Asian Aviation Briefs

CAL cabin crew
CAL cabin crew

China Airlines to recruit 126 cabin crew

China Airlines (CAL) is now accepting applications for 126 Taiwanese flight attendants, to serve on its flights to Asia and Oceania. This is the second flight attendant recruitment drive organised by CAL since March this year. The airline said it was looking for “expert story tellers with good manners, a friendly attitude, a passion for service and excellent interactive skills”.

Ethiopian to launch KL flights

Ethiopian Airlines has unveiled plans to launch flights to Kuala Lumpur next month. The new three weekly flights will commence on 31 October 2012, operating from Addis Ababa, via Bangkok. Ethiopian will become the first East African carrier to fly to Kuala Lumpur.

JAL IPO oversubscribed – report

Japan Airlines’ (JAL) JPY663 billion (US$8.5bn) initial public offering was successful, with orders placed for all the stock, a report has stated. Citing two people same to have knowledge of the transaction, Bloomberg reported that international investors have made offers for more than twice the 25% of shares being offered, while the 75% on offer to Japanese investors has also been snapped up.

Japanese, Indian carriers lead punctuality

Japanese and Indian airline were the most punctual in Asia last month. The two countries accounted for nine of the top 10 airlines in terms of on-time performance in August, with Nagoya’s J-Air (93.89% of flights leaving on time), Delhi-based IndiGo (93.01%) and Hokkaido International (91.67%) taking the top three spots. Singapore-based low-cost carrier Tiger Airways was fourth, with 91.64% of flights departing on time. These were the only four airlines with an on-time performance better than 90%. SpiceJet, JAL Express, ANA Wings, JAL, Jet Airways and ANA completed the top 10.

Frankfurt airport (photo by Kvini)
Frankfurt airport (photo by Kvini)

Lufthansa cancels most Friday flights

Lufthansa will cancel two thirds of flights on Friday 7 September, as industrial action by cabin crew expanded to six airports. Tomorrow’s 24-hour strike will hit flights at Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart airports, according to flight attendants’ union, UFO. On Tuesday, 200 Lufthansa flights were grounded at three German airports as cabin crew downed tools for eight hours. The union is holding out for a backdated pay rise of about 5%, but the airline is only offering 3.5%.

Firefly mulls fleet expansion

Firefly is in talks with several aircraft manufacturers over a new potential orders. The Malaysian regional carrier’s Ignatius Ong, told Malaysia’s Bernama news agency that the airline is planning to expand its fleet and may look to supplement its fleet of ATR turboprops with a new range of medium-haul aircraft. Currently, Firefly operates a fleet of 12 ATR72-500s and a Boeing 737-800 for charter flights.

Tiger to resume Melbourne-Adelaide flights

Tiger Airways will resume its Melbourne-Adelaide service from November. The airline yesterday revealed plans to operate up to two daily flights on the route from 1 November 2012. The move would complete a turnaround for the low-cost carrier, which previously had a base at Adelaide airport but pulled out of the city following the enforced grounding of its Australian fleet in July 2011.

The wings were delivered from Airbus' UK plant
The wings were delivered from Airbus' UK plant

Airbus adds A350 wings

The first wing for the new A350 XWB has arrived at Airbus’ final assembly line in Toulouse. The new 32-metre-long, six-metre-wide carbon fibre wing will form part of the new wide-body aircraft’s airframe for static structural tests. Like all Airbus wings, the A350 wing was constructed at Airbus’ UK factory. The A350 XWB is due to enter service with Qatar Airways in the second half of 2014.

Air China plans bond sale

Air China is planning to conduct its first domestic bond sale in three years, following a major drop in profits. Bloomberg reported that the carrier, which owes US$14.2 billion, will sell as much as CNY10bn (US$1.6bn) of securities, half of which will be offered this year. Beijing-based Air China’s net profits slumped 77% in the first half of 2012, as it battled with high fuel costs and softening passenger demand.

Turkish Airlines profits jump 142%

Turkish Airlines recorded net profits of TRY164 million (US$91.8m) in the first half year of 2012 – 142% better than the same period last year. The result followed a 36% jump in revenues, which hit TRY6.7bn. The result marks a major turnaround for the Istanbul-based airline, which posted a TRY107m loss in the first quarter of the year, then a profit TRY271m in the second quarter. Half-year traffic jumped 20% to 18m passengers.

Garuda is buying four more B737-800s
Garuda is buying four more B737-800s

Garuda invites aircraft financing bids

Garuda Indonesia has issued a tender inviting bids to finance the purchase of 24 new aircraft. The Jakarta-based national carrier is seeking financing for 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, four B737-800s and 10 Airbus A320s scheduled to be delivered between 2013 and 2016. The carrier said all bids must be submitted by 12 September.

MAS launches Kathmandu flights

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has launched flights to Kathmandu. The inaugural service took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday 1 September, and flights will now operate three times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) using a 160-seat, two-class Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

JAL renews technology deal

Japan Airlines has renewed its technology outsourcing services contract with TRX. Under the new deal, TRX will continue to support JAL’s North American website, email inquiries, fraud prevention procedures, manual ticketing, settlement processing and front office support. The two companies have been working together in North America since 2006.


AirAsia to add Bangkok-Wuhan 

AirAsia will launch direct flights between Bangkok and Wuhan from next month. Commencing on 19 October, the low-cost carrier will offer daily flights on the route, departing Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport at 0715. The return service will leave Wuhan at 1220. The move marks Thai AirAsia’s continued expansion into central China, following the recent launch of direct flights between Bangkok and Chongqing.

Air NZ extends ‘Seats-to-Suit’ fares

Air New Zealand is extending its ‘Seats to Suit’ fare options to the Cook Islands. The scheme, which allows customers to buy a basic economy class ticket and select optional extras, will be available on the airline’s direct services from Sydney to Rarotonga. Passengers can buy a range of fare options, from a ‘seat only’ economy class ticket to the ‘Works Deluxe’ fare, which includes all the aspects of a full-service airline.

WH Smith opens at KLIA

WH Smith has opened its first airport bookshop at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The UK-based book, magazine and travel accessory vendor is a common sight at airports and railway stations in Europe but this marks the company’s debut in Southeast Asia. It will work in partnership with local retailer, Bison Stores. Later this month, WH Smith will expand with the opening of two stores at Malaysia’s Langkawi International Airport.

Korean Air fails in bid to buy planemaker

Korean Air has failed in its bid to buy the country’s main planemaker, Korea Aerospace Industries. The national carrier was the only bidder for the company, but according to Bloomberg Korea Aerospace’s shareholders have decided to hold another round of bidding. According to government regulations, at least two bids are needed for deals involving government-owned companies. Korean Air already makes parts for Airbus and Boeing, and has been trying to purchase a stake in Korea Aerospace for several years.



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