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

APRIL 2019

Week 15

Orient Aviation’s Week in the Asia-Pacific

By Asia Editor, Will Horton

How to evaluate a legacy? The passing of Korean Air scion Cho Yang-ho saw stories typically giving a narrative of disgrace: removal from the board, first chaebol founder to be ousted, and scandals in the family. These are factually correct but culturally misunderstood with implications over-stated.

The activist shareholder group that removed Cho from the board last month was able to leverage Cho’s criminal charges (since dropped) and family history to garner support. Yet the activist group was not the moral police; they saw financial opportunity from removing Cho and separating out cross-ownership within the Hanjin chaebol that weighed down performance at individual units like Korean Air. Even Korean Air supporters admit merit to this argument, and some argue Korean Air should sell more investments than the activists identified.

Cho’s removal from the Korean Air board was more symbolic than practical. The activist group failed to get elected their independent directors. Cho could still have significant direct influence, albeit without the chairman title. While much was said of Cho being the first chaebol founder to be ousted, Cho retained his title and tight grip at a more pwoerful company: Korean Air’s owner Hanjin KAL, where activist groups failed to make inroads. Read More »



Asiana creditor may want new shareholder

State-owned creditor KDB has rejected the airline’s restructuring plan. Read More »



Bamboo Airways to Los Angeles in 2020

Vietnamese start-up plans Taipei stopover from Hanoi. Read More »



Ethiopian Airlines to add three Chinese cities

Shenzhen will finally receive its first passenger flight from an airline outside of Asia. Read More »



Scoot to source A320s instead of 737s

Single narrowbody a possibility again after suspending plans to take SilkAir 737-800s. Read More »



Delta to resume Asia growth

CFO Jacobson expects A330neo to improve trans-Pacific margins. Read More »



Qantas-Cathay codeshare favours protectionism over growth

Virgin Australia contends the proposed codeshare would inhibit air service agreement expansion. Read More »



ANA 787-10 prepares for service with premium economy focus

Routes from Tokyo Narita to Bangkok and Singapore will connect to North America flights. Partner United Airlines is introducing premium economy. Read More »



Aero K and Air Seoul talks expected to fizzle

Air Seoul loss declined to US$1.4m in 2018. Read More »



Air Premia to receive first 787 in July 2020

Three 787-9s to be delivered in mid-2020 with services commencing in September 2020. Read More »