East Star Airlines will become the first Chinese low-cost carrier to fly outside the country, announcing the launch of services to Hong Kong and Macau from Wuhan beginning Nov. 6 that will be followed by planned flights to Singapore and Thailand early next year.
The carrier said it is confident it will achieve high loads on the daily services to Hong Kong and Macau.
Currently the average load factor on Wuhan-Hong Kong services operated by China Southern Airlines and Dragonair floats between 60% and 70%. It has been reported that Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines also plans to open routes to Southeast Asia next year.
*This is from 2005 (China Economic Net):
The maintenance costs for one aircraft include: 39 percent for aviation fuel, 15 percent for takeoff and landing costs collected by airports, 11% for Aero-Materials Consumption, plus depreciation of the engines and other parts, labor costs, meals aboard, and so on. It is calculated that the maintenance fees for the 3 Airbus A320s to be delivered to East Star Airlines next year will amount to about RMB30 million per month.
some experts doubt how East Star Airlines can maintain its capacity of 20 Airbus aircrafts in Wuhan, where there is only a small aviation market. Furthermore, though East Star Airlines can solve the problem of aircrafts, the Wuhan Subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines and the Hubei Subsidiary of China Southern Airlines have already taken control of almost all the important domestic airlines departed from Wuhan. In the circumstances, how can East Star Airlines exploit its own new airlines?