Following news of Air Astana’s new low-cost startup, this week’s airline startup of the week is China Southern’s Xiongan Airlines. The news of the new airline comes days after the Chinese carrier announced they were leaving the SkyTeam alliance. The new airline will be based out of Beijing’s new mega airport currently under construction. China Southern is certainly well placed to launch a new airline. While the airline is China’s largest, it also hopes to grow its fleet size to a colossal 2,000 by 2035. For comparison, the world’s entire A380 fleet is only 230 aircraft large.
New Beijing Mega Airport
Beijing is currently in the process of building a new mega airport to rival the new Dubai World City airport currently under construction. The new airline will be based out of this airport which is set to open its doors on October 1st, 2019. The airport will reportedly have 8 runways, in addition to the capacity to handle 100 million passengers annually. The new Beijing airport is being built around 100km south of Beijing. China’s growing aviation industry is continually growing, with airports facing capacity problems like those seen at Heathrow and Gatwick. Poland is also currently in the process of building a new mega airport.
Xiongan Airlines will be named after the new area where the airport is being built. According to Routes Online, “Beijing Daxing is being built in the Xiong’an New Area, an area about 100 km south-west of Beijing that will become a development hub for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei economic triangle.” The new airline will begin operations using Airbus A320 aircraft. As part of its 786 stong fleet, China Southern currently operates 132 A320s. China Southern’s fleet is mostly made up of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, however, the airline also has an order for 20 of the Chinese made Comac C919. The Chinese airline operates out of Beijing and Guangzhou with secondary hubs in Shanghai, Chongqing, and Ürümqi.
¥10 Billion Startup Cost
The airline will be launched at a cost of ¥10 Billion. One-quarter of this figure will be made up by China Southern, while the remaining three quarters will comprise of external investments. The Chinese Aviation Authority is currently waiting for comments from interested parties before deciding whether to issue a full approval for the airline. The deadline for these comments is 28th November 2018.
What do you make of China Southern’s new airline? Let us know in the comments down below!