A new low-cost carrier based in Guangzhou has welcomed its first ever aircraft.
9 Air, which is a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines, took delivery of its first Boeing 737-800 aircraft on 30 August 2014. The jet has been leased from Transportation Partners (TP), a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air, which will provide a further two B737s to 9 Air in the future.
The LCC is still unable to launch however, as it is yet to receive its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). But 9 Air says it plans to commence commercial services before the end of the year, with initial routes connecting Guangzhou with Shanghai, Chengdu and Jieyang, a city in Guangdong province. In future, it plans to expand its network to Southeast Asia.
In May 2014, 9 Air place an order for 50 Boeing aircraft, including B737-800s and B737 MAXs, in a deal worth more than US$6 billion at list prices.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is home to Asia’s largest carrier, China Southern Airlines, but 9 Air will become the first LCC based at the hub.