Hong Kong grants Greater Bay Airlines status to open talks with foreign countries


Hong Kong grants Greater Bay Airlines status to open talks with foreign countries

Greater Bay Airlines has received designated status from local authorities to enter into negotiations with foreign countries to serve 104 routes. (Photo from South China Morning Post)

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Greater Bay Airlines has been granted designated status by the Hong Kong government, allowing the company to open negotiations with foreign countries to serve 104 routes, the fledgling airline’s chief executive told the South on Tuesday. China Morning Post.

Algernon Yau Ying-wah, the airline’s chief executive, confirmed that the company had received official recognition, several months after local authorities granted it a five-year license to operate scheduled commercial flights.

“This decision puts us on the map with overseas authorities and allows us to enter into talks and conduct the necessary procedures with them to complete our 104 routes,” he said.

But Yau noted that it would be difficult for the company to launch its first flight before July 1, citing the number of procedural hurdles involved.

He added that the date would not be good from a strategic market perspective, as all eyes would be on the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule and the potential visit of heads of state.

The airline chief said the company was aiming to open routes to Southeast Asia first, with a focus on popular holiday destinations for Hong Kongers such as Thailand and Malaysia.

The next phase would be to launch flights to mainland Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, Yau said, noting that those destinations involve additional procedures.

Asked about the airline’s preparations for opening flight routes, the chief executive said the company had filled most of its pilot positions and was ready to go.

Although he had no formal talks with the new administration of Chief Executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu, Yau also said he believed the establishment of a transport and logistics office in part of a government overhaul proposal “would focus minds and efforts” on supporting and developing the aviation industry.

“Transportation is a vast field with land, sea and air parts, we welcome the establishment of a new office which will hopefully boost the aviation industry,” he said.


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