Greater Bay Airlines (GBA) received its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), making it Hong Kong’s eighth airline and taking it a step closer to carrying passengers.
The airline said in a press release dated October 8, 2021, that it is also working with the Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) on license approval, which will allow it to formally launch.
“Although it is very challenging in setting up and launching a new airline during the pandemic, obtaining the AOC during this time reflects our commitment to the aviation development of Hong Kong and the support of CE’s 2021 policy address, as well as the readiness to launch our operations,” chief executive Algernon Yau said.
The new carrier, which had hoped to begin operations in summer 2021, said in the statement that it hoped to start flying “soon”.
The South China Morning Post reported on September 8, 2021 that the ATLA was carrying out an investigation into GBA, delaying its plans for an October 2021 launch.
“Securing the AOC highlights that Greater Bay Airlines has all the professional capabilities, complies to all safety regulations needed for aircraft operations and has proven full completion of stringent inspections by Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department,” the new airline noted on October 8, 2021.
The airline plans to operate flights from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland, North Asia and Southeast Asian destinations. It has leased three Boeing 737-800 aircraft so far, but plans to have seven aircraft by the end of 2022. Longer-term it intends to expand its fleet to over 30 aircraft by 2026, subject to market demand and the recovery from the pandemic.