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Airline wins approval for Shanghai-HK flights
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Hong Kong Express Airways has received regulatory approval to operate flights between Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as Hong Kong and Beijing.


It is the third Hong Kong carrier designated to fly passengers to the two cities after Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair Airlines.


The carrier will add six Boeing 737-800 planes to its four-strong fleet by the end of this year to facilitate its expansion.


"It has always been our goal to provide services on these key routes so naturally we are overjoyed at seeing our goal realized. This is fantastic news," said the carrier's President Ronnie Choi.


The Chinese mainland and Hong Kong signed an agreement last month to further liberalize the aviation market by increasing the number of airlines allowed to operate on key mainland routes.


Passenger throughput at Hong Kong International Airport exceeded four million in November, a 10-percent improvement year on year. The increase was driven by arrivals from the mainland, North America and Europe, according to the Hong Kong Airport Authority.


The combined passenger traffic of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair grew 1.2 percent last year to 5.8 billion revenue passenger kilometers on the mainland.


(Shanghai Daily January 23, 2008)


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