China private airline to run international flights

Updated: 2007-07-17 22:26

East Star has become China's first private airline authorized to operate international flights after less than two years in business.

The company is yet to release the timetable for the services, but Hubei Television reported on Tuesday evening that a daily service would be available from early September.

According to Civil Aviation Administration of China regulations, new airlines can qualify to apply to operate international flights only after three years of operations.

East Star, however, beat rivals Okair, Ueair, Juneyao Airlines and Spring Airlines, which analysts say should be attributed to the ongoing reform of China's civil aviation industry.

Wuhan was designated in October last year as the first city to carry out such reforms to open up the country's civil aviation market.

Under this reform, domestic airlines are free to establish subsidiaries in Wuhan and open flights between Wuhan and other domestic cities so long as they register with aviation authorities.

The first private airline in central and central-south China, East Star has a registered capital of 80 million yuan and operates flights to more than 10 cities in China. The company's fleet is expected to hit 20 by 2010.

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