_Leithen Francis leithen.francis@aviationweek.com

_Leithen Francis leithen.francis@aviationweek.com
Sri Lanka's Cinnamon Air To Start Operations 

Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Air is scheduled to launch operations on June 29 with a daily service from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport to Mawella Lagoon Airport in Dikwella and Koggala Lagoon Airport.

The airline, which will operate Cessna Grand Caravan seaplanes, already has a comprehensive codeshare agreement with SriLankan Airlines, which closed its seaplane operation three months ago.

VietJet Establishing JV Airline In Thailand 

Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet has signed a memorandum of understanding with Thai carrier Kan Air to establish Thai VietJet Air, a joint venture operation in Bangkok.

Kan Air’s owner, Thailand’s Kannithi Group, will own 51% of the new airline and the remaining 49% will be held by VietJet’s owner, Vietnamese conglomerate Sovico.

The partners say Thai VietJet Air will be a low-cost carrier operating Airbus A320s, the same aircraft type as VietJet, on domestic and short-haul international routes from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Airbus Invests In Training In Indonesia

Jakarta-based MRO provider GMF AeroAsia has signed a deal with Airbus to become the European airframer’s approved maintenance training provider in Indonesia.

Airbus says the five-year strategic partnership agreement “is aimed at developing the maintenance training capabilities locally in Indonesia, based on respective strengths and assets of GMF and Airbus.”

AATC Expands Airbus Training Offering 

The Asian Aviation Training Center (AATC) in Bangkok is expanding its Airbus capabilities.

L-3 Link Simulation and Training, which purchased AATC in August 2012 from Thales Group’s civil aviation simulation and training business, says the facility now offers a A330 full-flight simulator, an A320/A330 aircrew procedures training device and a pushback and towing training simulator.

Airbus Invests In Training In Indonesia
Jakarta-based MRO provider GMF AeroAsia has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to become the European airframer’s approved maintenance training provider in Indonesia.
MAS To Resume Dubai Service 

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) on Aug. 5 is scheduled to resume service between Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Dubai International Airport some 19 months after dropping the route as part of a cost cutting initiative.

“Dubai was one of the routes that were suspended in our route rationalization exercise in January 2012. We continuously monitor market demand, and are happy to be able to add back Dubai into the MAS network to extend our reach and strengthen our offering to customers,” says CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

SIA Cargo To Get New CEO

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Cargo is undergoing a management change with Lee Lik Hsin replacing Tan Kai Ping.

The Star Alliance carrier says Lee will become CEO of SIA Cargo on Aug. 1 replacing Tan who gets Lee’s current job as SIA senior VP president for corporate planning.

SIA Cargo is the airline’s most troubled business unit, posting an operating loss of S$167 million ($132 million) in the fiscal year ending March 31, due to the global downturn in the air cargo market.

ST Aero Updating Its 757 Freighter Conversion Program

Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aero) plans to ask the U.S. FAA for a supplemental type certificate (STC) covering a 15-pallet freighter conversion program for the Boeing 757.

The Singapore-headquartered maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company already has a 14.5-pallet freighter conversion program for the 757, but wants to offer 15 pallets so its program can remain competitive, says a ST Aero spokeswoman, adding that there is already a competitor offering a 15-pallet 757 freighter conversion program.

Major Fleet Revamp Planned By EVA Air 

Taiwan’s EVA Air is planning to reduce its freighter fleet and phase out its MD-90 passenger aircraft.

President Austin Cheng all 11 of the MD-90s are being sold to Delta Air Lines, with five scheduled to be transferred next year, three more in 2015 and the last three in 2016. Delta repeatedly has espoused the benefits of operating MD-90s and earlier this month said it intended to expand the fleet.

SAS Poised To Order Widebodies 
The deal will include an interim step involving leased aircraft coming in 2014-15.
Austrian Outlines Plan To Phase Out Fokker Fleet 
Austrian Airlines plans to phase out its Fokker fleet within the next six years.
ANA Says Peach's Success Due To Market Knowledge 

All Nippon Airways (ANA) says its low-cost carrier, Peach, is faring better than its other low-cost operation, AirAsia Japan, because Peach understands the Japanese market better than Malaysia’s AirAsia.

“We can only assume it’s because Peach did a lot of studies into the Japanese market through market surveys. Peach offers a good service, and management at Peach understands the Japanese market,” ANA President and CEO Osamu Shinobe told Aviation Week on the sidelines of an event in Taipei to mark EVA Air’s entry into the Star Alliance.

SAA Preparing For Widebody Order 

South African Airways (SAA) will soon order widebody aircraft to expand its long-haul international network.

“We have a fleet-planning program going on right now. We’ve not placed orders yet . . . but I don’t think it will drag out for a long period of time,” SAA’s Executive Vice President-North America and Alliances Marc Cavaliere tells Aviation Week on the sidelines of a Star Alliance event in Taipei to mark EVA Air’s formal entry into the alliance.

India's Air Costa Getting E-Jets 

Indian start-up carrier Air Costa has decided to operate Embraer E-Jets, marking a major breakthrough for the Brazilian aircraft-maker in one of Asia’s largest markets.

Industry sources say Air Costa chose Embraer 170s and 190s, in a deal for a mix of leased and purchased aircraft.

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