A trusted source of Asia-Pacific commercial aviation news and analysis

MAY 2018

Week 21

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

Out with the old, in with new. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific continue to modernize their fleets. This week, China Southern Airlines retired the B777-200ER after almost 23 years of passenger operations while China Southern subsidiary, Xiamen Airlines, took delivery of its first B737 MAX. Xiamen Airlines plans to have more than 500 aircraft by 2035.

In Thailand, Bangkok Airways said it would order 20 single aisle aircraft from Airbus, Boeing or Bombardier this year. In the interim, Thai Airways International announced a new president who must decide what to do with the ageing aircraft used to service many of the carrier’s destinations.

In Kuala Lumpur, the new Malaysian government said it had no plans to extend the search for missing MH370 beyond May 29. Across the border Singapore Airlines said it was looking to create greater synergies with its Indian partner, Vistara. Further east, in Bandar Seri Begawan, state-controlled Royal Brunei announced a nonstop B787 route to London, eliminating a previous stop in Dubai.



Search for MH370 to end May 29

The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will end on May 29, Malaysian transport minister, Anthony Loke, confirmed on Wednesday. Read More »



SIA seeks “synergies” with joint venture Vistara

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is looking for closer cooperation with its Indian joint venture full-service carrier,  Vistara. Read More »



Bangkok Airways to order 20 aircraft this year

Thailand’s ‘boutique airline’, Bangkok Airways, will order 20 single aisle jet aircraft this year, airline president, Puttipong Prasattong-Osoth, told Bloomberg this week. Read More »



Royal Brunei to fly to London nonstop, axes Dubai stop

Bandar Seri Begawan-headquartered Royal Brunei Airlines will launch daily nonstop flights to London’s Heathrow Airport from October 28, eliminating a stopover in Dubai and reducing travel time between Brunei and London by 3.5 hours. Read More »



Asiana Airlines sells head office in restructuring

South Korea’s second international carrier, Star Alliance member Asiana Airlines, has sold its headquarters in Seoul to Deutsche Bank for US$390 million to reduce debt. Read More »



Regulators demand earlier mandated CFM56 crack inspections

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are demanding earlier than initially mandated checks of CFM56 engine blades with 20,000-30,000 cycles. Read More »



HNA sells holding in South Africa’s Comair

China’s indebted HNA Group has sold its shareholding in South African regional carrier, Comair. The Mainland conglomerate acquired a 6.2% stake in Comair for US$12.7 million in 2015. Read More »



Jet Airways to order 50 more B737 MAXs?

Indian full-service carrier, Jet Airways, is negotiating a B737 MAX top-up order with Boeing. Jet Airways chairman, Naresh Goyal, told Bloomberg the airline’s MAX orders could exceed 200 aircraft. Read More »



Xiamen Airlines receives maiden B737MAX 8

China’s Xiamen Airlines, a China Southern Airlines subsidiary, has taken early delivery of the first of 30 on-order B737 MAX aircraft. The aircraft was accepted by the full service carrier on Wednesday. Read More »



SriLankan regains A320neo Family ETOPS certification

The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka has recertified SriLankan Airlines’ A320neo Family fleet for overwater extended-range operations (ETOPS) exceeding 60 minutes, Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times has reported. Read More »



Donghai Airlines to launch Wanzhou-Utapao

Donghai Airlines is carving out new monopoly niche routes. Read More »



THAI names new president

The Thai Airways International (THAI) board of directors, chaired by acting board chairman, air chief marshal Treetod Sonjance, this week named Sumeth Damrongchaitham as its new president. Read More »



Airlines: AirAsia X has reported a first-quarter group net profit of RM41.5 million (US$10 million), up from a profit of RM10.3 million a year earlier. Read More »