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GCR-2013-08 - TOP 12 ASIAN SUMMER MARKETS
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Formed in 2004 and started operations in 2007. Subsidiary of Hainan Airlines (HNA). Formerly "Grand China Express Airlines" (GCR). Domestic & regional, scheduled and charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
Tianjin Airport Building
Tianjin Binhai International Airport
300300 Tianjin, China
China (People's Republic of China) was established in 1949, it covers an area of 9,560,980 sq km, its population is 1,265 million, its capital city is Beijing, and its official language is Chinese.
China is a country in East Asia, the world's 3rd largest country by area (after Russia and Canada) and the largest by population. It is bordered on the north by the Republic of Mongolia and Russia, on the NE by Russia and North Korea, on the east by the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, on the south by the South China Sea, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (formerly Burma), India, Bhutan, and Nepal, on the west by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, and on the NW by Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. China includes >3,400 offshore islands. The total area of China is 9,571,300 sq km/3,695,500 sq mi, not including Hong Kong, Macau, and land under the control of the Republic of China on Taiwan. The capital of China is Beijing; the country's most populous urban center is Shanghai.
April 2004: Grand China Express Air (GCR) was established by merging the major aviation assets of Hainan Airlines (HNA), China Xinhua Airlines (XIH), Chang'An Airlines, and Shanxi Airlines.
June 2006: Hainan Airlines (HNA) is planning to set up a regional airline in Tianjin to be named "Grand Air Express" and be based at the Tianjin Binhai Airport. The new carrier will operate regional passenger and cargo services leasing at least 5 Dornier 328s from Hainan Airlines (HNA) for its start-up. Within 3 to 5 years, the carrier hopes to operate 50 to 100 airplanes and become China's largest regional carrier.
August 2006: Hainan Airlines (HNA) parent, the (HNA) Group will purchase 50 Embraer E190s and 50 ERJ-145s. The deal is valued at $2.7 billion at list prices and represents a huge step for the Harbin Embraer Airplane Industry joint venture with China Aviation Industry Corp II, which assembles the ERJ-145, and had yet to reach a deal with a mainland carrier, delivering just 12 airplanes as of May. The 106-seat E190s will be built in Sao Jose dos Campos. The airplanes are a new type for Hainan Airlines (HNA)
September 2006: Rolls-Royce (RRC) will supply engines for the 50 ERJ-145s ordered by the Hainan Airlines (HNA) Group. The order, which includes 100 engines and long-term TotalCare services, is valued at $500 million.
(HNA)'s order for 50 Embraer E190s and 50 ERJ-145s was approved by China's National Development and Reform Commission. The E190s will be built in Brazil, while the ERJ-145s will be built at Embraer's Chinese (JV) facility with the Hafei Aviation Industry Group.
April 2007: Receives its Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
April 2007: Hainan Airlines (HNA) parent, the (HNA) Group launched its "Grand Xinhua Express Airlines (GXE)" in Tianjin, just SE of Beijing, from where it initially will operate 5 32-seat regional jets. (HNA) holds 81% of the new carrier with an investment of CNY81 million/$10.5 million, while (HNA) invested CNY19 million for the remaining stake. (GXE) is aiming to be China's top regional airline in both passenger and cargo traffic. (GXE) Chairman & President Yu Wenyong cited "market potential" as the reason for starting the airline, pointing out that "market demand for regional air transport in China is really big now. Currently, more than half of trunk routes with low load factors can be replaced by regional airplanes." He said the company estimates that the number of passengers flying regional routes will climb to 56 million in 2020. An internal source at (HNA) Group said that the company's next step is to integrate regional operations of subsidiary carriers (HNA), Chang'an Airlines (CHG), Xinhua Airlines (XIH), and Shanxi Airlines (SHX) with (GXE), which will take delivery of the 1st of 100 Embraer ERJ-145s and E190s in September, with the whole order arriving in 5 years. (HNA) is pursuing an ambitious strategy to "grab two-thirds of China's regional market share by 2012."
May 2007: Starts operations with a Dornier 328-300 regional jet.
Plans to become China's largest regional airline, operating on 78 routes linking 54 cities.
Plans by 2012, to be flying on >450 routes linking at least 90 cities, taking >90% of the domestic regional aviation market.
September 2007: Hainan Airlines (HNA) said that "Grand China Air" (GCH) Holding has decided to purchase 31.7% of (HNA) subsidiary, Lucky Air (LKY) from another subsidiary, Shanxi Airlines (CHG). This is in line with (HNA)'s plan for the launch of its "Grand China Air" (GCH) entity. Earlier this year, (HNA) Group Chairman Cheng Feng noted that its "Grand China Air" (GCH) entity will merge its subsidiaries, including (HNA), Xinhua Airlines (XIH), Changan Airlines (CGN)and Shanxi Airlines (CHG) to become the country's 4th-largest commercial carrier. (HNA) currently holds 60% of Xinhua (XIH), 93.75% of Shanxi (CHG), and 81.16% of Changan (CGN). An internal source said that "Grand China Air" (GCH) Holding will purchase the remaining outstanding shares of the carriers "very soon."
1st Embraer ERJ-145 delivery.
October 2007: Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry (HEAI), the joint venture between Embraer and AVIC II, delivered its 1st ERJ-145 and the 1000th unit of the type overall to Hainan Airlines (HNA) Group subsidiary "Grand China Express (GCE)." (GCE) last year placed an order for 50 ERJ-145s to be manufactured by (HEAI) and 50 E190s to be manufactured in Brazil.
The (CAAC) (CAC) is aiming to boost China's long-neglected domestic regional market further, with the distribution of new subsidies, even as the recent trend of companies investing in regional start-ups, appears to be accelerating. According to a new regulation, scheduled to be implemented by year end, all regional routes measuring 600 km or shorter, will be eligible for the subsidies, with preference given to those opened in central, western or northeastern China. "Though government subsidies can alleviate some temporary difficulties for the regional carriers, it is much more important for these carriers to improve their profitability," China Securities Company analyst Li Lei noted. Last year, (CAAC)'s administrative branch in the NW was chosen on a trial basis to distribute subsidies to regional carriers operating in the region. Industry insiders credit the program with helping push Kunpeng Airlines, the Mesa Air Group/Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ) joint venture that launched last month, to choose Xi'an as its base. Kunpeng started with 3 CRJ-200s and intends to add 20 50/90-seat airplanes annually, until it reaches a fleet of 160 to 200. Other signs the regional market is heating up can be found at (HNA) Group's Grand Xinhua Express (GXE), which currently operates 29 Do-328s but may take some of the 50 ERJ-145s and 50 E190s ordered by the parent company, according to Chairman, Cheng Feng and China Eastern Airlines (CEA), which has confirmed its plan to launch its own regional in partnership with AVIC I.
November 2007: (HNA) Group's "Grand China Air" (GCH) designed to be the country's 4th-largest commercial carrier, launched on November 29 in Haikou, capital of Hainan Province, according to ex-(HNA) Chairman, Chen Feng. Hainan Development Holding Company holds 40.65% of (GCH) with an investment of CNY1.5 billion, while (HNA)'s Hainan Airlines (HNA) invested CNY900 million in a 24.08% stake. Other investors include Starstep, Yangtze River Investment, Pan American Aviation Holdings, Qiye Industrial Investment, Union Trans-Atlantic, and Perfect Star Investment. To pave the way for (GCH)'s launch, Chen resigned as (HNA) Chairman on November 1. (GCH) will be the controlling stakeholder in (HNA) and under Chinese regulations, the Chairman of a company that is the controlling stakeholder of a listed company cannot also Chair the listed company.
(GCH) will to merge Xinhua Airlines (XIH), Changan Airlines (CGN), and Shanxi Airlines (CHG) into one entity. (HNA) currently holds 60% of Xinhua (XIH), 93.75% of Shanxi (CHG), and 81.16% of Changan (CGN). (GCH) will aim to purchase the remaining outstanding shares of those carriers "very soon." Chen also noted that the new entity plans to be listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. "(HNA) aims to solve its high debt ratio, by reorganizing to launch Grand China Air (GCH) and to list in Hong Kong, as the debt ratio would negatively impact raising funds for fleet expansion," he said. (HNA)'s debt ratio was about 80% in the 3rd quarter.
Grand China Air (GCH), created by the (HNA) Group to be the country's 4th-largest commercial carrier, operated its 1st flight from Beijing to Dalian, although it postponed the ceremony to mark its launch to next month. (GCH) will operate under the (IATA) (ITA) code of CN. It is noteworthy that it chose to operate out of Beijing, while its headquarters remains in the provincial capital of Haikou. An industry insider said that (GCH) "has no other alternatives," as the Hainan provincial government made its CNY1.5 billion investment contingent on the headquarters remaining in the province. "Meantime, (CAAC) also wouldn't approve its name as "Grand China Air" (GCH) unless it is based in Beijing. (HNA) has the ambition to be a national carrier, so it didn't want to give up the name," the source said. (HNA) said it will merge Hainan Airlines (HNA), Xinhua Airlines (XIH), Changan Airlines (CGN), and Shanxi Airlines (CHG) into one entity "very soon," after which it will list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Even then it will have a long way to go to catch the Big Three of Air China (BEJ), China Southern Airlines (GUN), and China Eastern Airlines (CEA) which hold a combined 80% share of the domestic market while (GCH) grabs just 9%.
July 2008: 1st Embraer E190 delivery.
August 2008: (HNA) subsidiary Grand China Express Airlines (GCEA), formerly Grand Xinhua Express (GXE), plans to sell a stake to Hyundai Heavy Industries so as to improve its financial performance. The Tianjin-based regional has signed a letter of intent (LOI) for cooperation with Hyundai, which is conducting due diligence on the airline in order to determine the size of its investment. It is widely speculated that the Korean company will purchase a 20% stake with an investment of about CNY120 million/$17.5 million. (GCEA) has suffered along with other Chinese regionals. Launched in March 2007, it reported a large operating deficit as it struggles to establish a broad regional network, even though its fleet of 40 airplanes is the segment's largest. It plans to introduce 50 ERJ-145s and 50 E190s over the next 5 years.
September 2008: Hainan Airlines (HNA) announced that its Chang'an Airlines (CGN) subsidiary leased out 2 E190s to Grand China Express Airlines (GCR) for 1 year.
December 2008: (HNA) Group subsidiary, Grand China Express Airlines (GCEA) is expected to receive a CNY200 million/$29.1 million injection from the Tianjin municipal government following the signing of an agreement. (GCEA) has been suffering from operating losses and struggling to survive since its March 2007 launch owing to the "immaturity of the Chinese regional market," spokesperson, Cui Kai said. (GCEA) is joining the growing trend of domestic airlines looking for handouts.
March 2009: Domestic scheduled destinations: Altay; Beijing; Tianjin; and Urumqi.
May 2009: Hainan Airlines Group plans to relaunch its "Grand China Express Airlines" (GCR) subsidiary as "Tianjin Airlines" (GCR) on June 8 after reaching a deal with the local government. Originally started in June 2007, Grand China (GCR) operated 10 E190s, 12 ERJ-145s and 29 Do 328-300s in April on >80 domestic routes. In December, the Tianjin government agreed to inject CNY200 million/$29.3 million into Grand China (GCR), giving it a 15.4% stake in the reconstituted carrier, which has been approved by the (CAAC) (CAC). Hainan (HNA) will remain the controlling stakeholder, expanding its share in Tianjin Airlines (GCR) to 83.4% with an additional investment of CNY500 million. Its Hainan Airlines (HNA) subsidiary holds the remaining 1.5%. (GCR) is expected to operate 100 airplanes on >500 routes to 100 cities by 2012.
(HNA) is not the only domestic carrier to seek local government support. It has been reported that Tianjin-based Okay Airways (OKA) also plans to introduce the Tianjin government as its strategic investor. "It had planned to purchase a 40% stake of Okay Airways, but the sides haven't reached an agreement yet."
(HNA) is expected to receive a CNY3 billion/$439 million capital injection from the Hainan provincial government and its parent, the Hainan Airlines Group (HAG) to facilitate fleet expansion and improve its debt ratio. The provincial government and the (HAG) each will provide CNY1.5 billion to (HNA). The money is intended to reduce the Haikou-based carrier's debt ratio to 81%. (HNA) plans to introduce 90 new airplanes in 2009 to 2013. They will cost around CNY24.3 billion; the capital injection is aimed at broadening airplane financing channels available to (HNA), Guotai Junan Securities noted. China Eastern Airlines (CEA), China Southern Airlines (GUN), Shanghai Airlines (SHA) and Grand China Express (GCR) have received CNY7 billion, CNY3 billion, CNY1 billion, and CNY200 million government capital injections, respectively.
June 2009: (HNA) re-launched its Grand China Express Airlines (GCR) subsidiary as "Tianjin Airlines" (GCR), part of its plan to focus on domestic regional market expansion this year and in 2010, according to Chairman Chen Feng. (GCRA) has been loss-making since its June 2007 launch. The re-launched Tianjin Airlines (GCR) has a registered capital of CNY1.3 billion/$190 million. (HNA) will remain the controlling stakeholder and expanded its holding to >83% with an additional investment of CNY500 million. The Tianjin local government holds >15% and has injected CNY200 million into the carrier.
(GCR) is expected to keep its existing routes as well as add new routes including Tianjin to Xi'an to Guiyang, Tianjin to Weihai, and Tianjin to Zhengzhou to Nanchang. Chen said that (GCR) will expand its fleet to 30 airplanes comprising 7 ERJ-145s, 15 E190s and 8 767-300s by 2013. "Tianjin (GCR) would mainly operate domestic regional routes with ERJ-145s and E190s [but] also we plan to open some international routes operated by 767-300s," he said.
E190 (0293, B-3155), delivery.
August 2009: E190 (0299, B-3156), delivery.
September 2009: E190 (0313, B-3158), delivery.
October 2009: E190 (0323, B-3159), delivery.
November 2009: Parent organization/shareholders: Grand China Air Company Limited.
(IATA) Code: GS - 826. (ICAO) Code: GCR - (Callsign: Bo Hai).
Main Base: Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN).
December 2009: Aerosim Technologies said Tianjin Airlines (GCR) adopted its E190 Flight Management System (FMS) trainer.
2 E190s (0325, B-3160; 0328, B-3161), deliveries.
February 2010: ERJ-145 (1053, B-3087) and E190 (0331, B-3162), deliveries.
March 2010: 2 E190s (0335, B-3163; 0340, B-3165), deliveries.
June 2010: ERJ-145LI (1063, B-3090), ex-(PT-TKK), delivery.
September 2010: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) will launch its 1st international route with services Tianjin to Hohhot to Ulan Bator on October 19.
(GCR) was originally launched in June 2007 under the name of Grand China Express Airlines.
(GCR) gained approval from the (CAAC) to shift its operating focus from domestic regional routes to trunk routes and international routes in June 2010. According to (GCR) spokesperson, the route was chosen because “Tianjin is a sister city of Ulan Bator.” As of June 30, (GCR) operated a fleet of 72 airplanes comprising Do-328s, ERJ-145s and E190s. (GCR) plans to introduce A320 and A330 airplanes in the coming days and expand its fleet to 100 in the next 3 years.
November 2010: Embraer ERJ-145 (1065, B-3091), delivery.
December 2010: Embraer ERJ-145 (1068, B-3092), delivery.
November 2011: 2 Embaer E190-100LR (0480, B-3185; 0489, B-3186), deliveries.
February 2012: E190-100LR (0508, B-3189), ex-(PT-TSE), delivery.
January 2013: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is the leader in the current fad of subsidized local subsidiaries of Chinese mainland airlines. It is an offshoot of Hainan Airlines (HNA) backed by the Tianjin city government. Since (GCR) was formed in 2004, such carriers have been popping up all over China. How big can they grow? Pretty big, if the ambitions of Tianjin Airlines (GCR) are anything to go by. Originally an operator of Embraer ERJ regional jets, (GCR) now uses mainly Embraer E190s, has begun introducing A320s and has plans for A330s that it could fly on intercontinental routes. Tianjin is a large and well-developed city, and many others are following its example with locally based subsidiaries of the major carriers.
June 2013: A320-214 (4600, B-9963), with "5th East Asian Games" title, (GEF) leased delivery.
July 2013: (GE) Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS) (GEF), announced delivery of a leased A320 to new customer Tianjin Airlines (GCR) to expand (GCR)’s fleet. Tianjin Airlines (GCR) operates a fleet of >75 airplanes to some 60 destinations in China.
(GECAS) (GEF) was the first commercial airplane lessor in China and currently leases airplanes to 23 different Chinese customers, including (GCR). (GECAS) (GEF) maintains a strong local presence with established offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
A320-232 (2475, B-9948), EX-(EI-FCF), Aircraft Leasing leased.
August 2013: Lion Air (MLI) and Garuda Indonesia (GIA) have helped Indonesia to replace China as the fastest growing Asian air travel market. The latest edition of Boeing (TBC)’s annually updated "Current Market Outlook" (2013 - 2032) predicts that demand (as measured by Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK)s in the Asia-Pacific region will grow by an average of +6.3% per annum during the next 20 years, and that by 2032 the region’s airlines will account for over one-third of the world’s fleet of commercial airplanes, up from around 24% at present.
Last year when one looked at what was happening to Asia’s leading airlines, airports and country markets, the analysis was dominated by China’s growth, which far exceeded that of the rest of Asia. So what has changed 12 months on?
A comparison has been made between the months of August 2012 and August 2013, for all the airports designated as being in Asia. Since last year, the biggest change has been that the airlines comprising the AirAsia (ASW) group have passed Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) to break into the top 5 in the region. Hainan Airlines (HNA) and Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ), both moved up a place in the top 10, as Korean Air (KAL) dropped -2 places to number 10.
Of the top 30 airlines, just 3, (Korean Air (KAL), Cathay Pacific (CAT) and Shanghai Airlines (SHA)) have reported a drop in monthly seat capacity. New entrants in the top 30 are Tianjin Airlines (GCR) (at number 28), and Beijing Capital Airlines (DER) (at number 30). They replace Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Spring Airlines (CQH). Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is also the fastest-growing in the top 30, reporting an increase in monthly seat capacity of just over >+42%.
SEE ATTACHED - - "GCR-2013-08 - TOP 30 AIRLINES IN ASIA BY ASK."
After the recent problems in the Indian market, it is good to see both Jet Airways (JPL) (+4.3%), and Air India (AIN)/(IND) (+13.0%) growing once again, joining IndiGo (IGO) (+19.1%) and SpiceJet (ROJ) (+14.4%), as the Indian market appears to be regaining some growth momentum. It is worth noting that although all of the top 30 airlines are, not surprisingly, based in the region, Dubai-based Emirates (EAD) ranks only just outside the top 30, in 33rd place.
In 2012 China’s airports handled just >680 million passengers, +9.5% more than in 2011. (CAAC) (CAC) data for the 1st half of 2013 indicates that Chinese airlines have carried around +11% more passengers than in the same period in 2012. Capacity growth at Chinese airports in August of this year is just >+12%. Whereas last year, China’s capacity growth was higher than for any other country in the top 12, this year it ranks only 5th by that measure, behind Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Indonesia’s rapid growth has enabled it to move up to 3rd place, pushing India down to 4th. Malaysia has benefited from the arrival of Lion Air (MLI)’s Malaysian partner airline, Malindo Air (MXD), which launched services this year.
SEE ATTACHED - - "GCR-2013-08 - TOP 12 ASIAN SUMMER MARKETS."
Japan and India both report growth of between +8% and +9%, while South Korea (+1.5%) and Taiwan (+0.6%) are the slowest growing major Asian country markets.
Asia’s top 30 airports account for around 53% of all scheduled seat capacity across Asia, but although capacity was up +8.6% at these airports, capacity across all other airports combined was up almost double, at +15.0%. Among the top 10 airports, Beijing (PEK)’s capacity is up <+2%, while seat capacity at Bangkok’s main airport is down just >-2%, as a number of carriers have been allowed to transfer flights back to Bangkok’s older Don Mueang airport. Jakarta’s rapid growth (+20%) has seen it move past Hong Kong into 3rd place.
The 2 fastest-growing airports in the top 30 are Kunming in China (+43.7%), and Surabaya in Indonesia (+37.9%), which is also the only new entry in the rankings, replacing Urumqi in China. India only has 2 airports in the top 30 (compared with 11 for China and 6 for Japan), but both Delhi (+8.5%) and Mumbai (+12.2%) are once again growing.
SEE ATTACHED - - "GCR-2013-08 - TOP 30 ASIA AIRPORTS."
September 2013: Hainan Airlines Group subsidiary, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is expected to launch Guangxi Airlines (GXI) in conjunction with the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Investment Group, which is wholly owned by the government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region.
October 2013: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) now connects its home base at Tianjin (TSN) in China to Phnom Penh (PNH) in Cambodia. The 4x-weekly service on the 3,300 km sector is flown by (GCR)’s A320s. (GCR) now serves 29 destinations from its Tianjin hub, but this is only the 2nd international route for the airline, the other being Seoul Incheon. Last year, Tianjin Binhai International Airport handled 8.14 million passengers, an increase of +7.8% on the previous year, and ranking it as the 24th busiest airport in China.
November 2013: (GE) has given Tianjin Airlines (GCR) TRUEngine designation for 107 (CF34-10E) engines powering 50 Embraer E190s.
December 2014: A320-214 (5760, B-9987), ex-(B-507L), Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) leased and A320-232 (2338, B-9989), ex-(EI-FDN), Hong Kong Aviation Capital leased.
June 2014: Tianjin Airlines (GCR), the 1st E190 Chinese operator and the largest E-Jets carrier in Asia, is the launch user for E-Jets Aircraft Health Analysis & Diagnosis – PROgnosis (AHEAD-PRO) system in China. The system will be installed in all Tianjin Airlines (GCR) fleet of 50 E-Jets.
“We are glad to have Tianjin Airlines (GCR) as the 1st Chinese carrier adopting the Embraer (EMB)’s AHEAD-PRO system, representing a new milestone in our long-term successful partnership,” said Siu Ying Yeung, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Embraer China, “As the state-of-the-art maintenance diagnostic management tool, the system leads to corrective and preventive maintenance planning management optimization and had been well recognized by customers worldwide. Predict the unpredictable, to make our airplanes more available, is our customer support innovation driver.”
This system is the backbone of the future smart and fully integrated services that Embraer (EMB) is currently developing in order to provide its operators with the most complete solution. “Embraer AHEAD-PRO system offers us all functionalities to optimize the health monitoring process, from data acquisition to time-to-failure prognosis. It has been well proved that the system brings great benefits to line maintenance operation and significantly increase airplane dispatch reliability, which ultimately boosts operation profitability,” said Hu Jianfeng, VP of Tianjin Airlines.
AHEAD-PRO is a computational web-based platform that enables airlines to continuously monitor the health of an airplane while it is in flight, through the automatic and real-time transmission of alert and maintenance messages from the airplane systems to a ground base which will be received and used to generate fault identification reports. Troubleshooting and maintenance resources planning occur even before airplane arrival to its destination, optimizing the turn-around-time between flights.
Inaugurated as the 1st true regional airline in China back in 2009, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is now the 8th largest carrier in China in terms of fleet size and 11th in terms of market share. As of today, (GCR) owns a fleet of >80 jets, serving >90 domestic and international cities and carrying >8 million travelers in 2013. In 2011, it was awarded the distinction of “Best Regional Aviation Airline in China” and “Global Four-star Airlines” by Skytrax consultancy for its outstanding achievements.
July 2014: Embraer (EMB) has announced that Hainan Airlines (HNA) subsidiary, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) has agreed to purchase 40 Embraer E-Jets, comprising 20 E-Jets and 20 E-Jets E2, in an order valued $2.1 billion at current list prices, becoming the 1st Chinese airline to order the E-Jets E2 model.
The 1st current generation E-Jet will be delivered in 2015, and the 1st E190-E2 is scheduled for delivery in 2018.
“Embraer E190s have been the cornerstone of our regional expansion strategy over the past few years and have allowed us to achieve our development objectives,” Tianjin Airlines (GCR) Chairman & President, Liu Lu said. “We see these additional orders as a continuation of both our short-term and long-term growth plans. The 20 new E-Jets E2s will bring us even greater efficiency and flexibility in adding frequencies and expanding markets.”
In addition, Embraer (EMB) said China’s (ICBC) Leasing has ordered 20 Embraer E190 E2 jets. The agreement covers 10 firm orders and 10 purchase rights, in an order valued at $1.1 billion at current list prices. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2018.
The E190-E2 is the 1st model of the E-Jets E2 family to enter into service.
(ICBC) Leasing, (CEO), Cong Lin said, “Adding E-Jets E2s to our portfolio will diversify our airplane resources, strengthen our leadership in the leasing market, and support us in expanding the leasing market of regional aviation.”
The Hainan Airlines ((IATA) Code: HU, based at Haikou) (GCR) subsidiary currently operates 50 E190s and 22 ERJ-145s alongside 12 A320-200s.
Tianjin Airlines (GCR) currently operates 85 airplanes, and serves 4 countries, 94 destinations, 265 routes and 428 daily flights.
August 2014: Embraer (EMB) has signed Tianjin Airlines (GCR), the first E190 Chinese operator and the largest E-Jet carrier in Asia, as the launch user in China for (EMB)'s Ahead-Pro (Aircraft Health Analysis & Diagnosis-Prognosis) system. The contract calls for (EMB) to install the system in all 50 of (GCR)'s E-Jets.
Promoted by Embraer (EMB) as "the state-of-the-art maintenance diagnostic management tool," the web-based platform lets airlines continuously monitor the health of an airplane in flight, through the automatic and real-time transmission of alert and maintenance messages to a ground base. The system then generates fault identification reports, allowing maintenance crews to troubleshoot the problem and plan corrective work before the airplane arrives at its destination, for shorter turnaround times.
December 2014: Tianjin Binhai International Airport (Tianjin Airport) continued to record high annual passenger throughput, >12 million on December 29 and increasing +20.4% year on year.
Compared with last year, the passenger throughput of the No 2 Terminal exceeded >10 million 2 months earlier, which proves Tianjin Airport's leading role in the implementation of the integrated development of civil aviation in the Beijing to Tianjin to Hebei area.
The passenger throughput of Tianjin Airport reached 8 million on December 24, 2012. The number exceeded >10 million on December 30, 2013, which made the airport recognized as a large size airport in China. And this year, the number jumped to 12 million.
The average annual increment of passenger throughput of Tianjin Airport reached 2 million in recent 3 years. The year on year increasing rate has continuously maintained a 2 digit strong development momentum, which has greatly exceeded the national average and has been a leader in all mainstream airports nation wide.
All the statistics reflect a rapid and steady trend, as well as a huge potential, in the development of Tianjin's civil aviation industry.
Tianjin has spared no effort in fighting for the government's policy support and has created the essential conditions for development.
This year, Tianjin Airport competed for the Tianjin Municipal Government's support from aspects such as organization and institution structuring and setting, ground transportation system construction, policy and capital support, and acceleration of the development and construction of the aviation logistics park.
Based on its support policies in 2013, the Tianjin government has continuously issued preferential policies to airline companies and travel agencies. In addition, the government provides a full price subsidy concerning high speed train fees and subway fees to passengers who take the Beijing to Tianjin inter-city trains to board a flight in Tianjin. The subsidies for European and American passenger and freight transportation have been increased from 30% to 100%. Moreover, Tianjin Airport has visited the Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) and its North China branch to follow up their assessment on the capacity of the airport. The (CAAC) has finally approved the improvement of a peak hour capacity of Tianjin Airport from 24 planes to 28 planes.
Tianjin Airport has also continuously updated its air route network. So far, there have been 45 global airline companies operating in Tianjin, among which 30 airlines own 139 air routes connecting to 97 cities, with up to 2,500 flights per week. And a total of 15 airline companies operate all-cargo flights which own 15 freight air routes connecting to 22 cities.
This year, a total of 76 new air routes have been added to Tianjin Airport. The development of international passenger and freight transportation has also witnessed a great breakthrough.
The flight connecting Tianjin with Irkutsk became Tianjin's 1st international passenger air route to Russia, while the flight from Tianjin to Moscow became Tianjin's 1st long distance international passenger air route to Europe. The freight air route from Los Angeles to Tianjin fills the blank in freight transportation to the USA.
The straight line distance between Tianjin Airport and Tiananmen Square is only 120 kms. Approximately 90 pairs of inter-city high speed trains travel between the cities. Furthermore, a total of 3 high speed roads connect the 2 cities.
Passengers leaving from, or arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport can take Beijing to Tianjin inter-city high speed trains and Tianjin Subway Line 2 to travel between Tianjin Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport. It takes only an hour to travel between Tianjin Airport and Beijing South Railway Station. Passengers can get their train ticket fees refunded at the airport.
As a first cooperation between Tianjin Airport and Ctrip Travel Website, a product concerning the flight and train integrated transportation between Beijing and Tianjin was launched successfully on November 19. More and more domestic and international tourists were attracted by its convenience.
Until December 21, 2014, the total number of people who have been given ticket fee returns at the Beijing to Tianjin flight and train integrated transportation counter in Tianjin Airport has reached 14,811. The counter became extremely hot during the (APEC) Summit in Beijing. As many as 1,000 people visited the counter within a single day.
The remote terminals in 12 cities cover a great many cities in the Beijing to Tianjin to Hebei area. The seamless connection and multidimensional transfer among different kinds of transportation, such as the high speed trains to subways, and the high speed trains to airport shuttles, have gradually become main travel measures for tourists from nearby cities traveling to Tianjin.
Supported by the convenient and developed ground transportation system, the "same city effect" of "arriving in Tianjin as arriving in Beijing" has been established. The Tianjin Airport is becoming the second typical measure of traveling to Beijing by air.
The integrated development of Beijing to Tianjin to Hebei, the inter-city integration between Beijing and Tianjin, the development and launch of the Binhai New Area, and the establishment of the Tianjin Free Trade Park, provide great opportunities for Tianjin Airport.
Providing strong policy and capital sponsorship, the Tianjin Municipal Party Committee and the Tianjin Government came up with the idea of establishing Tianjin Airport as a large size and mainstream air transportation hub as well as an international aviation distribution center in North China.
The (CAAC), Beijing Military Region Air Force, and the (CAAC)'s North China branch has provided great support to Tianjin Airport on airport traffic rights, time arrangements, and peak hour capacity.
The parent company of Tianjin Airport, the Beijing Capital International Airport Group has also put emphasis on the construction and development of Tianjin Airport.
The airports in Beijing to Tianjin to Hebei area signed an agreement on the integrated development strategy among airports and confirmed the functional position of the airports on December 22.
The development of Tianjin Airport has verified the integrated development of Beijing to Tianjin to Hebei. It is also a sample for promoting the nation through economic and social development and civil aviation construction.
In the coming years, Tianjin Airport will serve to alleviate the pressure of Beijing Capital International Airport and assist the integrated development of Beijing to Tianjin to Hebei.
It is expected that the passenger throughput and cargo handling capacity of Tianjin Airport will reach 30 million and one million tons respectively in 2020.
February 2015: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) on February 15th launched its 1st service to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK). The 3,241 km route from its home base at Tianjin (TSN) will be served daily by (GCR)’s A320s and faces competition from Okay Airways (OKA), which also operates the route daily. Tianjin Airlines (GCR) now serves 37 non-stop destinations from its home base, of which nine are international. Bangkok joins Jeju and Seoul in South Korea; Hakodate, Okinawa, Sapporo/Chitose and Shizuoka in Japan; Siem Reap in Cambodia; and Taichung in Taiwan. Of these, only Bangkok and Seoul are served daily.
March 2015: 3 E190-100 (0186, B-3122; 0340, B-3165; 0426, B-3179), ex-(PT-SDU; PT-TXZ; PT-TCK) Tianjin Airlines leased to GX Airlines (Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines).
April 2015: News Item A-1: Hainan Airlines (HNA) is expected to take a 48.21% stake in subsidiary, Tianjin Airlines (GCR), paving the way for all its subsidiaries to be listed as a whole entity.
According to an (HNA) statement released by the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Haikou-based carrier would circulate nonpublic 6.59 billion shares to collect CNY24 billion/$3.9 billion to become a controlling stakeholder as well as fund a fleet expansion.
(HNA) has previously stated it would purchase the stakes of all its airline subsidiaries, including Lucky Air (LKY), Beijing Capital Airlines (DER), Tianjin Airlines (GCR), West Air and Chang’an (CGN) airlines so it could go wholly listed to avoid competition. It has already become the controlling stakeholder of Lucky Air (LKY) and Beijing Capital Airlines (DER).
(HNA) is scheduled to introduce 105 airplanes, comprising 36 narrow body and 69 wide body airplanes between 2014 and 2018; it is expected to pay for 37 airplanes between May 2015 and December 2018, which is about CNY43.05 billion. (HNA) revealed it would use CNY11 billion of the CNY24 billion it collected to cover part of the 37-airplane payment.
(HNA) placed a firm order of 30 Boeing 787-9 airplanes in March.
News Item A-2: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) has taken delivery of its 17th Airbus A320 airplane recently, which is also (GCR)'s 1st airplane equipped with airborne satellite communications system.
With the introduction of new airplanes, (GCR) has expanded its fleet to 86 airplanes, including 17 A320s, 27 E190s and 22 ERJ-145s.
It is learnt that the Tianjin-based carrier will install satellite communication equipment on its A320 jets gradually. By the end of this year, up to 50% of A320s will be modified.
Tianjin Airlines (GCR) plans to deploy the airplanes with satellite communication devices on international routes to Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and other international destinations. The installation of airborne satellite communications equipment will greatly improve the operation monitoring ability and operation safety margin.
May 2015: News Item A-1: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) has launched 3 new international routes between China and Japan. All routes will be served just 2x-weekly with (GCR)’s A321s. Spring Airlines (CQH) will compete on the 2 routes to Osaka Kansai, which Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is operating on Mondays and Fridays. The new route to Shizuoka will be served on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This brings to 7 the number of routes (GCR) operates between China and Japan, 5 from Tianjin, and 2 from Xi’an.
Tianjin (TSN) to Osaka Kansai (KIX), A321 2x-weekly, vs Spring Airlines (CQH), 4x-;
Xi'an (XIY) to Shizuoka (FSZ), A321 2x-, vs (CQH) 3x-.
News Item A-2: China’s (HNA) Group subsidiary, China’s Tianjin Airlines (GCR) has signed a final agreement with Embraer (EMB) for 22 airplanes, comprising 20 E195s and 2 E190-E2s. The order, valued at $1.1 billion at current list prices, makes Tianjin the 1st Chinese airline to order the -E2 model.
The agreement between the 2 companies for 40 airplanes was previously announced in July 2014. The remaining 18 E190 E2 jets will be part of a 2nd approval by the Chinese authorities in a later stage.
According to Embraer (EMB), the 1st E195 will be delivered in 2015, and the 1st E190 E2 is scheduled for delivery in 2018.
Embraer Commercial Aviation (EMB) President & (CEO), Paulo Cesar Silva said, “China is growing very fast and there is a need for smaller narrow body jets to support efficient hub and spoke operations, complementing larger narrow body airplane operations, thus providing an ideal balance of frequency and seats, encouraging the development of new markets with lower risks and incremental capacity, while generating significant demand for new airplanes in this category.”
Tianjin Airlines (GCR) was the launch customer for the E190 in China and operates the largest E-Jets fleet in Asia with 50 E190s in its fleet. It is also the 1st carrier being appointed as an Authorized Service Center for Embraer (EMB) airplanes in China.
1 A320-214 (6570, B-1692), ex-(B-OOOV), Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) leased.
July 2015: News Item A-1: Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN) handled 43,964 passengers on July 10, setting a new record on passenger throughput during a single day.
As summer travel rush approaches, Tianjin Airport actively cooperated with airlines in adding and increasing flights from Tianjin to Lanzhou, Hohhot, Xiamen, Bangkok, Baotou, Changsha, Osaka, Irkutsk, etc. Apart from air-rail intermodality, the airport kicked off a new product air-sea intermodality, which lets passengers purchase flight and cruise tickets at one stop and arrange their time more flexible between these 2 means of transportation.
Up to July 10 this year, Tianjin Airport handled 58,300 aircraft takeoffs and landings, up +10.7% from the same period of 2014. It served 6,987,000 passengers with a +17.1% increase from a year earlier.
News Item A-2: A brand new Airbus A320 aircraft landed smoothly at Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN), marking that Tianjin Airlines (GCR) took delivery of its 18th A320 jetliner.
The new A320 (B-1692), was assembled at the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly. Configured with 174 seats, the jetliner cockpit is equipped with the Head Up Display (HUD) and satellite telephone system. With its official delivery, the brand new jetliner becomes (GCR)'s 5th aircraft that is manufactured in local Tianjin, expanding (GCR)'s fleet size up to 85, including 22 ERJ-145s, 45 E190s and 18 A320s.
(GCR) will soon deploy the new A320 jetliner into the Tianjin to Wuhan to Sanya service, facilitating the airline's operation during the summer travel rush.
August 2015: News Item A-1: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) on August 15 began flying 4x-weekly between its home base at Tianjin (TSN) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) in Japan. The 2,015 km route will be flown by (GCR)’s A321s and faces no direct competition. Flights depart Tianjin at 2035, arriving in Tokyo at 0030. The return flight departs Tokyo at 0130, arriving back in Tianjin at 0350. Tianjin Airlines (GCR), which operates a fleet of over >80 aircraft (Airbus and Embraer jets), now serves 41 destinations from Tianjin, of which 10 are outside of China. Tokyo Haneda becomes (GCR)’s 6th Japanese route (after Hakodate, Okinawa, Osaka Kansai, Sapporo Chitose, and Shizuoka) with its other international routes being to Bangkok (Thailand), Irkutsk (Russia), Jeju (South Korea) and Taichung (Taiwan).
News Item A-2: Tianjin Airlines ((IATA) Code: GS, based at Tianjin) (GCR) has become the latest Hainan Airlines (HNA) subsidiary to announce plans to start longhaul, wide body operations.
President Liu Lu told a press conference at its inaugural Tianjin - Tokyo Haneda service, that (GCR) will add its maiden A330 early next year, ahead of plans to serve Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia. The A330 will be sourced via parent firm, the (HNA) Group, he said.
Should it go ahead, the move will mirror that by sister carrier, Capital Airlines (China) ((IATA) Code: JD, based at Beijing Capital) (DER), which will start Copenhagen Kastrup flights next month using an ex-Garuda Indonesia (GIA) A330-200.
News Item A-3: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is set to establish a new subsidiary carrier in China's southwestern Sichuan Province, WCARN has reported quoting local media.
According to the outlet, the Hainan Airlines (HNA) subsidiary will partner the China Western Development Company, Ltd and local government in establishing the Xichang-based, Xichang Airlines (Xichang) (XIC).
Once operational, Xichang Airlines (XIC) will primarily focus on serving the Chengdu, Chongqing, and Kunming Changshui markets, while offering additional connections to cities in the Yangtze River and Pearl River Deltas, as well as the Beijing and Tianjin metropolitan areas.
Exploratory talks concerning the project have already taken place.
News Item A-4: Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN) handled 48,944 passengers on July 30, setting a new record on passenger throughput during a single day.
As travel rush peaks during the summer, an increasing number of passengers fly from and to Tianjin Airport. To cater their travel needs, the airport newly opens, resumes and increase frequency on several flights, adding extra flights from Tianjin to Dalian, Changsha, Hailar, and other cool summer resorts.
Airport insiders revealed that customers traveling from Tianjin to Dalian, Dali, Xi'ning, Harbin, and Hailar are in the majority. Besides, passengers on Japan and Singapore flights lead the international travelers.
With the stable situation of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, a slightly rebounding number of travelers now choose to go on vacation toward South Korea from Tianjin.
Tianjin Airport plans to add the frequency of Shenzhen to Tianjin, Tianjin to Nanning and Tianjin to Fuzhou to Nanning services this August.
News Item A-5: Founded in 2009, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) operates 18 A320-200s, 50 E190s, and 24 ERJ-145s on flights throughout China as well as to Japan, Thailand, S Korea, Russia, and Taiwan.
(GCR) currently operates >90 aircraft to 6 countries, to 99 destinations, on 244 routes and 387 daily flights.
News Item A-6: Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN), which now has 13 city terminals in Beijing to Tianjin to Hebei region, is planning to expand the number to 20 by the end of 2015.
With Terminal 2 coming into service in August 2014, Tianjin airport has entered a brand new stage of development, and its soft power and brand effect have improved significantly. Meanwhile, it took the first step in aviation cooperation of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province, with the establishment of a marketing center and opening advisory plus service counters in Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK).
With the rapid growth of China's economy, the airport has seen its passenger throughput volume rising rapidly. In 2014, as many as 12.07 million passengers traveled through Tianjin airport, a +20.3% increase from the prior year. Regional and international passenger numbers increased +54.6% to 1.56 million, topping on the list among major airports.
According to statistics, Tianjin airport handled 9.19 million passengers in this year, up +17.5% year on year. It is expected to serve 14 million passengers this year, aiming to handle 20 million passengers in 2020 and 30 in 2019, said the airport authority.
January 2016: E190-200 (0704, B-3117), ex-(PR-EQE) delivery.
February 2016: "Tianjin Airlines (GCR) to Open Four International Routes in June" by (ATW) Katie Cantle, February 4, 2016.
Hainan Airlines (HNA) subsidiary, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) will open 4 international long-haul routes in June as it accelerates its international expansion pace.
In November 2015, (GCR) secured approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to open:
- 4x-weekly, Chongqing to Vancouver International, Canada via Tianjin;
- 2x-weekly, Chongqing to London via Tianjin;
- 1x-weekly, Tianjin to Moscow;
- 1x-weekly, Chongqing to Moscow.
(GCR) plans to introduce 3 Airbus A330 to fly these long-haul international routes this year.
(GCR) operates a fleet of 86 aircraft, comprising 22 Airbus A320s, 2 Embraer E195s, 40 E190s and 22 ERJ-145s on >160 domestic and international routes.
In May 2015, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) ordered a further 22 aircraft, comprising 20 E195s and 2 E190 E2s.
(GCR) has established regional operating bases in Tianjin, Xi’an, Hohhot, Urumqi, Nanning, Guiyang, Haikou, Sanya, and Dalian; it transported 11.13 million passengers in 2015.
Sichuan Airlines (SIC), is also expected to open Chengdu to Prague route this month and Chengdu to Jinan to Los Angeles route in June. Additionally, Xiamen Airlines (XIA) is scheduled to open Xiamen to Shenzhen to Seattle service in June.
March 2016: Tianjin Airlines (GCR), a subsidiary of the (HNA) Group, is waiting government approval to launch 7 new intercontinental routes in April and May 2016.
(GCR) will use Airbus A330 aircraft on the all 8 new routes, with 2x-weekly, respectively (except 3x-weekly between Tianjin and Vladivostok).
(GCR) is scheduled to launch 2x-weekly service to Osaka, Japan from Dalian and Shenyang in April, followed by 2 Shizuoka services in May.
Meanwhile, (GCR) is also planning four new routes from its hub to Vladivostok, Russia; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; plus Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, Japan.
June 2016: The metropolis of Chongqing in SW China on Saturday opened its 1st direct flight to London.
The flight, operated by Tianjin Airlines (GCR), will commute between Tianjin, Chongqing and the British capital on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Chongqing Airport Group said.
The flight will strengthen links between London, a global financial center, and Chongqing, a transportation hub in southwest China.
July 2016: News Item A-1: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is seeking rights to launch a round-trip service from its headquarter Tianjin to Auckland, New Zealand via Chongqing in December 2016.
Pending government approval, (GCR) will use its Airbus A330 aircraft on the Tianjin to Chongqing to Auckland service, according to a notice released Monday by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
The Tianjin to Chongqing to Auckland service will be operated 3x-weekly, the (CAAC) said.
News Item A-2: China’s (HNA) Group subsidiary, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) plans to expand its long-haul Airbus A330 fleet to 10 aircraft as it accelerates its international expansion pace.
(GCR) President Liu Lu said (GCR) plans to open more international routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Melbourne, Auckland, and other European cities over the next 5 years.
(GCR) operates 1 A330 leased from Hainan Airlines (HNA). It is expected to introduce +2 more A330s this year.
Launched in 2009, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is formerly a regional carrier that operated only Embraer E190s and E195s. In 2011, it introduced A320s on trunk routes to slow operating losses.
(GCR) operates a fleet of nearly 90 aircraft, including A320s and E190s/E195s on >160 domestic routes and 15 international routes. In 2015, Tianjin transported >10 million passengers.
As more Chinese passengers travel internationally, more domestic airlines are speeding up their international expansion paces. Liu said (GCR) plans to build Tianjin as the 2nd access to Beijing to take more international growth opportunities.
Tianjin opened 4 international routes in June, which include Tianjin to Chongqing to Phuket, Tianjin to Moscow, Tianjin to Vlapostok and Tianjin to Chongqing to London.
Tianjin phased out 10 E190s in its joint venture with Beibu Gulf Airlines, which was launched in conjunction with Guangxi Beibu Gulf Investment Group, and retired some E145s to Hainan (JV AWA) Airlines.
August 2016: E190-200LR (0717, B-3143), ex-(PR-EUL) delivery.
September 2016: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) will launch the 1st Chinese flights from Auckland to Chongqing and Tianjin, China in December. The flights will operate between Tianjin, Chongqing and Auckland 3x-weekly using an Airbus A330 aircraft.
October 2016: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) launched 2 new services this month, when it started operating the Dalian to Kitakyushu route on October 2, followed by the start of Haikou to Taichung on October 2.
Both services are operated 2x-weekly, with Airbus A320s used on the Kitakyushu route, and Embraer E190s on the Taichung route.
Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is the only operator on both routes.
2 E190-200LR (0719, B-3232; 0720, B-3235), ex-(PR-EVN & PR-EVX), deliveries.
November 2016: News Item A-1: "Tianjin Airlines Looks to International Markets" Nov 8, 2016 Alan Dron (email@example.com), November 8, 2016.
Tianjin Airlines (GCR), based in the major port city of Tianjin, around 100km SE of Beijing, is making a rapid entry to the international arena.
Until recently, (GCR) has operated as purely a domestic carrier with a fleet of Airbus A320s, Embraer E190s and ERJ-145s. It is now beginning to receive Airbus A330-200s from parent company, the (HNA) Group.
(GCR) launched its 1st UK route, Tianjin to London Gatwick in June 2016 and announced November 8 that it would open a Gatwick to Xi’an service from May 2017. This will then continue on to Tianjin and use the A330 in a 2-class configuration, with 18C business class and 242Y economy seats.
The 2x-weekly Tianjin to London Gatwick service will be stepped up to 3x-weekly in summer 2017. Additionally, (GCR) plans to launch a London to Auckland, New Zealand, service in December 2016 via the Chinese city of Chongqing. “Paris will be our next destination, probably next winter season,” Tianjin (GCR)’s General Manager UK Marketing & Sales Robert Chen said at the World Travel Market exhibition in London.
2 additional A330-200s are scheduled to enter the fleet this month and a 4th will be added next year, Chen said.
It has previously been reported that Tianjin will receive up to 10 A330s, but Chen said that, at present, just 4 are confirmed.
The city of Tianjin hopes to boost inbound tourism but, at the moment, the great majority of passengers using the London Gatwick service originate in China. Since it began services, just 10% or so of passengers are UK-originating: “Our target is 30% of passengers to be from the UK,” Chen said. Since services began, load factors have averaged 85% LF, with that figure reaching 90% in peak summer season.
The outbound Chinese tourism market is booming, as more people in the Asian nation exercise their newfound wealth by traveling abroad for the 1st time.
One reason for the Tianjin Airlines (GCR)’s expansion into foreign destinations is competition in the domestic market, which is “very severe, so we need to go abroad to seek the international market,” Chen said. (GCR) hopes to have 50% of its traffic from international routes in 5 years’ time. (GCR) aims to have competitive fares: “I can say that our price is always lower than UK airlines,” he said.
News Item A-2: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) will operate nonstop 3x-weekly Chongqing - Auckland Airbus A330 service beginning December 21, the Chinese carrier’ 1st New Zealand route.
December 2016: Embraer (EMB) delivered its 1,300th E-jet to Tianjin Airlines (GCR) bringing its E-jet fleet to 45 aircraft, the largest in Asia.
February 2017: News Item A-1: Hainan Airlines (HNA) announced February 3rd that it has completed acquisition of a 48.21% stake in subsidiary Tianjin Airlines (GCR), paving the way for all its subsidiaries to be listed as a whole entity.
According to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, (HNA), the Haikou-based carrier has paid 5.55 million yuan to become a controlling stakeholder of (GCR). After the deal, the shareholding structure of Tianjin Airlines (GCR) turned out to be 87.27% held by Hainan Airlines and 12.72% held by 2 Tianjin-based investment companies. Meanwhile, the registered capital of (GCR) will be increased to 8.19 billion yuan.
Based in Tianjin, (GCR) has the geographic advantage and good route resources, which help it make great development with the integration of Jing-jin-ji area. Meanwhile, the capital increase in (GCR) will optimize the income structure of the unit and benefit to Hainan Airlines (HNA)'s long-term development.
As of December 31, (GCR) had accumulated 1.3 million flying hours and transported around 60 million passengers totally. In 2016, (GCR) operated >250 routes to 120 international and domestic destinations.
Last year, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) began expanding its Airbus A330 long-haul fleet, which enabled (GCR) to open 3 intercontinental routes, comprising Tianjin to Chongqing to London, Tianjin to Moscow and Tianjin to Chongqing to Auckland. This year, (GCR) is scheduled to open Xi’an to London services in May and Tianjin to Paris services by the end of the year.
News Item A-2: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is seeking authority to operate 6 new routes to Kalibo, Philippines in March 2017. (GCR) has submitted the application with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for permission to start 3x-weekly services to Kalibo from Tianjin, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Xi'an and Wuhan.
Meanwhile, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) also plans to launch a 4x-weekly service between Nanjing and Kalibo in March.
All 6 routes will be operated using Airbus A320s.
ERJ-145LI (1022, B-3033) to Phoenix Arizona for storage.
News Item A-3: Chinese airlines are rapidly increasing flights to the Philippines following the relaxing of visa requirements between the 2 countries in October 2016. Since then, 675,700 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in 2016, up +37.1% over 2015. Local industry analysts predicted this figure will continue to grow quickly this year. Over the past 3 months, >10 Chinese carriers (including China Eastern (CEA), Sichuan Airlines (SIC), Juneyao Airlines (JYA), Spring Airlines (CQH), Xiamen Airlines (XIA) and Capital Airlines (DER)) have applied to open nearly 40 international routes to Kalibo and Cebu in the Philippines. Tianjin Airlines (GCR) has applied to open 5 international routes to the Philippines from Tianjin, Ningbo, Xi’an, Wuhan, Nanjing and Chongqing.
7 Chinese carriers currently operate routes to the Philippines with 24,000 weekly flights. Local analysts point out many domestic airlines need to find new SE Asian markets (such as the Philippines) to make up for decreased demand in the Thailand market after the government tightened tourism restrictions following the death of Thailand’s king last year. However, analysts also expressed concern about the Philippine’s infrastructure and aviation safety that may impact the fast-growing Sino-Philippine market.
May 2017: Hainan Airlines (HNA) earned a (1Q) net income of +CNY835.14 million, down -42.1% over net profit of +CNY1.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Because of its merger with Tianjin Airlines (GCR), operating revenue rose +44.2% (YOY) to CNY14.5 billion against a +70.5% increase in operating expenses to CNY7 billion.
ERJ-145LJ (1040, B-3068) ferried to Phoenix Mesa for storage. E190-200LR (0729, B-3247), ex-(PR-EZV) delivery.
August 2017: News Item A-1: Hainan Airlines (HNA) reported a net profit of +CNY1.2 billion/+$17 million for the 2017 1st half, down -31% over net income of CNY1.7 billion for the same period last year.
According to a filing by the Shanghai Stock Exchange, (HNA)’s subsidiary Tianjin Airlines (GCR) saw a +42% profit decline to CNY84 million after operating expenses jumped +70.5% to CNY12 billion in the 1st quarter.
In February, (HNA) completed the acquisition of a 48.2% stake in Tianjin Airlines (GCR), making Hainan the controlling stakeholder in the Tianjin-based carrier with an 87.3% stake.
(HNA)’s (1H) operating revenue jumped +50.2% to CNY28.5 billion while operating expenses increased +75.3% to CNY24.6 billion.
Passenger boardings grew +53.3% to 34.2 million with an average load factor of 86.7% LF, down -1.5 points over the year-ago period. Capacity rose +53% to 67.1 billion (ASK)s against an increase of +50.4% in passenger revenue to 58.2 billion (RPK)s. Cargo traffic volume rose +11.6% to 224,082 tonnes.
In the 1st half, (HNA) accelerated its international expansion pace by opening 5 intercontinental routes, comprising Chongqing toLos Angeles, Chengdu to Los Angeles, Chongqing to Moscow, Tianjin to Moscow and Kunming to Moscow, as well as nine international routes to neighboring Asian countries.
As of June 30, (HNA) introduced 3 Boeing 787-9s and expanded its fleet to 362 airplanes with an average fleet age of 4.6 years.
September 2017: Avolon Leasing (AZV) delivered 1 Airbus A320-200neo aircraft to Tianjin Airlines (GCR). This is the 4th aircraft (GCE) has on lease to (GCR).
November 2017: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) announced that it has opened an air route connecting SW China's Chongqing Municipality and Melbourne, Australia.
The 1st no-stop flight connecting the 2 cities was on October 31st and it was completed smoothly. Flight GS7945, operated by an Airbus A330 with a capacity of 260 passengers, leaves Chongqing at 10:10 pm, Beijing Time, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Melbourne at 11:40 am, local time, the next day.
The return flight departs Melbourne at 1:40 pm every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving Chongqing at 9:40 pm.
Flight duration is around 10 and a half hours.
Chongqing is expected to become a transportation hub in SW China, with an estimated 100 international direct air routes and an international passenger throughput exceeding >5 million by 2020.
December 2017: Tianjin Airlines (GCR) began direct flights between Xi’an (XIY) China and Auckland (AKL), New Zealand on December 30. The 10,466 km sector will operate weekly (Saturdays) by A330-200s facing no direct competition. The service, which originates in Tianjin, is (GCR)’s 2nd non-stop link from China to Auckland. (GCR) already operates to New Zealand’s largest city 2x-weekly from Chongqing, a service that also originates from Tianjin.
For the week commencing January 2 the service from Tianjin to Auckland via Xi’an takes 16 hours and 35 minutes, 1 hour less than the existing route via Chongqing. The link that was inaugurated just before the New Year is currently scheduled to operate up until March 17.
January 2018: "Tianjin Airlines to Connect Los Angeles with 2 Cities in China" by Bradley Perrett firstname.lastname@example.org (ATW) Plus, January 19, 2018.
Tianjin Airlines (GCR) plans to to connect Los Angeles with 2 Chinese secondary cities beginning in December. With this move, (GCR), the (HNA) Group carrier will have 3 long-haul routes at Zhengzhou, a city of 9.7 million people 660 km/410 mi SW of Beijing.
Sichuan Airlines (SIC) proposed in March 2017 to open the route between Zhengzhou and Los Angeles in October, but failed to follow through.
The other city that (GCR) proposes to link with Los Angeles is Xian, which has 9.5 million people and is 470 km west of Zhengzhou. For each of the 2 Chinese cities, Tianjin Airlines (GCR) has applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to fly to Los Angeles 3x-weekly with Airbus A330s or A350s. The A330-200 in its current build standard has a still-air range with full payload of 13,450 km. Zhengzhou and Xian are 10,700km and 11,000km from Los Angeles, respectively.
Although (GCR) nominated December 2018 as the start date for both routes, the timing could easily slip. For example, (GCR) applied in 2017 to link Zhengzhou with Sydney at the end of 2017; the service is scheduled to begin January 29. (GCR) also applied in 2017 to fly between Zhengzhou and Moscow starting in May 2018.
Tianjin Airlines (GCR) already has 1 intercontinental service operating from Xian to Auckland, New Zealand. To help fill seats, the flights have an extension at the Chinese end to Tianjin, (GCR)’s hometown, SE of Beijing.
China’s secondary cities are the big ones except those of the official 1st rank: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, each of which is the base of 1 of China’s 3 largest airlines.
Tianjin Airlines (GCR) is based at Tianjin, but has set up intercontinental services from other secondary cities, notably Chongqing. Indeed, (GCR) has become a specialist in such services, which are generally aimed at tourism markets and operate at low frequencies with local government subsidies.
February 2018: "Tianjin Cargo set to Launch with 3 Boeing 737Fs" by
Katie Cantle February 23, 2018.
Tianjin Cargo Airlines has secured approval for 3 Boeing 737 family freighters from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), paving the way for a May 2 launch. The 1st Tianjin-based cargo carrier received formal (CAAC) approval in October 2017.
The 3 737Fs will fly on routes from Tianjin to Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Urumqi, Shanghai (Pudong) and Guangzhou.
In addition, the company plans to introduce staff from 3 (HNA) Group subsidiaries, including Suparna Airlines (YTH) (formerly Yangtze River Express), Tianjin Airlines (GCR) and (HNA) Technic Company.
Tianjin Cargo, which expects to transport 15,000 tonnes of cargo this year, plans to expand its fleet to 50 to 100 airplanes over the next 5 years on domestic and international routes to NE Asian countries, Europe and the USA.
The airline has a registered capital of CNY700 million/$110 million. (HNA) Group subsidiary Tianjin Airlines (GCR) holds a 44% stake with a CNY310 million investment; Tianjin Aviation Logistics Company holds a 43% share with a CNY300 investment; and Yang Hang Investment Holding Company owns 13% with a CNY90 million investment.
April 2018: 2 A320-232 (7922, B-300S; 7974, B-300T), (CMIG) Aviation leased.
July 2018: A321-231 (7363, B-302X), ex-(B-LEA) in special "100th Aircraft" titles, and A330-343E (1840, B-1045), ex-(F-WWYD) deliveries.
Click below for photos:
GCR-A320-232 - 2012-02
GCR-A330-200 - 2016-06.jpg
GCR-E190 - 2012-02
8 ORDERS 787-8 DREAMLINER:
19 A320-200. 180Y.
1 A320-214 (4600, B-9963), (GEF) LEASED 2013-06. IN "5TH ASIAN GAMES" TITLES. 180Y.
1 A320-214 (5760, B-9987), EX-(B-507L), (CRY) LEASED. 180Y.
1 A320-214 (6570, B-1692), EX-(B-OOOV), (CRY) LEASED 2015-07.
1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2338, B-9989), HONG KONG AVIATION CAPITAL LEASED 2012-12. 180Y.
1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2475, B-9948), EX-(EI-FCT) AIRCRAFT LEASING LEASED 2013-07. 180Y.
1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (4739, /11 B-6789 - - SEE PHOTO - - "GCR-A320-232 2012-02"), (HNA) WET-LEASED. 180Y.
2 A320-232 (7922, B-300S; 7974, B-300T), (CMIG) AVIATION leased 2018-04. 180Y.
1 A320-200neo AVOLON (AZV) LEASING LEASED 2017-09.
1 A321-231 (7363, B-302X), EX-(B-LEA) IN SPECIAL LIVERY "100th Aircraft" TITLES ON FUSELAGE.
5 + 5 ORDERS A330-200 (1756, B-6089), (HNA) LEASED.
1 A330-343E (1840, B-1045), EX-(F-WWYD) 2018-07.
13 EMBRAER ERJ-145LI (AE3007A1-2) (1009, /08 B-3030; 1019, B-3032; 1053, B-3087, 2010-02; 1056, B-3088, 2010-04; 1063, B-3090, 2010-06; 1065, B-3091, 2010-11; 1068, B-3092, 2010-12), RETIRED SOME TO HAINAN (JV AWA) AIRLINES. 1022 TO STORAGE IN USA 2017-02. 1040 TO STORAGE IN USA 2017-05. 50Y.
17 EMBRAER E190-200LR (CF34-10E5) (0171, /08 B-3120; 0293, /09 B-3155; 0299, /09 B-3156; 0313, /09 B-3158; 0318, /09 B-3159; 0323, /09 B-3160; 0325, /09 B-3160; 0328, /09 B-3161 - - SEE PHOTO - - "GCR-E190 - 2012-02;" 0331, /10 B-3162; 0335, /10 B-3163; 0340, /10 B-3165; 0348, /10 B-3166; 0352, /10 B-3167; 0459, B-3192; 0480, B-3185, 2011-11; 0489, B-3186, 2011-11; 0508, B-3189, 2012-02; 0704, B-3117, 2016-01; 0717, B-3143, 2016-08; 0719, B-3232, 2016-10; 0720, B-3235, 2016-10; 0729, B-3247, 2017-05), SOME MOVED TO (JV) WITH BEIBU GULF AIRLINES. 106Y.
2 EMBRAER E190 E2:
22 ORDERS (2015-02) EMBRAER E195:
0 DORNIER 328JET (PW306B) (3201, /01 B-3873; 3211, /02 B-3983), 32Y.
LIU LU, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT.
YU WENYONG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
HU JIANFENG, VICE PRESIDENT.
ROBERT CHEN, GENERAL MANAGER UK MARKETING & SALES.