The decision for it to happen was made some time ago but China Eastern Airlines now confirms it will complete its acquisition of Shanghai Airlines by the end of the year.
China Eastern said in July it would buy smaller rival Shanghai Air by way of a $1.32 billion share swap that would give it roughly half of the air travel market in Shanghai.
Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Eastern, told reporters that the rights issue and the transaction would be finalised by the end of the year. He added that the airline was open to taking in foreign strategic investors and hopes to return to profitability in 2010.
Airwise reported that China’s airlines three biggest carriers last year suffered a combined loss of more than $4 billion. Last month, things turned brighter for China Eastern which reported a net profit of $4 million in the third quarter.