Greater Bay Airlines has applied to operate flights to a total of 104 destinations globally. Besides serving around 86 million people in the Greater Bay Area with flights to cities in the Chinese mainland, it plans to expand its footprint in Asia with flights to several cities in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries starting from next year.
Unlike traditional and budget carriers, Greater Bay Airlines said it sits somewhere in the middle as a value carrier, which means it will neither provide full services nor bare bones flights.
As a key development pillar of the country, Yau said the growth of the Greater Bay Area would be a favorable opportunity for Hong Kong and for Greater Bay Airlines. As a brand new carrier, the airline does not take any burdens and suffer losses due to the pandemic, and it is hoping to embrace more business growth opportunities.
For instance, the carrier would like to encourage more young people and retired senior consumers to travel, and it is bullish on the growth potential of such opportunities that may emerge from second-tier and third-tier cities in the Chinese mainland.
"Compared with Chinese mainland cities, Hong Kong enjoys a high status as an international transportation hub, and thus Greater Bay Airlines will enjoy some advantages in launching international flights," said Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and a columnist of Carnoc, one of the largest civil aviation websites in China.
"Still, Greater Bay Airlines faces fierce competition from peers such as Cathay Dragon. Besides, due to the pandemic, a full recovery of the international air travel market still has a long way to go, and the airlines could face certain challenges in its initial period of operations," Lin said.