CHINA has given preliminary approval to the launch of two additional private airline ventures in the country as it continues to reform the local aviation industry. Following the break up of the monopoly of state-controlled CAAC in the early 1980s the Chinese market has seen rapid expansion, although the government has retained full control over the sector. In an attempt to bring down ticket prices and improve service, the government is looking to a new breed of private operators. The first private airline Yinglian Eagle United Airlines, which is being formed by telecommunications company Guangdong Yinglian, was awarded a preliminary licence by the CAAC just a month ago and plans to operate regional services from a base at Chengdu during the second half of the year. Now both Spring Autumn Airlines and Aokai have secured licences to launch passenger and cargo charters from Shanghai's Hongqiao domestic airport and from the eastern port city of Tianjin respectively.