Chinese start-up Genghis Khan Airlines appears one step closer to launch, as it applies for a business licence.
The carrier first received preliminary regulatory approval last March. The Civil Aviation Administration of China is now seeking comments to its application for a business licence, by 17 January.
The airline, wholly owned by state-owned Inner Mongolia Aviation Tourism Investment, will operate domestic regional passenger and cargo services out of Hohhot Baita International airport. On its website, it lists a target to launch operations in early 2019.
The Chinese regulator adds that the carrier has been approved for the purchase of three Comac ARJ21 regional jets, signed ground services agreement with Hohhot Baita International, and been allocated the airline code 9D.
It has also hired the necessary staff including 21 pilots and 10 maintenance personnel.
The proposed carrier had previously planned to operate Bombardier CRJ900s. Last August, however, it placed an order for 25 ARJ21s, with options for another 25.
It is targeting to grow to a fleet of 25 aircraft within five years, with services to 40 points.