Chinese conglomerate Junyao Group plans to launch a Shanghai-based passenger carrier in September with leased Airbus A319s and has acquired a stake in existing Tianjin-based carrier Okay Airways.

Junyao says Phoenix Airline, formerly known as Eastern Express, has agreed to lease three Airbus A319s and plans to order A320s. It declines to say from which company it will be leasing the A319s, but is adamant the first will be delivered in mid-September in time to launch passenger services later that month. Phoenix plans to offer a “high-end service” that caters to business travellers, Junyao says.

Meanwhile, Junyao says it has acquired “a controlling stake” in Okay Airways from its “biggest shareholder”, but declines to disclose the size of the stake or the buyer. Okay confirms the sale of a stake to Junyao, but says it is “much less than 50%” and “it is not getting control”.

  • US investment firm Waverly Capital has opened an office in Beijing to support the launch of a domestic passenger carrier in China with undisclosed local partners. Waverly Capital managing director George Weinmann says the firm has “put together a strong funding group” to back the carrier and “Waverly Capital is one of the investors”. Waverly says it has had preliminary discussions with aircraft leasing firms but has not yet selected an aircraft type.


Source: Flight International