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


Week 41

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

It’s been a good week for Thai aviation. After more than two years of sanctions, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) removed the red flag against the kingdom, which will allow Thai carriers to add services to important markets including China, the U.S. and Japan.

In Guangzhou, China Southern Airlines is planning to add its code to all of American Airlines’ ex-China trans-Pacific routes. In addition, the new partners will codeshare on significant portions of their domestic networks.

Elsewhere in the region, VietJet Air has signed an interline deal with Qatar Airways and in Tokyo, Japan Airlines (JAL) will codeshare with Aeromexico from April.

In Taipei, StarLux Airlines is expected to apply for an operating permit after the local authorities lower the launch requirements for airline start-ups.

On the fleet front, AirAsia is considering converting its order for 66 A330neo to the A350, or even B787-9s. Aircalin this week firmed up an order for two A330neo and two A320neo and Garuda Indonesia phased out its sole remaining B747-400. The retirement was significant. It means that for the first time in the history of the two very large aircraft, there are more A380s in service than B747s.

ICAO removes Thailand’s red flag Read More »



Garuda Indonesia retires B747-400

Indonesian flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, this week became the latest airline to phase out the iconic B747-400. Read More »



Air New Zealand takes delivery of premium-heavy B787s

Strong performer, Air New Zealand (Air NZ), on Sunday took delivery of the first of four additional B787-9s on order, following a ferry flight from North Charleston, South Carolina. Read More »



AirAsia X reconsidering A330neo order

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered AirAsia X, a long-haul subsidiary of the AirAsia Group, is considering converting its order for 66 A330-900neo to the larger A350-900 to meet expected passenger growth on its busiest routes. Read More »





Aircalin firms A330/A320neo order

Noumea-headquartered Aircalin on Wednesday firmed up its order for two A330-900neo and two single aisle A320neo. Read More »



Taiwan’s regulator clears path for StarLux launch

The Taiwanese Ministry of Transportation and Communications has approved a revision to the criteria governing the issuance of new air operator licences that was proposed by the country’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). Read More »



Emirates terminates trans-Tasman routes

Emirates Airline this week announced it would discontinue its fifth freedom flights from Brisbane and Melbourne to Auckland from March 2018. It dropped Sydney-Auckland in June. Read More »





China Southern and American Airlines reveal code share strategy

When American Airlines (AA) announced in late March it would acquire a 2.7% equity in state-controlled China Southern Airlines (CSA), many in the industry were perplexed. AA is a oneworld member and CSA is tied up with rival SkyTeam. Read More »



Air France and Vietnam Airlines become partners. Jet Airways next?

SkyTeam fellows, Vietnam Airlines and Air France, on Tuesday signed a new joint venture agreement for flights between Vietnam and Europe. Read More »





VietJet and Qatar Airways sign interline deal

Vietnamese budget carrier, VietJet Air, this week forged another unexpected partnership. Read More »



Airlines: An Air Canada B787 had to declare ‘Mayday’ four times before being cleared for a direct approach into Hyderabad following a fuel emergency after being diverted from Mumbai. Emirates Airline will become the launch operator of the B777X, skipping ahead of Lufthansa, according to Emirates president, Tim Clark. Read More »