New airline in Brunei wants Chinese planes

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Gallop Air, the China-backed Brunei-based startup, hopes to launch its services in the third quarter of 2024. It is still looking to find backers and “local partners” – in addition to obtaining its certificate of air operator (AOC).

First customer of Chinese aircraft

Brunei start-up Gallop Air aims to start operations in the third quarter of 2024, with aircraft manufactured in China.

The airline signed a letter of intent in September for up to 30 Comac planes, in a deal worth more than $2 billion.

Signing of the purchase of C119

The company would be owned by another entity based in Singapore

The airline was incorporated in Brunei on January 11 this year and is owned by a Singapore-based entity of the same name, itself incorporated in 2021. The latter is a wholly owned unit of Shaanxi Tianju Investment Group in China.

“We remain open to engaging with potential local partners and investors who share our vision of improving regional connectivity and contributing to the growth of Brunei’s aviation sector,” the airline adds.


Making Brunei a hub

Gallop adds that he is “on a mission” to make Brunei an “aviation hub”. The airline, if approved for operations, will be the second airline in the country, after national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines.

Parent company Tianju previously said the airline could operate a “complementary business model” alongside Royal Brunei.

“Through our fleet of Comac aircraft, we are poised to improve regional connectivity, offering direct flights connecting Brunei to cities in Southeast Asia, North Asia and the South West Pacific regions. We believe in a shared commitment to advance the economic vitality of the region and foster people-to-people exchanges and tourism,” the airline states.

Catherine Mills Avatar