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


Week 51

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

In the last 12 months, the Asia-Pacific retained its position as the world’s most vibrant aviation market. Several low-cost carriers are thriving, with investor appetite for budget carriers setting new peaks. At the full-service carriers, airlines with a strong focus on data analytics, product innovation and cost control performed well but legacy carriers that stuck to more traditional business models did not.

This week, the industry keenly awaited the first flight of the second C919 prototype. The aircraft’s maiden flight went well. The second C919 performed many vital systems checks during its two-hour maiden journey.

On the airline front in the last seven days, Qatar Airways announced it would operate the A380 to Perth, Philippine Airlines took delivery of two B777-300ERs, Xiamen Airlines launched Hangzhou-Melbourne and THAI converted a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus to establish a MRO hub in U-Tapao, south of Bangkok.

In other updates, a potential Malaysian investor is proposing to rebrand SriLankan Airlines as a long-haul low-cost carrier and Star Alliance signed a cooperation agreement with Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) to elevate the passenger experience at BCIA after most other airlines relocate to the city’s new airport.

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific will be back on January 5. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

The year ahead – and a year past of industry transformation Read More »



Qatar Airways rosters A380 to Perth

From May 1, Qatar Airways will roster an A380 on its daily Doha-Perth route. Read More »



Xiamen Air adds Hangzhou-Melbourne

Xiamen Airlines – a SkyTeam member – continues to grow its footprint in Australia. Read More »



THAI and Airbus sign U-Tapao MRO partnership deal

Thai Airways International (THAI) and Airbus this week signed a cooperation agreement “to assess” MRO business opportunities at Thailand’s U-Tapao International Airport, south of Bangkok. Read More »



Philippine Airlines accepts two more B777-300ERs

Over the course of this week, Philippine Airlines (PAL) took delivery of its ninth and tenth B777-300ERs. Read More »





China’s second C919 performs maiden flight

The second C919 performed its first flight last Sunday. Read More »



SriLankan to be rebranded as long-haul LCC?

SriLankan Airlines could be rebranded as a long-haul low-cost carrier (LHLCC) if the Sri Lankan government – the airline’s main shareholder – accepts a proposal from Malaysian hospitality conglomerate, Super Group Holdings. Read More »



Travelport gains IATA NDC Level 3 certification and secures Jetstar Group deal

UK-headquartered global distribution system (GDS) provider, Travelport, has been certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a “Level 3” aggregator under IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative, which is intended to create a new distribution standard for the airline industry. Read More »



Star Alliance, Air China and Beijing Capital Airport sign MoU

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board meeting in Beijing last week, Star Alliance, Air China and Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) agreed to maintain and expand BCIA’s status as the city’s leading hub and transfer airport, even after most of their airline rivals move to Beijing’s new airport in Daxing in 2019. Read More »





Routes: Air China will increase Beijing-Dubai from five- to six-weekly A330-300 flights starting March 26. Read More »