Hong Kong-based long-haul start-up
carrier Oasis Hong Kong Airlines has deferred its planned November launch until
at least March after objections were filed against its application for route
CEO Stephen Miller says from Hong
Kong that objections were filed with Hong Kong’s Air Transport Licensing
Authority (ATLA) by local regional jet operator CR Airways. He adds that CR
Airways said in its filing that it believes new airlines should be required to
operate charter services before they launch scheduled services.
An objection to a route licence
application means ATLA needs to hold public hearings. Miller says he is meeting
with ATLA at the weekend to discuss plans for a hearing, which he hopes will
take place at the end of October.
“This has set us back and the
[originally planned] November start date has disappeared,” says Miller. “It has
put us back to the earliest March and possibly a little later than that.”
But he says “the investors have not
been put off” and “I am encouraged” with the progress made in planning to date.
In its application Oasis sought route licences to serve Berlin, Cologne/Bonn,
London Gatwick and Milan in Europe, as well as Oakland and Chicago in the USA.
Macau’s Eagle Aviation also filed an
objection with ATLA but has since withdrawn it, says Miller. Eagle Aviation is
the parent company of a planned airline formerly branded WOW Macau that will be
based in Macau, west of Hong Kong. Miller says Hong Kong’s main
carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, did not file a formal objection.
Oasis’ backers have said the carrier
will be a “long-haul, low-cost” airline operating leased Boeing 747-400s, with
high-density economy class seating and a small business class section. Miller
says he expects to start with London Gatwick services, followed by US services
and services to additional European destinations.
Its main shareholders have been
identified as Raymond Lee, who is involved in the property market, and Allan
Wong, chairman and group CEO of telephone manufacturer VTech Holdings. Miller,
an aviation consultant, also has a small stake.