Shenzhen Airlines has announced that Fan Cheng, a senior vice-president from national flag-carrier Air China, had been named Shenzhen Airlines’ Communist party secretary – the most powerful position in a Chinese company.
At the same time Shenzhen Airlines has announced its de facto owner, Li Zeyuan, was being investigated for unspecified "economic crimes."
Shenzhen Airlines, which has an air cargo joint venture with Lufthansa Cargo, was set up as a state-owned enterprise in 1992, but in a restructuring in 2005, two companies owned by Li Zeyuan beat a bid by Air China and took a combined 65% stake.
Shenzhen Airlines is China’s largest unlisted carrier in terms of assets, which total approximately $2.9 billion. It operates a fleet of more than 80 passenger and cargo aircrafts.
The Financial Times reports that further evidence of an Air China takeover is in the works is that Shenzhen Airlines has refused to disclose the status or whereabouts of its chairman, Li Mo. He is the son of Li Zeyuan.
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