China Eastern open to strategic investors; expands business scope with Shanghai Airlines takeover
China Eastern Airlines stated it is open to strategic investors, with GM, Ma Xunlun, commenting, “we are actively pushing ahead with introducing a strategic investor”. China Eastern stated it has increased its business scope through the takeover of Shanghai Airlines, with the combined carrier having operating capital of more than CNY150 billion (USD22 billion), a fleet of 331 aircraft, more than 600 routes covering 151 destinations and more than a 50% market share in Shanghai (up from 32% previously) (Shanghai Daily/Dow Jones, 09-Feb-2010). The carrier added that it is attempting to remove its domestically listed shares from the Shanghai Bourse’s “special treatment” list (the carrier received special treatment, a daily trading cap of 5% in either direction, after reporting two straight years of losses. The usual cap is a 10% movement).
Shanghai Government: "The city needs a leading airline that owns more than 50% of its market share to help build it into an international air hub, and the merger is a key step," Ai Baojun, Shanghai Vice Mayor. Source: Shanghai Daily, 09-Feb-2010.
China Eastern Airlines: "A key task after the merger is to build the Pudong International Airport into an international air hub, and we will cooperate with airport authorities to reduce transit time by 20 minutes," Ma Xunlun, GM. Source: Shanghai Daily, 09-Feb-2010.