ANA's BusinessJet service

Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) is to return to the Indian city of Mumbai after a hiatus of several years with its first all business-class flights. Tokyo-Mumbai services will be operated from September with a Boeing 737-700ER seating 36. ANA stopped serving Mumbai in 2002. Dubbed ANA BusinessJet, the 737-700ER will be the second in its fleet. The first will be used for Nagoya-Guangzhou services and will have 24 business class and 24 economy class seats.

HK Express introduces 737s

Hong Kong Express has begun replacing its Embraer 170s with 737-800s as it expands under new ownership. The carrier, which last year became 45%-owned by China's Hainan Airlines, says the 737-800s will allow it to serve additional destinations in China and other parts of east Asia. It has adopted a new livery similar to that of sister carrier Hong Kong Airlines, which is also controlled by Hainan.

India combats poaching

Aircraft maintenance workers in India are to be required to give their employers up to six months' notice when they wish to resign, under new regulations. The regulations are designed to help airlines cope with a severe shortage of qualified maintenance personnel, which has led to widespread staff "poaching" and increased labour costs. The ruling will be similar to one that has been in place for pilots since 2005.

Fiji coup hurts Air Pacific

Fiji's military coup is hurting flag carrier Air Pacific. The airline has delayed leasing another Boeing 767-300ER and has cut fares to attract more tourists, producing what it calls "a very severe yield penalty".

China United expands

Shanghai Airlines, the Beijing-based subsidiary of China United Airlines, is to expand its fleet with Boeing 737-800s as it prepares for an expected increase in demand around the time of the Beijing Olympics in August 2008. China United in January took delivery of its first leased 737-800, which joined two 737-700s already in service. More 737-800s are due to be added this year and next year.

Etihad picks Sydney

UAE carrier Etihad Airways has selected Sydney as the destination for its new Australian route. It is launching nonstops thrice weekly from Abu Dhabi in late March, increasing them to daily at the end of June.

Source: Airline Business