China Eastern Airlines, 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 Boeing 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.