China’s aviation authorities have approved the launch of a new airline, based in the northeastern port city of Qingdao.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced on its website that it has given the green light to the establishment of Qingdao Airlines. The move follows the recent revision of new airline registration rules, making it easier for new carriers to be established. The CAAC suspended all new airline applications in 2007, and reinforced the ruling following the crash of a Henan Airways passenger aircraft in 2010.
The revised rules however, mean that the Nanshan Group, which is based close to Qingdao in Shandong province, can proceed with plans for the creation of Qingdao Airlines. The new carrier will be based at Qingdao’s Liuting International Airport, and will initially operate a fleet of Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 jets on domestic routes. The Nanshan Group will inject CNY550 million (US$89m) into the new airline, with a further CNY250m to be injected by Qingdao Transportation Development Group. Air China’s subsidiary, Shandong Airlines, will supply Qingdao Airlines with CNY200m worth of aircraft.
The creation of Qingdao Airlines would mark the second new airline launch since the CAAC lifted the suspension on the creation of new airlines, following the approval of Yunnan-based Ruili Airlines on 6 May 2013.