AirAsia X has yet to receive rights to operate Sydney and Beijing routes despite four months and four updates on the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) (Business Times, 09-Mar-2011). Malaysia's Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) outlined such routes as immediate action routes at the launch of the ETP roadmap in Oct-2010. The manual on the ETP stated: "Specifically, the Ministry of Transport will identify immediate action steps to enhance connectivity for Malaysia to Sydney and Osaka as well as other priority medium-haul cities namely Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Delhi, Melbourne, Seoul, Tokyo and Taipei that have already been given approval by the ministry for operations by both MAS [Malayia Airlines] and AirAsia X". National Economic Council member Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek recently stated that the paper on the initiative has yet to reach the consideration of the council.
AirAsia X awaiting rights signal
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Air Canada’s focus has been on international expansion during the past few years, and that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. In 2017 the airline is expecting nine Boeing 787s scheduled for delivery and its capacity is likely to mirror 2016’s double-digit growth – given that the company will accept delivery of nine new widebodies this year. The bulk of its growth will again be directed to international routes as several new long haul markets are scheduled to come online in 2017.
Southeast Asia aviation outlook: passenger growth accelerates, led by Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia
Southeast Asia’s aviation market recorded healthy growth in 2016, with passenger traffic expanding faster than the global average across nearly every country in the region. Six of Southeast Asia’s 10 countries had growth in or near the double digits, led by Vietnam and Myanmar. Seven countries had growth equal to, or higher than, in 2015.
Southeast Asia should continue to experience rapid growth in 2017 and beyond. Vietnam and Myanmar will likely again lead the pack in 2017, joined by Malaysia. The Philippines should experience growth of approximately 10% for the third consecutive year, also putting it towards the top of the pack.
However, overcapacity remains a long term concern, pressuring yields and profitability. The average profit margin of the Southeast Asian airline sector significantly lagged the global average in 2016, and this trend will likely continue in 2017.