China Eastern Airlines and smaller rival Shanghai Airlines have denied they are in talks on a possible merger.
China Eastern, which sought to sell a 24% stake to Singaporean investors including Singapore Airlines, said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange that it was not in merger talks with any other airlines.
Shanghai Airlines said in a separate statement that it was not involved in any major deals related to the consolidation of China’s aviation industry.
Yet earlier China Eastern President Cao Jianxiong said state regulators in control of the two carriers were discussing a possible merger.
Luo Zhuping, board secretary of China Eastern said, ‘We don’t have a plan to merge with Shanghai Airlines because the aviation industry is suffering from stagnancy this year’ Then he said, ‘The potential merger is being discussed only at the government level at this point.’
At some point there will be a final outcome. But not yet awhiles.