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Taiwan's China Airlines acquires 25% of Yangtze River Express

13-Jan-2006

TAIPEI (AFX) - China Airlines (2610.TW), Taiwan's leading airline, said it has acquired a 25 pct stake in Yangtze River Express Airlines for about USD40 million.

China Airlines said in a statement the investment has made it into Yangtze River Express' biggest overseas shareholder.

Other investors in the Yangtze airline include Yangming Marine Transport Corp (2609.TW), which has a 12 pct stake, Wan Hai Lines (2615.TW), with 6.0 pct, and China Container Express Lines, 6.0 pct.

"In the future, with the assistance of China Airlines, Yangming and Wan Hai, Yangtze River Express Airlines can build a complete and successful sea and air cargo service network," China Airlines chairman Philip Wei said in the statement.

Established near Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in 2002, Yangtze River Express provides regional and domestic air cargo services originating from Shanghai, with six B737-300 freighters. 

It now operates regional services to Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh and Singapore, and has secured traffic rights to Los Angeles and Frankfurt

It will introduce one or two Boeing 747 freighters in 2006, the company said.

China Airlines said its investment in Yangtze River Express reflects its strategy of establishing air cargo operations on the mainland.

China Airlines shares closed down 0.05 twd at 15.45, while Yangming was up 0.15 at 20.50 and Wan Hai up 0.85 at 21.50.  

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