“It is an honor for me to be at this press conference, after a month of Tianjin Sky has started operations. We are here today to show a little presentation of the airline” stated Pedro Freitas, the CEO of the new china's airline, fully owned by Tianjin Investment Group (“TIG”), a Tianjin’s businessmen investment fund, which saw an opportunity in the airline market.
Why Tianjin ?
Tianjin is a key city in China, being in the top 5 of biggest cities in the world, the 3rd in China, with the highest per-capita GDP and one of the tops GDP’s anually grownth. The city is also known to their multicultural living-style, as it is an important trade area since the 19th century, being the entrance gate to some european countries, reflecting at old downtown with remainable european style buildings, such as churches and villas. By contrast, nowadays at district of Binhai, due to the important role of Tianjin in business, the city has more than 200 companies’ headquarters in diversified market segments.
China's airline market has been affected as the biggest national airline crashed and left plenty of free slots on major airports and in a demonstration of the Chinese market power, after only one month, China has got 8 new airlines, which had a meteoric growth and quickly expand their fleet and participation on China’s major airports. It was in such context that Tianjin Sky has been founded, after a market research, that evaluate the availability of slots at airports, the importance of the airport and availability routes, with the final choice being Tianjin.
Tianjin Sky has been founded to serve the city of Tianjin, and eventually some ground traffic from Beijing, through a spoke-hub system connecting Tianjin to another cities in China and later to the world. The airline main value is to provide to each passenger a comfort and quality flight, connecting them even to the smallest airport in China, to promote the cultural diversity and to fight against any kind of prejudice. The airline has a solid and planned administration, with determined goals for the short, medium and long term, which are:
Establish an airline in Tianjin, owning at least 50% of market share at this airport and fly to all major airports in China.
Renew the entire fleet with new narrow-bodies jets (to be determined), start medium-haul international flights and fly to over 100 airports in China
Start long-haul international flights and dedicated cargo flights through China.
Tianjin Sky's logo, which consists of the company name in Chinese characters and the stars forming the aquarius constellation, was inspired by one of the stories for the origin of the city’s name, that it honors a former name of the Girl, a Chinese constellation recorded under the name Tianjin in the astronomical section of the Book of Sui,the official history book of the Sui Dynasty (A.D 581-618). The Girl mansion one of the mansions of Chinese constellations has an equivalent version in the european constellation, that is the Aquarius constellation, found in the airline's logo.
The airline’s fleet is composed by 3 types of aircrafts (detailed below), with a cabin configuration , divided in 2 seats class, designed to give passengers more comfort through the flight. On-board service is also a concern for Tianjin Sky, as the airline offers full meals and a diversity options of entertainment on every flight.
The fleet list:
27 BAE 146-200 - The british regional jet with a range of 2000 km is the backbone of our fleet, as it can reach most of destinations in China.
12 Mcdonnell Douglas 82/83/87 - The american narrow-body appeared as an opportunity in the market and due to their capacity, fly over routes with high demand.
5 Boeing 737-300/400/700 - The other american narrow-body flies to longer destinations and high demand routes.
In one month of full operation, having 30% of market share in Tianjin with a SLF of 81%, transporting more than 300 k PAX and serving more than 50 airports, Tianjin Sky is proud to serve the Chinese nation and hopes to have a successful future.
After the presentation, the CEO answered some questions made by the press:
Q: How will the airline deal with the competitors ?
A: It’s obviously that we are aware of all the competitors in China and we want to take a significant piece of the market, but Tianjin Sky believes that a fair competition is the best strategy to deal with competitors and at the moment we are negotiating interlining agreements with anothers Chinese airlines, to reach some destinations that we are not flying.
Q: Does Tianjin Sky have plans to fly from other airports ?
A: Actually, we already have some flights from other airports, like Lanzhou and Harbin, but all of them are connected with our flights from these cities to Tianjin, so it is a leg from our spoke-hub system. We do have intention to fly some point-to-point flights, on routes with high demands, but now we are working on building our hub at Tianjin.
Q: About the last part of your previous answer. Does the low slots availability on China’s majors airports worries the airline ?
A: I would definitely be lying If I said that is not a thing to worry about but we are always with an eye on slots availability on major airports and evaluating profitable routes from theses airports.
Q: What are the nationally and internationally expansion plans for Tianjin Sky ?
A: Nowadays, we have flights from Tianjin to almost all major airports in China so, nationally, we have plans to expand our connections to medium and smaller airports, but there is not much else I can say about it. Talking about our international flights, we have some experiences going on South Korea and Japan, but not with expected results. Our next step is to look for some partners in Asia and Near East.
Q: On the presentation, the medium term goal is to renew the fleet. Does the company already know the manufacturer? Is there any negotiation going on?
A: No, we are not negotiation at the moment. We are currently evaluating the size of the fleet that we will need and some BAEs and MDs will arrive before we can ever think about renew the fleet.
Q: Could you not even tell which manufactures you bear in mind?
A: Well, we are looking for high-quality narrow-bodies, so it’s obviously that Boeing and Airbus are competing head to head. You may say that we did not mention Bombardier with the CSeries and Comac, but we want a diversity of aircrafts within the same maintenance category to fly routes with differents demands.
At the end of the press conference the PR of Tianjin Sky announces that a report of the business will be released each 2 months and any other relevant information will be announced as soon as possible.