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Safety concious China grounds private airline

China's aviation regulator has grounded a small regional airline company's operations for up to two weeks after one of its aircraft suffered an accident upon landing, the airline and state media said on Wednesday.

world Updated: Sep 01, 2010 12:09 IST

China's aviation regulator has grounded a small regional airline company's operations for up to two weeks after one of its aircraft suffered an accident upon landing, the airline and state media said on Wednesday.

The China Express aircraft damaged a wing-tip which "touched the ground" on Saturday, the airline said on its website in a brief statement". In accordance with a notice from the Civil Aviation Administration of China's southwestern management division, the airline is temporarily stopping flights from Sept. 1," it said, without providing any additional details.

China Express is a privately owned airline founded in 2006 which operates four Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets on domestic routes mostly in the poor southwest of the country, connecting secondary cities.

The Global Times, run by Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily, said the accident happened in the early hours of Saturday when an aircraft was landing in the southwestern city of Guiyang. There were no fatalities or injuries.

It said the airline could be grounded for up to two weeks while the incident is being investigated. But an airline spokesman said they expect services to hopefully resume within three to five days once the regulator has completed its probe.

"They are very nervous after the Yichun disaster," he said, referring to the fatal crash last week in northeastern China.

China has been tightening safety inspections over domestic carriers after the Brazilian-made Embraer operated by Henan Airlines crashed short of the runway, killing 42 people.It was China's worst air disaster since 2004 and jolted the fast-growing aviation sector, which has had no major accidents in recent years thanks to stricter safety rules, better training and relatively young fleets of mainly Western-made aircraft.