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7JetSet7 Code: URQ
Status: Operational
Region: CHINA
Country: CHINA
Employees 170

Click below for data links:
URQ-2014-08 1ST 737-800
URQ-2018-11 BAR to HET to DLC.jpg

Formed in 2013 and started operations in 2014. Domestic, regional & international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo jet airplane services.

Urumqi Diwopu International Airport
Urumqi, 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 northeast 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 northwest 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.

July 2014: The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved the August launch of Urumqi Airlines (URQ), a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines (HNA) parent, the (HNA) Group to further explore market potential in West China.

Urumqi Airlines (URQ) is based in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. It has a population of around 4 million and is located in the Tian Shan mountains. It is currently one of China's fastest growing cities.

The area is expected to benefit from the government's efforts to develop the "Silk Road" economic belt and Urumqi will become an important aviation hub. The annual passenger volume of Urumqi Diwopu
International Airport is expected to reach 30 million by 2020, quite an increase from its previous 13.35 million reported in 2012.

August 2014: On August 20, China's start-up Urumqi Airlines Company, Ltd ((IATA) Code: UQ) (URQ) took delivery of its very 1st airplane, with a 737-800 (B-2157 - SEE PHOTO - - "URQ-737-800 - 1ST 2014-08") painted in (URQ)'s livery landing smoothly at Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (URC).

The 737-800, registration (B-2157), is (URQ)'s 1st airplane introduced from its parent company, Hainan Airlines (HNA) which operates (URQ)'s inaugural flight on August 29.

With the introduction of the 1st airplane, (URQ) unveiled its logo and airplane livery as well. The logo integrates the 3-color Adlai silk and flying dove, which highlights the geographical reputation of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, symbolizing peace and friendship. (URQ) employs a purple livery for its 1st airplane, in sync with the colorful logo on the rudder, which embodies its unique local characteristics and echoes with the spirit of "auspicious joy and growth."

Officially launched on November 18, 2013, (URQ) has a registered capital of 3 billion yuan, of which (HNA) contributed 2.1 billion yuan, accounting for 70%, while the rest, 30% was invested by Urumqi Urban Construction in cash (0.9 billion yuan).

(URQ), based at Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, is licensed for domestic passengers & cargo services, regional (including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) and international passenger & cargo services departure from (URC), using Boeing 737 airplanes. (URQ) expects to expand into its international operations to Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In the initial stage, (URQ) will operate 1 Boeing 737-700 and 2 737-800s. The other 2 737s will join the fleet in September.

According to (URQ), it is now applying for an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and expects to be granted the business license from Xinjiang Regional Administration of (CAAC) on August 28. Urumqi Airlines (URQ) commences commercial operations on August 29, with a domestic flight inside the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

September 2014: Urumqi Air (URQ), a new Chinese carrier ((IATA) code is UQ) in which Hainan Airlines (HNA) has a significant interest, has operated its 1st ever commercial flights on Friday August 29. According to local sources, the 1st flight was the 521 km route from Urumqi (URC) to Yining (YIN), followed later the same day by the start of services on the 1,081 km sector to Kashi (KHG). Both routes were flown by the 1st of the airline’s 737-800s (provided by (HNA)) and are already well served. The Yining route is currently flown by China Southern Airlines (GUN) (53x-weekly), Tianjin Airlines (GCA) (28x-) and Air China (BEJ) (four), while the Kashi route is served by a total of 6 carriers: China Southern Airlines (GUN) (49x-weekly), (HNA) (18x-), Air China (BEJ) (7x-), Beijing Capital Airlines (DER) (7x-), Sichuan Airlines (SIC) (7x-), Shandong Airlines (SHG) (2x-).

China's start-up Urumqi Air (URQ), which has been in operation for less than a month, has launched two domestic routes connecting Urumqi with Zhengzhou and Taiyuan, marking (URQ)'s entry into the domestic market in full swing.

"(URQ) will learn management experience from the low cost carrier (LCC)s and seize market share in China's 2nd- and 3rd-tier cities, based on its current 4 regional routes to Kashgar, Hota, Korla, and Yining in Xinjiang. Taiyuan and Zhengzhou are just the start, we will launch more routes out of Xinjiang," Cen Jianjun, President of (URQ) said.

(URQ) will continue to introduce more Boeing airplanes, expanding its fleet size to 12 in next 3 to 5 years. (URQ) is expected to build an airline network covering domestic major cities from its base at Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (URC). Besides, (URQ) is considering opening international routes from Urumqi to central Asian and European countries.

Officially launched on August 28, 2014, (URQ) is a joint venture funded by (HNA) and Urumqi Urban Construction Investment with a total investment capital of 3 billion yuan, in which (HNA) contributes 2.1 billion yuan and its partner offers the rest, consisting of 900 million yuan.

December 2014: The number of airports in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will rise to 25 from the current 16 by 2020, as China attempts to transform the area into a major transportation hub on the "Silk Road Economic Belt." "We believe the new international airport in the regional capital of Urumqi will be operational by 2020, and will become 1 of the most influential aviation hubs in Central Asia," Duan Zixin, General Manager of the Xinjiang Airport Group, said.

The new airport is expected have 2 runways long enough to accommodate the Airbus A380, the present world's largest passenger jet airplane.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recently announced that it will speed up a preliminary study of the new airport, and also backed Urumqi's application to allow 72-hour visa-free entry for international transit passengers. The (CAAC) also encouraged airlines to operate more routes to connect cities in Xinjiang, China's largest and most westerly region, with the east of the country and destinations overseas. Xinjiang currently has 46 domestic and foreign airlines operating 184 routes to 25 cities or regions in 15 countries. "Our focus is to launch new routes connecting Xinjiang with key trade centers in Central Asia, E Asia, and Europe. It will be a "Silk Road" in the air," Duan said.

In a 2103 speech in Kazakhstan, President Xi Jinping proposed that China and the Central Asian countries build an "economic belt along the "Silk Road." The trans-Eurasian project would target >3 billion people, representing the single biggest market in the world with unparalleled potential. The number of air passengers to and from Xinjiang is expected to reach 34 million annually by 2020, an increase of +70% from 2013.

Xinjiang now has the largest number of airports and the longest flight routes of any part of China. The longest route is from southern Xinjiang's Kashgar city to Shenzhen, a coastal city in the southern province of Guangdong, a journey time of about 7.5 hours.

Kashgar is Xinjiang's 2nd-busiest airport after Urumqi International, and the central government has established a special economic zone in the city that is expected to transform China's most westerly city into an international trading hub.

737-8LP (41842, B-6268), ex-(N482AG), Aviation Capital Group (CGP) leased.

August 2015: Urumqi Airlines (UQ) took delivery of its 4th 737-800 landing smoothly at Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (URC) at 4:30 pm on July 31.

The new 737-800 (41842, B-6268), is (URQ)'s 1st airplane to be delivered in 2015, which was leased from the Aviation Capital Group (ACG). It is configured with 170Y all-economy class seats.

(URQ) started operating commercial operation in last August, after taking delivery of its very 1st 737-800 airplane on August 20, 2014.

According to (URQ)), another 2 new 737-800s are due to join in the 2nd half of this year.

Currently, (URQ) operates flights from Urumqi to 11 domestic destinations, including Hetian, Kashi, Akzo, Yining, Lanzhou, Xi'an, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, Changsha, and Lianyungang. Aiming to play a major role in the New Silk Road, it will firstly focus on air routes in Xinjiang with the goal of extending to markets in Central and West Asia, plus Europe.

Registered in the Urumqi Gaoxin District on May 15, 2014, (URQ) is a joint venture (JV) between Hainan Airlines (HNA), the controlling stakeholder with a 70% stake and Urumqi Urban Construction Investment, holding the remaining 30%, with total investment capital of 3 billion yuan.

February 2016: News Item A-1: "Hainan Airlines (HNA) Subsidiaries Launch Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Alliance" by (ATW) Katie Cantle, January 18, 2016.

(HNA)’s 4 subsidiaries have formed a partnership being hailed as the world’s 1st low-cost carrier (LCC) alliance.

The U-FLY Alliance brings together Hong Kong-based Hong Kong Express Airlines (HKE), Kunming-based Lucky Air (LKY), Urumqi-based Urumqi Airlines (URQ), and Chongqing-based, West Air (CHO).

Member carriers said that under the U-Fly Alliance they will deepen their cooperation and optimize slots connection. Together, they operate a total of 67 aircraft on 168 routes with 298 daily departures covering 85 Asian destinations.

“With the launch of the 1st low cost carriers (LCC) alliance in the world, the air transport market will enter into a new era, when passengers can fly to more diversified destinations and enjoy more secure flying experience with much lower air fares.” U-Fly Alliance Chairman, Ma Zhimin said.

Meantime, the U-Fly alliance also promoted special launch fares on certain routes. The alliance said it plans to attract more member airlines to expand its route network in the coming days, but there was no mention of shared frequent flier or loyalty benefits.

(HNA) is not a member of any of the present 3 global alliances.

October 2016: 737-84P (42161, B-1570), Aviation Capital Group (CGP) leased.

November 2016: News Item A-1: Hainan Airlines (HNA) announced on November 28 that its subsidiary, Yunan Lucky Air (LKY) is planning to set up a new carrier in Chengdu, capital city of SW China's Sichuan Province.

Lucky Air (LKY) will partner with local state-owned companies to invest 3 billion yuan in the new Chengdu Shenniao Airlines, which could become the 8th base carrier at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport following Air China (BEJ) Southwest Brance, Sichuan Airlines (SIC), Chengdu Airlines (UEG), Tibet Airlines (TBZ), China Eastern Airlines (CEA) Sichuan, Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ) and Lucky Air (LKY).

(LKY), the Kunming-based carrier expects to invest up to 1.05 billion yuan in the joint venture (JV) and will own up to 35%. Yunnan Xiangpeng Investment Company, Ltd and Chengdu Communications Investment Group Company, Ltd. will hold 45% and 20% stakes in the new airline with 1.35 billion yuan and 600 million yuan, respectively.
Based at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, the proposed airline will be a low cost carrier (LCC) operating domestic and international flights.

Hainan Airlines (HNA) said that the new proposed Shenniao Airlines aims to enhance its presence in Sichuan Province and increase its market shares in the region, so as to make profits. Shenniao Airlines becomes the latest in a series of new Chinese airlines launched by the (HNA) Group in recent years. Others include Fuzhou Airlines (FZH) in Fujian province, Urumqi Airlines (URQ) in the Xinjiang region, and GX Airlines (GXB) in Guangxi region. It has also created a new passenger airline in Shanghai, with the expansion of former cargo carrier Yangtze River Airlines (YTH).

June 2017: (HNA) Group subsidiary Urumqi Airlines (URQ) will begin operating as a low cost carrier (LCC) from July 16.

(URQ) was launched in August of 2014 and operates a fleet of 9 Boeing 737-800s to >18 destinations. (URQ) plans to expand its fleet to 18 airplanes by the end of 2017 and to 50 by 2020 as it also grows its network.

As part of its (LCC) transition, (URQ) will stop serving complimentary meals and will charge for checked bags. (URQ) said it expects to offer fares -5% to -12% lower than average.

(URQ) Chairman Cen Jianjun noted that the (LCC) model would stimulate traffic. Chinese (LCCs occupy have just an 8.3% share of China’s air transport market, representing huge potential for market growth if they can address airport slot constraints and a shortage of pilots (FC).

March 2018: Embraer E190LR (0268, B-3131), ex-(PT-TLI), delivery.

November 2018: Urumqi Air (URQ) launched a new Chinese domestic, tri-city service on November 1, with it inaugurating a 3x-weekly Qionghai (BAR) TO Hohhot (HET) TO Dalian (DLC) operation. (URQ) will operate the service using its fleet of 737-800s.

No other airline presently links Qionghai with either Hohhot or Dalian, however, it should be noted that there are 3 incumbents on the 853 km sector between Hohhot and Dalian, namely Tianjin Airlines (TJI) (11x-weekly), Hainan Airlines (HNA) (daily) and Ruili Airlines (RUI) (4x-weekly).

See photo: URQ-2018-11 BAR to HET to DLC.jpg.

(URQ) currently operates a fleet of 17 airplanes, consisting of 16 737-800s and 1 E190.


Click below for photos:
URQ-737-800 - 1ST 2014-08
URQ-737-84P - 2014-08

December 2018:

1 737-700 (CFM56-7B24), (HNA) LEASED 2014-09, 146Y.

10 737-800 (CFM56-7B). 170Y.

3 737-800 (CFM56-7B26) (41842, B-6268, 2015-08), WITH WINGLETS. 170Y.

1 737-8LP (CFM56-7B) (41842, B-6268), EX-(N482AG), AVIATION CAPITAL GROUP (CGP) LEASED 2015-07.

2 737-84P (CFM56-7B26) (1915-32600, /01 B-2157; 42161, B-1570, 2016-10), (HNA) LEASED 2014-08 & 2014-09. AVIATION CAPITAL GROUP (GCP) LEASED 2016-10. WITH WINGLETS. 8F, 156Y.

1 EMBRAER E190LR (0268, B-3131), EX-(PT-TLI) 2018-03.



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