Tianjin Cargo Airlines has secured approval for three Boeing 737 family freighters from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), paving the way for a May 2 launch.

The first Tianjin-based cargo carrier received formal CAAC approval in October 2017.

The three 737Fs will fly on routes from Tianjin to Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Urumqi, Shanghai (Pudong) and Guangzhou.

In addition, the company plans to introduce staff from three HNA Group subsidiaries, including Suparna Airlines (formerly Yangtze River Express), Tianjin Airlines and HNA Technic Co.

Tianjin Cargo, which expects to transport 15,000 tonnes of cargo this year, plans to expand its fleet to 50-100 aircraft over the next five years on domestic and international routes to Northeast Asian countries, Europe and the US.

The airline has a registered capital of CNY700 million ($110 million). HNA Group subsidiary Tianjin Airlines holds a 44% stake with a CNY310 million investment; Tianjin Aviation Logistics Co. holds a 43% share with a CNY300 investment; and Yang Hang Investment Holding Co. owns 13% with a CNY90 million investment.