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

APRIL 2018

Week 17

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

Engine issues continue to dominate the headlines in Asia-Pacific aviation. Safety agencies are urging B737NG operators to conduct inspections on CFM56-7B engines and/or individual fan blades. Several carriers in China, Indonesia, Australia and South Korea are affected. In the interim, Air New Zealand this week confirmed it had to ground another two B787-9s as the aircraft are awaiting engine replacement following the discovery of additional Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Package C durability issues. On a positive note, all GoAir and IndiGo Airlines A320neo previously grounded due to Pratt & Whitney PW1100GTF deficiencies are now back in service again.

Air Belgium has postponed the launch of flights to Hong Kong owning to issues obtaining overfly rights from Russia and lack of access to a global distribution system. Qantas Airways has tweaked its schedule on select routes to Asia and the U.S., Hainan Airlines plans to add 50 international destinations from its Hainan base and Korean Air and Delta Air Lines will start their trans-Pacific joint venture next week.

Airbus has performed the maiden flight of its A350-900 ultra-long-range aircraft, ahead of first delivery to Singapore Airlines in the second half, and The Boeing Company has reported strong first quarter results, including a 57% year-on-year earnings increase, outperforming analysts’ forecasts.

Engine troubles disrupt Asia-Pacific airline operations Read More »



Air Belgium postpones launch

New market entrant, Air Belgium, has postponed the launch of flights from Brussels to Hong Kong from April 30 to June 3. Read More »



Boeing reports 57% Q1 profit growth

The Boeing Company this week reported first-quarter revenue of US$23.4 billion, which it said reflected higher commercial deliveries, defence contract volumes and services growth. Read More »



A350ULR completes maiden flight

The Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) performed its maiden flight on Monday, kicking off a brief flight test programme ahead of first delivery to launch and thus far only customer, Singapore Airlines (SIA), in the second half of the year. Read More »



Qantas tweaks capacity to Asia and U.S.

Australia’s Qantas Airways is making a number of adjustments across its international network in response to demand and to better utilise its fleet. Read More »



Guangzhou’s Baiyun opens Terminal 2

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on Thursday opened Terminal 2, capable of handling 45 million passengers per annum and thereby lifting the airport’s overall carrying capacity from 40 to 85 million passengers annually. Read More »



Ethiopian woos Mainland passengers

Ethiopian Airlines is aiming “to be the most Chinese-friendly airline on the African continent,” the carrier’s managing director, Esayas Woldemariam, has told Xinhua. Read More »



Oman Air mulls widebody order and unveils new first class cabin

Oman Air acting CEO, Abdulaziz al-Raisi, has told Reuters the airline continues evaluating the B787 against the A350 for a new widebody order to be placed this year. Read More »



Emirates considers Panama City flights again

Emirates Airline CCO, Thierry Antinori, has told Reuters the carrier was reconsidering launching flights from its Dubai hub to Panama City, initially slated to commence in 2016 but shelved after Emirates failed to close a codeshare deal with local flag carrier, Copa Airlines. Read More »



Korean Air-Delta JV to launch May 1

The Korean Air-Delta Air Lines trans-Pacific joint venture (JV) will come into effect from May 1, according to a notice filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Read More »



Hainan Airlines to add 50 international destinations from Hainan

Hainan Airlines has unveiled ambitious plans to launch approximately 50 international routes from Hainan Island by 2023, including connecting Sanya with destinations in Australia, Europe and North America. Read More »



Korean Air’s infamous sisters resign

Cho Hyun-ah (Heather Cho) and Cho Hyun-min (Emily Cho) have resigned as senior vice-presidents from Korean Air. Read More »



Distribution & Technology: Sabre this week announced the renewal of its content distribution agreement with Hainan Airlines. Read More »