The most trusted source of Asia-Pacific commercial aviation news and analysis


Week 5

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

Etihad Airways and Lufthansa on Wednesday signed a landmark cooperation deal, resetting a hitherto acrimonious relationship strained by the never-ending subsidies dispute and sparking debate that Etihad should abandon its cash-burning partner model and join the Star Alliance.

At American Airlines, the mood was sober this week after the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) rejected its slot application for a new Beijing-LA route, prompting American to request the U.S. Department of Transportation revoke Air China’s Beijing-Houston rights.

In China, Shanghai Airlines is looking to become the next Mainland carrier to endorse Boeing’s Dreamliner series, while Lucky Air appears set on launching long-haul routes with parent Hainan Airlines’ A330s.

Airbus this week told Orient Aviation that it has sold one of Qatar Airways’ rejected A320neos to IndiGo Airlines, while the other three unwanted jets “are now being placed with other customers”, the manufacturer said.

In Malaysia, AirAsia X will lease a pair of B777-300ERs to service the resumption of the carrier’s flights to London from June, which will bridge an equipment gap until the arrival of its first A330neos in 2019.

VietJet Air CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, is in the region’s headlines again after she increased her personal shareholding in the carrier, and in Thailand, THAI executives might face more scrutiny about alleged misconduct in the ordering of 10 A340s in 2003.

American CEO on Trump executive order and his carrier’s spat with CAAC Read More »



Qantas returns to Beijing with mature A330-200s and opens A380 hangar in Los Angeles

Qantas Airways has resumed flights from Sydney to Beijing after an eight year hiatus. Read More »



Etihad and Lufthansa conclude $100 million cooperation agreement

As recently as last year, Lufthansa Group and its European and U.S. peers stood united against “the subsidized evil from the Middle East”. Read More »



Qatar A320neo delivered to IndiGo

Airbus this week confirmed to Orient Aviation that the first A320neo built and then rejected by Qatar Airways “is now being delivered to IndiGo”. Read More »



Thao increases shareholding in VietJet

VietJet Air CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, has increased her personal shareholding in the airline to 7.46%. Read More »



Thailand prepares for new ICAO audit as THAI A340 purchases probed

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) and the kingdom’s airlines are readying for what they hope will be a reversal of fortunes: an ICAO re-audit that could remove Thailand from the agency’s blacklist. Read More »



Lucky Air and Shanghai Airlines to add A330s and B787s

Kunming-based Lucky Air, a HNA Group low-cost carrier, will add two Hainan Airlines A330s to its fleet this year; its first wide-bodies, a source has told Aviation Week. Read More »



Airbus to offer A330neo weight variants

Airbus has outlined five initial weight variants (WVs) for its re-engined A330-800neo and the A330-900neo, designated WV800 to WV804 for the -800 and WV900 to WV904 for the -900. Read More »



AirAsia X to lease -300ERs for return to London

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) this week awarded AirAsia X traffic rights for nine-weekly Kuala Lumpur-London Gatwick flights from June. Read More »



ANA and JAL post mixed third quarter results

Japan’s two largest carriers, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), have presented their fiscal third quarter results with ANA improving year-on-year while JAL’s performance slipped. Read More »



Pratt names Calio head of commercial

Connecticut-headquartered engine maker Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has named Christopher Calio as president of its commercial engines division, effective immediately. Read More »



ROUTES: Air Macau will increase frequency on the Macau-Fukuoka A320 route from four- to five-weekly from April 6. Read More »