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9 Air seeks approval to go international

Guangzhou-based low-cost carrier 9 Air has applied to expand its operations beyond the country.

Speaking to FlightGlobal in Shanghai, Juneyao Airlines chairman Wang Junjin says that its 9 Air subsidiary is in the midst of seeking regulatory approval for international operations, and will seek traffic rights on international routes once it receives the necessary approvals.

Destinations such as Singapore, Bali, Japan, South Korea and Thailand are being considered.

Wang adds that the airline now has 11 Boeing 737-800s in its fleet, and is set to become even more efficient as it grows in scale and adds six more aircraft to its fleet this year. He previously said that 9 Air has the lowest operating costs of all Chinese airlines, having commenced operations in December 2014.

Asked about AirAsia making a push into China, Wang says: "The China market is huge, so whoever comes in, we welcome them."

Juneyao disclosed in its 2016 financials that 9 Air recorded an operating revenue of CNY1.03 billion ($150 million) in the year, and an operating profit of CNY56.2 million for the year.

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