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

MARCH 2019

Week 9

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Asia Editor, Will Horton

Family meals are getting bigger as Thai AirAsia shareholder Asia Aviation considers equity in rival Nok Air, partially owned by Thai Airways International and which has a joint venture with Scoot, of Singapore Airlines descent.

Singapore Airlines will not receive more fifth freedoms from South Korea, but Korea’s LCCs are growing in Singapore, with other Southeast Asia expansion a boom for Busan. But there is no sign yet of Busan’s long-sought long-haul link that Seoul is blocking.

Japan Airlines and Air Canada might dine and discuss Zip, the name of Air Canada’s former LCC and the likely name of JAL’s new long-haul LCC. Or perhaps Air Canada already has a date with proposed joint venture partner Air New Zealand.

Meals? Cathay is trialing pre-orders. What’s for dinner? For Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon, Emirates’ exit from the trans-Tasman was like having a “hamburger served to you”. Speaking of Trump, Vietnam used the U.S.-North Korea summit to make Boeing announcements, fueling increasing concerns Airbus faces a new aeropolitical atmosphere.

Don’t forget to save a dinner seat for a regulator.



Cathay Pacific considers HK Express investment: future-proofing home market relevancy

Cathay Pacific wants to keep the music going. The airline confirmed it is considering an investment in LCC HK Express, saying the business is complementary, implying Cathay will keep the LCC and not just re-purpose its slots. Read More »



Thai truce and domestic domination?

Thai AirAsia’s majority shareholder confirms talks to take a stake in Nok Air. Combined they account for half of Thai’s domestic market. Read More »



'Zip' is Asia's newest LCC

Japan Airlines will give two 787-8s to new long-haul LCC, likely to be named “Zip”. Read More »



Air New Zealand exceptionalism ends

The Kiwis had higher-than-global growth. New forecast 4% expansion is not shabby, but the carrier’s domestic outlook is concerning. Read More »



Fifth Got Zero

Singapore-Seoul traffic rights won’t be expanded because South Korea is unwilling to grant more fifth freedom rights. Read More »



Busan Airport ending underdog status

Southeast Asia expansion is significant but airport will have harder time arguing for long-haul flights. Read More »



Air NZ Rolls on post-Trent cost savings

As Air NZ’s 787s return to service, airline can trim ‘hidden costs’ from grounding. Read More »



Bankers fret over IAG’s 777X order. What they could learn from Asia-Pac

There is concern the 777-9 is too big, but Heathrow is constrained. Read More »



Cathay Pacific assesses pre-order meals trial

Business class passengers could have expanded choice while economy can pay for premium meals. Read More »



Gas ’n Go

Pakistan airspace closure saw longer routings or re-fuelling stops. Most airlines detoured south while Thai Airways tracked north into China and Russia. Read More »



Boeing’s Trump Bump

Vietnam showcases aircraft deals. How can Airbus respond to new aeropolitics? Read More »



A JV Will Fix That

Air Canada to serve Auckland, but no worries to Air New Zealand – they’re already planning a JV. Read More »