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


Week 8

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Asia Editor, Will Horton

When life gives you lemons … or if you are a country president facing re-election, order the national airline to reduce fares, as occurred this week with Garuda Indonesia. The yield story is happier at Cathay Pacific, announcing a projected annual profit.

The region’s best yield development for the year may be at Qantas, where the domestic business saw record performance as fuel increases were almost fully recovered.

Mainland Chinese airlines continue to grow (Juneyao proposes Cairo service) while the brakes are being applied elsewhere. China Airlines is mulling a number of cuts.

Facing payload restrictions on Southeast Asian flights, Jeju Air is being opportunistic and introducing business class. Innovation continues, with ANA being the first major Asian airline to offer premium meals for a charge in economy.

There is long-term optimism for greater efficiency brought by expanded North Korea airspace access.

There is much lemonade to drink.



Cathay Pacific rebound: philosophy, not technology

Cathay Pacific’s return to profit is good, but not as good as it may seem. Cathay’s core airline units still have much work to do. Yield growth is driven by a change in philosophy. Read More »



ANA introduces upgraded economy meals for a fee

Airline merchandising lags in Asia but appears to be growing faster than before. ANA’s upgraded economy meals to be US$23. Read More »



Garuda reduces fares ahead of national election

It is flights-for-votes in Indonesia as government-owned Garuda Group lowers fares by 20% after being requested by a president facing re-election. Fares grew as fuel did, but no one is talking about airline economics. Read More »



Jeju Air to introduce business class for Southeast Asia

Korea’s largest LCC will install business class seats on an initial three aircraft, according to Orient Aviation sources. Is there enough appetite to offset costs? Read More »



China Airlines threatens network cuts after pilot strike

Management gives in to demands, raising labour costs. Global network trimming indicates China Airlines is once again without a core strategy. Read More »



Australia domestic saves the day at Qantas results

Qantas sought to convey business resilience in its first half results that largely weathered the fuel price storm. But competitive international took a beating while a docile domestic duopoly saw passengers pay more for higher costs. Domestic Australia shines and is nearly an annual US$1 billion profit business for the group. Read More »



‘On your left is Pyongyang …’

US-North Korea talks could expand North Korean airspace access for all airlines, but mostly from South Korea. The question is political and legal if overflight payments violate sanctions. Read More »



AF-KLM ends group management struggle; observations for Asian airlines

The re-appointment of KLM CEO Pieter Elbers brings strong management to KLM. Others wanted a KLM more subservient to the group. Asia’s airline groups differ but have their own integration challenges. Read More »