Okay Airways plans for 787s, 17th Chinese airline to have widebodies. Okay will compete with HNA

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At the Paris Air Show Tianjin-based Okay Airways signed an MOU for five 787-9s – its first widebodies. Okay becomes mainland China's 17th airline to have, or to be planning to operate, widebody aircraft. A further three Chinese airlines have publicly stated they are considering widebodies.

There are the usual concerns of a subscale widebody fleet flying routes too thin and dependent on subsidies, such that they cannot (or at least should not) persist in the medium term.

Okay's widebody operation poses further challenges: unlike most other Chinese widebody operators, Okay is fully independent of China's big four aviation groups. It has no big brother to lean on for commercial and technical experience, as well as for ongoing support. Okay's three main hubs are also bases for various HNA airlines, making Okay's potential secondary markets even more challenging. The airline will have its work cut out to sustain a widebody operation that lives up to its name: Okay.

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