[photopress:air_chinese_traveler.jpg,full,alignright]China Eastern, the nation’s third-largest carrier, has won official approval to establish a regional airline called Happy Airlines. (The name sounds a bit daft but so did EasyJet and Virgin the first time you heard them.)
The Beijing News reported that China Eastern will invest RMB400 million ($55.8 million) and take 40% in the new company, which will cater to west China’s middle and low-end tourist market.
The rest of the airline will be owned by the state-owned China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I), manufacturer of China’s first home-made passenger airliner ARJ-21.
The new airline will be based in Xi’an Xianyang International Airport in the country’s northwest and expects to hire transport plane pilots from the air force.
The newspaper said there are a handful of Chinese air companies running regional airlines, whose services are in huge demand but suffer from low profitability.
It further said, without elaboration, that China Eastern expects the new company to get beneficial treatment by the government. Beijing wants to boost the economy in the west to tackle unbalanced regional development. Note the illustration has nothing to do with the airline but this might be the image it wants to convey with its name.
Source: Economic Times