9 Air: China’s third low-cost airline starts operation

China's third low-cost carrier, 9 Air, launched its first flight on Tuesday afternoon, with its cheapest ticket priced at 9 yuan (US$1.47).

9 Air: China’s third low-cost airline starts operation

China’s third low-cost carrier, 9 Air, launched its first flight on Tuesday afternoon, with its cheapest ticket priced at 9 yuan (US$1.47).

The inaugural flight took off at 1 pm from Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, and landed in the western Guangdong city of Zhanjiang 70 minutes later.

Guangzhou-based 9 Air was founded in February this year as a budget subsidiary of privately owned Juneyao Airlines. It is the third low-cost carrier to operate in China after Spring Airlines and China West Air.

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In the near term, 9 Air plans to operate domestic flights from Guangzhou. Later, it aims to expand into East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Ji Guangping, 9 Air CEO, said its low-end tickets will be priced at 9 yuan, 99 yuan, 199 yuan and 299 yuan. In general, 9 Air’s prices will be 20 to 30 percent lower than the industry’s average, he said.

In May this year, 9 Air placed an order to purchase 50 Boeing 737 jets. The planes, including Boeing 737-800 jets and the next generation of 737 MAX models, will be delivered before 2020.

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