Wang Junjin, chairman of Okay Airways, confirmed yesterday the airline will suspend its commercial passenger flights from December 15, the National Business Daily reported.
Wang also told the paper that Liu Jieyin, founder of Okay Airways, was removed from his post as president of the airline.
Wang had filed an application to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) last month, requesting the civil aviation regulator suspend Okay Airways due to security concerns, in light of an internal dispute.
According to the China Business Times, the CAAC approved Wang's request, halting the airline's passenger flights for one month, from December 15 to January 15, 2009. But the carrier's cargo flights will continue to operate and the company will not lay off staff or suspend their salaries, Wang said.
Since joining Okay Airways in 2006 after his Junyao Group acquired 63 percent of the airline's stake, Wang has been trying to remove its original management team led by Liu. In the meantime, Liu has also been trying to attract more investment to decrease Junyao Group's stake in the company.
Okay Airways, the first private airline in China, started flight operations in 2005. Before the suspension, the airline operated both commercial passenger and cargo flights in China. The private carrier is also a local partner of FedEx Express.