Earlier reports said a merger of the two carriers aimed to consolidate aviation resources in Shanghai, one of the country’s aviation hubs, and talks on the merger had already started.
China Eastern Airlines firmly stamped on the rumor: there are no merger plans with other airline companies.
Yet the report appeared in Caijing magazine which has an enviable reputation for getting it right. It said, ‘So far the discussion is among government agencies, and the two carriers have not participated.’citing an unnamed industry source in Shanghai.
CEA had signed a preliminary deal in September to sell a 24% stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Lentor Investments, a unit of the Singapore government investment arm Temasek Holdings.
The bid, however, was rejected in January by CEA shareholders. However, no one is denying that China Eastern has serious financial problems and that the Singapore deal would have saved the day. It may still come back into play but at a lower figure. The opera is not over until the fat lady sings.