Okay Airways (OKAir) is China’s first fully privately owned airline, based in Tianjin.
They’ve been flying for a decade, and nearly sold a 49% stake in themselves to Korean Air shortly after receiving their operating certificate.
Along with ‘Joy Air’ they’re the launch customer for a Chinese-designed turboprop aircraft, the MA700, anticipated to begin flying in 2017. They already operated a dozen MA60s. Their mainline fleet consists of 13 Boeing 737-800s.
They fly from Tianjin to Krabi, and are adding four weekly flights from Xi’an to Krabi and three from Xi’an to Bangkok in the coming months. In addition, they fly Tianjin to Changsha, Chengdu, Haikou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Jiamusi, Kunming, Nanjing and Zhangjiajie.
They’ve now taken delivery of a 737-900, becoming the first operator of that model. Boeing’s press release says they fly “more than 100 domestic and international routes” but I believe that’s mistaken given their limited fleet, I think they operate more than 100 daily flights — although I’d love to be corrected on this.
Photo courtesy of Boeing
Okay Airways’ new 737-900ER is configured with 200 seats in a one-class layout. It will feature Boeing’s innovative Sky Interior with modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, larger pivoting overhead stowage bins, as well as LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness.
In a classic reversal of US brands that simply do not travel well in other languages (like the Chevy Nova in Mexico.. get it? “no va”), Okay Airways may be fine for China but as an American with an upcoming trip to China (love the new 10-year China Visa) I want my airlines to be excellent and not merely okay.