Aviation News in Brief 9 Nov 2019

Cathay Pacific Group, Vietnam Airlines, Sabre, Collins Aerospace, China Southern Airlines, Turkish Airlines, BOC Aviation, VietJet, AirAsia, IndiGo, Qatar Airways, Plus Istanbul, Alsim

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Cathay Pacific Group will optimise the passenger fleet of its airlines: Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and HK Express will have their fleet plans changed to “achieve their full development potential by leveraging their respective unique strengths”, Cathay Pacific said recently. In total, the group has existing orders for 65 new aircraft that it will receive by 2024, as part of the fleet modernisation plan. This includes the delivery of 21 Boeing 777-9 aircraft, 12 Airbus A350 and 32 A321neo aircraft between 2020 and 2024. Following a comprehensive review of its airlines’ fleets, the group has decided that Cathay Dragon will operate the first 16 A321neo aircraft upon delivery from 2020 to 2022. The remaining 16 aircraft will join the HK Express fleet from 2022. Cathay Pacific Group CEO Augustus Tang said: “We have four airlines in the group, each of them has its clear proposition. Cathay Pacific will continue to operate as an international full-service airline providing premium services to customers while Cathay Dragon is our regional full-service carrier. Meanwhile, HK Express will remain as a standalone, low-cost airline focusing on serving leisure travel destinations. AHK Air Hong Kong will continue to be the group’s all-cargo carrier specialising in express cargo services.”

cathay pacific groupVietnam Airlines expands relationship with Sabre: Sabre said it has signed a multi-million-dollar agreement with long-standing customer Vietnam Airlines. The carrier will adopt Sabre Revenue Optimiser and SabreSonic Inventory solutions to enable responsive real-time origin & destination (O&D) revenue management. Revenue Optimiser is designed to allow airlines to optimise availability by considering relevant data sources and seamlessly integrating across an airline’s commercial planning organisation. With the ability to help drive the carrier’s incremental revenue, the announcement allows Vietnam Airlines to leverage market-level forecasting, capacity allocation and revenue performance measurement, all using Sabre’s Commercial Platform, an intelligent retailing platform powering the core of Sabre’s offer management solutions.

cathay pacific groupCollins Aerospace inks support agreement with China Southern Airlines: Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies, has signed a long-term nacelle maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) agreement with China Southern Airlines for its fleet of 30 B787 aircraft. The agreement gives China Southern access to Collins Aerospace’s worldwide nacelle support infrastructure, aftermarket service offerings and extensive nacelle MRO capabilities for greater dispatch reliability. The work for China Southern will be completed at the Tianjin facility, which has over a decade of exemplary customer service. Collins Aerospace is also a leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of engineered structures and nacelles for commercial aircraft, including the B787. In addition to MRO services, the company’s aerostructures facility in Tianjin also performs engine/nacelle integration, called “podding,” and produces composite components for multiple aircraft programs. It is strategically positioned to supply components and systems for future engines and aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region.

Turkish Airlines to launch flights to Xi’an: Turkish Airlines is connecting Xi’an to its flight network as its fourth destination in the mainland after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, marking 20 years of presence in the country. The frequency of flights to Xi’an will initially be thrice a week, with the flights being planned to start by the end of 2019 and set to gradually increase as the 2020 summer schedule begins. With the launch of the flights to Xi’an, Turkish Airlines’ reciprocal flights will increase to 24 flights a week. On the flag carrier’s new Xi’an flights, Turkish Airlines’ chairman, M. İlker Aycı, said: “We expect that the Xi’an flights will contribute to the tourism, trade, cultural and economic connections between the two countries. I believe that the transportation bridge built by us will facilitate positive developments beneficial to both communities that have relations deeply rooted in history.”

cathay pacific groupBOC Aviation names new commercial officer for APAC: Gao Jinyue (Chris) will retire from his role as chief commercial officer (Asia-Pacific and the Middle East) with effect from 9 November 2019. Replacing Gao is Deng Lei (Lenny). Deng, 43, is responsible for overseeing all revenue activities within the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and is primarily responsible for airline leasing and sales within the region. He joined Bank of China in July 1998 and held various positions, including serving as the general manager of the global markets department at the Shanghai Branch and as a director in the investment banking and asset management department. With this change, BOC Aviation’s senior management team comprises: Robert Martin, managing director and CEO;  Wang Jian, deputy managing director and vice chairman; Phang Thim Fatt, deputy managing director and chief financial officer; Steven Townend, deputy managing director and chief commercial officer (Europe, Americas and Africa); David Walton, chief operating officer; Deng Lei, chief commercial officer (Asia-Pacific and the Middle East).

VietJet opens new international routes: VietJet announced the opening of two more international services linking Da Nang with Singapore and Hong Kong. The Da Nang – Hong Kong route will operate daily return flights starting from 12 December 2019 with flying time of around one hour and 45 minutes per leg. With the new route, Vietjet operates three routes connecting Vietnam and Hong Kong, including HCMC/Phu Quoc/Da Nang – Hong Kong with one daily return flight each. The Da Nang – Singapore route will operate daily return flights starting from 20 December 2019 with around 2 hour 40 minutes in flying time per leg. VietJet is operating three routes connecting Vietnam and Singapore, including: Hanoi/HCMC/Da Nang – Singapore with a total frequency of four flights per day.

cathay pacific groupAirAsia appoints Veranita Yosephine Sinaga as Indonesia CEO: AirAsia announced the appointment of Veranita Yosephine Sinaga as CEO of AirAsia Indonesia (PT Indonesia AirAsia), a subsidiary of PT AirAsia Indonesia Tbk (AAID), effective immediately, taking over from Dendy Kurniawan. As a member of AirAsia’s senior leadership team, she will be responsible for the company’s airline operations in Indonesia and play an integral role in leading local transformation efforts as the company expands beyond air transport to offer travel and lifestyle services, as well as financial services. Veranita joined AirAsia Indonesia as deputy CEO in July 2019, bringing with her more than 18 years of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales experience. Prior to joining AirAsia, Veranita served as sales director at Kraft Heinz Indonesia, where she led and orchestrated multiple commercial growth initiatives. She also spent a number of years with Danone Waters Indonesia and British American Tobacco Indonesia.

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IndiGo signs codeshare with Qatar: India’s IndiGo announced a codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways, just days after ordering 300 Airbus planes, as the low-cost airline boosts its foreign ambitions and the Gulf carrier taps into the booming domestic market. The agreement will allow Qatar Airways to put its passengers on the Indian carrier’s flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. India’s aviation industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, recording an increase of 18 percent in the numbers of flyers in 2018 with nearly 140 million people flying domestically. IndiGo, which placed orders for 300 A320neo family aircraft worth over US$33.2 billion in late October, is the largest low-cost private airline in the South Asian nation with some 47 percent of local market share. Qatar Airways has been keen to tap into the fast-growing market, but is not allowed to start a new carrier in India due to local ownership rules. Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker told the Press Trust of India that Qatar Airways was “interested in buying stake in IndiGo, but this is not the right time as issues among promoters are yet to be resolved”.

Plus Istanbul Flight Academy buys an Alsim AL250: Alsim announced the sale of an AL 250 to Istanbul Flight Academy, a flight school located in Istanbul, Turkey. The ATO is a Zero to ATPL training specialist. The Alsim AL250 is a generic and compact simulator for single and multi-engine piston (SEP/MEP reconfigurable) PPL, CPL & IR training. The device meets all current regulatory standards and responds to training requirements of smaller and mid-sized ATOs, flight schools, and universities. With more than 30 devices installed worldwide, the AL250 has a proven track record for cost-effectiveness and helps save numerous aircraft hours.

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