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

MARCH 2017

Week 9

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

It was a fast-paced week in Asia-Pacific aviation. THAI posted its first net profit in years, but it was largely the result of non-airline-related activity. Its operating profit and yield continued to fall in 2016.

In South Korea, Asiana Airlines officially announced ‘economy smartium’, its attempt at a premium economy class offering. Rival Korean Air said it was discussing a trans-Pacific joint-venture with its fellow SkyTeam member, Delta Air Lines.

In Japan, All Nippon Airways (ANA) continued making smart decisions with the announcement it will increase its shareholding in successful budget airline, Peach Aviation, to 67% from 39%.

In Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific Airways is seeking an extension of its alliance with Air New Zealand and in that context the carrier plans to launch a seasonal Hong Kong-Christchurch A350 route next winter.

At SriLankan Airlines, the carrier became the region’s latest A320neo operator, hoping the fuel efficient aircraft will reverse its fortunes.

At Virgin Australia, the Brisbane headquartered carrier announced the cancellation of its Perth-Abu Dhabi launch that was scheduled for June. The airline said the route to its main investor’s hub was no longer commercially “viable”.

THAI returns to shaky profit in 2016 Read More »



Asiana launches premium economy

Asiana Airlines on Monday officially announced the launch of its premium economy class, Economy Smartium. The new cabin class will be rolled out with the arrival of Asiana’s A350s, scheduled to begin next month. Read More »



ANA HOLDINGS increases Peach stake to 67%

The three shareholders in Japanese budget carrier Peach AviationANA HOLDINGS (ANAH), Hong Kong’s First Eastern Aviation Holdings (FE) and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) – have agreed to change Peach’s capital structure with a share transfer agreement. Read More »



Shandong Airlines and CDB strengthen ties with 100th aircraft delivery

Jinan-based Shandong Airlines this week received its 100th aircraft, a B737-800 on lease from China Development Bank’s aircraft leasing arm, CDB Aviation Lease Finance. Read More »



CAAC: Beijing Capital Airport barred from adding flights

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has barred Beijing Capital International Airport, Urumqi Diwopu International Airport and Fuzhou Changle International Airport from adding flights for at least two months because of unsatisfactory on-time performance. Read More »



Cathay adds Christchurch and applies for extension of Air New Zealand alliance

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways and Air New Zealand (Air NZ) have applied for an extension of their strategic alliance on services between Hong Kong and New Zealand for another five years - to 2022. Read More »



Korean Air and Delta plan joint venture

Korean Air and Delta Air Lines are planning a trans-Pacific joint venture that would give Delta more market share in Asia and open the U.S. hinterland to the South Korean flag carrier, Korean Air president, Walter Cho, told a media briefing in Incheon on Monday, reported Bloomberg. Read More »



SriLankan takes delivery of first A320neo

Government-controlled SriLankan Airlines this week took delivery of the first of six on-order A320neo Family aircraft earmarked for regional growth within Asia and the Middle East. Read More »



Virgin Australia says Perth-Abu Dhabi launch “no longer viable”

Virgin Australia has dropped plans to launch a three times a week Perth-Abu Dhabi A330-200 route in June. “Subsequent changes in market conditions have made the route no longer viable for Virgin Australia,” the Brisbane-headquartered carrier said on Monday. Read More »



CFM LEAP-1A A321neo clears EASA and FAA

The CFM International LEAP-1A-powered A321neo, forecast to dominate future long-and-thin trans-Atlantic and trans-continental travel, on Wednesday received joint type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Read More »



Hong Kong Airlines appoints ex-Boeing communications leader as head of marketing

George Liu has joined Hong Kong Airlines’ (HKA’s) as its new chief marketing officer. Read More »



Routes: All Nippon Airways (ANA) will replace the B767-300ER with the A320neo on its daily Narita-Shenyang route starting April 28. China Eastern Airlines will launch a twice-weekly Nanjing-Sapporo A320/A321 route on March 26. Read More »