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

MARCH 2017

Week 12

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

Australian regulators this week gave interim approval to the proposed alliance between China’s HNA Group and Virgin Australia. On Tuesday, with that out of the way, Virgin Australia announced its first route to Greater China, a five a week Melbourne-Hong Kong A330 service from June.

At Boeing, it was announced this week that the first flight of the B787-10 is scheduled for March 31. Separately, the U.S. manufacturer said Malaysia’s Malindo Air would become the B737 MAX’s launch customer in May, ahead of Norwegian. At Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), the flag carrier signed up for A350 courses with the Airbus Asia Training Centre. MAB’s CEO, Peter Bellew, is continuing to weigh the A330neo against the B787 for an order he plans to place for 25-30 wide bodies by July.

The region’s lessors did brisk business this week. BOC Aviation ordered 15 additional single aisle aircraft, Intrepid Aviation placed two more B777-300ERs with Philippine Airlines (PAL), CALC delivered A320s to the AirAsia Group and CDB Leasing placed an A320 with Nepal’s Himalaya Airlines.

Canberra approves Virgin-HNA alliance; first China flights from July Read More »



Hainan launches Chengdu-Los Angeles with Sichuan to follow

Hainan Airlines has launched twice-weekly two class B787-8 Chengdu-Los Angeles flights, the first route to connect southwest China with Hollywood. Read More »



Malindo Air named B737 MAX launch carrier

In May, Malaysia’s Malindo Air, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air Group, will become the global launch airline for the B737 MAX series, the airline’s CEO, Chandran Rama Muthy, said at this week’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition. Read More »



BOC Aviation adds more B737MAX-8s to its book

Singapore lessor, BOC Aviation, also has endorsed the B737 MAX 8 with an order for 13 more of the aircraft. Including this latest transaction, BOC Aviation has ordered 209 B737NGs and 74 B737 MAX 8s. Read More »



CALC’s ARI absorbs UAM, buys B737s for parts

Aircraft Recycling International (ARI), part of China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC), this week purchased Tennessee-based aviation services provider Universal Asset Management (UAM). Read More »



Airbus breaks ground on training facility in Delhi

Airbus has broken ground on a pilot and maintenance crew training centre in New Delhi, the OEM’s first fully-owned training facility in Asia, following a number of successful joint ventures, including a training centre with Singapore Airlines in Singapore and a training service agreement with Angkasa Aviation Academy in Indonesia. Read More »



Boeing schedules B787-10 first flight

Boeing has scheduled the first flight of the B787-10 Dreamliner for Friday, March 31, from its North Charleston facility in South Carolina. The -10 will be the largest Dreamliner variant, following the -8 and -9 variants. Read More »



Ameco retrofits Air China A330s

Beijing-based MRO specialist, Ameco, has completed cabin modifications on ten Air China A330-200s. Read More »



Malaysia Airlines signs up for AATC A350 training

Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC) in Singapore to provide A350 XWB training to the carrier’s flight crew. Read More »



China Express Airlines to add Kuching base

Chongqing-based China Express Airlines is gearing up for expansion. Read More »



Pakistan International Airlines acting CEO barred from leaving Pakistan

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) acting CEO, Bernd Hildenbrand, has been put on an ‘exit control list’ by the government in Islamabad amid allegations of mismanagement and corruption. Read More »



Air Busan will increase frequency on the Busan-Macau A320/A321 route from five- to eleven-weekly from March 26. Read More »