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Newly-launched Tianjin Airlines makes first flight

The first flight of newly-established Tianjin Airlines took ff Wednesday morning, marking the start of 20 daily flights.


The plane, an E190, departed at 8:10 a.m. for Guiyang of southwestern Guizhou Province en route to Xi'an in Shaanxi.


Stewardesses in red Qipaos, traditional Chinese dress, served passengers special Tianjin snacks, including fried dough twists and stuffed-steamed buns to mark the occasion.


Nine other round trips to China cities including Hohhot, Taiyuan, Qingdao and Dalian also began Wednesday from Tianjin.


According to a spokesman with the airlines, two other routes, one to Weihai, a coastal city of eastern Shandong Province and one to Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province, via Zhengzhou , are also planned. No start date was given.


By 2012, the airlines planned to operate 500 routes with more than 100 planes, including some international flights. It is expected to transfer more than 15 million passengers a year, said the spokesman.


Tianjin Airlines is a joint venture launched by the Hainan Air Group, Hainan Airlines Co., Ltd. and Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone Investment Co. in the northern municipality on Monday. It has a registered capital of 1.3 billion yuan (190 million U.S. dollars).


(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2009)