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1st private airways opens hub in Tianjin
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2005-02-28 09:25

China's first private airline, Okay Airways Company Ltd., set up its hub at Binhai International Airport in north China's port city, Tianjin, and will make its maiden flight on March 5, said an official with the company.

The airline has received its first Boeing 737-900 Friday and will be the first Chinese carrier to operate the largest model of the 737 family.

Okay Airways received its business license as a public aviation carrier from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Feb. 27. It is expected to begin operation early next month. The airline has an agreement to sublease two 737-900s from Korean Airlines. The airplanes are owned by Boeing Capital Corp.

"Okay Airways selected the Boeing 737-900, the most advanced model in its class, to provide the optimum in safety, reliability and economics," said Liu Jieyin, chairman and president of Okay Airways.

The new airline will begin with charter passenger services, domestic air cargo and mail transport and express service from Tianjin. Some of its cargo operations and maintenance may involve Korean Airlines.

Okay's 737-900s will be used primarily for passenger service. The initial routes begin in Tianjin with flights to Kunming, Changsha, Zhangjiajie, Guilin, Hohhot, Taiyuan and Harbin.

Seating up to 189 passengers, the 737-900 will have the lowest seat per mile costs available in a single-aisle airplane.

As one of the first private airlines approved by CAAC, Okay Airways, with its headquarters in Beijing, has registered capital totaling 300 million yuan (about 36.14 million US dollars), will introduce six Boeing 737 serial airplanes in its primary operation period.

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