HK's fourth passenger carrier will target mid-size mainland cities and use small jets, executive says A Hong Kong-based helicopter operator has confirmed plans to launch a new passenger airline to be based at Chek Lap Kok. The new airline, which will be Hong Kong's fourth passenger carrier, began its recruitment drive today, with an advertisement in the South China Morning Post calling for candidates for eight senior management positions. The head of Helicopters Hong Kong, Andrew Tse, plans to offer regular services to mid-sized cities on the mainland, using small jets seating 50 passengers. The new airline is tentatively named Hong Kong Express, but Mr Tse said its name could be changed pending the completion of market research. 'We've reserved that name, but we'll do some market research first. It could be a variation of [Helicopters Hong Kong's] existing name,' Mr Tse said. The new airline is looking for people to fill the roles of marketing director, director of airports, interline sales manager, business analyst, director of maintenance, financial controller, revenue accounting supervisor and marketing communications manager. It follows CR Airways, which flies 50-seat jets to the Philippines and Cambodia, as the latest airline to be established at Chek Lap Kok. The other passenger airlines based in Hong Kong are Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair. 'We're in no hurry to hire. The timing of the launch of our new airline will depend on the availability of aircraft ... which we plan to lease,' Mr Tse said. The launch of the airline also depends on successful negotiation of a new air services arrangement between local and mainland aviation authorities, which industry sources have said could be completed before the end of the summer. No spare rights exist in the current arrangement for Hong Kong airlines to fly new mainland routes. 'I can't tell you where we plan to fly to, since the new deal has not been completed. But we are mainly looking at some cities in the mainland,' Mr Tse said. 'We have made the decision to start hiring people now despite the lingering uncertainties, because we don't want to wait any longer. I hope the [deal] will be concluded as soon as possible,' he said. The air services talks, which have dragged on since early this year, have been a source of concern for Cathay, which is trying to gain the right for more flights to the mainland.