The boss of budget carrier Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, whose inaugural flight last month flopped after a last-minute withdrawal of permission to fly over Russia, says the company will try to build a better friendship with the Russian authorities. Oasis chairman Raymond Lee Cho-min said Russia's motives remained a mystery, but he remained optimistic. Speaking on the Commercial Radio programme Without Limits last night, he said: 'We shall keep liaising with the Russian authorities. We hope to establish better friendship with the Russian authorities. 'We want to have flights to Moscow or St Petersburg. There are many business opportunities.' Oasis claims to be the world's first long-haul budget airline, offering flights between Hong Kong and London for HK$1,000 one way. The inaugural flight was supposed to leave at 1pm on October 25 but turned into a public relations disaster after a last-minute refusal of overflight rights by Russia. The plane was forced to sit on the tarmac at Chek Lap Kok for more than six hours as senior airline management and government officials tried to solve the problem. The flight was delayed for 24 hours and almost 300 passengers were offered money, a flight on another airline, or another Oasis ticket. 'We were shocked,' said Mr Lee, who was on the plane with other senior Oasis management. 'We had prepared for the launch for several months and got all the consents months prior to the debut flight.' Rumours had circulated that Oasis might have been tricked by its competitors. 'We shall not comment on whether other airlines played tricks,' Mr Lee said. 'We do our business and we know we need to try very hard to keep afloat in a monopolistic market.' Mr Lee's wife, Priscilla, co-chairman of Oasis, told the show: 'We were told such delays might be typical for all airlines in other parts of the world. We were not the first to experience such hiccups.'