Greater Bay Airlines: Hong Kong’s Newest Airline

We first learned details about Greater Bay Airlines in 2020, Hong Kong's newest airline. In the next few weeks, the airline plans to start operations. I am updating you on what we know and pointing out that the Greater Bay Airlines website has now been launched.
Hong Kongs Greater Bay Airlines details

Greater Bay Airlines, a Hong Kong-based startup airline company, hopes to start operations in the fourth quarter 2021. The Civil Aviation Department in Hong Kong will issue the airline's certificate of operation in September.

Who are the people behind Greater Bay Airlines

Bill Wong Chobau, a successful entrepreneur living in Hong Kong, is the man behind Greater Bay Airlines. Donghai Airlines is also owned by Bill Wong Cho-bau, a Shenzhen-based entrepreneur that operates primarily in China but also to some other countries in Asia.

Donghai Airlines has a fleet consisting of 23 Boeing 737-8800s. There are also 30 planes available for order, including:

25 Boeing 737 MAX 8s

Five Boeing 787-9s

Donghai Airlines Boeing 787-9

Algernon Yau Yuing Wah is the CEO of Greater Bay Airlines. He was previously the CEO of Cathay Dragon, a Cathay Pacifics regional subsidiary that was merged into the airline.

It is interesting to see the pro-China attitude of the carrier given the political climate in Hong Kong (and around Cathay Pacific). One, the airline hopes to fly its first flight to Beijing as a one-off service to celebrate China's national day.

Added to that, here's how the logic behind the creation of the airline is described.

Greater Bay Airlines was created in response to the Central Government's national strategy for the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area and the integration Hong Kong into the overall development of the Chinese Mainlands.

Greater Bay Airlines will fly which planes?

Greater Bay Airlines will be operating Boeing 737-800s exclusively for the time being. The airline expects to have 10 Boeing 737s on the ground by 2022 and 30 by 2026.

The 737-800s carriers will have a total of 289 seats in a single-cabin configuration. There will not be a business-class product. The seats will be powered by USB, but you can't expect Wi-Fi or personal TVs.

Greater Bay Airlines' first 737-800 has just arrived in Hong Kong. This plane is almost five years old and was previously flown for Norwegian.

Greater Bay Airlines flies ex-Norwegian 737s

Greater Bay Airlines will fly to these places.

Greater Bay Airlines hopes that it will eventually be able to serve more than 100 destinations by building a strong network throughout China Mainland, North Asia and Southeast Asia.

Greater Bay Airlines will launch its operations in the fourth quarter 2021. The first destinations are Bangkok (BKK), Phuket, and Singapore (SIN). These are all attractive launch options, considering that these markets are highly competitive.

What is the business model of Greater Bay Airlines?

Greater Bay Airlines plans to be the region's best value carrier. Although the airline will likely try to be fairly cost-effective, it does not sound like they are going all-in on Air Asia when it comes to charging for everything.

Once flights are on sale, we should know more about the business model.

How does this relate to Hong Kong's aviation market?

This might seem strange considering all the restrictions on travel in Asia. It is possible to make a profit, at least from the perspective of the competitive landscape.

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's global carrier, is still struggling.

Cathay Dragon was once a significant regional competitor in Hong Kong. However, Cathay Pacific has now been merged with Cathay Dragon

Cathay Pacific has acquired HK Express, Hong Kong's largest ultra-low cost carrier.

Hong Kong Airlines is a subsidiary HNA Group. While technically the airline is still in business, its size has decreased significantly and its future looks uncertain.

Hong Kong has little competition

This is why it might not be a bad time to bring in a low-cost, healthy competitor. Hong Kong faces many other issues than coronavirus. However, Greater Bay Airlines, with its pro-Beijing stance, is in a good position.

Hong Kong Airlines' future is uncertain

Bottom line

Greater Bay Airlines will launch in 2021 and become Hong Kong's newest airline. It will operate regionally all-economy Boeing 737s and is expected to be the most value airline in the area.

Hong Kong's aviation industry is in a difficult time. I am curious how it all plays out. Oasis Hong Kong Airlines was the last major startup airline in Hong Kong. Although the airline flew 747s from Hong Kong to London and Vancouver about a decade ago it was only around for a few years. It was a regrettable experience. I hope Greater Bay Airlines has more success.

What do you think of Greater Bay Airlines'?