Friday, May 20, 2022

Beijing-linked Cathay Pacific rival eyeing $1.8 billion aircraft order

Greater Bay Airlines has unveiled ambitious plans to fly to 104 destinations in mainland China and Asia.

A new Hong Kong-based airline with ties to Beijing is considering ordering 30 narrow-body jets from Boeing Co. or Airbus SE as it tries to establish itself in a market dominated by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

Greater Bay Airlines, which awaits final approval to operate commercial passenger flights from Hong Kong, is assessing whether to choose Boeing’s 737 MAX 10 model jets or Airbus’s A321 Neos, according to the plan. Said a person with direct knowledge. Bloomberg News and Avitas Inc. According to calculations by using current aircraft prices, such orders could amount to up to $1.77 billion.

The carrier, founded by asset magnate Bill Wong, is in talks with both Boeing and Airbus, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The timing and final size of the order depend on the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, the person said.

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“We will continue to reevaluate our aircraft needs to match customer needs and our expansion strategy under dynamic market conditions,” said Jody Lai, head of marketing at Greater Bay Airlines, by email.

An Airbus spokesperson said the company does not comment on discussions with the airlines. A representative for Boeing declined to comment.

ambitious plan

Greater Bay Airlines has an ambitious plan to fly to 104 destinations in mainland China and much of Asia, even as its Hong Kong base clings to a rigorous COVID-Zero strategy which is an international hub. As the city threatens to end the situation and Cathay Reeling is left.

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The upstart carrier received its air operator’s certificate in October, enabling it to fulfill charter and cargo flights. It will be able to start commercial passenger services once the air transport license is approved by the regulators.

A new order for Boeing, which could see its 737 MAX plane back into the skies in mainland China this month after a nearly three-year ban, will help it gain a foothold in Hong Kong, where Airbus dominates the single-aisle market. Is. The victory for Airbus will enable the European manufacturer to extend that lead.

Greater Bay Airlines leases a Boeing 737-8 jet. Its sister Donghai Airlines, at the border in Shenzhen, operates a Boeing single-aisle fleet. Wong is also the founder of Donghai Airlines. He is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s principal political advisory body.

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