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

APRIL 2017

Week 15

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

It’s been a short week in Asia-Pacific aviation ahead of the Easter break, with the biggest industry news coming out of Hong Kong. On Wednesday, Cathay Pacific Airways announced the airline’s chief operating officer, Rupert Hogg, would succeed Ivan Chu as the airline’s CEO. Chu, who has been CEO since early 2014, is the new chairman of John Swire & Sons (China) Ltd. Chu was chief operating officer at the carrier before he took the top job. He will remain on the boards of Cathay Pacific and Swire Pacific as a non-executive director. Fifty-five-year old Hogg will lead the airline through its three-year corporate transformation programme. As is the tradition with the group, he will take up the chairmanship of Cathay Dragon when he moves to his new role on May 1.

Mainland budget carrier Spring Airlines is mulling long-haul low-cost flights from its Shanghai base in 2018. Spring will be China’s second long-haul LCC, following Lucky Air, which will launch Kunming-Moscow A330 flights in June. Also on the Mainland, Lucky’s HNA sister carrier, GX Airlines, has become an IATA member.

In Japan, new All Nippon Airways CEO, Yuji Hirako, remained committed to the delayed MRJ program, although this meant he had to lease additional single aisles from BOC Aviation and SMBC to bridge the capacity gap. In Australia, Virgin Australia resumed flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles and across the Tasman, Air New Zealand unveiled a seat design that could give the unpopular middle seat a boost with passengers. In Tehran, Iran Air will receive a B777-300ER originally destined for Turkish Airlines in May. Separately, the government has announced it has finalized an order for 20 ATR72s.

Changes at the top at Cathay Pacific Read More »



Spring Airlines considers long-haul flights in 2018

Mainland China’s low-cost carrier wunderkind, Shanghai Hongqiao-based Spring Airlines, is considering its first long-haul low-cost flights in 2018, the airline’s deputy general manager, Jonathan Hutt, told the CAPA consultancy. Read More »



MRJ delays force All Nippon Airways to rethink fleet

New All Nippon Airways (ANA) CEO, Yuji Hirako, had to make an urgent decision when he took office on April 1 as he pondered what to do about ANA’s orders for the delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ)? Read More »



Mainland carriers took delivery of 65 aircraft in first quarter

Mainland Chinese airlines have taken delivery of 65 aircraft in the first quarter through to March 31. Airbus’ A320 Family was the most popular aircraft choice, with the OEM delivering 13 A321ceo, ten A320ceo and four A320neo to Mainland airline customers. Read More »



Beibu Gulf Airlines becomes IATA member

HNA Group’s Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines, better known as GX Airlines, has joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Read More »



Colombo Airport resumes normal operations as SriLankan juggles excess capacity

SriLankan Airlines has resumed normal operations across its network, following the resumption of full services at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport, which had been partially closed for three months while its runway underwent resurfacing. Read More »



Virgin Australia resumes Melbourne-Los Angeles

Virgin Australia continues to adjust its network with the resumption of five times a week flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles, after dropping the route in October 2014; a decision that coincided with the United Airlines arrival on the route. Read More »



TRU qualifies first B737 MAX FFS, sells second B777X FFS to Boeing

South Carolina-headquartered TRU Simulation + Training has completed the interim Level C qualification of the first ever B737 MAX full-flight simulator (FFS) at the Boeing Training Campus in Miami. Read More »



Iran Air confirms ATR order, expedites B777 deal

The Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development issued a statement on Monday saying it had finalized an order for 20 ATR72-600s for state-controlled Iran Air following protracted negotiations with engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. Read More »



Thai Lion to launch U-Tapao operations

Budget carrier Thai Lion Air, the Thai subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air Group, will launch flights from U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, the Bangkok Post has reported. Read More »



Air New Zealand unveils wider middle seats

Air New Zealand (Air NZ) has long been considered an industry driver for innovation and this is not looking to change anytime soon. Read More »



IATA: Asia-Pacific traffic up 5.2% in February

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that Asia-Pacific airlines’ February traffic grew 5.2% year-on-year, maintaining the strong momentum of the past few months. Read More »



Amadeus appoints Asia Pacific head of commercial

Amadeus this week announced the promotion of Cyril Tetaz into the newly created role of Asia-Pacific head of commercial, in charge of airlines. Read More »



Routes: American Airlines plans to replace the B777-200ER with the B787-9 on the Los-Angeles-Narita route from July 4. Emirates Airline will double frequency to Bali with a second daily B777-300ER flight from Dubai from July 2. Read More »