China’s aviation authority has granted initial approval for the launch of a cargo airline based out of Guangzhou, in southern China. The approval from the Central and South Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) cleared the way for Longhao Air to become Guangzhou’s first local cargo airline, and is expected to increase connectivity to the country’s third-largest city, located just northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River Delta.
Operating out of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, the new airline will be privately held by the Guangzhou-based Longhao Group, which has registered capital of US$61.1 million. Longhao Air plans to establish both domestic and international cargo and mail routes with a fleet of 737 freighters. The parent company, which already has a substantial footprint in the transport and logistics sectors, made news in late 2015 when it entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Czech aircraft manufacturer Evector for fifty EV-55 aircraft, which can carry a cargo of up to 1.8 tonnes each.
For its initial operations, Longhao Air has hired five captains, six pilots, nine maintenance staff and four flight dispatchers, according to China Aviation Daily. Domestic routes will include Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.