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Hong Kong start-up Greater Bay Airlines applies to fly more than 100 routes

Greater Bay Airlines hopes to be taking off from Hong Kong soon.

Start-up carrier Greater Bay Airlines (GBA) has applied to take over more than 100 routes in the Asia-Pacific region.

The application was submitted to the Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) on January 22. Many of the routes were formerly operated by Cathay Dragon which, as part of a restructuring operation by parent company Cathay Pacific last year, was shut down with the loss of almost 6,000 jobs.

The formal bid submitted by GBA, which is headed up by former Cathay Dragon boss Algernon Yau, includes flight routes from Hong Kong to destinations throughout Asia. More than half of the routes are to mainland China, while other destinations include Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Southeast Asia.

GBA aims to operate 30 aircraft and employ as many as 3,000 people by 2025. It expects much of its workforce to come from Cathay Dragon.

The ATLA will oversee the application process and has stated that objections from other parties must be submitted within 14 days of the application.

GBA is currently also waiting to secure its air operator’s certificate. According to the South China Morning Post, Bill Wong Cho-bau, owner of Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines, will be investing HK$2 billion into the fledgling carrier.

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