China’s first private airline Okay Airways has indefinitely halted its passenger services although there are reports that the stand down is just for one month.
The Juneyao Group, controlling shareholder of Okay Airways, filed an application in November to the authority to suspend Okay’ passenger service, the China Business News reported.
Okay Airways received verbal approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), allowing it to halt passenger operations on Dec 15, said Han Jing, the company’s spokesman.
‘We have no idea why Juneyao filed the application to suspend our operation,’ Han told Reuters on the phone. (Possibly the reason was not unconnected with the fact it owed a lot of money.)
Okay Airways’ cargo business would remain unchanged, Han added.
The newspaper quoted Juneyao’s chairman, Wang Junjin, as saying that Okay Airways needed to increase profitability and make a turnaround in passenger services in the face of the global financial crisis.
Beijing-based Okay Airways was established in 2005 and operated cargo and passenger flights across the country. As a partner to the U.S. package-delivery company FedEx , the carrier has 3 cargo planes and operates 6 airplanes for passenger service.