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The complete history of Asian Pacific Airlines


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on: February 24, 2012, 03:05:29 pm

The History of Asian Pacific Airlines

Three years ago, the founder of the formerly well-known airline concern Villair group got an
It has been exactly three years since Asian Pacific Airlines, received its first three Boeing 737-800s. At that time Asian Pacific had nothing more than four gates at Taiwan Taoyuan Airport, three 737s, and a many enthusiastic employees, getting eager to start operations.

The first flight was APC 26 going from Taipei just across the straight to Xiamen, China. Since then, we at Asian Pacific had a lot of things to do. In these three years, we have managed to open 8 new bases, add more than 1000 routes, and built up a fleet of 190 aircraft and counting!

Asian Pacific was actually founded as Taiwan-Philippine Airways, and it was actually planned to become a joint Taiwanese-Philippine flag carrier.
We started growing fast, and after a few months we already had a fleet of a few ATRs. As there were very few Asian carriers at the time, we carried a lot of connecting traffic through our TPE hub. It became a natural connecting point in the region, a position it still keeps today.

We hoped for the same success when we opened a Manila hub. With some ATR 72s and a 738 we discovered the possibilities of the Filipino travelling market. We focused on regional airports, and soon we served every airport in the northern Philippines.
At the same time we added the Tupolev Tu-334 to our fleet for medium-sized markets. The choice of a Russian aircraft may have been surprising for some, but we feel that the Tupolev fulfilled our requirements as good as any other aircraft.

Our flights from TPE were almost always full, and we saw the need for a supplement, so we opened a hub at Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, serviced by ATR 42s. Something similar also happened in the Philippines, where we opened a hub in Cebu, serving as a supplement to MNL. This effectively made it possible to route connecting passengers via the smaller KHH and CEB hubs, and leave TPE and MNL to higher yielding, more profitable passenger flying to these two cities.

At that time we also placed an order for 2 Embraer E170s. This was the start to a long, loyal relationship with Embraer. Today we at Asian Pacific operate a total of 93 Embraer aircrafts, including 52 Embraer E170s.

At the same we got a letter from the regional government in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. They desperately wanted air services from us, as at that time there was no airline flying from KK.
We saw the possibility of KK as a connecting point, and therefore decided to open a hub there using ATR 42s. As we now had bases outside Taiwan and the Philippines we decided to change our name to Asian Pacific Airlines.

This was a good time period for us at Asian Pacific. We were growing extremely fast, adding a lot of destinations every month. We benefitted a lot from the lack of competition in the region!

We decided to base our fifth hub in Jakarta after a long consideration. We considered Singapore, but due to the competition situation there with both Scoot and Singapore Airlines having bases there, we decided to pick Jakarta instead. After all, much of our previous success was due to the competition situation. At this point we stopped ordering Tu-334s, and switched to E190s instead, as we loved how the E170 performed in our fleet, and had confidence in Embraer for delivering another superior product, which they of course did!

Medan in northwest Indonesia was also made a base, catering to smaller communities in the northwest. There were some internal conflict about the MES base, but we decided to go ahead with it as the previous split-hub arrangement had been working well.
However at this point of time we started to realize we had a long-term problem in our strategy. Our competitors, including Asia Europe Airlines had started pioneering long-haul routes, while we had a mainly regional South-Asian network, meaning we were missing out of potential long-haul customers choosing other airlines.

Meanwhile, we had been getting two different invites from two airlines in the U.S.A asking us to consider joining their alliances. We soon realized the benefits of being in an alliance, and after a long insider we decided to join the SkyConnect alliance, giving us an advantage against competing airlines in the region. We were at first not linked to the rest of the alliance network, but this was about to change…

For the meantime we kept a regional focus. We had a huge gap in our network in the Northeastern part of Southeast Asia. Opening a hub in Bangkok felt like a good idea, and we soon realized it one of the smartest things in the history of Asian Pacific. Bangkok was a gold-mine, and we could add hundreds of small communities in the region to our route map.

Now was the time to let the whole world know about Asian Pacific Airlines. After a careful evaluation we selected the Ilyushin Il-96-300, because of its low seat count, speed and range.

The market for long-haul flights were still small, despite our huge connection abilities. So, we decided to open a base in Honolulu, Hawaii where passengers could connect in an Emirates style hub. For example, you can fly: Singapore – Honolulu – Minneapolis, Manila – Honolulu – New York, or why not Sapporo – Honolulu – San Antonio? The possibilities are endless, and that’s why we feel a HNL hub was a smart idea.

So this is where we are right now. Of course, we are still growing, letting more cities receive service from Asian Pacific. But all this would not be possible without the support from all our employees, our customers, shareholders, and everyone else who have been supported us. We also want to thank our SkyConnect alliance partners WesternConnection, SAS and WebsterJet for helping us cover the globe. We also want to thank all airlines in the world for providing some well-needed competition. May the best airline win!

 Finally, I personally want to congratulate you if you actually read through the whole statement!  :P

Thank you for flying with Asian Pacific Airlines, a member of the SkyConnect alliance!

/SomedayTrijet, CEO of Asian Pacific Airlines.


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