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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Greater Bay Airlines has been given permission to begin commercial operations

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Greater Bay Airlines (GBA) has been granted a license by Hong Kong’s Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA), allowing the carrier to begin scheduled commercial operations.

Hong Kong’s newest airline has been granted permission to operate to 104 locations at limitless frequencies from and to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) until February 20, 2027, under the terms of the new license.

The airline intends to fly from Hong Kong to destinations in Mainland China, North Asia, and Southeast Asia.

“The Government believes that Greater Bay Airlines will provide more diversified air services to the market and will further strengthen the air transport connectivity between Hong Kong, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and other parts of the world,” according to the Hong Kong government’s statement.

The upstart carrier, which had aimed to begin operations in summer 2021, said it hoped to begin flying “soon,” but did not provide any other information.

“We look forward to the launch of our inaugural service soon,” GBA’s chief executive officer Algernon Yau announced in a statement.

The airline acquired its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD) on October 8, 2021, and became Hong Kong’s eighth carrier.

The airline currently has one Boeing 737-800 aircraft in its fleet (registered as B-KJA). GBA plans to have seven 737-800s in operation by the end of 2022, and more than 30 by 2026, according to the airline’s website.

GBA is apparently in talks with both Airbus and Boeing to purchase at least 30 narrow-body aircraft worth $1.8 billion, according to a Bloomberg story dated January 17, 2022.

According to the publication, Hong Kong’s newest airline is presently debating between the Airbus A321neos and the Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets.

Bill Wong Cho-bau (known as Huang Chubiao in Mainland China), the founder of Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines, is a supporter of GBA.

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