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Hong Kong's Greater Bay Airlines takes flight, but without fanfare

After two years of preparations, first takeoff is clouded by COVID quarantine

A Greater Bay Airlines plane at Hong Kong international airport. The regional carrier has just started operating passenger flights. (Photo by Kenji Kawase)

HONG KONG -- The first scheduled passenger flight by Greater Bay Airlines took off from Hong Kong to Bangkok over the weekend. What was supposed to be a ceremonious day for the brand-new carrier based in the regional aviation hub instead offered no pomp, not even a news release.

GBA's Boeing 737-800 aircraft lifted off from Hong Kong International Airport on Saturday morning as scheduled and made a return flight that evening. Even though it was the first scheduled flight for the airline, and in the works for two years, it went off without traditional lion dances, ribbon cutting or speeches.

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