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


Week 3

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

Asia-Pacific aviation is looking at an uncertain 2017. The year has kicked off with a scandal. At press time, former president and CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar, was named in a multinational bribery scandal involving Rolls-Royce. Until now, Satar is the only executive to be identified, but more airline employees are likely to emerge after the British engine maker admitted to paying bribes to middlemen to secure orders in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia and Thailand.

Earlier in the week, in Hong Kong,  Malaysia Airlines CEO, Peter Bellew, told industry leaders at a Lunch with Orient Aviation that the worst was over for his airline, but he warned the industry was looking at a ‘scary year ahead’. This was mirrored by Cathay Pacific Airways, which on Wednesday said it has launched the most comprehensive business review in 20 years to counter mounting competition, dwindling yields and changing passenger behaviour.

In Taiwan, Delta Air Lines told travel agents it would terminate its daily flights to Taipei from May, following its withdrawal from Bangkok, Manila and Osaka last year. The news was better in China. Airbus China said it aimed to deliver the first A330 from its Tianjin plant in September, while Mainland carriers are busy preparing their latest route attacks to the U.S. In India and the Middle East, low-cost operators placed significant Airbus and Boeing single-aisle orders.

Peter Bellew: MAB on track to profitability in challenging year Read More »



Former Garuda boss denies allegations of receiving Rolls-Royce bribes

Former Garuda Indonesia boss, Emirsyah Satar, who is credited with the flag carrier’s successful restructuring from 2005 to 2014 has denied he accepted bribes from  Rolls-Royce (RR) for engine procurement contracts for A330 aircraft.

"As far as I know, when I was president-CEO of PT. Garuda Indonesia, I have never done corrupt activities and I did not receive anything for my position," he said on Friday.  Read More »



Cathay launches largest business review in two decades

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways will restructure its workforce to accommodate the changing digital landscape of the airline business as part of its biggest strategic review in 20 years, the company said on Wednesday.  The review is necessary in an “increasingly competitive aviation landscape”, said the airline and was necessary to reverse a slump in profit margins and the airline’s share price. Read More »



SpiceJet adds MAXs, GoAir firms neos and Air India introduces women-only rows

Gurgaon-based low-cost carrier (LCC), SpiceJet. last week signed a top-up order with Boeing for 100 B737 MAX 8s and 50 purchase rights. The confirmed order is in addition to the  55 B737 MAX 8s already on Boeing’s books from the carrier. Read More »



Delta pulls out of Taiwan

Delta Air Lines will terminate its flights to Taiwan from May 24. The carrier has yet to make a formal announcement of its decision after notifying local travel agents of the decision last week. Read More »



First A330 delivery from Tianjin set for September

Airbus China this week said it aims to deliver the first A330 from its cabin completion and delivery centre in Tianjin in September. The manufacturer plans to gradually increase output to two wide-bodies a month by 2019. It broke ground on the new facility last March. Read More »



Qatar Airways boss to order A321neo “soon”

Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said he expected to finalize an order conversion from the A320neo to the larger A321neo “soon”. Qatar had originally placed an order for 50 A320neos but walked away from the first four jets because of cited shortcomings of the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G geared turbofans initially selected to power the neo. Read More »



Nepal Airlines accepts AAR A330 tender

Nepal Airlines has awarded U.S. lessor and MRO specialist, AAR Aircraft Sales & Leasing, the contract for the supply of two Trent772B-powered A330-200s following a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued last September. Read More »



CAAC approved 105 new international routes in last quarter

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) approved 105 new international routes in the final quarter of 2016, according to a note posted on its website this week. Read More »



CALC appoints marketing SVP

Hong Kong-headquartered China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC) has appointed Christopher Dennis-Meyer as senior vice-president of marketing responsible for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Read More »




Airlines: Air China carried 7.9 million passengers in December, 10.5% more year-on-year, while capacity grew 6.4% over the same period. Finnair has denied media reports saying it was looking to convert its remaining A350-900 orders into commitments for the larger -1000. Read More »