Another new airline is planned in China as passenger demand continues growing at double-digit percentage rates.

The start-up has yet to be named, but hopes to begin operating from Guangzhou by the second half of 2005, say its local and foreign backers. Domestic flights are expected to be operated initially using 150-seaters, followed by international services at a later date.

Singapore-based aerospace components and systems supplier A-Sonic Aerospace is seeking to establish the new carrier with local and foreign partners. It signed an agreement last week with state-owned Guangdong China Travel Service (Holdings) and Hong Kong-backed China Xpress "to jointly apply and obtain approval from all the relevant authorities" in China to own an airline.

It later brought in Singapore-based logistics company Airocean Group as a shareholder.

Travel services provider Guangdong China Travel will hold a 51% stake and China Xpress, owned by a Hong Kong finance company, will have 5%. A-Sonic will have 25% and Airocean 19%.

A-Sonic has already tried to invest in Australia's SkyWest Airlines, and says that if it is successful in investing in a regional such as SkyWest, the Chinese operator could "establish routes to and from markets such as Australia".



Source: Flight International