Greater Bay Airlines Acquires Boeing 737-9 – AirlineGeeks.com
By Will Lee
Greater Bay Airlines Acquires Boeing 737-9
Greater Bay Airlines becomes the first Hong Kong carrier to acquire the 737 Max. Boeing and the airline have inked a deal for an order for 15 models of the -9 variant in Hong Kong. The first aircraft is expected to deliver in Aug. 2024, with the remaining deliveries by 2027 with the deal potentially being a shot in the arm after the pandemic.
In the meantime, the airline has signaled to develop long-haul operations after signing a letter of intent to buy five 787 Dreamliners. Greater Bay Airlines could be the first Hong Kong carrier to buy 787 Dreamliners as well.
The new aircraft could carry more than 190 passengers in a two-class configuration, allowing the airline added capacity to meet the travel demand.
Greater Bay Airlines launched services last July with three leased Boeing 737-8, it currently operates four immensely popular destinations from Hong Kong, such as Tokyo and Seoul, South Korea.
“The new order will bring fantastic growth possibilities to GBA and enable us to strive for excellence in an innovative way for our valued customers.” Cho Bau Wong, chairman of the airline said.
“GBA’s commitment to 737-9s is a major endorsement of our 737 MAX family and its ability to serve new markets.” Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplane said during his first trip to Hong Kong in four years.
Mr. Deal revealed that Boeing has intense competition with Airbus. In the first phase of choosing the Boeing 737-800 as the airline’s jet, Boeing has begun holding talk with the airline. But the manufacturer has made every effort to seal a contract.
“The business model that Greater Bay Airlines represented, any time we work with an airline, they tend to want to share with us their future plans.” Deal said.
After nine months of launching the services, Wong said the performance of the company is slightly better than expected. Greater Bay Airlines is well known for focusing on the Southern China market. However, the airline hasn’t unveiled its plan to expand its route map to mainland China thus far.
The airline has revealed its strategy for developing its business by starting new services to Manila, Philippines, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In addition, the new flight operation to Osaka, Japan will be launched by the end of April. Meanwhile, the airline considers planning to bring in several additional 737-800 to meet its expansion needs before the delivery of the 737-9.
Also, Greater Bay Airlines will cooperate with Hong Kong International Airport to give away a number of air tickets. In the wake of the pandemic, Hong Kong’s aviation and travel industry were left behind. With a view to attracting tourists from around the world, the government has carried out a global promotion in March.