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

MAY 2017

Orient Aviation May 2017

Airlines drawn to the limitless opportunities of China’s Trans-Asia “Belt and Road Initiative”

• “King of good times” and Kingfisher founder facing UK courts

• Etihad Group chairman announces top management changes

• Record profits for All Nippon Airways as Japan Airlines falters

• Industry insight: Asia-Pacific Air Traffic Management: an update


Cover Story

The long and winding road

They are going across the Pacific. They are flying everywhere in Europe. They are serious players in Australia and New Zealand and now Chinese airlines are expanding their networks to the cities along the gigantic Belt and Road Initiative, a pet project of China’s president, Xi Jinping. Read More »


Industry Insight Special Report

Seamless Asian Sky stuck in the slow lane

Asia’s airlines hope a planned meeting of the region’s transport ministers next year will provide the political muscle needed for the Seamless Asian Sky Initiative to finally clock up some results. Read More »


News Backgrounder

IATA’s de Juniac defends airlines’ overbooking policy

Last month’s video of a paying passenger being dragged from an overbooked United Airlines flight shocked viewers worldwide, but it should not be used as an excuse to stop carriers overbooking flights, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement issued after the ugly incident. Read More »


News Backgrounder

Tough times ahead for wide body market

“Now I agree with John that the B787-9 is small, but I’m sure John knows that we have a B777X.” That was the riposte from Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s senior vice-president sales Asia-Pacific and India, at the Orient Aviation Person of the Year dinner in March when the Airbus super salesman, John Leahy, quipped the Dreamliner was too small for non-stop flights from Australia to Europe. Read More »


News Backgrounder

Boeing targets Asia’s LCCs for B737 MAX business

When Boeing’s newest single-aisle aircraft, the B737 MAX 9, completed its first flight of two hours and 42 minutes over Puget Sound near Seattle on April 14, the plane maker’s executives were exuberant. Read More »


News Backgrounder

Ruili Airlines chooses Cambodia for first international offshoot

Cambodia has a new airline, JC International Airlines, named after its Mainland Chinese parent, the Yunnan JingCheng Group, which launched Ruili Airlines in 2014. Read More »


News Backgrounder

Errant subsidiaries brought into THAI fold

Thai Airways International (THAI), which reported a meagre profit of $440,000 in 2016, is to run THAI, Thai Smile and Nok Air with a joint management and a single board of directors. Read More »


News Backgrounder

Japan Airlines emerges from banker protection

On the face of it, when Japan Airlines (JAL) flew its first Tokyo Haneda – New York service on April 1, the destination appeared to be no more than a smart expansion onto a key global route. Read More »


News Backgrounder

China’s small airports setting records for growth

Mainland China’s top 25 airports, which handle 76% of the nation’s air traffic, grew an impressive 10% in March compared with a year earlier. Read More »



UK Court hearing for Kingfisher’s “king of good times”

Indebted founder of defunct Kingfisher Airlines, V.J. Mallya, faces a case management hearing in the U.K.’s Westminster Magistrate’s Court on May 17, following his arrest and subsequent release on bail of US$840,000 on April 18. Read More »



All Nippon Airways reports record profit as Japan Airlines falters

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) reported a record net profit of 98.83 billion yen (US$890 million) for its latest fiscal year as a result of cheaper fuel and an effective cost reduction program. Read More »



Japan Air Commuter launches ATR services

Japan Airlines subsidiary, Japan Air Commuter (JAC), launched its first ATR 42-600 flight from Kagoshima to Yakushima, a mountainous island in the Amani archipelago, on April 26. Read More »



Etihad announces top management changes

Board directors of The Etihad Aviation Group have appointed Ray Gammell as interim group CEO and announced that his predecessor, James Hogan, would leave the company on July 1. Read More »



Airbus delays A330neo launch to 2018

Airbus announced on May 4 that it would postpone the launch of its A330neo to next year because of development delays at engine provider, Rolls-Royce. Read More »



Vistara CEO extends his term at the carrier

India’s Vistara has extended the term of its CEO, Phee Teik Yeoh, for three more years, in anticipation of the carrier’s expansion onto international routes next year. Read More »


Industry Addendum

Mobil Jet Oil 387 goes network wide with Singapore Airlines

ExxonMobil has secured the contract to supply Singapore Airline’s fleet with its synthetic High Performance Capability turbine engine oil, Mobil Jet Oil 387. Read More »


Industry Addendum

Navitaire unveils world’s first Virtual Reality travel search engine

Amadeus company, Navitaire, has developed a virtual reality (VR) travel search and booking experience that allows travelers to spin the globe for future travel experiences without leaving virtual reality. Read More »


Industry Addendum

SITAONAIR wins contracts from Malaysia Airlines and Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines and SITAONAIR are developing a crew tablet for the carrier that will allow cabin crew to deliver more personalized and efficient service to passengers. Read More »


Industry Addendum

Embraer partners with Uber to develop flying taxis

Jet aircraft manufacturer, Embraer SA, and Uber have agreed to explore the Uber Elevate Network, which aims to assess the potential of small electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (VTOLs) for short urban commutes. Read More »


Industry Addendum

Shenzhen Airlines evaluates Inmarsat-Cobham broadband flight deck system

Early this month Shenzhen Airlines will commence inflight evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), Inmarsat’s next generation IP-based broadband service for the flight deck. Read More »


Industry Addendum

Airbus secures China leasing order in April

Asia dominated Airbus’ new business for April for its A320 family aircraft from four customers: They are China Aircraft Leasing Company (5) and AirAsia (3). Read More »


Industry Addendum

Singapore approves second TRU Simulation + Training Full Flight Simulator

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has approved a second B737 MAX TRU Simulation + Training full flight simulator (FFS) at the Boeing campus in Singapore. Read More »


Industry Addendum

Australian research leader and Boeing sign A$35 million agreement

Australia’s CSIRO and Boeing have signed a five-year A$35 million contract to research advanced materials and manufacturing projects and space science. Read More »


Industry Addendum

Avtrade staff drive to Mongolia for charity

Four Avtrade UK headquarters staff, Luca Galelli, Dan Gravenor, Kylie Levoi and Scott Pedersen, will join the Mission Mongolia car rally later this year in a 10,000 mile drive across two continents in the Go Help 2017 Mongolia Charity Rally. Read More »


Industry Addendum

ADB SAFEGATE wins Colombo Airport contract for LED runway

Srilanka’s Bandaranaike International airport in Colombo has awarded airport solutions provider, ADB SAFEGATE, a multi-million contract to install LED airfield ground lighting systems (AGL), lighting control monitoring, airfield signs and power management systems as part of its upgrade of the airport’s 30-year-old single runway. Read More »



Glacial progress of Seamless Asian Sky

Disappointment hardly describes the reaction of the airline industry to the very slow implementation of Seamless Asian Sky. Conceived nearly a decade ago as a solution to the region’s rapid air traffic growth, it was intended to standardize the rules that govern air traffic management (ATM) across the region. Read More »