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

MAY 2018

Week 20

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Dominic Lalk

The reporting season continues in full swing in the Asia-Pacific. This week, the Singapore Airlines Group (SIA Group) reported its highest full-year profit in seven years, putting more pressure on its competitor in the premium sector, Cathay Pacific Airways to return to the black. A few days later, at press time, the SIA Group announced its regional subsidiary, SilkAir, would be folded into mainline SIA. In Bangkok, Thai Airways International posted strong first quarter results, which indicated the worst may be over for the struggling full service carrier.

In China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced a relaxation of its “One Route, One Carrier” policy. It said the market was sufficiently mature to allow greater competition between China’s state-controlled carriers. Separately, the CAAC provided additional details about the windshield failure onboard a Sichuan Airlines aircraft earlier in the week.

Also in the region, the AirAsia Group said it would not pursue a planned joint venture in Myanmar and in Seoul, a former Jeju Air CEO announced his intention to launch Air Premia, a long-haul budget carrier that will be positioned closer to the premium segment than “budget” would suggest.

In Tokyo, the Japan Airlines Group unveiled plans to establish a separate B787 long-haul low-cost subsidiary that will start flying in 2020. In India, WOW Air will begin long-haul low-cost flights from New Delhi to Iceland with A330-900neo aircraft.

SIA Group reports highest full-year profit in seven years Read More »



CAAC provides more details on Sichuan Airlines cracked windshield

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has said a cracked windshield that caused a Sichuan Airlines A319 to depressurize and make an emergency landing this week was an original part that has been in service since the jet’s 2011 delivery to the airline. Read More »



China’s regulator relaxes “One Route, One Carrier” rule

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is relaxing the “one route, one airline” policy that it introduced in 2009 to curb long haul competition among state-controlled carriers. Read More »



Japan Airlines group launching long-haul LCC

Japan Airlines (JAL) Group will establish a medium to long-haul low-cost carrier (LCC) ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 and completion of Narita Airport’s expansion. Read More »



AirAsia Myanmar a “no-go”

Malaysia’s AirAsia Group has ceased negotiations with potential joint venture partners in Myanmar, meaning the launch of AirAsia Myanmar will not go ahead as announced in March, AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes, said at an event in Bangkok this week. Read More »



Iceland’s WOW Air to launch India flights

Icelandic ultra-low-cost carrier, WOW Air, has announced flights from Reykjavik to New Delhi will be launched on December 6. Read More »



Delta Airlines to return to India?

Delta Air Lines may return to India. Following the U.S.-United Arab Emirates (UAE) Open Skies agreement, outspoken Delta CEO, Ed Bastian, told CNBC: “We’ve been hurt in India.” Read More »



Ethiopian to order more A350s and B787s ahead of Asia-Pacific expansion

Ethiopian Aviation Holding Group CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, has told Reuters the airline would soon place orders for six additional A350s and thirteen more B787s ahead of a planned expansion that focuses on the Asia-Pacific, particularly China. Read More »



Former Jeju Air CEO to launch Air Premia

Former Jeju Air CEO, Kim Jong Chul, has unveiled plans to establish Air Premia, which would be South Korea’s first medium and long-haul budget carrier. Read More »



THAI posts US$85.3 million first quarter profit

Thai Airways International’s (THAI) restructuring and transformation drive appears to be working with the announcement that the carrier and its subsidiaries made a first quarter net profit of THB2.737 million (US$85.3 million). Read More »



Cathay appoints new flight operations director

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has appointed Chris Kempis as director of flight operations, with effect from “mid-2018”, subject to regulatory approval. Read More »



Airbus CFO resigns

Harald Wilhelm, Airbus CFO, will leave the group in 2019. Read More »



Routes: Air China will launch a thrice-weekly Chengdu-Gatwick A330-300 route from July 3. Read More »