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Guangxi's New Airline Cleared for Launch in Southern China

According to a statement by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Beibu Gulf Airlines has received its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and will fly under the "GX" code.

The carrier will be based at Nanning's Wuxu International Airport, in the capital of the Guangxi region, which borders Vietnam and is home to the popular tourist centre of Guilin. Initially it will operate domestic passenger services, before spreading its wings to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and destinations in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia in future.

Tianjin Airlines, which is a subsidiary of the HNA Group, will invest CNY2.1 billion (US$341 million) for a 70% stake in Beibu Gulf Airlines, with the remaining 30% being be held by state-owned Guangxi Beibu Gulf Investment Group.

Initially, the carrier will operate three Embraer E190 regional jets supplied by Tianjin Airlines, which will also provide the start-up with pilots and cabin crew.

Tianjin Airlines is already one of the largest operators at Nanning Airport, along with China Southern Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines. Beibu Gulf Airlines will be hoping to take advantage of the surge in tourist traffic to Guangxi and the scenic Guilin region, which is famous for its picturesque limestone karst landscapes.