Greater Bay Airlines is due to begin operations later this month, according to former CEO Algernon Yau. Yau told the South China Morning Post last month that he “cannot wait too long” to get planes in the sky. The firm’s inaugural flights will take place nine months after the intended start date.
Flights to begin this month
Greater Bay Airlines (GBA) will be commencing a twice-weekly service between Hong Kong international and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, starting on Saturday 23 July this year. Prior to the start of scheduled operations, the airline will operate two charter flights on 9 July and 16 July.
The flights will be operated by a Boeing 737-800. The airline currently has a fleet of two 737s and plans to add a third in the coming months. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported GBA was in talks with both Airbus and Boeing, looking to purchase over 30 narrow-bodies for its fleet.
Though the airline has yet to open ticket sales for the Bangkok flights, it has already filed a schedule for the service. “We need to start operations next month. We can’t wait too long. We have to get aircraft up in the sky. It may not be making profits, but we need to show people we are committed,” former CEO Algernon Yau told the South China Morning Post.
Former CEO Algernon Yau “Steps Down”
Now former CEO and Hong Kong’s aviation veteran Algernon Yau was appointed as the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development for the Hong Kong Government starting on 1 July. Stanley Hui Hon Chung, a former board member of GBA, replaced Yau as the airline’s CEO immediately after Yau’s sudden resignation, or promotion. Yau’s replacement Stanley Hui interestingly shared the same title with Yau as the former CEO of Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair). He was later appointed as the CEO of Hong Kong International Airport back in 2007.
A delayed start for GBA
GBA has encountered several hurdles on its path to getting licenced. The company obtained an Air Operators Licence (AOC) in October of 2021 but faced delays in its application for an Air Transport licence after objections were filed against them, pushing back the launch date.
The airline finally acquired the permit in February of 2022, overcoming what is called “roadblocks from unnamed rivals”. The firm said it hoped to start scheduled operations by 1 July and until now has only been operating proving flights.
GBA has ambitious plans for the future, having secured a licence for 104 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.
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