Hong Kong startup Greater Bay Airlines has scaled back its initial growth ambitions due to tight pandemic-related quarantine restrictions and has yet to set a date for its first commercial flights, its chief executive said on Friday.
The carrier, which intends to compete against the financial centre's dominant airline, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd , was granted a licence last month to operate regular flights.
The second of three Boeing 737-800s leased from China's ICBC Leasing arrived in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
However, Chief Executive Algernon Yau said requirements for two weeks of hotel quarantine on arrival to the city would need to relax before Greater Bay would commit to a launch date and its first routes.
The airline said in October it hoped to have seven jets in operation by the end of 2022, but Yau said growth plans had been scaled back due to setbacks in border openings as COVID-19 cases rose in its home city.
"I think we will operate three aircraft this year," he said. "And maybe we will reach the level in the second half of 2023 where we are adding two more aircraft."
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