Greater Bay Airlines (HB, Hong Kong International) will begin scheduled operations on July 23, nine months after its original timeline, its now-former chief executive, Algernon Yau, told the South China Morning Post.

"We need to start operations next month. We can't wait too long. We have to get aircraft up in the sky. It may not be making profits, but we need to show people we are committed," he said in late June.

While the airline has yet to publicly announce its launch network or open ticket sales, it has already filed a schedule for 2x weekly services between Hong Kong International and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. Scheduled flights will be preceded with two charters on July 9 and July 16. Flights will be operated with a B737-800. Greater Bay Airlines has two such aircraft and plans to add a third in late 2022.

Yau said that the airline initially planned to launch with routes to mainland China but had to shift its strategy to regional services as the country sticks to its strict zero-COVID strategy.

The start-up secured its Air Operator's Certificate in October 2021, but its launch was delayed due to objections filed against granting it an Air Transport Licence. It finally obtained the permit in February 2022. The airline had said it hoped that after these delays it would be able to launch by July 1. Thus far, it has only been operating proving flights, mainly to Macau International.

Greater Bay Airlines' plans coincide with the gradual, albeit by no means full, reopening of Hong Kong to international travel. The government of the Special Administrative Region abolished its policy of suspending any route on which more than five passengers (or 5% of the total number of passengers) test positive for COVID-19 on a single flight. However, visitors still have to spend seven days in a government-authorised quarantine hotel and have to undergo daily testing.

The start-up further said that it had appointed Stanley Hui Hon Chung as its new chief executive after his predecessor, Yau, was appointed to be the new minister for commerce and economic development in Lee Ka Chiu's administration.