The new Hong Kong-based low-cost carrier Greater Bay Airlines (GBA) is reportedly eyeing to launch its operations on October 1, 2021.
While waiting for its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), the start-up airline chose a “symbolic” date – China’s National Day – to launch its maiden charter flight from Hong Kong to Beijing, the director of Greater Bay Airlines Stanley Hui told South China Morning Post on August 8, 2021.
The new start-up airline was expecting to commence operations during the summer 2021. However, GBA still needs its AOC, which the airline expects to get on September 17, 2021.
GBA officially applied for the right to operate 104 scheduled flights across Asia-Pacific in January 2021. In the submission form, GBA applied for 48 destinations from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) to Mainland China. Also, it filed for routes to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and several countries of Southeast Asia. Most of the routes for which the Greater Bay Airlines applied were left vacant after Cathay Dragon had been shut down as part of restructuring of its parent company Cathay Pacific.
Adding to that, the airline’s chief Hui indicated that GBA intends to lease three Boeing 737-800 aircraft, one of which has already been delivered. The air carrier’s fleet will mainly consist of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. GBA’s chief expects the airline to own 25 to 30 aircraft by 2026.
D-AAGB The first aircraft of Greater Bay Airlines parked at CAN/ZGGG #avgeek pic.twitter.com/YzKD4mtbGV— Jay Lee (@jaylpod) August 1, 2021
As part of the AOC licence compliance process, GBA founder Bill Wong Cho-bau (known as Huang Chubiao in Mainland China), who owns the Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines, invested an additional HK$250 million ($32 million) into the airline, according to the Post. Previously, he invested HK$2 billion ($258 million) on hiring staff and leasing aircraft.