Manchester United Plc intends to open 90 themed cafï¿½’s in Asian countries, starting off with outlets in Singapore and Beijing by the end of this year. The world’s biggest football club, in partnership with one of its Asian partners, FJ Benjamin, will open the ‘casual family-style’ dining venues in a continent where it has an estimated 30m fans.
The club’s television station already has a distribution deal in China and plans to open shops selling its merchandise. A Chineselanguage website is also being built, to develop the brand and sell merchandise.
Air crashes delay mergers A senior official of the Civil Aviation Administration of China said that China’s two recent air disasters could cause the two-year timetable for consolidation of the country’s airlines to be prolonged as the industry’s attention was now focused on discovering the cause of the two crashes. The comments were made a few days after a China Northern MD-82 plunged into the Yellow Sea off Dalian, Liaoning province, killing all 112 people on board. That disaster occurred less than a month after an Air China Boeing 767 flew into the side of a mountain near Pusan, South Korea, killing 122.
A few days before the second crash, Xinhua reported that the restructuring of China’s airline industry into three major groups was almost complete. Both China Eastern and China Southern, which will head two of the new groupings, said they were confident that their restructuring would be completed by the end of this month. China Eastern has recently reached an agreement with Wuhan Airlines under which China Eastern became the largest shareholder in Wuhan Airlines.