China's aviation regulatory body looks set to approve the country's largest short-haul air carrier to be based in Tianjin, north China.
The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has begun soliciting submissions on Dazhonghua Air Express proposed by Hainan Airlines Group and its subsidiary Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd., a publicly listed company on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The CAAC announcement said approval would be granted unless it was informed of reasonable grounds to reconsider the plan by November 6.
Dazhonghua, which would become the country's biggest short-haul air carrier, would be based at Tianjin's Binhai International Airport and expand to 50 to 100 aircraft in three to five years after its inauguration.
The service would have a registered capital of 100 million yuan (12.5 million U.S. dollars), of which 80 percent would be borne by the Hainan Airline Group, the parent company.
Early in April, Hainan Airlines Group and Tianjin Municipal Government signed a framework agreement on cooperation in building a regional air service headquarters in Tianjin and a base for the country's largest aircraft rental company, said sources with Tianjin Municipal Government.
Under the agreement, Hainan Airlines Group pledged to invest 10 billion yuan in Tianjin and to expand air transport and related industries there.
Hainan Airlines Company, China's fourth largest airline company, announced in August that it would spend 2.7 billion U.S. dollars on fifty 50-seat ERJ 145s and fifty 106-seat Embraer 190s from Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, with delivery to start late next year.
Hainan Airlines Group already owns a fleet of 29 short-haul jets and operates 34 percent of the country's regional air services.