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

MAY 2017

Week 21

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

It’s been an eventful week in Asia-Pacific. Hong Kong’s flag carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, has announced it would cull 600 positions at its head office in 2017.

The situation at Singapore Airlines is only marginally better. The Singapore flag carrier still is operating in the black, but analysts are predicting the airline will announce job cuts soon.

In Shanghai, the Star Alliance network received a much needed boost this week when Juneyao Airlines joined the 28-member airline grouping as a connecting partner.

Further south, in Haikou, Hainan Airlines signed off on another top-up order with Boeing for 13 B787-9s and six B737 MAXs. The MAX entered revenue service with launch customer, Malindo Air, on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route this week.

Also in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines CEO, Peter Bellew, told Orient Aviation he was not satisfied with the offers he has received from Airbus and Boeing for the airline’s planned order for 25-30 wide bodies he hoped to place this year. The airline boss added he will abandon plans to introduce a premium economy product into the MAB fleet.

In Brussels, the European Commission applied pressure on the U.S. authorities, when its members said they would ban electronics on all flights landing in the European Union (EU) from U.S. territory if the Trump administration decided to expand its in-flight electronics ban to all flights from the EU.

Cathay Pacific to shed 600 jobs with Singapore Airlines likely to follow suit Read More »



Khun Usanee won’t be confirmed as THAI CEO, Nok Air troubles mount

Thai Airways International’s (THAI’s) acting president and executive vice president of its business aviation unit, Khun Usanee Sangsingkeo, will not be confirmed as permanent president at the flag carrier; that much is certain. Read More »



Hainan signs US$4.2 billion Boeing order

Hainan Airlines’ coffers have not yet emptied. The HNA Group staple carrier has placed a US$4.2 billion top-up order with Boeing for 13 B787-9s and six B737 MAX 8s to manage its continued “rapid growth” in China’s consumer travel market as middle class incomes rise. Read More »



Juneyao becomes Star Alliance partner

Shanghai’s Juneyao Airlines this week became Star Alliance’s first official ‘connecting partner’ as the Frankfurt-headquartered alliance celebrated its 20th anniversary. Read More »



B737 MAX enters revenue service with Malindo Air

Boeing’s B737 MAX 8, the U.S. manufacturer’s response to Airbus’ A320neo, has performed its first revenue service with launch customer, Malindo Air. Read More »



Malaysia Airlines scraps premium economy plans and retains first class

Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) CEO, Peter Bellew, on Wednesday told Orient Aviation the airline has decided to scrap plans for a premium economy class cabin on its incoming fleet of six on-lease A350s. Read More »



Vistara becomes latest A320neo operator

Gurgaon-headquartered Vistara has become the fourth A320neo operator in India, following Air India, GoAir and IndiGo Airlines, with the delivery of the first of seven aircraft, leased from BOC Aviation. Read More »



Europe threatens tit for tat retaliation for U.S. laptop bans

Orient Aviation has been told the European Commission (EC) has insisted that the in-flight ban of personal electronics devices (PEDs) be extended to all Europe-bound flights originating in the U.S. and the UK if the two countries extend the devices ban on all departing flights from the European Union. Read More »



SaudiGulf Airlines to order up to 16 Boeing wide bodies

Boeing this week said it was negotiating an order with Dammam-headquartered start-up carrier, SaudiGulf Airlines, for up to 16 B777 or B787 series aircraft. Read More »



Singapore Airlines first Asian carrier to U.S. pre-check program

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are offering customers travelling from U.S. airports expedited security screening procedures under the TSA Pre-check programme. Read More »



AirAsia X’s first quarter profit shrinks 94%

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered AirAsia X this week reported a first quarter net profit of MYR10.3 million (US$2.3 million), a steep 94% year-on-year decline, even though the carrier’s operating revenue through to March 31 was up 22%. Read More »



MRO: AJW has won a power-by-the-hour (PBH) five-year component support contract with JC (Cambodia) International Airlines for its new A320 fleet. Read More »