China Eastern Airlines Corporation, one of China’s three major airlines, plans a joint venture with the government of Yunnan province to bolster its business in southwest China’s lucrative tourism market..
The airline said that it would own 65% of the venture, using its Yunnan unit as a platform, while the provincial government would hold the remainder.
The two sides have yet to work out financial details of the agreement.
The venture plans to add three of Boeing Co’s 737-700 aircraft to the unit’s existing fleet of 37 aircraft this year, with the aim of expanding to 50 aircraft by 2011.
CargoNews Asia reports China Eastern posted a US$2.04 billion net loss in 2008 under Chinese accounting standards, as a slumping economy hit air travel demand and volatile fuel prices boosted costs.