
New/resumed airlines to CMB this year includes EY, GF, SG, MU, FZ and a number of others. I believe new codeshares by BA and JL too could be considered as positive signs.
European airlines that have served CMB at some point include BA, AF, KL, UTA and AOM. This also includes smaller carriers such as Balkan. LH also operated a freighter service till mid-2000s.
This thread was fueled by seeing that KLM is about to start AMS-XMN, an airport with much less international traffic than CMB.

[Edited 2010-11-06 21:45:34]


The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12322 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3813 times:

Quoting KFlyer (Thread starter):
But is there really no chance at all for a European carrier to test this market ?

I wouldn't say that there is none at all, but I would think that the chances are very slim, largely because of the extent of traffic between CMB and Gulf hubs, such as DXB, DOH, AUH and BAH. All of the major Gulf carriers serve CMB. That mean that CMB is accessible from virtually every major city in Europe. Now, looking at that from the perspective of an airline route planner and bearing in mind that CMB is not a major revenue generating route and what conclusion must you draw? The presence of so many options ensures that competition would be high and yield, low. You also run the risk that even if you invest a lot in marketing etc, EK could come along tomorrow and put A380s on the CMB route (not likely to happen for a while, but certainly not impossible) and th-that's all folks.

Quoting KFlyer (Thread starter):
This thread was fueled by seeing that KLM is about to start AMS-XMN, an airport with much less international traffic than CMB.

KLM have been innovators in the Chinese market; they were the first into Hangzhou and Chengdu and Xiamen is a continuation of that; their experience in the other two cities has clearly given them the confidence to try and third and one would be foolish to think that Xiamen would be the last; there are many large cities in China (XMN has 2.5m) which are as yet unserved directly from Europe. There's lots of other cities to choose from - Xian, Chongqing, Dalian, Fuzhou, Qingdao and more. The potential in these markets is very considerable and let's not forget that even if the pax traffic might not be huge (and I have no knowledge of whether it is or not), the freight traffic would certainly help the route succeed.


User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

kaitak, thanks for the explanatory post. I get the point - and I agree with you.
But does this mean no European carrier would attempt it ? Perhaps, as a stop on the way to Australia ?
EK already has CMB as an emergency destination for the 388s, so I won't be suprised to see any EK 388s here in the next few years.
However, with the upcoming Hambantota airport too ( which is planned as a sea-air cargo transshipment hub ), aren't there any cargo potential ?



The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
User currently offlinegardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1520 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3683 times:

Quoting KFlyer
EK already has CMB as an emergency destination for the 388s, so I won't be suprised to see any EK 388s here in the next few years.
I read somewhere that CMB currently cannot handle the A380? Is this true?

I think KLM if , anyone will, is the most likely contender to resume CMB. If they can give destinations like DPS ago, then CMB should fall into the same category as DPS.
Wasn't there a strong rumour awhile back about Turkish considering CMB?

Either way, I think there is a market for atleast one European airline to consider CMB, this will have to be an airline with a strong EU/American network from its hub as well.

I am surprised that currently there are no direct flights to Switzerland in place. Same with Austria. These are markets which, in the past, provided significant tourist traffic to Sri Lanka.


User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3660 times:

A380 is not officially supported to be handled - but the runway is capable ( with enough shoulder space already, and a shoulder length extension upcoming ) and hence it is officially supported for emergency landings ( at least AASL has said so in their website and the annual report ).
There definitely is a potential for Switzerland. I'm in fact suprised as to why WK ended their CMB service. Perhaps LX has some plans ?
OS has said that it won't attempt any other long haul destinations till BOM is profitable - so I do not expect to see them here anytime soon.
SU had a MLE-CMB run planned with 333s, but this got cancelled just as UL announced their intention to launch MOW.
TK sounds like a probable contender, and I won't be suprised to see them here before KL does.
LH is unlikely to launch given that UL has FRA covered adequately.
Overall, I believe LX has the best potential.

But what about the cargo front ?



The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
User currently offlinegardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1520 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3641 times:

A common point I am reading elsewhere is that Sri Lanka is desperately short of hotel rooms now, and it will only be next year once more hotels are available.
Surely this fact will impact the possibility of an airline commencing operations to CMB as well in the short term.


User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

gardermoen, this is true re tourist hotels. I wish they built more hotels sooner.

Does anyone know whether LH ever served CMB as a pax flight ? SR used to do.



The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
User currently offlineFlySSC From France, joined Aug 2003, 7379 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3596 times:

I don't see any "regular" European airline returning to CMB anytime soon :

Quoting KFlyer (Thread starter):
Meridiana - MXP
Jetairfly - BRU
Arkefly - AMS
Ukrainian - KBP ( due to begin )
Condor - FRA

Most of the airlines you mention here, if not all, are charter airlines ... Most European passengers who want to fly a regular airline to CMB or MLE are now flying EK/QR/EY.
Even BA who has a "natural" market in Sri Lanka as a former colony gave up their LHR-CMB route a while ago ...

Quoting KFlyer (Thread starter):
This thread was fueled by seeing that KLM is about to start AMS-XMN, an airport with much less international traffic than CMB.

Any "medium" sized city in China has a Business postential that Sri Lanka doesn't have ...


User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 760 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3459 times:

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 4):
Either way, I think there is a market for atleast one European airline to consider CMB, this will have to be an airline with a strong EU/American network from its hub as well.

And that could probably be Air Berlin in the future (still having their roots with LTU that served e.g. the DUS-CMB market before ...)
But i don´t see them going to CMB soon - unless tour operators ask them to do so.
AB has some other more urgent "construction places" at the moment (in particular the neccessary network/operational adjustments for their Oneworld membership from 2012).

Next to this there´s certainly still a general "non-confidence" with the political stability at most airlines HQ´s.



I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3167 times:

I have just read that KQ has posted a $172m half-year profit. And Kenya too, is served by a considerable number of European carriers despite the political instability and biz traffic of the country. IMHO, Sri Lanka has a lot more to offer both tourism wise ( from safari to beaches to ancient masterpieces to waterfalls ) and political stability wise.
I understand the fact that ME carriers are a threat. But why are European majors still so hesitant to come here ?
After all, it is only by their arrival the market could be stimulated. It indeed is still not saturated.

TK from Dec is launching DAC. I'm not sure if this is an indication of a possible South Asian expansion and a CMB launch.

[Edited 2010-11-07 20:06:11]


The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
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